Posted in Back splashes, cabinet hardware, Cabinets, Counter tops, Kitchen Trends, Kitchens, Kitchens Don'ts, Maple Cabinets, Oak Cabinets, Paint, Resale Value, Return on Investment, Traditional Kitchens, Trends in Tile, White Kitchens

Musings on when to paint your cabinets

So your house is not selling. It’s sitting on the market without offers while other houses in the neighborhood are selling while your home continues to linger. Feedback from your realtor says that potential buyers don’t like the kitchen. Realtors advise depersonalizing your home, (remove family photos and personal “clutter”), so buyers can get a better sense for how this home would fit their lifestyle.  But how do you depersonalize your dated kitchen? Your father may have built or installed these cabinets or you may have selected your favorite maple wood stain but does that matter to the buyer?  Remember, they are not buying for sentimental value.

Do you dig in and wait for the buyer who likes your taste to come along months down the line or do you appeal to more home buyers who desire the current trends and get your house sold quicker?

Kitchen Circa 1990’s. Floors Circa 2015. Fresh coat of paint, hardware, new counter tops and splash and this kitchen would be charming!

A former client was shocked that their house is still sitting on the market with really insulting low ball offers while the cheaply renovated neighbors house sold in 10 days. This is a sad case of letting your personal style getting in the way of selling your home. It doesn’t pay to be annoyed that your dated cabinets are better quality than your neighbor’s cheap but cute “ok-Ikea” kitchen. If it’s dated, even though it was in style when you remodeled 10, 20 or 30 years ago, facts are facts: out of style kitchens are a big fat negative for the buyer who wants a move-in ready home.

Are you ready to drop $100,000 or more off of your asking price so you can sell your house? Ready for a change?  Or for a modest investment in paint, cabinet hardware and new counter tops, you can update for kitchen for a quicker sale.

Let’s get started:  Consider what’s fresh and timeless versus what home-buyers consider dated and dreary.

# 1: Consider painting your wood cabinets, (yes I said it, paint your wood cabinets!). It’s ok to paint wood. Hire a professional painter to get the job done fast and efficiently.

Bright white and wood look charcoal plank tile floors as shown in a model home at the Oaks at Portola Hills.

Take a tour of model homes in your area to get a sense of what is trending in your town.

# 2: For a bit more elbow grease, route out the door panels and add clear glass for a vibrant change in your wall cabinets.

# 3: Add cabinet hardware to your cabinets. It’s the jewelry in the kitchen. Brushed nickel or polished chrome knobs and pulls add a nice touch.


Caesarstone Shitake Counter tops, Brookhaven by Wood-Mode Cabinetry

#4: Are your wood stained cabinets in good shape but the counters are Uba Tuba or Baltic Brown granite? Rip out the counters and splash! Install new counter tops in a light quartz. Back splashes with a little pizzazz becomes a focal point in the kitchen.

Cherry wood with Mosaic stone and glass tile for the splash and quartz counter top.
Paint White Cabinets, mosaic & subway backsplash, quartzite slab, polished chrome pulls

Pick up any kitchen magazine and you’ll find a majority of the covers show kitchens with quartz or quartzite counters. Dark & busy counter tops appeal to fewer people.

Even the quartz manufacturer’s weed out dated colors. I just threw out 10 sample blocks from one of my vendors that discontinued colors that were popular 4 years ago but not today. Edit out what doesn’t work.

Solid color quartz counter tops or marble and “marble-like” are in high demand for most of my clients.


3 x 6 white subway tile and honed quartz counter top.

And finally tip # 5: The most popular back splash today: Subway tile! Painted kitchens and subway tile are always a classic winner! A client came to us after seeing our fabulous contemporary display in an appliance showroom, but once they saw our classic white display with subway tile, the decision was done. This style evokes immediate love for classic good looks.

Update the back splash with a classic white subway tile! It is timeless and one of the more affordable back splash tiles available. Paired with new counter tops, paint white cabinets, new hardware, a new faucet and stainless steel sink will transform a kitchen into an appealing space for a home buyer to consider.

And if you are in the Orange County area and need help with your dated kitchen, please give me a call for an estimate. 949.448.9627.





Posted in Beach House Kitchens, White Kitchens

Beachy Kitchens

Looking towards fair wheather ahead, here are a few of my favorite beachy kitchens from Coastal Living that inspire spring remodeling. 

Photographer Richard Leo Johnson, 
Photographer J. Savage Gibson, 
Love the color on the wood floor. 

Photographer Roger Davies, 
What makes this kitchen special is the apothecary chest that divides the kitchen from dining room. The height of the chest serves as a good visual break between the two spaces.    

Posted in Blue Kitchens, Peninsula Kitchens, Small Kitchens, Small Space Design, White Kitchens

Favorite Kitchen of the Day

Photo: David Duncan Livingston

This is a beautiful way of handling a small kitchen space. Kitchen designed by City Studios.  I love the slate blue accent color on the island against the white cabinets. Rustic details like the warm-toned recycled antique terra cotta floor. The kitchen’s eco-friendly curved soft ivory concrete countertops are made with concrete – a locally made material – and were given have a patina for an aged look. Other details: energy-efficient appliances, insulated and double-paned windows and door and drawer hardware made from high-quality recycled metal. For the full story visit: SF Gate: Greening the Kitchen
Posted in Beach House Kitchens, Counter tops, Small Kitchens, White Kitchens

Beachy Revival

Here are two before and after photos from Coastal Living. What I love about this kitchen is how light and airy it now looks.
Key features:

  • Removal of the dropped fluorescent light panels in the ceiling.
  • New but vintage inspired, is the clap board detail on the walls.
  • Iridescent glass tiles in sea shades for the counter top.
  • The pantry door is a vintage looking screen door painted in blue. Very clever and perfect to complete this beach cottage look.
  • Hardwood floor adds warmth.

“It was never about having the most up-to-date kitchen or the fanciest appliances,” The homeowner, Jane says. “We wanted it to feel just as it did when it was built.”

For more information on this house go to Revive Your Beach House.
All photos from

Posted in Celebrity Kitchens, Humor in the Kitchen, Kitchen Sociology, Kitchen Tours, Kitchen Trends, White Kitchens

Isaac Mizrahi in the Kitchen at

I have to tell you, I cracked up and giggled most of the way as Isaac gives us a tour of his kitchen. His frenetic energy is the equivalent to a double shot of espresso. Check out the video link at the side bar on the left or visit

Lessons learned from Isaac:
We can all learn to live with a little dirt.

Secrets kept:

The contents of his refrigerator.

Favorite features in his kitchen:

His commercial faucet, his enamel white cabinets, the prep sink, his white Le Creuset cookware and home made mint chip ice cream.

Really a fun and creative man, definitely one you would want at a dinner party. Isaac shows that style does not mean we have to break the bank. Splurge where it’s worth the investment, (the appliances and cabinets), and spend a little less in easy care changeable dinner ware and accessories that can change easily as the mood or holiday dictates.