1) Adding trim to fill in the gap - This is a total pet peeve of mine, but I hate that the cabinets don't go all the way to the ceiling. Adding trim/molding will be an easy, cheap solution and make the kitchen feel more finished.
2) Add trim - We didn't even notice this for several months, but there is trim (also called a valance) on the underside of the some of the cabinets and not on others. It's a small detail, but one we'd like to add to balance out the look.
3) Install new lights - Done! You can read more about those here.
4) New hardware - We want to update the cabinet pulls to something a bit more modern.
5) Paint all cabinets - Why would we want to paint over wood cabinets? Well...of all the cabinet color choices in the world, blonde is our least favorite (sorry blonde!) We contemplated staining them a different color, but our thoughts were dashed when we realized the cabinet frames were not actually wood but some type of melamine/laminate. I'm not sure that stain would work on melamine/laminate so paint it is!
6) Replace dead bulbs - Done! While those florescent tube bulbs weren't exactly cheap ($54 to replace all of them) at least this is one easy task we can check off the list. Hooray for light!
7) Convert tall cabinets to pull out spice drawers - The tall cabinet doors on either side of the microwave are awkward to open and since the cabinets are so narrow, it's hard to find spices when we need them. We want to convert these into pull out drawers for better organization and ease of use.
8) Lower the bar counter - We decided early on that we didn't like the raised bar portion of the peninsula. It's good for hiding messes from the view of the living/dining room, but that's exactly the problem. We are always coming inside and piling stuff up on the counter, but because we can't see the messes from other areas of the condo, the messes stay put. The goal is to lower the bar down to counter height (which will open up the space more), and extend the countertop into the dining area a bit to allow for stool seating. Neal did a quick photoshop mock-up so we could get an idea of what it would look like before actually doing any work (although the outlet placements and corner angle are still being decided on).
9) Redo backsplash - We don't hate the backsplash, but if we lowered the bar counter we would have to redo it since the bar cuts into the tile. I think of it as an opportunity to get something more chic & timeless (marble tile or subway tile perhaps?)
10) New countertops - I sort of feel snooty for wanting to change this because the granite tile looks fine. It isn't cracked or falling apart or stained. BUT (there's always a but) I really, REALLY don't like living with the tile. Hate it even. The grout lines are just a pain. I would love to be able to wipe down the counters without feeling like I had to get a toothbrush out to dig food spills out of the grout. If we lowered the bar counter, the chances of finding matching granite tile for the counter extension would be pretty slim, so we've been looking into getting new countertops altogether.
11) New sink & faucet - We want to get an undermount sink, preferably a deeper, single bowl type so pans would actually fit inside for soaking, i.e. no more of this:
We'd also like to update the faucet with something a bit more modern.
12) Hide counter clutter - As you can see from the photos, we have a lot of "stuff" on our counters. If we lower the bar, all this stuff will be even more noticeable as clutter. I'd like to find homes for everything that doesn't NEED to be out.
13) Convert closet into pantry - We don't have a pantry so non-perishables and other non-essential kitchen gadgets must take up precious kitchen cabinet space. Any time we make a trip to Costco we find that a lot of non-perishable food items end up sitting out because there is simply nowhere to put them. The closet currently has one shelf and a coat rack bar inside, which seems like a lot of wasted potential. We'd like to build shelving to maximize the closet's storage capabilities. We would also like to build doors that match the kitchen cabinet doors, so the closet feels like an extension of the kitchen. Simple coat hooks on a wall near the front door will replace the need to have an entire closet dedicated to just coats.
So there you have it! If you made it through all of that, kudos to you! I'll keep you posted as we tackle this list.