Saturday, August 31, 2013

Renovation Diary: What Would You Do

Renovation Diary:
What Would You Do?
First, a little background.
This was my kitchen in November 2012:
Then I found an inspiration photo on Houzz:
 Attic space was directly above the kitchen, so the ceiling was blown out.
So far, so good.
 Until these columns were added above the hood. You can read about that over HERE.
I had assumed that the carpenter would make finials of some sort on the top portion of the trim, but he made columns. They were dubbed "the fire hydrants."

In every home renovation, there is a moment when nerves are frayed and sleep is lost.
Little things turn into a behemoth.
What to do.
The inspiration photo had shown a bit of raised trim above the hood, one that included a clock.
(I'd nixed that, mainly because if the clock broke, it would stay broken, most likely.) But I
liked the way the arched trim echoed the window's arch.
In any event, the fire hydrants were so long, they would have blocked the cabinet doors.

 Would corbels work?
We are using them on the extended portion of the island.
I asked the carpenter to remove the columns and add the corbels.
The result still looked a bit "off."

I hoped that the trim would be less noticeable after it was painted.
So the painter primed the cabinets.
(Paper covers the upper cabs and looks a bit confusing.)

The corbels looked better.
However, shouldn't corbels have a function, like, to support a shelf or a structure?
Another look at the inspiration photo:

Though I'm not getting a clock, I still might want an arched structure
above the corbels. Rather than having one made, we decided to borrow the refrigerator's
Along the way, we got distracted and tried the cartouche on the hood (we just propped it).
I loved it.
But now, the kitchen was starting to look formal
(and I'm an informal cook).

  I could still see an arch/shelf/something above those corbels, so
we placed the cartouche on the tip top trim above the hood.
   In person, I thought it might work.
But when I got home and looked at the photos, the cartouche was too small.
In trying to repair the columns/corbels, I'd introduced an issue with scale.
I had always imagined a blue ceiling, but I tried to imagine more whiteness.
Would the overwrought hood cease to be a problem if the woodwork was painted?
The primer is blinding.
But that goes along perfectly with my own snowblindness.
Did the corbels look better without the cartouche?
Does the cartouche look okay? Should they come down?
Do the column remnants need to come down?
My GC thinks it will be too plain.
I don't know.
Maybe I should do the clock!

 Do you have any ideas?
Any advice will be very, very welcome! 

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  1. I'm not a decorator but my choice would be to follow the inspiration picture. I love that. The corbels just don't do it for me. I really like the clock, but instead of a clock what about a great picture or a sign . Why not ask a decorator to stop by and give their opinion. I believe a Pottery Barn decorator will come out free and give ideas.
    You have a great style Michelle, go with your true feelings. I don't think you will go wrong.
    Good luck.

    1. I like the clock, but I can just see my husband falling off a ladder (the curse of a writer's imagination), so I nixed it.

  2. I don't think the cartouche works on the top, looks too small. I think I might like it on the hood, but then I think the corbels and columns would need to come down. Where do you want to draw the attention?

    1. I love the cartouche on the hood. Honestly, though, I'm ready for a tear-down. :-(

  3. Everything looks pretty much screwed up. Not functional, too many curlicues, the "whiteness" is blinding. But as long you are having fun....☻

  4. I like the corbels and column remnants, but I don't care for the cartouche there.

    Maybe something like an eyebrow window with molding to tie in. Just something that would add a slight arch to break up all the straight lines.

    1. The cartouche looks so small. An arch would be better, for sure.

  5. My first instinct is the projection above the corbels project out to far, It makes it look top heavy, The hood has a nice classic look and the corbels are a bit fancy, but then the cartouche seems to tie the corbels in nicely. If it were me I would minimize the projection so it only had a small relief. I don't know if it is possible at this point, but I think I would try to incorporate the cartouche to look as if it were being held up by the cobels. But the main problem is the scale of the projection, IMHO> Bring the cartouche down between the corbels to get a feel of the look I am describing. In actuality it will be place so the arch is just a bit above the existing crown. Good luck, keep us posted,

    1. Among other things, I've hated those columns since the day they went in. They caused quite a storm. It is possible to take down the projections and corbels (my GC says it's not a problem at this point). Smaller projections will call for smaller corbels, though. I'm stumped.

  6. The molding above the columns/corbels is just way toooo big, It drawfs everything else. I really like the smaller detail and arch on the original picture.

    1. I agree. What would you remove to fix it?

  7. Here's my two cents,lol. I don't think you need anything above the hood, too much trim going on. I'm sure the end result will be beautiful,good luck!

  8. Because this is just opinion and you asked:

    Love the corbels, keep.

    Don't like the cartouche at all on hood or above.

    I am thinking - hear me out here - what about two urns of dried boxwoods on top of the columns for some interest? You could go with seasonal stuff up there maybe?

    if I can give you any advice is don't over think this. And don't over design it.

    It looks great as is, truly.

    Hugs. Hang in there, it will be awesome when done. You are so close - keep steady the course!

    1. Susan (from Naps) and I had talked about a shelf/backplate, where I could add a seasonal wreath or hang an object.

  9. I was going to say go back to the original inspiration, but I completely understand your concern about your husband and the clock. After all, I wouldn't climb up there to change the clock twice a year or change its batteries. Why would I ask the love of my life?

    This one has me stumped. Guess I would sleep on it. My best inspirations come in the early mornings before I completely wake up.

    Enjoy the nice long weekend, eat a couple of BLT's, relax, and believe the answer will eventually come to you.

    P.S. Maybe hire a handyman to change the clock and then the doc wouldn't have to do it...

    1. If you are concerned about changing the clock there are atomic clock options that change themselves when needed.

  10. Hello, I would remove the corbels completely. They became the focal point not the hood. Add the cartouche back to the front of the hood so it is the focal point of that area. Hope this helps......take care

  11. I'm with Kathysue - I think the columns stick out too far. I wouldn't use the corbels or the cartouche and use the less prominent, plainer trim like the original picture. As far as the arch and clock - hire someone to get the clock down when you need to. I'm no decorator but I think you're trying to fix the problem with too many additions. Go back to the original idea. Just saying.

  12. One or the other needs to serve as the focal point, either the hood or the area above the hood. The trim moulding above the hood projects out further than the inspiration photo which is why you felt the need for corbels. The cartouche is more in scale with the hood. I would move the cartouche back to the hood, then see if the corbels are fighting for attention. If so, or not sure, remove one and see if the situation is improved by doing so.
    Paula ~ Mise en scène

  13. I would not use the cartouche or the corbels. Too formal for the classic look of the hood. I think in this case, less is more. From the original look that your GC created, I would have removed the cones, left the columns, and had the projection of the top area reduced because it's out of scale and causing the balance to be thrown off. The cones and the projection of the upper trim were the problems in my opinion. I think the columns were more appropriate for the look of the hood. You want that area above the hood to be accent not the focal area which it's quickly becoming. Too much stuff going on currently.

    1. True, that area needs to be an accent and not the focal point....unless I do the clock.

  14. I would nix the columns, corbels and cartouche! Maybe switch to a hood that goes all the way up to the top of the molding instead of to the top of the cabinets. (or all the way to the ceiling as if it has real function) The white space above the cabinets is imbalanced by the small scale of the hood. If it were bulked up and taller, it would be more in scale and less "stuff" going on to keep it balanced.

    Here is an example taken from The Enchanted Home:


    Good luck, I know how frustrating it can be.

    1. Here is the topic of range hoods that might be of interest there are several that satisfy the scale issue:

    2. Janet, thank you so much for the links. I love the hood eye candy--and I found an image that just might work. Thanks again.

    3. Can't wait to see the end result! Good luck! I'm sure it will be stunning.

  15. One problem I see is the hood. If you look at your inspiration photo and then look at yours, yours has too much white, as has been said. But it's the hood. In the inspiration, the hood is black and breaks up all that white. I think I would first deal with the hood. Then, the rest may be easier to decipher. Will be watching!

  16. I'm not feeling it. And apparently you aren't either. We are going through our own kitchen renovation and also have a trouble-spot. Drives one crazy! As I was reading the comments, you stated in response to one, "I've hated those columns since the day they went in." That is your answer! Tear them out, go back to your inspiration picture, and get it right! You will never be happy with your dream kitchen until you do, especially since you love to cook and will be spending much time in this room. We built our house 18 years ago, and there were a few things that I hated then, but didn't change due to finances. They still tick me off. So I vote for total change, despite the cost.

  17. My opinion is to remove the cartouche and keep the clean cut lines. I think it looks over worked with it in place. It's like...what is it doing there anyway?

  18. First, this kitchen is stunning! I can't wait to see more of your progress and especially the granite. I agree that the profile on the corbels could be of a smaller scale and profile and I would also consider somehow lowering them down to fit along the upper 2/3 of the sides of the hood and perhaps not reaching all the way to the top of the moulding as it is now. And, perhaps running a shelf across from one corbel to the other. I really like the cartouche above the refrigerator where it was previously.

    Even though the scale of your kitchen is bigger, here is a photo that may give you some inspiration...Centsational Girl's kitchen hood. Very pretty and nice scale. Simple too.

  19. I agree with some of the others, I would remove the cartouche and the corbels. It is just too much to behold. The kitchen will be stunning without all that.

    Mary L

    1. Mary, I was hoping you'd stop by. Thanks for your ideas--they're wonderful, as always, and very helpful. xx

  20. You are so sweet, thank you for the kind words. I just love the hood style, it is such a lovely accent that will dress your kitchen perfectly.

    Blessing to you hon!
    Mary L

  21. Well after looking at all the choices, the original picture and everyones comments, I have to say I like the cartouche on the hood. Somehow it just softens all the straight molding and gives the curves that are in the inspiration photo. I wouldn't do a clock ...has to be set at least twice a year and then if it needs repair it would be hard to remove, etc. The good news is whatever you choose it's going to be a gorgeous kitchen...just go with what YOU love! Can't wait to see it all finished!
    Miss Bloomers

  22. I like the idea of the clock. It looked great in the inspiration picture. Can you emulate that idea either using a large plate or maybe even a mosaic inlay?