Would like some ideas on sprucing up my kitchen. Walls and cabinets are kotty pine which I love and don't want to paint over. Kitchen has one standard size window over the sink. Area is relatively small. Any ideas?
You can get better ideas from books, magazines, internet, or even better, face-to-face sources like architects, interior designers, kitchen remodelers and general contractors - who will be able to show you samples first hand.
Also, the big box stores have "advisers" who can show you samples on the floor and on their computers.
Some of the advice may be free, but don't hesitate paying for professional advice, if you need to.
Here is a site to get you started thinking about some ideas: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=pine%20cabinets%20kitchen&rs=ac&len=7
I am partial to knotty pine myself because since I was a wee tyke I have vacationed to knotty pine cabins in Minnesota and associate knotty pine with fishing poles and beach towels:)
Knotty pine does have a lot going on in it and can get a little dark, so you might want to consider any updates to be understated and light in color – like a subway tile backsplash rather than a multicolored glass backsplash.
Small, less expensive updates: new curtain, some new décor (hang some vintage china on a wall or soffit) new cabinet hardware, new light fixtures, new faucet.
If your cabinets have a center panel, have the panel cut out of a couple of upper cabinets and replaced with glass. You can put a fabric curtain behind the glass, or display your pretty dishes. There are some examples of that in the site I noted above.
A little more expensive: new floor, countertops and backsplash. If you can lose or move an upper cabinet or two, and have a nice view then consider a larger window.
A big farmhouse sink would fit the style.
Replace a basic metal stove hood with a flat vent covered with a pine wood hood or if you can afford it, a copper one – see pics.
Feel free to ask more specific questions.