Reader Design Dilemma-Farmhouse kitchen

It's time for another reader design dilemma! This one comes from Catherine in Los Angeles, CA. She recently moved into an old 1892 farmhouse, and wants to update her kitchen.
"I am always drawn to white kitchens, and while I don't think bright white would work with the rest of our house (the trim throughout is more of an off- white), I'd love to do something to snazz up the cabinets. Is it possible to paint them? I'm thinking off-white. I'm not a huge fan of the maple color wood floors that don't match the rest of the house, so I was thinking of painting them off-white with black checks (or, even better, finding a more interesting pattern.)
So, I'd love your help upgrading my kitchen a bit! Your help is much appreciated."
Here are some pics of Catherine's kitchen, ready for its make-over:

Her kitchen doesn't get a ton of light, so she says it's just shy of being dreary. My concern with more white is that if the room doesn't get much light, that off-white might appear gray in the shadowy light. I would opt for a light color with some warm undertones. Something that didn't clash with the counter-tops (we don't have a detail shot)

Here are some items Catherine plans to switch out of her kitchen. The travel poster will be replaced with the art photograph, and the wire shelf for the wooden chest. So, looks like warm, soft neutrals are being introduced. Excellent decisions.

My first thought is, if the cabinets are real wood, it would be great to preserve the beauty of those varying tones by stripping and re-staining them in a different color. That would be my first suggestion.
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Additionally, the kitchen table could be stripped and stained or re-sealed to go along with the cabinets. Here's a great little article over at decor8 about locating gems at chain stores and changing them up to make them work for your specific design goals. "You can always paint (it) white or pale grey after you’ve hammered, sanded, and using a chain, take out your anger on it in a few places to add some age", Holly suggests.

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As for the floors, a painted pattern is a great idea! This is a cool stencil treatment I thought was a fun way to incorporate warm wood tones and some visual interest. It's important to keep in mind that foot traffic, especially in a kitchen, will be heavy. So be sure to use the correct products, or better yet, hire a local decorative finish artist to do the stencil painting for you. Here's a DIY article for tips on floor stenciling and a list of Domino Magazine's favorite stencils.
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Here's another site for floor stencils (for concrete, but you might be able to use them on floors, too)
Here are a couple kitchens Catherine has seen recently that she loves.
"In general, I like to mix old with some modern elements. In terms of color, I tend to like really soft, neutral palettes, and I have a very short attention span when it comes to color so I prefer to use it in accessories rather than in anything permanent."
and some more...
One common element I noticed with the inspiration photos were the consistent use of open upper cabinets with glass panels. This might be a great way to lighten up the sense of heaviness and bring in some pops of color with whatever is displayed behind the glass. You could also switch out colored panels behind the shelves to add some color without the commitment.

So, I'm going to try something new this time and open the floor to all you wonderful readers out there with fabulous ideas. You all really came through with bathroom color suggestions, and I know you can help Catherine out with her color dilemma. So you all start the ball rolling while I am out of town for a few days, and I'll throw in some of my own thoughts to fill in any gaps when I get back mid week. Sound like a plan?

I can't wait to hear what you come up with!