Cry for HELP in kitchen

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

This kitchen needs help. Just put in lovely granite countertops a few months ago. The cabinets were here when we moved in - not real wood. High gloss white with branished bronze knobs and faucet and 2 ceiling lights are also bronze finish. Biscuit color sink. NOW - I need color.

Choices are: We can take off the doors and my husband has oak which he can trim out the cabinets and we could buy glass doors - maybe. But this is the expensive route.

Add color to the walls - what I really want for a fast fix. The only colors that go with the stunning wood work in this 1910 home seem to be yellows and greens. Blue and purple never work. There isn't much light in there dispite the 2 windows and 1 door. We are considering knocking out the wall not shown so I didn't include that.

I currently decorate with my useable cast iron skillets. The floor is hard wood, dark. I will post several pictures and hope to get some expert advice.

I don't want wallpaper in the kitchen because the former owners used spackle to make the rough walls because nothing is perfectly square. Wallpaper done in another room was a pain because the lines were not perfect.

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Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)


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Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

counter top is not 'white' and oddly there are no real browns. There are red pepper, grays, and it seems that red accessories DO NOT work. Black works better as for items on the counter.

Thumbnail by shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

and another

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Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

more shinny white cabinets but easy to wipe clean.

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Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

another one

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Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

side view entering kitchen

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

My Kitchen is yellow and i just love it. Neutral [tans] counter top, Corian, oak cabinets and almond/beige appliances.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Just found a photo I took a while back...

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Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

Lovely kitchen. I need some color ideas for either the cabinets or walls. In a magazine today I saw cabinets painted sage. Leaving the white walls. The sage was not shiny and they looked stunnng. Going back to wood would be fine but costly. These are not real wood.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I really love my kitchen... one reason we chose this house. the 'eating area' is a lil small, but there are only 3 of us in the house now, and i butted the table up to 'just below' that counter right on the end. it actually works well, and if someone else shows up for dinner, i just pull the table back out again.

First... after a coupla years in the house... i needed color, so i chose the blue.. it actually matches the color of the huge bean bag chair in the family room. then about a year later I chose the yellow. DH wasn't keen on it, but he said,,,, It's your kitchen. I just love it. It really makes the oak "pop".

I also love sage, i think that would look great. Sage i think is currently one of the "in" colors. I wanted to paint my formal LR sage, but DH didnt want it.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I think what would look great with those counters is the spray paint that makes it look like a crackle finish. It would give you some color in the cabinets without spending a ton of $. They also have those stick on copper look tiles for the back splash.

Southern California, CA

I love your kitchen. It does not need a thing. The colors are subtle and beautiful. You already have everything for a beautiful kitchen.

Decor Theme: Antique pottery mixing bowls and jars

Color Theme: white, biscuit, burnished bronze, & green glass at window.

Cabinets: I would leave white b/c they are easy to clean, and they look good. If you paint they might not be as washable and might not look as nice. You said your kitchen is a little dark. Then, white cabinets are definitely in order for that reason, too!

What I would remove from kitchen:You say blue & red does not work in the kitchen with the beautiful woodwork. I agree. Remove the blue & other color bottles from the window and display only the green. Remove the blue pottery bowl over the refrig. and remove the red item on the refrig. Ban all red and blue from your kitchen, even the note paper with the red border on the refrig. Make attractive magnets out of some vintage antique things or things that resemble antiques & limit yourself to burnished bronze and biscuit and green for the magnets. Take down the 3 plates that have red in them. It’s not that these plates are not beautiful, but the colors do not work in your kitchen & they do not go with the pottery theme. I would retire the glass jars and the aluminum cooking item touches on the refrig. & some walls for now. Stick to the pottery, jars and mixing bowls as your theme for decor. Put the pretty plant on the refrig. in one of the potteries and retire for now the jar the plant is in. Also your fruit bowl is nice, but I would stick to the pottery theme and have fruit in a pottery mixing bowl instead of the current bowl. I would also remove the dark brown jar that is with the other jars on top of the cabinet, it’s just a little too dark- it might be nice filled with stones and used as a door stop in the kitchen, though, b/c it is similar to the floors in color. I’m 50/50 about the cast iron. I think I would take it down and just have your walls and cabinets bare. You have quite a lot going on already with the granite and the pottery and the green glass.

Pottery: the pottery collection is gorgeous. I would mix the mixing bowls & pig along with the jars and not have all the jars together and all the bowls together. Have a tall jar in the center and bowls on each side. The green bowls and biscuit colored jars are fabulous. Think of groups of 1-3-5-7 with taller items in the center or slightly off center. Mix these jars and bowls and pig on top of the refrig and on top of the refrig. cabinet and also on the other cabinets where you now have all jars.

Wreath: The wreath is lovely. It might also look nice on the inside of the kitchen door instead of the outside of the door. Not sure about this one-outside might be better.

Paint: I like the paint just fine. The next time you paint, I would take a kitchen drawer with me and try to exactly match that white of the cabinet. A nice washable paint, but no high gloss.

Towels: I would stick to the white kitchen towels or maybe biscuit & maybe a biscuit and white check, small check and large check but only in biscuit and white. I would stick to plain white paper towels, no designs.

Coffee Maker: when you replace, think of getting a white one, and a white coffee ground holder, too.

This message was edited Nov 19, 2010 6:26 PM

This message was edited Nov 19, 2010 6:27 PM

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

AMAZING - are you a professional decorator? You have such detail. I think I have the mix of crocks, bowls, pig on top of the refrig and the cabinets above the refrig - correct? Then what over the other cabinets? Just more of the same - since I probably have enough for all.

Do I completely remove the aluminum pots? I can see where they take a different turn from the bronze.

The cast iron plays well with the black in the countertops. That's one thing that really seems to work with the counter - black. I feel there is to much white. But you say no.

What about the 'high gloss' cabinets? I painted these cabinets this over fake wood. Should I get a satin paint in enamel?

Southern California, CA

Not a professional decorator-just interested in decorating. Thought I'd give my 2 cents of what I would do, we all have different tastes, I realize.
Yes, the mix of bowls and jars in all areas: over the refrig, on the top of the refrig and the other areas on top of cabinetry.
I would completely remove any aluminum.
I like the cabinets the way they are.
The cast iron (I love to cook with it, too) I find distracting-it's not that I don't like them. It's that they distract (I think) from the very subtle glazes of the bowls and jars. My eyes go immediately to the "loud: black CI and I don't see the "quiet" bowls and jars. Maybe the CI can be in another kitchen location. If you really want to keep the CI, I would have them together in one place. Like where you have the 2 now, and add the one that is on the side of the cabinet to the middle of those 2 & keep the side of the cabinet plain. Do you have other CI? Maybe they could go down the side of the door on the other side. They might look nice on the top of the door, too, but they could kill someone if they ever fell on a head-so don't do that.

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

I do have cast iron on the other wall not show. 3 on it. I use them so they go up and down often. What would you recommed on the walls? I think it needs color.

Anyone else with ideas? Please feel free to give any opinion. I'm open to anything at this point. It seems to me there should be color even if shades from the bowls.

aluminum is out of place, I see that. I love those old bowls my mother in law used for 60 years. But they do dull things.

The granite is busy but it's suttle in color and I love color. This is my only white room. Maybe that is why I feel the need for it.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

i hear ya... i do not like white walls. DH and MIL love them.... that is why one day, i jsut went and got paint and started painting. I knew if i waited from him, it wouldnt happen. was almost 3 yrs in this house before there was any color.

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

I really want color. J2222 has some great ideas but I really want color - bright - yellow or nice spring greens.

Any suggestions? When I look at the kitchens on the forum many have white cabinets and walls. I'm just in desire of color.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I, obviously LOVE yellow in a kitchen. So bright and cheery.

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

But where do I bring the yellow into the room? There is a small amount of golden color in the granite countertop. There isn't a color that would seem to work for the walls based on the countertop. The granite is a strange thing to pick. The piece we originally saw and ordered had more brown in it. This however has no true brown. There is no guarentee what colors or patterns are in the stone.

I'm still thinking about J2222's suggestions and agree the black really stands out. I just have lots of the cast iron and it does work with the black in the granite. See the close up of the counter.

Would painting the cabinets a sage green work if there is no green in the granite?

Southern California, CA

I love it when people have different opinions about color etc. That's what makes life most interesting. More color, you say.
I'd keep the CI, but have it all together on the right side of the kitchen window as I said. Collections look better when they're grouped. If you love something and brings you fond memories, you should keep it! Definitely keep the aluminum, but cluster it all together on top of the refrig, Have only aluminum on top of the fridge, 3-5 pieces are better than 2 pieces for a collection. Maybe put a faux philod. in one of them. -for the green touch.
I think green is your accent color. If you move some bowls to live among the jars on top of cabinetry,, I'd buy faux plants and put them in the bowls. All the same plant, say philodendron, no more than 2 plants to each section of cabinetry. That will place more green on top. Add a few green wine bottles here and there among the bowls and jars, too-if you want & if they look good (I have to try things to see what they look like) wine bottles will add more green. Above the window place an old timey or reproduction sign: "eggs for sale" (or whatever) make sure this has a lot of green and yellow. They're getting pricey so maybe you could make your own "for sale" sign or stencil something in deep green above the window. You could have kitchen related words above the window: BAKERY, KISS THE COOK or I'd probably choose a faux wood carving design and make it almost the width of the window, in green. Like this:

Another thing that might look good above the window is a piece of wood (or faux plastic to look like wood) stained the same color as the wood on the window or faux painted to look similar to the window wood. This would add height and you could brush in some green for a touch of the green.

Southern California, CA

Here is another thought-befoe I start cleaning the here bathrooms, for a change. Keeping the same green touches as above: your DH seems like he has carpenter skills from what you orig. said. I would ask him to install bead board under all the cabinetry and above the stove & under the window-taking it to the height of the under cabinets on the right side of the window. The top of the bead board would have to be finished off with a molding at the right side of the window, but probably not elsewhere. I would paint the bead board in the same shiny white high gloss as the cabinets, I think that would look nice. It would also reflect a lot of light. Then I would paint the upper walls of the kitchen in some color taken from the granite, the lightest off white with a warm biscuit overtone. Not too much biscuit as it will look "flesh" which I don't like--more to the lightest beige. If you're into faux finish, I would maybe on the cabinet tops do a white background with a warm biscuit faux paint on top. I'd have to experiment with a few different finishes on a card board and hold up to the area before I made a commitment. It used to be people made gradual changes in their homes. They'd paint a sample swatch board and live with it for a year, even,-watching how the color changed in the yearly seasons and day to night. To get something really right is a gradual process, I think.

Southern California, CA

Really, have to start cleaning, really! lol. But this is so much more interesting. When I see photos of rooms in magazines or wherever, I always play the game, how would I decorate this room if I lived there..... so, with my game in mind,another touch of green could be added to the oven door. 1 or 3 gorgeous green & white print towels-coordinating, not matching- over the oven door-for show towels, not for use. Something you pick up gradually on travels or while shopping in a nice kitchen store. I have 3 on my oven door, My colors are blue and white and I have 2 matching from William Sonoma and in the middle one a friend brought me from New Zealand. I have bought towels at Anthropoligie, about 15-20 dollars each but so unique, they “make” a room (I LOVE Anthropologie!):

If you sew, another cute thing is to scour the antique shops for 1940 tablecloths. These look so sweet made into towels or curtains or left as tablecloths (with a clear plastic protective over cloth) in the kitchen. They’re usually in blue and red however. Maybe one of the new fabric designers is making something similar in green tones.

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

Early morning with a head cold! J you have really given some good ideas. Did you see the cow sign on the 2nd picture? I thought about painting a medium green above the cabinets. I was glaring at this yesterday and kept thinking of how to pull more color in the kitchen.

I planned on doing some biscuit color but the granite really doesn't have that color - it's more grays. Nothing in browns. Check out the pic of granite only.

Bead board - wanes board with the lines? Is that what you mean?

Not sure what you mean by: I would maybe on the cabinet tops do a white background with a warm biscuit faux paint on top. ---I can't imagine this idea.

Back to bed to cough my head off. I'll check back later.

Thanks for all the info and anyone else please chime in on these thoughts.

Southern California, CA

I wish others would chime in, too! There must be hundreds of good ideas out there.

Sorry you have a cold! Bed is probably the best thing.

These people live in an older house. Their backsplash is beadboard. Some of the counters are wood and some granite. The windows look similar to your wood. EDITED TO ADD ABOUT HD FEET: Their kitchen also has (if you scroll almost to the end) Home Depot stock feet added to some of the lower cabinets. I think they look adorable and are a nice finishing touch.,r:7,s:0

The paint I described is faux finish. Very popular here in halls, living/dining rooms, bedrooms, baths and kitchens. Ralph Lauren and others sell faux paint kits. RL’s kits are called ragging, sponging, colorwashing. There is a lot of information on the internet and books etc if you’re interested.I like the base neutral white with plantation glaze seen here (not so much color, but a bit warner than white and adds a feeling of texture, too) :

I love the sign. Hadn’t noticed it. I would try it above the window.

Many people love colored walls. I have many “things” (I think you do, too). Antique-type collections here & there and also on the walls and I prefer to let my collections be important and have the wall color be less important. If I was going to paint a wall, I might do a faux in base neutral/plantation glaze as above, and that's about as far as I would go. LOL. Just for you ;-) here is a Google shot of green painted kitchens:

This message was edited Nov 22, 2010 10:09 AM

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

I love the images. One particular kitchen on was on page 1 or 2. They used Home Depot color match to Benjamin Moore's "Spring Valley". Stunning color with the white cabinets.

Which I had thought of the beadboard before we spent the $$$ for a backspash matching the counter.

Lots to think about. You are amazing!

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

OK - I have to put my two cents in if not too late

You picked a BEAUTIFUL granite.
I'd go with a warm warm paprika in the wall paint. You sort of have it in your granite anyway. A 'browned' red if you lean more toward brown than red. A deep tomato if you go more for the red. It will make your kitchen look warm and inviting and perk up the appetite. I agree you cannot use true red. Pick up the cremes, browns and reds in a rug or dish towels. Your knobs --I'd try to find a nice warm medium brown in a ceremic / glass/ or porcelain. Sort of gingerale or a tad deeper.
Green crockery (like the sage you seek) would go great with this --just not the pastels --shoot for the same level/tone/saturation of the other colors. If you don't have the crockery --use what you have but make 'necklaces' for your crocks in beads and fabric or anything you want..but make the necklace colors in sage and reds (not true red) and browns and a lighter creme.

Spray paint the chandelier in the brown (or if you want to be bold the browned red) ..... If you want to give it a try you could do a light rub (as in real light 'hand') of antiquing (just a smear!!!) in the arch in your cabinet doors (just the outline of the arch..not filled in the center or entire arch) Just a 'rub' .... white showing through.... Do just one and see if it appeals to you. I have those cabinets in my bathroom (I put kitchen cabinets there for the height and depth) and eventually the edges will wear thin...and if you want to 'try' a color and don't like the idea about a wide swath in the arch can just do all edges with a rag in the same sort of med brown. It will look naturally worn and change up the bright white of the cabinets (you have better control on the edges if you use your finger to rub the edge with color and not a rag.)

All this will warm up the kitchen and make it very inviting..allow you to use your sage in the details/doo dads and crockery and give your kitchen the spark you feel you are seeking (and not kill your pocketbook)

This message was edited Dec 3, 2010 6:48 PM

Lynnwood, WA(Zone 7a)

Missingrosie's color direction resonates with me. The burnt umber or whatever you call the "red" in the counter tops ties in with the natural wood. More than anything I see the natural wood, no other feature compares with the impace it has. Therefore, a color that makes it fit would most comfort my eye. A tad of green here and there like you have would be brightening. No blue. All of the biscuit colors would be nicely backdropped with the colors she suggests. Green or yellow would do nothing to integrate the natural wood. My first response was to paint that natural wood, much as I hate to do that. But instead ease it in with the "red-brown-orange' color missing describes. Only you on site can really determine what that color should be. White is a color too often dismissed as not color. It is powerful to my eye and I like it. Not to mention, the white glossy cabinets are easy maintenance, which is always a priority in a kitchen. There that's my 2 cents.

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

I've been away for a few days - lots going on. The kitchen hasn't NOT changed. Now I would like to get more ideas so I can get it done. I love the reds idea and husband wants red somewhere but reds are hard to pick. I need a sharp eye to pick this out.

The jewlery idea or beds is as nice one. Have some sages/reds on a couple.

The biggest issues is the light. This room gets early morning sun for a couple hours. Also late evening sun but otherwise light is low - we have a wrap around porch so there is not much natural lighting - suggestions with that n mind

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I think it will be fine with the light you get if you go with the browned reds - it will be warm. If you are not comfortable with the reds ---perhaps a cider - y color. The good thing about paint is you can get a few samples and paint a foam board and move it around the room etc.

Yeah, without too much of a 'swelled' head - I liked that necklace idea too - you have great crocks and they looked like they'd be happy to accomodate bringing colors together for you. ;0)

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

Not been on DG since I last posted....where does time go? I cleared out the kitchen counter yesterday and took more pictures. This room must be done soon - can't stand it.

I've had the suggestion from a friend I emailed to use benjamin moore's "jute" which appears, online, to be a great match for the granite. But I need color too. Where to paint what. I want to keep the crocks regardless of what else stays. The bowls are the 2nd thing to keep - otherwise I don't care what I change but it needs work. I'm just a color person and need to warm up the white.

Chaska, MN(Zone 4a)

I love your white cabinets, and I like the idea of keeping the crocks and the green glass. I would go with a warm taupe for the walls. Like the color of the crocks only about 2 shades darker. You would need to make sure the color has enough warm in it to compliment the wood- but not be dark. I'm thinking somewhere around the color of a light potatoe would be. Your crocks and your counter would stand out as lighter, and it would draw attention to both of those things. Something along the lines of coffee with lots of cream. I think that would make everything you have pop- but also warm it up a bit.

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

I will try to send pics of my new kitchen. Cabinets are still white. Jute walls except for hot red for an accent wall. Looks great.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

Just re-did my kitchen.I added just a "little" color...*G*

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Very nice red.... I love color - very nice combination.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

What I would do is pull out a color in the counter top and match some paint to that for the walls.
Walls meaning over the cabinets and the backsplash.
I don't know just what colors are in the counter but something along the lines of a yellow orchre or mustard color, brick red, or terracotta orange color would be nice. The rich colors would show your pottery collection nicely over the cabinets since the pots are lighter colors.
I would wait to decide what color I used before taking out anything else in the room. The bottles in the window are okay but I think there are too many of them making it look cluttery. I would keep the colored plates myself, I like them, especially hanging together like you have them. I would hang all of the cast iron on one wall together. Any you don't have room for, just store in a cabinet.
One thing I noticed is one of the crocks on the overhead cabinets hangs over the edge making it look too large for the space. I would either put that on the floor somewhere, top of fridge or maybe in a corner that might be deeper. I would not let anything hang over the edge of the top cabinets, except greenery of course. You might consider a wallpaper border along the wall opposite the kitchen where you are hanging the cast iron? (Not sure if I have the layout right in my mind) Wall border can add very nice color, can help to blend several colors together and keep the room from looking too plain. It is easy to put up, easy to take off later and not expensive if you just need a roll or two.

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

I haven't posted the final pictures but the kitchen was complete in late January. I'll take pictures soon to post.

Kingman, AZ(Zone 7b)

watig for pics!

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

I have to confess - I hated the red wall and tried to learn to love it but I painted over it last weekend and hung some nice wash boards on the wall and I'm happy now. That red just didn't fit this house. I will take pictures but need to clear off the cabinets - making chicken and dumplins

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Oh wow! There are some great suggestions here. I just redid DD's kitchen last year in a reno with similar cabinets. I repainted the cabinets a sage green over and under the sink/work side of the kitchen and a soft yellow over the pantry, beverage side. The idea was to not have the kitchen so matchy all around but rather break it up to look like a furnished room with more interest. I painted the walls in a linen white (antique looking color) and then used a small paint brush to add rustic lines of linen white edging to the recesses of the cabinet panels. The effect is that the cabinets pop while the walls recede which is what I think you need. I'm saying this because you pottery is a beautiful accent and should really stand out. A color on the cabinets and not the walls will make the pottery look like it is on a pedestal rather than on a colored background. I'd not recommend making your walls a strong color at all.

You have added some craftsmen touches to your house (or they were there), like the trims. Our DD's taste is the same. I really need to get some pics to you but it will be after TG.

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