June 9, 2016 § Leave a comment
White kitchens are, again, all the rage, but what keeps a white kitchen from becoming too cold and uninteresting? You guessed it. Color.
What I love about this white kitchen from Traditional Home is the strategic placement of color where it will 1) have the biggest impact; and 2) be inexpensive to change over time.
Where to put the color?
Backsplash. Since the cabinetry and counter tops are white, the backsplash is a logical place for applying a splash of color. Plus, since it’s a relatively small area in the kitchen, you can be bold with your tile choices knowing that replacing the backsplash when styles change down the road will not break the bank.
Furniture. Splashy citron breakfast bar chairs give the neutral kitchen a modern vitality that pairs very well with the traditional cabinetry. The chairs keep the traditional cabinet design and the timeless marble counter top from being too stuffy. And because there are just two chairs, theoretically you could switch them out seasonally if you wanted to and change the look of the kitchen completely.
Accessories. Always a place to introduce color, the accessories like dishes and canisters and placemats and other easily switched-out items add splashes of color all over the kitchen and are temporary. Again, you’re not locked into a color scheme that will go out of favor in a year or two. Bringing in new accessories in a new color palette will freshen up the kitchen at practically no expense.
No wonder white is such a popular color for the kitchen. It is timeless, and it goes with every decor and season. Plus by adding color in places where new color can be infused without redoing the entire kitchen, you’ve added longevity to your original white kitchen design. Smart thinking!
Here’s the link: http://www.traditionalhome.com/kitchens/design-ideas-white-kitchens?page=0
April 27, 2016 § Leave a comment
You inherited your kitchen. We get it. No money for a costly re-do. We hear ya. But there are a few things you can do to lighten and brighten your dark, dated kitchen while you pour money into other fun things.
- Replace the door handles and drawer pulls. There are so many new metal options out there, and many of them are quite inexpensive. Some even come by the bagful. So there’s no excuse for keeping these.
- Paint the old golden oak cabinets. It may sound hard, but anything is better than the dated, dry and grainy orange beauties many of us were stuck with for awhile. Painting takes patience: in a nutshell, remove the doors, take off all the hardware, sand the cabinets and doors to give the surface “tooth,” prime everything with a really good primer and then paint the doors outside on a horizontal surface to prevent drips. I like to use a cabinet-grade enamel that holds up pretty well. Stay neutral for longevity although painted cabinets are all the rage. So pick a color you’ll love for a long time. Here’s what the Pros recommend for a really nice finish. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20315665,00.html
- Switch out the overhead lighting. This is a really cheap, DIY project (remember to turn off the power first!!). There are so many options way more creative than the central overhead ceiling light or the yellowy brass candleabra over the kitchen table.
- Add under-cabinet lighting. This is a great way to add both task lighting to an old kitchen counter space and ambiance. If you don’t have a tile backsplash, make sure that area is freshly painted as it will show up now. Here’s a link for the many options and how-to’s. http://www.lowes.com/projects/kitchen-and-dining/under-cabinet-lighting-buying-guide/project
- And don’t forget to paint the walls. The easiest, cheapest, and quickest update to any room is a fresh paint job. If you need help with color, let’s work together.
Now, isn’t that easy? You will love pouring your morning coffee in your face-lifted new kitchen. Yes, you still have the old layout and probably none of the new gadgets currently available, but your kitchen will feel brand new. And think of the fun you can have with all your saved money! Enjoy.
(Photo: Brian Wilder for This Old House Magazine)
June 22, 2015 § 2 Comments
Drop the sponges, folks. Honestly, without trying to offend anyone or stomp on creativity, I have never seen such awful faux finishes in my life! It’s high time we roll over those ugly paint jobs and simplify our visual lives a bit. And if you plan to sell your house anytime soon, please listen up.
Faux is out. It was hard to perfect from the beginning but as of now, it has been totally overdone. From walls to kitchen cabinets to dressers and dining room ceilings, enough!
What’s in? Paint. Just plain paint. And in some applications, wallpaper. But not too much! No need to match the curtains to the wallpaper to the bed linens. As one who tends to find a good thing and overdo it, I can certainly sympathize. But the next time you have the urge to spend hours dabbing wet sponges on the wall or cabinet door, take a deep breath and stop.
July 7, 2011 § 2 Comments
Maybe it never really went away for some people, but for others the thought of an “accent wall” just screams ’80s. But you know, honestly, they’re not a bad idea… in some cases. Accent walls (I should dream up another name!) can take a large room and create a cozy nook, or a dining area. Like this kitchen. The walls were a gray blue, and half of the large space was dominated by white cabinets and a slate tile backsplash. So we pulled some of the orange out of the tile and created an “area of interest” on the other end of the room. The color is Tucson Red (1300).
Using an accent color on one wall is also a great way to warm up a loft or other modern, non-descript space that needs instant architecture. We call it “color blocking” — yes another term from the high-fashion ’80s (I’m dating myself) — but it’s a terrific way to take a neutral, often white, space and add large pops of color. Instant focal point!
When an accent wall doesn’t work is when the room is too small or too square. Painting one wall a different color might just chop up the room too much. But if you have a long narrow room, painting the far wall a warm color will bring it forward visually and make the room feel less like a bowling alley and more like a well-designed, pulled-together space created by you.