I read too much. Decorating magazines, design blogs, interior design websites, fiction, non-fiction, fan fiction (yeah, I’m a nerd). During the course of all of that reading a person is bound to run into a few differing viewpoints from time to time. When I found them, I didn’t just run into them- I smacked into them head first! For a short time I felt like a bird that had flown into a glass window. Disoriented, embarrassed, squawking “I meant to do that!” to anyone within earshot.
I *may* be over-dramatizing. Just a tad.
At some point I read in a decorating book that when you have a multipurpose room (in our case, kitchen/dining/living) the entire room should be the same color, supposedly making the room appear larger and more unified. So that’s exactly what I did in our “great room”- the entire room was painted in Valspar’s lemon-mint, a fresh, creamy celery green.
It’s a gorgeous color and I’ve lived with it for the past 9 months. White, however, is the perennial favorite for kitchens, and instead of being boring & lacking personality like I had always thought- it looks FABULOUS in kitchens! Who knew. Oh, that’s right, everyone but me, who was still stuck on the “keep the great room one color” thing (I meant to do that).
My absolute favorite kitchen makeovers are the ones where cookie-cutter builder-grade kitchens are turned into light and bright cottage kitchens. After browsing a few of these tours (google search “white kitchen makeover” and you’ll find several!) I began noticing common themes. White, bead board, white cabinets, butcher block, lots of natural light, and industrial fixtures. The paneling in my kitchen *sort of* looks like bead board, and we have white cabinets, natural light, and the industrial fixtures. I’m going to replace our laminate counter tops with butcher block after I win the lottery. Ha, ha.
I have to ask- did you notice what my kitchen was missing? Look back over the list… yep, it needed to be white. And quelle suprise, I had half a gallon of semi-gloss white sitting in my garage! Semi-gloss paint is recommended for kitchens since it washes clean easily, and when I cook, it’s a multi-surface effort.
I’m not gonna lie, painting over the green made me a little sad at first. So far I’ve focused on decorating rooms from scratch- I hadn’t redone one of my own projects yet. Painting over something that I painted in the first place teared me up- until I saw how gorgeous the white was looking! White kitchen > lemon-mint kitchen.
Do you notice my side-project? I SIMPLIFIED. There were way too many things vying for attention in the “before” picture. I took tons of things off the walls and cleared off the counter and the whole kitchen feels lighter. In a small house it is incredibly important to regularly evaluate & organize your STUFF. Having clutter on my counter and table effects my mood (feng shui, anyone?), I can’t mentally relax until my environment is clean and tidy. Mark calls my cleaning habit OCD, but I call it necessary for my mental health. Tomatoe, to-mah-to!
I moved the “No Whining Allowed” picture to the hallway where the red frame looks almost nautical against the white & grey stripes (I’ll post pictures of the new hallway art in a couple of days! I have a fabulous project to show you=D). The plate rack I put in its place was a Christmas gift from my mom- I’m on the lookout for an oversize white ceramic platter to replace the blue plate I have on it right now.
I’m obsessed with all the natural light that comes into this kitchen!
I taped off the edges of the shelf and left the space around it green. I think the green background sets off the dishes nicely. This little shelf is the farthest I will foray into the realm of “open shelving”- I love how open shelving looks but the contents of my cabinets are far from organized! My cabinet doors are staying firmly attached.
I tacked a nail into the wall to hang our red colander. I would LOVE to put pegboard along that wall like this one here so that I could get rid of my utensil crock altogether, but that’s a project for another post! The little bird ornament hanging on the door handle is from our first Christmas as a married couple, it feels like good luck to keep it out and visible. =)
My friend and I browsed an antique mall Saturday evening and I found this $5 wooden greenhouse. I think a small potted plant would look adorable in it, but until I get around to buying one, I caged my Pier1 bird salt & pepper shakers. Oh noes!
I found these little piggies languishing away on a dusty shelf at the antique mall- $3.50 and $2.50. I just love their itty bitty red hooves! My friend named the little guy Wilbur (SOME PIG!) so I named the larger one Orville. They’re chilling on the window sill in my kitchen now.
The entire painting process took less than two hours- that’s including clearing off the walls and counters, taping off a few edges, painting & edging two coats, and removing tape. I set up both a fan and an air purifier in the kitchen so drying time was around an hour and there was hardly any paint smell! I was worried that I would get a headache from the fumes since it was a warm day and I couldn’t open the windows to air out the room, but my little $15 air purifier cut the smell completely within a couple of hours. Yay for bargains!
So far I’m loving my new bright & light white kitchen, what do you think? Is it an improvement over the color?