My Decorating Bete Noire–The Kitchen!!!

Some of you may well recall that my kitchen looks like this:

Your eyes don’t deceive you, it’s battleship gray with old white painted cabinets and a very worn vinyl floor. Ideally we’d gut and replace with lovely natural maple cabinets, soapstone countertops and hardwoods to match the rest of the house. However, in the real world we need to pretty it up for now while we save for what we want to do. To my mind the worst part of all this is that the previous owner painted over old wallpaper. It makes wallpaper removal twice as difficult and of course, in the humidity of Atlanta I don’t dare put another coat over it.

That being the case we’re going to paint the cabinets, put down some new vinyl on the floor and add some stock cabinets at the end of this 8′ x 25′ bowling alley of a kitchen. (Yes, we’ve been asked why we don’t just put some pins at the end and charge admission.) I’ve hemmed and hawed over this forever, (Mainly because I don’t want to strip that bloody wallpaper) but I’ve more or less settled on yellow and charcoal gray. Found this lovely fabric for curtains:

Waverly Small Talk BlackbirdWaverly Sidewalk Stripe Silver LiningWaverly Buzzing About Silver LiningWaverly Belinda Silver LiningWaverly Bliss Silver Lining

Obviously all this fabric isn’t going in the kitchen, the birds are going on the kitchen window. I think the gray tone-on-tone will go on the dining room windows and I’ll probably cover my dining room chairs in the floral and the bee fabric, but I’m not sure yet.

If you look closely at my cabinets you’ll see that they have funky little lines carved in the doors. I hate that. I think it makes it look country. I think if I paint them a dark color, like charcoal, and put on some modern hardware it will update it nicely. But if I go with a dark color on the cabinet then I have to have light-colored countertops and I really hate that idea. I have my heart set on this countertop:

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I don’t think I can have that with the charcoal gray cabinets, even with a yellow room.

So I might have to go with something like this, which is a limestone look:

Click here to view larger image

Or maybe this:

Click here to view larger image

Interestingly enough, despite having two large windows, the kitchen is still fairly dark, so I don’t know if cabinets that dark will bring it down or not. Of course, I could paint the cabinets yellow (white is out of the question), but I’m not sure. What do you think?

And in case you’re wondering we’re putting down this vinyl plank flooring by Novalis, believe it or not, it’s peel-and-stick:

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6 thoughts on “My Decorating Bete Noire–The Kitchen!!!

  1. I would pick a lighter/brighter color for the cabinets. I would be afraid that dark cabinets would make the room close in.

  2. the most important thing to do is to take accurate measurements. This saves time and helps with planning. A lot of home improvement stores will send their worker to your home to recheck your measurements before your new kitchen is ordered. This will guarantee that your new cabinets will fit perfectly.

  3. You have a great eye for decor. Your kitchen can be very cute for a fraction of what new materials would cost. Have you considered resurfacing your cabinet doors? You could either change the doors completely or fill in the carved lines and smooth it out, and put molding around the doors to create a more modern looking cabinet.. you could then proceed to paint them, after sanding and priming of course.

    you could also go to a salvage store or habitat for humanity-type store — many times, people will get rid of perfectly good cabinets and these salvage stores will give them to you for a 50% or more discount of what you’d pay if new.

    as for paint color, i wouldn’t go dark in a small kitchen because it could visually make the kitchen appear smaller — that depends on how much sunlight comes into the kitchen tho.

    I think I’d stick to a lighter color for the cabinets – why are you opposed to white? is it the huge contrast? you’ll have to go with something that matches your doors and moldings

    I’m not big on peel and stick, but thats because I remember it as the old peel and stick – i hear its not as bad as ‘the old days’ when pieces would move around. Have you considered tiling the floor? That could be a wknd project if you are up to it. Also there are premium sheets of linoleum that are heavily textured (and look like tile or stone) that you could consider as well.

    I love your fabric choices and color scheme. I”ve bookmarked your site so i’ll be coming back to visit to see what you’ve decided. Good luck with your projects!

  4. My wife and I just bought our first house. Your fabric with the yellow bird on the black and gray tree would be perfect for our kitchen door. Would you mind telling us the name of the fabric or where we can order it. We are missionaries but we will be traveling to the states soon.

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