When Lauri came to us for help with her spacious kitchen, we couldn’t wait to bust out our paint decks and get down to business. Here’s her letter:
I’m seeking your expertise for my kitchen. The reasons for the change are (1) It is so dark; and (2) I need to replace the cheap linoleum and white carpet that makes no sense in any kitchen, let alone one where two toddlers eat. I would like wood floors (or a cheaper equivalent) for the entire space, including the entryway and maybe even the adjoining dining and living room. With so much wood already in this kitchen, I can’t figure out what color flooring to get, or what to do with the cabinets, so I don’t overdo the wood. (I’m open to other options if wood floors just don’t work and I’m also open to painting the cabinets too – but then what about the railings?). I’d like the kitchen to feel fresh, happy, clean, welcoming and maybe slightly funky. I don’t like rustic, country, Southwest, beachy (I’m in Colorado) or too modern. I usually pick browns, deep reds, greens and greys, but am willing to do something different and bold, and am open to pretty much anything that is tasteful, and that I won’t have to re-do if I ever sell! I love Z Gallery, Pier One and Cost Plus. I can’t replace the countertops or appliances right now, but would get stainless appliances down the line. Thanks so much for your help! – Lauri
This is going to be one of those dramatic makeovers, we just know it. So enough dilly dallying, here are three paint palette ideas to spruce things up in a snap:
Of course the colors above aren’t nearly as accurate (and vivid!) as the paint chips (our deep cherry red looks kinda tomato-ish above, and our moody navy looks a lot less dark and brooding) so the best way to guarantee fabulosity is for Lauri to bring home each paint chip and hold it up in her space. But on with the show. Here’s the paint palette breakdown:
1. Our first scheme is our unabashed favorite. You’ll notice that in each palette we chose a rich mocha hardwood floor color (Lauri should check out Limber Liquidator’s for a fabulous deal), but in this palette we think a deep navy hue (much darker and inkier than the rendering above) would look fabulous on the bottom cabinets (Federal Blue by Glidden) while the top cabinets will stun in a delicate cream tone (Pearl Essence by Glidden). Oh and cabinet painting is easy, just refer to our cabinet painting tutorial. The paint swatch in between the navy and the cream represents the current grayish-tan countertop color (shown in each scheme since it will stick around) and we think it definitely works with the navy and cream extremely well. We’ve actually seen this look before in a showroom and it was heartstoppingly beautiful. And since Lauri loves deep rich colors and wasn’t afraid to go a bit bold, we decided this was the perfect place for the statement making scheme. For the walls we’d go white (Glidden’s Ready-Mix White), which will allow the cream upper cabinets some subtle differentiation while making the room feel lighter and more open. Then for those railings, we think carrying over the white paint from the walls will update everything and eliminate any chance of wood overload with those gorgeous new mocha floors.
2. The second scheme is actually two schemes in one. The first option would be to leave the cabinets in their unpainted state, again install some rich mocha hardwood (which has enough contrast and depth of tone to keep from competing with the cabinets) and then paint the walls a crisp white (Glidden’s Read-Mix White) to keep everything classic and clean. Gray-green accessories could be introduced for a bit of soft color that still works with the gray undertones in the cabinets and the stainless steel appliances that will come into play down the road. Sceme number two would be to paint the cabinets white instead of the walls (Glidden’s Ready-Mix White) and again do the mocha floors but this time we’d paint the walls that pretty gray green tone (Glidden’s China Rain). Gotta love two palettes in one. Oh and in both schemes the railings would again go white- in fact we recommend white paint on those railings even if the cabinets remain unpainted just because it’s a cleaner and more updated look (and many people have oak cabinets with crisp white banisters nearby).
3. Our third suggestion is again on the bold side, this time we picture glossy cherry red base cabinets (Benjamin Moore’s Million Dollar Red) tempered by the dark mocha floors for a rich and luxe look that doesn’t overpower thanks to a gentle cream tone on the top cabinets (Glidden’s Pearl Essence) and serene white walls for the ultimate balance. This dramatic and sophisticated palette is definitely not for the meek, but you’d be surprised how many people will fall in love with the elegant and unexpected combination after they see it (heck, it might even help you sell down the line if the right buyer comes along…). And again in this scheme we’d love to see those railings get a nice coat of glossy white paint for an instant update that’s crisp, clean, and oh so current.
So there you have it. Three ways to update Lauri’s kitchen with ease. We can’t wait to hear what you guys think- especially you Lauri!