Kitchen Reno – Phase 1

So, my kitchen is totally giving yardwork a run for it’s money in the competition to be the worst, most inconvenient, most difficult, and most un-fun part of the renovation.  It isn’t that I don’t LOVE kitchens.  It’s that I HATE not having a kitchen for an extended time period.  You may wonder if all this work is totally necessary.  To that I say, let me refresh your memory: before.  I can’t even work with this.  So, since the “parchment scroll” look is no longer fashionable (never was), we peeled, pulled, pried, scraped, and scratched all of the terrible wallpaper from all surfaces.  Then we worked on the cabinetry, removing the weird upper + lower cabinets from the eating area and re-configuring the lowers into a peninsula / work area.  I would have loved an island, but the room was a little too skinny.  This works better.  Other than the floors & walls of my antique house being slightly wonky, this went on without much of a hitch.

2013 Jan-Feb 010

Obviously not finished, but you can tell where the stuff is being added.

Then my sink delivered.  It sat in the living room floor for about 5 days.  In order to do the final counter top measurements, the sink has to be installed, so the next Saturday my husband thought he’d pop it in.  We were also tired of tripping over it in the middle of the living room floor.

What started out as only a slightly-ambitious DIY project became this:

Picture 217

Holy crap.

So the sink is in, but in order to make it happen, we had to pull out the counter top, which was attached to the back-splash, which was also attached to the upper cabinets and the plaster walls.  Oh well, it was all going anyway.  It just ended up going sooner rather than later.

As you can imagine from this picture, this was a tough day. Without running water, we had resorted to alcohol. And so here we are. More to come…


Kitchen Conundrum in Gray

So I picked a really great shade of navy for my kitchen cabinets – not too blue and not too black.  Really, the perfect mix of both.  I worked like crazy to paint all of the cabinets meticulously – the insides, the outsides, the drawer tracks, the whole nine yards.  Now I’m just not sure. The cabinets in the pic below are unfinished and the upper cabinets are still up, but it sort of gives you an idea. Maybe it’s the combination of the dark navy with the terracotta tile floors that’s throwing me, but it just isn’t doing it for me.

Maybe it’s the result of this particular color recipe that doesn’t give me the warm feeling I’m looking for when I walk in the room.  Maria Killam, who is a Colour Expert, writes one of my favorite blogs .   She calls something like this a “bossy” fixed (something you cannot / will not change) element.  This is something that I wasn’t totally in tune with before I met Maria’s blog. What this means is – you can like a color all you want, but if it does not flow well with the rest of the room, it will never work. In my case, I underestimated the bossy-ness of my terracotta floors. Another bossy personality coming into my kitchen – Carrera marble countertops. Maria calls this a “fixed white”, which means you need to put some thought into the colors that you put with it, for example: the “white” that you pick for your trim needs to have some gray in its undertones in order to work with the Carrera (more on this later, but here is what Maria says ).

So anyway, I have bossy floors and bossy countertops – what to do?   Gray.
gray kitchen - decorpad

Amazing kitchen island double-take:
Gray Kitchen - BHG and H&Hc

I love how this kitchen is somehow both utilitarian and warm. The counter tops mix of stainless steel & marble. There is even a little butcher block thrown in the mix!
Gray Kitchen - Greige
Now we even get a little rustic! You may notice the trend here is gray + white…
Gray Kitchen - H&Hb
Gray + Brass… Obsessed.
Gray Kitchen - BloomsburyCollage
Gray + Copper… Loving this.
Gray Kitchen - southern living may 2011

So it’s starting to feel like gray looks fabulous with everything that I love – white marble, stainless, brass, copper. And it also looks pretty good with some of the things that I don’t really have a choice about,  like my bossy terracotta floors.


Decorpad / Better Homes and Gardens / House and Home / Greige Design blog / House & Home / Southern Living / Bloomsbury Kitchens