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Need facelift/new color for my kitchen
Olena Newell
January 15, 2013 in Design Dilemma
So, I am thinking to repaint my kitchen and make it brighter and more contemporary. I would like to save my kitchen cabinet doors. The built-in cabinets in the dining area were installed/custom made by a previous owner. I am not sure how to make them look more formal. Any advice?
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Marilyn Wilkie
New, bolder hardware would help. Also, the terra coot looks dated and darkens the space. I would think in terms of something brighter. Maybe a fresh green? I also wish they had brought the backsplash up under the cabinets.
4 Likes   January 15, 2013 at 10:46AM
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PRO
National Door & Trim
This kitchen/dinning room is accented with that beautiful fireplace and mantle, you should make it pop and accent your trim with blue, a flat darker one or even a lighter one, but it would also make your dark counter top stand out. Not only would it be contemporary but bring out your natural looking cabinets instead of blending in with that orange color.
3 Likes   January 15, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Olena Newell
Marilyn, you're so right about the backsplash. We bought this home 6.5 years ago and I guess it was the trend back then. Green sounds really nice. What about the fireplace? And what would you do in terms of backsplash? Glass or steel looking tile?
0 Likes   January 15, 2013 at 11:02AM
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Heather
I think it would look gorgeous with tile (backsplash) half up the wall like here: and maybe you could do some color blocking with the fireplace. Something serene? Don't be afraid to accessorize on the mantel with pieces that aren't so matchy-matchy.I cant figure out how to add the fireplace pic but maybe doing some color blocking around it to match the kitchen.Painting the cabinets white to brighten the kitchen would be an easy clean look too.
1 Like   January 15, 2013 at 11:11AM
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Marilyn Wilkie
Olena, I am not a decorator but I do love glass tile. There are so many beautiful versions to choose from now. I especially like the small pencil tiles and they would seem to be in scale for your backsplash area which is not very deep. A light color would lighten up the area under the cabinets as well. The cabinet color will change with a different paint color. They have a nice clean look now, which is nice.
2 Likes   January 15, 2013 at 12:16PM
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Olena Newell
I would love to receive more comments about my fireplace. Would be o'k to do use the same tile as backsplash on the fireplace, or will be it too matchy? I love contemporary style, and I can't decide if I should completely redo the manter or just do the tile around it. I will check into color blocking term since I am not familiar what it means. I greatly appreciate all of your comments!
0 Likes   January 15, 2013 at 5:10PM
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Olena Newell
What I meant to ask about the fireplace is that do I need to spruce it up and make it look like in a more contemporary style or leave as it is, more of like a traditional style?
0 Likes   January 15, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Jayme H.
I think this would help FP..see pic...are dining room cabinets / built ins same as kitchen? The black paint/not the brick on FP. Trim added onto those kitchen cabinet doors could make them more formal...if those r the same as the built ins are.
2 Likes   January 15, 2013 at 8:28PM
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Jayme H.
Trim on cabinet door if u can match stain/and new hardware...please disregard these colors
0 Likes   January 15, 2013 at 8:34PM
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Jayme H.
more examples: the white, rope-like trim can be applied like in the other pics
1 Like   January 15, 2013 at 8:37PM
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Jayme H.
Been reviewing whitewashed cabinets with wall colors and have become convinced this will be tricky. Please get samples and hold up to cabinets, etc. before mixing up a bunch of paint and wasting your time and money. Best Wishes.
1 Like   January 15, 2013 at 9:22PM
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PRO
A Crew of Two
To update your cabinets- get 2' boards and create a frame around the perimeter. I would convert some of the upper cabinets to glass doors- this is easy if have a sharp saw blade. Frosted glass is a little more contemporary. Prime and paint. I think i would choose a soft gray wall color and paint the cabinets Benjamin Moore alpine white. It will help blend the appliances. I like the black fireplace idea, but you would have to change the tile I think. I would be careful what you choose just because you have a tile floor as well as wanting a new backsplash. They do make a heat safe paint.....Thermolux i think is the brand. You would just need to clean and sand the tiles before painting. Worth a try. Black drawer pulls for drama. Blue accents.
1 Like   January 15, 2013 at 9:44PM
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Jayme H.
Were u planning to restain or repaint the kitchen cabinets?
0 Likes   January 15, 2013 at 9:50PM
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PRO
Aegean Designing Whims
I love the idea of a glass backsplash, and I'd paint the cabinets and walls white. I'd also use either chrome or brushed nickel hardware.
As for the firelace, you could install glass tile over your existing ceramic tile, possibly using the same colors as the kitchen, but maybe in a different pattern.
I also like taupe/brown/gray glass, and you could then pick up taupe/gray for the walls.
Chrysteen
1 Like   January 15, 2013 at 9:52PM
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sjkingston
Before I noticed California by your name, I thought you were in Arizona or New Mexico by the terracotta walls! Cabinets appear to have a pink undertone but that may be just because they are up against the wall color. I'm confused by comments "contemporary" and "more formal" as one conveys modern and the other traditional. The low budget approach (especially if you DIY it) would be to pull a beige from the backsplash tile and repaint the walls. Then use Jayme's suggestion of adding molding like his first pic. If you're open to repainting the cabinets, use a similar shade on the cabinets (be sure to get the correct undertone to match the tile). The do a hint of glaze just around the edge of the molding (not all over) for a high end custom look. Consider painting the fireplace trim work an ivory with the same undertone as the wall and doing the inset in a black granite similar to the countertop. Paint the brass fireplace trim out with high heat paint.
0 Likes   January 15, 2013 at 9:52PM
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suzyscuderi
I have knotty pine cabinets and wanted to make the kitchen look better in lieu of a remodel (working on other priorities in the house). I hired a pain consultant who specializes in Divine Paint (Diane Peck). She advised us to paint the walls "Macaw" which is a warm navy blue. I was hesitant but we went ahead with it. The room looks AMAZING. The dark color makes the ugly soffits disappear, and it makes the tired cabinets brighter and actually cleaner-looking~ I suggest that you try a swatch of a darker blue navy and see what it does for your cabinets. Good Luck!
1 Like   January 15, 2013 at 9:59PM
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wildeone
How about a light grey for your walls. Then cabinets could be a white with a touch of gray added. Don' t forget your ceiling and trim. Just a thought, but properly primed you can paint your tiles...kitchen and fireplace. Since gray is a neutral bring in a pop of color. Maybe one row of tile on the FP could be a place for your accent color. Orange, yellow, red, teal blue. Whatever works for you.
1 Like   January 15, 2013 at 10:02PM
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PRO
Pamela Tripas
I completely disagree with Gray paint in the kitchen. Not only is it cold looking, but it's reflection is not appetizing. I think the idea of Blues is much more appealing. For example a Robins Egg Blue is relaxing yet conducive to food.
1 Like   January 15, 2013 at 10:52PM
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onthefence
I think a soft green would be amazing in your kitchen and dining area.

I have to add - please do the paint before you consider doing anything to those beautiful cabinets. You mentioned liking a contemporary style - and if you paint or add trim, they're going to be far less contemporary than they are now. They appear to be really beautiful solid slab cabinet doors and those aren't easy to find these days. You mentioned that these were custom made and they look like they were beautifully crafted.
12 Likes   January 15, 2013 at 11:08PM
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jrick6
I completely agree with those who say a soft green would work - it absolutely would! I also think paint first and then worry about the splashback and fireplace. A soft cool colour may simply give your fireplace a modern classic look, then you may want to replicate that with a simple white tile for your splashback....paint first, then repost for more ideas!
6 Likes   January 15, 2013 at 11:20PM
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suzyscuderi
I would paint the walls before investing the time and energy in painting the cabinets, especially if you plan to do it yourself. Painting cabinets is a serious job. It is easy to screw it up. If the cabinets are custom and slab, consider painitng the walls and replacing the back splash first. .....then if you think you still need to paint the cabinets, have at it...
5 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 12:13AM
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aerobix
I like the idea of changing the walls to grey. It matches the hardware on the cabinets and will tone down the room. I would use small glass blocks - not the elongated ones, which will look very dated in a few years - with a grout that is slightly darker than the tiles to make the tiles pop, not the grout lines. Use the glass block all the way to the bottom of the upper cabinets, but remove it entirely from the bar area. To compliment that, cover the inner part of the fireplace with grey marble tiles. It will make it very rich looking and formalize the fireplace. Of course, this means you must paint the room a soft grey, but that is cheaper than any other idea. If you paint yourself, your only cost will be replacing the backsplash and drywalling where you remove it completely - which I would leave for professionals.
1 Like   January 16, 2013 at 5:40AM
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Marilyn Wilkie
When I think of grey I think of grey skies, depression, rainy days and no life. I think of grey suits marching to the office. I don't think about food...grey food is not appetizing. They say our color choices model our economy. Time for some color! Greens!
2 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 6:03AM
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kcshenk
I think your cabinets are very nice as they are. It's a clean contemporary look. Paint and a new backsplash would update your look at a modest price. Also, I think that as soon as everyone paints their cabinets white, wood will become popular again. At least that is what I am hoping.
6 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 6:12AM
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yytcm
I AM in Arizona and we did have the whitewashed or pickled oak cabinets that you seem to have and they definitely do have a pink undertone. However, like ours, they are probably solid wood and in great shape. They could be painted down the road if they bothered you enough, and you could get involved in backsplash work and changing the fireplace mantel, etc., but I agree with all the posters who say change the wall color first - cheapest and easiest thing to do and, if you get the right wall color, you may be very happy with the results all over for a long time. You have a lovely and inviting kitchen, dining and family room - just needs some tweaking for now. Only word of caution: Since the cabinets do have a pink undertone and that's the most limiting undertone to work with, your wall color needs to be carefully chosen to work. Check with the paint store for a color consultant who really does understand undertones - not everyone is skilled at it. I think a fresh apple green might work too but whatever color you pick, do take the time to do some poster board samples and move them around the areas for a while first - time-consuming but so worth it. Good luck!
6 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 7:57AM
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llswink
I owned whitewashed oak cabinets in my kitchen in California. I had to get the tester bottles of the colors I thought I would like, and then preview them on the wall next to the cabinets. I was shocked when my favorite color actually 'glowed' off of the cabinets and changed the color! Some of the colors suggested above sound really wonderful, but don't rely on a little chip, be sure to preview them on the wall! The modern look of the cabinetry would look awesome with glass tile to fill the space between counter and cabinets. Perhaps you will update us with pictures when you are done?
3 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 8:12AM
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Olena Newell
Wow, thanks you so much Houzz friends for so many responses! Yes, I live in beautiful sunny California, not Texas or New Mexico! Apparently, the terracota was very trendy back when we bought this house 6 years ago. We absolutely fell in love with our kitchen! The wall color was always something we wanted to repaint though.

I just realized that I don' t have a picture of our built-ins in this discussion. That's another major block to move forward with painting the kitchen. The previous owner had someone custom built these wonderful built-ins shelves/ unit with lots of storage underneath it ( I am attaching the pic, please see below). My husband and I were considering to close the open shelves with the same doors ( or may be glass door) as our cabinetry. We looked up the company that made these 7 years ago, but they went out of business. So, now we are not sure what to do since we have no idea where we can find the same color doors. Then we were thinking removing the shelves, leaving the lower storage and putting may be some Ikea Besta shelf units with doors, but it will not fit perfectly, it will leave some gaps on the sides. So, our built-ins don't let us move forward since we don't know what to do with that wall.

@ sjkingston : In regards to make things more formal, I meant the built-ins. Close them off with doors or glass or leave them open. Put a crown molding or not. Molding is sort of a traditional thing, but I would like to keep my kitchen in contemporary feel.

@ Jayme Hobbs: I would love to keep my kitchen cupboard doors as they are. I think they are beautiful!


@ yytcmI: You are right about undertone of my cabinets. They do have some pink in them, but when I put a couple of grey color swatches against the cabinets, boy they seem lost the pink undertone in them, and grey samples actually brought some blues in my kitchen doors. I am was very surprised to see that grey seems to work pretty well, except it made me think that it's a strange color in the kitchen ( not very appetizing or inviting as several people mentioned).

Below is the pic of my built-in unit/ open shelves with closed storage unit under. I know I have a TV there staring blankly, but it's no problem it will go!!!
1 Like   January 16, 2013 at 10:36AM
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yytcm
Hard to tell from pix but looks like open shelves are white or off-white and not sure if "countertop" is black painted wood or same material as kitchen countertops (since this was custom), but (just off the top of my head - needs thinking through), since these cabinets don't match the kitchen cabinets, maybe painting them and the white open shleves as well the same great color you're going to choose for your walls might solve the problem - it could then become your custom wall. If I were a designer/artist, I'd do a sketch/rendering to see what it would look like, but at least it's an idea to add to your collection.
0 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 10:56AM
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llswink
Hi, it's me again...
We had something like this in our dining room. There were cabinets above. We had the cabinet builder remove the sliding glass and shuttered middle section and install framed glass doors. I then installed tempered glass shelving, and some small spots in the top to light up all my treasures. The lower cabinet was used as a buffet when we entertained guests!

Should you decide to remove the shelves*, then any cabinet maker worth his salt should be able to make you cabinets to match. Be aware, that your existing cabinets probably are sealed with verathane which will have slightly yellowed over time. I don't think this will be a big issue for you as the cabinets are not that old yet, and the new cabinets will also change over time.

(*IMHO, the shelves do not go with your lovely cabinets and counters.)
2 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 11:00AM
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Olena Newell
yytcm: it's the same material as our kitchen countertops and lower closed off unit/ storage has the same cabinets as our kitchen cabinets. They are truly requiring lots of careful thinking as you put it.
0 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 11:26AM
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onthefence
I know the styles aren't exactly the same, but here's an interesting take on a unit similar to yours. I completely agree with llswink - a good cabinetmaker will be able to install framed glass doors AND find a veneer to match the cabinet doors below.

2 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Olena Newell
@ llswink: I agree with you, they totally don't go with my kitchen. When I saw this shelving unit, I thought it was unfinished and who knows may be the previous guy ran out of money to put the doors on:-)
0 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 11:28AM
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Jayme H.
If u r keeping the cabinet finish they have, then I totally agree with the notion of repainting/dealing with the backsplash, new cabinet hardware and maybe trim/whathosver u like..also FP mantle...and those changes will bring big impact...My parents had similar colored cabinets with more traditional styling and they had some wallpaper with black in it and it really looked nice against those pinkish cabinets, made them look less pink...I do not care for wallpaper myself. It was a large patterned paper with a white background, ..had some floral in it, but a contemporary floral...not my style but those colors worked.
0 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 11:29AM
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Jayme H.
Some color schemes I looked up/to use with whitewashed cabinets. I understand it's not a one size fits all and would have to be compared to your stain.
3 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 11:34AM
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onthefence
Re: color - as the book title says, there are a lot of shades of gray ;-)

I also noticed in looking at your pics again is that everything in both rooms is trying to make those doors look pink. It even looks like the backsplash tile in the kitchen has a shade of pink/salmon in it. Replacing the backsplash with something in a cooler tone and a complimentary paint color may help both rooms. It would also give you an opportunity to select a complimentary replacement tile for the fireplace.
1 Like   January 16, 2013 at 11:47AM
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sealedesign
The backsplash black line is bad. I'd keep the cabinets, change fireplace screen, add cool, big stuff above the fireplace and leave it alone.
0 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 12:04PM
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aerobix
Good luck and have fun with it!
0 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Marilyn Wilkie
I just don't think we are seeing the true color of the cabinets in the photos. The terra cotta (or peach?) really is influencing the pictures I think. Are your cabinets birch? Ikea has a birch cabinet that looks similar to yours. I am all for replacing those open shelves with something with doors. It would be much less cluttered looking. Sometimes I think we get overwhelmed by all of the little things we like and can't appreciate it all. There is something to be said for just a few special pieces displayed at a time.
2 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Jayme H.
no matter what we all at a distance see as far as what we think the cabinet colors, etc are...the bottom line is...............how does everything look to the owner in person..so again...sample and more samples...
1 Like   January 16, 2013 at 1:05PM
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Judit
Hi. I'd keep the cabinets neutral and simple. Perhaps you can change the hardware to something more stylish. This terracotta on the wall is a disaster. You should definately change the wall colours. Perhaps some nice blueish gray would be a nice choice.
1 Like   January 16, 2013 at 1:57PM
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klsl
I agree with Judith Nagy. It looks like you have other hints of color in your cabinets, try pulling out one of them to help your cabinets pop. A grey or go wild and try a plum or egg plant with what you have and you'll see a big update. Another wonderful color if your lighting changes in the room due to nature light is shrimp, every hour as the sun changes so does your room. Change out your handles to a black or to pull from your countertop color too. Good luck
1 Like   January 16, 2013 at 2:29PM
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wildeone
Hi, I recommended gray earlier but didn't fully explain why I am not a gan of green for your cabinets. Just look at the color wheel. Color across from each other are complimentary; meaning they intensify each other. If your cabs have pink undertones, green will intensify the pink! A gray with blue undertones will look good. Plus if you're going for a more contemporary look this color will accomplish that. BTW we are going to redo our poorly designed kitchen and I picked a blue gray to go with frosty white cabs and counter tops of blk, grays, whites. No pics we are trying to sell our old house to finance this project!
2 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 8:45AM
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bjowen
I love your cabs, I'm having similar made in fir. My hardware will be black tab pulls, simple and clean
I will have a honed black counter....I love your wall colour and was wanting something like it but with wood cabs, I am going with a clear fresh green like Martha Stewarts fennel seed. Has punch but is not too yellow/acidic. good luck.
2 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 9:03AM
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wildeone
Kklinton , your pic of cabinet style is exactly what I am getting! They can be "dressed" as either country, cottage or contemporary.
0 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 11:47AM
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PRO
A Crew of Two
my favorite cabinets- ever!!!
0 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 11:53AM
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maryline
Everything is flushed because everything is the same color (the walls, the cabinets, the furniture, the accessories). You can either change the walls or the accessories and the cabinets. The terra cotta color is nice. I would keep that color on the walls, paint the cabinet and add new hardware. Also paint the wall by the fireplace a difference color. With terra cota I would suggest dark brown, white, grey. I think the right shade of green will work too (
)
1 Like   January 17, 2013 at 12:11PM
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maryline
Also if you can use color to create a separation between the kitchen and the dining room, go for it.
0 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 12:13PM
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Olena Newell
@ onthefence: thanks for posting the pic of the wall unit. I love this idea!!!

@ Jayme Hobbs: thank you for posting the pics of the color schemes. I will take it into consideration.

@wildeone: thank you for your recommendation about the color wheel. I totally agree, my cabinets have pink undertone in them, so I have to avoid green since it will intensify the pink. I think I will go with gray. Tomorrow, I will be shopping for samples! Can't wait to try them out.

Would you recommend to directly apply paint on the wall next to cabinets or try it on white boards? Anyone had experience with it?

Thanks once again for such great advice and helpfulness!
1 Like   January 17, 2013 at 8:00PM
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Jayme H.
You are very much welcome, and good luck in your re-do....I am sure it will turn out wonderfully.
0 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 8:18PM
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wildeone
Re: TV shelving unit. Could you remove some of the shelves to create single tall unit on either side of the TV. I would think about painting the back of the shelves your pop color. If you don't Mideast my saying so I would edit the objects on your shelves too. As far as painting samples if you don't want to live with splotchy walls definitely paint at least two board the same color and tape them to different walls as color changes with time of day.
0 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 8:59PM
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yytcm
I did poster boards for my kitchen and surrounding area so that I could move them around and get the effect at different times of day. It made a big difference and helped a lot in making my decision and I would definitely do it again.
0 Likes   January 17, 2013 at 9:37PM
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Marilyn Wilkie
Ok, just for fun I searched for "grey walls" on this site. Many pics came up. It does seem to be a trend. But I still believe that color can have a psychological effect on our moods...at least mine. I also believe that going too trendy does date a space in short time. What looks so chic today looks wrong tomorrow. But I guess that is what keeps many decorators in business.
1 Like   January 18, 2013 at 3:05AM
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Jean Tuck
Working on a look like this but want my colors to be in line with the browns I likein my living space as they are open to one another, so going with a muted colr I think in beige, and adding a special consideration for kitchen clutter on counter tops as less will be more formal looking. I like my country style as I feel that is me and comfortable in my lifestyle with limited country design choices for little extras for oramnets .Small realistic medium chandelier type ceiling fixture here as well not hugs as would take from the open look for the uncluttered look, just my opinion.
0 Likes   January 18, 2013 at 3:56AM
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PRO
Oakwood Veneer
I agree with onthefence. If you have pics of what you are thinking about, we could even find the right veneer to match.
1 Like   January 18, 2013 at 5:50AM
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