Reveal Day! The lighter re-painted kitchen cabinets

When we moved into the house, our plan was to leave the dated kitchen alone, waiting until we did a full remodel and basically start from scratch.

But if there is anything you should know about me and Ryan it is that we aren’t afraid to stray from the plan.

By day three of living here, we started a mini kitchen makeover (removing the upper cabinets, painting the lowers, adding a few can lights, replacing the sink and faucet and updating the hardware) and called it good for now. And it really did help!

Even though we both loved the dark charcoal we used on the cabinets, it was starting to feel really, really dark in our already pretty dark house. We went with that dark paint color to try to tie the floors and countertops together. Neither are surfaces we would choose, but they are what we have and until a full remodel is in the budget, they will stay. The dark cabinets looked really nice (especially in pictures – see them here), they were just too dark for our house.

So I decided to repaint. Just over one year later.

It took me about a week of painting and living in a very disheveled kitchen, but here’s how it looks now:

After much sampling and going back and forth on color choices, I decided on Anew Gray by Sherwin Williams. It is a light warm gray that pulled some of the taupe out of the counters, but still works with the cool gray of the floor and stainless appliances.

Here’s a pulled back shot of the whole kitchen.

So now that the cabinets are painted the new color, here are my thoughts:

It for sure makes the kitchen feel lighter.

Whereas before the floor and cabinets blended together to create a lot of dark on the bottom half of the room, the lighter cabinets help differentiate the floor and let it be the foundation.

In a perfect world, we would change out the cold gray tile floor for a warmer wood and I think that would make a huge difference in giving us the light and warmth we prefer. But for now, the colors work together.

The same goes for the granite tile countertops. They are not my very favorite and if I got to pick, I’d choose a solid surface without much variation – probably something light.

This kitchen is an exercise in creativity and gratitude and while of course I’d love to just redo the whole thing to make it look just as it does in my head, that isn’t the reality right now.

A friend dropped by a few months ago for the first time and she was so complimentary about our kitchen. She commented on the size and the counter space and how great it flowed with the rest of the house for entertaining.

All of these things are true. It is big. There is lots of counter space and ample room between the island and perimeter cabinets. You can fit a bunch of people in here at the same time. It is a great entertaining space.

I am tempted to point out what I want to change (and often I do) … the floors and countertops and wall between the kitchen and dining room, the beam … and then always feel terrible for how ungrateful it all sounds.

So while, yes, it is a little crazy to paint kitchen cabinets twice in less than two years, it is teaching me to be grateful for this big space and make the most of it.

When the cabinets were painted dark, we also painted out all the trim and doors downstairs. We initially tried the window trim in white paint and it just didn’t look right. So we went dark.

It probably looked more cohesive when the cabinets were the same color as the trim, but I have no interest in repainting all of the trim in the downstairs. That would be a lot of painting. And I’ve already done that once.

My mom suggested just painting out the window trim in either Anew Gray to match the cabinets or in white.

I’m considering. But not yet. It doesn’t actually bother me.

You can see how the cabinets work with the trim color as it wraps into the dining room.

Everything is so neutral and the colors look nice together, so for now, it will all remain.

The black chalkboard in the eating area helps tie in the trim color, too.

So that’s where we’re at with the kitchen. It is big. It is great for entertaining. And has gone from orangy maple to Iron Ore to Anew Gray.

I would normally finish a post like this with a question: what do you think?! 

But I am not sure I really want to know ;)

Mainly, because I’m pretty sure most of you will say the darker color was more striking/more on trend/better in photos. And I mostly agree with this.

If the floors were warm and we had less trees on our property and there were fewer gray days here, I would definitely agree.

However … these things are not true. The floors are dark, we’re surrounded by tall trees that block natural light and the sky in the Pacific Northwest is indeed gray more often than we’d like.

The dark cabinets were lovely and a great experiment and I would go dark again if the circumstances worked.

clean kitchen with dark cabinets and open shelvesBut for now, we’ll stick with Anew Gray.

continue reading | 141 comments

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! This week was filled with track meets, piano lessons, sitting in the sun, barre class, Audrey’s field trip, closing the watercolor class, watching Harry + Meghan tv specials … I guess all of that makes for a full week. Last weekend we celebrated Mother’s Day at our house with 17 adults, 11 kids […]

continue reading | 5 comments

Free printable watercolor coloring page

Here’s a fun project to do on your own, with friends or to keep the kids creatively occupied for a bit: A watercolor coloring page. I drew a quick sketch of a sweet bird and simple lettering and you get to fill it in! Rather than the typical marker or colored pencil coloring pages, I […]

continue reading | 4 comments

Coffee Chat episode 28 | lilacs, springtime and such

Well hello there! It has been way too long since our last coffee chat. Isn’t that how things go, though? You have every intention of getting together with your girlfriends and weeks (or months!) go by before it actually happens. But here we are! Grab a cup of coffee (or whatever suits your taste buds – […]

continue reading | 6 comments
Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 8.40.52 PM

15 lovely watercolor-ers to follow on instagram

Instagram. The place where I keep up with family and friends, fellow bloggers, get fashion inspiration, drool over gorgeous homes and darling babies and admire talented photographers. Also, the place where I’m consistently in awe of lovely watercolor artists and their work. I follow quite a few artists on Instagram. Each one has her unique style and […]

continue reading | 14 comments

Watercolor for the everyday artist

Each month, I volunteer in the kids’ elementary school classroom teaching art. At our first art lesson of each school year, I like to ask the students to do something for me. I say to them: “raise your hand if you are an artist“. In the younger grades – kindergarten, first and second – almost […]

continue reading | 7 comments

What I learned in April

I decided that this year I’m going to practice slowing down at the start of each new month and reflect on what I learned over the last 30-ish days. This is now my fourth month of doing this and I am loving the discipline of it. It’s easy to focus in on the big things […]

continue reading | 20 comments

Entry updates for spring

I’m on a total lighten + brighten kick lately and the entry was next to get a quick makeover. (Mason didn’t know I was snapping pictures when he walked downstairs and I actually love that I captured him in this one!) Since December, we’ve had our vintage theater seats and a favorite Lindsay Letters Doxology […]

continue reading | 30 comments

Special necklace for mama

I took my little charm necklace off about a year ago. I’m not really sure why. Maybe I just needed a break. This necklace has been with me for almost my whole time of being a mom. I ordered the two little charms when my first two boys were tiny and added more with each […]

continue reading | 7 comments

Life is beautiful … but it sure is prettier with flowers

Houseplants and fresh greenery are key to my neutral decorating style … but first came my love of flowers. As a teenager, when other girls were covering their bedroom walls with cute boys and fashion tips, mine were filled with magazine tear outs of flowers. Martha Stewart Weddings was my first subscription and I couldn’t wait […]

continue reading | 10 comments

Spring Breaking in San Diego

Each year we vow that we’ll go somewhere sunny and warm for spring break. For one reason or another, we never do. Until this year. Months ago we booked tickets to San Diego, California to visit my cousin and his family and to get some much needed vitamin D. We did not have much of […]

continue reading | 80 comments
Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 9.23.14 PM

What March Taught Me

I’m keeping up with this year’s goal to document a few of the things each month has taught me. You can read about what I learned in January here and February here. Now for March. March has not traditionally been my favorite month because it usually just rains every day. But this year was a little […]

continue reading | 27 comments
Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 10.11.03 PM

14 housewarming gifts anyone would love

It’s that time of year when we get the itch to move (well, not us. We’re not moving anytime soon. But lots of other people get that itch.) Spring is always a busy real estate season with people selling and buying houses, moving into new apartments or rentals, trading up or down and starting fresh. […]

continue reading | 13 comments