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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 shelves But for now, we’ll stick with Anew Gray.

155 Responses to Reveal Day! The lighter re-painted kitchen cabinets

  1. Stacey Meredith August 11, 2018 at 1:42 pm #

    Love the lighter. Loved the darker too ;) my fav is your midnight of brass and stainless. I’m curious about the fluorescent fixture .., what was under it when you took it down? Did you have to repair the ceiling? We have popcorn and a fan to remove and want cans ..,

    Thanks!

    • emily August 13, 2018 at 7:04 pm #

      There was a hole we patched. It was not too hard!

  2. Patricia June 15, 2018 at 6:36 pm #

    Love the new look. The counter and cabinet compliment each other.

  3. Tricia May 29, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    I’m with your mom! I’d paint the window trim the gray color. I love the lighter new look so much better.

  4. Charisse May 28, 2018 at 4:26 pm #

    I so love your new redo! Who cares what’s in trend; what matters most is how it works for you and your family…how it feels. The airyness (sp?) comes through in the pictures. Kudos!

  5. Jody Tolsma May 27, 2018 at 3:48 pm #

    We just did the same thing! We have a dark kitchen with a dark slate floor (that I don’t love) and can’t afford the amazing remodel that I’ve designed many times over in my head. Your gray is really similar to ours and helps lighten the space while tying everything else together. Being thankful for what we do have helps us to be content in the waiting! Best wishes!

  6. Molly May 25, 2018 at 6:59 am #

    I love your discussion about gratitude. I think it’s also so useful to use a space for a while, especially if you get to play with/tweak it like you’ve been doing, because when the time does come to do a big overhaul, you have a much better idea of what is and isn’t working for you! The kitchen is so gorgeous as is, you have done such an amazing job. I love how the trim color ties into the gray floor, and the cabinet hardware is so gorgeous!

  7. casinotabloid.com/ May 25, 2018 at 4:09 am #

    Oh, so beautiful kitchen room!! 😍

  8. Branna May 24, 2018 at 2:52 pm #

    Emily, have you ever done a tutorial on your painting technique? It always amazes me when you do something like this as I can’t imagine ever having the time or patience, although I desperately want to paint my cabinets! I like the lighter color, honestly! I want everything as light and bright as can be.

  9. Catherine May 23, 2018 at 8:22 pm #

    “This kitchen is an exercise in creativity and gratitude.” Yes! Love this line. That’s where I am too. (Esp. after just receiving the quote for a new roof. Ouch.) Your kitchen looks lovely! This might be a cheesy idea, but perhaps you could put a wooden veneer on the white ceiling beam. Do they make a long peel and stick, haha! Or nail up some thin plywood. You could get a warm, wood beam in there. :-)

    • emily May 24, 2018 at 9:27 pm #

      Under the sheetrock is a wood beam (we cut a little chunk of the drywall out on the backside of the beam (closest to the sink) just to see what was under there! We’d love to push the beam up into the ceiling to make the ceiling appear as tall as possible but if not, we’ll just remove the drywall, sand and stain the beam.

  10. Sheryl Chapin May 23, 2018 at 12:23 pm #

    yes, please do – I am gearing up to paint my cabinets as well – we have the same problem with being so dark in the kitchen I think it will lighten it up. Big project though :/

  11. Jocelyn May 23, 2018 at 9:16 am #

    I think the windows offer good contrast! ☺️

  12. Rebecca May 22, 2018 at 6:30 pm #

    Thanks for sharing Emily! It is so much fun to see the different colors in all of your shots! I love how you spoke about gratitude, and that you are practicing that while making the house work for you! :) Great encouragement! :)

  13. Angieg May 22, 2018 at 4:18 pm #

    They are both gorgeous! I’d definitely opt for light in the kitchen…

  14. Tami C May 22, 2018 at 11:49 am #

    You always have the right touch. Curious, and please fogive if you’ve already addressed this, where is kitchen rug/runner from? It’s cute and would be great for our messy family (hiding the food spills!). Thank you. :)

  15. Nancy Lee May 22, 2018 at 11:26 am #

    Love the gray cabinets. Window trim looks fine. If they were gray might be too much gray.
    I want to have my oak cabinets repainted. What are the steps, questions to ask a painter so I know he knows what he is doing?

  16. Corrie May 22, 2018 at 10:55 am #

    LOVE the Anew Grey!! and I like the dark floor. Looks Awesome! You need to do a tutorial on how to paint cabinets. :)

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 11:11 am #

      I will post my painting process soon!

      • Sheryl Chapin May 23, 2018 at 12:22 pm #

        yes, please do – I am gearing up to paint my cabinets as well – we have the same problem with being so dark in the kitchen I think it will lighten it up. Big project though :/

  17. Carolyn May 22, 2018 at 10:39 am #

    Could you give a quick run down of the process you use for painting your kitchen cabinets? there are so many methods online! Do you clean and sand first? Take doors off or leave them on? Thanks :)

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 11:11 am #

      I’ll post about my process with photos and all soon!

      • Tom May 22, 2018 at 11:28 am #

        YES! PLEASE post a step by step tutorial. You make it sound so easy. Haha.
        It looks gorgeous. And learning to be content with the now is a beautiful thing. So many of us dream of a prefect house and it is refreshing to see your family’s realistic changes while you wait for the full reno. Thanks for keeping it real! ;)

  18. Candice Hope May 22, 2018 at 10:19 am #

    I love the anew gray on the cabinets. You were exactly right it brightened it up a ton! And I love how it changed the way the counters and the floor look. I love wood floors but I actually really like your tile and bet it hides dirt well which is a bonus!

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 11:12 am #

      Tile is actually quite practical at hiding dirt and not scratching! But cleaning that grout is not my fave …

  19. Colleen May 22, 2018 at 8:28 am #

    You have the best eye! I loved the dark + I love the white. I also love that it’s paint and when you change your mind in a few years, you can! Makes it feel so much less pressure, don’t you think?

    But I loveee this look. It looks bright and fresh + it seems like you’re loving it and that’s most important! you have to love where you live and it seems you really do XOXO

  20. Susan May 22, 2018 at 7:38 am #

    I think the new color on the cabinets looks beautiful, & the dark color on the trim still looks lovely with it the other colors you have on your walls & counter top. The dark cabinets were nice, but I live in an area with lots of sunshine, and I can see it looking too dark in my kitchen, also. Great job with the painting!

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 11:13 am #

      Thank you, Susan!

  21. Sherril May 22, 2018 at 3:09 am #

    Love the final look with lighter cabinets . One thought to give yourself a small change option is a few accent pieces , in one bright color . That could be bright blue, red, or yellow . You could do towels and pot holders, placentas, rug in front of sink . Just a thought .

  22. Jen May 21, 2018 at 10:02 pm #

    100% improvement. I never liked the dark paint. It always looks nice in magazines but in reality sucks the life out of a room.

  23. Danielle Triplett May 21, 2018 at 9:52 pm #

    As a fellow PNW gal, I hear ya!! Dark is striking but too dark in our homes can be depressing from October-about now! Also thanks for the reminder about being grateful and focusing on the positives!

  24. janet May 21, 2018 at 8:20 pm #

    I LOVE the lighter cabinets! Look so bright and fresh… maybe it’s the Danish in me, but white is my favorite color… navy is second. :)

  25. Lark Rafuse May 21, 2018 at 8:13 pm #

    I like the darker ones .. they showed your counter tops off better .. maybe could have just done the island lighter ? and i agree with changing the window trims now.. and you need something else on that wall lol .. something above the windows to add some interest ? Maybe really wide trim so the window looks like one with 3 sections ?

    • Cheryl Connolly May 22, 2018 at 2:40 pm #

      I thought the same! It’s not that it doesn’t look good either way, but maybe a mix. If you like the lighter, then maybe the island dark? It makes me want to paint my natural maple cabinets now!

  26. Tharp May 21, 2018 at 7:54 pm #

    I never comment and I didnt read what everyone else said but I like it light and I definitely like the dark windows still, it wouldn’t look balanced if they were light also. And never paint those pulls! They are beautiful and go perfectly with everything and anything you’d do in the future!

  27. Brittany Mozina May 21, 2018 at 7:19 pm #

    You totally shouldn’t be afraid to ask what people think. I think you are totally on point! Changing the cabinet color helped provide separation between the floors and the cabinets. And please please please don’t change the trim color of the windows. I love the contrast and because it matches the trim color of the whole first floor I thing it would actually look strange if you changed the trim color of just those windows.

  28. Amber May 21, 2018 at 6:57 pm #

    I love how you are making the kitchen work for you. Our kitchen was redone in the early 2000 by the previous owner. Not my color choice for oak cabinets or busy granite either, but I never dare to change it because the kitchen I have in my head isn’t an option in this house. I can feel ungrateful that I don’t love the granite or customs cabinets. I love the changes you’ve made to your space. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Auntie May 21, 2018 at 6:07 pm #

    I think it looks beautiful!

  30. SandyC May 21, 2018 at 5:36 pm #

    You have been grateful for your large space and you are making the most of it. You are not being ungrateful for wanting to do more to make it yours. And you are going about it in a perfectly reasonable way. The lighter cabinets are so much more “right”. And, if it were my kitchen, the floors and countertops would be my next choices. And then the beam and, in time, the wall between the kitchen and dining room.

    In the meantime, if it were my kitchen and if I had and knew Photoshop, I’d be pulling in my favorite floor and my favorite countertops, printing out that pic, sticking it up on the wall and salivating in delightful anticipation every day. And I’d pull in some more bright live greenery – and please more of the color of that magnificent pear on the wall. And then I think next decisions like trim might come easier.

    You’ve done a great job!

  31. Carla May 21, 2018 at 5:31 pm #

    I LOVE the lighter color! Great job!

  32. Gerri May 21, 2018 at 5:29 pm #

    I luv the lighter look.
    We recently had ours painted greige, with a lacquered paint and I have a piece that chipped neat a drawer. Of course it shows.
    Any suggestions on how to fix it.
    The painter is out of town for a month or so on business.
    Help.
    Gerri

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 1:13 pm #

      uh oh! I would probably wait until he returns so that it is fixed correctly. I just slapped the paint on mine so there is nothing precious about them, but it sounds like you actually invested a little into it so you want to make sure they look great!

  33. Pam May 21, 2018 at 5:10 pm #

    I love your new cabinet color and am always amazed how paint can change a space. Looks great!

  34. Melissa May 21, 2018 at 4:14 pm #

    We have orange maple cabinets everywhere and my husband is just itching to paint them. They’re SO ORANGE! I’m hoping for white on top and a gray on the bottoms. We want to do it this summer, but I think this project will quickly snowball. Like I want a new sink and countertops. What did you do to prep the cabinets since you had already painted once?

    • Diane Berta May 21, 2018 at 5:28 pm #

      Emily, I love the new lighter cabinets. As for wood flooring, its a lot of upkeep. As a suggestion we put in Metroflors wood look vinyl planks. I love it. We Got the Genesis which is the higher end. The planks are wide and long and waterproof. So easy to care for. Have a look if you haven’t. They aren’t the noisy laminate and just beautiful.

      Diane

  35. Anne May 21, 2018 at 3:56 pm #

    Both colors are beautiful, but I love lightness around me, so I love the light cabinets. Personally, I love the dark trim. It adds something special to the room and connects with so many other things in the room. The main thing is how do YOU like the change? It’s just paint! If the urge hits to go purple next year…you can!

  36. cher rogers May 21, 2018 at 3:49 pm #

    OMGosh it is beautiful with the lighter cabinets. IT looks so clean and inviting.. You did a wonderful job

  37. Jenna May 21, 2018 at 3:32 pm #

    I LOVE the light cabinets. I live in Kirkland and was honestly shocked when you went so dark. The PNW is dark enough and in a lot of older homes, there is not enough natural light coming in.

    I still love the dark trim, I think it looks great. I love your mini makeovers, they help you love where you live. As always, super inspiring. Xoxo

  38. Mary May 21, 2018 at 3:12 pm #

    I love the lighter cabinets and I think they make the floor tiles look awesome! I thought they were too dark before but the lighter cabinets brighten the floor immensely! Good choice!

    • Jill May 21, 2018 at 5:17 pm #

      First, I agree with Anne, what matters most is do YOu like the change. You are the one who has to live I. Your home with grey skies and trees etc. If you like it and feel better, don’t apologize. Second, we moved to the PNW from CO at the same time you bought your new place and I remember living the black but thinking I could never do that (and then questioning it for the same style/trend reasons you are), because it’s too dark. And after living through two fall/winters here I will never be able to have a dark kitchen. I have lots of windows and I still feel like mine is dark. I’m itching to paint mine ASAP, and they are a lighter maple finish. People have tried to tell me light kitchens are on their way out and all I can say to them is, I don’t want to cook in a cave and feel down all the time! And by the way they look fabulous!!

  39. Beck May 21, 2018 at 3:04 pm #

    I think the black trim around the windows looks just fine with the lighter cabinets. They anchor things eye level with the dark floors below and that’s good! Another job well done!!

    • Jenny M May 22, 2018 at 4:14 am #

      I was thinking the same thing. The window trim ties the floors in nicely. Well done, Emily.

  40. Marijean Jenson May 21, 2018 at 2:53 pm #

    I love them both, but prefer the lighter! It definitely is a much brighter space now! I’d also keep the window trim the color it is now.

  41. Patti May 21, 2018 at 2:42 pm #

    Light cabinets, dark trim–stunning contrast! Don’t change a thing!

  42. SuSu May 21, 2018 at 2:33 pm #

    I love it! You are so brave to take on painting the cabinets! As far as the window trim i think the cabinet color, or wall color would be nice. Since you don’t mind painting, you could always try one window and see what you think. I don’t know if this would work, but you could remove the trim and keep the inside of the window dark and paint the window edges dark too. Thanks for sharing!

  43. Melanie Strobel May 21, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

    Love your kitchen! Could you please share exactly how you paint your cabinets so that they look so good and so uniform. Thank you.

  44. Debra Smalley May 21, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

    It is beautiful. I love the makeover. I love the way you brought more light in with the paint. Also more room and space for countertops too.

  45. Megan Jensen May 21, 2018 at 2:06 pm #

    I love both colors and can really see how the new paint lightens up the room! A side question . . . does your sink drain? I have the same sink and particles don’t easily wash into the drain basket. I have to keep a sqeegee in the sink or it would constantly be a mess.

  46. Vicki May 21, 2018 at 2:01 pm #

    I love it both ways, but I prefer the lighter color. Kitchens should be light and bright and cheerful. Since that can’t be accomplished in this kitchen and dark cabinets, then lighter is definitely the way to go. I love dramatic but in a different space. Your house, your kitchen and you know what works best for you. Besides, it is all interim. It is a wonderful space and I know you are thankful for it. One can have a vision of what it could be without being ungrateful. Oh, and I would leave the trim exactly as it is.

  47. Andrea May 21, 2018 at 1:58 pm #

    I am a fan of light. I like so much the new colors and the new look of your kitchen. It seems to be more lighter than before, eventhoug I loved the dark cabinets. 👍🏼👍🏼 For you and thank you for sharing

  48. Rachel May 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

    I like the light. I did a similar thing 2 years ago and am looking to change. I did dark gray bottom and lighter gray top and I am thinking of changing the top to white. It made it darker than I wanted but was such an improvement to the oak.

    How hard was moving cabinents to open shelving? I am wondering if we should do a wall of this? Would you recommend glasses and serving pieces only? I just don’t know if I could do plates, too as they would all have to match. Do they get dusty?

  49. Yvette May 21, 2018 at 12:13 pm #

    Your kitchen is BEAUTIFUL! Love the colors. I’m in the process of remodeling our kitchen. Got so many ideas from your pics. Where did you get the ceiling fan light? I can already see it in my kitchen.

    • emily May 21, 2018 at 12:54 pm #

      Thank you! We don’t have a ceiling fan, but the light over the table is from Ikea. It is the Ottava light.

  50. Brianna May 21, 2018 at 12:11 pm #

    As another Seattle area girl, I completely agree. When you painted the cabinets so dark before, I chalked it up to your being a PNW native— I thought you must handle our grey skies and the lack of light better than I do as a California transplant, or so I thought. But I feel a little relief (and validation, truth be told) that native PNW people feel that way too! This new color makes so much more sense in our climate! They look lovely!

  51. Brynn May 21, 2018 at 11:53 am #

    I like it! I found that when we lightened our paint in the kitchen (or rather just painted the wood cabinets white with a french gray-blue island) it really lightened the whole room and my mood every time I went in there. I’m amazed you’ve already painted them twice. It’s such a grueling process and we even had it done professionally. I’ll be interested to see how you did it. You must have a smarter way if you were game to do it again. I admire your willingness to just go for it and try new looks with your house. Kudos!

    • Allison May 21, 2018 at 1:00 pm #

      Brynn can you post a pic of your space? That color combo sounds awesome and we are thinking of doing something similar this summer.

      • Brynn May 23, 2018 at 9:28 pm #

        Oh goodness– I’m not sure if I should post it on someone else’s blog but I will give you a few tips. A friend of mine painted hers herself and while it was an experience she says she would never repeat, they look amazing. She used a paint from PPG paints (not sure if that’s a national brand) that is super durable and she didn’t do a lacquer coat. Ours was lacquered and it has yellowed in places (and did from the start). Some white paints can also yellow when exposed to sunlight– the part of your cabinet where the sun hits may yellow while other parts might not– something to ask about when selecting a paint. But I would say, go whiter than you think you want in case that does happen. We used Sherwin Williams Alabaster for the white and a custom mix on the island. I just kept buying grayish blues and grays and whites and mixing them until I got something I liked.

  52. Jan S May 21, 2018 at 11:36 am #

    I much prefer them lighter. I like a difference between the dark floor and the lighter cabinets. It something I always try to do when designing a kitchen.

    But I’m always drawn to a light, bright kitchen.

    And you that fact that you painted your own kitchen cabinets not just once but twice is super impressive… and also a sign of your kids being not so little. I still have a 15 month old (and 4 older kids) so doing projects like that are being held off into the future, unless I have the funds to hire it out.

    You never cease to impress!

    • emily May 21, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

      Do not underestimate how much easier projects like this are when you don’t have toddlers! I did most of it once the kids were in bed just to avoid any accidental brush-ups against the cabinets … but it sure does make it easier when I don’t have to worry about little ones!

  53. Rebecca May 21, 2018 at 11:36 am #

    I love the new color! It really brightens up the space, and I think the dark trim coordinates with everything so well. No need to change it, in my opinion. One day, you’ll have your dream kitchen, but the one you have is really beautiful and you’ve done wonders with it! Congratulations on taking the plunge and putting forth all the effort it took to repaint the cabinets! Most people wouldn’t have done that and would have lived in daily regret, but you didn’t. Way to go!

  54. Makila May 21, 2018 at 11:30 am #

    I liked the dark when you painted them and now I like the light!

    I like the contrast of the window trim being darker. Brings dimension and interest.

    Great work!

  55. Jackie Bevil May 21, 2018 at 11:28 am #

    I think they both look great! I am trying to get up the nerve to paint mine. Do you use a sprayer or brush ? Any painting tips?

    • emily May 21, 2018 at 12:57 pm #

      I’ll post about my process later this week!

  56. Jodee May 21, 2018 at 11:25 am #

    I love it! I like the darker trim. I think it is a nice pop against the lighter cabinets and countertops. It draws the eye to the lovely view outside also. I actually love it all together. I am with you, would love a less busy countertop (I have the same “speckled looking” type of granite. But, all in good time I guess. I think it all looks beautiful! Good job!!

  57. Jennifer Anderson May 21, 2018 at 11:18 am #

    It looks nice! Kudos to you for doing the work and making it look so good! I admire your ability to wait patiently for making all the changes you’d like to make and for emphasizing gratitude for the blessings you have in that space as it is now. Thanks for sharing.
    Do you know where you got the black chair that is at your little desk in the kitchen area?

    • emily May 21, 2018 at 12:58 pm #

      Thank you!

      That chair is a hand-me-down from my mother in law who likely found it at a thrift store. You can probably find a similar one online – look for a schoolhouse chair.

  58. Kayla May 21, 2018 at 11:17 am #

    I agree with you 100% the dark was more striking and made for beautiful photos. But you have to live with your kitchen everyday not just look at pretty instagram photos of it!
    That being said I also really love the light grey cabinets. It really makes the room lighter and brighter! I also like the contrast of the dark trim, I was actually thinking about painting my main floor trim darker after seeing yours!

  59. eli May 21, 2018 at 11:00 am #

    i love the light cabinets. i think the dark trim works to help balance the upper part of the room with the dark floor.

  60. Betty S-N May 21, 2018 at 10:56 am #

    Looks great. Will you comment on the cabinet hinges and the gold tone pulls?

  61. Michelle May 21, 2018 at 10:47 am #

    I love the lighter color! And you picked the color I liked from your previous post. :-).

    I would keep the window trim the same color for now. It ties in well with the floor and blackboard. Going neutral on the windows would make the dark flecks in the counter tops the focus whereas right now the windows are the star. I liked what someone else commented that it made the windows look like picture frames! That sounds lovely- framing the natural beauty of the PNW!

  62. Lacy May 21, 2018 at 10:47 am #

    I love your style and your heart to be content with what you have!
    Do you mind sharing where you got your metal chairs at your dinning table? I have been on the hunt to find wider metal chairs, the tend to run narrow. Thank you!

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 1:15 pm #

      Thank you!

      The metal chairs are the Remy chair from Restoration Hardware (surprisingly not super expensive), but you can likely find the same style elsewhere.

  63. Marie May 21, 2018 at 10:40 am #

    I like the new cabinets! I know the lighter is what I could live with. We are about to move into our own fixer upper and I hear you on being grateful for the good, even if not perfect. :). I hope I can do as a nice of fix before we are able to do a total reno.

  64. Jeana May 21, 2018 at 10:39 am #

    I absolutely LOVE them Emily!! Great job!!

  65. Gerri May 21, 2018 at 10:36 am #

    Your kitchen has taken on a brighter cheery feel- all of it’s own! Good choice!

  66. Megan M May 21, 2018 at 10:33 am #

    I absolutely love the new warm grey color. It makes the cabinet pulls pop! I think the new look warms up the kitchen quite nicely! I’m so glad it serves you and your family well. That’s what all this tinkering and homemaking is all about, isn’t it? Making a house into a well-loved, well-loved home. -M

  67. sara May 21, 2018 at 10:28 am #

    well, i love them and am so glad you love them too!

  68. Laura May 21, 2018 at 10:27 am #

    I love it! Looks like your kitchen lost weight.
    Good on you!

  69. Suzy May 21, 2018 at 10:26 am #

    I think they look great both ways, but I’m partial to more light in the space. I’m so impressed you were willing to paint them twice, that’s a lot of cabinets! But as always, you have a knack for making things beautiful.

  70. Shirley May 21, 2018 at 10:17 am #

    I much prefer the lighter color cabinets. They look wonderful! Changing the hardware to chrome would be even prettier and blend with the stainless steel appliances. I agree with your Mom on painting the window trim. Think that would be the final touch. The room looks much lighter and fresher (to me but I am not the one living there).

  71. Stephanie May 21, 2018 at 10:11 am #

    I really like it! It has more of a cottage touch which is always nice in my opinion. I’m always inspired by the risks you take to make a space fit your family better. It sounds to me that you aren’t done tinkering with it and that there will be more changes in the future!

  72. Lindsay May 21, 2018 at 10:09 am #

    I think it looks so great, though I loved the dark cabinets, too. I live in a ’60s rambler with a tiny kitchen, so my cabinets have to be white to make everything look bigger. My walls are grey right now, but I’d love to paint the kitchen navy to see if that makes it pop even more. Thanks for being honest and the reminder to be grateful for what you have. My home is a work-in-progress, and it’s great to remember that it doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things. :)

  73. Jamie Jennings May 21, 2018 at 10:04 am #

    Cabinet hardware! Just another expense, but if the pulls were darker, that could tie in the trim too! If you didn’t spend alot on the pulls, spray paint them! I know that aged brass is on trend now, but since you repainted….maybe??
    Love your willingness to try new things and not take yourself too seriously!

    • ART May 21, 2018 at 11:45 am #

      I had the same thoughts about the hardware :)

  74. Susan May 21, 2018 at 10:03 am #

    I love the new paint! I know you need a lot of light, but I believe wicker blinds up as tight as they will fold would soften the dark trim on windows and compliment the open shelving. Otherwise….bravo!

  75. Cindy B May 21, 2018 at 10:03 am #

    I love the light! I love the pencil sharpener on the side of the desk too! Curious where the little throw rug is from in front of the sink. Love your style!

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 1:21 pm #

      Thank you! That little rug is from Home Goods over a year ago. It was a happy find!

  76. Megan May 21, 2018 at 9:52 am #

    I think both colors have looked stunning. And I really like the dark window trim. Draws the eye to the beauty outdoors. Also, if this is just your “in-between”, I can’t wait to see your final makeover!

  77. Ann Marie May 21, 2018 at 9:52 am #

    Well done! I know you have an investment in the hardware, but might you consider a black-ish tone hardware that might offer a bit of POP to the cabinets and tie the window trim together??? For sure this light shade will be a great backdrop for bold accent colors. What fun you are having :)

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm #

      Ryan was thinking black might be nice. The hardware was fairly inexpensive, so there is not harm in trying something different – although I will say putting on hardware is just about my least favorite job. I’m terrible at it. If you look closely, you’ll notice that every single one is crooked.

  78. Colleen May 21, 2018 at 9:50 am #

    I just finished painting my cabinets over the weekend and I cannot applaud you loudly enough for doing it twice in a year! With all of the work it is, I can only think that the dark was REALLY bothering you! The gray looks great and if you like it better, that is really what counts :)

  79. Ginny Mapes May 21, 2018 at 9:44 am #

    Very nice, the window should be the same lighter color. It will seem so much brighter. The large blackboard could also go—that’s a lot of gray. Consider art, you have lots, or a white board. Always fun to see what you do. Did you have to take off all the hardware to paint? I can not imagine the work . . .

  80. Stacey Woods May 21, 2018 at 9:39 am #

    Emily, I just want to commend you for seeing one possible option, knowing that it is beautiful and on trend, but also having the courage and wisdom to instead do what works for YOU and your family! Your readers don’t live in your kitchen, you do. And although the dark paint looked so pretty in photographs, you don’t LIVE in a photograph. Your surroundings have to make sense for you, in person, day to day. Dark cabinets are clearly not the only stylish way to go, and light kitchens are still so beautiful!

    I always love when people are brave enough to make their own wise decisions without trying to please the crowd. You’re a good one, Emily.

  81. Jenelle May 21, 2018 at 9:38 am #

    Nice work! Kudos to you for being willing to make a change. This approach applies to life as well. We often stay stuck in our circumstances, instead of being willing to try something new. We stay comfortably miserable! Your willingness to put in some hard work and make a change is awesome! Oh, and I like the cabinets. 😉

  82. Tam May 21, 2018 at 9:38 am #

    I think the lighter cabinets look much better! And I love how the darker window trim makes them look like a picture frame – I think it is perfect just as is now. I also appreciate that you included the line about focusing on being grateful. I sometimes look at our home and think “I wish I could change x,y, or z” but in reality, most people in the world would kill to have such a large and functional kitchen in any of the 3 stages photographed above. I am sure it is easy, as someone in the home decor blogosphere, to see only needed improvements, but your space is so lovely, I’d trade you any day :)

  83. Adrienne Waner May 21, 2018 at 9:36 am #

    I love it too! It is very light and soothing, a lovely shade of gray yet not stark as white kitchens can tend to be. I also am not bothered by the dark trim on the windows and doors. Spot on!

  84. Melissa May 21, 2018 at 9:36 am #

    I love it either way, both are lovely! You have to do what makes you and your family happiest. If you’re looking for contrast to match the trim at some point, you could paint the island darker and leave the cabinets light .

  85. Vicki May 21, 2018 at 9:35 am #

    I agree w your Mom about painting the window trim. In the Photos it looks like they aren’t coordinated colors.

  86. Pam May 21, 2018 at 9:32 am #

    Coming from someone who lives in a dark house due to porches and trees ,its much better! If one lives in a dark house one craves natural light so lite walls and furnishings make a big difference.

  87. Jillian May 21, 2018 at 9:31 am #

    I’m digging the vibe you’ve got going on here!

  88. Barbra May 21, 2018 at 9:29 am #

    When you first mentioned painting the cabinets, I was agast…b/c you photograph them so beautifully we all just love them! But the issue of having a dark kitchen reached into my heart. The kitchen is the center/hub of the household and it should reflect the same sparkling, light-heartedness of your family.

    I LOVE the change. It does look much lighter and brighter. The dark trim does tie the kitchen in with the dining room and other exits. Leave it. You have my permission ;)

    Now for a suggestion….put little feet on the bottom of your cabinet ends so it looks like the cabinets are a piece of furniture and grounded to the foundation. https://www.theidearoom.net/updating-builder-grade-bathroom-cabinets

  89. Kate H. May 21, 2018 at 9:24 am #

    Can you please share your source for the geometric rug used in the kitchen ? Love the overall look!

    • Carey Ellen May 21, 2018 at 9:34 am #

      I agree the rug is dynamic. The kitchen appears airy and neutral therefore your accessories add the warmth. The dark made the cabinets become the focus. This way everything blends in, the kitchen looks urban and clean. Color is a way to transform without the cost. What an amazing example to set for your children as they see you magically change your environment. Thank you for sharing.

  90. Justiba May 21, 2018 at 9:20 am #

    I think it’s perfect as you have it now. The gray trim on windows gives it a nice accent touch. Honestly I wouldn’t mess with this floor plan at all. I love it. I wish it was mine!

  91. Jane May 21, 2018 at 9:17 am #

    After visiting my daughter in your area of the PNW I totally agree everything should be light and bright to bring in as much light as possible. Good for you being willing to revisit and tackle the job so soon after making the initial decision of dark cabinets.

  92. Rachel May 21, 2018 at 9:17 am #

    Love it!! And I agree with your mom, I think I would try painting the window trim white.

  93. Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 May 21, 2018 at 9:13 am #

    I also liked the darker cabinets, but agree the lighter gray is really fresh and brightens the space a lot! I’m in a similar spot with our kitchen – living with it until we remodel. We have almost no outside light (it’s in the center of a home with added spaces to the original two exterior walls) and I picked black for the wall color, which I actually like! I’ve considered painting the cabinets, but they are discolored and beat up melamine, so I think we need to think about starting fresh with them.

    I think this looks great and meets a need for a brighter space. You can love something as a scheme and still find it isn’t workable in real life, and naming and working with that is worth a lot!

  94. anna May 21, 2018 at 9:11 am #

    Pretty! Wow… both look so amazing!!

  95. Judy May 21, 2018 at 9:08 am #

    It is definitely much lighter in the kitchen now. I have recently come to like the look of lighter walls and cabinets and dark trim around windows and doors so that was an instant ‘like’ for me.

  96. Rachel L May 21, 2018 at 9:07 am #

    The lighter color looks great!
    Now that you have a lighter kitchen, you could wrap your beam in the same wood color as your open shelves…

  97. Ashley McNamara May 21, 2018 at 9:04 am #

    I think it looks great! I have a dark kitchen, too, and my walls are Anew Gray. I love it in every light.

  98. Katy Schilling May 21, 2018 at 9:02 am #

    I love the lighter colored cabinets and I love the trim color on the windows. Did you paint them yourself or have someone else do it? If you did paint them yourself do you have any tips?

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 1:17 pm #

      I painted them :) I’ll post about my process soon!

  99. Rachel May 21, 2018 at 9:01 am #

    I like it! It makes the kitchen look bigger. I wonder if a pop of color or a plant :) on the island would do anything good? I also think the contrasting trim is on point,so hooray! Excited to see what you do next. Also, any real reason you pulled up the rug under the table? Change? Or a bigger reason? 🙌🏻💗🎉

  100. Betty May 21, 2018 at 9:01 am #

    I too have a house on the darker side. I love the lighter grey it most definitely brightens up the kitchen! I’m going to do either white or light grey on my cabinets ssoon year yes

  101. Deborah Raney May 21, 2018 at 8:59 am #

    I WOULD have said, “don’t change a thing!” because I loved the darker paint on your cabinets. But now that I’ve seen the new lighter color, I love it every bit as much! And totally get your desire to brighten and lighten wherever you can. That said, I really hope you don’t paint the woodwork or window frames. I LOVE the contrast they give with the new paint. I love the floor and counters too. Wouldn’t change them even if money were no object (and it was my kitchen. Haha!) All in all a great re-do!

  102. Jessica May 21, 2018 at 8:58 am #

    I like the lighter cabinets better than the dark. And, I like the dark trim on the windows. I like it just as it is and I think you should keep it until you’re ready for your big remodel. You’ve done a great job! Love it.

  103. Dixie May 21, 2018 at 8:56 am #

    I love the new color and brighter kitchen.

  104. Debbie C May 21, 2018 at 8:55 am #

    It looks so fresh! And regardless of what others may think, YOU have to live in your space and love it. A lighter room can be so uplifting! Also, I love your wooden shelves, they are the perfect thickness! Is there a post about them?

  105. Janice Anderson May 21, 2018 at 8:55 am #

    Both are gorgeous! The light cabs make your room look larger (from the pics) but I would love either! Your tile floor is beautiful too!

  106. Chantel May 21, 2018 at 8:50 am #

    I think the light color looks great! May I ask where you purchased your black and white rug?

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 1:18 pm #

      Isn’t it a cute rug? It is from Home Goods over a year ago so there is no hope of finding another :(

  107. Julie Rogers May 21, 2018 at 8:46 am #

    I like the lighter color cabinets as well. It gives a nice contrast with your floor. How do you manage without upper cabinets? I would be forever washing all my glassware!

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

      We love having open shelves. Most of the items are used daily so washing isn’t too bad and for the things that don’t get regular use, we just wipe down every once in a while. It hasn’t been an issue for us.

  108. Kelly May 21, 2018 at 8:31 am #

    I love the new lighter color! I agree with your mom about painting the window trim white, but I don’t hate the dark! Loved your message about gratefulness!! The beauty and the pain of apps like Pinterest and Instagram is while we gain ideas we also can get envious! I love what you’ve done with the space you have, bravo!

  109. angela shields May 21, 2018 at 8:28 am #

    I love both colors on the cabinets. As I get older I tend to want things more light and bright. I do feel the heaviness go away when I go from looking at the dark cabinets to the lighter ones. I think you will be really happy with it. You do tend to notice the trim around the windows more now. I really like the dark one the doors and trim. Maybe install some bamboo shades or a light colored valance to draw the eye somewhere else. Beautiful home!

  110. Laura May 21, 2018 at 8:21 am #

    I’ve lived in Portland, OR all my life and fully agree with your decision:) I also love to paint and love that it’s an inexpensive, somewhat relaxing way to give a room a whole new look. I think in the Pacific Northwest we get our big dose of gray, moodiness when we look at our windows, so I find myself seeking white/neutral for the walls and upholstered furniture pieces. Thank you for sharing your decorating changes.

  111. Jamie May 21, 2018 at 7:40 am #

    I like the light gray – very pretty! A question for you, please: how do you handle the inside of the cabinets? You don’t paint those, right? Just edge them very carefully, I’m thinking. I’m considering painting my cabinets (currently a mid-wood veneer.) I’m nervous about paint on the veneer and also how to handle the inside of the cabinet. Do you paint the edges of the shelves? Thanks for your insight!

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

      Yes – just the doors and the frames, not inside the cabinets. I’ll post more photos of the process with details soon!

  112. Hope May 21, 2018 at 7:38 am #

    Emily, what about adding a Sisal type rug to warm the floors and pull the color of the dish shelves in. More Earth grounding within the Air feel if the space. You have the metal, earth, and air elements already present in other areas. Your “foundation” as you say is beautiful but a warm earthy element could add a solid grounding of the space for you. You create your life/space beautifully. Well done.

    • emily May 22, 2018 at 1:20 pm #

      We just moved our sisal rug outside and I do want to get a new one for under the table just to add some warmth and break things up. If we were going to keep the dark floors, I would probably bring in a wood table or at least wood chairs, but I hate to buy new stuff knowing that it is not permanent. So for now, a rug will have to do :)

  113. Susan May 21, 2018 at 7:37 am #

    It looks good! I see why your mom suggested painting the window trim above the sink. That is the only place I think the darker color makes your eye stop. I have the same issues with my kitchen. It is a pretty big kitchen that many would envy, but I don’t love the cherry cabinets and cherry flooring. I feel ungrateful complaining about it, but it is totally not the kitchen I would design if I had the chance.

  114. Emily May 21, 2018 at 7:05 am #

    I love the white – I could never have dark cabinets even it is on trend! I think the lighter looks beautiful!

  115. karen a Sunday May 21, 2018 at 6:59 am #

    I think it is perfect, I have white painted cabinets because of darkness in kitchen, I also like the dark window trim it all blends well!! As I have said before everything you touch turns to gold!! thanks for all the great ideas!

  116. Emily May 21, 2018 at 6:53 am #

    I dig it! And, I dig your honesty about not really caring what we think. :) Nice work!

  117. Steph May 21, 2018 at 6:17 am #

    I also have a dark kitchen (for many of the same reasons) and can sympathize with your decision to make it lighter! Love that you are making it work for you right now! It looks like a very welcoming space!

  118. Brandi May 21, 2018 at 5:51 am #

    I still like the dark trim with the lighter cabinets. At least from the pictures, it looks like it ties in really well with the floor.

  119. Mona May 21, 2018 at 5:49 am #

    So pretty. Makes the gold accents pop!

  120. Rachel May 21, 2018 at 5:26 am #

    I really like your lighter cabinets. They definitely lighten the space. The dark looked good as well, but I can see why you’d prefer a lighter color.

    I may have missed this in prior posts – but do you have tips or tricks for painting cabinets? I am tempted to do so in my kitchen, but am nervous to ruin ‘good enough’ cabinets with painted cabinets that now look terrible!

    Thanks!!

  121. Deb May 21, 2018 at 5:12 am #

    I love your new look! I would not have chosen that color by looking at a swatch but seeing it on your cabinets…wow! As they say in baseball, good eye!

  122. Jennifer May 21, 2018 at 4:41 am #

    I just love it! Stunning! From the photos it even looks like it brightens up the area going into your dining room, but then again I’m a light bright kitchen girl forever!

  123. Michelle May 21, 2018 at 4:28 am #

    Well, I think it looks great! I totally understand the feel of a “too dark” kitchen. I painted my cabinets two years ago and most of them are white but I painted the island black and to me it looks like a giant black hole in the middle of my kitchen. It’s on my to-do list to repainted this summer too. I am wondering– did you have to cover the darker paint with primer first or were you able to just paint right over it with a few coats of the gray?

  124. Maureen Lyons May 21, 2018 at 4:07 am #

    Ha! You were right on target about why you don’t want to know hat your readers think. The charcoal is more interesting and dramatic but I respect your wish for a brighter look. And we are only seeing how It photographs, not the real life look.

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