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