Friday, September 21, 2012

Kitchen Dreaming

Do you ever see a room that resonates with you, one that you’d love to walk into every day?  This kitchen does that for me—just strikes a chord. 

Our house has saltillo tile running through the family room and kitchen that we frankly weren’t sure what to do with.  Those red tones seemed daunting to style around, but we knew one thing: the tan textured walls that were there just weren’t doing it for us!  Enter this image: the beautiful blue-gray wall color and dark woods contrast nicely with the red tone of the brick floor.  It adds a lot of interest yet creates a soothing, well-thought-out environment.  

While we aren’t yet able to remodel our kitchen, we did put this color combination to work in our family room.  Because our tiles have a slightly bolder tone (and are more in the orange family) than the bricks shown, we chose darker wood to compensate.  Overall I love the effect!  And I think the before and after pictures really say it all.  The changes?  New paint on the walls (we used Behr’s Premium Plus in the eggshell finish and managed with one coat) followed by painting and installing baseboard (this time in a white semi-gloss).  We also pained the existing sconces bracketing the fireplace white to match the baseboard. There was a decent amount of sweat equity (more than I expected going in, honestly), but I think the end results are worthwhile.
Before: This is actually the listing photo from the previous owners. Super sweet older couple.
After: Gray walls and white baseboard.

There are still a few things I'd like to tweak, but I'd like to think the overall effect is cleaner and more inviting. Obviously, to each his own tastes, but it was a neat project.  From here? I'm thinking either a graphic rug or some graphic throw pillows to add interest. I'd also love to stain the mantle a dark brown to match the book cases.

So, any advice?  Yeeeah... before painting, go over your walls more thoroughly than we did.  The texturing on the walls disguised some problem areas that we should have fixed before painting. Instead we wound up having to go back afterward, and some parts still aren’t quite right.  Other thoughts?  I think the baseboard was a huge change for the better.  The old trim was plain and colored to match the walls, now we have extra detail and contrast that I think makes the room look more interesting.  Ok, biased opinion. :)  Big caveat: this was a lot of work.  I may post a tutorial later on how we (read: my fiancee) installed baseboard, but just know that you'll probably want to invest in some tools (the air compressor and nail gun were a life saver!) and some extra boards just in case. :)

Have you remodeled a room?  Did you use a picture as inspiration or did you create your own vision?  And the big one: did everything go as planned?  I hope so!  Either way, hopefully the end result was worth it.  I think more than anything it gave a feeling of making the house "ours".  Which is all I could've hoped for.

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