This post is brought to you by BEHR. Color that’s True to Hue. If you feel it you can find it. Visit truetohue.behr.com
Even with the best of intentions, projects fall to the wayside. Life takes over and priorities shift from things you want to do, to things you have to do. Take for instance, the DIY kitchen update that Joe and I planned, but never finished. Planning, as you may remember from an earlier post takes just as much time, if not more, than the actual execution.
We recently purchased a historic St. Paul home, which we loved, but some rooms needed an update to be more functional. We realized it was too big of a project for us to tackle on our own, and we needed to have professionals that knew what they were doing (i.e. not us) make the updates we requested. For many people, a full-on renovation isn’t the right solution. Before we personally decided to make the leap, we spent a lot of time thinking about how we could spruce up the kitchen without any demo.
Here’s the original layout:
And what it looked like when we first moved in:
In this planning stage we realized there were a couple of opportunities to make big changes, but which one to pick? Cabinet color? Backsplash? Flooring? They all seemed equally important, but our DIY skill set still needs some improvement. We love the cabinets in the space and felt that with a little paint and some new appliances, the kitchen would be more enjoyable to use.
We headed to Home Depot to pick up some BEHR paint, thinking “this is going to be easy.” One would think with the wide range of colors, it would be an easy decision. Because I am who I am, I agonized over the “right” color. Color can affect not only the feeling of the room, but also the inhabitants. I like the idea of a bright color, but could I really drink my morning coffee in a room painted Laser Lemon? What about Joe? More often than not, our styles are in sync, but would he be more of a Restless Sea to my Evaporation?
Joe and I found ourselves making regular trips to Home Depot, picking up multiple samples of BEHR paint by the dozen. We loved the experience of sorting through and choosing paints with names more reminiscent of bands than paint color: Exclusive Ivory, High Speed Access and Extreme. We carried on, every weekend painting that small square, taking a few steps back and staring, as if we were admiring a piece of art in a gallery and not our kitchen cabinets. Nothing felt right. Dove? Too feminine. Observatory? Too masculine. Pavestone? Not “kitcheny” enough.
After many, many test squares and painting the entire set of cabinets (twice!), we needed to stop, step back, and do more planning.
With all of the colors that BEHR has available, we decided to revisit what initially felt like “safe” options: black and white. We liked white because it’s universally classic, but doesn’t bring a whole lot of personality to the space. Color is more fun, but because the house is so small, we were hesitant to choose a color that would define the look of the entire first floor. Then there was the idea of going all black. It seemed like the best of both worlds – the boldness of color with the neutrality of white. Our biggest concern was if it would make the space feel way too dark. So we pulled some images of small kitchens that used black in a big way for inspiration.
I love how sharp and moody these spaces feel, but I was still missing a little bit of color and the warmth of wood. To further aid in preparation, I collected some pieces we knew we wanted in the kitchen and started pulling swatches that complemented focal points like a Cambria quartz countertop, a Lacanche range, brass Delta faucet, and Hygee & West wallpaper.
Since I wanted to be sure this was the right balance. I drew up a very rough sketch of what our DIY kitchen would have looked like:
So, what happened after all of this planning? Nothing. In the end, even after all of our planning and experimenting and some execution, Joe and I realized this project was too big for us to tackle on our own. Life happens and we got busy. Even though we had our designs selected, colors picked out, and a plan in place, the project was put on the back burner until a couple weeks ago. What did we end up doing, you may ask? Well, dear reader, that is for another day. Until then, enjoy a sneak peek of the painted kitchen (and Winnie) until the big reveal later this year.
BY Kate Arends - July 7, 2015
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.