KITCHEN UPDATE: Gray...the new neutral

A couple of weekends ago, we finally got around to painting our kitchen. After 8 years in our home it needed it, but it was also the first step to my plans for a fun, budget friendly update.

When we built our home, I chose to upgrade the standard oak cabinets to a beautiful maple with a glaze to age them a bit. I chose a stain/glaze from a sample cabinet that the builder had in the model home, but never went to the cabinet makers to see what a full kitchen would look like. I don't know if it's because of that or if the builder made a slight mistake with the stain, but the color did not turn out exactly like I wanted....almost...but not exactly.  That, combined with the dark stained trim we used in the kitchen and throughout our home, I've never been completely happy with the results.  I don't want to paint the cabinets and although I love our dark stained cabinets in our bathrooms, I feel like dark cabinets in this kitchen would make the space feel too small. 

So when I decided it was time for a new paint job, I looked real hard at the situation and realized my original choice of paint color was probably not helping the color of the cabinets.  The original color was called, Gaucho and it was a cool tan color.  So I made the choice to go with gray...the new neutral.  I'd already painted the living room, foyer, and master bath in gray a couple of years ago and have loved it!

After getting some sample colors, I chose Pebble Gray, a satin paint by Glidden and Scott and I painted the entire kitchen area in a day.

I love our "breakfast room" area of the kitchen. It's also right next to the dining room, so when I have large family gatherings, we all still feel like we're sitting together in the same room.

One of the things that I hated the most about the kitchen before was that the pantry door was also done in the same dark stain as the rest of our trim throughout the house.  It really clashed with the actual cabinets, so when we painted, I decided to paint out the pantry doors and add new knobs to help define the area a little more.  I love how it turned out! That ugly pantry door has disappeared into the background.

Here's a before pic of the pantry door: Yuk!

I have alot of cabinets in my kitchen, but one thing I've grown to love is open shelving, and I wanted to add some while doing this update.  I felt like the perfect spot for shelves would be on the wall at the end of the bar.  Scott and I went to Home Depot and purchased shelf board.  They cut the board into 3' lengths for me and I purchased my favorite Satin Heirloom White paint by Rust-Oleum for them to keep the room light and bright. Adding a little more metal to the room, I chose black metal shelf brackets from Home Depot as well.

Scott sanded the shelves a little to smooth out the ends and I was able to paint them all in one evening.  Within minutes of Scott hanging the shelves for me, I had them all decked out in some of my cute and eclectic decor. I'm so happy with how it turned out!

The little wood shelf that holds my egg cup collection was also painted with the same Heirloom White as the shelves and my egg cups really stand out now and the plates look great against the lighter great wall!

The pie safe also got a new look.  I originally picked out a Robin's Egg blue color, but quickly realized it was too much!  It looked like the Easter Bunny had a piece of his own furniture delivered here!  After white washing it in the same Heirloom White paint, it turned out perfect as well.

The original blue print for the house showed this desk area as another cased opening into the living room.  We already had one opening into that room, so I quickly and wisely chose to make this area a desk space for the kitchen to pay bills or look up recipes.  There are also overhead cabinets in this space which give me more storage.  We used to have a desk top computer in this space, but I now use a laptop in my office area of our bedroom for everything.  I thought about making a coffee bar here, but decided that Scott still needs a space from time to time when he uses his laptop.  This is the perfect spot to house his laptop as well as office supplies, electronics, and Lucy's treats. I'm thinking about putting a meal desk chair here like this one from WayFair, but I'm using an IKEA chair I already had for now.

I would love to extend the back splash up the wall under these cabinets, but decided it's too expensive right now....plus, I still love being able to hang my decorative plate and cute kitchen cow in that space.

I'm finally happy with my kitchen and feel like it suits my overall taste.  I love a French Country Farmhouse look in a kitchen with a few eclectic details. My mom made my black toile curtains for me when we moved in and I'm still happy with them.  Nothing says French Country to me like toile and chickens...and I have both in my kitchen.

A few more before and afters:







Updating my kitchen was on my summer bucket list. It's so nice to know it's done before time to start decorating for the holidays.  Now, if I can throw a coat of paint on my master walls and order that bedspread I've been eyeing, I'll be done with the inside of my home - for a little while ;)

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