Sunday, May 24, 2009

Having fun with Color (with lots of pics!)

Today I'm participating in "Metamorphasis Monday" at Between Naps on the Porch. Check out Mr. Linky there to see lots of fun decorating before and after pics!

I've been having lots of fun with color this spring.

I think it all started when we decided to remodel and add on to our kitchen. As I saved pictures in my "kitchen idea notebook" I initially gravitated toward white cabinets. Almost all of my favorite photos that I saved had lots of beautiful white cabinets.

I took bids from a number of local cabinet companies. We ended up choosing British Traditions~ I highly recommend them, especially if you live in the Kansas City area. Their prices are wholesale if you live nearby!

Once I began working with their designer I realized that I could choose several different colors for my cabinets! What a revelation! I began to consider doing something "brave" with color in my kitchen. To my great surprise, my husband agreed.

Up until that point in our marriage, we had both been very conservative in color choices for our home. We used an old Sherwin Williams color "Limonge Cream" on everything! It was nice, warm and "safe"~ I thought it would be good if we ever needed to sell our home.

Here's what I ended up with in our new kitchen though!
(note: lots of pictures follow... you can click on each one for a larger view, if you'd like)

Yellow lower cabinets, terra cotta center island, sage green cooktop cabinet and, yes, white upper cabinets!

Here's a view of the south side of the kitchen...

I chose a buttery yellow for the walls, which in these photos doesn't look very bright at all, but when I initially painted the room (before the cabinets were in), I was convinced that I had made a terrible mistake. I remember calling my mother and asking her to come over and console me! She liked the color though and I chose to leave it alone and live with the color, at least until the cabinets were installed.

I figured that I could always go back a repaint later. Let's face it, in a family with 10 children still at home, it will need repainting again! ; )

The more I lived with the colors that I chose, the more I loved them though.

The rest of the home was due for repainting, but I was still pretty sure that I would repaint the (safe-and-I'm-used-to-it) Sherwin Williams Limonge Cream again. Then I had one of those homeschooling days where it seemed that everything went wrong. (I don't even remember now exactly what had transpired)

Tom arrived home that afternoon to me saying, "Hi honey! I'm so glad you're home! I've called in an order for green paint to Sherwin Williams. I'm leaving now to go pick it up and start painting (if that's ok with you). smile

After our "color success" in the kitchen, I think he was feeling brave, and glad that I wanted to tackle a new room in our house, so he agreed!

Here's a "before" picture of our front room.

When we purchased our home it was a little 3 bedroom farmhouse (we had nine children then). I was thrilled to have 6 acres for animals, etc, so I didn't mind being "snug." But once we could add on, we did.

This was originally the living/dining room. Now it is my office/homeschooling/sewing/scrapbooking/craft area. The other half of the room has our woodburning stove in it. We heat exclusively with wood in the winter~ I love it!

And here's what we have now with the new sage green walls!

Still basking in my success with our newest color choice, I decided to tackle our living/dining room.

Here the "before."

In this room I was super brave (for me!) and actually painted one wall terra-cotta red. Sherwin Williams did a great job of matching the color from our kitchen island for me.

Here's what it looks like now! (the table is turned at a 90 degree angle to where it was in the first picture~ just so I don't confuse you too badly!)

I am planning to hang either a gathering of black and white family photos on that wall or a quilt~ not sure yet. But that's ok with me. It's a process. And I'm really enjoying it!

Lastly, and I know this has been a super-long post, but if you've hung in there this long, you've got to see what I did most recently with our doors! I've really had fun with this one. (although the children have told me that they feel like they're living in the movie "Monsters Inc.")

This yellow door leads from our new kitchen downstairs to our laundry room.

The red door here is Abbie's and the yellow one is Jake and Gabe's room.

Oh, I almost forgot! We also redid our (very, very worn out) main bathroom downstairs. Sorry, no "before" pic~ I hate it when I forget to do that. But trust me, in a house with nine boys, it was really, really in need of renovation!

Tom, the older boys and I did it ourselves and here's how it ended up. (The cabinet was actually meant to be a kitchen island. It was returned to British Traditions and they resold it to us very inexpensively~ and painted it the color I chose to boot!)

I used the same sage green as we did in the front room. I was a little unsure of how the "blueberry blue" that I chose for the cabinet and matched for the door, would look with the green, but I really am happy with it.

Oh, one very last thing on my little home "color" tour (I really mean it this time!), our new pantry! The pantry is now in what was once our original kitchen. It's funny, but it didn't really seem that small when I was using it, but now it does look a little "snug" for all of us to be cooking in.

Anywho... here's my new pantry with it's terra-cotta red screen door! I planned to put a fork on the door for a handle, but we haven't yet figured out how to do that in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Through the doorway to the right you can see into our sage green front room and the blue door that you can see through the doorway to the left leads down to our old basement.

So there you have it. In a nutshell, if it doesn't move, there is a great possibility that I'll slap a coat of paint on it~ and probably a bright color, at that!

There were many years when we couldn't even afford to paint without scrimping and saving, which I think may have partially contributed to my fear of trying something bold. I was afraid of wasting our money. It is good to be content, decorating with what you have and can afford.

If paint is in your budget~ for the money invested, I think you get a fabulous return!

So. my advice? Don't be afraid of color. Color is your friend! : )

Enjoy making your house a welcoming home!


  1. Oh, what a beautiful kitchen you have! I love how it all turned out for you! The colors are great and I love the size and configuration of your kitchen! Your other paint jobs are just as awesome! Good job. Man, you must have been one busy bee!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  2. Lovely photos, and it looks even better in person! I'm so glad you are enjoying the process! I think it's wonderful to create a beautiful,comfortable home.

  3. You are a blessed Momma!
    Like the post. Such a nice place you have.

    This is such fun. I enjoy seeing what others are doing out there.

    Thank you for sharing and God Bless,
    HomeHaven nestled in the Kansas Flinthills

  4. Wonderful use of color! It all flows together so naturally. I'm so happy for you to not be working in that pantry size kitchen anymore! Your kitchen now is absolutely wonderful!

  5. Well, that is just gorgeous! All the colors are so warm and fit together beautifully. My fav is the screen door on the pantry - how fun. And 9 boys - perfect! Linda

  6. Great job! I love everything. It is so inviting. The screen door on the pantry is so clever!

  7. i UTTERLY adore your kitchen. my mom must have known that i would love it, because she emailed me this post!

    i think it's grand!

    i've only thumbed through these pics 10 times! the colors you've used are fantastic together!

    and your sink! wow. . .your sink. . .


  8. Wonderful Kitchen...looks so authentic...and the sink. well~THUNK~

    Don't mind me...just swooning.


  9. Hi,
    Thank you for the great post! I think we are at the same season "color-wise" My hubby laughed when I read the ol'cream color theme! Smile...we have all been there! We have a "Barn-ish red" wall if you can imagine! From the white/cream theme...big and delightful change! Our children are love'n it! Mom & Dad...going "colorful"! Thanks for the thoughts on Livingroom/ gone sewing, crafts, school,office! Do folks walk in and wonder or pay no attention? We enjoyed the you know Wissmann's or fellowship @ Millard w/ them? My hubby thought you might?
    Have a blessed day,
    Momma of 8

  10. Your kitchen is beautiful! Good Job.

  11. I just noticed that Kristen at "We are THAT Family" posted pictures of her screen door with a fork handle- I thought you might want to check out how she applied the fork handle idea-

  12. Lisa, thanks for the link... it appears that they simply screwed that fork on for a handle. We were trying to figure out a way to attach it without the screw showing. I actually thought hers looked fine! Appreciate the link!

  13. Love. Love. Love. Your Kitchen.

  14. What an Awesome Kitchen! You are sooo blessed!!! It must be such a JOY to work in a kitchen look that!!! I LOVE all the color and everything you have done in your home! It is so attractive and warm and inviting. You have a beautiful home!!!

  15. WOW!!!! Your house is gorgeous!!! I absolutely L-O-V-E your kitchen! What a wonderful place to bake and cook and make memories! All the different *improvements* you have done to each room look fantastic! :)

    You have a truly beautiful home!


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