I know I'm a couple of days early, but I just had to share the wreath I made today  -
I love him so much!   I put it together with stuff I already had.... click here to see how...


Hello and thank you! 
I plan to repaint my kitchen. It's a north-facing room with pickled maple cabnets (pinkish). I'm trying to diminish the look of the 1990's cabinets and modernize the appearance of the kitchen with new stainless steel appliances as well. Budget does not allow painting the cabinets. Granite counters are Dakota Mahogany with rose/peach hues and tile floor is brownish-orange (kind of Tuscan-looking). I'm hoping to create an airy, lighter looking kitchen with a neutral color. I don't have a backsplash, but if I install one, it would probably be travertine subway tile in cream/beige/white.

Thanks for your ideas! Your work is wonderful!

Sounds like you are stuck with some orangey/peachy/rose hues - so naturally I am going to tell you to go with gray.  Gray looks amazing with a lot of colors, in fact nearly all of them, and orangey/peachy/rose is no exception.  It will also achieve the 'modernize the appearance' part of the equation.

You will want to use a nice saturated tone of gray - strong enough to become the dominant color in the room so that your peach and rose tones become less dominant. 
Here are a couple of grays to try from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore.  Grays are soft, calm, and will cool down all those warm hues you have.  If you have good light in your kitchen you can go with a deeper hue.

Sherwin Williams AGREEABLE GRAY
Benjamin Moore ROCKPORT GRAY


Sherwin Williams DORIAN GRAY
Sherwin Williams DOVETAIL
Good Luck!!!!



When I look in my closet the color I see repeated most often is
It is repeated in my jewelry box - in the shade of  turquoise - 
a stone of which I can't seem to get enough.

Blue has always been a favorite. 
 It is ocean and sky. 
It is calm and peaceful.

It is light as air, as dark as midnight
It is indigo and icebergs

and baby boys
and robin eggs

 and hydrangeas and cornflowers

It is royal.

For those of us who crave the color blue - it calls to us in many shades.
and it is particularly lovely in our homes...
I never use a full strength color on my walls
I always choose a grayed down version
it is more liveable
more long lasting
more neutral
like the grayed down blue/with a touch of green color above

while this color is more of a gray with a blue undertone
that still reads blue
but is neutral and easy to decorate around

blue and white is a fresh, clean and classic combination

navy is dramatic, lovely and dark

and perfection in this grayed down version
fabulous in a kitchen
sometimes only a spatter of blue is enough

but complete immersion is equally acceptable

blue loves white, or black
silver or gold

formal or casual

 but lets face it - there is no shade of blue
 that isn't beautiful
 or fresh
 or soothing
or tranquil
but it can also be vibrant
or cozy

Is blue a part of your life?

a small part?

 or a wrap me up in it big part? 
 Easy going blue goes with any style of design
and any wood tone you can imagine
is there a blue in your future?


Dear Claudine,

Love your blog! I’ve gotten lots of inspiration from your design ideas. I have a question for you about my out-of-date 80’s home that I’m hoping you have time to answer. I’d love to update my 80’s oak cabinets and was thinking of painting them white. Same with the fireplace mantel in the adjoining family room. 

But I like having stained wood trim in these rooms! I have a window and door very close to the fireplace. In the kitchen there is a large bay window right next to the cabinets and a smaller window between cabinets over the kitchen sink. Would it look ok to have stained trim with white kitchen cabinets / fireplace? Or do I need to find another solution to update my kitchen?

Thanks for any advice you have!

Rachel Devine

Hi Rachel,
I have seen windows trimmed in wood that work - especially if they also have an additional white painted molding as well - as in this photo.

and in this one

In your kitchen if your cabinets are white and the trim is wood toned, the window will be the thing that draws the eye.  It will stand out like a sore thumb.  However, if you add white molding around it, you can enjoy the warm wood and still tie it in with the mantle and the rest of the home and make it stand out less against the kitchen cabinets.

Good luck!


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