To all my clients who have survived a remodel....
I feel your pain...
living without a kitchen....

On the positive side...
The sink is now located under the beautiful new windows.  
There is granite on my counter tops and my ceiling no longer looks like Swiss cheese. 
The trench across my entire kitchen floor, and its corresponding piles of dirt, 
has been closed, cemented and covered .  
I have new french doors to the patio and a fresh coat of paint on the walls.   
Progress is wonderful!

Through this renovation, I've learned a few things...

it's probably a bad idea to send ALL of your furniture out to be reupholstered all at once...

and leave nothing to sit on - (yes indeedy I did)

If you are getting a new range/oven - it might be a good idea to invest in a small counter microwave or a toaster oven if you don't have one....and don't pack the crockpot away...

Even if they tell you it will only be a few weeks without a kitchen...   It will be longer.

much longer...

It is actually possible to get tired of eating out...

'Magical Thinking'...is believing you can keep the rest of the house clean...

Because there is dust.
Every day.
A new fine film of dust....
Even behind doors in areas there is no construction..

Even living in a plastic walled cocoon.

But today is a good day, because we are what seems minutes away 
from actually moving everything back in and using the kitchen...

The cabinets are installed in all their soft white glory - 
no longer looking like packages waiting to be unwrapped in my garage.  
The hardware just punctuates their beauty - bronze pulls from Restoration hardware - 
[happily they were having a great sale on their gorgeous hardware ... ]

The faucet, dishwasher, ovens and cooktop have been installed,

the backsplash is in...

and beautiful!

My outlet with USB plug-ins ROCKS!

I adore my kitchen windows...

 and my new, deep, sink.

the island granite (a mistake) has been replaced 

with this warm wonderful
walnut butcher block... (what I actually ordered)

The painting has been completed throughout.. except for the trim..
and new hardwood flooring warms the room

With any home improvement or remodel there are problems that arise.  
Some are mistakes.  
Some are unanticipated problems that need to be resolved.  
The grate for the new cooktop came out of its box broken.  The replacement came quickly.    
I had a moment of panic when they sent me the wrong oven/microwave - but it was quickly remedied.  [Thank heavens for Lanny at Pacific Sales who was kind and professional and made everything perfect.]  Since we moved the sink there was an issue with the vent pipe - 
it ended up jutting out of my wall at ceiling height. 
It is too large to be hidden by the crown molding. 
But I love a challenge and have come up with a solution.... 
You will just have to wait and see...

The light fixtures - lets just say they didn't do a thing for the room...
They weren't broken, they just didn't look the way I wanted.

Restoration Hardware didn't bat an eye when I wanted to just change the clear glass shades
to the black metal shades.

It made a huge difference and I'm so happy with them.

The only remaining items are the little finishing touches
Was it worth it?
Ask me when I'm all moved in and the final inspection has been done....

No, on second thought I actually can answer that now.

I walk into this space and see what an incredible change moving a wall and reworking the kitchen space has made and I can tell you it is well worth every take out meal and inch of dust... it feels amazing.
Mr. B was surprised how big a difference bumping that back wall out just 3-4 feet could open up the space.
 It seems such a lot of work for such a little extension, 
but truth is, we could not have created this kitchen without that extension.  
It made everything work.

Did I say problems arise?  
My pedestal sink was a casualty while they were removing the tile floor in my powder room 
  A new sink required a new faucet. (Of course).. 
And while we are at it, we need a new light fixture and how about some wainscote?  
It's like a little snowball going downhill and getting bigger and bigger....

Final pictures soon -
Bye for now...


Hi Claudine,

I love your website and have found it very helpful! I am facing a design dilemma as I am remodeling my kitchen, and was hoping you would be so kind as to give me some of your input.  My cabinets will be white, and my countertops will be black Quartz.  I will do a simple white subway glass tile backsplash.  My Kitchen is only 10 x 15, and I am looking for floor tile and paint color, and I'm totally confused.  I have been using the Sherwin-Williams color palette similar to the Benjamin Moore palettes you have been discussing.  Colors are variations of Greige, slate gray, and khakis.  I originally was looking at hardwood floor, but the kitchen butts up to original red Oak flooring in the rest of the house, and it didn't look right.  I will have a new brushed metal and glass table with a frosted green glass top.  My question is this--will a darker gray/Greige floor tile look better than a light one, and what colors should I do on the walls?  Should they be the same tone as the floor?  I want to keep within the same palette I have been using, and notice that you said Gray Horse goes well with blue and green tones.  Will all of this work in the black-and-white scheme?  I know it's hard to answer these questions without pictures, but at this point pictures won't help --nothing has been done yet.  Any help at all would be so much appreciated!!  Many thanks,

Hi Audrey:

I would go darker on the floor as opposed to lighter if you are using a stone or tile.    A gray will look nice next to the red oak flooring, as well.  I would choose a dark to medium flooring in the gray tones, and then find a paint color that compliments the flooring.  Its much easier to find a paint color to match a floor than vice versa.  Pulling in Gray Horse could be lovely.  

BM Gray Horse

A greige (gray beige) may also be nice and add some warmth to the black and white color scheme, (my favorite from Sherwin Williams is Accessible Beige) and yes it will work - t
SW Accessible Beige
hese are all neutrals and will look good with your palette. So find your flooring first, and then pull some swatches from the amazing selection of grays and grieges in the Sherwin Williams paint palette to find one that will look nice with the floor.  Your cabinets and counter top will go with anything - its tying it to the rest of your house that will be more challenging - but with your palette not as hard as you think!  Good luck!

I have an open floor plan and just painted it Zen Pebble by Valspar.  I am looking for a transition color that goes into the second level walls and staircase.  Any ideas would be wonderful.  Thank you. 

Valspar's Zen Pebble is a nice gray with a lot of light or luminescence - but I'm not completely sure about your question.  Do you need a color for the second level walls and staircase?    Or do you just need a color leading up to that area and are they already painted - and if so what is that color?  So - I will assume for the pupose of answering this post that you need the actual color to go up the stairs and the second level walls....   My first choice would be to carry the Zen Pebble upstairs.  It carries a lot of light and would be perfect for a staircase.  Secondly - maybe adding a little blue or green or beige to the gray tone of the Zen Pebble would make a nice transition - like Quill or White Pistachio.
Olympic QUILL
Good Luck!



There are certain images that stay with you.
Pages you tear from a home decorating magazine or
images on Pinterest,
You keep coming back to them because
something about them attracts.

Studying those photos can help you discover your own personal style...

the colors 
so soft
the opposites (the formal, antique settee - with the fun contemporary pillows.
the pillows make me smile.

a little calm oasis for the eye
the odd color combination - olive and blue/green (gorgeous)
the botanicals!

high contrasts...
matte gray background
white painted built-ins
more than just books in the bookshelves...

rustic wood with shiny mercury glass
colors - tan and gray together
the contrast of the milky white against the cool gray

When you are drawn to a picture of a room, take a minute to find what you find appealing in that photo.  
You might discover what you don't like, too.
And that is nearly as important.

Do it for several photos and you may see a pattern emerge...
It may be just that easy to determine your personal style.

chunky legs on the island
the warm dark wood floors
white cabinets

details - ceiling, windows
leather counter stools with nail heads
warm woods with cool white
simple lines

A cozy nook with books...
linen upholstery
fur throw
blue and white - always a favorite


Hi!  We just had our kitchen hallway and living room painted professionally.  I chose two Benjamin Moore colors after sampling 12 colors on the walls and finally settled on Dry Sage for the kitchen and hallway and then Greenbrier Beige in the living room.  The walls are adjacent  The painters did a beautiful job but I am in an utter panic now that it is fully painted  that the Greenbrier Beige is picking up the green from the dry sage and as a result has everything looking muttled.  I find that my eyes keep playing tricks on me and the greenbrier beige looks green vice a versa and then it all ends up looking one color or muddy and I am so worried I made a mistake. 

I'm not sure what I should do - my husband does not want to repaint but I am open to it if I was confident that the next color would be the right one.  I like both the dry sage and greenbrier beige separately but I just don't think I like them together.  I would prefer to keep the dry sage over the greenbrier beige.  We have oak cabinets in the kitchen and an oak colored laminate floor throughout and the dry sage looks great in my kitchen.  I wanted a color to compliment the dry sage - a neutral that had some warmth and personality to it and that would showcase our fireplace and white trim.  I can send pictures of the rooms if needed.  Any advice would be sincerely appreciated.  Thank you!!

Hi Catie,
As you can see in the pictures below, the colors you chose are very similar in value, with Dry Sage being a more dominant color than the Greenbrier Beige.  It has more warmth, and so comes toward you more, while the beige is more subdued.  

Wall color is always affected by the adjacent colors, woods, ceiling height, room size and light.  Your Greenbrier walls are being strong armed by the Dry Sage.  If the beige was a little lighter and not so close in value, they wouldn't be fighting so much.  Because they are very similar in value (strength) - your eye sees them as the same and sometimes they blend together a little.  I think this is as simple as creating more of a contrast from room to room.
You can try Manchester Tan (BM) in the beige tones

Grey Mirage (BM) in the gray hues

or go to a completely different and cooler tone with a blue
Try Quiet Moments or Sea Haze

When you do put a sample on the wall - make sure you paint it (two coats) on a poster board
with a good 2-3" margin around the edge so you can lessen the effect of the existing wall color on the new.
Pin it to the wall and observe it throughout the day in all the types of light your room experiences.
If you like it - buy it and put it on the wall!
Good Luck!



If you feel like your walls are crowding you a little,
try some of these tricks to expand your rooms.

1.  Cool down your walls - warm toned colors seem to move toward you
while cool toned colors recede.  Something as simple as going from gold to gray can change your life!

2.  Declutter.   Too many accessories, too many things on the walls, too many pillows, colors or patterns...
all stop your eye on the way across the room and can make things feel visually crowded...

3.  Add a sofa table...
Sofa tables have long been used to punctuate the back of a sofa in an open floor plan.
They are good little indicators of the stop and start of a defined area...
as if to say - 'there! that's the end of the living room and beyond this is the dining room...'
They provide a place for needed lighting, 
and accessorizing... but my favorite use for them

is to expand a living space...
Its a long known trick in decorating that pulling the furniture away from the walls a little
actually makes the room feel larger.
That bit of dead air space beyond the sofa fools the eye into believing
the room is larger...
"Look!  We have all this room behind the sofa!  What a large room!
When there are things in that space...
like lamps and accessories..
it further enhances the feeling that there is space beyond the sofas.
Sofa tables (or console tables) are great opportunities 
to display some of your larger accessories
(don't let it get too cluttered with the smalls)
(Pottery Barn has been doing this successfully for years....)
So, if your room feels a little tight
here's another little trick for you to make it FEEL larger...


Letter from a Reader:

Hi Claudine, I enjoy reading your blog so much and want to thank you for educating the world about undertones and the magic that paint can do in a room!  

I'd like to ask for your recommendation on my bathroom paint. Currently it is beige with heavy green undertone, but I'd like a lighter and cleaner look. The room doesn't get too much of sunlight. It has granite countertops in the color shown in the pictures (yellow with reddish speckles), and the tiles in the shower and floor is true gray like in the picture. 

The sinks are located separately in each side of the bathroom, so the dominant feature is the gray tile. What would you suggest a good paint that will complement the gray tiles and quiet down the countertop? The crownmolding is true white. 

Also, do you suggest the ceiling (10") is painted the same color as the wall or kept white? 
Thank you so much in advance! 

Your granite and tile have grays and a soothing gray or greige (gray/beige) in a lighter tone would compliment both.  Look at Edgecomb Gray (BM) or Amazing Gray (SW) which have a good beige undertone and should keep things calm - even the granite.
BM Edgecomb Gray

SW Amazing Gray
Good luck!


link within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...