The Kitchen | After

Last spring we embarked on another little kitchen refresh in our 1950s ranch house.  Yep, these days it takes me a whole year to post afters.www.tphblog.comBefore I take you on the tour, here is how the kitchen looked when we viewed the house before buying in 2007:

ranch 017

What I love about this kitchen redo is minor change equals major impact.  The first kitchen changes happened in 2008.


This isn’t a huge kitchen renovation.  We only switched out the refrigerator and the dishwasher so all appliances are the same finish, stainless steel.  We kept the existing granite countertops and tumbled marble backsplash–although the color of the marble actually was pink and didn’t coordinate well with the granite, which complicated my paint selection process.  I wanted to go white on the cabinets, but it just didn’t look right with the marble and granite so I chose Sherwin Williams Brainstorm Bronze.  We kept the existing cabinets and just replaced the doors with a shaker style and added millwork to the soffit to give the illusion of cabinetry to the ceiling–this dramatically affected the feel of the room by making the ceilings seem higher.

The 2008 changes were an improvement to the previous kitchen arrangement, but after a few years the wall of upper cabinets and the mullioned-kitchen window were making me feel closed in.  And I loathed that pink tumbled marble.  We did our best to keep as much as we could to minimize costs but do enough to make a big difference.

We removed all the upper cabinets and soffit that spanned the sink wall and installed a new kitchen window.  It was amazing what this did to open up the space–so happy!

I had planned to put basic white subway tile on the wall for a classic and affordable solution, but when I asked for designer Sherry Hart’s opinion, she suggested this gorgeous 6 x 12″ white marble.  She pointed out how well it went with the granite–coordinating with the grays and the browns speckled in the countertop–and, most importantly, it modernized the kitchen and distracted from the ho-hum granite.  The marble cost twice as much as the originally-planned subway tile, but it was so worth it–Sherry said it would be, and she was right!  I love it, the scale and the subtle veining.  The marble elevates the kitchen in a way the white ceramic wouldn’t have.

I was so thankful that I could confer with Sherry about these changes.  Having another person with a trained eye and immersed in the business to weigh in on the options is so valuable, and I would encourage anyone to hire an interior designer–even if it is just for consultations.   Mistakes can be avoided, beautiful discoveries and options revealed.

I’m still surprised that I went with a navy for the cabinets.  I had narrowed down my choices to gray or navy but knew deep-down I’d play it safe and go with the gray.  But then as I wondered if I could pick a gray to blend with our mismatched stainless appliances, this now-famous kitchen was published in Canadian House & Home.chg

I think officially those cabinets are black, but they look navy and I was sold.


The brass handles were a surprising Home Depot find!

Chris, the contractor, custom made the red oak shelving where closed upper cabinets used to be.  I’m an open-shelf convert.

The table has been with us for 12 years now–originally all-over pine and then a brief stint in orange.  I stripped the orange and used some leftover gray paint for the table base.

Chris also made the bench for us–great for kids.  On the matter of new chairs, my first gut feeling was to do the Panton chair.  But, of course, I had to look at a million and one different chairs to finally realize that indeed I wanted the classic chair.  They are surprisingly comfy.  And Ol’ Big Red, the chandelier that I bought from Ally, makes me so happy.

So there you go, finally, yellowed and unstyled photos of our kitchen refresh!

Here are the deets:

Paint | Benjamin Moore Polo Blue

Handles | Artesia Liberty at Home Depot

Pendants | Sfera 8 from Rejuvenation Lighting

Chairs | Vitra Verner Panton at All Modern or the knock-off

Tablecloth | Handmade for MyColor Paint Party

Rug | eSaleRugs

Artwork | Yours truly (my daughter did the orange still life)

Cat | Heaven sent

Please don’t hate me because I don’t have the marble tile info…I will update here if I can dig it up.

Studio Bon & 24 Hours of Girl Time

The last room to be touched in our house is the boys’ room.  It is ugly.  Even the boys complain.  I’m a little stumped because of the layout and the mismatched beds.  There have been a few false starts, but nothing major has happened.  So at the start of a girl weekend with my daughter, we stopped at ADAC to check out the Studio Bon fabrics as a possibility for her brothers’ room.


I’m really liking this direction.  Fun for boys, huh?


Then we had a little stop at Lewis & Sheron to pick up fabric for the cottage.  All the pinks got her seal of approval.


Post dinner was an early PJ party snuggled together on the bed–first, messing with Siri on my phone to belly laughs; then, we sank into our books, her, Harry Potter book 4, me, Life with Picasso.


The pace picked up after a walk to breakfast.


There was her first oil painting lesson.


Then we paused to give a group of 10 or so ladies a tour of the loft.

Hurry, jump in the car to pick up Big Red Chandy, freshly uninstalled from the Cathedral Showhouse.  It’s going in our kitchen–thanks, Ally!


Next up, the Cinderella ballet!  We fought traffic…


….and made it right to our seats when the lights went down.


With ballerina costumes still dancing in our heads, we stumbled upon this polyester and acetate wonderland to top off our day.


There is nothing to say except it was the stuff of 7-year-old girl manic-ruffle dreams.  She couldn’t dart from dress to dress fast enough.

IMG_3201 And that is how we TPH girls spend 24 hours.  (I’m so exhausted, guys!)

Color Mix | Entry Spaces & More

Here is my last line-up of color mixes from The Painted House Joss & Main sale benefitting the next Room Service project.  I hope you checked out the wares and bought something good for yourself.

For the entry:OB-happy to have you mix

happy to have you mix


OB-hoot hoot mix

hoot hoot mix


OB-welcome home mix

welcome home mix
The office:OB-office mix
The Kitchen:OB-kitchen mix


The bathroom:OB-bathroom mix


Thank you to Joss & Main for a fun experience and to all of you for taking a look and helping me raise money to provide someone in need with beautiful surroundings.

(All renderings are approximately scaled–check dimensions for actual size.)

Color Mix | Bedrooms

We’re serving up some bedrooms today on TPH from goodies you can find at the Joss & Main Curator’s Collection sale.  I’m donating 100% of my proceeds to the next Room Service project–I’ve had the privilege of working on spaces in both 2011 and 2012–so if you need an excuse to buy something, it’s for a good cause!

Okay, here are the rooms…don’t forget to tell me which one you like best.OB-sweet dreams mix

sweet dreams mix


OB-Strong Arm mix

strong arm mix


OB-nitey-nite mix

nitey-nite mix


OB-in the mood mix

in the mood mix


You can find all items at The Painted House Curator’s Collection sale, but my own paintings are just thrown in for fun.  Which one is your favorite?

My oldest son was the sweetest last night, telling me when I tucked him in, “I didn’t tell you this, but there are secret compartments in the house with confetti and balloons that will fall down at 9 o’clock when your sale starts.”  He stayed up in his bed until 9 so he could come out and wish me good luck–love that boy.  Thank you for shopping!

You can see the living room design boards on my previous post.

(All renderings are approximately scaled–check dimensions for actual size.)

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