{Kitchen Update} Inspiration and Plans

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday break and thanks to everyone for their sweet comments on our 2015 Year in Review. While I wouldn’t put our break into the relaxing category, it was productive. I’ve been painting for a good solid week … my hand seems to resemble a claw, but the results are totally worth it. Before I show you what we’ve been up to, let’s start with where we’re going.

KitchenI have been itching to get my hands on our kitchen since we moved in. As with the rest of our house, it’s in great condition, but it’s dated, dingy, and dark. The walls are a yellowish white, the cabinets are a medium orangey wood tone to match the trim, there’s no overhead lighting in the kitchen … fo’ reelz? Who doesn’t put lighting in where you’re cooking?

There are beautiful black granite countertops. They probably wouldn’t be my first choice since they show streaks, can darken a room, and limit your color options a bit for the cabinets, but they’re still amazing, so we’re building our plans around them.

To identify where we were going design-wise, I started with the absolutes (please forgive the large font, I can’t make it stop):

  1. The hearts have to go.
  2. A remodel isn’t in the budget, nor is it necessary. The makeover will be paint based.
  3. As much as I love the look of white cabinets with black countertops, it’s not happening here. #beentherecleanedthat I live with a 13 year old boy and a farmer and spent the last 4 years cleaning fingerprint smudges off of the most used white cabinets. The cabinets will be dark.
  4. Because the cabinets and countertops will be dark, the walls and trim must bright.
  5. We need proper lighting. Both lights went out on our hood vent a few weeks ago and I was cooking with a headlamp. Seriously.
  6. The soffit isn’t going anywhere 🙁
  7. We aren’t organized enough to hop on the open shelving design trend.

I then turned to Pinterest and Houzz for inspiration, looking particular for designs with dark cabinets and grey countertops (there aren’t many, by the way…I’m either going to be innovative here, or get it really wrong).  Here were some of my favorite finds:



After identifying what I liked, I jotted down a few words to keep me on track. I tried to be all interior-designerish and create a mood board, but I was too antsy to get started, so you get a list.

Clean | Crisp | Rustic | Farmhouse | Glam | Industrial

I realize those terms can seem a bit disconnected, but I don’t want to go too country or too fancy or too sterile, so I’m hoping keeping all these terms in mind will get me where I want to be. This inspiration could also be translated to: anything Joanna Gaines would do #wwjgd.

Then, we need a color scheme. The foundation of the room will be:

Dark Grey | Light Grey | White | Black/Metal Fixtures

I’m torn right now between two accent colors:

Kelly Green | Dark Turquoise

We’ll sort that out later.

So, here’s the plan, in two phases. First, we’ll look at we plan to do immediately. Then, there’s ideas I have for the future, but we want to live in it for a bit to see what’s next.




  1. Paint the walls and ceiling a light grey – the same one I’ve used in other parts of the house as our “wall grey” – it’s HGTV’s Icy Avalanche.
  2. Paint the cabinets and beadboard, or do we call it wainscoting…or chair rail? Anyway, paint it a dark grey. Color TBD.
  3. Paint the trim a bright white.
  4. Get rid of the darn hearts!!
  5. Paint the island an accent color. Color also TBD (see accent color debate).
  6. Install can lights for task lighting above cook/prep area and sliding glass doors.
  7. Replace fluorescent  light with pendant light and possibly remove this bit of soffit. Maybe.
  8. Install pendant lights over island. I think. I was sure of this when we moved in, but now I’m debating between that and can lights.
  9. Update fixture to extend over length of the table.

Future ideas:

  1. I’m kicking around the idea of putting in a more dramatic hood vent cover above the stove. That’s a big-ish project though, so we’ll see.
  2. Originally I thought I wanted to cover the soffit with beadboard or extend it to the depth of the cabinets, but now that we’ve got some paint on the wall, I don’t feel as strongly about it.
  3. Take out the entirety or half of the wall between the kitchen and living room. It’s the long white wall in the third picture. This was also something I was 100% about when we moved it, but not I’m not sure. 
  4. I also want to update the sink fixtures, but that’s a minor update in the future.

Alright, we’ve got work to do! Stay tuned for updates!

2 Responses to {Kitchen Update} Inspiration and Plans

  1. Pingback: {Kitchen Update} Clean Up at the Cash Register | Isn't That Grand?

  2. Pingback: {Kitchen Update} Help! Pendant Lights or Can Lights? | Isn't That Grand?

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