Monday, May 3, 2010

A Perfect Kitchen Color

This week on LTC we are sharing some of our home solutions. I chose to share one of the most recent changes in our home, one which is fairly simple, but a good example of how finding a wall color that’s just right can make such a huge difference in a space.

In our old house, we painted the feature wall of our kitchen a soft buttery yellow color and I absolutely loved it. Everything else in the kitchen was white, and at the time I didn’t know how that played into my love of the kitchen, until now. We had a white ceiling, floors, appliances, and the other 3 walls were white. We had dark brown cabinets on one of the walls, but other than that, the whole room was filled with a soft light glow, especially in the morning and evening when the light was coming in from different angles. I always smiled as soon as I walked in that room. So when we decided to paint this house, I took a similar approach, not taking into account any other factors in my decision other than having loved my old yellow kitchen.


And I ended up with this. In this house, my kitchen is filled with beautiful maple colored cabinets and drawers. Pretty much from the top to the bottom I have a warm orange-y brown color.


In our dining nook, our table also has a walnut colored finish, and our sliding doors are covered by a dark brown curtain, which was specifically chosen to give us a bit of privacy, but also allow us to see the backyard through the curtain, so that we could enjoy the great scenery that we lucked into when we bought this house.


The sun sets on this side of the house, which is beautiful, but the light that it gives to that room combined with all of the yellow and brown adds up to a room that is dark, full of orange light, and I just hated it. Also, I have been trying unsuccessfully to decorate this room ever since we moved in, but every time that I hold something up against the walls, it just doesn’t look right with the yellow and ends up somewhere else.

I knew what color I wanted on the walls instead, something that would compliment the cabinets better and bring down the orange-y yellow factor a ton: a nice cool grey blue. We went to the wall with a few paint samples and were really surprised by results. In the picture below, the 2 colors on the left are the exact same colors that are beside them on the white! Don’t they look so different? (Just say yes, and appease me, please.) I couldn’t believe when I first painted them how periwinkle colored they looked! A friend came by and commented, “Yep, the yellow just completely sucks the grey out of those colors.” (That yellow paint, it does stuff like that.) Luckily we tried the colors on white, were able to get a better idea of what the color would look like, and picked a good one.


So we painted the kitchen, and now it is beautiful. It’s crazy how finding just the right color can completely transform a room. It is now a perfect, airy, cool blue.


I keep just walking into the room and smiling.


I don’t even mind that it is barely decorated, having a good color is decoration enough for now.


That said, I am enjoying filling it little by little. Before, none of the “accessories” in the house looked good in that room, but now they all do. After the room was reassembled, I just went around the house picking up my favorite items, bringing them into the kitchen and smiling at how lovely they all looked in the new light.


Ahhhhhhhh. Also, the color is Pelican by Olympus, which I got at Lowes.


I feel like I should point out that, for the purpose of these pictures, the room has been moderately to heavily staged, and many items were removed.


This was such a simple solution, only cost me the price of a gallon of paint, and has brought a nice tranquility to our kitchen (which we need with an almost-two year old running around.) I hope you like it as much as I do! Though I would happily welcome suggestions on decorating the top of those cabinets...

Have a great week!



Sarah AKA The Thriftress May 3, 2010 at 7:07 AM  

The cooler paint color really looks nice with the warmer cabinets! I think it's a great color choice.

Debbiedoos May 3, 2010 at 7:09 AM  

Amazing what paint can do, that color was just the right choice! Looks great!

Pati @ A Crafty Escape May 3, 2010 at 7:10 AM  

Looks great! Everytime we paint a room I am amazed at the transformation!

Tiffany May 3, 2010 at 7:46 AM  

I definitely love the new color choice! So pretty and serene! Makes me want to paint so bad!

Patricia @ 9th and Denver May 3, 2010 at 7:57 AM  

Looks so pretty now!
I am a big proponent for the color yellow in the kitchen, but am lately finding myself unsettled with the color. I have been thinking of going with something cooler,myself.
Your kitchen gives inspiration!

Kelli May 3, 2010 at 8:10 AM  

Wow, that does make for a nice change. I love the color and I love the curtains you have on your sliding glass doors!

Jessica May 3, 2010 at 8:12 AM  

So pretty...I love your kitchen!

Julie Kay May 3, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

You just saved my dining room from a life of yellow-y/orange-y despair. I also love the feel of the warm yellows, so that's the color I put in my dining room. However, with my light oak floors and the yellow I put on the wall it looks terrible and I cannot find a single accent item that I want to put in the room because nothing goes with the color schemes. My husband's going to hate me because this will be the third time this calendar year I have changed the color of the walls in the dining room. But it's silly to leave a color on that you hate, right?

traci in virginia May 3, 2010 at 11:27 AM  

It looks great! Very peaceful!!

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking May 3, 2010 at 11:35 AM  

Amazing how it changed the look of the cabinets tone too. LOVE that shade of blue... I'm adding pelican to my list of possible master bedroom colors.

Becca Ross May 3, 2010 at 12:31 PM  

I'm taking notes! My wood color is the same as yours and my walls are also yellow. I just posted about my paint dilema and maybe a fresh coat of paint of the walls is all I need.

If you have time, let me know what you think.


Patrice May 3, 2010 at 12:58 PM  

I love it! We went with blue too, which I love, but your tone is fabulous! Ours is Martha's Cake Stand Blue, and maybe almost a little too baby blue, yours is perfect!

Kim May 3, 2010 at 2:10 PM  

I love it! I am going to get that paint swatch and see it in person, it's similiar to what I am looking for in my bedroom. Gorgeous! I can't believe what a difference, and yes I noticed the difference between the paint over the yellow vs. the white!

tiffany May 3, 2010 at 2:50 PM  

i had the exact same "yellow situation" in my kitchen and remedied it by a peaceful pretty grey. I think yours looks awesome!

Anonymous May 3, 2010 at 3:01 PM  

Hello i'm one of your followers and absolutely love this blog! I gave it a trendy blog award over at my blog! Thanks for being such wonderful inspiration to me!!

Bibliochic May 3, 2010 at 10:02 PM  

what a change! its amazing what a paint color change can do for a room! you are such an inspiration! keep 'em coming!!
tod @

Amy May 4, 2010 at 1:10 PM  

What a perfect color!!! I'm drooling over how neat your kitchen is!!

Jillinda May 4, 2010 at 4:25 PM  

Okay I know this is a very naive question but did you just a white primer to hide the yellow or did you paint it with white and than use your pelican color. I love it.

Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} May 7, 2010 at 12:06 PM  

i love what paint can do! and the color is awesome - i am for sure going to get a swatch of that.

If i were you - i wouldnt decorate the top of the cabinets - your room looks very calm and serene, i wonder if putting stuff up there will be too much? just my opinion :)

Anonymous May 21, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

What brand are the chairs around your table? I love them and can't seem to find anything similar. Care to share?

Unknown May 25, 2010 at 9:10 PM  

I second the request for the style of your chairs!

Julie Kay July 11, 2010 at 9:14 PM  

Erin, I have finally painted my dining room. It's perfect. It's awesome. It's everything I've wanted for the room since we moved in nearly four years ago. I posted about it on my blog if you'd like to see how it turned out.

Thank you so much for posting about your painting!

Michelle @ Ten June October 26, 2010 at 10:19 AM  

So pretty! We are painting our kitchen a lovely gray right now, as well! I agree, the color seriously makes a world of difference- we're loving it!

djjdjdjdjd October 26, 2010 at 5:04 PM  

Love this color! Pelican is a very soothing color! Visiting from CSI

Lori October 27, 2010 at 5:58 AM  

The paint made an amazing difference. Visiting from CS

Lisa at Paint in my Hair October 27, 2010 at 7:57 PM  

you are so right! It's funny how a color that works great in one space can be totally wrong in another. Looks wonderful!


Laree January 1, 2011 at 9:19 AM  

This transformation is a breath of fresh air! I hopped over from the lettered cottage party - I can't tell you how many kitchen redos I've looked at that had beautiful cabinets like yours, but a bad paint color on the walls. They all picked to paint the cabinets white instead of changing the walls! I love white cabinets, but when you have perfectly good wood cabinets, why paint them?

Love the change!

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