August 18, 2011

Colorful Kitchen Inspiration

Ever since Denny and I got done fixing up the master bath somewhat (we still have plans to paint and decorate eventually), we’ve been sort of looking around and contemplating what we should tackle next. It didn’t take us long to realize that our next indoor project should definitely be revamping the kitchen.
Now, I say “revamping” instead of “remodeling” for a couple of different reasons. First, we want to spend as little on this project as humanly possible because it’s really just going to be a temporary fix until we have the time and money to redo the kitchen the way we really want it (this includes some pretty drastic measures, like relocating the fridge, tearing out all the cabinets, replacing all the appliances, doing a tile backsplash, and possibly knocking down a wall). Secondly…well, I just like anything that includes the word “vamp,” I guess. ;)
Since this project will be less permanent than a full-out remodel, I think it might just be the perfect chance to play around a little and experiment with some new concepts. Eventually I want beautiful espresso colored cabinets and an overall sleek and elegant feel for the space. So when I sat down today and started snooping around for some inspiration for our interim look, I went in the exact opposite direction and searched for something bright, funky, and somewhat offbeat. I found myself very inspired by these two kitchens in particular:


Hmmm…I’m seeing a common theme here, aren’t you? Yeah, those turquoise lower cabinets really caught my eye. Especially in the second kitchen, where everything else is so warm and earthy. So, going off of that thought, I got to work assembling this mood board and product breakdown.

1. I found this color palette on It was nearly perfect, except for the fact that it didn’t actually include any turquoise. So I simply hopped over to the Behr website and played around with their ColorSmart paint selector tool (which is actually really helpful and fun to use, by the way). I ended up deciding on this beauty…
2. “Realm.” It’s a little darker than the inspiration photos (more of a teal, actually), but I think that the effect would be quite similar when applied to the lower bank of cabinets. Since our cabinets are very, very smooth and have absolutely no design or definition to them, I think it would look particularly neat when applied in a high-gloss finish for a lacquered effect.
3. This is an example of Realm and a couple of other coordinating colors applied to a sample kitchen using the ColorSmart tool. In this shot it looks quite a bit lighter than the swatch, but I’m not sure if that’s just the effect of the tool or if the color really would be that light. In any case, I’m really digging it. (Oh! And that open shelving up top…do I dare go that far? Hmmm…)
4. After decided on a general palette and color of the cabinets, I went looking (digitally, of course) for a nice coordinating rug to go along with them. Although it’s a little more orange than the palette calls for, I think throwing that down on our hardwood floors would really bring a feeling of warmth to the room.
5. And of course, no space is complete without a collection of books. I have quite an assortment of cookbooks packed away in a box somewhere, and I can’t wait to drag them out and display them somewhere within the kitchen, bringing a little more texture and depth to the space.
6. Initially, I had picked out a Moroccan-inspired starburst pendant for this board. But once I got it all together, I could tell that the starburst just would have been too much going on. With the bright colors, potentially open shelving, and fanciful rug, I’m pretty sure it would have been the straw that broke the camel’s back (however, I’m keeping it in mind for my future sleek-espresso kitchen!). Instead,  I opted for this subtler linen-shaded light. It’s not totally “blah,” but it is much more subdued than some of the other items in the kitchen.
7. The hardware shown here is also rather simple. A subtly-arched pull and classic knob will, I think, blend in with the cabinets instead of competing with them. The only really interesting thing about them will be their placement, which will have the pulls mounted on the doors and the knobs on the drawers. It’ll be a quiet but quirky switch-up.
8. And, last but definitely not least, a cookie jar. This bright little guy just looked so cute squished between the rug and the cabinets (in the collage, not in real life) that I couldn’t resist including him. Plus, on the practical side, it would give Denny someplace to put his cookies other than in a Ziploc baggie on the counter. Oi! (Speaking of Denny, whadya wanna bet he has a stroke when he sees this color palette? I'd say the odds are pretty decent...)
Inspiration Breakdown:
Inspiration Kitchens (top) (bottom)

Color palette from
Behr paint in Realm from Home Depot - $32 per gallon
Suzani Rug 5x8 from Z Gallerie - $635
Cookbook Image from Pimp My Cookbooks
Trellis Linen Drum Shade Pendant from Shades of Light - $149
Amerock Satin Nickel Hardware from Lowes $5-$6
Wise Ol' Cookie Jar from Anthropolgie $128


  1. You have expensive taste, dahling. While I rather fancy the owl, I would not ever in my wildest dreams pay that much for him.

    Also I adore the idea of the teal/turquoise/whateveryouwannacallit on the bottom of the cabinets. I hope you do it, so I can see it :)

  2. I want that first kitchen! I want it I want it I want it!!! (*stamping feet and turning red in the face*)

  3. P.S. Get thee on e-Bay and start searching up 'owl cookie jar'. Amanda is right.

  4. @Amanda - I, too, love the owl. And I, too, think that is a heck of a lot of money to be shelling out for a cookie jar, however cute it is. A lot of the stuff I'm including in these boards is rather expensive, but it's just inspiration, so why not? In real life, I will definitely be trying to find cheaper alternatives to most of this stuff, or DIY-ing it if possible. Like I'm pretty sure I could come up with something similiar to that pendant shade for WAY less than $149.

    @KaydeeMcDee- Lol. I'm totally picturing you throwing a Glory-esque fit right now, like from Wedding Crashers. I do hope you're not still holding your breath, though. And I will definitely be keeping an eye out for a cheaper version of that cookie jar from now on!