Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Come to the Dark(er) Side of the Cabinet

I am discovering that the more that we do to the house, the more we are really honing in on our style. Unfortunately, because we were previously apartment-dwellers, we were unable to paint the walls of our rent-protected cage to begin the journey of throw pillows, curtains, and paint colors that we have been able to trek since buying a home. It's been a truly interesting experience, but unfortunately, sometimes our choices were just off the mark a bit.

The largest instance of this so far has been the kitchen. I know that avid readers will be sighing and trying to decide if they still want to read this post to the end, but I promise, this should be the last time you see these cabinets for a long while. As you may remember, one of the first things we did when we moved into the house was clean out and paint up the kitchen cabinets. They started like this.

I had decided a long time ago that I loved the modern look of white and gray kitchens, so I headed to the store, picked up a nice bright white and what I thought was a bold gray and started prepping and painting. When I had finished, I ended here.

I knew that it was better than they had been when we moved in, so I just left them. This was unfortunately followed by a nagging feeling that they just weren't quite what we had originally wanted, though. They were 'okay'. They were livable. We moved on to other rooms in the house and weren't bothered by the kitchen because it functioned just fine.

Then, I saw an article that brought the feelings of gray-cabinet-inadequacy to the forefront again. Better Homes and Gardens February 2014 issue had this full-page image on the last page. I almost missed it, but I'm glad I didn't because it motivated me to make the decision go back and fix that which had never been quite 'right'.

It was our kitchen! Well, if ours had the correct bottom cabinet color. Mom and I had briefly dabbled with a darker cabinet paint pot from Home Depot around Thanksgiving, it just needed to be applied. I got out my brush and started in with the rest of the sample. The it-was-meant-to-be part came from the fact that it was actually a custom color that a woman next to us was getting that Mom suggested might be what I was looking for.

It was. Mom's know best.

Here is the front cabinet half painted. You can clearly see the darker gray on the left. It is a much richer, more grounded color for the room and really makes it feel on purpose.

I know it might not seem like a huge jump, but the lighter gray was almost as light as the white upper cabinets, which made it look like we ran out of paint halfway through. This really gives it the higher contrast it needed.

When all of the bottom cabinets had been taken off of their hinges (again) and painted (again) and remounted (again), the whole repainting felt worth it. Two samples of paint later, I was finished. Here are some of the after shots.

And just because before and afters are so much fun

This whole cabinet debacle really helped me to come to grips with the fact that working on your house, whether it's decorating, gardening, or just building a table, might not go according to plan the first time through. I think that refinishing the cabinets in a color that I had always seen in my mind really helped me throw aside the indecision that I had been carrying with me since they had been first 'completed'. It's amazing how much better you feel in a room that fits you mental image of it rather than a 'meh, it's good enough' attitude.

Have you ever had a project that you just weren't pleased with for some reason? Did you take the time to fix it? Let me know in the comments!


  1. It looks great! I really like it!

    1. Said Mom! But I agree, it looks fantastic.

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