Are you impulsive like me?  Have you ever done this…

pink! underneath kitchen wallpaper

pink! underneath kitchen wallpaper

on a whim?

I have, lots of times.  George and I have renovated three different homes before we got to our current one.  They all started out pretty ugly and ended up mostly beautiful (the first kitchen turned out bad, but we moved out of there fast anyway…).  We’ve lived in this house, which is in very good condition, for nearly five years now.  Until now, the kitchen has been considered “okay”–if not exactly our style, at least decent enough to leave alone until more time and money allowed for a remodel.

Well, now our home is going to be one of five on our neighborhood’s 3rd annual historic home tour this fall.  And now, I’m freaking out!  I want everything to be perfect, in spite of what I said just a few months ago.  “As long as it’s clean, it’ll be fine…” to my husband who started freaking out sooner than me.

So now, the kitchen is getting redone by sheer force of my will.  No money, but willpower and sweat equity.  The cabinets will be painted.  After days and nights of obsessing over the color for them, I think I’m going to go with a dark cranberry red on the base cabinets and creamy white on the top cabinets and walls.  It’s really, really hard for me to decide on colors because I have so many things I like.  Here are my favorite kitchen things…

everyday pretties...

everyday pretties...

The things I use every day–the red colander and gingham curtains I found at garage sales and have been “saving up” till they matched the kitchen; the vintage aprons I wear, from my husband’s grandma; the blue Kitchenaid and red enameled dutch oven; the red teapot; and the mix-matched mostly thrifted blue and white dishes.  There’s a blue and red theme going on here, which demands a fairly neutral paint palette.  Or does it?

more everyday pretties...

more everyday pretties...

Then there’s the “wild country” look I also love.  Vintage brown bowls from my grandma; pottery mostly from local friends Ken Maddux, JD Jorgenson, Richard Bresnehan, Bill Gossman, and a few from travels; beeswax candles; and crocheted lace.  This would look good with all creamy white cabinets, but we’re afraid to do the base cabinets light-colored because the kitchen is tiny and sees lots of dirt!

and Sunday pretties...

and Sunday pretties...

No!  I am not a collector…but I have this lovely stuff, and more, as well.  All this stuff goes into my tiny kitchen (because we mostly use the dining room as an office/music/crafting space–the “creativity room” we call it–these days). 

So I’ve been thinking of black base cabinets, red base cabinets, 30s green base cabinets (which we had in our last house and I adored that color) and even light blue/aqua base cabinets for something different to go with the red and blue/white.  For sure white or creamy white goes on top, but what for the bottom?  Anyone have a strong opinion?  This morning I woke up to my first thought “cranberry!” but last night my last thought going to sleep was “light blue!”  I think black is too dark, since it has to go on the wainscoting on the walls, too, as you see here:

"before" ugly with no charm, no style

"before" ugly with no charm, no style

We have black appliances (I’d prefer white), which is why black cabinets have entered into my mind.  However, since I want to paint the wainscot (which is also ugly, but we’re not changing it) to match the cabinets, I don’t think I want black halfway up the wall.

Cranberry red?  That’s where I’m leaning…I have a cranberry red (Olde Century Colors paint) cabinet and shelves in the dining room.  And in the photo below you can see I have a light blue in the side-door hall and rose red in the front hall leading to the porch, which is (thankfully for some of you neutral lovers) tan and white with a “river rock” blue ceiling.

back door to front door

back door to front door

 Oh, and the dining room is green!

sorry I should've removed the trash basket!

sorry I should've removed the trash basket!

You may not believe it, but this house was all cream painted walls when we bought it.  It was fine  but for me the dark woodwork and urban setting of our home were screaming out for COLOR!  So, we’ve had fun with it.  And I really like it, but…my main goals for my dark kitchen are lightness and a fairly neutral background for all my stuff (I haven’t even shown you my orange kitchen stuff yet!  I love orange with blue and white, too.)
I will be obsessing for a while over this, I’m sure, so if you want to drop by and give an opinion, feel free.  (I’ll still do whatever I want, but I’ll take ideas.)
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