CAN OLDER GRANITE COUNTERTOPS & TRAVERTINE TILE LOOK UPDATED?
If you’re looking for some inspiration to update your kitchen, have I got a treat for YOU!
This early 2000s kitchen had some GREAT bones; wood cabinets, granite countertops, and travertine tile. However, the combination was dark and heavy, and not that inspiring to cook in (personally, no kitchen inspires me to cook – insert Door Dash HERE).
And while I wouldn’t say this kitchen was FULLY Tuscan-inspired, many of its finishes nod at that particular trend with a ‘come hither’ wink…
But before we get into the good stuff, let’s have a little chat…
HOW THE KYLIE M. BLOG WORKS
For those of you who are new, and as a refresher for those who’ve been drinkin’ the Ginger-infused Koolaid for years, I run this blog on a ‘come as you are‘ basis.
This means that your home doesn’t need to be perfect for me to help you.
My hundreds of blog posts also mean that you can learn how to LOVE your home, from the comfort of your home – you don’t even need to put pants on (pants are highly overrated anyway).
And while I’ve worked on MANY brand-spanking new homes, and love doing so, my FAVORITE HOMES are ones just…like…yours.
Sure, in the high-design world, one could argue that in a kitchen like this one, EVERYTHING needs to go – flooring, countertop, backsplash. HECK, why not bulldoze some walls while we’re at it…
And starting with a blank slate is fine and dandy when you’ve got the inclination and a healthy budget. However, even if you have the money, it doesn’t always make SENSE to rip out perfectly good surfaces; not when you haven’t exhausted all avenues. And what’s the most AFFORDABLE avenue?
Don’t get me wrong, there are some homes that NO paint color can save; I’ve advised MANY clients to save their money until they can make more foundational changes. However, this kitchen HAS beautiful finishes, they just need some visual support.
The main challenges in this space were the visual WEIGHT of it and the combination of finishes – nothing a little paint can’t help!
When spending time with a home via my Online Color Consulting, there are many thoughts going through my mind, including, ‘…does Ryan Reynolds wear boxers or briefs?’ Let’s be honest, I don’t think about this JUST when I look at someone’s home, it’s a constant thought. Who knows, maybe he goes commando.
ANYWAYS, let’s carry on…
1. CAN MY CLIENTS HANDLE A LARGER CHANGE?
Whether they LOVE their existing finishes or don’t have the budget to replace them, replacing countertops, backsplashes, and flooring isn’t always an option – even just painting the cabinets takes money and time, both of which not everyone is flush with!
2. ARE THE EXISTING FINISHES WORKABLE IF THEY HAVE THE RIGHT VISUAL SUPPORT AROUND THEM?
The kitchen in this blog post has some great workable finishes. Are they modern based on today’s standards? No, but not every home HAS to be. Also, this doesn’t mean they aren’t pretty in their own rights and well-suited to the homeowners.
3. IF WE ONLY PAINT THE CABINETS, IS IT WORTH THE EFFORT – WILL IT BE ENOUGH TO TURN THIS SPACE AROUND?
The reality is, some spaces need more than just paint, and any money spent on paint won’t move the kitchen forward. In this case, it’s best to save money until a larger project is manageable.
As for this kitchen…
LET’S GIVE IT A LITTLE KLC!
My jaw DROPPED when my client sent these photos. It’s like a whole new kitchen and the only difference is PAINT (and some well-chosen light fixtures).
Also, notice the tile floor. While it’s not terra cotta tile, it shares many of the same orange-pink hues. Combined with the yellow in the countertop and shades of beige in the travertine tile backsplash, it’s a challenge to coordinate with – good thing I love challenges.
But let’s be honest, a combination like this can make it DARN HARD to choose paint colors.
Some kitchens were never meant to have painted cabinets – they were designed to suit wood cabinets.
When working with finishes like these (popular in the 1990s and early 2000s), white is often too stark.
Many kitchens were originally designed to suit wood-stained cabinets – not painted ones. So when I have clients who are pining for a beautifully updated white kitchen, I often have to break it to them that it’s not a good idea and could make their existing finishes look OUTdated rather than UPdated. There are many exceptions to this, but if your space isn’t accommodating any of the paint samples you’re looking at, this could be why.
If white is a hard no, bumping into a flexible off-white is often a doable choice. But this depends on the flexibility of two things – your existing finishes and YOU. Sometimes we have to let go of what we ‘want’ in order to find what our space ‘needs‘.
The Best Off-White Paint Colors for Kitchen Cabinets
As discussed earlier, the tile floor in this kitchen DEFINITELY has its limitations, but the real focus is the BACKSPLASH, as it’s on the same vertical sight line as the cabinets. It’s important to make the backsplash happy FIRST and then work down from there.
While the backsplash isn’t ALWAYS the priority when choosing cabinet paint colors, it is in a kitchen like this, as the backsplash takes up such a large vertical space – it’s the kitchen’s focal point.
Now you’re probably wondering what paint colors we chose. Are you thinking of some beautiful soft warm white? Benjamin Moore White Dove or Sherwin Williams Alabaster, perhaps?
You’re looking at the EVER-lovely, Benjamin Moore Maritime White – a gorgeous off-white, flexible BEIGE paint color. That’s right – beige. We did the same color on the walls as well, and a 50% lighter version for the trims.
Should You Keep Your Cabinets Stained or Paint Them? A Questionnaire
In the above photo, notice how the dark island, Benjamin Moore Ashwood Moss, helps tie in the black stainless steel of the appliances, which otherwise, could be too high contrast. These appliances weren’t going anywhere, so tying them in was important.
What Colors & Countertops Go With Black Appliances
Not only does the painted island help the appliances feel more at home, but the dark cabinet hardware and light fixtures do as well…
And how did we end up with these paint colors? Of course, you guys know I love my SAMPLIZE.
A Cathedral-Style Kitchen Cabinet Makeover
Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Maritime White
6 Budget-Friendly Kitchen Update Ideas
The 6 Best Paint Colors for Kitchen Islands & Bathroom Vanities
5 Ideas to Update Your 1990s Home
ARE YOU READY TO MAKEOVER YOUR KITCHEN?
CHECK OUT MY ONLINE PAINT COLOR PACKAGES
Beautiful transformation! Feels so much lighter and more welcoming. Moderate white was a great pick.
Thank you! It really is the perfect color for this home!
Hallo quick question , i like MODERATE
WHITE sherwin williams , but prefer BM paint
What color do you recommend ?
Hi Rose, check out Benjamin Moore Maritime White 🙂
My jaw dropped also, this looks great! Would this be comparable to doing cabinets or bookshelves in BM Manchester Tan or BM Feather down? Thanks!
Hi Carol! Manchester Tan definitely has more depth to it, but I would say Feather Down is a similar approach (but Maritime White would be VERY VERY CLOSE!)