My sister Anita’s renovation starts this month and when she called and told me she was going nutty with the million different options, it helped me get inside the head of some of my clients and what they go through.
Just this week I got an email headlined ‘911 Paint Situation’. My client in Toronto had given BM ‘Cloud White’ to her kitchen cabinet company and ended up with ‘Ivory White’ instead.
She said “I am in full on crisis mode; the painters are at my house right now screaming for paint and I have no suggestions”. After an emergency 1 1/2 hour consultation where we discussed countertops, wall colours and selected hardware for the doors, she was calm again.
Anyway back to my sister. She is clear she wants a white kitchen, after all she reads my blog. But that’s it. Which white? She asked, “Well, what colour is your existing woodwork? Let’s start there” I said.
“What about White vs. Stainless appliances, can I mix them up (above)?” NO, I said, stainless always looks better than white, and it will start to look like you are waiting until they die one by one before you replace them. Not a good look for a brand new kitchen. We compromised on the range, she said her white fridge is new so she can’t go to stainless with everything else.
“What about my oak flooring?” She asked. “I think I’m used to the orangy, yellow look of them, should I keep the colour the way it is, since we are taking the lino out of the kitchen and continuing the wood in there? It all needs to be refinished the same.” My suggestion here was just to go with a medium brown tone:
In the 50’s house she’s in, going with any kind of gray tone would be way to trendy.. And of course espresso brown floors, would look totally out of place. You can’t really get away with keeping much old furniture with espresso floors, suddenly you need a contemporary furniture upgrade, stat!
What about the backsplash? One day on a whim, she was surfing ebay and sent me a link to this one:
“Aaaack”, I said, “Have you not learned a thing from my blog? This is way too busy and more importantly, you don’t have a stitch of pink or red anywhere in your house! How about blue glass subway tile?”
My sister loves blue and has had a crushed blue velvet sofa for 10 years. She says when we re-do her living room she wants the exact same colour. So I suggested the blue backsplash because my sister insists her love of blue will not fade.
“Do we need to discuss all the other possibilities or does this feel right to you?” I asked.
Sometimes my clients need to know about all the other options before they feel comfortable they’ve made the right decision, and that’s part of the process. This way when your friends ask why your kitchen is white instead of a wood stain (for example), you’ll have the answer.
My sister insisted she trusts my opinion and was happy with the choices we discussed.
So we’ll bring in a blue sofa, some pale blue to tie in with the backsplash (the kitchen is opening up into the living room) fresh green drapes (like the photo above) or yellow, and we have a happy new house!
At the end of our latest conversation she sent me this email: “Woo Hoo!!!! Kitchen’s almost done. Thank you for the quick picks. I’m so happy I don’t have to think about that anymore!!! Yay, I feel like celebrating, it felt so complicated. There were so many options, I was drowning. You make a good life raft. Love, Anita”
Stayed tuned, this should be interesting.
A Something’s Gotta Give Kitchen Cabinet Dilemma
The Best Trim Colours; NOT Cloud White
2 Questions to ask before you Renovate vs. Decorate
Should you Surrender to the Temptation of a Trend?
Successful Interiors start with Space Planning
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North Vancouver Interior Decorating