Hey it’s Kristy again, Maria’s social media director. Today, I want to share my recent kitchen update with you. We repurposed our breakfast nook, freshened up some styling, and added a muted blue hue to our beadboard for a nostalgic twist.
And because Maria’s colour system was such an essential part of this refresh, I thought I would share my story with you here.
Vintage Kitchen Refresh
We live in a historic home built in 1914. The last time I shared a glimpse inside my house was during the holidays, where you got to see my eclectic, colourful style in my living room. It’s sort of my solution to decorating around the original orange-y oak woodwork throughout our home.
Here’s a look at my freshly painted and styled kitchen.
The kitchen was what I affectionately like to call “Before Maria.” Anyone else have a space in your home that is still in the “before you learned from Maria” phase? You know, the room that just wasn’t perfect, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it until you started reading this blog?
And now? You so badly want to change that detail you missed or make all new choices for your finishes. Because when you know better, you do better. And that’s what this kitchen update is for me.
Once I understood the subtle differences in whites, I couldn’t unsee the stark bright white paint on my trim – that did NOT relate to my countertops, backsplash or creamy floors.
And, once I realized my granite countertops maxed out my pattern quota, I couldn’t unsee the busy, trendy pencil tile we installed years ago… Learning Maria’s system can have a snowball effect.
But, we weren’t in a position to renovate all of our design mistakes and start over. So instead, I found clever ways to pull it together with some paint colour, creative styling, and a little backsplash ingenuity.
Choosing the right paint colours
My husband is a naturalist and refuses to paint over any of the original stained wood trim in our old home. However, the woodwork and trim in our kitchen has always been painted white. The last time it was painted, we used the ubiquitous white trim paint sold in hardware stores. #SMH
I knew I wanted a pale colour for the walls above the beadboard. As soon as I received Maria’s colour boards, I started holding them up to finishes and furniture around the house, getting to know all the undertones. It really is empowering.
And my kitchen was no different. I held up various boards in the palest colours to identify which neutral undertones were in my countertops.
Without Maria’s colour boards, if you would have asked me what colour my countertops were, I might have said black, white and grey. But, next to that white piece of paper, they are clearly not white. And actually, they lean a bit warmer than I realized.
I noticed right away that a green beige complex cream related nicely to my countertop and also the chippy painted wood backsplash we installed on one of the kitchen walls. If you’re curious, here’s the story about our reclaimed wood backsplash that ended up getting my kitchen in a magazine.
So, I landed on Sherwin Williams Shoji White as the wall colour.
For the trim and beadboard, I wanted more contrast so I opted for a muted colour instead of a pale neutral. Sherwin Williams Copen Blue is a historic color that also feels a bit vintage. Plus, this shade of blue is echoed in the chippy reclaimed wood wall on the other side of my kitchen.
I really am in love with this colour combination!
Wall Colour SW Shoji White | Trim Colour SW Copen Blue
Adding a Baking Station
It’s not a huge kitchen but I have always appreciated having this little nook carved out beside it. However, it was time to say goodbye to the stark white beadboard and aqua wall colour. It also needed more function.
Side Note: You can totally see how “dirty” my floors looked next to the “clean” white trim colour in this photo. Geesh. I also see clean and dirty everywhere now.
We weren’t using this space to eat, so I decided to add this Millstone Kitchen Island from Ballard Designs and turn it into a baking station. This also gives us more countertop space for food prepping.
Few design changes are ever really a hit with my family, but creating a space where I can bake more has been pretty popular. You can see more about how I used the drawers for all my baking supplies here.
It was easy to add pops of red by decorating with vintage baking finds I had curated over the years.
And, that clever vinyl floor mat that looks like vintage hex tile is a great way to take the attention away from my cream and taupe floors that are on the list to be replaced… someday.
Quick Fix Subway Tile
I’m going to let you in on a little secret about my pencil tile backsplash fix. When I shared with my husband that the backsplash tile he painstakingly installed needed to go, he was not on board. At all.
So, I searched and searched for a solution. Why didn’t I choose subway tile? Oh right, I was one of those “my kitchen must be different” people. #BeforeMaria
That’s when I discovered these dimensional subway tile stickers. Yes, stickers! I ordered a sample in every shade of white to determine the right one for my kitchen. This creamy off-white colour looked the best with my countertops.
And then, I installed them myself over my existing tile without a stitch of help from my husband. I’m not sure how they will hold up over time, but I’m loving the transformation for now. If you need a quick fix, this is it. Installation is easy.
I also painted the uppers above my stove and the window trim SW Copen Blue. The combination of paint colours and subway tile (even if it is fake) is such a cleaner look overall.
I cannot even put into words the reassurance I felt from having a colour system in my back pocket to guide these decisions about my kitchen. I’m not a trained interior designer, but I love DIY projects and decorating my home.
And with what I’ve learned from Maria, I’m so much better at it.
I hoped you enjoyed touring my kitchen refresh. Does anyone else cherish old homes as much as I do?
Thanks Kristy for the wonderful post, I love your colourful kitchen!
Which part is your favourite?