For those of you who follow the blog regularly, I must apologise for being a little quiet of late. With the house move last month and all the unpacking and general sorting out of life that goes with it, I made a conscious decision to focus on the family and savour our first weeks together in our new home, getting to know some of the neighbours and making endless cups of tea for all the lovely friends and family who have popped around to see us and get ‘the tour’, as is the norm. It has been a lovely first few weeks and I have been enjoying posting a few snippets on Instagram (please have a nosey @dekkobird) of some of the little things I’m enjoying along the way.
I have also had time to think about our plans for the house, both in the short and (more likely) long term. Apart from painting up and reupholstering old and ‘new’ (mostly hand-me-down) pieces of furniture, which I can get on with when I’m not making visitors cups of tea and doing the daily school runs (I know, it is non-stop glamour in my life), I am starting to plan how I envisage the kitchen looking. We have decided it’s the area that we will update first as we will be spending a vast amount of our time in there. We’ve inherited a 1990s solid oak kitchen which is very robust, well-maintained and has a good working layout to it, so it just needs brought up to date with a lick of paint and some new door knobs and handles. Although the space is bright and a good enough size, the larger windows are at the living/dining side of the room and face east, west and north, so we want to stick to a light colour palette with the right amount of warmth to bounce light around the kitchen area, especially in the morning, when it can be a little darker on that side of the room. We also have a dark red sofa that we won’t be replacing any time soon and hence the paint colour will need to complement it, so we’re looking at warm, soft neutrals, such as Farrow & Ball’s Joa’s White on the beige/cream side or Little Greene’s Rolling Fog on the grey spectrum. Here are a few pics to give you a better idea of what we’re working with:
This is the kitchen as you enter from the hallway. The light coming from the right hand side is from two skylights in the ceiling. I think you will agree, this could easily be transformed with a lick of good quality paint and some new brassware. Eventually, we would like to replace the tiles, flooring and worktop, but they are fairly inoffensive decor-wise, so this will be part of our longer term plan.
This is looking up to the kitchen from the living/dining space. The skylights above the sink let lots of natural light in. I could imagine the peninsula unit at the forefront being painted in a deeper shade than the units behind to add more depth? – something to definitely think about, anyway.
Looking down towards the ‘garden’ end of the room, there is a large north facing window to the front and, to the left hand side, a west facing set of patio doors. As the Spring progresses towards Summer, this will receive plenty of light from lunchtime until late evening, so the light in this part of the room is constantly shifting as the sun moves around. When choosing a paint colour for a room, this is possibly the most important factor to take into consideration as some colours look better in the morning sun, whilst others come into their own with the evening sun.
You can see here that the counter top has a mix of pale greys and beige through it. Although I would love to change the counter tops, this is something we will have to live with for the time being, so it is pretty lucky that they’ll go with most neutral tones! The curtains were left behind by the previous owners so stage two of the decorating process will tackle those. Time to dust off the sewing machine again! I also envisage painting the dining table and replacing the heavy chairs with something lighter and more modern (something along the line of these chairs would be ideal), but we’ll see how things look when the paintwork has been completed… dining chairs is a whole other blog post in its own right!
So there you have it, a little glimpse of our first project to be tackled!
I’ve been researching warm neutrals, both ‘cream’ and ‘grey’, that work particularly well in rooms with a northerly and/or westerly aspect, so here are some examples of kitchens which have been hand-painted in some beautiful shades that I think might have potential in our kitchen…
This kitchen has been hand painted in Farrow & Ball colours, with the upper units in London Stone, a red-based neutral (very good for northerly aspects), and the lower units in Off-White, a beautiful shade which bounces light onto walls, yet retains a soft warmth. The walls here have been painted in Savage Ground to give a subtle depth to the overall look. The floor here is not totally dissimilar to our current tiled floor, so these colours could work if we were to go down the cream/beige road.
Image: Farrow & Ball
This traditional country kitchen has been finished in another Farrow & Ball red-based neutral, Joa’s White, with Pointing on the walls for a crisp backdrop to balance out the warmth. Another ‘white’ to use alongside Joa’s White could be Dimity, a delicate pinkish shade.
Image: A Beautiful England
Moving on from Farrow & Ball, the kitchen below has been painted using Slaked Lime in deep and dark by Little Greene. I really like that each Little Greene colour comes in a range of shades from light to dark, so it’s easy to achieve a rich, coherent look.
Image: Emre Avci
Grey is a decor colour that is obviously very on-trend right now, but it does act as a beautifully soft and serene neutral and there are plenty of warmer shades of grey out there to choose from.
The kitchen below has been painted again in Farrow & Ball, this time using Pavilion Gray on the units. I always tend to shy away from greys in rooms with northerly aspects, however with the additional light coming into our kitchen from the skylights and from the west-facing windows in the afternoon, as long as there is enough warmth in the grey, it could work well. It works best with a clean white on the walls for a truly Scandinavian inspired look. Perhaps Strong White would be suitable here. I adore this, especially with the little hint of gold on the clock – gold or brass handles would add so much warmth to this kitchen.
Image: DeVol Kitchens
Elephant’s Breath is a very well-known paint from the Farrow & Ball range, a grey with almost purplish undertones which give a more modern look, but perhaps it is too cool a tone for our project. That said, it looks completely different in both these kitchens! It just goes to show how other colour choices in the room can affect a particular shade. I much prefer how it looks in the second picture.
Image: Second Nature Kitchens
Image: Taylor Furniture
This next lovely kitchen showcases Little Greene French Grey (on the units behind) and Dark Lead (on the island). LG French Grey is a beautifully soft, timeless shade which works well with a host of other colours. Looks a little on the cool side for our kitchen, though.
Image: Relics of Witney
Farrow and Ball’s Bone is meant to work well in north facing rooms. It has a warm greenish undertone and goes well with a warm white such as F&B Wimbourne White or White Tie.
Image: Taylor Furniture
Staying with the grey theme, and how beautiful is this new shade from Farrow & Ball? A slightly darker version of Shaded White, Drop Cloth is at its strongest in east facing rooms in the morning, however becomes more muted as the day progresses. I’m thinking this may be good in our kitchen as it’s bright enough for it. I love this colour!
This next kitchen showcases the ‘tuxedo’ effect, whereby two shades of paint are used on the units. Here, Purbeck Stone has been used on the background units, a beautifully soft grey, with the darker Mole’s Breath on the island. I think this is a delightful kitchen scheme; worth a sample pot at any rate and I can see this colour combo really set off by brass door knobs.
Image: Sustainable Kitchens
Finally, a colour which we used very successfully on wood panelling in the hallway of our old house – Hardwick White by Farrow & Ball. When used in a bright, sunny room, it comes up almost taupe brown, however in an east or north facing room it can have a definite blueness to it, as seen in the shot below. I think it’s a lovely shade of grey, especially when teamed with crisp white walls as seen here, and I did really like it in our old house. A definite contender.
So, any favourites? I think I need to get myself some sample pots… looking forward to reporting back on my final choice! Stay tuned…
Liked this post? Then you might also enjoy reading…