I’m sure a lot of us go through favorite color phases. Right now, Grace is loving olive green, and I can’t disagree — it’s a rich, warm, earthy color that’s perfect for fall. Even though we’re interested in dark tones right now, I can still appreciate a pale palette, like in Kristine’s kitchen makeover. I love the icy mint green, especially paired with a blanket of beautiful, snowy white, and the new lighter colors are doing wonders for the gray countertop, which looked somewhat muddled in the “before” space. This new kitchen is bright, cheery and so well composed — a must if you’re switching to open shelving, but not always easy to achieve. — Kate
Basic Steps: Without a doubt, the large windows and open floorplan were the big sellers in this kitchen to begin with, so we really wanted to maximize the light, especially since it is often cloudy or drizzling where we live. We decided to remove the doors from the main stretch of upper cabinets to show off our bright and cheery dishes, and that gave the inspiration for the rest of the space.
We switched the existing backsplash, which called out the pinker tones of the granite, with white subway tile and painted the cupboards, walls and window frames white, which both brightened the space and provided a needed neutral backdrop, allowing our little pops of color to really sing. To pull it all together, we had an electrician add three jadeite pendant lights over the bar.
Our advice: If you are going to remove cabinet doors or add glass doors, keep in mind that you may have to replace shelves if they aren’t made of the same wood as the cabinets. And while I am a big fan of DIY painting, hiring professionals to do cabinets will save a lot of time and heartache if you can afford it. Once wood has been painted, it can be difficult to fix if something goes wrong. Cabinet pulls are a simple way to update the look of a kitchen, and using a template is a good way to ensure they go on straight. They are easy to find online, and usually cost $5 to $10. We used these, and with the exception of a drawer face that had been attached crooked, they worked like a charm. — Kristine
Paint: Parker Paint “Swiss Coffee” in Latex Millwork (woodwork and cabinets), Parker Paint “Swiss Coffee” in Satin Glow (walls)
Lighting: Ivanhoe Aero Shallow Bowl porcelain pendant in Jadite “12″ from barnlightelectric.com, $149 each
Drawer Pulls: GlideRite 6-inch solid Stainless Steel Finished Cabinet Bar Pulls from Overstock.com, $46.99 for a case of 25
Backsplash: 3″ x 6″ white subway tile, available at Home Depot for around $1 each
Barstools: Glenn Bar Stool from Ikea, $69.99 each
Tea Towel: Latticework Tea Towel from Avril Loreti