Bold Color Transforms Kitchen into Bright, Warm Space

I posted about the bold paint choices we made for our kitchen, and I finally have some photos to show…

Here’s what the kitchen looked like before we began:
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That’s Son in the last shot.  Always happy!

I already had this print hanging in the kitchen in my old house.  That kitchen was painted the same yellow that most of the rest of that house, which is the same color we used to paint over the paneling in Son’s playroom.  It is one of my inspirations for the new kitchen, and this time I wanted to go bolder/  This print isn’t short on bold colors!

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Then I found some inexpensive wood bowls (vases?) in Homegoods, and I knew I had my kitchen color – Volcanic Blast by Behr.  Well, at least one of them…

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Too bright for the entire kitchen, I decided on green to ground the orange.  I picked the green in 5 seconds on the first green color page on Behr’s color wheel.  It’s Herbal Garden…

Here is the kitchen today…

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See the table and chairs I got for a net $125 on Craigslist?  I’ll post about that coup and why it’s a “net $125” later this week…  And after seeing this photo that red bag is no longer hanging from that drawer pull.  🙂

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Those plants were free, and the pots were 99 cents at Ikea.  I was going to paint some regular clay pots using the paint from the walls, but I like the white – and they have cool textures you can’t see in the photo.  And that’s an apple I was cutting up for Son.  Whoops…

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The original plan was to paint the inside of the bar area the orange-red, but I changed my mind.  I’m so glad – I just love the way the green looks with the off-white cabinets and the black granite!

This entire room makeover cost under $200, and that includes the table and 6 chairs, the paint and a few accessories.  That’s bang for my buck!

Now I have to decide what color to paint the family room – which you can see through the bar in the above photo.  A few people have suggested leaving it white, but I’m not sure.  I was thinking of also doing that room a lighter green, or perhaps the dreaded taupe.

What do you think?


Bold Choices

It’s been almost three weeks since my last post.  Yada, yada, yada.  The following is a mish-mosh that could have been three different posts, but whatever.

It was a helluva move.  In the rain.  With waaaay too much crap.


I’ve already decided  that next time (and remember, next time could be in as little as 2 years!) I’m going to get rid of all my crap and only move my grandmother’s antique bedroom furniture and 2 other boxes per person.

Okay, not really.  But I’m going to get rid of a LOT of crap.  Promise.

So, the move itself was awful, but with the help of wonderful friends and family we got it done.  And we’re here.  Yay!!!!!

Now there’s the unpacking and arranging and more painting and picture hanging.

And there’s been new furniture buying (leather couch, chair and ottoman) and new grill buying (our old one was disintegrating) and various and sundry other large expenditures (service contract for the renters of our old place, insurance policy on the old place).  I don’t like large expenditures.  They make me itchy.

And there’s paint color to choose.

And choose we have.  The house was painted in varying colors of white and eggshell, with a little brown paneling for contrast.  We’ve made some very bold color choices – ones that may give my father (who really went out on a limb when he painted his new condo a very, very, very light tan) a coronary.  I’ve already told him about the bright green in Son’s room   (his response:  “Why?”).  The playroom is a buttery yellow – not that bold a choice, especially considering that 80%  of our last home  was painted the  exact same shade.

The guest room is a dusty green – bold only in that I bought 2 cans of different color oops paint (paint mistakes, sold at Home Depot for $5 a gallon) and gambled that they’d look okay combined.

The master bedroom is a goldish-camelish color, chosen in 5 seconds when I opened the color wheel at Home Depot.  Scary, that.  I was worried when I saw it in the can, but looooove it on the walls.

All of those will likely give my poor father angina.  But what’s really going to get him is the kitchen.

We’ve gone for a very orange-red Behr’s Volcanic Blast over the cabinets and on one small wall, and the very mossy-green Behr’s Herbal Garden on the adjoining walls.


The orange-red is more orange than I hoped – likely partially because of the underlying semi-gloss paint.  Man, is it orange!  I’ve been worried, even considering getting it toned down a bit.

But no.  It looks terrific next to the green.  It’s bright and happy and bold.  All great ingredients for a kitchen.

Bold choices – moving, renting out our home, buying new furniture in a down economy, painting very saturated colors.

Scary choices.

Good choices.

Still, best have a chair ready when dad sees it.

Yes, Virginia, you can paint over paneling!

We have been hard at work at the new house, making changes so that the  house will work for us.

One of the things I wanted to do was turn the library into a playroom for Son.   This is what we started with:


The darkest room in the house.  Seventies dark wood paneling.  Dark wood shelving.  Did I mention that it was dark?  Still, I knew all those shelves would be terrific in a playroom,  and since it’s on one side of the family room and the kitchen is on the other, I knew it would be a great place for Dan to play uninhibitedly while I could still keep an eye on him.  And, I could close the door so I don’t have to see the clutter.  A win-win!

It wasn’t easy.  To save time and energy, Husband first caulked all of the paneling seams.  Then he began to primer.  It took  2 coats (3 gallons) of one of the best primers, and the oil from years of  polishing paneling was still seeping through in areas.

Big fans of Behr’s paint, we decided to try their new Premium Plus Ultra paint which is primer and paint in one.  It’s more expensive than the standard Behr’s, but it was so worth it for this project.   It only took one coat, and it dries really quickly.  I doubt we could have used just one coat if we hadn’t primered first, but I’m positive it saved us at least one coat of paint.  And it only took a half gallon to paint the entire room – the same room that sucked up a gallon and a half for each coat of primer!

Once the shelves were painted it was easy to see gaps between the shelving and the paneling – something you didn’t notice when they were dark brown.  Husband used L-brackets to lessen the large gaps, then took out his handy caulk gun and filled in all of the gaps.  What a difference!

Here is what we ended up with:



I am so very thrilled with the results!  It’s just as I pictured it!

And, um, perhaps Husband will get me a wide angle lens for Mother’s Day…

Deal of the Day October 15, 2008

Do you know that you can save $60 a year on your electricity if you replace the 4 most used lights in your home with CFL bulbs?  That’s what Ace Hardware is saying, and they’re offering a $5 off $25 purchase coupon to help you do it.   Expires October 21.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Easy and Frugal Halloween Costume and Makeup Ideas

Halloween doesn’t have to be a budget breaker. There are plenty of costumes that can be put together for very little money, and often no money at all!

Real Simple Magazine had some terrific ideas for inexpensive and easy costume ideas. I’ve plagiarized them here, and added some of my own.

  • A green clown wig + a schoolgirl outfit = Broccoli Spears
  • The letter “e” on a piece of paper taped to your chest (but only if a boy) = e-mail
  • A plastic laundry basket with holes cut out for legs + white balloons + a shower cap = Bathing Beauty
  • A white dress + a pipe-cleaner halo + leaves in her hair and “dirt” on her face = Fallen Angel
  • Black clothes + yellow electrical tape down his torso + toy cars + Velcro = Highway
  • A pig nose + a blanket = Pig in a Blanket
  • A white sheet with two holes cut out for eyes = Ghost
  • A blue T-shirt + cotton balls + tape + a water gun = Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Rain
  • A polo shirt + khakis (or madras shorts) + a name tag = Jay Crew
  • A clear umbrella (preferably dome- shaped) + party streamers or metallic ribbons = Jellyfish
  • Two large circles cut out of cardboard with brown dots drawn over them, then connected with string or ribbon near the top to make it like a sandwich board= Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • A hockey shirt , sweatpants and a doll + wearing bright lipstick on her face = Hockey Mom/Sarah Palin
  • ~B00~

    Want to add some pizazz? Here are directions for making face paint and blood:

    How to Make Your Own Face Paint

    Materials Needed:
    • 1 tsp. Cornstarch
    • 1/2 tsp. Cold cream
    • 1/2 tsp. Cold water
    • Food coloring


    Mix the ingredients together and paint away! This will wash off with cold cream.

    Non-Toxic Fake Blood:

    Materials Needed:

    • 1 c (250mL) peanut butter
    • 1 qt. (1 L) corn syrup
    • 1/2 cup (125mL) soap
    • 1 oz (30mL) red color
    • 15 drops blue food coloring
    1. Mix creamy peanut butter with a sufficient amount of white corn syrup to make a runny mixture.
    2. Add (non-sudsy) soap and food colors and mix well.
    3. Stir more corn syrup in until the desired consistency is reached.
    4. Refrigerate unused blood in an airtight container.
    Inexpensive white corn syrup is said to be thicker and more suitable for the fake blood than its costlier relatives.
    Note: Fake blood can stain, so be careful. Last year my nephew got store-bought fake blood on his parents’ white carpet. They now have wood floors. I think this recipe is less likely to stain, but drip at your own risk…
    Please remember to be safe!  Use reflective tape if you’re going out at night, make eyeholes large enough to see well, and always have a buddy.
    Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

    Deal of the Day May 3, 2008

    Home Depot has a rare $5 off online purchases of $50 or more. Apply code SPRING21 at checkout. Although not a huge savings, every little bit counts. Not valid on gift card sales. Expires 05/11/2008.

    Subscribe to my RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

    Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

    Deal of the Day April 5, 2008

    It’s paint rebate time again at Home Depot!

    Via mail-in rebate you can receive $5 back on all gallon, and $20 back on all 5 gallon BEHR products (ends 04/09/2008). Other rebates that ease stress on the wallet when doing home improvements include a $50 rebate on the Wagner Paint Crew Plus or Wagner XTRA Paint Crew (ends 04/30/2008), and a $10 rebate on the Wagner XTRA Pro Sprayer or Wagner XTRA Home Sprayer (ends 07/09/2008).

    Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

    Subscribe to my RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

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