Today I’m back with another reader design dilemma.
Charity wrote in, “I am on a tight budget because this is not our dream home but it works with 5 kids for now home……Everytime I come up with a plan for my kitchen it seems something comes up that I question. I would love any advice and help you could offer.”
An In Progress Look
Charity likes that cottage-farmhouse style look, and has already begun making changes that better suit the aesthetic she’s hoping to acheive – enter shiplap walls and a butcher block countertop on the island.
With so many other decisions on her radar:
Paint the cabinets?
Paint the bottom cabinets a different color than the top?
Paint the island a different color?
Bring in butcher block to match island?
Or go with a different countertop everywhere else than the island?
She’s found herself wrestling with indecision and decided to reach out for some design advice.
Pinterest can be a great resource when you’re looking for renovation ideas, but it can also be really overwhelming. I think we all tend to suffer from “too many choices” syndrome sometimes. 😉 When you’re searching for inspiration images, I think it’s a good idea to pin ideas and spaces that are not only inspirational but achievable.
Both of these farmhouse kitchens are full of lovely inspiring ideas that could absolutely be put to work in Charity’s kitchen without breaking the bank.
Converting Inspiration into Action
1. All White Everything
With no windows in the working part of Charity’s kitchen, I’d paint all the cabinets white – bottoms and lowers. Painting the lowers a different color than the tops is something I think works well in kitchens that are really open and full of light. In this case I think painting the cabinets different colors will chop the space up, whereas going with all white will make the space feel grander in size. This one cost-effective change will immediately brighten the entire kitchen and really drive home that cottage-farmhouse feel she likes.
2. Even The Walls – Paint or Shiplap to Ceiling
I’d also recommend painting the walls white as well. Here’s why. These two doors compete against a blue backdrop.
With white walls, the white door will fall away and blend in allowing the black pantry door to be a standout. She may even want to consider extending the shiplap all the way around the entire space up to the ceiling.
3. Swap the Chandelier & Bring in a Larger Lantern
Another super simple change….. moving the chandelier currently over the island into the dining area. Remove the cord cover, spray paint it matte black and then hang it over the table. It will give that area more presence. Bringing in a large black lantern style pendant over the island will tie the two spaces together nicely.
4. White Countertops
For countertops rather than replacing them all with butcher block, which can be a little high maintenance. I’d go with white counters as seen in one of the inspiration images up above. There are a number of countertop materials that are really affordable, and there are even countertop paints on the market now that work really well. White countertops will allow the butcher block on the island to really shine. And while this may seem like a lot of white, there are still lots of different textures happening in here and plenty of warm wood with the floors and butcher block on the island.
Here’s a kitchen mood board I put together for Charity.
Black cabinet hardware will tie all the black accents together nicely. Bringing in a natural fiber rug for under the dining table will add some nice texture to that side of the room. Replacing the valance with sand colored linen panels (hung high and wide so as not to block any light) will make the space feel much larger. The sand colored panels will also pull in the color on the coffee bar.
These are all budget friendly ideas that will not only give this kitchen that farmhouse feel Charity likes, but will also update the kitchen in a way that will be attractive to potential buyers whenever they do decide to sell. In a kitchen I find that paint, moulding (especially when you’re willing to DIY), lighting and hardware go a really long in updating without breaking the bank.
So what say you? What ideas or recommendations do you have for Charity’s kitchen makeover?
Want to submit your own Design Dilemma?
Send an email with “design dilemma” in the subject line to Carmel@ourfifthhouse.com. I’d love to help you brainstorm ideas!