It's Input, It's Input Time
Monday Open Caption, Non-Kitchen Edition For the Love of God FINALLY

Input Time, Expanded & Annotated

Never let it be said that the Internet doesn't take a request for advice seriously. Serious Internet iz serious! Serious Internet iz in ur kitchen, comparing ur paint chipz!

In fact, since you guys took the assignment so seriously, I must apologize for setting y'all up for COLOR FAIL with just that little picture of a little corner. I think the lack of full room perspective is why red ended up being such a popular suggestion.

Let's...back up from that angle a little bit.


See, I just can't get behind the idea of painting THAT MUCH wall red. Or any of it red, honestly, what with that wide expanse of reddish floor. As someone mentioned yesterday, I think it might feel like we "slaughtered a steer in a bordello."

We actually painted part of our bedroom dark red in our old DC condo -- way back in 2001, like a couple of paint-trend VISIONARIES -- and at first we loved it. How bold! How deep and lovely and different! And then six months later...hmm. Yeah. It looks kinda like a whorehouse up in here. Also, small. Very, very small.

We moved our bedroom to the (yellow!) upstairs loft and eventually had to paint over the red to create Noah's nursery. And people? I wanted to fucking. Kill. My. Self. And I was the pregnant one who was only BARELY KIND OF HELPING. Jason and his dad did most of the priming and the priming and the painting and oh, dammit, more priming and painting, and I think its pretty safe to say that Jason will never, ever let me paint anything red ever again.

(Next up on the recession-makeover-by-paint-alone list: the adjacent dining room, which is halfway red. Deep, dark red up to a white chair rail, another freaking shade of goddamn beige up to the ceiling. This WOULD work, except that the room has 1) no windows and 2) an unusually low ceiling. Thus, the red gives you the sensation that bottom half of the room is slowly closing in on you and about to eat your legs off.)

(After that, it's time for our bedroom. Holy paint nuggets, but you people are in for some hella boring entries.)

So...I'm sorry. I am. But no red. NO RED. Let's take a look at another angle.


These people LOVED their recessed blackhead-zit-lighting, obviously.

We've been wanting to paint the house ever since we moved in, really, but just...haven't. Our condo buyers* demanded an incredibly tight closing date (which they would subsequently forget to ask for the day off from work for, which was awesome of them) so we only barely got our crap from one place into the other in time. So there was no time to paint while the place was nice and empty, though you can see from the shoe rack that's leaning in a corner instead of being attached to the wall that we TOTALLY INTENDED TO PAINT. I mean, don't MOUNT the shoe rack; we'll just have to take it down when we paint! Which we're totally going to do soon! Along with window coverings! And stuff on the wall! AS SOON AS WE PAINT.

That shoe rack has been sitting there for...what? Two-and-a-half years now? Thank God we didn't waste any energy on THAT, then.

*We also had to accept a below-list offer because they wanted to paint over all the bold, gorgeous colors (terra cotta and yellow and green and faux-crumbling-brick murals climbing up the loft) we'd chosen. We've since seen through the windows that they painted the entire place...white.

That table is going to be replaced, as we NEVER USE IT (obviously, if you can see that we use it for sprouting seedlings for the vegetable garden), with one of those counter-height workstation things, with storage and stools and maybe some butcher block. This kitchen, blah as it might be aesthetically, at least DOES get put to good, extensive use. And since I'm prone to taking up all the counter space while cooking seventeen different batches of baby food and preschooler snacks with a side of Mama Brownies, I've been eyeballing that useless half of the room for awhile now. Usually while drooling. And eating.


Yes, the dishwasher is actually stainless. know, the fake stainless. The horrible GE dishwasher that was here when we moved in was recalled, and we used the provided rebate to replace it with a possibly MORE horrible GE dishwasher. Scratch that. This is definitely a more horrible dishwasher. Terrible. (It's basically the cheapest GE Profile model you can buy. WE RUE THE DAY.) Its days are numbered and I believe we're going to go back to white, since if we DO fall ass-backwards into some free money, it'll go towards the horrible counter and cabinets. The range and microwave are perfectly fine, and we were able to get the not-great-but-serviceable refrigerator repaired and save ourselves a couple grand. That we've already spent on Noah's OT summer camp. GOD.

Hmm. I am looking at that grey bin/basket we use for paper recyling there and thinking. THINKING OF THINGS. PAINT IDEA THINGS.


That bit up by the WTF is not a trick of the camera -- the wall is weirdly uneven there, thus complicating any ideas of using different colors on the two halves of the room. I think that one wall by the little table would make a nice accent -- I bought rows of little photo/artwork display things at Ikea awhile ago with this wall in mind, but of course never hung them up because WE ARE GOING TO PAINT.

(We did not have Guns n' Roses over. We did not actually have any guests over.)

So...we've been basically going back and forth about this room for ages. We absolutely cannot afford to *do* anything major to it right now. But I'm sick to death of not doing *anything.* I think that's why I finally seized upon the FUCK IT, WE'RE PAINTING IT WHITE AND THAT'S THE END OF IT thing.

(Well, that, and AB Chao's kitchen. I know y'all came down HARD on the all-white kitchen, but dude. Duuuuude. Hers is insanely gorgeous, though clearly not something we could replicate in a boring 70s suburban townhouse kitchen. But still. Waaaaannnnnt, duuuuuuuuuuuude.) Etc.

(Oh! And for the tough-to-clean paint complaints, I cannot believe that I, knower of exactly nothing, know a possible solution to that. My mother-in-law was a professional decorative painter [she did our old condo, but I have been unable to spark her interest in doing ANYTHING at the new house except for the boys' rooms] and after she would do any type of faux finish or mural, she'd slap a thin coat of polyurethane over it. Seals and protects completely so you can wipe ANYTHING off with a wet rag. HIGHLY recommended for any special painted details you might put around your baby boy's changing table. Just saying. From experience.)

Now that you have some added perspective on the space, what do you think? Warm grey? Avocado or olive or grass green? (Not big on sage, since our one bathroom is sage and our LAST bathroom was sage, so basically: sage makes me think I have to pee.) Tiffany or robin's egg blue? Canteloupe? Yellow but like, a different yellow? WHITE? Pink with little red hearts stenciled all over the place? Hunter green plaid and a ton of duck decoys?

(Oh, and the boring door pulls are as good as gone. As soon as I find something that I like. And, you know, ASSOONASWEPAINT.)


Sarah @

I think some shade of green might be the way to go. It will make the white pop out and the black zit lights maybe won't be as noticeable. Since colors are so vastly different in reality than in photographs, I don't really know which shade of green, but I'd probably go with some green of some sort.

That said, something my husband and I are constantly putting into effect is the two-tone color scheme. We use a darker shade of the color on one wall and a lighter, complimentary color on the other three (or however many walls there are). It's not a look that works for everybody, but it adds a little variety to our world. Since our rooms are huge boxes, the two colors help us spice things up a bit. Plus its a nice compromise between what he likes (white, beige, dull) and what I like (bold, bright, colorful).

I would say another alternative is a light blue. But light blues can sooooo easily look like purples in different lighting that I think you really have to be careful with that.

Patti B.

I have beige paint, (but just ONE shade of beige - a soft camel - its a little deeper vs. yellow) and the same-ish countertops and same-ish cabinets (in that they are white)...I changed all my knobs to a brushed stainless, and accented everywhere with PLUM. valances...rugs...towels...vase, etc. it is beauteous. love! PS - your floor is not the same-ish as mine, it rocks :)

Sarah @

Also, I'm with Jodifur. The Kitchen Aide dishwashers are AMAZING. We had one when we moved in, but it turned out the previous owners had basically sabotaged it so it only worked for a month. Then the home warranty thing exchanged it for a GE. It's the top line GE dishwasher, but it's SO NOT THE SAME. GAH!


i paint a lot and people say they like the colors i paint, so i'd like to think of myself as a bit of an expert (wink...snort).

i think with your white cabinets and dark floor, 2 colors stick out to me. they're entirely different from each other, so bear with me. grassy greeny shade or a purpley grey color (see pistachio lime beans color and skyline) ps. this website has great painting / choosing advice!


Olive green!

Miss W

I like green in kitchens, but would go very muted. Either an olive or avocado (I'm planning to paint mine somewhere between an olive and sage as all my small appliances -- mixer, blender, toaster, etc. are bright red).

I would avoid Tiffany blue in a room of that size. At least, a true Tiffany. I took a box in and had it matched for our guest room and it's....vivid. I like it, but only because the bedding (white mattelaise coverlet, deep brown sheets) and furniture (deep chocolate stained wood) bring it down a bit. Not so easy with the kitchen and the shock between white cabinets and Tiffany blue would be pretty jarring.


since black white and grey are so neutral, you can get away with any color. it just depends simply on taste, but since you are having a hard time deciding what you like. i suggest a lovely robins egg blue. would go perfect with your floors. i would use the same color throughout, as breaking it up usually isn't a good idea. you want the room to flow well. good luck, you have to be willing to take a little risk to find what you like, don't go with what is safe.

Cecily T

Yeah, now that I see how much reddish floor, red is out. I'd still go with green. I think a blue *could* work, but competing with the floor is tough.

We also have the 'attack of the random beige color' in our house, inherited from the previous owners. They were apparently told they needed to paint some stuff in order to sell the house, so there are random (and I mean really odd choices) walls around the house with different paint techniques in various shades of beige. We even have two walls that are not matched to anything else in the's in the foyer. Ugh. We are on the paint warpath too; just as soon as the basement gets finished, since it's coming up on three years that we are working on it.


totally do a tiffany blue. i think it'll look sharp with the white cabs and complement the counters awesomely.


grass green. maybe i just like the word grass. I also like avocado. green it up


I'm sticking with aqua. Like the tea kettle in the white kitchen you covet.

Grass green would be good too, I guess, but I'm not a fan of red and green so I think aqua is good.

bethany actually

What if you just went for a cream color? Not as stark as white, it'd warm things up. Boring, yes, but, whatever. :-)


I like the robin's egg blue idea, but my bedroom is that color so I'm probably biased. I do think it would look nice with the white cabinets, reddish floors and also the neutral counters though.


Try Palladian Blue from Benjamin Moore. Beautiful color.


If you had Guns and Roses over, I might build a shrine to you.


OK, so, my comment might not be seen waaaaaay down here, at, like, number 2,364, but what EXACTLY do you hate about the recessed lighting? Because you do have some options. You can replace the black baffle (the domed part around the lamp) with another color: white, bronze, aluminum, anything you like! You can even replace the trim with another color, or paint it. The baffles are pretty cheap, though, and white (or even stainless steel) might update the look a bit.


My first impulse was Tiffany blue or warm gray, but what about a creamy peach color. Look at this dining room makeover.


I vote a khaki brown or variation thereof.


pale blue or sage green. and that uneven space on the wall under the WTF would be perfect for a mural! i'd do it for you if i could paint murals. but i can't.


Hmmm, initially I would have said red as well but now that I see more pictures, I agree with you. That would just be too much. Please don't paint it white though. The color that kept going through my mind when looking at these new pictures is a green...something with a little bit of grey in it so that it's not too bright, like grass but more muted. Actually, the color green on your website (at least as it appears on my monitor) would look fabulous!


Robin's Egg blue? Has enough yellow in it to go with the floor but will match with the white cabinets and grey countertops, plus will be soothing and pleasant for meal time =)

is there enough space for a cushy love seat?


You should definitely submit a (shortened!) version of this to Apartment Therapy. You will get many suggestion from designer types. I think that looks like a ton of space for one color -- I like white or light gray, with big artwork on a wall or two for color. Blackboard paint is a great idea too.


I just had my entire living/dining room area painted "swampwater" which is a green that is midway between avocado & green apple - it seemed like it may be obnoxious before it was on the walls (our painter was very concerned), BUT it's beautiful. Email me and I'll send photos...


I don't have a suggestion for you..but I do have a question. I love your toddler table and chairs, where did you get them?

LD's Mom

Ashley's green is great (


I'm still feeling a blue or green like in the picture on your wall. Something beachy for sure. I think with the white cabinets it would give your kitchen a nice fresh and airy feel.


I think that a grey or a green would definitely work with your cabinets and counters (and floors). We just painted our kitchen/dining area SW hearts of palm and love it.


Definitely avocado... Not a bright green, more deep, just not so strong and bold... I dont think that made any sense

Brigid Keely

It might be a little too trendy or dated-in-five-years but I really really like the "chocolate brown with other color" color scheme that's going on right now. Brown and powder blue, brown and rich orange, brown and pale pink, brown and ivory, brown and olive. Chocolate brown is a nice, rich, neutral with depth and pop. Which makes it sound like a non neutral, but you know.

This website might have some color combos to inspire you: We're gut rehabbing the basement apartment of a building my husband's family owns and I've been looking there for ideas.

De in D.C.

I'm thinking a light smokey grey. Similar to the blue that Tutugirl linked to on flickr, but with more grey tones to it to better match the counters.

Benjamin Moore has a line of Historical colors that tend to have more of that grey base and I absolutely adore them - so rich and saturated. I think the Woodlawn Blue would work really well.


I still like a clear lemony yellow, or a pale apple green, both are bright and cheery and would offset the walls.

Or maybe sage. LOL


I meant offset the floors. I'm such a dumbass by Friday when I've been sick all week and am just hanging on to life until 5:30.


My love for the color green knows no bounds and I have been told by my boyfriend we are no longer allowed to use the color green to decorate with.

I think a nice olive green would be so amazing.....also...the color green you use on your website would also be amazing....

just my two cents.


Wow, I can now see that red was NOT a good suggestion. Your kitchen is quite large with TONS of wall space and gorgeous large windows. I'm jealous!
I cannot get behind the support for gray. Just, well...because it's gray! My vote is for green. Greens are very tough to nail down as far as the right SHADE of green. My hunt a few years ago resulted in the color Dill from the Eddie Bauer Home paint selection at Lowes. Not sage, not apple, not mint...just a really great spring green. Check out where you can choose a room and virtually paint it any color you wish.


I'm still thinking lime green. Or maybe apple green. Not on the ceiling though, I think the ceiling should be white.


Long time lurker here -- who knew your kitchen would get me to comment! I think rather than the grey-blue, a nice crisp robin egg blue would be nice (or a blue in that family). Doesn't have to be as bright as a Tiffany's box, but I think it would look really nice with your appliances and floors.


I still vote for blue - tiffany or robins egg I'll leave to you


Try this website:

...because it has this gizmo:

...that lets you see different colors together. My vote is for grey, white ceiling, white accent wall with lots of preshus weshus kid artwork all over it.


Apple green might look cute and cheery.

Heather B.

Dude, you have to get your MIL to pain again. Remember the faux brick? And Max? That was awesome.

That is all the input I have. You're welcome.


a light, fresh blue or a nice gray. I think either would set off the floors quite nicely and make those white cabinets you hate pop off the walls.


I'm going to vote for a warm grey color.


I was on the red wagon, but I see your point. Benjamin Moore makes these little sample paints in a bunch of its popular colors. Buy like six of those in six color ranges you're contemplating and slap some on the wall. Ponder for a few days in different lights, etc. At least you'll feel like you've done something. As for cleaning - just get a glossier finish (something more glossy than eggshell) - stuff will wipe right off.


I'm with you -- red sucks. My husband called somebody's dining room 'menstrual red' and now that's all I can think of when someone paints their walls red. Ugh.

I like the grey suggestion. My kitchen is a darkish grey-blue and I love it. You could do an accent wall-type thing with the backsplash area on the wall behind the range -- maybe everything grey and apple green there?

The other thing that worked for us is using a preplanned palette by Behr on our whole downstairs. We have a pretty open floor plan (it looks like you do not, so much) and using the related colors really ties the whole downstairs together, even though each of the rooms is a different color. We used that greyish blue, a yellow khaki color and a brownish green trim everywhere to tie it all together. I am not a fan of the all-white trim trend -- painting the trim really adds another element without adding clutter.

So many opinions! I hope you can wade through all these comments and come up with something you love! Can't wait to see the decision!

Katie (The Yap)

I think light green (or greyish green would be nice). You say you aren't sage fan, but check out Silver Sage from restoration hardware. It is GORGEOUS in person (the paint chip doesn't do it justice) somehow is green and yet neutral all in one. My favorite color of all time. Works in every room!

I just painted my guest room in "Tranquil Pond" --FreshAire at Home Depot (VOC free). It is a beautiful sort of sea green/Tiffany blueish greenish sort of color. It is tranquil!

If you want a steely blue color check out Behr's Skyline Steel. Here it is in a guest room at my house (

Very pretty--though I'm not quite sure I can see it in a kitchen. So, that wasn't very helpful, but just thought I'd throw it out there!


I would say either avocado green (the goopey part, not the skin) or Tiffany's. As someone who just moved out of a slate grey apartment, I think the color is a bit depressing to be surrounded by. But I think a soft shade of green or a soft shade of blue-green would feel refreshing against the beautiful red hardwood floor.

Jessica {lovely jubbly london}

I think a gray-blue would be nice! If your other rooms are warm colors then you should try and pick something warm for this room too.


I don't think a cool neutral like gray would work with the warm color of the floors.

I can see a clear grass green or some sort of tan tying everything together.


You're *so* going to kill me now: I actually like the color that's on your walls. I have a thing for yellow kitchens, what with "capture the sunlight" and so on.

Aaaaanyway. If you do want to repaint: How about orange? Nobody has suggested that yet, and I think a nice orange would look great. Or an apple green. Some bold neon-ish color.


I can't advise on paint colors because I am horrible at that. But the one piece of assvice I must give is: Whatever color you choose, buy a little can and paint a small section of your kitchen and live with it for a week. Maybe even try out several colors. Do NOT skip this step. This advice comes from a woman who painted her kitchen twice in two weeks, because the first color turned out to be neon green.


Green, always green... it is so fresh, and can be paired with different colors at different times and seasons for a toally different look. We did green in our last kitchen. We could put yellow linen stuff in the spring and it felt like spring, red in the winter and it felt like christmas, orange in the fall, etc... it was fantastic! I miss it so much!


I liked the idea of green or blue with the cabinets and counter top, but once you throw in the very orange floor ... not so sure. This might be too close to beige for you, but we used Shermin William's Latte for the base color for the main floor of our new house, and it is awesome. Its a kind of a medium tan color. We used dark green as an accent wall in the dinning room/kitchen/living room (think open floor plan on a wall with lots of big windows looking out on yard and fields - we live in the country - it really did work well), and with a navy blue accent wall in the bedroom. Though our wood floors have the pink/orange tone, they're not as dark, and we have dark wood cabinets and trim, so it might not work as well against the white. One word of warning though, in liquid form Latte is exactly the same color as a chocolate Frosty (thogh it gets darker after it dries), after 2 days painting with that color I had to have me one. Whatever you do definetally get samples and paint a large square for testing. Those little chip/swatch samples are just not enough.


I finished my own kitchen remodel in April, so I can commiserate. It took me 4 tries to find the perfect color for my kitchen. It's called Glass by Devine Color. I am in LOVE with it. Not green, not blue not gray, but all 3. I think it would look great with white. I will email you the link to my kitchen pics on Facebook in case you want to check it out. Good luck!


1. Okay awesome reference to First Wive's Club. One of my all-time favorite movies.

2. I think a light blue of some sort, or light gray, or maybe olive green for the kitchen walls. Those would be my choices.

3. Love the annotated pics. :)


Call me crazy but I actually like the yellow. It doesn't seem as harsh in this light? I would actually try keeping this color, and instead spend your money on accessories. Look at this picture:

It has yellow/pumpkin colored walls and white cabinets. The accessories are blacks and dark browns. I think to achieve this look with your current walls, you could 1) paint your dining room table all white, except for the table top. Paint that a shade of natural wood that complements with the wall color. Or buy one of those country white tables with white chairs. 2) Replace the knobs on your cabinets with a darker color bronze that complements the black countertops and picture frames. New knobs can really make your cabinets look updated. 3) Buy a few dark brown vases and a dark brown fruit bowl to put on the table. Fill the bowl with orange colors and yellows and hints of green. 4) Hang up black picture frames, with photos that are yellowish/orange inside. 5) declutter your fridge door (maybe get one of those cool blackboard type things that Noah can draw on). Even if you change your wall color, it's ultimately all in the staging!


OMG, Amalah quoted my comment from the previous entry in the current feeling like famous internet commenter now.

*dies from shame of being so geeky*

Anyway, since you have red in your dining room, I would advise you to be quite careful, if you pick a green, to make sure it doesn't feel like Clash of the Clashing Room Colors as you walk through the rooms.

We just finished painting a kitchen in another house we own (long story, it makes me weep), and the dining room was a lovely maroon. So was the half bath in the kitchen. We wanted blue, because the countertops were very light blue and since we were refacing the cabinets we wanted to save money and not replace the counters.

What I did was, I went to the Benjamin Moore site, I think, and I futzed around with the room decorating tool. I found a layout that let me put one color (the red) on a wall, and plug in different colors in an adjacent wall, to see how they looked together.

I found that the maroon/cranberry color i had was very colonial, so I worked with blues in the colonial palette. The eventual color we picked, Dutch Tile Blue, looks, honestly, AWESOME in a kitchen with white cabinets! I think it would look lovely in yours. I think greens if you have an adjacent red room would look too Christmasy.

Seriously, Dutch Tile Blue (or even a lighter shade in that same palette). My father in law is a professional artist, and he said I did a great job choosing a color for the room. Even my mother in law, normally immune to such fripperies as room decor, said it was a lovely kitchen!

The Dutch Tile Blue is either Sherman-Williams or Benjamin Moore. I think it is Sherman Williams.


Oh crap, you're just going to go with one of those fancy greens or blues everyone here seems to be so keen on, well maybe you'll hear my little muffled shout, it's worth a shot! Somebody before me said latte - great choice, as its a warm and pleasant colour, plus you can play around with shades of it (even a daring chocolatey brown - but only to accenuate certain walls, or draw attention away from other walls!), to me greens and blues are more bathroom/hospital/nursery colors (yeah, what a combination...) and latte and chocolate are just mmmmmmmmmhhhhhhh kitchen-y! PLUS! You should never, ever listen to the masses MWAHAHAHAHAHA


light blue! definitely! gray would work too...but light blue!


I have a gorgeous pale celery color in my bathroom right now that looks great with the white trim. It's a nice clear green, not muddy, not sea-foamy, and not dark. That sort of shade would look great in such a large room. I'm also very fond of the elegant look of dove gray with eggshell trim. Either color combination would invite a multitude of accent colors if you get all ambitious with the seat covers or something -- eggplant, crimson, etc., would be very nice.

On the other hand, our first house when we moved in had pink walls in the kitchen with a repeating duck-and-heart motif stenciled around the ceiling and it really was quite smashing. Of course, as soon as you do that to your kitchen, you're going to get that itch to wallpaper your adjacent living room with a stiff, silver paper covered with pink cabbage roses as big as your head. And then the next thing you know, your hair will turn blue and you will instantly become crotchety and 85 years old. So there is that draw-back to consider before your go for pink with stencils...


I vote for green. Avocado-y, but maybe a bit brighter. Like the inner part of the 'cado maybe. It would look awesome with the reddish floors. Have fun!


i suggest a color called "tony taupe" (yee haw!) from Sherwin-Williams. My mother-in-law just painted her master bedroom this color and it's a great grey yet still neutral and stylish.

Here's a link to the color:

but perhaps more helpful, a link to the color actually painted on the walls:

the color is most true-to-life to the color on the far left side of the picture. It's a nice color.


Two colors we've had lots of success with are Sherwin Williams Navaho White and a very pale sage green that I can't recall the name of. Both look very crisp and clean with white trim and appliances.


Our bedroom has black furniture and white accents (doors, trim, etc) and we love our blue walls!

In Wikipedia- see "shades of blue"... we have something close to a Carolina blue or a Steel blue.


I was TOTALLY thinking a warm, taupe-y grey. I have pants that are the exact color, a snippet of which I could send you, from the hem or something, so that you can take it to that one paint place that will match anything.

Of course, there's always a chance that you will forget this missive and then wonder if someone has kidnapped an article of clothing and is now trying to send you proof of life.

Prairie Grass or Colonial Revival Stone from Sherwin Williams get my vote. For what it's worth. :o) Good luck!!


Certainly cannot accuse the internet of having no opinion, now can we?


I didn't read every comment so don't know if this has been suggested but have you thought of a wall mural for one wall and then some paint that would compliment that:


I am an in school for interior design so I'm not a "professional" (yet) but I would go with a cool green. Stay away from mint and also not too gray. I haven't read all your comments so I apologize if I'm repeating something you've heard a thousand times. I think the green will be soothing, it will add color but not be too bold, and really play off the red tones in your floor while also making your counter top less blah (no offense).

Jana (formery known as Jezer)

Ok, I haven't read the previous comments, and I'm not an expert or a professional, or anything like that, but I feel kind of convicted here, so hear me out, K?


I know! But really, hold on. Either steel, bluish gray, or a greenish warmer gray, but some kind of gray. I'm thinking a medium shade--not too light, not too dark.

My rationale: I once saw an episode with that Vila guy and he commented that gray walls make the texture and warmth of wood really stand out. He pointed this out in some historic museum or something and holy crap, he was right. Gray with stainless accessories and fixtures would also give off a modern, functional AND stylish, but not-trying-too-too-hard-at-it vibe.

And, I just happen to be on a gray kick lately and will soon be traumatizing my husband with a new gray guest bath. Because I'm a color maverick. Heh.

Jana (formery known as Jezer)

omg, I did go back and read the other comments, and it would seem that YAY! Gray!


I vote green! or a calm blue-gray. Or just getting ideas from ... I love, love their mood boards and paint chip suggestions for things like this.


Blue and white!


i like cantaloupe or grass green.

Mrs. Q.

Do we live in the same house? When bought our house, we loved the big kitchen and wide open floor plan. Only after we moved in did we really notice ACK the wood cabinets were white LAMINATE and the counter was faux green granite. We totally held off on major paint changes because, well, we'll change it, even it it's only 2 years old. Well. Two kids later and it's hard to blame others for this bad design since we've lived here NINE YEARS.

We had builder's cream on all the walls. You know, that basic cream. It's still on every wall of the kitchen because I can't decide either. So here's my take, since we've been through the same thought process:

- NO RED. It will look like lipstick, takes seven coats to cover and red is soooo 2006. And the color red stimulates the appetite, so you will be 350 lbs.

- All white, with white cabinets, appliances and trim-- while you hope will read as MODERN-- will read HARSH, bright and scary and impossible to keep clean with boys and pets.

- A lovely light green is meh-- you'll love it for a bit and then it will follow red into the land of too-old Pottery Barn catalogue ideas. As someone who moved into a house built by The People Who Loved GREEN, I now hate it. Trying to work with our green bathroom counter, we've done acid green (try putting on makeup in there!), a cool mint (Toothpaste!) and aqua (nursery!) You'll lose your mind trying to find the right shade. I did and still hate it.

- The light blues sound nice, but with white trim and sandy counters, you can easily step into Cape Cod Cottage Style! which holy hell, is all over. I live in Massachusetts.

- I like a very subtle dove grey, as many other readers have suggested. But your floors have reddish undertones and I think it will look off if it's too blue.

- You may want a neutral with some warmer undertones, so it doesn't clash with the floor-- think a light kakhi (spell?) or toffee or something. Like a milky latte. Yuuuum.

- If you want a jolt of color, paint one wall-- like the one near the dining table. Then frame a while bunch of great photos and kids' artwork in crisp white frames and hang all over that wall. We got great white frames at Ikea for cheap and it makes my kids' drawings look amazing. And did I mention it's cheap?

And when you get done, please post photos and paint numbers, as I may finally get around to painting my kitchen!


Just chiming in to say that if you had Guns 'n Roses over for a dinner party, Axl would totally be wearing that sparkly pink headband by the end of the night.

Also, I loved this post.


Blue! Pale blue, with that accent wall by the little desk a slightly darker shade. I am living vicariously through your painting and redecorating ideas because I am wanting so badly to do my own house, but there is SO MUCH TO DO.


The Ralph Lauren line of paints at Home Depot has several "whitewash" colors that are really very subtle, but really very nice.
I painted a customers living room and kitchen Tackroom White (which is a very light shade of gray), (semi-gloss so's you can clean it easily) and painted the trim gloss white.
The walls are so light that you need the offsetting trim to give them color.
Good luck.


That got to be the cleanest I've ever seen our kitchen...

Maxine Dangerous

I'll bet avocado would be pretty. :)

Damn it. Now I want guacamole.

She Likes Purple

I was just in Home Depot today buying paint samples and Behr had a little flip-through, sample-painted-rooms booklet-type thing (OFFICIAL NAME!) and there was a light blue (but a warm light blue not bright pastel light blue) with white cabinets with dark blue/indigo accents, and it was just amazing!


I didn't read all the above comments, but I do agree 100% with Supa.

Everybody here seems to like grey. You might like Lyndhurst castle sand, which is what our kitchen has on three walls. It is a warm grey/taupe with green undertones, but NOT green. It is warm, so it will go well with your floor. We have our kitchen partially done in this and the black accents look awesome with it. I say this because of your counter tops.

However, what I like for the looks of your kitchen is to do almost all of it in a wheat color and then do the far wall (over by the table and shoe rack) in a deep, deep plum color. Carry the color across the room on the WTF overhang, down the column behind and under your wine-rack cabinet. But keep the walls that are recessed with the doorways the wheat color. Keep all the other walls wheat color. And keep the ceilings white. It will reflect the light from the windows down into the room and keep the plum from making the room too dark.

My only concern with the plum color is the wood floors, but I think that the plum and wheat together might actually make the floors look more brown than they do now.


I love the combination of grey and green...and from your description of the countertops it would work.


I am either voting on the green tones..not minty, not sagey..more rosemary, fern, but not too bright, maybe even go the apple green route, if it was the right apple green...or grey is hot right now too, but it has to be the right gray, we have done gray and it can be cold with too much blue tone...there, you have my assvice on the topic, good luck and with those two cute boy childs of yours as accessories, you can hardly go wrong : )

Reluctant Housewife

I know, I know! PLAID!


I just painted my kitchen a beautiful, bright yellow--not too greeny, not too orangey. It looks great with the grey and stainless accents, and makes the white in the rest of the room pop. Be sure to post after pictures when you're through to let us all know what you decided!


well, I'm on furlough this week and just finished painting a friend's living room "restful" (sage green). I was going to say grey for your kitchen -- and will even offer to come paint it for you! (do you get my email with this post?)

Also -- if Noah likes chalk (not sure if that's an odd texture for him), you might consider painting one of the small walls with chalkboard paint. It now comes in a tintable variety, so you don't need to have it black, or green, necessarily.

My other suggestion is to consider what your favorite color is - since you spend so much time in there, you should use a color that makes you happy. But not have to pee.
(and sorry if my comments are dupes of previous posters; with 181 responses to date, I gave up trying to follow them all.)


Bah, now I want to paint my kitchen. But, I hate to paint. After all this talk of color (yes, I have a beige kitchen which was white when we bought it) I want COLOR! Good luck.

Nice to know you had to clean up the kitchen before you took these pics. Same applies around my house.


Ok. I red.

I vote for Avocado or Cantaloupe.

You could totally do an accent wall on the wall with the little table.

Again, good luck!

BTW~ I think your yellow looks fine, yesterday I thought it was washed out, but when I see the whole (BEAUTIFUL!!) kitchen (I AM SO JEALOUS!!) I think it is warm and very nice.


I like the gray suggestions as a color mix with that floor and counter, but not sure about gray in a kitchen - somehow it sounds appetite-suppressing. (Hey, wait a minute...) I'm thinking pull a neutral greige/cream/something neutral that isn't gray or black from the countertop, cover the yellow, live with that for a month, put various things against it, throw towels on the countertop and stand back, and then pick your spots of contrast color(s). It may be that all the contrast you really need can be provided by curtains or art - that really is a bold floor there. I envy it. And definitely go for the new cabinet hardware - it really does make a difference, and it's a cheap fix. It let me live with my previous ugly-ass kitchen for at least 5 years before the dying appliances pushed me into a full remodel.


Grey... definitely, grey! P.S. thank you for pointing out the clutter that you kept moving so that it didn't get in the photos... I kept thinking, "Goddamn her house is sooooo clean! Either, I am like the worst housewife ever or Amy = robot (maybe Rosie from the Jetsons)."


I'm not a fan of gray. I actually think white with an accent color on one wall. (The room doesn't need to be all one color.) But my real advice is to ask around and find an interior designer/color consultant to help you. Seems extravagant, but it is expensive to buy paint samples as well, not to mention all of the time it takes. Even if the consultant charges $200/hour, you should be able to come up with a decision in 30 minutes. (We did 4 rooms + stairwell in 2 hours. And she made GREAT recommendations. I'm talking marriage-saving recommendations.) I'm in CA otherwise I'd recommend mine...


I vote gray or green. A light gray, or a grass green.

We did our daughter's nursery in light gray (SW Samovar Silver...I think), with white furniture, here's a crappy pic: I'm now a big fan of gray.

But I do like the idea of bright color on the walls, to offset the white appliances/cabinets (I'm w/ you too, LOVE all-white kitchens, as impractical as they are) I'm torn.

Helpful, I know. :-)


Actually our house is quite similar on coloring and we went for a milky white, white seemed to stark and cold, but the milky white seemed to add warmth without overpowering our wood floors and made adding stuff, like pictures and paintings really easy. We also have light green tile splashback behind the sink and stove..but you can add any color via some of your own photos or pictures.


I'm still on board with the blue. Normally I'd say a lovely deep, grayish blue (something that feels like it has some depth to it), but now that you mention it, I dearly love robin's egg blue. That and some white accents, and you have a gorgeous French toile kind of feeling (which I initially typed as French toilet, probably a look you don't want).


I said before, I'll say it again: Benjamin Moore Shenandoah Taupe aka Ashley (Windsor?) Gray. DO IT NOW.



erin rae

I am voting for a pale blue. Look at this:

Sherwin Williams Glimmer or Tidewater

They have white trim, you have white cabinets/appliances. They have reddish brown cabinets, you have reddish brown floors. Done.

It'll look great with your barstools as well. Crisp and clean.

Tina C.

i vote for orange. lots of orange and not the autumn type orange colors. more like peach, tangerine, apricot kinds of shades. also purple, like the color of a fig when ripe. that would be good for curtains and dishtowels. like these colors:

kelley d

chair rail with bead board painted white {gloss for ease of cleaning I believe} below it with a nice light sky blue above..mostly because this is similar to what I would put in my kitchen if I had one of my own and I am in total kitchen envy of you...and if the sky blue gets too overwhelming break it up with some light granny smith appley green :)


Oh man. Anyone who suggested red to you doesn't know much about design. Just saying.

Thing is, you obviously gravitate to warm colors--from the colors you used in your old condo and the color of floor you've chosen. Problem is, with that really-super-warm color on the floor, another warm color on the wall is going to be really hard to pull off.

A warm grey would in fact be a good counterpoint to the floors, but there's another problem. I think that any kind of grey, paired with your white cabinets and grey counters, would end up looking institutional.

If you're a fan of robin's egg blue type colors, check out Sherwin Williams, Sea Salt. Yes this is a specific color. And it's gorgeous. And I think it would work well with what you've got going.

I also love springy greens--I painted my whole kitchen and great room Sherwin Williams Heart of Palm (check it--sucker's bright!), so trust, I'm totally into the spring green. But my floors are dark-dark-dark chocolate brown hardwood, and so are the cabinets, with a nice sandy granite countertop. Also, 12 foot ceilings and a whole wall of windows, so with that kind of volume and light the room could take the color. I'm afraid that with your warm hardwoods, white cabinets, normal ceilings and not a ton of natural light, any kind of springy green would make it look a little fiesta-ish in there. A green with a lot of grey would actually be the only kind of green that I think would work, but that puts you at sage, which you don't want--and I wouldn't either. Sage was kind of done to death in the 90's. It's not bad or anything, I'm just kind of over it.

There's my $0.02. Good luck!


I vote for green, but a nice, light green. I did my kitchen in that back when I owned a home, and I think it looked fantastic with our white appliances.

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