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Input Time, Expanded & Annotated

It's Input, It's Input Time

Okay, so a lot of you demanded to see photos of the headband. A lot of you do not have much goin' on for you, these days, I'm guessin'. Anyway, I wasn't intentionally holding out on you, I't been washing my hair much this week, in order to test out some new dry shampoo and various oily-scalp things for the Advice Smackdown. Results have been...mixed. Helmet-head-ish, with a side of Ye Olde Timey Powdered Wig. You know, REALLY PRETTY. Really ready for a close-up self-portrait to be published across the land.


I bought it at H&M after watching entirely too much Top Chef, because that one girl always wore double headbands like this one, only not really like this one at all, as you can see close up:


Even the girl on Top Chef had re-thought the headbands by the reunion show. I should have learned a similar lesson, including the fact that this fucker HURTS MY HEAD.

Anyway. The glittery headband is just all around Bad Idea Jeans, I realize that now. Moving on! It is now time to talk about how ugly my kitchen is.

See, when we moved into this house, we were completely thrilled with the kitchen layout. The previous owners had knocked down walls! Installed a breakfast bar! Extra cabinets, lazy susans, built-in wine racks, A SPONGE CUBBY! Huzzah!

As for the actual look of the kitchen...well. The previous owners had also used the cheapest, crappiest cabinets and countertops possible. We planned on eventually replacing the counters and at least refacing the cabinets, but...well, again. That's not going to happen for awhile, what with our current state of brokeassness. We've also (obviously) scrapped any talk of moving back to the city, since Noah (obviously) needs to stay here in this school district. Thus, we're trying to do that whole "make the best of things" (uh) THING. So while I can't afford to really change the kitchen, I believe we can afford a couple gallons of paint.

But I am TERRIBLE at this stuff, Internet. Seriously. I read those design/decorating blogs and it's like there is a hole in my genetic code where that sort of talent should be. I mean, I can look at a photo and be like, THAT, RIGHT THERE! I LOVE! But then I have no idea how to make my actual house look like that. I go for "eclectic" and the result is "cluttered mish-mosh." I go for "modern" and the result is "Ikea." I go for anything else and the result is "Amy got this because it was on sale, and it was on sale because HOLY GOD, LOOK AT IT."

So. Here. Help me. I know this is spectacularly boring, but I am clueless.


We have your typical plain white laminate cabinets and a black-and-white-and-grey laminate countertop. There's kind of a tiny bit of a brownish-putty color in the counters as well, but it's really nothing I'd want on the walls. The current paint is a really terribly blah shade of yellow that doesn't look good with the white AT ALL in real life (it looks oddly more neutral in photos, not so much in person). Besides, I've pretty much utterly destroyed the paint job anyway.

I can't really judge the chooser of this color though, because I know EXACTLY how it came to me: the stark cabinets and black counters and modern handles ended up looking a little cold and boring, so yellow was chosen to "warm the room up," or some other great idea that only works if you have any real eye for color. Which they didn't. (400 different shades of beige! Every wall a slightly different shade of beige! That's not a color scheme, that's an obessive compulsive disorder!).

So my ideas begin and end with: Let's paint it white. At least white won't actively clash and bug me so much. But then there are the floors, which are a darkish reddish hardwood, and ALSO kind of clash with the modern black and white. We installed the floors back when we were so sure that a kitchen makeover was next on our to-do list. Back before everything went, you know, BOOM.


(We also wanted floors that matched our dog, just so she could camouflage herself for maximum Getting Stepped On. Success!)

So there you have it. We need a new paint color. The appliances are all white, and will likely be staying that way (see: BOOM, etc.). Would you paint the walls white? White with an accent wall? Totally not white but some other awesome color that I'm too stupid to think off? (And one that we also wouldn't have to paint over in the unlikely even that we DO move in a couple years, like the crazy bright blue we had in our old kitchen that we thought was SO AWESOME until we painted it white before listing our condo and then were all, "Oh. This looks much better. Huh.")

Also, please know that I am not handy enough to attempt anything like a tile backsplash or really, anything other than paint. Although I AM incredibly tempted by shit like this, which seems cheap and easy and thus guaranteed to end in disaster.

Thank you, dear one Internet, for any help you can provide in this clearly very important matter.




I'd love to help you, but I got nothin.


But I love that your floor matches your dog!! Nice!


I would go with a pale blue - that will match the cabinets, the floor, and even the counters. We have BM Beacon Grey in our office/soon-to-be-nursery and it looks great. You can see it, maybe, here:


I am an interior designer (corporate, not residential and btw my house looks like crap - rental, bad economy, etc). So I do say this with some professional knowledge. Steer clear of the white. There are approxiamately 150 different colors of white. It will make your head explode to try and find one that matches your cabinets. Also I think you will be disappointed in it. It will show all sorts of dirt, especially with small boys and a dog and end up very sterile. I don't know you, obviously, so I don't know what your comfort zone is for boldness, but I would suggest a bold color. Do you like red? I love red in a kitchen. It hides a multitude of sins and it is kept from being too overwhelming by being broken up by cabinets and such. Not knowing the size of your kitchen, I don't know if an accent wall would make sense or not. It may make the space too choppy. If red is not your thing, then I say pick your favorite color (blue, green, purple, one you've liked for a long time) and go for it. With plain counters and cabinets, your kitchen could stand some boldness. Good luck.


Sorry, I too am missing that portion of the genetic code that helps me make rooms look decent. Luckily I married a man with the ability to take random swatches, throw them together, and come out with pretty. I'll ask him!!


By the way, i meant to say, that I really like the headband too.


Yay something I can actually make a statement about and actually KNOW what I'm talking about cause I'm and Artist and all that. I'd suggest looking at shades of soft grey about one or two hues down from the lightest shade (aka the 2nd or 3rd color down the paint chip strip from the top) or possibly a soft misty green with a similar hue. If you have NO CLUE what I'm talking about email me and I'll send you the names and pictures of the sample colors I'm talking about. But I strongly suggest getting samples of colors (more than one) that you like and on a WHITE wall paint 2x2 squares agaist the countertops to see which one you like best.


I don't know how you feel about going all BOLD and DIFFERENT, but in all seriousness, you should consider red. Not like, RED red, but my friend has a room that is this gorgeously yummy darkish red, and I COVET. It would be great with your white appliances and your salt-and-pepper countertops.


Bold! I say bold! BLUE, maybe?


I'd recommend a light blue/gray color. Modern, clean, neutral. We just painted our nursery-to-be that color and it looks very wonderful. We used a color called "morning fog" from Lowe's and it only took one coat! YAY for good paint!


I agree with Kim in staying away from the white. But what about pulling the taupish color out of the laminate and going a shade or so warmer towards the reddish in your floors? Also you are Amalah, I am sure that you could find a local Kim who would love to barter the publicity from your site in return for a consultation of your home? You may not know home improvement but you do know marketing. :)


I like the idea of pale blue. I love color. I am not a huge fan of white walls.


I'm all about the bold colors, too, so I vote red or grass green. As long as every room in your house isn't like that, a warm kitchen is fun. Also: BABY TOES! I almost couldn't comment because I was fixated.


I like a light green, myself.


I'd go with red. I really like red in the kitchen and I think it goes really well with black and white, which are the other colors you're stuck with for now. Also, from the photo, it looks like it would go well with your wood floors.


Is Ceiba eyeing those baby toes for a snack?


I'm sorry- that backsplash thing- love the look but OUCH! the price!!! You could pay someone to design and paint for less than that!

I think a blue with undertones of grey. I was going to suggest a Red wall until I saw the floors- no more red!


Amy, we seem to have the same kitchen issue going on, except I have god-awful wallpaper to contend with! Looking at your countertop, I would stick with a somewhat earthy tone - sage green, dark brick, or terra cotta perhaps. But NOT WHITE. The room will blind you with white walls, white appliances, and white cabinets! You might also consider painting the cabinets too - I'm actually going to try distressing or antiquing mine (easy as sanding down the edges or dry-brushing some stain on over the existing paint), which I think would look awesome with the countertop you have and sage walls. Think old-world Italian cottage type of look! Check out the Better Homes & Gardens website for some good inspiration and how-to's.


I'd pick a red that pulls out a little of the reddish tint in your floor - it'll go great with the white cabinets and black/white counters, too.


The headband looks good, I think. As for the wall, I would maybe go with a sage-y green. Then again, I think the headband looks good, so our tastes may be different.


I love the idea of chalkboard paint in the old school green color. I have not tried it myself, am definetly tempted to though. Of course, Miss Martha Stewart has already gone there:

And you could have a lot of fun writing grocery lists and drawing pictures on it.


Pick a color that goes with the pictures on your walls. Maybe a green or blue. I am going to give a BIG warning about red walls - my son wanted red walls and we never did get complete coverage with the paint. A kajillion coats later and there was still areas that were not covered completely so we just gave up and went with a half-assed blotchy red mess and pretended it was supposed to look that way. However, if someone has a trick to make them look covered and even then it will look fantastic.


My first inclination is a bold red, not primary but a deep, rich red. Red is great for kitchens too. I wouldn't do white if you're trying to not make it boring. Of course I'm totally biased, there's not a single white wall in my house.

Something in the blue family might be nice too but I would go with deep, rich colors. Nothing pastel or light.

Oh, and if you do decide to do anything in the red family make sure you prime first (I'd use an odorless oil primer but latex would work too). Red paint is a bitch to get to cover and primer will save you time (in coats) and money (in the amount of paint the wall will suck up). I speak from experience on this one.


No white. Paint it red.

My floors match my dog too but he's enormous so isn't in real stepping on danger.

I needed (not wanted - NEEDED) new floors in kitchen/great room this year.

BOOM. Indeed.

Katie Abanson

I'd go a little bit bolder, and def. skip the white. (You can always repaint.) A red would tie in nicely with your floors (less cherry and more russet) but stay away from cool toned reds. They never ever translate well and they are energy-sucks. If you go bold, I'd choose a flatter finish in a higher-end paint so that you can wash the walls without having shiny glossy walls. (I used the highest-grade Valspar from Lowe's and love love love it.)


You should post this question on Apartment Therapy. I bet you'd get some good suggestions. I know you asked for advice about paint colors (I've got none), but have you considered going with open cabinets up top? That might help you like your kitchen more and doesn't require a ton of work:


Shenandoah Taupe aka Ashely Gray by Benjamin Moore is the answer! We used it in our kitchen when we couldn't match anything with the ugly cabinets and slate tiles. DO IT!

Kristine Sorochinsky

Okay, you need to go to the hardware store and ask to see Ralph Lauren "Cotswald Breeches". Yes, it's the most RIDICULOUS name ever given to a color. I feel ridiculous saying it out loud. BUT, it's the best paint color ever invented. It's taupe...not it's it's it's avocado. Seriously it can be any color, depending on what's around. It really warms up our house and everyone gets if after they see it on our main floor.

There. Go.

Someone Being Me

Hmmm...I too suck at the whole interior design thing but I do get lots of compliments on my kitchen color. Our cabinets are white as are our countertops so I went bold with a green. The exact color is Avocado from Pittsburgh paints. The previous owner had painted the kitchen yellow while her husband was out of town one weekend and he hated it. He came by to visit after we moved in and said he liked the green so much better. Lets not even mention the 22 Mary Engelbreit tea kettle designed ceramic knobs she installed on all of the cabinets. *Shudder*

Michelle Smiles

I vote for an accent wall matching the purple sparkly headband.

Barring that, I would beg you to not paint a kitchen with white cabinets and white appliances white. UGH! My last kitchen was terra cotta (like the pots people plant things in) and I loved it. I have also seen a lot of nice spring apple greens lately but finding the right shade would make my head explode. When in doubt a red kitchen is always lovely. Good luck (and don't discount the purple sparkly too easily).

Katie Abanson

PS: Scroll down this post for an example of the type of red to avoid (good gracious goobers, it was the worst red EVER in real life):

Kelly G.

Stay away from red because of your floors (love red in the kitchen usually). I would go with a bright green (not neon, more of a grass green). Green will contrast nicely with your floors too and the white cabinets will stand out. Use a lot of black and white accents (like black and white photos).


i was distracted by baby toes. YUM.


No white! I say a gray or slate for most of the walls and a red accent wall, because red accent walls are awesome.

Also, I think the headband is really cute, but they always hurt my head; I thought I was special, or had a giant head, or's nice to know I'm not the only one!


I totally think you coulda pulled the headband off, had it not been pink.
Anyhoo, we too have white cabs, appliances and salt & pepper type countertops. I went to the paint store in search of a color resembling "tomato soup with milk". It took 2-3 coats but I love it! If you do go for a red, invest in some pink-based primer. Good Luck


When I read this, I right away thought red, but--not only do studies show that "warm" color kitchens make you hungrier (think of fast food logos--most of them include red and yellow!) but yes, if you ever wanted to paint OVER the red wall, you'd be in for quite a project.

I do like the idea of something bold, though, so I will vote for the blue idea. Perhaps not as bright as in your old home, but something in that family.

Good luck!


I'm a graphic designer and I love to decorate so that equals absolutely no professional opinion. BUT. I think red! A warm red would look nice with the floors and cabinets. Remember you can always buy a small can and do a test area to see how you feel about the color before you commit.


Oh and the backsplash - not sure about the shiny silver plasticy stuff... I get the feeling that you'll be re-gluing it to the wall over and over. That's something that personally, I would splurge a little on and hire someone to install ceramic tile.


OH and if you take a picture of the whole kitchen I can take it into Photoshop and show you how it would look:) I did that in my bathroom when we re-did it.


Best kitchen color ever think Tomato soup


I would definitely go with red as well. I think it would look fifties-ish and super cute. Get a couple of retro cannisters or a cookie jar and I think it would be fantastic.


I heard once that you should paint your kitchen the color of food. I.E. NOT ELECTRIC BLUE. Not anything unnatural. Pick a few favorite foods and consider painting it a color that is in that palette.

That said, I hope your favorite food isn't carrots. But once I painted my kitchen the color of, like, overdone hamburger and it was AWFUL. Then I repainted with a sage green that reminded me of the tops of winter squash, and I LOVE IT!


What about a pine green? Or some type of non-kelly/jcrew green for the kitchen?


I think a deep red color would look beautiful as well. Like a rich merlot color.


We are going to go with beadboard painted a color similar to "Herbal Garden" at the Behr website. We live on the other side of the country so you can copy me if you want.


Since I remodeled my kitchen about 6 years ago...I can give a tiny bit of advice. White. As nice and clean a color....will get dirty look quickly. And yes, like said up above me... there are a gazillon whites. I went with a slate gray. I also have white cupboards and gray speckeled counter tops like yours minus the brown. I also don't have a kitchen window so I needed my kitchen to be as light as possible. The gray is soft and hides most glitches. Good luck with your painting. :-)


We have similar countertops. There's a tiny spec of some-color-other-than-black-brown-or-beige in them and I tried to pick up that color on the walls.

See here:

It's sort of green/blue/seafoam, but not. I can look up the color if you like it. I saved the list of paint names when we remodeled. I think this color would match your floors rather nicely. (Am jealous of said floors)

I wouldn't go with white because white walls with white cabinets and you're going to wind up being all AHHH MY WORLD IS WHITE!

See if you can find some fancy cabinet pulls. Nicer/newer ones can really change the look!

Good luck!


I think yellow might be the right color but you have the wrong shade. There's something oddly peach about that yellow. Maybe a more Frenchish yellow if that makes sense? Otherwise maybe a a green. Or a red. Not white! There's nothing worse than clashing whites.


Oooops... My comment came off snarky. I hadn't read the others. I didn't mean to offend anyone with the 'NOT ELECTRIC BLUE' comment! It was just an example!


Don't do the HD faux-metal backdrop. I too was tempted, then I got a look at it in person. It looks... awful. Cheap. My opinion, I'm sure someone else will shoot me for it ;)

I can't say enough good things about - I've learned a lot about what I like, colours, etc. And there are so many submissions of other people's great work or design questions that there are bound to be ideas in there for you, or even photos that you can take straight to HD and say "MATCH THAT PAINT!"


I actually have those exact counter tops and slightly different (but still cheap! and white! and ugly!) cabinets. I love color and am perhaps a little too fearless with it, so I went for a pretty intense green called Napa Valley Green by Behr. I know it is far from being everyone's cup of tea, but I love the contrast between it and the white cabinets (very crisp and clean looking), and I like how it looks up against the the more neutral colors of our hallway and dining room.


My personal opinion is that you should go with something bold. Matching your counters will just make for more blah and that's what you're trying to get away from. I really don't KNOW anything but I have been told that I missed my calling as a designer so I guess my eye is good. I would go with a bold green like Behr Moss Landing. It'll go great with the floors, make the cabinets pop and nicely complement the counters. Good luck!!

Sprite's Keeper

We went merlot red in our kitchen and it definitely picked up the warmth of our cherry wood flooring. The backsplash? I am secretly planning that for behind our trash can because I'm sick of scrubbing down the f**king walls! So, uh, let me know if you like it so I can use documented proof and stay away from the curse words when proposing this change to the husband.. Okay, mostly away from curse words.


Anything but white. Given how boring the cabinets are, I would definitely go bold.


Ooo, here's an idea that I'd love to use but am not going to because I'm not repainting any time soon. But there's this magnetic paint you can get, you just paint it on your walls and then paint the regular paint over top of it. Then your walls are magnetic! And you can stick artwork to the walls with magnets, like it was one big fridge. My friend has this in her family room and it looks really neat. Just do one big area where you think you'll have the preshus art, and then you don't have to worry about cork and nails and such.


Not white. My apartment, though surprisingly unapartmenty with taupe walls everywhere else, has a white kitchen with white cabinets - shiny white cabinets and lots of them - and a white counter with darker flecks and a pale hardwood-looking vinyl floor and it is just not me. I walk in and think "should I cook, or should I do surgery on the cat?"

I do like yellow in a kitchen, but you need a clear sunny yellow, not what you have. I also like a nice light apple green. Just pick your favorite color, one that makes you feel happy, and paint. Then at least you'll be pleased with the color when you see it, if not with the overall ambience.


Benjamin Moor, Tyler it, it's warm and looks great with black.

Hey You

My kitchen is yellow as well but more of a pale butter than yours which seems to have more tan it. We also have white cabinets that we can't afford to replace, so I did lots of accents of red (pendant lights and some glassware and such) and then accents of a bright grass green. Is sound like Christmas went all explody, but actually looks really cute.

I say if you need to paint wall anyway--how about pulling that nice modern putty color from the countertops? Kind of a taupe and white looks good together, and will coordinate with the rest of the house.

For art work, I did DYI that I stole from Pottery Barn. I took two silver finnials(sp? you know those things on the end of curtain rods) and mounted them with screws on to the wall about two feet apart a little lower than eye level. I then took silver wire and wrapped around the base of finnials. Then took those small silver clips (They are left overs from hanging my curtains, just took off ring part) and hang art work. It is super easy to change out art work, and looks really cute if I do say so myself.

Oh and I think the head band would have been better if it was silver or gold instead of pink, but I love the headband ponytail look!


DO NOT PAINT YOUR WALLS WHITE. My brother has white cabinets and white walls (and white tiles to boot!) and every time I'm in his kitchen, I start channeling Brad Pitt from 12 Monekys. Seriously, you'll go INSANE in an all white kitchen.

My suggestion. Steal a color. Go to someone's house. You like their color, ask 'em what is it. Or go to Restoration Hardware, and see if you like any of their colors which are conveniently on the walls and for sale.

I'm personally not a big fan of light blue in a kitchen. It just doesn't say "food" to me. Maybe the same saturation as a light blue, but go with somethign with some green in it if you want color or if you want to be boring, do some variation of tan/light brown/taupe.

Oh here:;jsessionid=3QQVDSMLS4KYZLAWCQLB5VVMCYKBKH20?navAction=jump&navCount=0&categoryId=cat1017001

Fewer choices that the damn color wheels at Home Depot and all the colors are real, real, purdy. My choices for you would be either Bay Laurel or Cappucino.

Let us know what you end up doing!


see that Aqua color in the boat picture on your wall... THAT is your color.

I painted my last kitchen that color with white cabinets and it was SO sunny and awesome.


Nah, that's not a headband. It's a hairband. A headband goes around the forehead, like Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon. Not that he goes around the forehead. Anyway. I just wanted to point that out. I think your hairband is quite cute, but maybe cute is not the right look in this case.

Kitchens? Can't help you there, sorry. I thought your kitchen looked great when I saw it.


While I can see the temptation to warm up the kitchen, I think that trying to do so is working against what you have. Think of it like make-up. If you have cool undertones, you don't wear yellow-toned make-up. I think anything warm is going to look like you're just a bit "off" on the shade. However, cool tones can still be so beautiful. Think of it as fresh, elegant, modern, crisp. For that reason, I like the pale blue, soft sage green, and light grey suggestions. You could even go a little darker if you wanted, just keep it cool.

Btw, I do agree that often, red is great in a kitchen (specifically b/c, like the PP said, the cabinets, counters and appliances break it up so it's not too overwhelming). But, I think with your floors, you might feel like it clashes, or makes the red look like something that belongs on a primary school wall, or makes the floors like orange.


1. No white. There is already too much white and you'll never make it match. The cabinets and appliances are probably already different shades of white, but you can't tell because of the yellow. Making the walls white will maximize that and make your hair fall out.
2. Saturation is the key to good color (imho). It doesn't have to be dark or bright, just saturated. Personally, I would go with a lilac, but that's because everything you have is so nice and neutrally and I am married to a man who won't let me paint anything lilac.
3. That backsplash shit is really easy and really worth it.
4. LOVE the headband. Do you watch that advertising show... no, not mad men. Pause to imdb Tom Cavenaugh, oh yeah, Trust Me. That should read did because apparently it got cancelled while I wasn't paying attention. Anyway, that girl wore those headbands and kicked ass and looked grown up in them. I bought two and realized that all the "body" my hair has makes them look like they are a dam and my hair a rushing river.

Sorry for the novelization. I thought the numbering would help, but no.


I say GREEN. Just like the green on this website. Maybe a little greener. My sister has a similar color scheme at her house and she painted her kitchen green and it looks fantastic. And I think it will go really well with your floors.


my kitchen was a whole lotta beige and white too. and my countertops are similar to yours. i went with blood red and i looove it. it makes all the white in the kitchen really pop. pics are here:


I've got one red-toned wall in my bedroom and my whole livingroom is rodeo red. I LOVE the color, but red is a time-consuming paint job. Also, kitchens are almost as annoying as bathrooms to paint with all the obstacles and awkward angles and red paint takes a lot of coats to get the true color of. Usually a gray base coat and at least two top coats of the color. So then you have layers at every masking point. Sounds like you're not a huge do-it-yourselfer, so you might not love the perhaps uneven edges.

The bright lime we did on our cabinet doors is fresh (rather than moldy) feeling and bright. I love lime with gray, white and wood, so that's probably what I'd do. A photo (including our not-renovated 1948 linoleum) linked:


How about white walls, and do this with your cabinets?


Architect/designer here...DO NOT paint it all white! It will be blah with the white cabinets, I promise you! I think the yellow isn't actually that bad...but if you don't like it, have you considered a salmon or pumpkin color (although you don't want to go too dark or it will make the room look small)? Or a nice shade of green (not dark, but not lime or "kelly"...I think the Behr color I used for my accent wall in my LR that I LOVE was artichoke? Not positive..)? Also, you can get FAKE tile backsplash that gets applied like wallpaper, but still looks great...have you seen that? I think a kitchen needs some sort of bachsplash other than paint to give it some texture, along with the counters...

If we can see more photos, it would be easier to give some design advice :)


Yukko. Let's try that again with an actual link:

Cabinet Makeover


I like the colors that are in the pictures hanging on your wall. I think you should use one of those (I like the green best). Then you could pretend you're at the beach everyday with the wall color (ocean or sky depending on if you chose green or blue), white cabinets (clouds), and your countertops (sand)! How awesome would that be?!


Not to be all anti-red, but, well, I am. The red accent wall feels very 2005ish to me. Nothing wrong with 2005. It was a good year, but if you have the chance to do something 2009ish, I would go with a grey/blue and throw on some blik graphics for an accent (like this: I also like the light green idea.

I agree with all the anti-white statements, not only will it look washed out but that mother will be a bitch to keep clean.

Finally, I totally 3rd the idea of putting this on

The Bug

Okay, while I initially thought RED as well, that doesn't jive with the "easy to paint over" request. I think you should paint the space between the cabinets and the counters with black chalk board paint (I want to do this in my house, but haven't yet). I think it will be awesome to write receipes and grocery lists and even tic-tac-toe!

I wouldn't recommend painting the entire kitchen black...seems a little dark :)

I do like the idea of a sage-y type green...maybe even the color of the edges of your website, ya know, next to the pink? It looks like it could be gray, but also maybe green...I like it!


I know this is going to come as not what you are looking for - but if you don't want to repaint the whole ding danged thing in case moving becomes an option... beige. But! with an accent wall ~ something calming like a pumpkin pie color (not real orange like the actual pumpkin).


Ahhhh... I just yesterday bought the paint for my dining room after several slightly agonizing weeks of painting samples of various shades of sage and brown and peach all over my walls (the wallpaper is coming off anyway). The paint store had become my second home what with all the time I spent there sifting through chips looking for the exact right color--and no, that one won't do because I don't like the name (as if that matters! but I care too much about words!).

Have fun!

Benjamin Moore has an application on their website where you can upload a picture of your room and change the wall and ceiling colors. Their new Natura paint is wonderful (though spendy): no odor, goes on easy and smooth, very washable.


Blue. Pottery Barn has teamed up with Benjamin Moore Paints, and they have great Blues. My suggestion is Icing on the Cake or Buxton Blue. The key, and I've painted so many rooms over and over until I realized this key suggestion, buy the small testers for $4 and paint small squares around the kitchen, against the counter, against the floor and the cabinets and check out if you like it in all spots. If not you'll find a color, paint and realize you hate it. And everyone says RED, but one day you'll realize how much red sucks, and then you'll have to repaint, and that sucks even more than just painting it red.

natasha the exile on Mom Street

NO WHITE! It will clash.

I suggest a warm grey (I know you're think "what the hell is WARM grey, Natasha, grey is obviously a cool color." Only it isn't always.) Benjamin Moore has several grey tones with a good bit of brown in them and they're perfect for your kitchen. I used one in my tiny guest bath and I would tell you the name but I used every drop and through the can away.

Sigh. Now I have nothing for touch-ups and can't remember the color name. I'm good that way.


Headbands: I always like them and then they give me a headache and hurt my head... Are there any out there that don't? How do people even wear those things?

Decorating: I too read lots of decorating and decor blogs and always LOVE what I see but I've never actually tried to decorate anything, so I'm not much help. Maybe find a picture you like that has some kind of aspect that you already have in your kitchen and match it? I say paint the cabinets awesome colors. Not sure what those colors are though.


I actually have the HD faux-metal backsplash, and first of all, to commenter above, no offense taken--there'll be no shooting. But honestly, I think it's pretty awesome. It installed EASY, cleans easy, and so far is looking great. I do agree with previous poster that some of the colors do look ridiculous, so you have to pick it in person, but we got the copper looking one, and love it. Get compliments all the time. Also, I agree with the million other people that white will probably drive you crazy with the dirtiness factor, if nothing else. If you're into bold, how about a spring green/apple-y color?


You have sooo many options because of your neutral color palette. A light brown, green, or a paler yellow would be really pretty. GO bright if you're feeling brave. You said that you can identify what you like in magazines. Look at pictures of rooms you like and see if the wall colors have anything in common--color, saturation, etc. Good Luck!


Obviously a lot of votes for blue here, but I would go for a light fresh green - it goes well with browns, can come in airy tones that will blend with countertop AND floor. The tree those floors are made of had leaves once, so it is guaranteed to match at least one shade of green, likely many more.

She Likes Purple

I picked up on the brown right away and think a lighter, not-dark-as-a-cave shade of brown (I like drawbridge and burgundy tea: could be really nice.


My fiance and I moved into our FIRST HOME (aww) back in October, and I too have dreamed of that kitchen makeover...complete with Viking range (what, a girl can dream, yes?)

ANYWAY, we have standard blah white cabinets too. We *do* have granite countertops, and they're similar in color to yours.

We painted the kitchen a great color, "Jogging Path" by Sherwin Williams. It's darker and richer than a plain-jane beige, and I think it compliments the white-ness of the countertops and appliances really well.

Although, I have similar decorating dilemmas. I see things I like, I just can't put it all together myself. Good luck!! And keep us posted on the painting!

Bratty Brenda

Red for sure. Step away from the white Amy, step away...


A. I like the headband, and I like your hair, even if it is dirty. Maybe next time just not so much with the sparkly, which would adult it up a bit (What? "Adult" is a verb!)

B. I'm big on color in my house. I have apple green walls in my basement that look PHENOMENAL (I spelled that wrong. Sorry) with the white trim, thus I think would look great with your white cabinets. You could always go with a more subdued shade of green if you want to have color, but just aren't sure how bright you want to go.

To see my green walls, go here:

You'll get the general idea, though it looks better in person.

We just painted the baby's room a really pretty shade of grey that has kind of a lavendar tinge to it, and I love it. It's neutral, subtle, and the color changes slightly depending on what light is coming in the windows. I'll take pictures of that soon and try to remember to post them for you.

I'd advise against red, not because it's a bad color. It's beautiful. But as you will see, there is one wall in my house that is red (in the basement), and that thing took six freaking coats of paint, even with primer. It's a pain, it's messy, it comes out of the can pink, which will totally freak you the hell out. I just don't recommend it. In fact, I'd stay away from super dark colors in general since you're a little color shy. Dark colors are just difficult to get good coverage with.

Remember to prime!


I have the same kitchen as you, essentially. Eerily the same countertops, and same white cabinets. My walls are painted red and it looks GREAT! Like another commenter said, it is broken up with cabinets and a window so it doesn't seem so bright and....RED, if that makes sense. Its Ruby Ring by Behr, I believe.

(PS definitely invest in the primer! mine has 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of paint, and could still probably use one more good coat.)


Any shade of red will make your kitchen look small. And it'll feel smaller, as well. Plus - it's so . . . done. All the cranberries and rusts and brick reds as seen in PB, Ballard - over it.

Avocado green. Use a semi-gloss finish. It will look fab with the floors and is modern enough to hold up to the white cabinets.

Parsing Nonsense

Have you considered a sage green wall? Goes lovely with that color flooring and would warm up your cabinets and counters. Good luck!


I was going to say red because I love red, but then I saw your floors, and I think that might be a bit much, since they're that reddy as well, so I'm voting for a good, rich green. I painted my old room green (and it had a similar colored floor!). You can see it here in Ye Olde Flickr Account that I never use anymore:

I was going to paint my current room the same color (I moved to the bigger bedroom when my old roommate moved out), but it's been like 2.5 years and that hasn't happened yet. Also, I have the exact same stupid counters.


Red. But I agree with whomever said that red is a horrible color to paint b/c it doesn't cover well - we had the same issue when we painted our bedroom walls red. So, yeah, go with a pinkish primer and you should be good to go.


I vote for a pale aqua blue or a spring/apple green. Goes great with brown and white and even the reddish floor. And if you have a door to a pantry or something, I would paint a giant chalkboard for the kids (and you of course).
Don't do the fake tin backsplash thing -- the edges will never match up, and the cuts are never straight. I would go the home depot and take one of their freebie classes on tiling a backsplash. And for the love make sure whatever paint you choose is the kind that cleans easily! Eggshell at least!

stephanie parnell

We used the stuff that you are linked to from Home Depot and it honestly couldn't get any easier. It already has sticky stuff on it so you peel off the back just like a sticker and just well, stick it where you want it. We love it and it adds so much to the kitchen.


Were it MY kitchen, I would probably go for something like bright red or grass green (oh wait! My kitchen IS grass green) but I fear that you are hesitant of the bold and bright colors so I will steer clear of those. (Although a really lovely pear green would be AWESOME).

My suggestion is a soft dove gray. Think... the perfect gray leather purse. Sherwin-Williams has a color called "Link Grey" that we used in a bonus room and it was REALLY gorgeous. The white cabinets and the color of your countertops combined with the really warm floors are a PERFECT set-up for a really pretty gray.


Also? Headbands are a bitch dude. They hurt so very effing much.


I say NO to white, YES to bold. Just found this online, perhaps it might help? It'll help you "paint online" - i.e. try a few colors:
Good luck!


Green! Go buy a Granny Smith apple, then pick whichever paint chip is closest to that color. It's bright and cheery and will make the white look good, and will have a nice contrast with the floors/dog.


I totally had to ask, is your blog post title sung to the tune of "It's Business time" by Flight of the Conchords? :)

I say go bold for the kitchen - a nice red :)


I would go a pale gray/green with a little blue in it. Would contrast with the flooring nicely, without being too much color for you to handle (ex. your former kitchen color - and your willingness to go white.) White is too sterile, and frankly a cop out.
Just my opinion...
Love your blog!


I say no way on red - it would be too much with the reddish tone of the wood flooring - but I love the ideas of a light grayish-blue or grayish-green. We have white cabinets, gray speckled counter tops and wood floors, and we went with a light bluish-gray. I LOVE it. The kitchen is just really soft and cozy feeling. Iced slate, maybe, from Benjamin Moore. Something like that.


Ok, girl, this kitchen needs COLOR. The white, gray and black are making it very dull even with a reddish floor. My suggestion is picking a nice aqua color with medium saturation (not too light or too dark). Use the pictures you have on the wall for inspiration. There's red in the picture and with the aqua, everything will blend in nicely along with the picture. Good luck! =)


Two colors immediately came to mind -- emerald green or a deep red (my dining room is deep red and I love love love it). If you are feeling a little less bold, try a softer shade that still (I cannot believe I'm going to use this overused term) 'pops', like a sage green or a seafoam green.

I also want to eat the baby toes.


Sherwin Williams has a really cool website where you can upload a photo and then experiment with different colors, it might be worth a try:

We just painted our new kitchen on Monday, it's "Woodsmoke" or some crap like that. You know, fancy words for 'grey'. ...but I totally love it.

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