Return to Sodor
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.




My first thought was to grab a bluey shade from that 3-photo thing. I'm slowly turning my whole world blue though, so I might be biased. I do love a steely grey with blue tones. If you must do white, find one with lots of blue in it and make it shiny, then you could paint your cabinets silvery blue. That would look awesome.

good luck! I hate painting.


I am with the others that say go bold. A rich blue or a fun red. I have a light blue in my kitchen but if I had your "spice" floors I would have totally done a richer blue.


We did our kitchen (white cabinets, grey/black/white granite countertops...just like yours) in the most yummy butterscotch color. It makes me happy every day.


I say go with a light gray and a burgandy or brick red accent wall. Ralph Lauren has a perfect burgandy.


We have the same colors in our kitchen. We have granite countertops in that same color and nice, white cabinets. Right now, our kitchen is Sherman Williams A1 beige and it looks really nice. I'll have to post a pic on Facebook and tag you. It was yellow when we moved in and I totally hear ya. Yuck. I think we're going to use a burgundy red as an accent wall and leave the rest beige because it is a shared wall with the living room and is open. The rest of the room is beige in there. I'm eager to see what you use and how it looks. We bought a grey/blue...sort of spa blue for our bathroom and it has the same cabinets and white countertops with all silver accents. Haven't painted it yet. I think you could use a beige-ish green, greyish blue, dark grey or burgundy and have good results. I agree with staying earthy because of your modern side but that still leaves a lot of options.


I agree with painting. There's a lot of good advice on colors already, so I won't comment on that. But I will say change your cabinet hardware. New handles will also make a big difference on how your kitchen looks/feels. Different handles and knobs can totally change the atmosphere of the kitchen. Which, of course, brings up another dilemma of which knobs to use since there's so many options....


Warm grey, with red/pink undertones. We used a peach (not my first choice) on our kitchen walls, and I counteracted with a warm grey on the living room walls, and it balances really nicely. Our countertop is very similar to yours. Check out some of the colors on's Color Smart tool. If you have a Home Depot near you, you can get a tiny paint sample with which to paint the walls.


HOLY SHIT COMMENTS. I go to wash mah hair (finally!) and...HOLY SHIT.

As for all the votes for red...ehhhhh, I should probably clean the kitchen up and post more photos, but my gut tells me red probably won't work. It's a BIIIIG room. It was two rooms originally. Lots of almost floor-to-ceiling windows, French doors, very big and open and broken up.

We also did a bedroom accent wall in a GORGEOUS red at our condo ages ago and I loved it for a couple months, then cooled on it, and then had to paint over it for Noah's nursery and wanted to FUCKING KILL MYSELF.

I will clean the kitchen and take some more photos to give y'all an idea of the amount of paint we're talking here.

You've definitely steered me away from the white though, so thank you. Right now am digging the avocado green idea -- kind of modern but not super overdone. (Like...white! God, self, you suck.)

Snarky Mommy

I vote dark red, like maroon. Will look great with the floors.

As for red paint not covering, we had that problem in our bathroom. SEVEN coats of paint later, we found out to use tinted primer. And yes, you MUST prime before you paint, always. After painting every room in our house, we learned our lesson about halfway through. Much easier. Anway, ask them to tint the primer right there at the store when you mix your paint.

Amanda B

I know this will echo all the blue comments - so I'll suggest a specific blue - Tiffany's Blue - the coveted blue Jewelry Box Blue. After that I got nothing, other than buy a sample pint if possible and throw a swatch up on the wall for a week (or three).


No white, Boring, I would say red, red, and red!


Oh! And our dining room (adjacent to the kitchen) is divided by a chair rail, with the top half being (surprise!) beige and the bottom a deep red. I know red can really work in certain rooms but it looks fairly awful here -- the room has low ceilings and the dark red just sucks all the life and SPACE out of the room. The dining room will be our next painting project. Perhaps I shall order you to help me there too!


I have to echo the few other commentors who reccomended a light blue paint color (with a grey undertone). Also, why don't you think about a white subway tile for a backsplash? They are 19 cents a piece at Home Depot, look great and are easy to install. We did this in our kitchen (white cabinets, green laminate) and for a couple hundred bucks made a huge improvement.


I love Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams. It's a pale blue-gray with a hint of green. It's very "Restoration Hardware" and would look incredible with your floors. The Sherwin Williams Duration product is the bomb. My daughter colored all over our hallway with black ballpoint pen and it wiped right off. Love it.


Eddie Bauer "vintage gray". I know what you're thinking...brown floors and gray walls? Wha..? BUT. TRUST ME. It goes on like this cool blue without being fugly blue, ya know? And then maybe new hardware. When you can afford it, refacing those cabs will make all the difference.

As you were.


I am not gifted in the paint choosing arena, but I did use the fake metal backsplashes and they were very very easy to install and classed up my seriously old kitchen.

die Frau

First of all, precious baby feet! Love it.

We painted our kitchen with paint by Valspar called "Colorado Gray". It's got hints of blue in it, so it's really a sort of slatey blue. Very calming. And it even looked good with our hideous old green-brown tacky linoleum.

Or, I'd say go for a cayenne pepper red/orange, know what I mean? Just be sure to put down a primer first so you DON'T have to do a million coats, as someone else pointed out.

If you spend a decent amount of time in the kitchen, you want something either warming or soothing or both.

Anyway, good luck!




When I decided my 1980s faux-finished, ivy-wallpaper-border kitchen walls had to go - here's what I did:

We ran chair rail around the entire perimeter of my kitchen. We painted the top half of the walls light taupe (Sherwin Williams Utterly Beige, to be specific), and the bottom of the chair rail a darker brown (SW's Down Home). the trim, including my bashed up woodwork & cabinet frames were all painted white.

While not perfect, and I'm still stuck with ugly-ass cabinet doors and an ancient Formica countertop - it looks a lot fresher.

My advice, if you're not certain and you don't love to paint (I hate patinting with the white-hot fury of 1000 suns), is to go to Lowes or Home Depot and spend the $6 for a "repair square" of drywall (a 3 x 3 piece) and roll a few coats of primer on it. When you find an interesting color(s), buy a sample and paint the drywall square. When it dries, leave it in the kitchen for a few days and study it at different times of day and different lighting conditions to make sure it works. IT took me five months to find the right shade of taupe, but when I did, I was confident painting with it!!

Failing that - I say, paint it your favorite color. Everything else is neutral enough that you can carry almost any color you want.


I vote for painting the walls olive green. I'm hopeless at all interior design shite but I managed to make our kitchen look bitchin' by painting the walls olive green. It's colour but it also counts as a neutral. Which sounds really fucking stupid when the Home Depot dude tells you that, but makes total sense after you paint your walls olive green. Also, it brings me great joy that your dog matches your flooring because my dog also matches our hardwood (less cherry, more golden) and NO-ONE understands how cool this is.


I read through the first 25 comments or so- this might be redundant. Without looking at the comments I was going to say blue. I think blue would pull everything together.

IF you decide to go red, use a tinted primer. I painted a bedroom at our old house brick red and I used a magenta colored primer. I ended up doing 1 coat primer and 2 coats red paint and it looked even and awesome. I got tons of compliments on that room.

Good luck!


I vote color! SO scary but usually turns out brilliantly. Just pick one from one of those sample-thingies at Home Depot that shows a picture of a pretty room and tells you what colors are on it. And then don't start crying until the whole room is painted, bc it may look crappy when it's half-done or whatever. Do it do it do it


I'm sorry, this is probably not what you want to hear but... it sems like you are kind of screwed by the previous owners. The counter does not go with the cabinets at all, which makes choosing a good color virtually impossible.

Sorry to be the bearer of doom and gloom.


Came back to clarify- by blue I meant aqua!

Caressa Coots

Amy, this is said with the most love and affection I can give a somewhat total stranger. Get rid of that ugly yellow immediately. You can get a way with a dark color because you have white cabinets and appliances. I am told I have a good eye for decorating (and not like american idol where my mother said I could sing so I get up and make a complete fool of my self). My unprofessional recommendation is a wall color Crunch Granola with white trim. Nothing with red undertones to contrast the red floors. Something like a light chocolate. I'm sure you're better at this than you let on, so grow a set and pick a color. ;o) Then post a picture!


I covet your Kitchen Aid mixer. that is all.


Um... so where's the problem? Because yellows walls? I HAVE THOSE! We actually asked my husband's niece the architect/artists for input on colors to paint the interiors of our whole new house, since I am wikid retahded about colors and shit. So she elected a lovely palette (notice how that trips off the tongue). Which I hated. It was all olive green and ochre and eggplanty stuff, which all matched each other and basically was her taste, not mine. So we replaced all her choices with, yup, shades of yellow, except the formal living room (puke green) and the study (lightish poop brown)and I keep feeling like committing suicide after spending more than three minutes in either room. So I say, sistah, EMBRACE THE YELLOW!


My vote is for a deep red - I love red in a kitchen, and I think it would work well with the floors and countertops.


Please for the love of god don't go terra cotta. That's what we have in our kitchen and it's awful. We just moved in in Jan. and its' been on my to do list to paint, but so is a giant kitchen makeover that i'm sure is two years off at least.

I like the idea of a blue'll be warm cuz of the gray but calming...very nice i think...and won't clash with your floor (which looks great by the way).

Also...i love the headband!!! it looks adorable!!! i'm jealous of people that can wear headbands. my head is the wrong shape so I end up with gaps on the sides and the ends point jaggedly into my head causing LOTS of pain. I say keep the headband.


Gray or taupe that matches the counter. No white-- dirty, too many types, and your trim is white = bad joojoo. Red will look like C-rap with your floors.


How about a light grey? it would go with the black counters and white cabinets. you could accent with the blue water pictures you have which would soften the grey a bit.

btw; red walls were very trendy a few years ago and now seem passe trendy.


Our cabinets & counters are almost the same. We used Kelly Moore "wise owl" on the walls and it is warm without making the house seem too dark...we don't have a lot of natural light. It's kind of the color of coffee once you add creamer. It's a neutral color, so if you want BOLD, this is not the color for you.


I'm with the "white sucks" crowd (and oh boy! do I have experience with non-matching whites; just ask my bedroom walls!). Instead, I'd go with a nice warmish green. Maybe like bile, but a bit darker.

And I can't believe I just said that.


some shade of orange, like a lovely cantaloupe-y color


I would say no blue. I think blue in the kitchen comes off country and you don't seem that country to me (not that I know you other than reading your blogs). Please, no one be offended if you like blue or country homes, because I do think they are both great, but they just don't seem like Amalah's taste (I could be 100% wrong too).

I think you should go with red. It would be funky and bold and I think it would work really well with the color scheme you have going. I have a couple friends who have recently done red in their kitchens or dining rooms and I am so jealous that I didn't think of it first!


Holy crap, good freaking luck narrowing THAT down. I think you got 130 different suggestions with 130 different comments.

Here's another one...I agree about the lighter shade of the gray in your countertops, maybe even a gray paint with a metallic sheen? Saw it on Sell This House last week, so I swear it exists.

OTHERWISE: Buy samples. Get a red one, a blue one, a white one, a green one.

Put them all up in little patches next to the countertop, take new pictures, post them on the Interwebnet, and get yet another 130 suggestions.

But seriously, several samples all up together might really make the decision easier for you. You might go, "DEFINITELY NOT THAT ONE" and "Yes, I think that's it."

misguided mommy

Amy. I have that faux metal stuff behind my stove. It was super mega easy to install and I love it because it wipes down sooooo easily when I splatter stuff on it (I do that often cooking).

I think You should go with a tan color and maybe a red accent wall....really really deep red.

also, you know you can paint the cabinets too right?


i agree with whoever said you just have the wrong shade of yellow. I would try Da Vinci's Canvas by Benjamin Moore.


I gave up reading the other 100 comments, because I'm a little lazy. But, I do have some suggestions.
A) DO NOT do the backspash thingy you linked to. My cousin, who is very handy, did a very similar (possibly the same) product on the ceiling of his kitchen. It was supposed to look like groovy, and I've seen it look good in magazines. In real life: not so much. The stuff dented every time you touch it, it doesn't stay flat to the ceiling (or wall, if it were a backsplash), and so the light hits at a million different angles and it looks like every piece is a slightly different color.
B) For paint DO NOT USE BEHR. It's America's #1 paint because America shops at Home Depot, not because it is good. Go to Sherwin Williams. It costs more per gallon, but you won't have to buy as much, because you won't have use as many coats, and it will look better.

C) At Sherwin Williams, I would suggest a Universal Khaki. It doesn't look like khaki pants, it's sort of a soft sage color. Very nice, very neutral. Slightly reminiscent of the background color of your blog. The other colors on that sample - one hue up and one down - are also lovely, if you want to be more bold or more conservative. We used this color in our old condo, in the kitchen/living room/ dining room (which is to say our condo was one big space and a bedroom). It has enough color to be interesting, and is neutral enough to be attractive to buyers and to blend with lots of other colors. We had some left over (because we bought more than we needed, because we were used to Behr paint, and this stuff stretched forever), and used it in our master bedroom in our new house. Totally different color scheme, still an awesome color.

I don't think you can go wrong with Universal Khaki. It will make the white pop and will work with the counter and the red floor. We had it in our kitched and, aside from the odd splash from a pot or something, I never had to clean the walls. It just didn't really show smudges.


Read this blog:

No affiliation- just love it. Best ideas about everything house related.


I would definitely think about light blue or light green for the kitchen walls. I was looking at: and you can actually look at colors in various rooms, I'm sure other companies have something similar.


Oh, actually my kitchen has white cabinets and gray counters... I used Butter from Restoration Hardware. I love it! But my countertop is def. grey, not black and white. You can see it here:


I would stay away from red; it's hard to get the exact "right" shade of red. We had a red bathroom once that i'm sure the previous owners thought looked lovely but honestly, looked like somebody had slaughtered a steer in a bordello.

With the darkish floors and the whites, I would go with a green--either a nice apple green, or a sage green. Green and brown are very soothing together.


I'm at work, so can't read thru the hundred thousand comments already here - so if I repeat anything sorry!

My vote for colour is based on our own kitchen (which was this colour when we bought the house, so I can't take any credit) - it's a warm, rich burgandy red colour and I love it. We have light wood cabinets and a darker (fake) granite counter and it just makes the room homey and lovely. Although I am adding under cupboard lighting, as it can be a bit dark w/ our current lighting fixtures at night... um - but enough about me.

The OTHER thing I wanted to tell you about I was just introduced to yesterday (! I know - it's kismet, right?) - Smart Tiles. Home Depot has them and they (apparently) look exactly like tile but ridiculously easy to install and cheap! I haven't used them, and in fact haven't seen them in real life, but a colleague just discovered them and was raving about the mosaic tile she used for her backsplash, and how realistic it looks and yadda yadda yadda.

So good luck - I'm sure whatever you do will look great. It's only paint right? If you don't like it, just paint it again...


I agree with Zu. Start off by looking at your pictures, since they're going to immediately reflect your color preferences and taste. I personally like the cool blue of the sky and the seafoam green of the ocean—They'd be a nice contrast to the red in the laminate, and they're on opposite sides of the color wheel, so (I think, anyway) the colors would balance each other well.


I hate white. HATE. Grey is second, but I really hate white. The first thing I did after moving into my house was paint the white kitchen walls and cabinets. I don't think you should go too extreme, but I like the idea of a light sage green. I, too, worry about getting the right red with those gorgeous floors. Accent walls in the kitchen don't make sense unless your kitchen is huge. A lot of people are afraid of color, but obviously I'm not:


Blue. I would guess that, within that speckle-i-ness, your countertops have some shade of blue that you can use for the walls.
Um, yes, like Pocklock did.

Sherry @ This Young House

What about a soft blue gray color like Benjamin Moore's Quiet Moments 1563? Our kitchen has some similar features (wood floors, white cabinets, veiny white/gray counters) and it came out pretty well. You can get a visual here, just scroll down to the kitch:

Hope it helps!


If you have room in your heart/house for another beige, I have to highly recommend Ralph Lauren's Parchment color. It's a great, calming, beige with more green in it than pink. I painted my living room this color last fall and ended up using it in the kitchen and bathroom of my smallish apartment because it's so calming and neutral (at least to me!).


Yellow is the hardest color to get right. (and let me save you the trouble, don't bother with any shade of purple in the kitchen - trust me) Yellow is still probably the best shade for any kitchen - nailing the exact shade is the challenge.

I ended up using a light shade of yellow that is something like pale straw or light butter or something - Benjamin Moore.

Mostly I suspect that your counter tops are the culprit here. I personally don't like the granite look at all, but it is what it is. You want to find a color that plays well with the yellowish tone in the counter top. The white and black will not cause problems.

Many yellows are cursed with too much black and red components - thus getting too muddy for the kitchen. The light source will also affect things too. Incandescent vs fluorescent vs sunlight.

What you need to do is get some of those paint samples and start painting them on - try one and live with it for a week and if not, move on to another - trying several at once has always just confused me.

This is a good time to get on this, and go for a low VOC product. Ask them at the paint store about the best finish for a kitchen, you want something a little glossier than flat. Probably eggshell. They have formulations for kitchen and bath that are washable - see if you can find a low VOC one.


Cecily T

I'd go with a red if you are feeling bold, a pale green if you want 'serene', or a soft grey (although that might run in to 'dismal', not sure, I've seen some lovely grey rooms lately, often with yellow accents for pop, you could do red too for accents with grey. oh, I'm rambling parenthetically now. sorry. I'll stop.).

White would make me nervous, because, man, have you ever looked at all the white paint chips??? I wouldn't be able to choose.


I know I'm not the first one to say it...but yeah...



I didn't have time to read all the comments, so this may be a repeat, but GREEN!
We used a kind of spring green on the kitchen walls in our last house, with white cabinets and appliances, and it was awesome. The shade was Dill and it was from Lowe's, in one of the collections where the color chips are single-color squares.
In our current house, we used a darker green, called Bamboo Leaf from Sherwin Williams. We have gray granite countertops and red oak floors and a little white trim, and the color looks very nice with the reddish floors.


I went to a Chris Rock show last year, where the opening act declared Home Depot as: Place To Buy Shit to Fuck Up Your House. He proclaimed that Home Depot will rent you a machine that can cut you in half if you have a driver's license.

This comment really doesn't relate, or impart any advice, but just wanted to share.


Behr Dried Chervil


i would go with a sage/grass green, a deep red, or a terracotta/pumpkin spice-y color. grey-blue would be really pretty with the b&w, but not really "warm it up" if that's what you want. i have dark red walls in a small kitchen with natural colored wood and black laminate, and it looks good - modern but not too modern. i have no professional experience, just a girl who goes a little crazy redecorating random rooms in my condo at any given time.


I have the same cherry colored wood for cabinets and I have a red wall in my kitchen that I LOVE. In order to not do 5,000 coats you need to prime in gray first. That is my vote.

I do think you are kind of crazy for asking though. There is like a bazillion comments already and from what I read (which is not even half) they all have a different color to suggest! You need to do what YOU like. I love the red, but you may hate it... good luck!


I'm no interior designer either, but I think I would go for a lime green color on the walls. I like bold colors and I think it would go well with white, the floor color and the countertop color.


Paint it red.

Kelly J

I'm also in favor of red...


I'd say red too- not an orange-y red though. It really will pop against all of the black and white. Just get some red paint chips, tape them to the wall and see which looks best in all the different light through out the day. Good luck!


Green would be very complimentary with the wood floor. Have some fun with new cabinet handles to perk up your cabinets. You might even want to shop for those first - find something you love and then pick a wall color.

Cautionary Girl

Definitely pass on the red because of the reddish floors.

I second all the votes for a grass green. I really love Behr's "Asparagus."


I vote for the dark red as well, or the bright green was a great suggestion too. And you can do some cool stripey effects with a high gloss and a matte textured paint. A friend of mine did it in her house and it looks AWESOME.


GREEN. It's gotta be green, a nice sagey color. The greens in my house are Spring Meadow and California Avocado (if that means anything at all to you), and they would both look great with that scheme.


Aa a couple of people have already suggested, I say submit this to Apartment Therapy! It's a great resource and they offer suggestions on stuff like this all the time. Would probably need another photo showing the kitchen as a whole and also, if the space is open to another room (and what that room's color scheme is).

Oh, and step away from the faux metal backsplash. Trust your instincts about that ending in disaster. :)


I would choose a nice robin's egg blue for a splash of color. If you want to stick with neutrals, try a dove gray - it will tie in with the counters, but not be too over the top like a color would be, and also not as plain as white. Good luck!


Do not do white... I'd recommend one of two, very specific, colors.

First, Gray is SO beautiful. It's calm and serene and goes with a lot of stuff. My dining room is Shenandoah Taupe by Benjamin Moore. The only problem I see is that it's going to be a bit cold feeling in your kitchen.

Which brings me to my absolute favorite color ever for wals that looks good with anything... I have this color in my kitchen, which has all white cabinets and also in my living room (they adjoin). It's Wethersfield Moss by Benjamin Moore. It's an AMAZING COLOR. It'll seem kind of dark probably since you've been living with beige and yellow in your house but it's gorgeous. My best friend and I have it in both our houses (and we have VERY different houses). I have it in half my downstairs and in my spare bedroom. She has it in her entire downstairs. It's easy to decorate with and it'll really warm up the space and not make the counters stand out so much from the white cabinets.

Good Luck!

(Also, I don't use Benjamin Moore paint, I use Sherwin Williams so I just took my paint sample into S.W. and they color matched it.)


Someone has probably already mentioned this but what about a light slate grey? Then you can ccessorize with some pops of colour with accessories (tea towels etc). For accent colours I'm thinking orange, apple green or maybe red!


One lesson I learned about paint color choices. Pick the color you like than then go immediately 3 shades lighter since the color grows in intensity when you have it on all the walls.


I'd go for a "putty" color. Like a light gray with green/purple undertones. It sounds nuts but it would tie in the counter, floor and white cabinets.

Over at my blog:, I'm giving up free. . yup. . FREE. . design boards. I'll do one up for you in a jiff if you send me your pics.

Good luck!

Reluctant Housewife


I think white would be too much white. I think a deep red - not too dark could really pull the cabinets, counters and floor together. Something like this: or 3000-3003 or even 3016 from here: a terra cotta or brick red.


I agree with the others; white is not the answer. I'm currently debating between a steel-gray/blue and gray for my kitchen, so perhaps I'm biased, but I think a gray-blue would be magical. Also, I had a very similar yellow on every wall in my house that I have been slooowly covering room-by-room. Most people just don't understand how oppressive yellow can be.

Reluctant Housewife

Oooh... I just read through the other comments.

I agree that a nice subtle green would look very nice, too.

But I still like the red idea best.


I so was not going to offer an opinion. But, I can't help myself.

I LOVE the idea of a bold red in a kitchen, but I don't think I love it with your floors/cabinet situation.

I'm in agreement with several other commenters; loving the pale gray/blue spectrum. Although, my first gut instinct when I saw your photo was a SOFT misty green. I think a muted color will look great with the floor, and be distinct enough to not be "Hello, white sterile kitchen".

I love picking paint. :)

Good Luck!!!


I vote for red. A nice, dark, rich red. It'll look great with the white cabinets and the grey counters and even with the wood floors.

(though I should admit that I also loved your blue kitchen)

Sarah L

Red/deep brownish-red, not burgundy for a darkish brown red. think of your favorite restaurant. unless the room gets absolutely no light. then, yellow/green (middle hue).


Hmm. I was all set to recommend a light turquoise blue before reading about your old place. Well, crap. You want color, but not too much? Maybe a light, soft, sage-like green? Or what about stripes? Or, you know it might be kinda cool to paint it white and then buy wall decals.

bethany actually

My first thought for paint color was red. Not fire-engine red, more like a crimson or brick red.


I think a sparkly pink to match your headband would be sweet.
: ) Just kidding.
What about a green? A sage maybe? Or even a blue-ish green.

bethany actually

Why is TypePad eating my comments lately? I guess they must be delicious.

My first thought for the kitchen was red...not fire-engine red, more like crimson or brick red.


I'd go with a nice aqua. We found a nice shade called Jamaican Aqua from Benjamin Moore that is really refreshing and makes me think of the beach. It would be a big departure from the bad yellow without being too bold.
Good luck!

La Rêveuse

Granny Smith Apple Green. I remember an episode of Trading Spaces with a similar kitchen, and that shade looked awesome and sort of quirky. Would be a complimentary contrast to the floors. (But don't try to paint the cabinets--seriously. Not easy.)

Oh, and the headband? No, honey. No.

La Rêveuse

Granny Smith Apple Green. I remember an episode of Trading Spaces with a similar kitchen, and that shade looked awesome and sort of quirky. Would be a complimentary contrast to the floors. (But don't try to paint the cabinets--seriously. Not easy.)

Oh, and the headband? No, honey. No.


My old kitchen was this color:

I loved it. We haven't panted our new kitchen that color yet because we had BOOM etc as well.


Give me a R...R
Give me an E...E
Give me a D...D

What's that spell? Red! Who do you love? Red!

My vote is, obviously, red. My parents finally moved forward from the era of flowery wallpaper and painted their kitchen a deep red. It is awesome! They also have crappy white cabinets, circa 1973 (give or take a few), but the red paint directs your attention away from them.

P.s. Your headband isn't nearly as bad as the one I wore EVERYDAY during my middle school years. I'm a little quirky in that I would only wear the same brand of headbands, but thank goodness sometime in 9th grade I ditched the headband...and haven't worn one since.


I know that a few other people have suggested this, but I'd really go with gray, too. Or maybe even a bluish gray. The thing about gray is that people think it's a clinical, cold, or sterile color, but in the right setting it can look very rich. Especially with the right, brightly colored accessories. The trio of pics hanging near the cabinet would all look excellent on a gray backdrop. And, depending on how big your kitchen is, I'd say you could go with a medium shade and because of all of the white cabinets it would still be very bright in there. And modern without looking too IKEA-ish.

Also, my sis in-law has that back splash in her kitchen and I, like you, love the idea of it but unless it's professionally installed it pretty much looks like ass. As it does in her otherwise beautiful house. Thanks previous owners.

katie bug

i have almost the exact same color scheme going on...white cabinets, black speckled counters, and wood laminate floor. our walls are red: eddie bauer "grenadine" to be exact. it looks awesome. it's a really good dark not, not oh-my-god frighteningly bright red. one of my favorite rooms in our house.


*snort* you're freaking hilarious.

i think by asking for advice, your head's going to explode. (amy wants one color for her kitchen? ok let's name the rainbow!) but i loooove the idea of red. not a RED red, that looks..... weird, but those dark sable-y colors, if you know what i mean, that look matte but very rich. there are some beautiful coppery-red colors in that family that would look gorgeous against the floor and appliances, and would match well enough with the countertops until things have unboomed enough to deal with them.


Also, I second (or third or thirty-fifth) the idea of getting new cabinet/drawer pulls. Something just slightly more ornate than the straight rods that are on there now will completely transform the look of your cabinets.

Maybe something like this:



actually, i think whoever said think tomato soup got it right. that more or less the color i have in mind.


I think I had that boat print. From Target?

Suzy Q

I am not reading all 186 comments.

My suggestions: lavender paint.

Also, since you don't want the expense of a tiled backsplash, this is what I do as a renter: I get a few really interesting and colorful tiles and prop them up on that leetle ledge thingy. You have one, I can see it.

This gives some interest, especially if you find some really cool tiles, as I have, and you know what? If one breaks (please not the one from Italy!), it's really not all that much of a boo-hoo. Plus, you can move them around according to your mood and/or placement of your small appliances, or, in the event of a total meltdown, fling them against the wall!

I'm telling ya, it's a win-win-win.


What about the lovely sage green that is in the background of the blog? I think that might tie in nicely with the floors and counters.

I would, however, make sure to take pictures and plug them into a photo editing thingy and test out any colors that tempt you before going ahead with it. It will still likely show up differently on the actual walls, but it's much better to get an idea of what the end result might be before spending big bucks and long hours in painting mode only to realize it's not what you wanted at all.

Ed Pell

Although you are outside our company's market area, I'd be glad to answer questions about refacing or other kitchen issues.

I was editor of Kitchen & Bath business, the industry trade magazine, for 20 years, and have worked in the kitchen/bath industry since the age of Disco.

We have a blog with information at


Not sure about the color, but I love an accent wall done with chalk paint, they have different colors now too! Fun for the whole family :)


Okay. I wasn't going to comment on color, but I have to. Don't do is overdone. Go with a color that evokes calmness, like a mint green, lavender, or a shade of gray that's on the blue side. Then you can accent with towels and stuff like someone else said. And I still say change the cabinet hardware!


One of the most cost effective things you could do initially is change the pulls. If you can't decide on a style buy 2 of a few styles to test them out on the cabinets and return what you don't like. They are super easy to change.

As far as any paint color just make certain that the color flows with whatever room the kitchen is open to.

You may want to consider buying some colored kitchen accessories e.g. such as blue canisters, a fiestaware utensil crock or a bright tea kettle, etc. sometimes that little pop of color is all it takes. Good Luck!


Pewter grey.

We just painted a guest room Downpour by Behr and love it.

Or if you think grey is too drab/dark/not "warm" enough for a kitchen, go with green. Any shade from granny smith apple to grass to a grey-green would work.


Red is awesome--I just used a dark red in my dining room--Benjamin Moore "Raspberry Truffle." Also if you want a more neutral with warmth and presence, Benjamin Moore's "Bar Harbor Beige" looks good with absolutely anything!

The comments to this entry are closed.