Need some color advice in the kitchen!

flgargoyleSeptember 6, 2010

I finally got around to doing my tile backsplash in our kitchen make-over. First I made new cabinet doors, then had new counter tops made, and now the tile. Not the kind of creative stuff Chris does, but it will serve it's purpose! Now to the question- What color would you paint the walls? As you can see, the whites don't match. The formica is kinda of a grayish-blue, and I'm thinking a splash of color might be needed with all of the white/black/gray. There's very little wall area in the kitchen, so I'm thinking we could use some color. What do you think? I'm also pondering a grout color- white? Gray? Black?

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Shades_of_idaho

Loving how it turned out. Also creative on the center of the stove tile. Very nice. Looks Deco to me.

I am so bad choosing grout color.I think I would go white and seal it really well. I like Tile Lab

I know this is WAY out there but I saw some really pretty rooms done with charcoal gray walls. Not sure it would work for a kitchen. I will go exploring to see if I can find the place I saw them.

And a thought. Since you are going to put your house on the market maybe do the color in pieces and not on the walls. This would leave it an open book for new owners.

Here is a link that might be useful: Scroll through these inspiration pictures. I would not use the chalk board paint though. There is a white kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 6:16PM
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marti8a

FLgargoyle, can you get a photo of the kitchen standing a bit further back?

I really like the way you did the tile, especially the accent strip. I would use grout the same color as your tile, but I just think it makes it look bigger. I'd also use SpectraLock Grout because it won't stain, and that's the biggest problem with most grout in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 6:36PM
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flgargoyle

I'll get some better pics up tomorrow. I'll also try to get a close-up of the formica- there's some other colors in there, although I can't see 'em unless I'm right up on it.

The middle tile is just the way it worked out- of course, they wouldn't line up if I just did them straight across. So I got a little fancy with the keystone effect.

I bought a cheap little tile saw that I love! I did behind the stove and the adjacent wall in about 3 hours. Sure beats using a tile cutter.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 7:30PM
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FlowerLady6

Great tile work. It looks classy and unique. I look forward to seeing a closeup picture of the formica to see what colors might look great on the walls.

FlowerLady

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 7:36AM
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emagineer

I don't know if I've seen subway tile with another color grout. So my suggestion is stick with white. Not knowing what others might like in color I would stay with the same color as cabinets too. Then add color with accessories to take away from the white white of the appliances.

Whenever we do something ourselves we are much more critical. You did a great job. And yes I'd love seeing the whole kitchen too.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 7:42AM
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young-gardener

There are some great samples on the Bathroom forum, showing different grout colors. I used Mapei warm gray in our bathroom, and it has just the right amount of contrast for me. I don't know how it would look against black tile though. My subways were all white. Your tile work looks wonderful.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 6:29PM
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Moccasin

Jay, if you have a couple of sample jars of paint, over on the decorating forum they say paint up some sample art boards with them and hold them up.

I do not like blue in general, but if your Formica has a little of it to accent, go with a really soft sort of muted blue as long as it does not kill the light. I cannot BELIEVE that I am suggesting BLUE for anything. And another color is the softest of grays, with a little dove gray look. That way, you could add your pops of red, or blue, or even yellow. Yellow and gray are one of my favorite color combos, but I am into the softer colors.
For really bright colors, I make those things easy to change out because it is very easy to get tired of them.

But for my all time favorite kitchen color, it is Behr's THREADED GOLD. Which is an earthy light yellow ochre, no harshness to it at all. However, I think for your kitchen, not seeing what the floor looks like nor the countertops close up, I'd say paint it either that soft (NOT pastel) light blue, or dove gray.

You do very good work, classy. Of course I love the beadboard and the subway tiles. Keeping a close eye on how it works out for you, because I am scheduled to plan the two side-by-side baths in DH's cape when I go north. And I want it to be beadboard, black and white mostly.

Please keep us posted on what you choose for the grout. The devil is in the details.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 9:14PM
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desertsteph

"I do not like blue in general... I cannot BELIEVE that I am suggesting BLUE for anything."

how weird, I'm the same way! teal, turquoise I love... but regular blues -NO.

i agree that a soft grey - maybe with a tinge of blue might be good. adding color with curtains, accessories...

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 9:29PM
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loribee2

Beautiful job on the tile! I agree with those who say go with white grout. Especially if you're selling soon, don't take chances on something that can't be changed easily.

I agree with Moccasinlanding on the wall color--my first thought had been a buttery yellow. (Okay, really my first thought was red, but then someone said you're selling so nix that, LOL). I'd stay away from grays for fear it would leave the room too cold, unless you've got nice warm wood floors.

I did a google image search on black and white kitchen, and these were some accent colors that looked pretty, yet neutral enough for the housing market. I really love the dusty blue in that last photo.

Good luck with it! You've done a really beautiful job so far!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 10:21PM
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lavender_lass

I really like your kitchen and love the tile work. If you're going to sell the kitchen, neutrals are always a good idea, but black, white and gray can feel a little cold (as already mentioned).

What about a soft leafy green color? Not that neon lime, but a nice, soft spring green? I think it would look great and also compliment any wood accents you might have...like the handle on your microwave. Just a thought :)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 12:36AM
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idie2live

Jay, I love your kitchen. You did an excellent job on the backsplash. I have had mine laid out on the counter for a month trying to come up with a simple design for over the stove. You've given me an idea.
Since your floor looks very light, you could use a little color. Personally, I would go for some type of green. But since you are planning to sell I know it probably would be a bit much!
So, maybe use a soft color like in the middle picture, and then get stronger punches of color from the accessories.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 12:57AM
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flgargoyle

Thanks all for the suggestions so far! I'll get some more pictures this weekend- have to tidy up a bit. It's so small it's hard to get good pictures. The floor is a very light gray tile. I don't know how we wound up with so many off-whiteish colors, but our kitchen is small and has no windows, so I guess it was a reaction to how dark it was. I know from working on cars that white can be the hardest color to match, and all of our whites are different.

I saw some kind of a pewter gray on the Kitchen forum that looked nice; I'll have to find it. We do need to keep neutral in the interest of re-sale. I probably went overboard on the tile pattern, but hopefully someone else will love it too!

BTW- the wood handle on the microwave was a McGyver quick-fix when the plastic one disintegrated. They wanted $60 for a plastic handle! The 'wave will be replaced before we move.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 5:25AM
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FlowerLady6

Jay ~ in your first posting when you mentioned gray I thought that would look really nice with your tile work and what you have going on there. Now you mention gray again, and I still think it would look great. Modern, clean, and salable.

FlowerLady

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 7:03AM
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Moccasin

Jay, I do like the powdery blue in the photo shown above. It would also be totally appropriate to have some plates hanging in the blue willow design. Your kitchen is basically a b & w kitchen with touches of gray because of the stainless steel. A real favorite kitchen color in many many design magazines has been a blue and white kitchen. You could have that with only a few changeable items in the blue accent and have the wall a blue, which is always reversable should someone (like moi) buy your house. Adding any more colors to the kitchen should be done as easily reversable as possible. Your kitchen has great chameleon qualities as it stands, but is ready for some color to be added.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 11:28AM
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marti8a

I like that blue too, but it reads a little more teal on my monitor.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 12:05PM
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young-gardener

A nice grey with a blue undertone is Nurture by Behr. It changes a lot throughout the day, so I never tire of it. We used it in our LR and DR. It's very understated because it's so washed out. I like it with black and white accessories.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 1:11PM
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gayle0000

I respectfully demand the pics with wider shots. lol! Seriously, don't worry about getting it cleaned up perfect for us.

This fall/winter, I will be painting my cabs white. My countertop is just like yours except the edges are curved & has the lip going a few inches up the wall. I also have white appliances & my stove is not a twin to yours, but definitely a first cousin. I'm EXTREMELY interested in this thread!

I will also be adding white backsplash tile as well...just plain white for me though. Seriously, I would not put in colored grout. You already added black tile accents. Colored grout is an accent & would be distracting & too much going on (in my opinion) because you already have an accent in the black tile. I also know (from being a Realtor in my past) with colored grout...I used to see new construction homes with exact same materials & different details from house to house....colored grout makes the footage of a floor/wall look a smaller than what it is...especially in smaller spaces. Also, colored grout looks best on larger tiles where the gap is wider (like with 12" ceramic) and the grout will be obviously seen and make a presence. I think the small gaps with your tile...and being in a kitchen...colored grout here would look more dirty than pretty.

As for the wall colors, my first gut was a grey as well just based on the 1 pic. I would really like to see a pic of the room showing what the floors look like. I think whatever color you choose should take the floors into consideration as well. Also, the mood/vibe of the rest of the room would play a big part of the color.

Does your countertop have flecks of color which is not obvious at first glance? Mine have widely-spaced flecks of brown/rust, which warms it up, and took me a few days before I noticed them. Those brown flecks are something I'm taking into consideration in picking out my own paint colors.

Gayle

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 7:23AM
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oceanna

What a darling kitchen!

I am SO impressed by the cabinet doors you made. Was that hard to do? I would love to have doors like that in my kitchen.

I love an all-white kitchen with red trim. There are quite a number of adorable kitchens pictured in the Cottage Decor thread -- some are white with red trim. You will also see a bunch of wonderful kitchens in the Kitchen thread.

I'm sure you can find inspiration there.

But here are a couple of my favories:

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 8:39PM
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Moccasin

Jay, are you there, sugar?
We are all holding our breath for your choice of photos?
Don't consider us company. We are definitely NOT going to be
critical of incidentals such as food in the kitchen, or paint brushes on the counter, or drop cloths on the floor.

You can do it. And what is your color choice for this really fine kitchen which will SELL YOUR HOUSE QUICKLY. In fact, you might have to store your stuff and rent an apartment until you retire to SC.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 1:02PM
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flgargoyle

ML- I love your optimism re selling our house! I forgot I owe you folks some pics- I'll try to remember to get some this weekend. Meanwhile, we are living with the tile and letting it sink in- part of the creative process, don't you know!

The real problem with tidying up the kitchen for pics is that if you can't SEE the counters for the stuff, it's gonna be hard to pic a color LOL!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 4:43PM
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Shades_of_idaho

LOL @ Jay,

Was noticing your stove and the top controls are close to mine. Since our stove was second hand there was no book to come with it. The first time I went to turn on the oven I stood there just stunned. NO oven knob!! I had to go on line and google the stove manual to find out how a person turns on an oven with no knob.

I adore the green in our kitchen but I do NOT adore it with the new back splash tiles and even though I just painted the room last summer/fall I am considering repainting it. Darn it all!!! So do choose your color carefully.

Chris

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 6:38PM
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Moccasin

Shades, next time you need a manual for ANYTHING, go to the link below.

The one I am giving you go to the KITCHEN stuff. But they will also have a section for yard tools like the weedeaters and the chainsaws and the chipper and shredders. I have made it a rule to visit them and see if they have my appliance manuals. If so, I download them to my computer and it beats the heck out of searching in a file cabinet somewhere for a manual.

It is also a good idea to keep all your serial numbers too.

I bet they have your stove manual.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Manuals On Line

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 7:24PM
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flgargoyle

OK- The long-awaited pictures are ready. In most of them, the counters look a little light, and the floor looks a little warmer than it actually is- tough to get accurate colors indoors.



    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 11:16AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

flgargoyole, your kitchen looks great! I especially like the black trim and 'keystone' on your backsplash. Oh, and it's nice to see that someone else uses the fridge as I do--a message board, art gallery, photo album, etc. ;)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 1:37PM
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Moccasin

Jay, I really like the galley style of your kitchen. And the beadboard cab door fronts look great.

If you add any color to it, how about some soft ochre yellow?
Not the hard harsh yellow of a primary color, but the soft yellow earthy color. It goes beautifully with gray and white.
Also with black.

Most of any color you add to this kitchen can be the "take away" kind, which you will take with you when you move. The style is complete as it stands.

I think your tiles are as neat as a pin. You are a perfectionist. If they are smooth and not textured like my Italian unglazed porcelain tiles, they do have similar color.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 1:58PM
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Shades_of_idaho

Again no help from me the one that already painted kitchen, what 6 months or so ago, and is in process of re-painting it last night and today.GGGRRRRR on me.

I used the light green because I was going in a different direction at the time and love the green and now going back to the original white or slightly off white it was to begin with. Enough of it is done to know this was the right thing to do.

In your kitchen I think the white is fine. I can see it is not exactly but if it were that might not be good either. Still thinking a really light gray would be very elegant. Such a beautiful kitchen. You did a wonderful job with the doors and tiles.

Chris

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 2:08PM
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gayle0000

Great kitchen! Now that I see the rest of the area, I don't think I would paint the walls in a color. You don't have a lot of wall space, and I think painting them would distract from the openness.

If you MUST paint walls, I would do a very, very light grey and try to avoid a lot of contrast with the white.

Instead of paint color, I would suggest you pick a great accessory color and do some things with that...like a substantial rug in a great color. Replace the clock. Get a teapot in a color...not stainless steel.

I would remove the doors from the smaller upper cabinets (sink & stove) and use those spaces for cookbooks, pretty napkins in baskets, or other cute display items that go with the kitchen. Bring the color up and use it as part of the architecture.

Just some ideas.
Gayle

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 7:48AM
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enigmaquandry

It looks beautiful! I love the "racing stripe" of black tile and the doors...really beautiful.

I'm a vote for an ochre color on the walls, just because I love how it goes with the grey.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 5:18PM
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