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Project Kitchen: Picking Paint #foreclosuretohome

Project Kitchen: Picking Paint

March 5, 2016 Sarah Coggins

Our kitchen makeover has been on a standstill since we had the tile backsplash installed last summer. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know we’ve begun looking to jump start the project again by picking paint for the walls.

Project Kitchen: Picking Paint #foreclosuretohome

Choosing a color for our kitchen would seem pretty simple given our cabinets are white and granite counters are nice & neutral in a black/white/gray stone. But herein lies the downside of “open concept.” It seems like every television home show is touting homeowners on the search for (or wanting to knock down walls to create) an open concept living space. We just stumbled across it in the foreclosure house and, in general, like it although it wasn’t a “must have” when searching.

The problem? The family room is dark. Very, very dark.

Family Room: March 2016

The photo above is a bit deceiving, but helps explain things a bit. For starters our loveseat and sofa (not pictured) were purchased when we lived in our first house. Their olive green color worked great in a living room with a large window facing west and open to an east facing dining room. Now, unfortunately, they are situated in a family room that is in the direct southern corner of the house. One window does face southwest and gets direct sun in the afternoons, but the other two windows and those in the connected kitchen all face northwest and receive no direct sun.

Combine this with poor lighting and walls painted Kilim Beige? It’s dark. Dark, dark, dark. Especially in comparison to our much brighter, white kitchen at the opposite end of the room.

Project Kitchen: Tile Backsplash Complete
(Photo from backsplash project – our counters are not empty in real life!)

We did update the curtains in our family room to newer, lighter ones from World Market (Floral Tatiana) versus the temporary tablecloth option I originally tried. The reds in the tablecloths were just too dark. The blue design in the new curtains is much fresher and gave me my starting point selecting paint. I carried one of the ties with me when choosing paint samples.

Project Kitchen: Paint Samples with Curtain Fabric #foreclosuretohome

The colors I chose were Valspar 191 Sea Salt Blue and 254 Sigh. The latter I actually thought might be best for our guest / craft room upstairs (also in the south corner in very dark), but knew it had potential downstairs as well so I started painting swatches of both all over our kitchen. To the point I joked that soon our kitchen will look like Elmer. I’ll just keep adding patches of color all over. 😉

Kitchen Makeover: Paint Samples on the Wall

Kitchen Makeover: Paint Samples on the Wall

The best spot to really see both colors is between one of our upper cabinets and the window over the sink. The upper & lower colors are the Sea Salt Blue (do you see the green in it?) and the middle is the lighter Sigh blue shade. Honestly, I’m torn. The greener one does look good against the white, but I’m fearful it will be too dark in the family room area. When you look at the top swatch it helps show how it’s really just trading one dark neutral for another. Even if adding a little color.

The lighter blue color doesn’t blend in too much with the white, which is good. But doesn’t have a lot of contrast either. On the other hand, it’s considerably lighter so I feel confident our family room would lighten up with this on the walls.

The entire process has me laughing. I’m quite frequently a “it’s just paint. We can always repaint” person when choosing a color. And pretty much did so for every room we’ve ever painted in either house except the kitchen. In our first house I lost track of how many times I went back for a new sample trying to get the perfect color for our kitchen & dining room. I ended up with a special blend! There is something about painting around all those windows, cabinets, and moving appliances … well, it’s a lot more work than the bathrooms or laundry room. And every time I look at these samples on the wall, my opinion changes – go with one or go back for another sample?

Do you find picking paint to be a simple task or one that takes time?

Looking for more kitchen inspiration? Follow my Kitchens board on Pinterest!

Follow Sarah Coggins’s board Kitchens on Pinterest.


  • Allison Barrett Carter March 5, 2016 at 8:50 am
    Yes but those curtains!!! I may buy them for our master because they are gorgeous...😀
    • Sarah Coggins March 5, 2016 at 9:31 am
      They are gorgeous! Worth every penny. The colors and pattern are great, plus well made. I definitely recommend. Now, if I could just pick a color for the walls...
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  • Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories June 8, 2016 at 8:12 am
    I have been dreading painting our kitchen and living room too which are open as well and the living room is 2 stories so I'm really having a hard time committing to a color. I love blues with white and gray and those are the color combos I'm leaning towards in our kitchen as well. Good luck, it's looking great so far!
    • Sarah Coggins June 8, 2016 at 2:13 pm
      Thanks! I finally chose a color last week. It took another sample plus a 50% tint, but I officially committed, bought a gallon and started to paint above our cabinets so we could add the trim. Photos & details to come!

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    Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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