Painting the Kitchen

I’ve lived in this house almost 10 years now. The kitchen was the first thing we painted because it had this awful plaid wallpaper that refused to budge (we probably could have tried harder, but decided to read up on painting over wallpaper and went that route) and a floral print border on the top. The 80s and 90s were weird.

My decor ideas at the time were pretty bold. I like colors and I wasn’t afraid of putting something bright on my walls. The house came with a mustard yellow fridge that was nearly as ancient as the house itself and since we decided to leave that and use it for as long as it would last, I embraced the retro feel of the place and went with a color called “Shallow Valley” for the walls and a shade of black for the border.



Eventually I got a more rustic table cloth to cover the hideous table top and in the light of day it looked really nice. I had the color the entire time I’ve lived here, up until yesterday when mom and I finally got around to painting the walls again.

kitchen - valspar - distant valley


I’m pleased with the way it looks this morning. Last night I was worried it was going to be a little too “baby boy nursery,” but it ended up being the pale hue I was hoping for.



Now I have a decision to make. That border. I don’t understand it. The thing serves no purpose. I could have so much more cabinet space if it weren’t for that thing. But it’s there and I’ve got to work with it and I need some help.

My initial idea was to paint it the same white as the trim, but I’m having second thoughts. I feel like painting it white will leave it little underwhelming. It will also mean I’ll need to repaint the cabinets sooner. With the new white against the old I think the old will look pretty drab and need a new coat of paint. That’s not a job I want to take on right now, so I’m trying to come up with ideas for this thing. I’ve scrolled through pages and pages of images on Pinterest, but I’m not really sure what to look for. Valspar has some suggested palettes and I do need to keep in mind that the living room (which is visible from the kitchen) is in Valspar’s “Milestone” (not quite this dark in real life):


Ideas? I need some help!

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11 Responses to Painting the Kitchen

  1. Katie says:

    How about this kind of Blue? (Vivid Blue)

    I just looked up the same paint company you’ve already used, just for a starting point. I think it will also look decent with the colour in the living room.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hmm. It’s nice, a bit too blue for my taste though. Not really wanting to go that bright. Something more muted and calming. Thank you!

      • Katie says:

        Hmmm. Ok, if I think of anything else I’ll let you know.

      • Katie says:

        I guess a sensible question is, what changed since you painted it bright green?

        • Elizabeth says:

          I’m not sure. Tastes change. My living room used to be red with a dark glaze. Now it’s a taupe. Bright colors are nice, but they aren’t particularly soothing, nor do they actually brighten a room with light. I want something different.

  2. Misti says:

    I think if you did a blue just a shade or two darker that it would work on the border. Make it a little more distinct but not overwhelming.

    The light blue brightens the room nice!

  3. Urban Wife says:

    It’s already looking better! I’m not sure about that odd trim space though. Could you just use the same new wall color? Good luck!

    • Katie says:

      I thought of this as well, but when you specifically mentioned it needing to not-clash with the living room too, I thought it needed more of a contrast.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I’m not sure it would look very good like that. I think it needs to be different.

  4. LeAnna says:

    Sent you a pin with my color idea (gray) but looking more at your living room color, I’m not sure if that will go??? What about a darker version of your living room color, more along the brown colors? (For what it’s worth, I had my paint guru husband look at these pictures, and his first suggestion was a shade of brown to complement your living room. Don’t tell him I agreed. :P)

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