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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

the kitchen makover

Last night, we had a lovely dinner with friends at their home. Friends who trusted us enough to be a part of their kitchen and family room renovation.
It's safe to say we all parted last night feeling excited and inspired!

It started as an idea, just a little kitchen makeover, and as these things go, it soon turned into a much bigger project. We are just so proud, as ellen j goods, and as friends, to be a part of the consultation and design...not to mention some of the contracting work. 

So how does this process work?
We met early on, and talked about the overall plan, the construction and hard structural changes and how we could put the finishing touches on the contractor's work.  Rhonda had some clear ideas of what she wanted as far as the finished look. Clean, fresh, and representative of their personalities...well, mostly hers, since it's her kitchen! I know her, and it's safe to say that she needed some help to have her ideas and vision become a reality. We gathered paint swatches, back splash and trim tiles and conferred. What do you like? What don't you like? We shared pictures of finished kitchens with these colors and tiles from sites  like Houzz. and Pinterest. (by the way, two of my FAVORITE decorating resources!)

We discussed color and while Rhonda had already decided on black, white and gray, we talked about needing some warmth and injecting some color focal points. And that it would be okay. What we find is that with a new renovation project, it can sometimes be a little scary to go beyond that fresh, newly constructed look and add layers of personality. But it's okay. See, most times, people really do know what they want and what they like. It just takes encouragement to draw that out.

First we talked about wall and ceiling colors. And yes, we encouraged a darker ceiling. Your ceiling does not have to be white. especially in a room that has so much white. The decision was a shade of gray on the walls, darker gray on the ceiling, white cabinets and trim, and selected areas of a favorite color...aqua/turquoise. Where would be put such a bold color choice in a kitchen that was fifty shades of gray? Strategic areas began to reveal themselves...under the island, the wainscot trim above the island and above the sink. It was just enough to provide interest.

The question of the door color was a big one. Deep gray? black? No, too much of a sunken hole. White? boring. What is Rhonda's favorite color? Red.  We showed them some samples and in the end, our friends were willing to take the risk. But to me, it wasn't a risk at all. Red is her favorite color, it's warm, it's opposite the color wheel from aqua.  And what's not to love about white, black aqua and red?

One thing I'd like to add here...well, actually two things.

1. It's only paint. If you don't like it, change it.
2. We often only see in our minds, or in actuality, one part of the whole. If we think of just a red door in an unfinished kitchen, it's like a woman just putting on her lipstick. That's all you see. But when you add the other elements to the design, the red doesn't stand out the way it did on it's own. When that woman puts on foundation, does her eye makeup and blush, suddenly you see the whole face in balance, and not just her lips. See what I'm saying?

The budget prohibited new cabinets. That's where we came in. With a custom paint job and finish, Jipp and Rhonda had a completely different look for a fraction of the cost. We transformed those outdated 80s solid cabinets into something fresh and updated! There is a very slight reveal to the edges, which adds an element of warmth and softness.

Now that the whole kitchen is complete, there is a balance and personality to it. With added accessories, it will be even more personal and representative of Jipp and Rhonda. But the scary part is over!

We started with sketches. We talked about wants and desires. We encouraged a little risk taking with color. And with gentle guidance and a vision for the whole picture, Jipp and Rhonda have the kitchen of their dreams that fits their budget.

Back to last night... we sketched and talked and dreamed and encouraged some more for the family room area...stay tuned for THAT exciting reveal!