Kitchen/Dining Room - Before & After
So...since there never seems to be a true and official "DONE" to this decorating thing (even though I wish there were), I'll go ahead and share the kitchen and dining room after our painting marathon last week (1 week + 7 rooms + 7 ceilings, + 2 sick kids = pure chaos).
We went from a dirty, scratched, banged up and beaten khaki flat paint (that looks unbelievably better in photos than it did in person) to a rich, dark gray in the kitchen and dining room (that, ironically *doesn't* seem to photograph as well, but we love in person).
Besides the dirt and scuffs we were anxious to cover up, we weren't digging the brown on brown on more brown color scheme and have never liked how the khaki walls meshed with the reddish floors.
So, with the help of a professional decorating friend, we chose a dark gray paint - Sherwin Williams Anonymous 7046 - that we pulled from the flecks in our granite countertops. Since we started with almost NO contrast, we were looking for a very distinctly different color than the cabinets and counters.
In natural daylight, the color has a nice dark gray tone, but in more tungsten lighting at night, it does have a slight olive-greenish hue that I'm not *crazy* about...but it works, and replacing some light bulbs for whiter lighting might help with that.
Is the room darker? Yes. Cleaner? MUCH. And most importantly -- it's not so dang brown! It has a little bit of a restaurant/cafe feeling to it now.
Here are some photos from all four corners of the room...
I'd still like to figure out how and where to add a pop of color without adding much clutter, (I'm open to suggestions - Throw rugs? Curtains on the porch doors? Backsplash art?) but for now, just being clean and painted is reward enough!
Per our friend's professional suggestions, we also painted the ceilings the same color as the walls. We had intended to paint both the kitchen and dining room ceilings that same dark gray color, which we love in the kitchen (it actually makes the ceilings appear to recede and get taller). But...after one coat on the dining room ceiling, we were not happy with the way our light fixture reflected light off of the dark color. It looked very green and just wasn't good. So instead, we painted the ceiling in the dining room (which is nicely divided from the kitchen, even though it's an open space), two shades lighter in the same color family - Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray 7043. Ahh. Much better. With all the windows in there, it actually makes you kind of feel like you step outside when you sit down at the dining room table.
In addition to all the painting (and cleaning), we did a little bit of decluttering and moved some furniture out of the room to try and open it up even more. The tall brown bookshelf in the corner of the dining room has been replaced with a small round table and plant. And my black secretary desk that was underneath the gallery wall has been happily relocated to the entryway. Moving those larger pieces out gives us a little more breathing room and makes the rooms feel bigger.
I'm also trying to be *really* sure about the wall art and decor before I put more holes in the walls, and am trying hard not to fill EVERY. SINGLE. SPACE. That's very hard for me - it runs in my blood. Just ask my mom. :) So, I'm still pondering what to hang and whether to re-hang some of the wall art, which is why a few spots look oddly bare.
Wondering about how the gallery wall survived the repainting? No? I'm gonna tell you anyway.
I was pretty sure I wanted to keep it, and I KNEW I didn't want to have to rehang the whole thing from scratch, so when we prepped to paint the wall, I took everything down, but left the nails and marked the holes that I wanted filled with a red marker. Then I took all the nails out and we filled the unwanted holes (there were plenty of extras), but left the ones we needed. We painted right over it all, and when it came time to hang the gallery back up, I just followed a photograph of the old wall like a map to find the places where I could push the nails back into place and hang the photos. Worked wonderfully.
And whew...I think I still like it. :)
So there you have it. The kitchen/dining room not-so-big reveal, that no one on earth cares one bit about, except me. It's not plastic surgery...just a little makeup change. :)