Falling for My White Kitchen

I painted the door to the bathroom white this weekend, along with the door between the kitchen and dining room. I cleaned the bare wood, did a little sanding (and broke out my “retro safety glasses”), then primed and put two coats of paint on. I also got rid of the high chair.

Kitchen Instagram Photos

I was looking through some of my decorating books, and I saw a kitchen I liked with an old industrial stool in it. I realized I had something similar from when I bought my dining room chairs, and I got excited. I also thought that maybe an old print we’ve had sitting in the basement (um, there are a lot of things “sitting” in the basement right now) would work on the wall where the high chair was. When I brought the two up, I got really excited. I may have fallen for my white kitchen.

All-White Kitchen

It looked like this before.

The Kitchen, Before

Not bad (and maybe preferred by some), but I do like the current look more. Brandon and I worked so hard on that kitchen (we demolished and replaced everything except the flooring when we moved in), but five years of yellow paint and shabby wood was enough.

Here’s the ‘get your bearings’ shot (taken from the dining room), complete with crazy lady scrawl to highlight all of my kitchen’s flaws. Yay!

Kitchen: Get Your Bearings

The wide-angle lens makes it look huge. It is not. The size doesn’t bother me, but all that white is a little boring. Maybe painting the back door would help? Or a colorful refrigerator! OK, the door is more doable, but I’ve been dreaming about having a cute fridge for years. I mean, COME ON. I could totally pull that look off in my kitchen.

Moving on.

Candice Bergen Quote

The print belonged to Brandon’s grandmother. My mother-in-law said that her mom talked a shop owner into selling it to her, though it wasn’t actually for sale. I was able to attribute the quote to Candice Bergen. I don’t know anything more about it, but I do like it a whole lot.

Dinosaur Planter

That little dino guy used to be lime green. He stays because August likes him so much, but I did give him a more subtle paint job. He and the vintage canisters were picked up at The Vintage Bazaar, and the Heath Ceramics vase was a San Francisco souvenir.

Kitchen Sink

The sink side of the kitchen looks like it has all along. Some flowers would be nice in that vase, but alas, none on hand.

White Kitchen

Just like last time, the window treatments are coming in last. I’m second guessing my decision to use the Rifle Paper backdrop fabric because the windows actually look good bare. Although maybe they could go from good to great with curtains? Roman shades? Roller shades? Or the fabric from the curtains I just tried in the office? (Those are likely being returned soon.)

White Kitchen

I was going to paint the lower cabinets. Again, now I’m not so sure. I think I should paint the back door, and maybe bring in a rug. New light? Keep the white paint? I don’t know anymore. I like the white a lot more than I did though, that’s for sure. Not bad for a DIY IKEA kitchen in a hundred-year-old bungalow.

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  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Another idea, paint the inside of your shelves the same color as the back of the door!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      February 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Yes, I think I may paint the shelves a fun color! Maybe something to work with, but not match exactly the back door.

  • Reply
    Alison @ Deuce Cities Henhouse
    February 11, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    It looks so great! When you first posted about the white I wasn’t sure it was going to be the best choice, but with the white window trim and the white door and the oil rubbed bronze door hardware it looks so amazing! That stool is totally the best too.

    I’m glad you posted a wide angle photo of your entire kitchen, it’s very similar in layout to mine. My fridge also sticks out like a sore thumb and I have no idea what to do with it. I’m curious to see how you handle it. Is the flooring area with the “different (not nice) wood” where a pantry used to be? We have a pantry that’s now part of our “kitchen area” and it’s such a weird space.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      February 11, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      I wasn’t sure white would be the best choice either, but I’m glad I tried it.

      The layout must have been different at some point in the kitchen, because that patched wood area is weird. The window there is also a later addition that doesn’t match the style of the others.

  • Reply
    Dana @ House*Tweaking
    February 11, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I’m pretty sure I just fell for your all-white kitchen, too.

  • Reply
    Judy Miller
    February 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    LOVE the white….the stool and the print sealed the deal! Add a rug, new light fixture, and maybe paint one of the doors or a wall with chalkboard paint. You can bring in print/color with towels and other decor. I love the simplicity of it!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Maybe paint the doors black and add a colorful rug or two? I like the white more than the green/yellow, but def think you should paint the door(s)..

  • Reply
    Jen Walter
    February 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Do nothing! The all white looks amazing. You have such good taste in accessories, that those pops of color really complete the room. I just love all white kitchens. I always want to put dark gray in somewhere, but whenever I see the all white, I fall in love all over again every time.

  • Reply
    Mary Ann
    February 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    LOVE that Rifle Paper pattern – it would make a great fabric-covered roller shade.

    Or… Maybe a small (changeable!) art gallery in lieu of the black & white poster? (I know that you collect great art prints.) I’d be thrilled to pass on a batch of Matte Black frames… I can just picture them near that cool stool. They’re made right here in Chicago!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Wow Nicole!

    I can’t believe you could make your kitchen any more lovely! Nice job. I am in the planning process of our 90 year old kitchen remodel and I am wavering over my choices everyday.

    I too, am lusting after a colorful Smeg fridge and now that West Elm stocks them, I’m even more motivated to get rid of our giant white 6 year old Samsung *which needs repairing often* My biggest concern is losing the cubic footage inside. I’m smitten with the Exeter 5 Jar pendant at Pottery Barn for my light fixture. We’re installing Ikea cabinets and wood countertops which has me nervous since I’m a self proclaimed klutz and I’m sure I’ll ruin them. I am trying to convince my husband we NEED the Machinist stools from Industry West in blue.

    Nicole, do you have any suggestions for installing subway tile backsplash? We’re going to try to tackle it ourselves.


    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      February 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Not that you need the temptation any more than I do, but Northstar and Big Chill both make fridges in the same types of colors as Smeg, but they are larger, modern appliances that just look cute and retro.

      Tiling is a pretty easy DIY job. I searched for instructions online, talked to the people at the tile shop, and then went for it.

      And yo totally need those blue stools!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I rarely comment, but I have to tell you — I LOVE the white! The whole kitchen looks incredible and I think adding a few colorful accessories (like the Rifle Paper curtains) will add just the right amount of color.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Looks great – really bright! I think the rifle fabric curtains will bring a nice touch of color as well. I would LOVE a colorful Smeg fridge – it’s on my wishlist for when I have an endless budget.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    I painted my kitchen all white, then added a black wall, my grandparents beat up (loved) table and a rug with lots of red – I love it now (more than when it was all white – my kitchen is the most beat up space in my house (needs new flooring, trim, cabinets – but I love changing it – You’re doing great with yours, I think you’re going to love all the layers you plan on adding!

  • Reply
    Artsy Forager
    February 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    The white looks so much more fresh and sophisticated, it fits your aesthetic perfectly! Just those few subtle shots of color make all the difference. I think a colored fridge might be a bit much, but LOVE the idea of a painted back door and rugs to bring in a bit more warmth. And I agree with Kate above, the inside of those shelves would be fabulous painted, perhaps a compliment rather than match to the back door.

    I’ve been enjoying seeing it all come together!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I really did like the look of your kitchen before, but the white is beautiful and looks so polished.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    It looks great! Would you consider painting the back door the same shade of green as the medicine box on your countertop?

  • Reply
    Katie Stephenson
    February 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I like it white! If I could change one thing it would adding the colorful fridge. I would like one for myself too but I wondered about the function of Smeg. They look pretty small and the freezer situation I’m not sure would work for my family. What about painting those floors grey to hide the mis-matched floors? I’ve always wanted to do that but have continued to be too chicken/lazy.

    My vote is for a real roman shade. I’ve made them before. They’re hard but I believe you can do it.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      February 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Smeg fridges are tiny, but there are others out there that are cute and colorful and normal-sized.

      I’d thought about painting the floor before, but chickened out. I guess I’ve gotten used to the mismatched section because it doesn’t bother me quite as much as it used to.

      And I’ve heard that those shades are hard to make! I’m not the best seamstress.

  • Reply
    Katie Stephenson
    February 11, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Just read a comment about black doors. LIKE!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Paint the floor!!!

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Spite or Flight
    February 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I can’t recommend a chalkboard door enough — I just did mine a few months ago, and we use it all the time either for shopping lists, or just drawing pictures with friends. And now that you can make your own in any color, why wouldn’t you make your door something you can draw on?!! My husband was afraid an all black door would be too much, so we taped off a frame to give it the appearance of a paneled door.

    You can see it here:

    Can’t wait to see the final touches!

  • Reply
    Cathy Wolfram from Adore Your Place
    February 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Love what you have done in the kitchen. I am still tuscan yuck and need to paint more white. Clean and simple, just right :)

  • Reply
    Monika / MB Captured
    February 11, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I love this area and the design of your kitchen, I like that it is not the standard shape, makes it interesting. Loving the new additions too, that frame on the wall is the cutest quote (might just steal it) – We too are undergoing a full kitchen overhaul, just waiting on some benchtops. Feels nice to make the home over. :)

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I think it looks 1,001 times better. Brave to you. Please oh please paint the back door to bring some color, I’m dying to know if and what color you’ll pick. I think adding a rug is a brilliant idea, too!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Oh I LOVE the new white kitchen, it’s just gorgeous! But then again I’m a sucker for white kitchens, we have an all white IKEA layout currently and I just fall for the brightness on a daily basis. I like the windows bare but maybe a colorful kitchen towel hung somewhere or a runner rug under the sink? Those are the tiny pops of color that we’ve added that make the kitchen feel slightly less sterile, you know?

  • Reply
    Chloe Moon
    February 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Not bad? Seriously your kitchen is beautiful!! You have so much counter space and the white walls I think are really clean and pretty! I imagine it really opened up the space! =)

    Your lil dinosaur planter is really cute! =)

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I like it! The larger scale print looks terrific and I love the stool. But it does give it kind of an optometrist feel – which will totally warm up once your curtains come, I think. But it’s great!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I’m a sucker for black doors in all white rooms. Or yellow. Loving the new kitchen btw.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I am falling for your white kitchen, too! I love the print and stool. Off to daydream about painting my kitchen cabinets white…

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    You’ve just nailed my dream kitchen. Only change I would have is stainless steel countertops. Sigh. Drool.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    I love the white. Paint the back door and maybe the shelves a creamy green and done.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Bamboo blinds, just add texture, not much for blocking out light.

  • Reply
    Nicole RJ
    February 11, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Love the all-white! I have a white kitchen (with very minor blue accents) and a bare main window – and love how bright it is. I’m all for bare windows, or a simple sheer, if privacy isn’t an issue.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Your kitchen looks awesome! I love it! I love white kitchens and hardwood floors.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    oh and ps I love that print from brandon’s grandma! I want one!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I thought I like the kitchen before, but after today’s pictures I am hooked on the white! Just starting a kitchen renovation myself, and am definitely going with white (and a bare window).

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Clean and bright! I like it, it’s like a blank canvas. Can’t wait to see what colors you’ll incorporate into the space.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Love the white kitchen. Glad you stuck it out because it’s coming together nicely! I just posted about our kitchen painting adventure a few weekends ago but don’t look… my photos are terrible. We are going to be getting a new camera to remedy the situation!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Love your kitchen! You will enjoy the white since you are so creative. I like to have spaces in my home that stay neutral palettes because I can never marry a favorite color – I love them all! If I were you, I would keep the beautiful white and add those great curtains you were holding up in the other post. Then add pops of orange and aqua on the counter tops. Your fridge is just fine as is. It has just become center-stage with all of the white. Once you add some color distractions, your fridge will not ‘bother’ you as much. Have fun!

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 12:20 am

    add in my two cents: go for the rug and the curtains to add the color (easiest to undo/change) then go for the color inside the shelves and then finally add color to the door if you still long for more color… no matter what, the change is looking good. it was pretty before, but always nice to keep homes changing as the people who live in them do :)

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 2:34 am

    Much improvement! I would stick with the cabinets the way they are, and add interest to the room by painting the door a fun, vibrant color, incorporating a run and hanging curtains. The all white is beautiful, but you are much too lively to have a plain color-free kitchen.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Looks so fresh. I love it.
    With the shelves, is there anyway they could be removed and the fridge could fit in there? A bit dramatic but then the fridge might not stick out like you think it currently does.
    Regardless, it looks really beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    Julia smith
    February 12, 2013 at 6:24 am

    It looks fabulous,Thank you for sharing these photos.

  • Reply
    Jessie {My Mod Style}
    February 12, 2013 at 6:46 am

    I think the white is beautiful. (but white kitchens are kinda an obsession of mine.) I think if you painted the door a bright unexpected color and add some color with a rug it would be perfect. I love it. I plan to paint our old kitchen cabinets white in the future and I may just paint my kitchen all white as well. Our kitchen is in the back of the house and gets hardly any natural light. I think a white kitchen is always a great choice. I love this RUG from CB2.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 8:47 am

    I love it- very clean and fresh. Would you mind sharing what kind of countertops you have? We have similar white cabinets and are looking for new countertops.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Love the white! I look forward to seeing all your house updates, you have great style!

  • Reply
    Ellen McHale
    February 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I just love it all. A rug and a little hint of a window treatment and it is divine. Great job – love the industrial stool and the print.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 10:32 am

    What a perfectly clean and crisp kitchen! My kitchen is all white and light gray and needed a pop – inspired by your office I added a 4×6 Dash zig zag rug. The pinks were just the pop it needed!

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I love the all white look! And that print! Gorgeous!

    I’d paint the back door black. I totally have a thing for white and black kitchens these days!

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I think it looks great! I’ll echo what Madison said about painting the door black, I think that the kitchen would look great with dark trim on the windows, floor boards, etc. Just a thought :)

  • Reply
    Jen @ RamblingRenovators
    February 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    That is looking lovely. I like the white. It minimizes all the angles and doors. How about painting the bathroom door? The room is calling out for some colour and I think that door is saying “notice me!” more than the tucked away back door. You could also do chalkboard paint or a cork board in the inset in the panel if you like that look.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    What about painting the trim around the windows black? Would that be totally crazy? It just seems like it would compliment the countertops and the framed print.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I love the white kitchen it looks fantastic! Your fridge really sticks out though, how about moving it down to the basement and installing an integrated fridge +/- freezer with work surface on top I think it would open up the room a lot and let more light in from the back door. Apologies for the unsolicited advice!

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