My Kitchen's Turning Brown - Need Help With Color and Decorating

jerenmMarch 4, 2014
I'm headed in the wrong direction with this kitchen. I'm working to get grays, blues and whites in my house. The more I do to this kitchen the browner it gets. Anything I do to the kitchen effects the other rooms because of the open floor plan. I just added the granite countertops and thought the gray tile floor would bring out the grays and blacks in the granite. Rather the cabinets highlight the browns. I am truly stumped. Should I add a black subway tile backsplash; paint the walls a darker gray; maybe work in some more stainless steel.

I'd also like some suggestion on decorator accessories for above the cabinets. I think I've got too many blank walls. I'm shying away from baskets and bottles. I like the uncluttered look and lean toward the contemporary/transitional style.

I'd appreciate any ideas.
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I would paint the walls a pretty blue gray to compliment the cabinets.
    Bookmark   Thanked by jerenm    March 4, 2014 at 1:10PM
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Stain the cabinets the color of your bar stools.

I prefer the area over the cabinets to remain uncluttered too. If you must put something, make it big and interesting, something like the antique bread bowl shown here:
Quaker Bluff Residence · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:16PM
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If it works with the adjoining rooms, paint the ceiling in the same color as the walls. I think that would mitigate the height and slope of the ceiling and warm up the space. It's a beautiful space.
    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:23PM
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3 Likes    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:38PM
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The house is less than 5 years old and the cabinets match the cabinets in the bathrooms and the hardwood floors in the rest of the house. So, I'm going to have to live with them as they are.

The ceilings are white. The walls are barely gray (pearl hatpin). I was considering going just a shade darker. I'm afraid of making the space too dark and it would be the only room in the house that would be a different color.

I've attached another picture showing the proximity to the dining area and the living room. The vaulted ceiling is common to all areas. I am considering painting the fireplace wall the same color as the kitchen to tie it together.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
1 Like    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:01PM
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Warner Decor
Here is an idea for you1 I know that you already have pendant lighting, but these might really help you distance yourself from the brown:

Maybe that will help :)
    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:07PM
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karen paul interiors
I would reinforce the dark gray of your countertops by pulling them onto the backsplash area. I also would ground your light gray floors by adding an area rug that reinforces the darker grays along with some warm tones.
Lenore - Area Rugs - Wool Rugs - Hand-tufted Rugs - Rugs | · More Info

Here's a wool rug which is not appropriate but will show you how to reinforce your palatte, including the brown of your carpet and in this instance pulling up some of the orange/rust family.
What I mean is I would do the backsplash in the same material as your countertops.
My Kitchen's Turning Brown - Need Help With Color and Decorating - Houzz · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by jerenm    March 4, 2014 at 2:11PM
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How would you pull the grays onto the backsplash area? Paint or another material. Would you reinforce the gray with yet another gray on the walls?
    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:17PM
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karen paul interiors
You have several problems in your choices. The more gray you place in the kitchen, the more brown the cabinets will feel. It appears that you attempted to match the paint and floor tiles. The floor tiles do not have enough visual heft to carry the granite countertops. Could be my monitor is way off, as well, but I'm seeing cold gray floor and walls and a warmer countertop. So when I suggested continuing you countertop onto the back splash that was to minimize the materials. If you were to pick up brown, then your floor and paint would feel even colder. If you were to pick up the gray, then your cabinets will be even more brown. The only solution I can think of is to do what I said with the back splash and then to warm up the floor with a carpet. I also realize the challenge of the angled sink area. If you have some thoughts, please throw them out and we will be happy to say yes, no or maybe. It's difficult many times to determine exactly what needs to be done when viewing a room long-distance on a monitor is the closest you can get to the actual room. I don't know if I've helped, hindered or confused.
    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 3:30PM
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Connie Johnson
I think the pendants would be a inexpensive start to adding some color to your kitchen. If you don't like it, try some other color. I have used a yellow ocher with gray recently in a bath remodel and love it.
    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 3:43PM
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take some of the upper doors off and use only open shelves
    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 3:49PM
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Annette Kearney
Matisse inspired custom designed tiles
    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 4:00PM
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Here is a link from HOUZZ that I would like you to look at ... the kitchen has similar color cabinets to yours and the grays you are looking for ...
Ideabook: gray kitchen · See Ideabook

It's beautiful - I know it is bigger than your kitchen but you could translate the look to your kitchen.

I also attached some other pictures (from Houzz) of Kitchens with your colors. You should be able to incorporate the blues into your "gray" kitchen and then carry it throughout your home.

I really like the pic with the mixed oak and white cabinets and dark gray tile. If you notice the top of the cabinets do not have anything on them - clean lines.

Collect pictures you like, study them ... the paint, backsplash, accents, light fixtures ... then do it! I think dark gray/greige paint on walls and front of bar would look great!

Your kitchen is really cool and unique and has so much potential!!! The best to you!!! Have fun :)
1 Like    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 5:30PM
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Jerenm - when I typed the link in, it put in the first picture - but it is the wrong pic, it is from my Ideabook! Sorry! I'm still getting used to Houzz website.

I know you said that you are not changing your cabinets - I am going to try again and see if it will put the picture of the kitchen I intended to put in before ... here you go ...

Project: Expanded Kitchen · See Project

regards, april :)
    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 5:41PM
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(Well neighbor, I finally found it). Seriously, the brown cabinets are the dominant color in the room right now. You need to pull the color you want out of the granite and paint the wall(s) that color to tone down the dominant brown from the cabinets. Or just start with the one wall over be the door.
    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 2:55PM
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I see this post has been here for a bit, but thought I'd weigh in. It seems the issue may be in the tone of the gray. If you visit the Sherwin Williams paint color site, you'll see they have warm neutrals and cool neutrals. Both sections have gray toned paints in them, even if the "name" doesn't say gray. It seems to me you've got a cool neutral paint competing with the warm brown cabinets, as karenpaul was alluding to upthread. As far as above cabinet items go, I think you might hang simple (not matching) companion pieces on the wall on each side of the vent flue, reflective of the feel in the art above the fireplace, rather than setting items on top of the cabinets.
1 Like    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 7:18PM
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