13 January 2012

The Great Kitchen Cabinet Debate Has Begun ...

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on our curtain reveal!!  We couldn't be more pleased with them and yes, Daryn has very much come around.  At first it was a bit of a shock to both our senses.  We've been living without drapes for, like, nine months, so going from blank wall/window to something so vibrant and all look-at-me! took some getting used to.  I loved them right from the start so I adjusted in about a minute (actually, it was overnight, but same diff) while hubby took a smidge longer.  Having been up for nearly a week, though, he's one thousand per cent on board.  He actually really likes them (score one for me!!)  He's a slow-to-warm-up kind of guy but once he's there, he's so there.  And he is so there.

Now you'd think that being flush with the success of the curtains would convince my better half of the innate wisdom of my ways but sadly, not so.  That's just not how it works in our house :)  My Doubting Thomas doesn't, as he puts it, have the "vision", and his patience for discussing decorating issues ad nauseum has its limits too, even when I'm trying to illustrate an idea for him.  Especially when I'm trying to illustrate an idea for him, come to think of it, which is probably because I have a tendency to flog an idea like the proverbial horse.  Meh, I'm enthusiastic ... so sue me! ;)

Which brings us to our current debate.  Since I've been doing so much work around the house this week and last, finishing up not only a whole bunch of little projects that have been niggling at me for weeks and months (or in some cases, years) as well as a few spur-of-the-moment big tasks, I've also been yammering on and on about the house non-stop (fun for hubby ... NOT!).  I'm obsessing about every little thing: a nick I accidentally put in the office shelves about a nano-second after we got them mounted (grrrrrr); how much water do the new plants need and how often (now? how about now?); and whether or not to replace the lamp shade on a resurrected vintage lamp, to name just a few.

But never one to remain single-minded and keep myself on track (hello, ADD?  It's April calling...), I'm finding my thoughts straying more and more to bigger projects that I'm chomping at the bit to take on.  The biggest of them is tackling the kitchen cupboards: I'm itching to paint them.  Right now they're a lovely 1970's mid-stained oak (I think?) that have a distinctly orange hue (and by "lovely" I mean dated and tired and sort of sad).  They need a refresh something awful and painting them would be just the ticket, but what colour?  My answer is: purple.  Daryn does not feel the same (read: he's absolutely horrified).

Now before y'all take up the hue and cry on his behalf, let's clarify what colour purple I'm really talking about here.  I'm not talking about this:

Barney via here

because that would be ridiculous.  And also ugly.  And I'm not talking about this, either:

The Phantom via here

because even though it's a much better shade of purple than Barney's and it would also be totally bad-ass to have tone-on-tone skulls on my kitchen cupboards, it's still a little "grape soda" for my liking.  But am I wrong in thinking a rich purple-black like this would look amazing in a kitchen?

Black Tulip via here

Daryn seems to think so ... just the word "purple" is giving him heart palpitations :)  He argues that since we have nothing else in the house even remotely purplish, plum-coloured cabinets will stand out like a sore thumb.  He's also worried about the commitment issue: while paint is just paint, and can be painted over, painting over cupboards is a bit more involved than the usual slap-dash wall jobs.  And finally, purple is not a standard kitchen colour and is more than a little "out there," and Daryn is not an "out there" kind of guy, finding it exceedingly comfortable to be an "in here" sort of thinker when it comes to decorating.  And I agree: all valid points.  Sort of.

I should back up, though, and give you a few more details (just to, you know, justify my sense of urgency to do it right now and to reinforce the rightness of my colour choice :)  This is our ugly little kitchen right now (except that the chalk board has been cleaned up):

Sexy, right?  We've been thinking about painting the cupboards for years (and years and years and years).  We've been living those four huge paint swatches for ages, which I slapped up back when I wanted to choose just-the-right-white in anticipation of painting them some time soon.  That was four years ago.  Since then, we've chosen the perfect white for the uppers (Benjamin Moore's Mountain Peak White, which will also be pulled up to the ceiling and all the trim to give the room some visual height) but haven't gotten any nearer to actually getting those bad boys painted.  It always seemed like too much money to have them sprayed professionally (at least, when push came to shove we always chose to allocate our funds elsewhere) and doing it myself appeared to be well beyond my time, energy and abilities.  But not being peskily employed for the time being, I have lots of time during the day to fill up with projects and I'm game to try!!

Here are the deets:

The floor we've got covered: having purchased so much tile over the years for other projects that either changed direction mid-flight or never took off at all, we've basically got Crazy April's Tile Emporium in our basement.  We have more than enough (we think) to redo the floor ~ it'll be a medium-grey porcelain tile designed to look sort of like limestone ~ and even if we need an extra few square feet, it would be easy enough to order.  The counters have to stay "as is" for the time being but eventually I'd like to install white Caesarstone for a clean, simple look.  Lighting is as simple as a trip to Rona for a more modern track lighting fixture, and I'm pretty easy when it comes to hardware.  I'm going to shift the cupboard handles from the middle of the door to the bottom, opposite the hinge so they look like normal doors.  Simple, modern handles with clean lines and in polished chrome will balance out the dated pie-crust cupboard doors.  So the only element that remains in debate (aside from the wall colour, which will be determined once we settle the cabinet issue) is what colour to paint the lower cupboards.  I vote for deep, dark purple, and Daryn wants anything but.

The purple will stand alone in the house but I'm thinking we have so much white married to so many colours that one more will hardly be an issue.  I also happen to think that all colours "go" with all other colours (just look into a field of wildflowers to support my theory) so as long as we choose a colour with a red base, the tones will coordinate well.  And it should also be noted that while the kitchen can be seen from the (white, red and orange/brown) living room, it really stands alone as its own room.  Of all the common spaces in our home, the kitchen is the most contained and can handle a distinction in palette.

We also have this to consider:

photo via Tonic Living on Facebook

See that fabric on the far left?  That beautiful grey one with the purple/magenta dahlia?  Yeah, it's entirely possible that this is THE perfect fabric for the roman blind in the kitchen ~ soft yet punchy, delicate yet graphic and most of all, the perfect purple-black!  I might be in love (just waiting for it to show up online so I can order a sample and confirm my feelings), and how can something that I'm assuming is so right be wrong?  Take a look at some shots I'm using for inspiration:

via here
via here
via here

via here
via here

I know, right?!  OK, so tell me: what do you think?  Would you be so bold in your own kitchen, or am I better served to paint everything white and just use a bold colour on the wall?  Is this an inspired idea, or just a crazy one?