Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Evolution of a Kitchen

After weeks of kitchen planning, we've booked a consultation with Freedom Kitchens for another couple of weeks away as part of a big sale they're having.

In our last renovation, we did the standard contemporary all-white kitchen - glossy finishes, stone benches, modern, minimalist.

I want more of a country look in this kitchen, for obvious reasons, and had thought I'd do white again, although with timber benchtops.

But, after flicking through some magazines and pinterest, I realised I was getting a little sick of looking at white kitchens. Plus, we are planning white walls and a white splashback... white on white on white.

I'm feeling over white. I didn't think it was even possible to be over white until recently, but there you go.

I'm now thinking maybe blue cabinetry - a duck egg or pale teal - with a hardwood bench top, not unlike this one:

Looking online, it looks like Freedom offers a similar design (they call it Shaker style) and a similar colour, so it's possible we may be able to get it as part of their sale. 

It's a bit more of a risk than white, but I think it'll work here.

Just to make us all shudder collectively (mostly me, though), this is what the kitchen looked like on our first day of owning it:

This is what it looks like now. All we've done is strip the lino and cabinets out and paint the wall behind the stove. Much better already, but I still can't wait to get some cabinets back in.

Kitchen, these days.

What are your thoughts on kitchens - is yours white? Would you pick white in future? Or are you whited out?


  1. Hi Edwina, we have a cream kitchen with cream stone look laminate tops, cream tiles with a cream on cream border tile. Sounds terrible when it's written down but I absolutely love it! I've had white cupboards with blue tops (first house we built), in our last house we renovated to sell and I did white cupboards, stainless steel and black benchtops - yuk I HATED it with a passion but I was led by the designer as apparently that's what people like these days. So I determined when we built this house (hopefully our last!) that I would go very monotone and add touches of colour with accessories. I love it to bits!
    I adore the picture of the blue kitchen, it looks fabulous! I think with the house you are in, why not take that chance and have something different to what apparently is currently very popular!
    Cheers Judy xx

  2. For my last kitchen reno (20 yrs ago in a different house) I went for white cupboards with a "salt & pepper" effect duck egg blue benchtop with a pine bordered rolled edge, so I love the kitchen you have in mind. We also had natural pine floors. Different house now, I have dark timber cupboards with watermelon/tomato colour laminex benchtops - I don't need to tell you how utterly gross it looks! The room appears dark and claustrophobic. If/when my reno eventuates I'm leaning towards cupboards in a warm grey-green like Vert de Terre, but knowing how colours date, I'll most likely opt for American Antique White or Clotted Cream cupboards and a light timber benchtop because it is more economical and less hassle to change the colours of walls than change the colours of cupboards. I'll keep our slate floors because they are cool in summer and warm in winter.

  3. Hi Edwina like the look of the Shaker style units very nice and I love the soft pastel colour. All the magazines or estate agents encourage neutral but that is often for selling a house - however I love colour whether it be brightly coloured walls or especially chosen accent pieces. However I would not have a fitted kitchen again especially in an older property, but go for individual pieces (even if you have them made to go in with what you want or find a resuable piece that can be painted to tone in with the colour you eventually decide on. I would like a big marble topped table for the centre of the kitchen/with a butchers block but the marble would be good for rolling pastry on and also for letting Lucinda play on and help with the baking too. The only fitted piece would be a big porcelain butlers sink with a curtain covering the doors (with a little one you need doors), and just let the kitchen quitely evolve with those useful pieces of your choice. Plus if you ever needed to move your very personal unfitted freestanding kitchen could go with you. I would also want a big old fashioned ceiling airer to either dry and air the washing on or to dry herbs from. I would also want a very large old fashioned larder that could be kitted out with shelving with areas to store basics and home made preserves, pickles, chutneys a veggie store/cold room an old fashioned meat safe could be used as a cupboard just tarted up with a lick of paint and then used as a storage cupboard say for Christmas goodies etc. I would also want a utility/laundry room to hide the messy bits. Oh and a freestanding bookcase for my favourite recipe books. At the end of the day the kitchen/larder has to suit you and your family's individual needs and your working priorities. What is prescriptive and often right for one person may not be right for you. Dare to be different. You have done an amazing amount in a very short time. Keep up the good work. Love and light Pattypanx

  4. hi tip we were ever given was when deciding on colour look out the window and take a colour from what your view is....when we lived coast side it was pale blues and sandy colours and I loved it....when we moved to the country none of our stuff sat we have gone for the greens yellows and pale timbers. our kitchen is dark timber floors off white cabinets and benchtops in flecky greys. it works so far (all from prev owner)...but when we redo id love shaker style sim to your pic but with pale green cabinetry....I love your vj`s....theyd look fab white then with coloured cabinetry......and I don't know...your before shot of the kitchen has a certain quirky charm about it (im fibbing!).
    hope your weeks been good Allison x

  5. Like your idea of blue with timber benchtops. Would look lovely in your home.
    Here's a few pinterest images that might give you more inspiration-

  6. Kitchens are quite hard to come up with. Colours are one element, but more importantly are the surfaces you choose. While I love the look of wooden bench-tops in a country-style kitchen, on a new counter-top, any nip or ding will look out of place. Dings in wooden cabinetry are inevitable, just by the nature of working in a kitchen. You might be really careful cutting on a chopping board, but then you lift the electric frying pan onto the bench, and accidentally drop it. There should be a stone or marble insert placed in the wooden bench top for any hard yakka jobs you want to do.

    I must say the suggestion above to go with individual pieces, has been something I've had to consider too. We installed a modular kitchen in our new house (6 years ago) and wished we didn't build the centre island bench in. I would love to be able to move it to a new position, to bring it closer to the working triangle of sink, stove and fridge. A big, old, chunky country table, full of dings and hooks on the side to hang stuff. It would be so much more practical, than the rigid, big, island bench we have in the middle.

    So maybe you could take a hybrid approach. Get some really nice modular pieces built into the walls you know will be well placed. Then reconsider spaces for individual pieces you can find at a second hand store and do up. That way you get the best of both worlds. What I found with an all modular system, is that it left very little personality for me to add to it. While I love that I got a new kitchen, I wish I'd left those few open ends to change myself.

    Regarding colour, I think what you choose for cabinetry will depend what colours you want to paint the walls. I think colours on cabinets can work, if you have a neutral colour on the walls. Shaker style tends to work with a very neutral pallet, even when using colours, so there shouldn't be too much to concern you about the selection you're looking at. Good luck with your choices and renovation.

  7. I am also a bit over white. When we first moved into this house it had a very old green kitchen with brown benches. Which I hated. But then some fo the cupboards doors fell off and they replaced the slated green with plain gloss white. So now we have half and half. Which makes the kitchen look even worse. But the white made me realise the retro gree suited the house, and the clean white lines were just way too stark and modern for this house.
    So having said that I think your house being older, it would be nice to see a modern take on the country kitchen.

  8. Oh I love that blue, and I cant believe what a difference you have made already. Your floor looks wonderful

  9. Hi E, I have been alternating between two colours for our new kitchen for the last 8 months. I think I'll wait until the building is halfway through construction before I cement my decision. I guess there are a number of factors to consider: the amount of natural light, colour of the walls, flooring, splash back, furnishings, etc. If I was to select a colour other than white on the cabinetry, I would be going with a white stone, marble or stainless steel bench top (particularly as there will be lots of natural timber, ie on your floors and perhaps furniture, already.) Ah decisions, decisions. Go with your gut! xx

  10. Duck egg blue! Definitely duck egg blue!!
    It's a country classic, it will never date! Nor will the timber benches, in my renovating experience, "natural products" never date, timber & stone, always stand the test of time, and durability!

  11. i love the blue idea.
    I am over crisp white kitchen...your idea seems to match the house perfectly

  12. Good question - would we pick white! the good news is that I don't have to worry about that yet as we have only just got the stumps under where the kitchen will go and as we are owner builders I think we have 18 months to make that decision.

  13. I love the blue you have chosen, I have some pics in my scrapbook of laundry's that same colour. I am not over white at all, cannot wait to have a light airy kitchen with a white background so as all my colourful bits and pieces are the feature. Mainly for me it's all about external views, lots of natural light and a functional space though. I agree with one of the other comments to maybe have less built ins and instead have a few interesting free standing pieces, that makes a good country kitchen in my mind. Also agree with Caroline that wooden benches and wooden floors can sometimes be a lot of wood in a room , how about a beautiful freestanding antique wooden table as an island bench instead, you can even get them with a natural stone top if you like that look. Enjoy all the planning and can I add that if you get this freedom kitchen before mine goes in I will probably lose the plot! Our renos are delayed another 3-4 weeks now due to all the rain holding up the previous job, can you tell i'm a bit tetchy about it all! mel x

  14. I think blue or green are lovely for kitchens (though they say yellow stimulates the appetite). Think the first pic would be lovely in your country home. Free standing furniture would go well with your lovely dresser. While I love the look of white kitchens, they aren't for us, too hard to keep spotless with a large family.

  15. Look how far your kitchen has come already! I think too much white can be, well, too much white. I think softer country greens and blues mixed in with white can be really warm and inviting, especially in a kitchen. Our kitchen is blue and beige (it's a rental so there isn't a ton we can do about the cabinets) but its homey and that's really what matters.

  16. wowww your kitchen has come a LONG way! i love watching the transformation of your home... you should put all of these pictures in a coffee table book of some kind - it really is incredible how far you've come in such a seemingly short amount of time (although im sure with all of the hard work you're putting in it may not feel that way!) i adore this kitchen... it looks so cozy, even with the current paint! i personally love painting the walls of my home in bright colors (my bathroom before i moved was bright teal) but i also love earthy tones like greys and tans for the walls with bold accents. I can't wait to see what you pick out!

    xx, kara

  17. White is okay, but I’m definitely “whited-out”! I had our kitchen repainted yellow. It has other neutral colors that make our kitchen bright, which I prefer. Found this on Pinterest: I think the style fits perfectly with your kitchen. =D

    Kristopher Diss

  18. I'm convinced that Evolution of kitchen is backed by many new kitchen ideas! Pretty rich history!

  19. Hi there Edwina! I also love white kitchens. The color white adds a classic and comfortable feeling inside the kitchen or any space. I don't know if it's just me or it really is the effect. Anyway, I've read your recent post and glad to see that you still followed what you like best. It's very nice and organized, and the wood-like countertops is a nice touch.

    ==Kip Whitehead

  20. It is very nice that you consider renovating the kitchen.