Kitchen Refreshed

By Kate Riley February 23, 2010

My friends, it took me a week, but I finished painting over my yellow kitchen !  You know how you just want something new after a few years of the same old look?  That was the story of our kitchen.  Hub and I just decided last fall that we’d grown tired of the butternut yellow on the island and walls.  I debated whether or not to do it because I did like the previous color, but eventually we just decided to go ahead and make the change. 

I was inspired to transform the space into a palette that would compliment the adjoining family and dining room, so we painted the walls, and I painted the island, a gray green color by Benjamin Moore called ‘Camouflage’.  I also replaced the valance and changed up the accessories. 

Welcome to our kitchen, refreshed.  Come on in and have a look around !

cg kitchen with b

cg kitchen green 

I even hung a mirror.  In a kitchen.

Just cause I think it’s purty. 

cg range


As you know, I’m a complete Francophile.  I like white.  I like white ceramics.  I like white spray paint.  And I like gardens.  When you combine a love for all French décor with a love of white, and spray paint, and gardens, you arrive at this !    

kitchen mantle mirror

. . . and this 

white ceramics


. . . and this

pitcher cropped


Here’s a peek at our unadorned paneled refrigerator. 

cg refrigerator 

Panels or no panels, in our house you’ll find the refrigerator doors filled with these kinds of artistic creations.  They make me smile whenever I go for a snack. 

pics on fridge


We do enjoy our secondary sink by the side door. 

Kids + dirt.  It comes in handy. 

second sink by door


I find most of my ceramics at the Goodwill, like these canisters I found last year.

second sink


I primed and painted this island all by my lonesome. 

Details to follow !

kitchen island painted


The cut glass on this chandy feels very old fashioned to me, in a really good way. 

cg chandelier


My favorite thing about my kitchen ? 

The garden window. 

cg garden window

kitchen garden window


It’s a magical little spot where I grow all sorts of things.

Right now, it’s this indoor herb garden.   

garden window


Here’s a few more thrift store finds. 

rosemary in goodwill vase


With a teenager + her friends + a hungry husband + two munchkins, it goes without saying that we go through fruit very fast, so I try to keep it around in pretty containers. 

bowl of apples after

citrus in urns


And just to keep it real, here’s a glimpse of what our kitchen looks like in real life.  

My ordinary daily mess:

real life


Every morning, I need good coffee.  And butter. And bread. 

five minutes later


I might need to brush his hair, but I confess I like my boy’s bed head. Even at noon. 

He likes carrots, she likes lemonade.  I like them.  :-)

five and ahalf minutes later


And I’d like to formally thank my hub for spending his Friday night doing this with for me.

mr cg

It’s sure nice to have a handy man around.  :-)   Especially when I can kick back for once and watch him work while I talk nonsense and drink Syrah.   :-)  

I spend a lot of time cleaning this kitchen, but I still love it so very much.  It’s like they say, the kitchen is the heart of the home !  It certainly is the heart of our home and where we spend most of the hours in our day with friends and family. 

I hope you like the new color !  We certainly do !  It’s very calming.  If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask and I’ll try to answer them in a follow up post.  :-)


  1. You did a beautiful job. It looks so clean and fresh – love the white! Great accessories. (And adorable family, too!)

  2. hey have you got b4 pics, I’d love to see the “yellow” kitchen!!! This is just a beautiful kitchen, the attention to detail is very obviously, things like “purity” mirror make all the difference, and I’d say the best part is the window too – it’s stunning, loving the blind too!>>.

  3. Oh my Kate, this is outstanding! You have inspired me to paint a very ornate mirror I have white for my ‘under construction’ black and white bedroom. I aspire to having a blog of your quality, style and friendliness. Well done you.

  4. Wow… It is wonderful!

    How is it that I have never seen your kitchen before?! I certainly would have remembered if I had. I will now go look for your “before” kitchen.

    Talk to you soon ;)
    Bunny Jean

  5. I love the contrast between your perimeter countertops and the island top. What kind of top is the island and is it hard to maintain?
    Its a beautiful kitchen!

  6. Your kitchen is wonderful! I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it. I love, love, love white too and if I didn’t live in an apartment my cupboards would be white. ♥

  7. I am not a francophile, but I absolutely adore anything in white ceramic/porcelain. It just has such a clean crisp look to it. Your kitchen is lovely.

  8. It looks beautiful! I have butternut yellow walls in my kitchen too and this definitely makes me want to paint them! Do you by any chance remember the type of marble that you have? My mom is looking for some for her new white kitchen and yours looks so pretty without being too stark!

  9. Ummmm. So serene, so lovely. Peaceful, but not boring.

    You’re a Francophile; I’m an Anglophile. I look around at my eclectic mix of furnishings, and “British colonial” is about the only category I can think of that might encompass it all. But for a kitchen, I must admit that the French have the English beat. Can you imagine a world in which all we had to eat was English food?

    A wonderful job, Kate. Congratulations!

  10. Breathtaking! Camouflage is one of my absolute FAV Benjamin Moore Colors! It looks so wonderful in your kitchen. My kitchen is about as large as yours. I would probably enjoy cleaning it more if it looked like yours! Off to do some brainstorming!

  11. Wow, what a lovely space. The white makes the already open space look even more open and inviting. I loved seeing full spectrum shots and boy is your family adorable!

  12. I’m in love! The paint color, the natural light, the simplicity of the decor–everything! I’m thinking of tackling my island, so I’ll look for the tutorial on how you did it!

  13. You have out-done yourself…again. Sheesh, you completely amaze me! You are what I want to be when I grow up.

    Do you mind if I spotlight your kitchen on my blog? This is Centsational!


  14. Ok girl, I posted this on my facebook, twitter, Reditt, Digg…you name it, I gave you as much props as possible. Something this great deserves lots of praise.

  15. It looks gorgeous. I’m jealous of the sheer size of the kitchen (sure beats all of the galley kitchens in MI!) and the garden window.

  16. OK, I am so ready to paint my oak cupboards – I’m really looking forward to your How-To tips.

    Your kitchen is fantastic! (I am working on our guest-room room with the same color scheme – yup, so fresh and inviting.)

  17. The kitchen is gorgeous. Did you make or purchase the window treatment? Can you provide detials?

  18. It is absolutely gorgeous. I am in love! I think I might refill my coffee cup and sit and drool at these pictures for a while, wow!

  19. One of the reasons I love your blog so much is that every time I click on your link, I feel like I’m opening the pages of one of my favorite magazines. Your home is so lovely, but it’s not cold and sterile the way I sometimes feel about magazine spreads. It’s pretty and welcoming…what I imagine you must be like. :)

    You did a fabulous job, and it is very much the direction that I think I’d like to take our yellow kitchen. I LOVE your garden window. Is that a mistreatment above the window, or something else? I like the look of it alot….

    Great job!

  20. I am green with envy…it is gorgeous. The paint color is “whiter” than I imagined, and I love it. Tell me about your countertops…that is our next project. I’m obsessed with what people have and how they like it.

    I love all the white accent pieces, love the frig with the panels…love the faces of those little sweethearts and isn’t it great to have a husband that will help make all our wishes come true!

  21. Absolutely stunning!! So fresh, crisp and inviting – I love it! The garden window is fantastic, and I was just reading an article last night about growing herbs and thought how great it would be to have a big window like that. Thanks for the reality check pictures too. Nice to see that people do actually USE the kitchen and it’s not just a “show kitchen”. ;-)

  22. Beautful! That is one of my favorite Ben Moore colors and it works so well with your countertops for a subtle, cohesive space! Love it! Marija

  23. ooh la la, I love it! I love everything about it The island is my favorite!
    Did you make the curtains over the kitchen window ?

  24. LOVE it!! Couldn’t wait to see it and it did not disappoint! Thank you for sharing! I love that you put a mirror in your kitchen! You both did a great job….and are still married!:)

  25. Wow Kate. So beautiful! I’m in love, and inspired. Although my kitchen won’t be getting any paint lovin’ for a while yet, this will be going into the “inspiring file.” And I love the shot of your daughter “welcoming” us to the new kitchen!.

  26. Fan-tab-u-lous!! It was beautiful before but now-it takes my breath away. I am so suprised at how much bigger & brighter it looks. LOVE LOVE the dark work on your island. We currently have tile on the island (what what the builder thinking-the grout is sooo nasty) I painted the wood part-in SW Navajo White but want to do the dark wood on top. Im in love with how it pops! Great job! even better job getting the hubs to lend a hand.

  27. Beautiful. Amazing. Totally jealous of the window thingy. LOVE the new color. I am in the same place, chamois yellow home, want desperately to paint it all a more neutral color, soft, pale gray perhaps. Mr. Wonderful would fuss… he hates home projects. I think I’ll begin anyway, most likely when he goes ona fishing trip. He’ll come back to a job partly done, and then will help me finish…. hehe!

    Blessings ~ Eileen @ Star’s Fault

  28. Absolutely beautiful! Such an inspirational room. We’re in the process of planning our kitchen remodel- now I am filled with more ideas. What did you use to finish your wood countertops? I’ve been reading about Waterlox….

  29. What a lovely lovely post this is! I enjoyed it so much… your kitchen is to die for… my dream kitchen! I love your decorating style and all the whites, and your two little munchkins are so so cute! Beautiful home and beautiful family…. may you continue to be blessed! and may the sunshine always shine for you!



  30. Oh my goodness, I love your kitchen! I’m totally bookmarking it for inspiration. I don’t love mine and I’m always looking for inspiration for when I eventually do something about it. I LOVE your window. It lets in so much natural light! Gorgeous!

  31. our kitchen is ‘Camouflage’ too! I love the color, its very soothing to me. I just wish we had a gorgeous window in our kitchen like you!!

  32. Beautiful! We currently have a ‘Tuscan’ inspired kitchen with the heavier colors and are wanting to lighten it up. I’d love to paint the cabinets but my wood-loving husband would simply fall apart. I have black granite counters and I think this type of color might lighten things up enough, especially if I update the hardware as well. Hmmm, this gives me something good to think about!

  33. Fantastic job–just lovely! I am so happy to see that color used in a kitchen as that is one of the colors I am contemplating using in mine (currently a golden yellow color too). My countertops are more grey though so that is one of my concerns. I have a couple of questions for you—would you mind sharing more information on the fabric you used for your window treatment? What color is it exactly ( grey? hard to tell for sure on my monitor). Also, what are your counterops?

    Thanks for sharing this makeover, I just love it!

  34. Ahhhh, Kate- you do not disappoint… I was guessing you might do the Camoflauge color…. and it looks wonderful! They say most new ideas and colors start out “west” , and move east gradually….. so I’m still in the butternut loving phase….. PUH-LESE. keep the before and after for refreshing my memory, as I’m just now trying to change to yellow…..
    Your kitchen window is to DIE for, and honestly, any color you picked would look fab in this wonderful space….Bravo! I love white dishes and accesories too, and yours are CENTsational
    ( MY hub will paint, but says wallpapering together counts seriously as grounds for divorce)

    Enjoy the new look, and Bon Apetite!

  35. Beautiful! The transformation really makes your kitchen lighter and brighter. Love that you shared pics. of your little ones and the real life shots… I guess we can’t always assume you are Ms. Perfect :) The island looks amazing!

  36. I loved your kitchen before, but this update just goes to show that you don’t have to be married to one look forever. I love that you were able to make a few little changes to take your kitchen in a new direction. And your little kid-ley beans are adorable (I’m talkin’ about your kids, in case my play on words was totally confusing :) ).

  37. Wow! What a kitchen! It looks so warm and inviting. And my favorite part? The counter space! It goes on forever. So jealous :)

  38. What a great job! I love the green, it is such a soft pretty color. You do a fantastic job and I can’t wait to hear the techniques you used to paint the island. It looks SO perfect!

  39. Love It!!! I love the ideas i saw; like the thrift store coffee container holding a plant, putting the coffee maker on a beautiful tray….so simple but just beautiful!

  40. Gorgeous whites!

    Very soothing when you’re cooking up a storm, I imagine!

    One quick question, please?

    With the painted vases you’ve got, do you use a special glass or ceramic primer first?

  41. Your kitchen looks amazing! Looks like a kitchen you’d see in a home magazine. I love all the white, everything is so clean and crisp! Nice updating!

  42. Absolutely beautiful I love everything about your new look, and am certainly going to stop by the Goodwill more often!


  43. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! Ok, now having said that, I’m speechless.

    Looking forward to breakfast with you on Thursday. No doubt there will be paint in your hair!

  44. Hi…I’m new to your blog (oh, about 5 days now) and I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve been stalking it! O.M.G.!!! Your kitchen is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! Wowza!!!!! I’ve had a chance to peruse around your blog and I gotta say, i’m infactuated with everything you DIY!! Please keep up the great work. You are such an inspiration to me (and your readers!)!! By the way, I’m renovating my “new” 1950’s house I just purchased and that includes gutting the kitchen/bathroom, tearing out the wall between the kitchen and the new family room addition, remodeling the family room and remodeling the basement. A-LOT of work!! So you’re blog is totally inspiring me! Thanks again :)


  45. Awesome!! I love it. Question – did you paint your cabinets at some point (before this particular project)? If you did I would be very interested to hear whether the finish is standing up over time…..I want to paint my oak cabinets white but I’m nervous. Thanks again for sharing another great job!!!

  46. It turned out beautiful. It makes me miss my kitchen in Florida:(

    I had beige painted, coffee glazed cabinets and your kitchen made me homesick.

    I love the BM color.

  47. Kate, loving that shelving above the stove! Beautiful! Great job on the changes and loving the color…very pretty. I am still in the middle of my transformation on our kitchen…eventually it will be there and worth it in the end! ;) Have a wonderful week!


  48. Holy Molly!! that is one GORGEOUS kitchen.. I love the airyness of it… everything so swift and crisp.. love it.. And I’d never thought about a mirror on the kitchen, but your ‘mantle’ looks fab!… If I could only convince my husband to let me paint the kitchen cabinets in white.. our tiny kitchen will look so spacious and open.. You’re such a big inspiration!

  49. Just found your blog through another – can’t remember which one – maybe Simply Seleta!

    Your kitchen is wonderful!! I love it. I have been wanting to paint mine and have decided to be patient because we have our house on the market. Oh I can’t wait to have a pretty, fresh, bright kitchen!! Love yours and love your blog.

  50. Coming out of lurkdom to tell you that your kitchen is STUNNING! I am in the middle of a re-do, (A long story!) and you have rejuvenated me! Thanks for the Uuuumph!

  51. Wow! The kitchen looks brand new! It’s so neutral and clean, and will be easy to change the look in the future with colorful accessories. Great job!

  52. I just saved most of your pictures for my idea file so one day I can say to a contractor “Here is my dream kitchen. Give it to me!”

  53. Oh.My.Gosh. I loved your kitchen before, but this is so beautiful and fresh and clean – it looks fabulous! and I love love love the pics of your kids and hubby :)

  54. WOW. Perfect in every way. So refreshing! I must say, when I heard that you were going to paint the kitchen, I was a bit disappointed. I REALLY liked the yellow. But….I REALLY like the new color as well! Bravo!

  55. Oh my gosh. Wow. I am sitting here stunned. And drooling (well, not, you know, *literally*). Your kitchen is GORGEOUS! And the huge window is the cherry on top of the whole thing. Wow.

  56. I heart bedhead, I never brush Max’s hair ( my son). Cause I love his bedhead it is part of who he is to me :)
    Your kitchen is amazing.


  57. I love the new look!! What I love most of all are the real life pictures! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  58. Very beautiful! I love your counter tops. I like it better than the yellow. That is a nice green on the center island and the mirror looks awesome above the stove.

  59. Hi Kate. What a stunning kitchen you have. I love the before and the after. You truly have a gift for amazing design! Can I hire you to come to Florida and do my kitchen? I have a question for you, did you make the window treatment, or did you hire someone to make it? If you made it, I’d loooove to see a tutorial (please :)

  60. KATE!! Breathtaking, simply breathtaking. Weak in the knees here. Just step over my passed out body on your way thru your MAGNIFICENT kitchen.

    The new color’s so fresh and serene!! Well done my friend (oh, ok, well done Mr. CG!)!

  61. Not only is that the largest and nicest kitchen I have ever seen but it looks like it belongs in a magazine. I am awed by your kitchen. A-MAZING!

  62. Oh!!! It’s a very pretty and nice kitchen, es un magnífico trabajo de remodelación. Tus hijos estan preciosos.

  63. SERIOUSLY CRISP and GORGEOUS! You all did an swesome job. Cannot believe it was done in a week! How did you get the cabinets all done so fast????
    WOMAN we HAVE to TALK!
    BTW: your photos of your herbs and your window are beautiful!
    Makes us want to visit!

  64. i have this paint swatch color painted on my wall. it looks great in your kitchen. i’m glad i got to see what it looks like in a kitchen rather than a swatch……awesome!

  65. Beautiful, Kate! So very gorgeous. I love it already, but this new green is very pretty. Did you only paint the island, or all of the cabinet doors?
    Oh, and I absolutely love the mirror!

  66. Your kitchen is beautiful! I love all the white. I collect milk glass, so you know I love your white pieces. Love & blessings from NC!

  67. I thought I was looking at a magazine spread….seriously, this is some kind of gorgeous, you should be very proud of yourselves! It looks like a place you could practically live in!


  68. Love the kitchen! The style of your cabinets is very similar to mine. My cabinets are cherry & I think they would look fab in this color. Could you please share the paint colors w/ us? Also, I love the countertops~are they granite? Very, very pretty!

  69. You have my DREAM kitchen! Ug, I want it so badly. Maybe in my dreams (hence you having my dream kitchen). I am about to embark on a kitchen remodel, me painting my cabinets. Please, any advice would be VERY appreciated :)

  70. Totally GREEN with envy over here! I think if I had your kitchen I’d never leave it :) What a lovely warm wonderful gathering place you have created!!

  71. I absolutely love your big bright and beautiful kitchen. I first loved it on RMS and it is so good to see it again on your blog. I recently started a blog just for fun since rms is not fun anymore. Your children are so cute and what a great hubby to help you out. I have a handyman hubby, too. They sure come in handy! I all the attention to detail in your kitchen. Great idea placing the coffee maker and sugar bowl on a tray. It just dresses up a plain ole coffee maker. Great big wonderful bay window with tons of bright light. How nice is that!! Have a great day….Kim

  72. A lot of comments but I can’t resist adding one too. Your kitchen is a dream! Ours is still outdated, old farmhouse meets 1980s. It’s on the list and I hope the results are as beautiful as yours.

  73. Your kitchen is truly lovely and inspirational, and thank you especially for the ‘keeping it real’ photos! Mine is still rockin’ the 60’s-70’s – and not in a good way, lol. Just starting out with the step by stop remodel, so I love seeing photos of welcoming rooms such as yours.

  74. i love your kitchen!! i am looking to paint my drab kitchen. i wanted to use a bm color called wedgewood gray but was disappointed because it was too blue, not enough gray. so i was hoping for a greenish gray color- i’ll have to check out your color-camouflage!!

  75. Can you talk a bit about the floor? What is it, and how do you manage with wood flooring in a kitchen with kids?

  76. O*M*G*…..I have fallen in LOOOOVE…..with your kitchen!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is perfection to me!!!! Oh I am drooling all over my computer! I just found your blog and will be coming back to see all this lovliness!!!!! I love the new color! Oh, be still my heart!!!! XO, Pinky

  77. Hi Kerry. We’ve had wood floors for many years on the entire downstairs floor including the kitchen and bathroom. Water spills now and then, but we just wipe it up. It hasn’t buckled or bubbled or anything like that. It’s an old fashioned look, but we love it. I believe it’s just plain oak flooring with a natural stain on it. It also got several layers of poly before we moved back in. It gets a little scuffed and scratched, but it’s very easy to maintain. Just a very lightly damp mop every few days, and then I use a wood floor cleaner about three times a month just on the end of a flat square head mop.

  78. LOve your kitchen!!It is so fresh and bright. The window is spectacular and I love the mirror. I have a mirror in my kitchen and even the back wall of the glass cabinets has mirror on it. It brings in so much life, kind of like and extra window. I just did a post today on mirrors in the yard. I do like a good mirror, Kathysue

  79. gorgeous!! that window is wonderful- i had a small one at my old house, and i kind of miss it! however, my new kitchen is SO much better that i think i’ll live without it. : )
    pretty pretty pretty- good job!
    have a great weekend!

  80. Your kitchen make-over is fantastic. It’s tough to add any more positives to the stunning review already. So just this – f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s!-!-!

  81. Wow. I LOVE your kitchen. It is absolutely gorgeous. It looks like a page from a magazine. I love all the white. Especially the mirror and all the white ceramics around it. Beautiful!

  82. Usually I just skim through these blogs and only read ones that -jump- out at me so I can get new ideas for designs and stuff and yours did just that. Thanks for it – it is actually a real good read! Do you have a subcribe area so I can link to it to read again another day? Let me know – thanks.


  83. I Love Camouflage – it is the color of my kitchen too. Only my cabinets are Onyx from Benjamin Moore. Someday I will have the white kitchen. Love your kitchen.

  84. You are very inspiring! I am back to my “projects” as you provided the incentive.

    Question – did you use Carerra marble in your kitchen? How is is holding up? I really want it but am told that it is too high maintance.

  85. Your blog has inspired many rooms during our renovation-I first stumbeled upon your blog when I was redoing my home office (your colors inspired me) then your white cabinets made us okay with the idea of refinishing our cabinets rather than purchasing new ones-i LOVE your ideas, thanks for posting and I’ll be checking weekly!

  86. It looks as though your trim doesn’t match your cabinets? Am I right? I am remodeling and wondering if my cabinets need to match my trim above them in my kitchen. Just like to get your opinion.

  87. I was about to paint my kitchen like your yellow kitchen. Now I see you have changed your color that is a close match to mine, now I am in love with that color again. Thank you I didn’t really want to go through all of the work anyways ;).

  88. loving your kitchen. may i ask what type of marble you used. also i really like the wood combo with the marble

  89. you say you primed and painted your countertops. i would love to tackle this at my house.
    it’s formica. how did you do it? What products do I need? how is it going to withstand a heavily
    used kitchen?

  90. I LOVE your kitchen! It is very much like what I saw in my mind’s eye. I’m working on getting my kitchen there. I love the window treatment you did on your large window. I have a very large window also. Do you have a tutorial on how you made it???

  91. Would you mind sending me an email,…….What color did you paint your cabinets, they are lovely.

  92. I am obsessed with your blog!!! I have read and reread. I am very very close to starting some majr painting of my kitchen cabinets and trim (they are all a honey maple). QUESTION: did you paint the insides of your cabinet doors? Can’t thank you enough for your beautiful blog, wisdom and impeccable taste! What a gift!!

  93. Can you post a bigger picture of your kitchen and dining room together? I’m interested to see how the bar that your kiddos are eating at fits in with the kitchen and dining room. I’m considering a kitchen remodel soon and have a long bar that extends from the wall (that’s really in my dining room). But the bar cabinetry and countertop match my kitchen. Thanks!

  94. I was wondering if you can email me what paint color is on your kitchen cabinets? We are having ours refinished and I am desperate to find a paint color for my refinisher…he’s already done a sample of a color that someone advised me on but it’s all wrong. They chose Ben Moore’s Swiss Coffee, but I want a “rich cream” and can’t seem to find one! Yours looks like a great one! Are thy glazed at all? I want a hairline of chocolate brown glazing. Thanks so much! I am at my whit’s end!

  95. hello there! Just found you via the lettered cottage. I am browsing through your lovely blog, and could not beliebe it when I saw this post. We have the exact same cabinets in the butternut that we just painted white, the same hardware. Also, our walls were yellow before, and I painted them Cottage white. Too funny!
    Love the new kitchen!

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