Janet and Rick Simpson retired from Winnipeg to British Columbia a few years ago but recently decided to move back home to Winnipeg. The couple missed their family and friends here, so they purchased a house in Whyte Ridge in preparation to plant their roots back home in the 'Peg.
The new home was a good fit, but the couple was apprehensive about the builder white d©cor. They contacted me for advice on how to turn their bland d©cor into a stunning space. I'll be providing the paint colour names throughout this column for your reference.
The house was pretty much a clean slate with mainly white walls, nice hardwood flooring and neutral beige carpeting. The oak kitchen cabinets were dated and the open concept main floor lacked any real focal points except for the fireplace in the family room, which was also mainly white with dated oak shelves. Janet and Rick wanted to infuse some visual pizzazz into the home, which would include incorporating some of their existing items.
The open-concept layout on the main level has visual sightlines to the family room, dining room and kitchen, all of which needed some colour. Janet and I decided on a palette of grey for the base colour scheme and vivid orange (CIL: Kaleidoscope) as the main accent colour.
Stunning kitchen transformation
We started with those dated oak cabinets in the kitchen. The common dilemma about whether or not to paint wood reared its head; Rick was against it and Janet and I were for it. The cabinets were sturdy and worth rejuvenating. The gals won the first round and the cabinets would be painted out. As well, the Shaker style of the cabinets, once painted, would be current.
I suggested a two-tone paint treatment with darker colour on the lower cabinets and white on the upper cabinets. You can certainly see what a dramatic transformation a bit of paint can achieve. Along with the new appliances, the couple's kitchen is now a stunning focal point from anywhere on the main level. (Lower cabinet colour: CIL Slate Brown, upper cabinets: Dulux: Raindrops)
The couple hired a painter to do the cabinets and, as you can see, the transformation is quick, dramatic and very affordable compared to replacing the cabinets entirely. They were also able to reuse the cabinet hardware, which looks great with the new cabinet colours. Both Rick and Janet are very pleased with the outcome.
Humdrum focal point gets facelift
The family room was next on the list. In order to make the lacklustre fireplace the focal point it was meant to be I suggested removing or painting out the dated oak shelves and using three shades of grey, the darkest shade to define the mantle, to give the entire fireplace faßade some definition. The accents of bright orange, purple and blue give the room tons of personality and the fireplace now has some definition and drama. The homeowners did all of the painting themselves, which saved them a lot of money. (Fireplace colours: mantle: CIL: Montgomery Cliffs, faßade: CIL Arrow Wood, inside cubby and base wall colour on the main floor: CIL Chinchilla White)
A pop of colour in the dining room
The dining room didn't need much except a focal point to accent the Chinchilla White walls. The couple painted out the back wall of the china cabinet alcove in orange, which gives the dining area vitality and relates to the orange accessories in the kitchen and family room. A lovely orange and grey accent bowl on the table is a nice touch.
Janet and Rick are very pleased with the outcome of their combined efforts. They still have some finishing touches to complete, like choosing curtain panels for the family room and installing new light fixtures, but for now they are very happy with the look of their home. The flurry of activity has paid off and truly transformed this home.
Paint is a wonderful, affordable decorating tool that can transform bland into beautiful. Keep this in mind and dare to dream of a stunning d©cor that you can do yourself.