Colorful Kitchen Inspiration

To wrap up my week dwelling on things you can put in your kitchen, both essential and trivial, I thought I would take a trip to fantasyland for a little while and share some wonderful colorful kitchens I’ve pinned on Pinterest.

Every few days, I’ll check the apartment rental market and the condo sales market in San Diego just for fun. I see so many boring flipped kitchens with the same old predictable colors and finishes. These are so different and so exciting! No cherry cabinets with black granite countertops here! (Can we all agree that that combination comes off very heavy?) Experimenting with color is also an inexpensive way to freshen up a kitchen while saving the big bucks for a full kitchen overhaul a few years down the line.

Click each image to be taken to its website.

Color Cabinets - Photo by Magnus Anesund

The first time I saw this picture, I was so excited that I dragged Doug over to the computer and made him check it out. One must really be a color expert to pull this off because bright colors, if they aren’t tempered with enough gray and brown, can look circus-y really fast. It works sooo well here because everything else is white, white, white. Even the floors have been whitewashed or limed to achieve the white wood effect. I would love to see this in a commercial space setting.

House Beautiful

This is an easy project anybody nervous about committing to color can handle. Don’t want to make an irreversible mistake on the cabinets? Painting the inside of the cabinet is really easy to change when the mood strikes.

Blue Kitchen Space

I love the way the smallness of this kitchen is celebrated. I feel like if the blue walls were white, the area would seem even smaller–with the bold shade of blue, the area is like, “I’m here, I may not be huge but I’m stylish. Now cook amazing meals here.”

Ursula Mayer for Schorn & Groh.

How about bringing the color into the room via countertops? What an unexpected punch of color! Plenty of retro kitchens have tile accents on the counter, but this sleek slab of pink is absolutely scene-stealing!

I feel like a kitchen that’s exciting to simply be in would be exciting to cook in. Let the creativity flow!

What do you think? Would you take a big color risk in the kitchen? 


The Ole Switcheroo

As I mentioned back in March (yikes!) the apartment is now home to a new-to-us sofa and dining room table. To accommodate these new items, our space plan got totally changed up and we lived with it for a while (three months!) tweaking here and there, until landing on a layout that mostly felt right. But something was off. Lazily, I had never changed up the arrangement of  any of our art pieces after moving around the large furniture.

Anyway, if you remember, our sitting area was at the back right of the apartment, and the dining area was at the back left. Those spaces have now been flip-flopped. Here’s a wide shot to give you an idea, and, spoiler alert–the new art arrangement too:


A few nights ago, we rearranged almost ALL of the art in the apartment and while we’re a couple steps away from being done, I can say that adding art in the right places can help a furniture arrangement feel more purposeful and make your place feel more like home.

Before hanging art

Before we moved these pieces to the TV wall, the white wall combined with white shelves looked “blah.”

After hanging art

Now, the focal point is more anchored.

After moving the couch and secret console-table-slash-storage-space, the tall art almost seemed too tall.

Dining area art

Layering my favorite empty gold frame with this pretty painting made by my great-great aunt in the 30s adds color, and by hanging horizontally, balances out the lamp and the eiffel tower. I love seeing the gleaming gold frames when I come through the front door.

So now, the gray couch lives in the office “slash” extended entryway. It creates a great little place to sit and put on/take off shoes, read a book or magazine, or to chat with whoever is using the computer at the time. Mosey also loves rearranging the throw pillows so he can take a nap there. It wasn’t replaced by the green couch per se, just relieved of some of its use!

Switcheroo 2

It was kind of sad to see the gallery wall go, but I was just craving simplicity. (In all truth–we were thisclose to hanging Doug’s bike there but the wall couldn’t support it). I don’t know what I’ll hang above the gray couch now, but at the moment I’m strangely feeling okay with the empty space.

When I get antsy and obsessively peruse craigslist to find out what other apartments are out there, I must rearrange my current space to satiate my need for change… Which is exactly what I did. Now it (kinda sorta) seems like a new place! So, what do you think? 

An aside: It’s a pet peeve of mine when bloggers apologize for their crummy images, especially “sorry for the iPhone photos!” But… I truly have to gripe about the photos in this post. Getting shots of this part of the apartment is murder, since the only light source is the sliding patio door, so every image is either way underexposed (and therefore grainy) or too blown out to make sense. So even though I used my fancy camera, I can’t help but shake my head at these pics, simply because I know I can and should do better. Now you know.

Design Crush: Federal Mirrors

These gaudy gold mirrors popped up on my radar not long ago–I started spotting them first in posts on Apartment Therapy and Design Sponge, and then once I was clued in, it seemed like they were everywhere I looked!

There seem to be two major types of federal style mirrors–one in a circle, and one in a circle featuring an eagle. I prefer the eagle.

Click each image to be taken to its original source. 

Elle Decor

A Miles Redd interior shot for Elle Decor

glitter guide

In the home of Caitlin Moran of the Glitter Guide

The Selby

Photographed by The Selby in the home of a creative couple

Dec 2008 BHG

And a lovely one dressed up for the holidays… (Better Homes and Gardens, Dec 2008) 

One thing I found out after doing a bit more research is that the mirror in these pieces is often convex! AND–many of the recreations are made of plastic! Also, when seen in context of a room, they are often fairly small. Oh well, I still like ’em :)

A couple bloggers I follow have them:

Desert Domicile

Caitlin of Desert Domicile– I love how it looks with that navy blue wall!

Go haus go
Emily of Go Haus Go– It’s the perfect size to fit in the narrow space between those windows.

Can’t get enough? Here is another awesome federal mirror roundup.

Want one of your own? Check out these etsy listings.

What do you think of trends like this? Clearly, trends come and go and I love the nod back to the time of the American Revolution, even while the most recent resurgence (before now) was in the plastic era and produced by a company called Syroco. It’s easy to think “bleh, so trendy,” and get turned off, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t expect to see this in every American home. You know what I mean? It’s easy to see a trend pop up in blog after blog, but I don’t think that really reflects the average american homeowner. You know what I mean? Bloggers are not an adequate sample, if you want to get into polling and statistics speak. I see commenters on pinterest, twitter, and (of course) Apartment Therapy deriding things as “too trendy!” Maybe in the blogging world, sure, but when I invite friends over who don’t follow design blogs or design magazines, they have no idea that the style I’m drawn to was inspired by something I saw online or in a magazine. Do you know what I mean? I’d love to get a conversation going in the comments.

Thanks for reading! Off to work I go.