Friday, January 11, 2013

Painted and Nearly Finished Kitchen, Eh Meh Geh

I promised an "update soon" about painting the kitchen and that was two weeks ago. What is wrong with me? Actually, this isn't a good reason but let me just get it out: I keep forgetting to take photos on the weekends, and when I think to do it after work on a weekday it's already dark outside, and then I don't want to do it because everything is better in natural light. But here's what; I'm just going to make a new policy declaration: I will take photos whenever it occurs to me now. No one is coming here for my beautiful photography skills, and it is winter in Minnesota and it's dark outside more often than not. TRUTH.

So here we go. First, pics showing the state of things before painting, but after the contractor's stuff was mostly completed. I believe that you haven't yet seen the crown molding, the vent hood, the pendant above the sink and the chandelier above the table, and our new desk and bench. BLAMMO. 

Desk, bench, and chandelier. You know how I said that there's a law that if you have a bay window, you have to build in a bench? There's also a law that if you have a mid-century home, you need a Sputnik chandelier. And I'm a very law-abiding citizen here.   

Here you can see the crown molding and the pendant over the sink that matches the two over the island. I was amazed at how the molding made everything look so much more like it belonged. Oh, you can also see the vent hood from far away here. See how it's hard to see the scalloped edge? The vent liner our contractor found didn't quite nest up inside of the vintage hood the way we thought it would, so the visual was very stainless-on-stainless. I wasn't really thrilled with that, since the scallop was the whole visual point of keeping that hood. They came up with a good solution though- keep reading.

So those are the before paint photos. We chose a yellow color (Behr Banana Cream) for the paint, and used the same color on both the ceiling and the walls. I had read that choosing the right shade of yellow could be tricky, and that what looked normal on a swatch could look neon once you actually got it on the walls. I even tracked down a sample of Hawthorne Yellow from Benjamin Moore, which has a bit of a cult following in the design community. But in the end, we agreed that Banana Cream was the one. Something that helped me realize it was right was the fact that on the Banana Cream page of my paint fan deck, the chips became browner as you looked down the page, instead of brighter or deeper yellow. I figured this would improve our odds of avoiding the screaming neon yellow experience I'd read about. 
So here you go, back to the night shots. Banana Cream a-go-go. 
Painting the ceiling and walls the same color ended up being a key decision because we avoided having to hire a professional to come in and paint above the stairway where a ladder wouldn't reach. With the freedom to just slop into that corner without worrying about getting on the ceiling, I could do it myself with a roller on an extension pole. I also used painter's tape to stick a paint brush on the extension pole for the corner parts where the roller wouldn't reach. It totally worked! 

See the new bulletin boards? They're metal with little holes in them, so you can use both tacks and magnets. I also moved our new clock to its official place above the desk.

Separate topic: What to do with the brick? It never bothered me before, but something about how it looks next to the new wall color makes me think "Country Kitchen," which is not my vibe. I can definitely remove that brassy part above the fireplace and paint it black, but I'm still undecided about whether I should whitewash the brick. I may waffle on it for a long time, but you gotta be sure with brick; there's no going back.
Hard truth about painting a large ceiling: I have not figured out how to avoid roller marks. I had the same problem in the living room, so this time I reviewed this article beforehand and tried to work quickly to keep a wet edge, but a ceiling is big, yo. I think I did better than in the living room, but it's by no means perfect. And you know what? I decided I can live with it. Do you remember that episode of My So-Called Life when Graham hangs the wallpaper and Patty notices a bubble and Graham is like, "That bubble is part of our lives now"? Yeah. I've made peace with it. Roller marks are part of my life now. 
A better view of the Sputnik chandelier, complete with cool shadows on the ceiling. 

Here's a close shot of the vent hood solution: the contractor installed black glass along the edge of the liner. Now the scallop pops again, and since there's black on the stove it actually coordinates. Lemonade from lemons. 

Oh my god, look who discovered the panoramic feature on her camera. 
I'm not quite ready to declare the whole project done because I still need to make curtains and install the backsplash, but the vital functional pieces are all here, glory hallelujah. 

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