NataLee 9-1-1: Kitchen Blahs

Melissa P. writes:

Hi Natalee, I need your help! I’m sending you two photos of my kitchen. It’s a square, eat-in style kitchen (we don’t have a dining set yet- any recommendations would be appreciated). Do you have any suggestions on what type of backsplash I should install? I feel like the cabinets are being lost in the neutral yellow walls. What should I do with the large wall- leave the two paintings alone, replace them, or perhaps frame them? Also, what could I do to make my plant shelves look better? Thanks so much! I appreciate any help, even if you don’t have time to answer everything.

You create beautiful design. Thanks for sharing it on your website.


Dear Melissa,

Thank you for following my website and for your great question.  I am about to state what I am sure you already know… your walls are essentially the same color as your cabinets which leaves you with two options (well three actually): paint the walls or paint the cabinets (or both).  In my experience most husbands are against painting wood.  Personally, I like a painted cabinet… but that’s just me. I think some would swear and curse at me for suggesting painting new cabinets, so I am going to focus my comments on how to enhance and bring out the beauty of the wood. 

I would start out with a slate backsplash here re some examples:

(The above has your wall color… but the cabinets are obviously darker.  I just like the subway tile layout.)

As far as the eat-in aspect is concerned… is there another eating area (dining room) in the home if so, I would recommend doing an island in you kitchen.  This will not only give you more storage space, but more prep space as well and you have the room for it.  I like this multi height one below.

I also think something in a contrasting color (like black, or you could pull a charcoal gray color from the backsplash) would be nice too.  

As far as a wall color… I would also pull a color from the slate backsplash.  Something in a blue gray would compliment the cabinets better and make them shine. Or an olive green like in this picture:

I like the art.  I would frame it in a black frame. And finally, add some jewelry to your cabinets… hardware always makes a huge impact in your kitchen.  I would avoid brass and go with something more in the brushed nickel family.

Hope this helps you out Melissa!


“Making the house you have, the home you want!”

P.S. As far as accessories above the plant shelf… Less is more.  Think fewer pieces, but larger scale.

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