Monday, February 20, 2012

Kitchen JOY!

The most comments I have ever received on this blog were when I asked for design help in trying to decide whether to paint my kitchen cabinets or not.

 I had already tried to brighten the kitchen with whitewashing the ceiling, painting the walls yellow, adding a new light fixture, and adding bright fabric window treatments. 

Still, nothing special. Nice, yes, but no pizazz.

The original light fixture - the light shone straight down on the island.

Many, many people said "PAINT !!!" with no hesitation whatsoever.

 Lots of people not only told me what color, but gave me step by step instructions on what color to paint the island, the bottom cabinets, the top cabinets, and what paints to use. 
My question stirred up lots of interest, and some controversy.

A few scolded me for even so much as thinking of painting the sacred antique long leaf pine.

In the end, I decided to wait.

New light fixture, Roman shades, bright walls.......still leaving me unfulfilled.

 Our house was for sale.

 One of the big selling points was, and still is, the long leaf pine and the natural stone used throughout the house.

 I agree that they are beautiful materials, but I also believe in a house reflecting the personality of those who make it their home.

 I decided to be conservative and leave the kitchen as it was.

Well, months have gone by and I have finally reached a point where I am just tired of living in a house where every decision is  based on whether we may or may not live here next month or next year.
I had been studying painted kitchens and painted floors for months on end,  pinning pictures on my Pinterest boards and searching madly through my design books and magazines for inspiration.

Finally,  I decided to GO FOR IT, with my husband's blessing.

I called my favorite, oh so talented painter, Tom Proch, and we put our heads together to do some magic in my kitchen. 

Oh boy did we do some magic!!

I could not be happier, and fortunately, my family loves it too!!

The best part was the process.

 In the beginning, I did not have a specific picture in mind of what the kitchen would look like when it was finished.

 I knew the color needed to flow with the rooms that the kitchen opened in to -  the dining room in particular. 
So, we started with the base color used in that room, Benjamin Moore Covington Blue, HC 138. 

Tom painted all of the cabinets that basic blue, and we decided to paint the surrounding area above the cabinetry blue as well. 

The rest of the way, we talked through the process.

 This is where Tom's mastery as an artist shines. 
He would say "What now?" and honestly, I'd stand and look and think and say "Hmmm....maybe a little deeper" and he would mix together some pigments from his magic tool box of paints and paint a cabinet door and say "how's this?" and I'd say "hhhhmmmmm.....maybe a little bit richer and a little more blue" and he'd nod and add a little more something......and so on and so on.

He worked magic at times with a dry brush, and he worked magic with a glaze, and the finished product is a paint finish that has depth and movement and a richness that my photos cannot possibly capture, but let me assure you, they are beautiful and I love them.

Another gift Tom has in his bag of tricks is a great plaster looking wall finish that works beautifully with the rock walls in my house. 

We never even discussed color.

 There is a finish in my entry hall that is similar, and when I said I wanted to get rid of the yellow, he asked if I would like the walls treated like the entry walls with the plaster look finish. 
......and off he went.

 Isn't it perfect?

And, uh, I decided to do something new with the floor as well. 

Did you notice?

So,  about that floor!!

Oh my, am I crazy about that floor! 

I looked and looked at painted floors!

 I considered all kinds of patterns.
 I needed something that did not have a real start and finish, though, because of the open ends of my kitchen; that is, the way my rooms flow openly from one to another.

I found these different patterns and finally adapted my floor from the last one:

 Still one of my all time favorite kitchens - not too trendy or fancy, but it just speaks to me. 

 Fun floor - kind of wild and colorful.

 I love this all over pattern.

It sort of reminds me of old linoleum, in a good way!

 This one is similar in feel to what I ended up with , especially with the dark, distressed wood like ours.

Love this as a variation of checker board.

This one was the final inspiration, although ours is really an adaptation.
 Ours is not quite as busy, in that we do not have an inside circle in the large circle, 
and our "fleur di lys - ish"
 shapes are bigger, and we left more floor space between all shapes.

 Looking towards the dining room......

 Looking from the dining room towards the end of the kitchen.

 Love how the stencil takes a little peek into the powder room!

 Looking down hallway from office towards TV room/den.....
We decided to leave all doors unpainted to remain consistent with the rest of the house. 

Looking from TV room into kitchen.......

Down the other side of kitchen towards dining room.....

 From the dining room looking into the kitchen.......showing some of the blue used originally in the dining room.

This picture shows how well the plaster wall color works with the rock walls. 
Tom, you are a genius!!

So,I think you get it now. 

I painted my kitchen and stenciled the floors and could not be more thrilled with it.

 It just proves once again what a reflection our homes are of us and our personalities. 

I hope your kitchen makes you as happy as mine does!

As always, thanks for reading Hill Country House!


  1. Kitchen Joy is right.... joy joy happy happy... what a beautiful place! This is so unique yet it fits your bright eclectic colorful style. I LOVE it Ann... bravo!

  2. Wow! This is really beautiful and an amazing transformation. I have always adored painted floors but never had the guts to actually paint our hardwoods. I love it!

  3. Wow! You have injected your personality right in to that space. That floor is amazing! LOVE it. That blue just transforms the space completely. It's a totally different kitchen! So good you changed that wall finish too, that color is much better. You did an incredible job. I think it's ready for a magazine shoot! You've been busy in your time off from blogging!

  4. It's gorgeous!!! Thanks to Lavender Chick for returning me to your blog!!

    I share your frustration with living in a home that's for sale and being forced to make every decision based on the what ifs of the next person. You have created a huge WOW factor so great that anyone who wouldn't want to move right into this home and kitchen doesn't deserve to own it!!

    Vowing to do what I want from now on!!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Just fabulous beyond words! The wow factor is beyond anything I could have imagined! So beautiful and cheerful and everything wonderful. LOve your blue kitchen cabinets and your floors!!!! I was in the camp of not painting and I was so WRONG. LOVE love love what you've done!!!!

  6. I love that you followed your gut on this...and look what a difference it makes!! It's absolutely beyond words. I just can't say enough. You are a genius! And what a gift to have a guy like Tom to help make your vision a reality!

  7. I absolutely LOVE it! I hope this teaches you to always follow your heart! Your instinct was dead on. The end result is jaw-dropping gorgeous. I am so in love with that floor! I have lived in a series of houses, always decorating with the seller in mind. Our latest house is a rental at UVA while my husband completes fellowship training. It's so awful. When I get to my forever house (4 months and counting!) I will shamelessly copy your kitchen. LOVE IT!!!

  8. What a FUN and HAPPY kitchen!!! Love it!!

  9. Absolutely stunning, Ann!!!
    Wow, I can't wait to see this in person. Soon?


  10. I just LOVE it! Especially the floors - that's my favorite! The stencil scale is so interesting & bold - perfect. The blue you picked is just heavenly, in fact, reminds me of the spring sky in the Hill Country!

  11. Love, love, love it! The blue color on the cabinets is so beautiful, warm, and unique. The floors are truly a work of art. Wonderful transformation!

  12. I might have been one of those who said DON'T PAINT those beautiful wood cabinets, but I have to admit that your kitchen ... looks ... fabulous! Doesn't it feel good to trust your intuition?!

  13. Nothing better than going with your gut!! Amazing kitchen and the floors are the BEST!!!!! I like the new pictures on the wall too! You are such an inspiration!

  14. Absolutely FABULOUS Ann!!!!!! Wow, Wow, Wow! I love it and I especially love how it so looks like you. That floor is brilliant. Stunning. Good for you for following your heart!! But, now you won't want to move;)

    happy weekend!

  15. Fab-u-lous! The floor pattern caught my eye first, I believe. It makes the room appear even larger than it already is...

    And the blue color you selected is amazing!

  16. Really beautiful. It doesn't look like it's the same kitchen! Matching the wall color to the stone was brilliant as was the choice of cabinet color and stenciling on the floor. A truly unique space!

  17. Thank you for showing transitions into other rooms. You are a Joy!

  18. Love it! You made the right decision and love the colour. It went from night but oragney/dated to fabulous!
    I don't think I would have done the floors, but they look great and regardless, the fact that you love them and are happy in your kitchen is the whole point!

  19. How did I miss this post???

    Your floor makes me want to dance and your cupboards make me want to sing. I'm not a very good dancer so it will be quite a show!

    <3 Love it!


  20. Oh My Word! Your cabinets are fabulous!! And the floors?!?! I love it! I'm in love with your kitchen. Fantastic work!!

  21. I am in love with your floor and want to do that to mine. I am wondering where you got your stencils and if you have any advice on what to do. My email is



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