Let me just start by saying: the absolute hardest part of an open-concept home is when you want to take pictures of one room, but two other rooms have to be clean because they could be in the shot!! We did a project way back in November(!!) that we only just now got around to photographing. Whoops!
So do you remember when our kitchen was very, very, very white? White cabinets, white counters, white walls, white shelves, nearly white floors, silver appliances (only because I wasn’t able to convince Andy to go with white like I wanted)…
Here’s a photo from last October after we wallpapered the kitchen island and got a little burst of color in the room:
When we found that really fun leopard-print wallpaper that features black, grey, peach and pink, it provided a jumping off point for several other changes, the first of which was painting the back wall of our kitchen a deep, rich, matte black — Sherwin Williams Bohemian Black, SW6988 — and I love it. It’s a warm off-black with the slightest brown/grey undertone that makes it both a softer and richer color and looks almost like velvet in an eggshell finish.
It’s hard to think of black feeling “warm” but since it visually pulls you closer, it makes the whole room feel more cozy, especially in an off-black with a warm undertone. Our house really needed some warmth since it does have such an open concept, with the kitchen and living room being one big space with a high ceiling, that then shares an open wall with the lower-level family room/playroom (our house is a split level so there’s four steps down from the kitchen and living room to the level of the playroom, guest bath, entryway and doors to the garage and basement). When it was all white, though I was happy with how clean and minimal it was, it was also somewhat unwelcoming and almost sterile. It was great for us for a while, but we wanted something different now.
After we painted, we also replaced the shelves. We’d had that on our to-do list for years, since the white Ikea shelves we’d installed when we renovated the kitchen quickly started sagging in the middle, even though we never put anything heavy on them. Ugh.
We ordered two four-foot by one-foot by 1.5-inch oak boards from an oak lumber yard and stained them to match the rest of the wood in our living room and kitchen. Inexpensive black brackets from Home Depot virtually disappear against the black walls. Since oak is so strong, we didn’t need to add a bracket in the middle and don’t worry at all about sagging. We can put just about anything on these shelves! It’s so convenient to keep our everyday dishes on the shelf where we can reach them quickly. They don’t get dusty because we cycle through them near daily. The fancy glasses and more decorative things on the top shelf do get a bit dusty, since we don’t use all of them quite as much, but it’s no big deal to rinse out a fancy glass when we want one (though they’ve actually gotten used a lot while Andy perfects his White Russian drink to make White Russian ice cream — that’s an ice cream maker at the end of the counter!).
We always knew that we’d want to change the all-white kitchen eventually, whether with paint or even replacing the cabinet doors with wood — that’s the huge benefit of using Ikea kitchen cabinets; they’re so easy to change. And who knows, maybe someday we’ll do that too. But for now, the black wall is just the change we wanted, and it feels almost like a new kitchen.
Taco approves but what do you think?!
We also repainted the family room a couple of weeks ago, so we’ll share those photos with you soon — I’ll show you a sneak peek below… It turned out SO CUTE!
We’re actually heading up to the cabin this week — FINALLYYYYYYYYYY (we haven’t been in eight months) — because the bathroom renovation is DONE!!!!! We’re so excited/anxious/scared/happy to see it, so of course you can expect to see that on here soon too and other cabin content! As always, follow us on Instagram @burritosbubbly for all the latest updates — I sure do love posting stories!
In case you’re curious, here’s THE SOURCES:
- black paint: Sherwin Williams Bohemian Black SW6988
- white paint (walls & trim): Sherwin Williams Snowbound SW7004
- wallpaper on island: Pink Leopard Print Wallpaper, Eleanor Bowmer
- flamingo feather print on the stairs: Alicia Bock Photography
- cabinets: Ikea Ringhult
- bar stools: West Elm, no longer available
- dining table & chairs: vintage
Let us know if you have questions about anything else!