One Room Challenge Week 3 | Sourcing Materials for a Bold Boho Kitchen

We SEE YOU week 3! And you’re only giving us mild panic attacks because deadlines don’t stand a chance against Team KPV! [insert hyperventilating cries here]. As always, be sure to check out the progress of all of the other incredible room transformations over at the One Room Challenge!

This week I want to talk a bit about materials and give you a sneak peek of our floor. Then I want to take you through the first steps of the construction process post-demolition. We were super lucky to hook up with some amazing sponsors for this kitchen renovation, and I need to be perfectly candid with you about how they came to join us on this journey. In short, we chose THEM, not the other way around! So when I tell you they kick so much a$$, I want you to really believe me.

our Hallman blue range (photo credit: hallmanindustries.com )

As I mentioned in the previous post, the first part of the kitchen that was chosen was that dreamy blue stove and we were so grateful to get Hallman to come on board as a sponsor to make that stove even more special with some great features. So, consider this stove as our jumping off point for the rest of the kitchen. I have spent the 17 years of my adult life dreaming of kitchens, and the first thing that always came to mind when dreaming was that statement stove, but did that mean that every other element in the room would have to bow down to that splash of blue? Hell to the NO.

The next crew to come on board was Boho Luxe Home. I had worked with them and their gorgeous pillow line before, and I was beyond excited when they offered their stunning fabrics for our Roman shades. We put a lot of work into the windows in this space by not just adding completely new windows and new locations for them, but by more than doubling the size of our main window. It was so important to us that this kitchen was bathed in as much natural light as possible, and we wanted to draw the eye to this element, and balance that blast of blue in the stove with another gaze-attracting feature. We decided to go with their Moroccan Knot fabric, and I am super stoked to see them completed when they get installed next week!

insulation begins!

So, bright blue stove, wild Moroccan fabric…. now where do we go? My overall vision for this kitchen was to have some strong boho eclectic vibes, but there are so many directions to go beyond that point: gold glitzy ritzy eclectic? Or earthy, hippie boho? I love both of those extremes so much, so I wanted to try to meet somewhere in the middle. If I could choose a single sentence to define my entire interior style, it would be that I don’t like settling for ANY single style. The main challenge is making totally disparate styles work together in a cohesive way. And that, in a nutshell, is what this kitchen is striving for.

Our next sponsor, Build.com, helped us add a little bit of that glamor I speak of. We decided to go with a brushed gold faucet, with a matching pot filler, to pull from those brass elements on the range, and to add a touch of high class to the space. We chose the Moen line for their stellar track record and their beautiful finishes. We can’t wait to see them installed tomorrow!

the flooring arrives and the walls and ceiling are ready for sheetrock

It was at this point in the process that I decided to step back and really take a hard look at the direction I wanted things to go. I am NOT someone who plans an entire space in a CAD program before breaking ground. That just doesn’t work for me. I always start a room by choosing the element that is most important to me (perhaps a bed frame in a master bedroom? or a rug in a living room?) and then I work from there. I find it to be a much more organic process, but the downside is it takes much more time. I like to SEE certain features in a room before adding to the layers. And oftentimes, inspiration comes from a visit to my local thrift store, and not from a West Elm catalog. The unpredictability of the process is what excites me most about designing spaces.

Although I wasn’t able to visualize almost any elements before having to choose nearly all of them, I was still able to move through the process by being intentional about every step, and decided to add layers in the order of what was most important to me in the room. I knew I wanted those glitzy fixtures, but in order to counter those pops of gold, that bright fabric, and that fancy stove, I knew we needed to tone it down somehow. In order to achieve this, we decided to add some authentic reclaimed wood to the room. I love the versatility of wood, and it can really work in almost any type of space. I’ll get more into how and where we decided to add these touches of reclaimed wood next week. For now, I’ll let you know that we decided to go with a dark, sumptuous stain to allow the wood to dance alongside those more glamorous elements, all the while allowing the rusticity of the wood itself to make the entire space more approachable.

the walls and ceiling finally get sheetrocked

This was about where we stood half-way through the process on the design end, so now let’s chat for a moment about what started to evolve on the building side, post-demolition. Once our two month (plus)-long demo process was complete, we needed to sheetrock the entire space (ceiling included). As I had mentioned in the last post, the entire space was plaster and lath, and we opted to tear all of it out to make the electrical work more seamless. Now, this is where we struggled a bit being an essentially one-man team. Billy (my builder hubbie) did not have the proper equipment or man power to sheetrock a ceiling, so we decided to give the man a well-deserved break and hire this one out. Our contractor did an amazing job bringing this room back from the dead, and we were finally able to take a few deep breaths after seeing the walls and ceiling replaced in the room.

The next obstacle? FLOORING. Now, these floors are possibly my favorite element in the room, while my husband has come to abhor them after they took an obscene amount of time to install. I might remind you that we had three layers of floor to demo before reaching our subfloor (which needed major repairs), so finally seeing a beautiful floor under our feet was INCREDIBLY rewarding. And I have to give a MAJOR MAJOR shoutout to the hubs for making my herringbone floor dreams come true. I was a big brat about the floor. It was herringbone or the highway for me, and he didn’t even argue because he must have just known how amazing they were going to look too (love yah babe! 😉 ).

our herringbone white oak floors get installed

So, this is about where we were mid-construction and mid-design, and we had all kinds of wonderful and terrible surprises in store for us in the coming weeks…..

STAY TUNED.

One Room Challenge Week 2: Demo Mode

Here we are in week 2 of the One Room Challenge, but really week 15 for us (yes it’s taken that long to overhaul our kitchen, and we’re still crossing our fingers to be complete by the ORC deadline). I’m going to begin with some real time updates, and then dig into some design hurdles…and then chat about how fun it was to smash all the things in the kitchen to tiny little pieces.

It’s a family affair! Our 6 year-old, Eva, helps demo walls

I was super excited when Becca of June and Blue reached out to me last week to ask if she could sponsor a rug for the kitchen. I own a few of Becca’s rugs, but really it’s my life goal to own every single rug she ever lays her eyes on. The girl has magic eyes for rugs and was able to source the most perfect piece for this kitchen by pretty much only looking at my inspiration board from last week. I can’t wait for you guys to see it, but this is also a good segue into how challenging it can be to design a space when you have a deadline.

There is something intoxicating about the ORC. I often say reveal day is like Christmas morning for adults. There are, still yet, other major “pros” that come along with tackling a room for the One Room Challenge. For example, the ORC is also a formidable enemy to our procrastinating tendencies when it comes to tackling home projects. On the flip side, it can be a serious challenge to piece together a comprehensive and aesthetically thrilling space in such a short period of time (I guess that’s why they call it the One Room CHALLENGE). They always say “a great home takes time” (or at least there is a hashtag that says it), and I truly believe that truly special rooms can’t be thrown together overnight.

So this has been a bit difficult for me, especially given my very visual nature. Our stove took 16 weeks from order to delivery, so we had to order it before we even knocked down one wall. Our cabinets wouldn’t be installed until just a few short weeks before the ORC deadline, and I was having trouble visualizing what I wanted when we didn’t even have the cabinets in our hands (a huge thanks to Krystal at Pepe and Carols for creating some kick-ass custom pieces for me and allowing me to wait until the last minute so I could see those cabinets in place first). And then comes the rug I bought from Josh at Kazimah Carpets for the kitchen. I fell hard and fast for that rug and snatched it up – and have ZERO regrets about it – but then a few sponsors came along and my vision for the kitchen began to shift and, alas, the rug I had envisioned in the space was no longer going to work. Good thing it’s such a stunner that it will work in pretty much every other room of the house. I offer you this tale about rugs as a way of showing how designing an entire room before the room is even structurally intact can be, well, STRESSFUL AF.

Upper cabinets gone

Now, onto the demo details! Our old kitchen was quite small, with very little counter space and room for only one or two people to be in the space at a time. But the largest challenge was the strange configuration of the room that most certainly did not maximize the utility of the square footage we had access to. The kitchen abutted a small powder room that had been squeezed into the space and hosted the only interior entrance to our basement (a huge issue if we wanted to carry anything large in and out).

So, we decided to demolish the powder room to create more space for the kitchen and to open access to the basement. We will, at a later date, add a full bathroom to the main floor (hello, Fall ORC!), but for now we are living with just a single bathroom on the second floor (a challenge for elderly guests, as you can imagine). We also decided to demo the wall between our dining room and kitchen to make an even larger and brighter space to meet all of our dining needs for our family of four. And, as if these weren’t enough changes to make, we decided to move the entryway to our sunroom over to make space for the refrigerator and we also changed the placement and size of every window in the room. I was able to source brand spanking new Marvin windows from the Habitat for Humanity Restore – a must-visit site for anyone looking to renovate their home on a budget.

Eva, 6, and Josie, 18 months, dance on the subfloor

Our home was built in 1910, so during demo we were dealing with plaster mixed with horsehair and lath – all of which we took down to make way for a total reconstruction of the electrical and plumbing – and replaced with sheetrock. My husband, Billy, had to pick up three different floors before we were able to finally reach our subfloor (which also needed a lot of repair work). We found a few surprises, one being a brick chimney hiding in the wall that I was really excited about. Everyone who has entered the space has suggested we should sheetrock around it, but I have been adamant about leaving it as an unexpected architectural element – and an homage to the century-old roots of our home (the chimney was originally used for a wood-burning stove to heat the home).

We finally reached the subfloor!

The total time it took for demolition was three months, working about 20 hours/week. It was an enormous and strenuous undertaking and I owe all of that sweat equity to my husband, who is basically some kind of Roman God (who just happens to have Nordic features), but who also has not only been living and breathing this kitchen for months after work hours and on weekends…AND has also happened to build some super sexy abs and biceps along the way.

What more could a girl ask for?

So, takeaways from ORC week 2:

  1. Try to not buy/commit to any items until your vision is COMPLETE and…
  2. Always marry someone who knows how to not just build, but also knows how to do plumbing and electric.

That’s all for now – be sure to check back in for Week 3 updates and also be sure to visit the ORC page to see what all the other designers are up to!

One Room Challenge WEEK 1 : Visions for a Bold Boho Kitchen

Hayyyy ORC – WE’RE HERE!

The crew here at Kate Pearce Vintage is diving in head first to the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge and we couldn’t be more excited. This is our very first ORC and we’re not just dipping our toes in this round, we’re going BIG. We’re gutting our 1980s kitchen to the studs and building our dream boho kitchen – and for those of you who aren’t new around here you know that will mean lots of color, texture and, you guessed it, VINTAGE vibes. Because we all know vintage is the name of our game.

As you may have guessed, taking a kitchen down to its studs and rebuilding from scratch is a task that takes more than five weekends (we’re a husband + wife duo who work Monday-Friday), so we’ve started a bit early and are crossing our fingers to be done by reveal day. We’ve teamed up with some fabulous sponsors for our project and are just itching to show off their beautiful products – Riad Tile, Boho Luxe Home, Build.com, Hallman Industries and Wallternatives are all along for the ride.

SO – what’s this kitchen going to look like? We’ve pinned more than 75 kitchens on Pinterest and another 100+ are saved in our I-Phone “Kitchen Inspo” folder. More than four months have been spent agonizing over where to begin, HOW to begin, and where we want to end. We’ve sucked inspiration from so many beautiful Instagram squares, including these two from Jean Stoffer Design (Left) and Beginning in the Middle (Right).

And the more images we saved, the more we noticed themes beginning to emerge: BLUE, matte black and brass accents, statement stoves and bold, graphic patterns. We also just fell HARD for calcutta marble. But out of all of those things, the piece that caught our eye the most in kitchen after kitchen….. after kitchen.. was that statement stove. So, we ordered a 48″ cobalt blue Hallman range and used that as our starting off point for the rest of the kitchen.

We’re loving the current trend of mixing metals, and this Hallman range hit all the marks for us: that bold blue color, with brass and stainless steel working together to prove that two metals are just so much better than one.

The biggest challenge for me, as a designer, is to balance bold with a cohesive composition. I love taking a viewer’s eye to different elements of interest around a room, but the room still needs to work together. I like to think of it as the Kardashian effect: each player steals our eye for a moment, but the overall picture is even stronger than any one element on its own. It’s for this reason we decided to go with your ubiquitous white shaker cabinet. With bold roman shades, graphic black and white tile, and a statement stove, the cabinets just HAVE to blend and not shout, otherwise we’d almost certainly have more than a few offended eyeballs on our hands.

Now that you have an idea of where we are GOING with the kitchen, I think you’d better be clued in to where we began.

Photo from MLS listing for our home

The photo above is how the kitchen looked on move-in day in June of 2017. We knew we’d be gutting the kitchen in short order, so we didn’t bother to do much, but I did get some 50 cent hardware off Amazon and I painted the kitchen cabinets a deep blue. Overall, though, this is very much what the space has looked like.

Kitchen/Powder Room View : Construction Week 1

Just to the right of the kitchen there was a powder room that we demolished during week 1 of construction to make more space for the kitchen. We are also removing the wall between our kitchen and dining room to make the space feel more open, and replacing windows and doorways is also in the plan.

This has been an enormous undertaking, but we’re really just so excited to see the final outcome.

We hope you are, too.

Where to Find that Hot Rug You’ve Been Dreaming Of

If there is one question I get asked on Instagram more than any other, it is some variation of: “where did you get that rug?” So, I thought it’s about time that I tell you a few of my magic carpet secrets. As fair warning, everything I am about to say will be said with conviction, but is 100% my opinion and not scientific fact. Ok, here we go…

Bourcherouite rug (rug made from knots of torn rags) from June + Blue

For starters, a new rug is rarely a good rug. I own two “new rugs” in my home and they serve a very specific purpose: to be layered under my better, OLD rugs. One is a grey wool rug that has brightly woven boucherouites layered on top. The other is a large jute rug with a talsint layered on top. I promise you, no one ever asks me, “where did you get that boring grey wool rug?” or “where is that large jute rug that can be found on every corner of the internet from?” No one asks those questions. Ever.

Runner from Kazimah Carpets – smaller Persian sourced by me via estate sale

So where do I get all those beauties that I layer on top? Occasionally they are found at estate sales, but I would advise that estate sales are not the best place to find these beauties for two reasons: 1. really nice ones in modern shades are difficult to come across. In all my years of attending hundreds of estate sales, I have only ever come across 5-10 I have wanted and 2. estate sale companies tend to inflate the prices on rugs. Especially if you’re in need of a rug in a short period of time, estate sales are just not where you’re likely to find your beauty.

Boucherouite from theimanproject

The good news is that there are loads of online shops offering some pretty badass vintage rugs. Sure, they can be found on FirstDibs, OneKingsLane, and even Ebay, but the best shops are the smaller shops that take the time to source each vintage beauty with their own set of eyes and test the integrity of the rugs with their expertise.

One of my all-time favorite shops is June and Blue, a vintage rug shop curated by my girl Becca. I have a hard time visiting her site because I want EVERY LAST RUG she curates. She takes two trips each year to Morocco to source these beauties, and her prices are INCREDIBLE. Becca is an American ex-pat living in Amsterdam, and she even offers free worldwide shipping on all of her beauties. If you’re looking for large sizes, talsints, or boucherouites, Becca is your girl. Though, truly, she really rocks the entire rug scene and even offers a sale every Sunday to feast on over your pancakes – it’s called SHORTSTACK SUNDAY and she offers 10% off on runners and small-sized rugs. You can also drool over Becca’s insanely tasteful decor and her witty sense of humor by following her on Instagram.

Talsint rug from June + Blue

The next shop you should surely check out is Kazimah Carpets. Josh and his wife are a power duo from California who just spent a few years in Kuwait City, perfecting their knowledge of Middle Eastern rugs and home goods. Their shop has a host of incredible bohemian-style finds, and they are still sourcing incredible carpets from Kuwait. Kazimah Carpets has a stellar collection of runners in bright colors that will be sure to knock your socks off. I love Josh’s shop for so many reasons, but he really stands out with his collection of oversized runners and his eye for color. Josh also has an amazing Instagram account that you should absolutely be following.

Runner sourced by me via estate sale

Those two shops are my main go-tos when I’m on the market for a new rug. Both Becca and Josh are also always willing to work with you if you have an image in your mind of a rug you’re looking for, they will search the earth to find it for you. Literally.

There are other shops, still, that have incredibly curated collections of rugs for you to indulge your rug-buying whims on. For the sake of keeping this blog at a coffee-break size length, I will simply share these shops below with links to their shops and Instagram accounts:

The Good RugSHOP —- INSTAGRAM

La Boheme House of the Wishing Trees —- SHOP —- INSTAGRAM

Royal Rug Vintage —- SHOP —- INSTAGRAM

Eclectic Goods SHOP INSTAGRAM

Swoon Rugs SHOPINSTAGRAM

The Ethical HomeSHOP INSTAGRAM

Mesa Vintage Home SHOP INSTAGRAM

Ok….. now get shopping!

A Beginner’s Guide to Estate Sales

I was chatting with an Instagram friend the other day and she said that she was intimidated by estate sales. This was not the first time I had heard that from a friend and I thought to myself, “well, if I had not grown up frequenting estate sales with my mother, I might harbor similar feelings towards them.” So, I’m here to tell you that estate sales are nothing like attending an auction at Sotheby’s or Christie’s. I also want to tell you why you absolutely need to get over that fear, because you are seriously missing out.

Nearly everything in this photo was sourced by Kate at estate sales

Perusing estate sales on weekends has long been a favorite pastime of mine, but ever since opening my Etsy shop three years ago, attending estate sales has been of absolute necessity for my business. I suspect I have been to well over 500 sales in my lifetime, so I feel fairly well poised to offer some advice on how to best navigate these mysterious places. The first order of business would be, “how do I even FIND estate sales?”

I am sure every country and every state has their own methods, but for me in the NYC Metro area, EstateSales.net has been an indispensable resource. Nearly every estate sale company operating in and around New York City lists their sales on this site, and the site is also nationwide so I do know that it is likely a very good resource if you are in the United States. The best part of EstateSales.net is that you can input your zip code to see which sales are closest, but you can also see photographs of what will be inside the home. This is how I am able to vet homes before I take the time to go to them, and I hardly ever enter a sale that doesn’t have a very good mid-century inventory. Other ways of finding sales are the app YardSales – or simply checking your local papers or google. Once you find your favorite Estate Sale companies, get on their email lists so you are sure to never miss a good sale.

Rare Powder Blue Mid-Century Alarm Clock – listed at Kate Pearce Vintage

Ok, so now that we know how to find a sale, what do we do now? Most sales happen on weekends and, around NYC/Long Island, I often wait in very long lines to enter them. Want to avoid the lines? Go late in the day, or if you have the flexibility, find that gem of a mid-week sale. Lines also tend to be longer during estate sale season (Spring – Fall). Just be aware that if you do go to the sale on Day 2 or later in the day, you will not have the pick of the litter (but you will undoubtedly score better prices). If there isn’t something that you have your heart set on, going later in the day can really be a win-win.

Velvet mid-century dress sourced by Kate at an estate sale

Many estate sales companies also have lists that are put out early in the morning. If a sale starts at 9am, the list may be put out at 6:30 am and dealers and estate sale junkies will be there to get there names on the list so they can be the first to enter the home ( how do you think all those Brooklyn vintage shops score their steady supply of Eames recliners )?

Ok, we have our sales, we’ve waited in our line and now we’re inside. Now what? Well….. go crazy! Estate sale companies will almost always give you a better deal if you buy in bulk. And unless you were the first one through the door or a price seems very fair to being with, don’t ever pay that price on the tag. In the 500+ sales I have been to, I have only walked out the door on two occasions paying full list price for items. If bargaining intimidates you or offends your unbending propriety, I assure you these companies are expecting you to bargain with them (hence why they price their items as they do).

Art deco acrylic mannequin sourced and for sale by KatePearceVintage

The last bit of advice I’d like to offer about these sales is to please not be intimidated. Sometimes I think it was a good thing I worked on Wall Street before entering this business because my skin was already pretty thick going into it, but don’t let those estate sale gurus push you around. People can get a little crazy in these places, but just remember that the worst thing that can happen is someone says no to your price (and if they say no with attitude, just take a deep breath and remember these people are dealing with a bunch of vultures all day). And if you think you’re the only estate sale freshman in there, I assure you that you aren’t. There are ALL types of customers in these sales: rich, poor, dealers, collectors…. or just that guy walking down the street who decided to pop in to see what all the commotion is about).

Vintage apothecary bottle sourced and for sale by KatePearceVintage

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there! I promise, there is nothing more exhilarating than digging through a dusty basement to find that authentic Fernand Leger ceramic with a $2 price tag on it.

How We DIY-ed Our Dream Bathroom Renovation

So, they always say that necessity is the mother of invention, right? Well, that’s the gist of how this bathroom came to be. We moved into our 1910 fixer-upper 1.5 years ago, and lived with the bathroom for more than a year. Then, one day, when our youngest daughter turned around 7 months-old and I had finally gotten enough sleep to be cognizant of my surroundings, I got into the shower and had this moment where I had just had enough of the bathroom. The white grout in all of the tiles was almost black from mold and dirt, the tiles were broken, the ancient wooden cabinetry was warped and filled with mold, and there was this bizarre closet smack in the middle of the space that just needed to be KNOCKED DOWN because…. well, just BECAUSE….because it drove me NUTS!

So, armed with no interior design degree and little to no renovation experience, my husband and I decided to tackle the project 100% solo. We took our little to no money and headed out to salvage yards and Lowe’s (and added a splash of Restoration Hardware because I felt we deserved to splurge just a LITTLE).

The first step was taking the space down to the studs. We smashed tile and walls and we stripped everything from the room… except for that amazing pink art deco tub.

Everyone thought I was nuts.

“If you’re replacing everything else, why not replace that TUB?” people would ask. “Can’t you have that thing refinished in WHITE?” others would suggest….but forward march I did without listening to anyone’s opinions about my ancient pink tub. I didn’t keep it because of budgetary reasons, I kept it because it’s irreplaceable and AWESOME. How these people couldn’t see that blew my mind. But, they see it now. Because everything we replaced around it allowed it to to finally shine in all its pink glory.

So, about that tub. From an aesthetic perspective, I wanted that beautiful little tub to be the star of the room. The current pink floor tile that attempted, but failed, to match the the pink of the tub was all kinds of wrong and it needed to be replaced with something fun and modern, but subdued enough to allow the focus to still remain on the tub.

The other obstacle to overcome was to make this a bathroom for both adult and child because, for now, this is our only full bathroom. But down the road we would like it to be the bathroom for just our two little girls. Knowing this, we needed it to be sophisticated enough to serve as our only full bath, but fun enough so that a few years down the road it can be easily turned into a kid’s bath. So, white mermaid scallop tile with a modern charcoal grout next to millenial pink tub it was. Sophistication: CHECK! Fun Factor: CHECK!

Now, onto the walls. I always admired Johanna Gaines infatuation with shiplap, but after the millionth room she coated from floor to ceiling in shiplap it started to feel a little overdone to me..even dull. I knew I wanted to use it in the space, but I thought white shiplap would make the entire space feel drained of life. I also knew the shiplap would abut the pink tub and there is no coupling that makes me swoon more than seeing pink living next to black. So I slapped some Farrow and Ball Off-Black on that cheap Lowe’s shiplap and BOOM. My heart felt full.

But no space will ever feel truly complete without some serious vintage touches. Yes, the pink art deco tub checked that box in some ways, but the space was still feeling a little too, well, impersonal, if you will. So, I turned to the cabinet to inject this space with some really good vintage vibes. We were able to find an old, mid-century dresser that had the perfect dimensions and bones to work as a base for our sinks and storage for alllll the things. All it needed was some new hardware and some of my husband’s handiwork to translate the look I had in my brain into the REAL THING.

I found some fab Anthropologie hardware (that, apparently, I bought them out of) that picked up the gold in the Restoration Hardware faucets, and the black in the shiplap of the walls and the grout of the floors and shower. I found a piece of quartz from a scrapyard at my favorite marble and granite place, some great semi-recessed sinks from Build.com to give the entire piece some dimension and there we had it: an awesome, mostly vintage piece that gave this space some SOUL.

The large gold mirror was an antique piece I had salvaged long ago, but we lucked out that the dimensions were exactly the same as the cabinet.

But there was still a little something missing…. and it was just a bit more color. I still wanted to that pink tub to shine, so I decided to pick up the same shade of pink and repeat it on the ceiling with the semi-flushmount. Sazerac Stitches was kind enough to customize the piece, and put these peachy pink shades on one of their awesome fixtures.

Oh, and in the end, I felt the space needed just a touch more color and a touch more vintage …. so I killed two birds with one stone by snagging this June and Blue vintage beauty.

And there we had it…. the bathroom of our dreams for much less than we had expected to pay… and just a touch more than we could actually afford! In other words, our first true foray into the world of DIY home renovation….



An Inspired Kitchen

We’re gearing up for a major kitchen reno here at Casa Pearce and what better way to begin the process than look to Instagram for inspiration. But, let’s also be honest, I’ve kept a folder of kitchen inspiration for about a decade now and have been dreaming of my first kitchen reno for pretty much my entire life.

Since we are gutting to the studs, there are so many details to be covered, and I’ll be taking inspiration from tons of different sources. From color, to tile, to layout and lighting, that folder I just mentioned is so large it would probably make your head burst if you saw it. But, I’m going to show you some of the highlights that are really going to inspire this reno for us. Today’s post will focus on the element that is the starting point for every room I ever create: COLOR.

KITCHEN BY BARLOW & BARLOW

For those of you who have been following me for a while on Instagram, you know that color is my middle name. I simply can’t live without it. But, it’s also very difficult to do well. When it comes to color, it’s important to use it as a design element to accentuate a space, and to make sure it’s not overdone. I want you to come out of my rooms remembering how all of the details worked together, instead of only being able to recall “GREEN” or “BLUE,” or worse yet, “I CAN’T EVEN RECALL A COLOR BECAUSE THERE WERE TOO MANY.”

Take this stunning kitchen by Barlow & Barlow above, for instance. The oranges in the books complement the blues in the cabinetry, but the greys and whites accentuate the architectural elements, allowing them to shine. There is so much interest in this space, and while color is a defining feature, it doesn’t steal the show.

Kitchen by Devol Kitchens

The next major inspiration shot comes from Devol Kitchens. The greens in this space set against the gorgeous marble countertops and backsplash just make me DEAD. Like, nothing will ever be this good again so I may as well just throw in the towel.

There was something I read recently about designing with color, and it was that it was important to repeat the same color at ground level, eye level, and above eye level. I walked around my rooms and realized that I do this, not because it is a design rule, but just because that makes sense to me. I don’t even do it purposefully, it just happens. That’s exactly what I love about this kitchen. The entire design doesn’t seem contrived by some formula, but the color, texture and overall design just seem to come together in the most natural of ways.

So, that’s the goal for our kitchen reno: bold color that doesn’t overwhelm, and will come together to create a seamless landscape that doesn’t quite defy the rules of interior design, but just follows them without trying to.