Home Is Where My Story Begins

I just couldn’t embrace the blue!

The Old Kitchen:

Wow! Have you ever seen a more true “color crayon blue” than in my old kitchen?

This is what our kitchen looked like when we moved in, about five years ago. The tile in the kitchen was almost a deal breaker. My sister kept reminding me, “It’s only the cosmetic things you don’t like. You can always change those things.” The kitchen felt very dark and dreary. I was truly afraid of what might be hiding in the black grout, in between the color crayon blue tiles. I remember the first day I moved in. My sister and nieces came riding their bikes down the street and there was a beautiful bouquet of deep, dark, blue hydrangeas in one of the baskets on the bike. They told me I should try to “embrace the blue.”

Curtains! That’s what I needed to help me embrace the blue. I started thinking about blue and yellow, stripes, ticking, french country. I could totally embrace the blue! This would be fine! You can see the lovely fabric I chose in the pictures above. It was exactly the french country look I was going for. I added a little yellow check to the room and I could ALMOST live with it.

We lived with the blue on the counters for about a year and then I couldn’t stand it anymore. I tried to embrace the blue and do a little french country theme. No such luck. I started shopping for new counters. Of course, a big granite slab would have been my first choice, but that’s just not in the budget for this part time kindergarten teacher. We found some great ceramic tile. We brought home several samples and looked at them for weeks. Months. Returned them. Looked at more samples for weeks. Months. I didn’t even know where to begin! I didn’t have a vision or any sort of inspiration.

This whole kitchen experience happened PBS (pre blog stalking). Not knowing there was a world of obsessed blogging decorators, the only way I knew how to get my online design fix was to realestalk. That’s the term for a person (me) who checks out the real estate websites multiple times during the day, just to see pictures of how people decorate, stage for buyers, and update their homes. I was just about stopped in my tracks the day I saw a house identical to ours, recently remodeled, and it had the perfect kitchen! It was the first time I could visualize what I wanted my kitchen to look like, because I was actually looking at “my” kitchen online. It was so amazing! That very day I called the listing agent, contacted the previous owner, and found the name of person who installed their granite tile. By the weekend I was at Home Depot, finding almost identical granite tile on CLEARANCE (woo hoo). Monday morning the tile guys came and it was like my Fairy Godmother had waved her magic wand. Months of thinking about what we wanted came to a quick end, just because we finally had inspiration.

I have found, over the past few years, that I am not the most artistic person. Inspiration doesn’t just strike me, like it does with some people. I spend hours reading home improvement books, looking through magazines, checking out my favorite blogs, and looking through catalogs for new ideas – inspiration. Creativity does not come naturally to me, but I keep working at it.

The New Kitchen:

I’m linking this to Metamorphasis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

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The Comments

  • Angie
    March 8, 2010

    Wow, what a transformation! The granite tiles were a great idea and look fabulous! We changed out our countertops a few years ago and have a granite looking laminate. I can't pay thousands for the real thing…too expensive. Yes, I have 2 Waverly gold/red toile valances very similar to yours that I was so lucky to get from a yard sale a few years ago. I have one in my living room and had the other in my kitchen. It's not in there right now, but it will be again. I like to change out my window treatments when I want a different look. I love beautiful fabric and toile is my favorite!

  • Mary
    March 8, 2010

    What luck that the granite tile was on sale! Lucky you! The new kitchen looks great.

  • YoYo
    March 8, 2010

    Gawd, I had forgotten how horrible those blue tiles were. Good riddance!

  • Teri
    March 8, 2010

    WOW! I can't believe it's the same kitchen! It's beautiful!

  • Traci at ThreeDogsAtHome
    March 9, 2010

    The whole kitchen just looks happier. I also looks much lighter and bigger. Really good job.

  • beeandboosmom
    March 9, 2010

    I'm growing Black Eyed Susans in my garden now, so maybe the girls and I can bring you a bouquet of those this summer!

  • kim
    March 10, 2010

    I love how much brighter your kitchen looks. Great color choices.

  • Pine Tree Home
    March 12, 2010

    The neutral colors in the kitchen look so great. Fabulous work.

  • Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage
    March 15, 2010

    I love that!! My counters are a "pinkish" tile…ugh…so I am right there with ya…

  • Denise
    March 16, 2010

    Wow, I must agree, I would have hesitated at the blue tile too! Love the new look 🙂