Kitchen Dilemma

by Edie Wadsworth on May 4, 2010

I’m sitting on my new deck watching the geese and egrets fly by and the lake water ripple, drinking a wonderful cup of coffee as I type this.   I still haven’t shaken the feeling that I’m on vacation—in Hilton Head—with no definite endpoint for my return ‘home’.   The only downside to living your entire life like your on vacation is that I seem to have lost my skills for meal planning.   Dinner sneaks up on me—-because really, who wants to spend their vacation at the grocery store?   And take out in this town is a poor choice for long term eating.  Which brings me to my kitchen.

My new kitchen is all ordered and will likely be installed in 2-3 weeks.  I ordered four cabinet doors before I settled on a color.  After almost ordering 3 different cabinet colors, two different door styles and 2 different counter tops, I finally settled on one color, one door style, and one countertop.  I know, boring right?   I’ll just have to add spice in other ways.    I wanted clean lines and simplicity because of the openness of the floor plan.  Besides my IKEA farm sink,  I think I’m most excited about my 48″ Dacor stove and hood.  {Honey, I promise I’ll cook more when I get my stove}.  I had several inspiration kitchens but the one I leaned most heavily on was this one in April’s issue of Southern living. My cabinet color is very similar and my countertops are white quartz.  I also took plenty of inspiration from Erica’s kitchens in Coastal Living but eventually decided against the blue island that I was sure I wanted.  I’m still deciding between the small 1 inch iridescent tile and regular subway tile for the backsplash.    I settled on open cabinetry for the back wall on either side of the hood even though I sacrificed some wall cabinets for open shelves that will likely span across the windows too.
kitchendilemna
My main dilemma at this point is that I really want to paint the few walls in the kitchen a different color than the living room.  (a much lighter whitish color that would be too light for the living room).    As you can see, that will be somewhat difficult to do without coming up with a creative way to transition.    I’ve thought of a framed chalk board— to be used for menu writing.  I’ve also  wondered if putting drapes on that window and hanging the rod to the ceiling which would obscure a marked paint transition.    And I know the railing is still bothering you but for now, stay on task and let’s discuss this pesky transition.  What would you do?
And why, you ask, do I still feel like I’m in Hilton Head?
I don’t know if it’s the plethora of sunsets I get to enjoy…..

yetanotherbeautifulsunset
or the plethora of beautiful plants in my yard. My azaleas are in full bloom and are simply gorgeous. Now if I could only get my cooking mojo back…..
azaleas
p.s. those rocks are a jumbled mess because I keep running over them with my ginormous SUV. I think I need a vacation car.

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brooke May 4, 2010 at 11:34 am

Your new home is gorgeous! Maybe you could paint the wall with cabinets a fun color, but paint the other walls in the kitchen the same as whatever you choose for the living room, so that it ‘flows.’
P.S. You remind me of Carrie Underwood!

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2 Angie May 4, 2010 at 11:43 am

I can’t wait to see your new kitchen. Have you thought of doing a square column from floor to ceiling on each side of the kitchen. It would look great visually and give you a place to start and stop the paint in your kitchen.

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3 Amber May 4, 2010 at 11:49 am

You lucky girl – I’d love a deck overlooking the water to sip my coffee and read my Bible on each morning!

I also have an open floor plan, but none of my walls smoothly run into another room. Maybe you could run the living room color the whole way into the dining room just on that one wall, and then paint the rest of the kitchen/dining area a different color. In my house, I have two different shades from the same color swatch, one a few shades darker in the living room and one a few shades lighter in the kitchen/dining area. But, again, my walls end naturally. I like the chalkboard idea – you would run it floor to ceiling?

Looking forward to see all your progress!

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4 chris May 4, 2010 at 11:49 am

Lovely home with a dream location , sounds like a lot of fun making it over just for you .
If it were mine I would stick with one color , I think it would keep the big open feel , but if I must switch I would keep the fireplace wall all the way into the kitchen all the same paint color .

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5 Julie May 4, 2010 at 11:54 am

Edie, I had this issue in my old house, and it would work in yours because of that railing. We made a sort-of faux molding from floor to ceiling, which was basically a white stripe of paint from floor to ceiling (where the railing meets the wall) & we trimmed the sides with small molding from floor to ceiling. It gives it a built-in half column look. This is a starting & stopping point for the different rooms/different paints. If you’re interested, I can send you a picture later. Just let me know. Good luck!

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6 Cha Cha May 4, 2010 at 11:54 am

Have you thought of some kind of built in…. maybe a small bookshelf kind of thing that goes ceiling to floor in the kitchen beside the railing, I know I could fill it up in a heart beat, or even something with door to hide clutter. What ever you did you could make the depth so it would not stick out into the room to far. I have said all of this and just realize I have a question that might solve it all. Are you going to do anything around the mantle if so you could do shelf on both sides of it and take them to the ceiling and to the kitchen break point and completely solve this. Hope I have made sense and given you something to think about. In the end I am sure you will amaze us and it will be beautiful. So glad you are enjoying the new house.

God Bless
Cha Cha

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7 Bev May 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I’d paint the one common wall the same color – something neutral. Then, you could do another color on the other kitchen walls, and tie everything together with fabric on the windows. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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8 Trina May 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Hi Edie! I’m so happy to see you’re back… I missed you while you were buried in boxes and scary pumpkins with long legs. :o)

I see two optons for switching up the colour. The first would be to transition in the corner, leaving the entire fireplace wall one colour and the entire stove wall another. You already knew that.

The other option would be to frame a very small wall where the railing is. It would mean taking out a short section of railing (maybe a foot?), framing a small wall, adding gyproc, and then replacing the railing so it butts into the end of the new wall. This would leave you with the ability to easily switch colours there, and if you wanted to, make a fantastic focal point on your fireplace wall with a great punch of colour (maybe even the turquoise from your old kitchen). The great thing about a feature wall is that it’s cheap and easy to change, since you don’t need to paint the whole room when you’re tired of it. It’s a way more practical use of colour than straying from classicly coloured cabinetry.

I’ve had the ikea farmhouse sink for 3 years now. I nearly threw up when I cracked it my first year (I was double boiling chocolate and the bowl slipped out of my silicone oven mitt!), but I sure do love it for size and asthetics!

With the classic style of the rest of the kitchen, I’d suggest avoiding the iridescent mosaic tile in favour of something you won’t tire of. Tile is difficult and costly to change, so I’d vote for subway tile and the addition of something funky elsewhere.

Ooh, sorry… that’s long. Have fun. Enjoy your coffee!

~T.

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9 Carmen May 4, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I love the view! Beautiful! Lucky you! My only solution is to paint the wall with the fireplace that runs into the kitchen one color and the other walls in the kitchen the color you want for the kitchen. Not that original of an idea, I know. But it’s all I can think of. Some of the other comments suggested built-ins which isn’t a bad idea either. :) I can’t wait to see what you do.

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10 Katrina May 4, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Hi Edie,This might seem really silly, but looking at that photo of the LR/kitchen, why not place a piece of molding on a diagonal, from the top of that railing to the ceiling (different paint on either side.) OR…you could use draping like you mentioned, but pull it to the side [from the middle] from the window to the railing, to reveal the wall space and a wall hanging (like a chalkboard.)

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11 Kristi May 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I love how open these rooms are and how much natural light filters into the space. I would take the color from the living room all the way to the corner. Any transition that you could do would be too obvious. Once you hang window treatments and/or artwork you won’t see much of the wall space anyway. Happy Painting!

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12 Linda May 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I like all the ideas. Using the paint strip is a sure fire way to not clash colors. At B Moore, you can move to different shades but still works as it keeps blue base, red base etc together.
I think I would wait until I got all my cabinetry in first and live with those and let the sunlight lead me to just the right shades. Love your place!
Linda

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13 Get Your Martha On (Anne) May 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Everything! Gorgeous!

I wouldn’t be cooking much, either.

As for the color transition, the best advice I’ve read over the years about a situation such as yours is that the shared living room/kitchen wall should be the same color, as some previous commenters have already said. I think it runs the risk of looking amateurish if you try to contrive a “line of demarcation.” And you’re anything but amateurish!

But, on the other hand, if anyone can pull it off, you probably could! :)

(I’d still make the wall one color, though …)

Good luck!!

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14 Ashleigh Marshall May 4, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Hi, Edie! I don’t know if you have gotten the Southern Living for May, but right when you open the cover there is a kitchen that reminds me so much of you! In fact I cannot see that fun blue color ,that you used in your old kitchen, and not associate “Edie” with it! :) I can’t wait to see all this come together, I am sure not as much as you! In the meantime, get the crockpot out and enjoy being outside!

Are you going to do open cabinets over the windows, to the right and left of the sink? Another idea that I love that would give you color and some “funkiness” back would be to do a fun wallpaper behind open shelving or cabinets! I know whatever you do will be fab! I love small glass tiles and subway tiles…so no help there! :) What about paint the entire (Left/living room wall) wall and kitchen the lighter color? Just thoughts!

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15 Mischelle May 4, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Just finished reading your blog and wanted to add my two cents…. I like the chalk board idea. I think that would look cute and is really creative. Just remember to have fun with it!

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16 Darby May 4, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I think it has to be the same color. Sorry to rain on your parade. :) The only way I think it could be two different colors is if you were to put a wall up. Boo… not what you wanted to hear, I’m sure! Just pick a color between the light you want in the kitchen and the dark you want in FR and put it everywhere. :)

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17 Darby May 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm

me again… if you get yourself a little vacation car I’ll buy your ginormous SUV and I’ll meet you in ATL to pick it up! :)

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18 Rachel May 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I have no helpful ideas but I think it’s a lovely room and the view would throw me off my cooking game too!

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19 Leslie May 4, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Hi Edie! I really love your new home too! My house is not by the lake and meal times always slip up on me and I find that I cook the same old things over and over! Anyways, I think you should add some built in bookcases or shelving to make the transition from kitchen to living room. I just know it could work then you would have extra storage space plus you could then paint two seperate colors as that would be a room divider. I know you want open floorplan but they don’t have to be huge and you could even have them open so neither room would feel closed off. Let me know what you decide :}

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20 amanda May 4, 2010 at 1:32 pm

CHALKBOARD! I have ALWAYS wanted a chalkboard to write the evening’s dinner menu on, amongst other things!

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21 Talysa May 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm

You could always take your paint color from the living room down that wall into the kitchen as an accent wall and then paint the other walls in the kitchen the color you want.

OR

You could some sort of woodwork column (trim) up the wall above the rail to the ceiling to separate those two rooms…not sure how that would work exactly but I’m sure your hubby could tell if it would work.

Love your house! Been out of the loop but I’ve been lurking when I can. ;-)

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22 Dawn May 4, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I just found your blog and funny coincidence, but I have just helped a friend with this same issue. I suggested to here a very oversized corbel. Seriously it went from the ceiling to the top of a short pony wall she had separating her space (of course you have railing instead of a pony wall… but I think it could still work for you. We made the corbel, since we needed it to be an exact size, and then we aged it and it looks beautifully.
PS, I know you said to ignore the railing but you really could turn it into a low pony wall and beadboard the whole thing… your vents would disappear into the treatment and the corbel could meet the wall beautifully…

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23 Megan May 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Hey Edie! The suspense has been killing me! I can’t wait to see this kitchen! Better yet the whole house! I have, well had, the same problem with the paint transition. Ultimately I painted everything all the same color, which I do love, but I can see why you would want some color. I think maybe I am scared of color or something…. anyway, I think that there are lots of good ideas, and I cant wait to see what you decide! I hope you get your kitchen done soon so you can get to cookin’! HA! This coming from someone who is going on one year in our house and still the kitchen is not finished! sigh…Good luck! :)

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24 Miriam May 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Greek salad. Spinach salad. Caesar salad. Anything but cook ;).

And I tend to agree with those who suggested to break the color in the corner.

It’s all just lovely!

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25 Stacy May 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Haven’t read the other comments so this is likely redundant.
My first thought is to create a division with floor to ceiling molding. Extending up at the point the floor level changes. That would be easy and you can make it as clean or chunky as your heart desires.

Just keep sitting on that deck and watching the sunsets, I’m sure your inspiration will come!!

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26 Vicki K May 4, 2010 at 4:17 pm

If it were me, I’d keep the fireplace wall the way it is. And I’d paint your new complementary kitchen color on the two kitchen cabinet-ed walls.

The white wrapped windows unify the dining area with the kitchen and living spaces and it seems like trying to make an artificial dividing point on that wall might be distracting.

I had a similar blending-family-and-kitchen space where I used a darker color in the family area and a similar-but-lighter color in the eating/kitchen area. Painting whole walls only one color makes for simplicity and unity, and the different color simply looks like a difference in the lighting.

And your accessories and other color touches will help blend and unify as well.

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27 Melanie May 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm

I vote keeping the whole fireplace wall color the same and making the transition at the corner. Living in a house with small rooms, I am coveting your openness and would be ever so sad to see it chopped up.

Chalkboard! Love it…did you see where you can make any color paint chalkboard? That Martha Stewart!

Enjoy!

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28 Taryn May 4, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I’m going to hope this makes sense… :)

What if you painted a large horizontal stripe on the kitchen side of the wall(like this: http://www.bhg.com/decorating/paint/decorative-painting/striped-wall-decorating-tips/?page=2) – and then just stop the stripe where the railing is? Then paint the living room wall either the same color as the stripe, or as the kitchen wall? Not sure if it would look weird to have the stripe just stop or not, but I think that kitchen side of the wall is small enough where a large stripe wouldn’t be too bold of a statement!

It would be a lot easier if I could just draw a picture :) Hope this helps! What an awesome layout!

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29 Ruthanne May 4, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I’m not even going to attempt to hand out decorating advice. That would be a joke.

However, I can commiserate over the lack of cooking. Hubby has been working in the 10 PM to 2 AM simulator time slot for the past 3 weeks and the kids and I have eaten take out *literally* every week night. Every stinkin’ week night. That’s a lot of wasted cash. Snap out of it, Ruthanne. Snap out it!

I’m sure whatever you do in your kitchen it will cause kitchen envy for the rest of us.

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30 darcy @ m3b May 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I can’t get over how pretty it is there! It really must feel like vacation living.

No ideas on your transition wall, but you should ask Nester, Melissa and Kimba. They know stuff like that. I can’t stop staring at your floors and your sunset pic.

Holy moly. How do you not feel extremely blissful surrounded by such beauty?

Gorgeous place.

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31 the domestic fringe May 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm

love your views! The giant chalkboard idea sounds really cool. I’m not good with know where to stop painting, but I’ve see open floor plan homes that do a great job with just a clean straight line. I can’t wait to see your new kitchen! I’m going to go look at your inspirations.
-FringeGirl

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32 cafeAngelica May 4, 2010 at 6:32 pm

alright. 1st of all, love the chalk idea.
and in all truth I am feeling very sad that you decided against the blue island. I’m loving that!
I don’t know if this helps any, but I saw this picture and thought of your new home on the water.
http://www.potterybarn.com/pages/pottery-barn-catalog-summer-d2-10.html
click on page 4-5. love the lanterns.
click on page 16-17 to be inspired by the big bird cage.
hope this gets your already fabulous juices flowing;)

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33 Staci Amy May 4, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Hey Edie :) I’m loving your new place!!! Thanks for sharing it with us ;) I am soooo not a designer of any sorts….so I have NO ideas :( Well, except for this crazy thing that just popped into my head….would it be against your religion to paint the wood floors???? You know, make em look all whitewashed and peeling??? I’ve seen that alot recently….and then you could leave your walls the neutral colors they are with fun fabrics for the window treatments???? Hmmmm, I probably just made a lot of people mad about suggesting to actually paint over those beautiful hardwood floors :( Ah well :) Just a though :) Good luck! I know whatever you come up…will be absolutely to die for!!!

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34 Lorie May 4, 2010 at 7:17 pm

First let me say I LOVE your house! Love it! That kitchen living room area is so fun!

As for the color, if it is a complimentary color I would just do the wall with the cabinets and then tie it in with some curtains on the windows.

I don’t think there is going to be a great way to change the paint at the railing, but if you have the color you want on the back wall and tie the two together with curtains I think you will really like it. Or at least I will! ;D

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35 mary katharine May 4, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Not that I’m a pro or even close to it, but I’m pretty sure I’d be right on this … stick to one color. Can’t wait to see the reveal!

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36 Lorie May 4, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Oh, and again, if the colors work well together, I would even paint the little half (less than half) wall under the banister the same color as the back wall. Maybe. It depends what the color is.

Actually…now I am changing my mind about that. Stick with the back wall and the drapes.

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37 meaghan May 4, 2010 at 7:29 pm

loooooooooooovah the kitchen edie!!! curtain idea all the way for paint seperation! can’t wait to see the new kitchen!

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38 Marnita May 4, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I think that hanging curtains would work to transition the walls but, I also wander if you couldn’t “fade” the paint from the LR going into the kitchen….

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39 Kelly May 4, 2010 at 7:54 pm

You could easily add a piece of molding straight up at the railing and end the paint color. Been there done that and it looks fine.

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40 Angie May 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm

If the railing is staying for a while, why don’t you add a piece of moulding along the wall straight up from the railing?

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41 Karli @ Rocky Bella May 4, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Im in agreement with the molding up the wall idea. You could make it look good. I can’t wait to see what you do, I know its going to be fab!!! I love peeking into your house. ;)

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42 Rhonda S May 4, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Kitchen to Living room dilemma :

Use columns to define the separation with the first column attached to the wall, a second and third at each side of the stairs and so on.

How exciting for you! Yippeee!

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43 Sarah May 5, 2010 at 12:47 am

Edie, you new view is gorgeous! And, I’m super excited to help transform your house into a home. So, here are a couple of my thoughts:
1. For the kitchen only paint two walls your chosen color. Then continue the living room color down the entire fireplace wall.
2. This one’s my favorite solution. Add molding to separate the two rooms. That would give you a visual line so that your two paint colors wouldn’t look disturbing. :) You could even beef it up by doing board and batten in the kitchen. Hhmmm, that would really add to your coast charm.
Whatever you do I know it’ll be gorgeous!
God’s blessings,
Sarah :D

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44 Kristi May 5, 2010 at 5:07 am

Edie, I have one opinion today, LOL! Subway tiles for sure, I think, LOL from what you described the rest of your choices! :) My head is officially spinning because we break ground MONDAY!!!! I’m still stuck on cooktop and wall ovens or range, GOD HELP ME!
Oh maybe I DO have another opinion! ;) I think depending on what you have on the fireplace wall (In the kitchen) you can start your new wall color where the cabinets start. I had to do exactly this in my current home. These darn open floor plans make different paint hard to do. Any chance you want to paint it all? LOL! And I still vote for wrought iron spindles, or painting everything white. Ok 3 opinions. I’m totally shot! LOL! :)
xoxo
Kristi

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45 Kristi May 5, 2010 at 5:10 am

I just went back and read responses. I think I agree with Darby now that I look again. How about something inbetween too white for the living room and whiter kitchen? LOL have you checked out Antique white by SW? Loverly color! No weird hues! What color are you thinking?

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46 MIchele May 5, 2010 at 9:06 am

Congratulations!!! Transitioning from our foyer (white) to dining room (red) we just used a piece of painter’s tape. My hubby put a chalk line on the wall first, then covered it with painter’s tape to make sure it was straight. If you want to see a picture, let me know, and I’ll email it to you. The transition looks very smooth.

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47 Meghann May 5, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Edie,
I like the moulding up the wall idea, but what about taking it further. Why not build a column on both sides of the room… not sure what the other end of the living room looks like.. but then connect the two columns with a beam/faux beam. (you then could attach columns up either side of the stairs to the beam.. making it all look built in to support the ceiling…I dont think it would make it heavy feeling, especially if you put moulding on the beam and painted them white.) You then could put faux beams across the living room ceiling, connecting them to the outside wall (not the fireplace wall), either making them distressed or white.. whatever.

With the tile… I say go classic subway. Its timeless, where as glass iridescent tile in a decade may look tired and dated.

Have fun! Love when new projects are about to begin!

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48 Laura May 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Ok here goes-

My first thought is that paint doesn’t need to transition. This new house seems to be an outside in house. This house is a spiritual house.

Why does the paint have to say anything?

I wouldn’t transition the paint on the walls- I would unify it so it is serene and a wonderful backdrop for what is coming through the windows.

I would paint it all the same color. Where I would transition is in the colors I use in each room.

It would almost be like your living room and kitchen are galleries for what is outside or for what your accessories are inside.

If that doesn’t work for you, I would put a tall hutch or cabinet to the left of the window, jutting up to the railing.
Your new color could start there.

I think you have wonderful color in your belongings-
you may not need the walls to do your talking for you.

Laura
White Spray Paint

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49 Megan May 6, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Hi Edie,
Someone may have already suggested this, but you could add a “fake” support beam up the wall and the ceiling separating the living room from the kitchen/dining room. I wish I had a pic as an example, but do you know what I mean? One thick wood beam running up the far wall and continuing along the ceiling to the other end.

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50 trudy May 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm

How about just not painting that wall, transition at the corner.

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51 Karin Katherine May 8, 2010 at 10:56 am

You have a lot of great ideas here so I won’t chime in and repeat them. I’ll just say that because of you I’m getting my decorating mojo back and I’m going to start posting more pics of my house as I finish it up.

Feel free to come over and discuss! LOL

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52 Angela May 11, 2010 at 8:42 pm

I vote for molding in between the paint colors. Even better, cut a board the same length as floor-to-ceiling, paint/distress/whatever it and write a favorite phrase/scripture vertically on it. Let that cover the transition spot.

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53 JOhnnie June 9, 2010 at 5:49 am

I have the open floor plan too…
In one room I carried the color along the one wall, but the other wall color coordinated.
In another area, I transitioned by painting two 4inch vertical stripes in two different colors that the two wall colors.
The wall colors were different, but did somewhat coordinate, so I was able to lighten the two stripe colors by mixing the two wall colors together with some white paint.
does that make any since? LOL!
good luck, cant wait to see what you choose… Im sure it will be fun.

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