Good Questions: How To Soften the Black & White?

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Hello AT,

I'm looking for advice on this kitchen. The black and white drives me crazy, but I do not want to put in new cabinets or re-tile the floor. Any color recommendations that would make the black and white appear less dramatic? The kitchen attaches to a dining room, that is also painted entirely blue. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks, Joanna

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Dear Joanna,

We don't mind the cabinets at all. It's the floor that really pops out as black and white and the blue walls sort of accentuates it. It is a pretty dark room because of this.

Without getting into expensive solutions, we would do the following:

- Paint the wall above the cabinets white to match the cabinets. This will soften the contrast between the cabinets and the wall color on that wall and brighten the space.

- Cover the floor with Bolon or something that is easy to clean. Bolon is vinyl sisal and we really love it in kitchens. It comes in many color and patterns and you would be able to hide most of the floor without spending a lot of money.

You can find it at and

Anyone else??

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.