Color Month

Before and After: A Bold, Retro-Inspired Paint Color Reinvigorates an Off-White Kitchen

published Jul 21, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
House
Project Type
Kitchen
Style
Colorful
Skill Level
Professional
Rental Friendly
No
Before: Yellowish cabinetry in kitchen

Sophie McGehee’s Little Rock, Arkansas home, aka The Colorblock House, is a celebration of color: She’s renovating the 1965 home and giving each room a dedicated hue. The powder room is orange, the dining room is green, the bedroom is blue, and the kitchen is a bold teal — a far cry from its yellowish beige beginnings.

“When I first purchased this house, the kitchen was not in good shape,” Sophie says. “Aside from it not being attractive, the equipment was run down, the cabinets were not sturdy, the paint was chipped, and the overall flow of the layout didn’t make much sense.”

When she was first making plans to revive the bland kitchen, Sophie planned to keep the footprint and cabinetry the same. “As much as I just wanted this to be a simple DIY where I painted the cabinets and gave everything a minor ‘facelift,’ I realized that wasn’t going to cut it, and we were going to need to start from scratch,” Sophie says.

With the help of an architect friend and a professional construction company, Sophie made a sketch of a new layout for her oven and fridge and had new cabinetry installed — and painted it a bold teal (Behr’s Dragonfly). “What I love most about the after is the bold color use in this kitchen and how great it looks,” she says.

Her best color advice? “Test out many paint colors, but don’t be afraid to just go for it, even if it’s something you’ve never seen before and seems like a bold choice.”

Sophie says she likes the more contemporary look of her new cabinets and the incorporation of open shelving throughout. “Now, there is more than enough space for storage, and I am able to display only what I want to display out in the open,” she says. (One fun item on display? A fake cake that Sophie DIYed out of styrofoam and paint.)

On the walls behind the cabinetry, Sophie added a bright white square-tile backsplash. “The blue grout we used in the tile is one of my favorite things in this kitchen,” She says. “It’s fun, yet subtle.”

The white vintage fridge also helped to brighten things up in the space, as did the new appliances and addition of canned lighting. In addition, Sophie swapped the yellowish tan floors for a light gray wood-look laminate, and the dated pendant above the sink with a brass and glass one. She finished off the room with geometric wallpaper next to the ovens, an abstract-print washable rug, and a teal (of course) vintage poster.

These colorful touches and the other colorful accessories are all icing on the (faux) cake.”I love how it turned out,” Sophie says. “It’s bright and colorful without being too much.”

Credit: Photo: Alpha Smoot; Prop Styling: Ed Gallagher