KITCHEN MAKEOVER; before . . . (but not after, yet.)

Hi Girls!  What an August!  And here we go again.  This time it’s a Kitchen Makeover instead of a party!  Thank goodness I have you, my girlfriends, with me; so much more fun when there’s public lamenting!  Ahhh, soothing musica!

Here’s what our kitchen looks like this morning!  Notice anything missing?  The floor man is coming today to sand down and refinish our poor old floor!  Which means there will be sawdust everywhere!  Joe says the workmen will cover the dish hutch with plastic … so we don’t have to move all the dishes out right now, thank goodness.

But we had to remove everything else in the kitchen; everything off the walls, off the shelves.  For the next week there will be no cooking, no making tea, no getting to that fridge or the sink!  The only downstairs bathroom in the house is off the pantry in the back, which would have given us a downstairs sink, plus our other fridge is out there too . . . but the only way to get there, once they start working, is to go out a side door and cross through the garden, and come in the back door of the pantry.  Which would be good, but not that great at 4 am, which is when I get up, when it’s dark and skunks and maniacs are roaming the neighborhood.

Once the floor is dry, we are repainting everything!!!  It’s going to be so clean!  I guess this isn’t much of a “makeover…” Nothing is going to change all that much.  I’m even kind of leaning toward keeping it this color; it’s cheerful, I’ve always liked it, and it goes with everything.  But my girlfriend Elizabeth is here . . . we picked her and her husband Chris up at the ferry yesterday; she’s a decorator and thinks it might look good in light brown.  What do you think?

Right now the dining room is filled with everything from the kitchen, my cookbooks, teacups, wine glasses, wooden spoons and cutting boards; all in the dining room now.  Kitties have to eat in the dining room too.  I don’t know how I’ll be handling that since I can’t get to the sink!  Like camping; soon I’ll be outside washing dishes in a tub with the hose!

We knew we’d never remember where everything went, so we took photos of the kitchen before we took it apart so we’ll know how to put it all back together in a couple of weeks when it’s all done.

Joe put an ice chest in the living room, for the seltzer water and lemonade and ice which we drink all day, plus it has the cream for the coffee and all the tea things.  My studio is in the very next room, so it’s handy.  I’ll just have to fill the kettle from the upstairs bathroom!

We’re lucky to be doing this on just the most gorgeous (dry) summer day!  All the doors and windows are open; the floor should dry very quickly.  I got all our laundry done too since it will be hard to get to the washer and dryer this next week . . . we are ready, and when it’s done I get to decorate it for September!  Oh Boy!

  Besides periodic trips to fill the bird bath and visit the garden, I am painting every day, painting and writing, and making a beautiful book!  I think you are going to love it!  So I’m still in England, basically (in my book-writing imagination), and I promise, I will be taking you back there again very soon!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, happy Monday! 

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749 Responses to KITCHEN MAKEOVER; before . . . (but not after, yet.)

  1. Carin B. says:

    Keep the blue, Susan. So refreshing and calm – so island-y. It’s like having the sky inside.

  2. Pat Johnson of Paso Robles says:

    I vote for keeping it WHITE! I painted my cabin all white inside because it makes me happy when those gray-days come along and cool when the summer heat hits. Also I can bring color in different ways (pillows, dishes, etc). This is so exciting for you both. Believe me, you are much more organized than I would be. I would have a pile of stuff around somewhere! Can’t wait to see the finished project. Have fun!!! XXXXOOOO

  3. Robin C says:

    I did this very thing in my kitchen about 2 years ago–so worth it!! I found it to be very serendipitous – things I thought I lost forever were found. Changed out all my spices also–what a difference in color new spices make (I have mine out in view)-not to mention taste and texture…
    the kitties won’t like the disruption much–how are they taking it so far??

  4. Monica D. says:

    I think you should paint your kitchen a happy yellow color! Nothing too bright or shocking – just a pretty, pale butter yellow. It’s going to be lovely whatever you do – I would love to have a wood floor in my kitchen!

  5. Mary Ann in Mexico says:

    Dear Susan, put my vote with everyone else’s. White! For me, light brown would have to be so light, you would think it’s white :-). And I do like color. We just painted one wall in our half-bath on the first floor a rosy red. The rest of the walls are pale green. So pale green, they look white. We’re doing a little Feng Shui and needed to paint the wall red. We have a tin lighting fixture over the sink that has openings and jeweled color stones. When it’s turned on, it casts beautiful designs and colors on the rosy wall. My sympathies to you, Joe and the kitties during the rehab, but it will be worth it!

  6. How exciting! I know how you love touches of red so my suggestion is Buttery Yellow for the walls. I have red and white wallpaper with cobalt blue and white checkered curtains in my kitchen with sunflowers and red geraniums and red roosters and chickens and ivy. With the yellow you can add any accent color you wish–including the black and white checks you have now in your valance and the adjoining pantry floor. Smashing!

    We had our entire one-story house’s wood floors done years ago when our 3 boys were still at home. We lived in the unfinished walk-out basement for the week and it WAS like camping. No bathroom down there. It was winter. We survived. But I can’t imagine how you’re managing to do this with guests? Are they staying at your house?!

  7. Kathy Phenix says:

    Keep the blue! It works for you and the house! Glad to hear someone is having a DRY day. Although we have dodged a real hurricane we have been getting rain and more rain all day. Nothing is gloomier than the “Sunshine State” with no sunshine.
    Hope the redo goes as expected. We have redone 3 different kitchens in 25 yrs and it’s never fun until you are finally back to using the room again. Can’t wait to see the finished results. (Our first project, just 10 months after marriage, was to take the kitchen down to the studs and then rebuild. Never want to do that again. But the marriage survived and the kitchen was a dream.) Keep smiling. Kathy in Melbourne, FL

  8. Sara Finally in Georgia!!! says:

    How exciting and well a pain in rear all at the same time!!! LOL!!! I love the Blue please do not change it!! Especially not to light brown….. LOL

    Super excited for that diary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love the pictures!!! 🙂

  9. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    Glad to see your glads. Mine are long done. Remember you can decorate in your color palette too and you are an Autumn. Bonus~When the kitchen is ripped up we eat less! LOL

    • Janet says:

      Oh, excellent point Margot! I was lucky and learned about “my” colors when I was just 26 and hadn’t bought much at all – so my whole house is done in my season and it cut down on COUNTLESS decisions over the years. Made looking through wallpaper and paint and fabric books go so much faster. You find that things just naturally look well together – even if styles are somewhat mixed. Highly recommend it! I love a yellow kitchen too – but I like Elizabeth’s idea too. If it were me, I’d do a light cocoa brown above the white beadboard, keeping the cabinets white too – with brown and white gingham cafe curtains and valance. May make your dishes and glassware “pop” a little more to have a somewhat richer color behind them – as contrast. I have a friend with a red [!!] dining room with an open hutch on the wall and her white Lenox china just dazzles against the red. Good luck with everything – I bet your floors will be just beautiful – can’t wait to see the AFTER photos. Smart idea – taking pictures as a guide for putting things back. Poor kitties. Well Girl at least. I suspect Jack will enjoy the increase in your “floor traffic.” :>)

      • sbranch says:

        It does, cuts down on COUNTLESS boring decisions, because now you know, and you’re done deciding! Yes, Jack finds it all highly entertaining!

  10. Terry says:

    Your kitchen is so pretty! I have a white kitchen too! I love your light blue walls. A light brown might be pretty too with your wood top on your hutch. Best of luck with the work you are having done.

    Susan, I would love if you would post more about your daily routine. I knew you got up early, but four o’clock! Wow! Do you go to bed very early? Do you nap? Now I know how you manage to get so much done. Yet, I would love to know if you have a regular routine you follow everyday.


  11. Toni says:

    Hi Susan:
    Oh, please keep the lovely color you have on the walls. It just seems to belong in your charming kitchen. I too am looking forward to decorating for fall. It is my favorite season.

  12. Patricia Triska says:

    Oh, what we put up with to have simple things redone. It is always nice to have a clean slate and start over with everything shiny and bright but I don’t envy you the thought of the running in and out and around to get to food but it would be a very good excuse to go out to dinner for the next few night. I can’t wait to see the finished room and to see if you change your wall color. Good luck in the mini-make-over.

  13. Libby Pasztor (Grayslake, IL) says:

    Please add one more vote to the “keep it light blue” camp. It goes SO well with all your bits and bobs—and I firmly believe that if it ain’t broke (and you’re not sick of it), don’t fix it! I’ve lived through two kitchen remodelings–one major, complete with knocking out a wall and putting in all new cabinets and appliances, and one not-so-major, with mostly cosmetic changes (including painting the cabinets white—I WAS sick of golden oak :p), and I can certainly sympathize with what you’re going through. All I can say is, it will be absolutely worth it when it’s all finished. . . As our old carpenter used to say, you’ve got to break some eggs to make an omelet. 😀 Hold that thought!

  14. Denise says:

    We started our kitchen remodel in February and as I type this, the tile guys are downstairs grouting the backsplash and we are just finishing this project up! But it is so worth all the inconvenience and hassles we have been through, looks so cozy warm. I didn’t think I could make one more kitchen decision but since you asked, I would keep the lovely blue. It is cheerful, yet restful, cottage-y and airy. Love it.

  15. Sherri says:

    Oh please stay with blue! It looks so clean and pretty. I’m glad you’re keeping all your wonderful appliances and cupboards and cabinets. I love your homey kitchen!
    Only one suggestion for you during the construction: paper plates and bowls, plastic cutlery and lots of take out and picnics!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we do have it, just that not have water source in the downstairs is the problem, but seriously, it’s not that big of a problem!

  16. Bonnie says:

    I counted three doors going out. Two in the kitchen, one in the dining room. I’d be interested to know the original layout of your house. Oh, and I vote yellow. (Although I hear that after awhile, it becomes annoying.) By the way, I’m the lady who, back in January, was hoping to be walking by Easter. I didn’t make Easter, but 2 operations later, I’m up and walking! Thanks for your good wishes.

  17. Ann Y. says:

    What a great time of the year to “freshen up” your kitchen. Can’t wait to see the results ! While I love the color you have there, I think the dark tan will be great with the white beadboard and look wonderful. I have a white kitchen with a “Khaki” colored paint and I love it. Things seem to pop against it. But, WHATEVER you pick is going to be perfect once you add all your touches. What fun ! Have fun !

  18. Evie says:

    I love the blue. I have a very similar blue in my kitchen and I just painted the cabinets (white and a green on bottom) and I repainted the walls with the same blue because I love it and it makes me happy.
    I’m sure whatever you decide it will be lovely. I’d like to see the pantry too – so cute from what I can see from the pictures… I can’t wait for your next book. The blog has been so wonderful I can’t imagine how awesome the book will be. YAY!! 🙂

  19. Nancy says:

    Hi Susan,
    Please leave it white or soft white. The color is fresh and clean and never goes out of style. That’s just my opinion, of course. I’m sure it will be lovely whatever you choose.

  20. Your kitchen is very personal–don’t pay attention to anyone else! (especially a decorator-LOL) Look at the colors on the chart you had done–bet it backs you up on your preference. I think we all have an inside voice that tells us what we , and all our personal “stuff” looks best in. 🙂 Trends come and go, but the classic will be here forever.

  21. Sue in Kalamazoo (Michigan) says:

    I also vote for keeping your kitchen the blue it is now – the color of the sky and the sea – perfect.

  22. erica says:

    Greetings Susan!

    One of the first things that came to my mind after reading this was the blog you wrote about getting your “colors” done.


    Here’s an odd thought (even I think it’s odd the way I think at times) …..would a person choose a color from their palette and surround themselves in it, so that they would look their best? Probably not, ‘cuz then maybe friends and relations may look ‘sickly’……. lol.

    That being said, perhaps a neutral color where everyone would look healthy and radiant would be best *smiles* ….so YES, stick with the beautiful blue-sky kind of color. I googled “neutral blue” and sure enough there are some lovely ones….who knew!? Yay for blue!

    Erica XO

    • sbranch says:

      I know people who completely redecorated their houses after they had their colors done; and there is something to be said for that. Especially if you are the type to drape yourself over your sofa! But think about nightgowns and pillow cases, kinda makes sense!

      • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

        I can definitely see Margot draped over a sofa—would be stunning! A saleswoman at a bridal salon told me years ago that turquoise is the one color that flatters every woman.

      • erica says:

        This “color” business is all so very intriguing!

        Looking around, my home environment (walls, floors, furniture) consists of warm ‘earth tones.’ Actually, it’s all kind of BLAH and out-dated, but in a cozy, eclectic-vintagy kind of way.

        BUT, I wear and am drawn to ‘winter’ colors. Go figure.
        Looking forward to seeing what you’ve chosen! yay.

  23. cynthia mooney says:

    I love the clean look of your kitchen as it is, and think the color is so perfect for you and your lovely dishes, etc. I am not sure about the brown idea, either. I am sympathetic to your plight, as we had wood floors in our kitchen too. Loved them, especially after they were freshly sanded down and refinished. Unfortunately they got to the point where they couldn’t be sanded down one more time, so since we had to redo the floors, I got a whole new kitchen!
    Thanks for the garden photos. So summery! That is where I want to stay for a few more weeks, at least.

  24. Oh no!! Please don’t paint your kitchen brown! I painted my bedroom a light cocoa and it looked so pretty with my blue and white plates and quilts, BUT…it kind of made me sad. I guess it was too sophisticated for me. And in the winter, it was just plain blah. I’ve repainted with a color called Lamb’s Wool–it’s a slightly yellowish cream with just the barest hint of brown (maybe tan?)–kind of like a sheep, actually. It’s much more cheerful and still pretty with blues. Good luck with your kitchen!

  25. Betsy says:

    When one does their kitchen over they get the best of both worlds. For awhile you can’t cook any meals and that’s a treat. By the time the novelty of that wears out you are thrilled to have your own kitchen back to cook again. I agree with all the girls! Blue it is! I love your kitchen, this is just my opinion. I am tired of hearing about granite counters and stainless steel appliances. I hope I haven’t offended anyone but your kitchen says “HOME and WARMTH” to me. A picture of your pantry would be the sugar in our tea!

  26. Tracy says:

    Susan you are amazing to be answering all of these comments. No need to respond to mine – just throwing out my opinion which is similar to all the others! I love the color of your kitchen and it goes so well with all of your collected dishes. I happen to have tan colored walls and use lots of color in accessories and dishes, but, I will gradually add colored paint to my walls like I did this summer in the dining room – actually a blue ceiling! If you do change anything, maybe marble counter tops since you bake alot. Thank you for the sunshine and flowers you send our way!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for being here . . . I don’t get to answer everyone, and not all the time, but I try! My mother taught me to answer my mail!

  27. Jillian from RI says:

    Ohmygosh your pantry looks so so cute. I just want to live, sleep, and cook in there. No wonder you always miss your kitchen when your away…..

  28. Barbara says:

    Hi Susan. I love your kitchen/house….especially that stove. I got a little worried when you said “makeover”…. glad it’s just the floors and some paint although that will make such a difference. It’s nice to freshen up a bit without doing a complete blowout. As for paint color…I’d keep it just the same. I love that icy blue color…. it looks similar to mine and I get compliments all the time. Plus it shows off your white kitchen and will compliment your wood floors (that’s enough in the brown range).
    Can’t wait to see the end results. Good luck. And for goodness sake, keep the teapot away from the sawdust 🙂

  29. Peggy H. says:

    If my vote counts, I’d just refresh with the color you now have in the kitchen. It’s so pretty with all of your “treasures” in the room. Don’t know what kind of plastic they cover the cabinet with, but that pesky sanding seems to be able to get behind anything. Good luck to you, Joe, and the kitties. It’ll be a challenge, but a pleasure when it’s all done! Peggy

  30. Gina D. says:

    It does look pretty all empty! How about the bisque-y background color of an Emma mug? Or a pale version of a ginormous vintage yellow-ware bowl? Joe will freak, but what if you removed the soffit and upper cupboards and replaced with those old-timey ones that go all the way to the ceiling? With tiny doors at the top?
    Really, your kitchen can’t get much cuter than it is.

  31. Victoria Miller says:

    Brown – bleah! Kitchens seem to me to need to be very cheery. Personally, I like a light apple green color. Your what seems like a Robin’s egg blue is lovely. Something a blue green color might be nice. What I like about green is everything goes with it. In the summer I accessorize (throw rugs, towels) with sea glass colors, and in the fall and winter I warm up with orange and reds, leading in to red and green at Christmas. For January, I can try interesting colors I don’t ordinarily use to get me through to spring, when I get back to the greens and pastels. That’s my two cents.
    These major projects are sure a nusiance while they go on, but then so worth it when they are completed. Meanwhile, enjoy the adventure and look forward to a ‘new’ and shiny kitchen!

    • sbranch says:

      Just the fact that we got to clean under the stove makes it all worth while!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        I’m laughing–know exactly what you mean by that–and how about behind and under the refrigerator?! 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          We just got a new fridge, so we’d already had the relief of finally cleaning out under it! Now both are done and I’m a happy camper!

      • Donna Ray says:

        Refrig repair man,Randy, was here and said they take an oath in repair school to never reveal what they find under/behind appliances. Hope other tradespeople follow the same rules of confidentiality. 🙂 DonnaRay

      • Victoria Miller says:

        Loving all this blessing counting here! Cleaning under refrigerator and stove truly is a blessing. I have a 1924 or so Roper art deco style stove that came with my same vintage apartment, and I love it dearly. It’s on legs about eight inches or so off the floor, so easy to keep clean underneath. I think that was done more for ventilation puposes. Always some place in a living space in need of attention!

  32. Amy Price says:

    Hi Susan,
    What fun to be included in suggesting a kitchen color choice. Well, I happen to love the sweetness of your kitchen and love your year round decorative touches. I especially love your child’s stove at the kitchen table. Too adorable!!! I am going out on a limb and suggesting a very pale pink to pick up the rose color in your dishes. I also love mint green (but you already have that in your living room) and a soft pale yellow. The kitties would look great with these colors in the background. Looking forward to the after pictures. Thanks for the smiles and joy!! Amy

    • sbranch says:

      One of our girlfriends suggested Martha Stewart Pink Sea Salt — I looked at it, it’s very pretty! But I still think, probably, the blue.

  33. Marian in Seattle says:

    I love change but some things are just wonderful the way they are. Your kitchen is so incredibly charming and if you were going to change it up I think brown is much too trendy, and no matter what shade would not have the warmth and heart it does now. I am not a decorator but my initial reaction to brown was bleh! No offense at all to your friend, color is so personal, and my thought is that if you were asking our opinion then you aren’t really sold on it either. If you wanted to change it up a bit and still be light and bright and lovely perhaps a bit less sky blue and add a hint of green to be more of an aqua/turquoise? Of course, that’s just MY personal opinion! 🙂 No matter what you choose, your home will always be the one that we all love and dream about!

    • sbranch says:

      I think I was thinking brown because inside I’m secretly thinking fall! No brown, gotta be blue!

  34. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Hmmm… I don’t see you with a brown kitchen. I am thinking more of a pretty yellow. When I think of you, I think of yellows and pinks. 🙂

    Is that floor original to the house? Will it be stained after they sand it? Same color? Or darker?

    Have a great day!

    • sbranch says:

      The floor is the only thing we changed in the kitchen — wood instead of chipped dark blue marbled linoleum that was there … other than when my dad took the cupboard doors off the large hutch cupboard. We’re not going to stain the floor. It will likely be a little lighter, although I like the “old” yellow tone, I think it will look very much the same.

  35. Linda G. says:

    How fun to see a makeover! Too often folks redo an entire kitchen, ripping out the cabinets and everything else. That is the joy of older New England homes…..they look best when just a few things are done to them, not a complete remodel. Enjoy!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, even leaving the linoleum counters, this poor house would not be the same without them, all the years of dinner cooking there, that’s what gives this house its name — House of Creativity — not just us living here, but all the lives lived here since 1849! My studio, where I work, used to be called, by previous owners, the Music Room. I can only imagine . . .

      • Jackie P says:

        I just had to respond to this one . . . your kitchen counters and stove remind me so much of my mother-in-law’s kitchen on Williams Street: same counters with metal trim on the edges and a big old stove with double ovens and a broiler (maybe two?). She and the kitchen are long gone now, but it was truly the heart of her home!

  36. stephanie says:

    No brown walls! I agree with the rest of the Girlfriends! Can I make a suggestion? I think neutral walls are best as you can always decorate the rest of the kitchen (as you do so well!) to match the seasons.

    Therefore – you lean towards pink plates/depression glass with spring colors and red for fall/winter – so the wall should blend with that. Martha Stewart paint (from Home Depot) has a color called “Pink Sea Salt” – which looks neutral/white to most people – but it has a subtle pink to it that changes with the light. I think it would be perfect for you. I painted a room and all the hallways with it here – and it is a classic neutral – but I can see the pink. While I love your blue walls – it’s fun to change and you don’t have a lot of blue in your “plate wardrobe” as far as I can see.

    Also – now they sell paint in little containers so you can buy a few and paint a swatch on the wall and live with it for a week or so and see how it looks in daylight, night light etc. At least get a few paint cards and tape them to the wall and start living with them to help you decide!

    It will look beautiful – no doubt!

    I agree with the Girlfriends above – we’d love a blog about the pantry.

    Good luck keeping Jack out of the kitchen! 🙂

  37. Barbara Thomas says:

    Sue, I’ve been meaning to ask what the name is of the pink glasses with the gold band on top that are in the kitchen cabinet on the upper left? I remember a photo you posted with your table all dolled up for a dinner and you used these gorgeous glasses. I have never seen any like them.

    Thanks, Barbara in Lodi, CA

  38. Rhonda Ripplinger says:

    Dear Susan~
    I am new to your blogs, but have been a fan of your wonderful work for many years. You have such a lovely gift for making everyone feel as if you are a friend, not merely an anonymous author who lives across the country. Because of your cheery, loving spirit, yours is the only blog I follow, but what a joy it is to follow! I’m certain everyone who reads it wishes they could sit down with you on a sunny afternoon and share a cup of tea, a crumpet, and a good gabfest! 🙂 Thank you for making the world a better place simply because you are in it. Thank you for the gift of beautiful you. I remain your enthusiastic fan, all the way from my country home in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming.
    P.S. And, by the way, keep the kitchen blue! I have a blue kitchen too, and it reminds me of the color of robin eggs in summer – so soft and soothing. Yum! LOVE your home. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Aren’t you a doll! Thank you so much Rhonda, it really feels like a two-way street!

    • Pamela Brouillard says:

      I have been reading all the posts trying to figure out the words that are in my heart and you have said them so beautifully! I really cannot add anything to your words.[thanks 🙂 ] Susan, I so love and appreciate you and your work and like the rest, I cannot wait to see your new book. You do so many things I can only dream of doing. One added note(just my thoughts) I really love the color of your kitchen.(I honestly thought it was white.) The thought of brown makes me think dark. You are such a bubbly character, I was thinking a buttery yellow, or robin egg blue. White is also a nice choice. I think these colors would set off your floors, without them blending into the walls, if they were brown. Anyway, sorry so long. I have always wanted to tell you what a wonderful person you are. As Rhonda said, I would so love to have a spot of tea and some crumpets, or maybe a scone or two, out in your lovely garden with you. God bless you, my dear friend (((hugs)))

  39. Cara M. says:

    I am voting “no” for light brown. We need to be surrrounded by color!! I love the charm of your kitchen ….I love your whole house. I liked that glimpse of your pantry too. I love pantries. The blue is beautiful! How ’bout a light green?…like a celadon…celery color…that would also look good with all the white trim and bead board. I have green in my kitchen…it is refreshing. Good luck with your “remodel”. In the end it will be wonderful….fresh and new!!
    I am looking forward to your new book about England. I follow your blog everyday. love it! Dont you have a breakfast book coming out too???
    Cara M.

  40. Diana says:

    I love the color! Don’t go brown as it might loose it’s cheerfulness. I love a cheerful kitchen.

  41. Deb from Dixie says:

    I think the blog gremlins have eaten a couple of my past posts….so trying again.

    Ah, so nice to get my mind off of the Hurricane prep/watch….and happy to see a new post. Looking at your kitchen “makeover in progress,” just the ticket.

    We are very lucky here; (I am with my Mom about an hour South of Tampa), and after all the storm tracking models showed Florida in the path, ole Issac went a bit West, out into the Gulf. So, far, we have just had wind and rain here… we are now sending prayers up to the northern Gulf Coast, especially New Orleans! Girlfriends in that region batten down the hatches and stay safe!

    Back to the kitchen, here is another thought about color. I know the general consensus has been blue/grey…..and with the white cabinets and appliances that looks great. I also loved it when those were my kitchen colors.

    When I re-painted ….I warmed it up a bit, still very welcoming, sunny, just different, and I now love the new color. With the white bead board, cabinets and appliances……I painted the walls a soft, pale yellow color, and it goes with everything, light, warm and cozy. So, just another option to think about!

    Also….your pantry looks so inviting, the checkerboard floors, the farm table, the preserves on the shelf……..looks amazing…..would love to have a “pantry tour” someday.

    Susan, when you wrote…”4 am, which is when I get up, when it’s dark and skunks and maniacs are roaming the neighborhood.”…… what a hoot, that really made me laugh…….. because really, who knows what/who lurks in the dark outside before sunrise? Yikes!

    Stay safe girlfriends, and have a good week everyone!

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      Oops…….This is so weird, a minute ago my earlier posts were not here, not even in the “moderation”… I reposted…..and then the earlier posts showed up again……..sorry if this post shows up twice. I’m mystified ?????????????/

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry!!! I wish I knew who, what, where, why and when, when it comes to those gremlins!!! So happy, it looks like the storm has pretty much passed you.

  42. Shanna says:

    Blue-the color of the sky and ocean, air and water. I like your kitchen walls the color they are–they just seem so YOU.

  43. Biting the bullet on a project is never fun when you have to live within your mess! (Hubby & I survived a kitchen re-do in our century home while raising 6 busy Kiddos); but, we survived. Just think, you’ll be chuckling to yourselves in a few days saying, “Well now, that really wasn’t so bad, was it?”

    And since I’m such a fan of old houses and old paint, I thought I’d add my “two cents worth” to the subject of a brown kitchen; smashing idea! ;>)

    Here’s a link for old paint colors. My favorite is “Drab”; not quite brown and not quite green; a lovely background for your fabulous array of dishes!

    You’re in the trenches now so hang in there! ;>)

  44. Debbie says:

    We are planning a kitchen remodel in September. Can’t wait, although I know it is going to be a tough couple of weeks, after all the kitchen is the heart of the home. We have not picked a wall color yet but I keep thinking what I really want is Susan Branch’s kitchen blue. I love it and have been wondering what it is. I hope you keep it. To me it is just right. Do you mind sharing the name of it?

  45. Barbara (WA) says:

    I bet you don’t put everything back exactly how it was but will see things in a fresh new way! Tweeking here and there and thinking how nice the change feels. We have been painting outside trim, the arbor, fence posts while the weather holds. We need to tape off all the white trim on the house so the painters can spray on the siding paint. At least we don’t have to do that! It’s mostly DIY around here so I am usually thrilled when something is hired out. We’re not as young as we used to be! Enjoy your “after” kitchen!

    • Barbara (WA) says:

      PS: What is that beautiful blue color on your kitchen walls?

      • sbranch says:

        I’m not sure, I think we have some paint in the barn, when I know, I’ll put it on the blog.

        • The left-over blue paint is not in the barn, it’s in your basement. 🙂 At least that’s what you said back in January in the comments on your Coming Soon/Events link that I was reading this afternoon.

          • sbranch says:

            Aha! Someone is paying attention, and you are so right … ! I forgot, Joe told me he moved it all to the basement!

  46. Sarah says:

    I love the blue you have, but it looks like I might be in the minority here, because I love browns, as well. We painted our kitchen a color called Lyndhurst Gallery Beige from Valspar a couple of months ago. We love it because it changes hues with the light from the day. Sometimes it looks tan, sometimes it looks almost mauve, sometimes brown. But everyone has their own tastes, so it should be whatever YOU want! 🙂

    Speaking of colors, I have to tell you I couldn’t get that one picture out of my mind that you sent from your blog about gardens. The one with the purple alliums along that pathway under those yellow trees. Well, guess what? I was at Costco yesterday and they had allium bulbs in pack of 30, so I stocked up, and will plant them this fall! I can’t find anything but seeds for those yellow trees, so I got some yellow and pink tulips to go with them. I am going to set off an explosion of color on either side of my front porch. I can’t wait to plant them. Now if I can just keep those pesky deer from eating the bulbs! 🙂 Thank you so much for that picture.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s going to be gorgeous!! Sprinkle the ground and the bulbs with cayenne pepper.

      • Sarah says:

        Cayenne pepper keeps the deer away? I might just have to do a fly over with my crop duster plane (that I don’t have…) and cover my whole yard, because we have a family of eight deer in our woods that think our whole yard is a salad bar just for them. 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

        • sbranch says:

          It worked on my roses. They came, they bit them right off, not all, but many of them. I sprayed with mixture of soap and cayenne, and for whatever it’s worth, they never came back! And we lived in deer country! No promises, but I would definitely try it!

          • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

            The deer are pruning! Roses NEED to be pruned. I have Old Blush along my fence in the yard. My horses loved roses. Now that they have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, the deer have taken over that chore. They are just pruning them. Saves you from having to do it.

          • sbranch says:

            They can prune, but only in the late fall, and never are they allowed dessert of actual beautiful roses! Deer rules!

    • Kelly J. says:

      Yellow arborvitaes might work well with your idea…they grow like crazy though! Kelly from Eastern PA

    • nanette from Alabama says:

      i loved that picture so much i used it as my wallpaper on the computer! i keep using my fav photos from your blog as my wallpaper………yours are THE BEST!

      • sbranch says:

        Thank you Nanette!

        • Janet says:

          Me too! The photo of yours I keep finding myself putting up as “wallpaper” is one of the houses you photographed in Essex CT on your way to NYC for your anniversary last Winter. It’s late afternoon [I think]and the house has two American flags at the front door and the carriage lights outside look like they just came on… that photo brings a lump to my throat every time I bring it up. It’s just beautiful…

          • sbranch says:

            Oh I know the one; doesn’t it just bring back memories, of a time we really never knew . . . love it too.

    • We live in deer country too and I used a product called LIQUID FENCE. It works very well if you keep up on it. when you get new blooms spray those.. it does stink but the smell does go away rather quickly so you don’t keep smelling it only the deer will and move on. And Susan, I love your Kitchen and floor the color it is. All it needs is freshening up.

  47. Lisa from California says:

    Sorry Susan, but you just don’t seem like a ‘brown’ kind of girl. I have seen some browns that I like (paper bag or cup of cocoa), but with white cabinets, a wood floor, and that black and white floor in the pantry, my vote would be either robin’s egg blue (neither blue nor green, but right in the middle) or French vanilla (the color of extra rich vanilla ice cream that hints of yellow). Either one would brighten you kitchen on a gray Winter’s day and make the colors of your china and your Potter figurines pop. My kitchen has white beadboard cabinets, walnut floor, and black granite counters (very classic). I chickened out and went with taupe, but next time I’m going with the robin’s egg blue; warm in the Winter and cool in the Summer. Good luck! Can’t wait to see how it looks when it’s finished.

  48. Peggy says:

    I am sure others have mentioned it, but, I am dying to see your pantry! I need ideas to make a pantry. I have a wash room off the kitchen that has a door leading out back. It’s medium sized, I thought to put a shelf there and make a mini pantry, but need deco ideas…
    I can’t wait for your books either, all so much fun! You always brighten up my day! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t do anything until I show you some pics! I had a teeeeeny house, and managed to design a shelf thing that provided so much storage space! I still have that shelf, it’s on the wall in the pantry and I’ll show you when things get back together.

  49. Dina says:

    I have always loved the color blue, but maybe the light brown is more chic!

    I love your kitchen – it’s comfy, cozy!

  50. Jamie says:

    Hi Susan-
    Love the color of your kitchen but maybe its time to get adventerous! My husband just repainted the cabinets a fresh white in my kitchen and once he did that my old color on the walls simply needed to go bye, bye. I went from a light blue to what they call Boston Cream, (Benjamin Moore) its a soft muted yellow with a honey brown under tone which makes the kitchen cheery without looking brassy. I have new counter tops and floor of soft brown stone, so my kitchen is more neutral in color. Any color looks good against it and the hallway that I look into from the kitchen was just painted a Bookbinders green, which is a super soft almost washed out celludon. The afternoon sun comes in the transom window in the hallway door and the shadows from the hickory tree dance on the walls and make it look like a glowy green passage. So if you feel that a light brown is something that you would like to try it could turn out just beautiful. After all it is just paint and if you put up samples and watch it during the day, you will find what is right for you and for your things. One thing that I would do over is repaint the lower cabinets a darker color or shade, just because they get the dirt more and most of the scruffs. Love that look too, which you will see a lot of in magazines and online sites dealing with decorating. is a fantastic source full of pictures and you can type in whatever your searching for.
    Right now Im in love with super soft grey for kitchen cabinets or on the walls, played against white. Swedish summer home look! Now all I need is another house to play around with!
    Well, good luck with everything, reno’s are not fun, but in the end it will be well worth it, plus you have the help of a decorator friend!
    Cant wait to see what you come up with.
    Jamie 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I thought that too, time to go wild and paint it a different color, but then I asked it and it said no. The house sometimes has a strong opinion!

  51. Josie A says:

    When you mentioned the pale brown for your sweet kitchen, I thought “Oh! No!” and agreed with Miss Winnie that your house is not a brown house. I love the color it is now, and thought (as many other girlfriends) a light buttery yellow would be pretty, too. THEN… you mentioned the white trim with the pink dishes (and maybe a touch of pink in the bark cloth valance?) and oooohhhhh….so sweet and pretty! Puts a smile on my face just thinking of it. Anyway, for what ever it is worth, this girlfriend (who’s least favorite colors in the whole spectrum are dull brown and 60’s orange) thinks the pale (warm) brown would be lovely and I think she (your house) would be pleased either way.

    The last time I painted my kitchen and it looked so pretty and clean and fresh I actually got up in the middle of the night to look at it… to make sure it was still there, I guess. And every time I would turn the corner and catch a glimpse of the kitchen, I would stop and look. I love that feeling. All fresh and new! Soon, you will have that feeling! I am so happy for you!

    I’m sure whatever color you finally decide on, it will be absolutely perfect!

  52. Cyndi in NC says:

    My two cents worth I like the color as is. It is very cheerfully and the plates and cups and saucers look lovely with it as a background. Again just my choice. It’s such a pain whenever you are redoing something but it will be worth it. As you said the weather is lovely and being able to open the windows is priceless. Even though it’s going to be much the same it will be clean and bright and happy! Good luck and hang in there. It will be worth it. *S*

  53. Pam Strother says:

    An idea for the kitchen walls–paint the walls a very light buttery yellow and the trim a creamy white with a hint of a yellow cast. The only good thing about redoing one’s kitchen is that EVERYTHING has to be cleaned afterward and will be sparkling.

    • sbranch says:

      I know, that’s my favorite thing! We cleaned under the stove today!! I feel like I lost 10 lbs!

  54. Pam T. says:

    Choosing paint colors is always a little unnerving isn’t it? So when you find one you like, and it works for you, maybe that’s the color it is supposed to be? I am a fan of warm neutrals…our house is full of them…but, my husband and I just discovered some new bedding we really like it and it is in nearly the same shade of blue as your walls. It is a very peaceful and pleasant color. I just have to say though, that everything you do seems to come out charming, so I know your kitchen will be just as warm and cozy and inviting regardless of the color you happen to put on the walls. We have a color on our kitchen walls called “Cracker Bits” (how appropriate for a kitchen, right?) that I absolutely love because it is warm and cozy and “friendly”. It’s kind of a color without being a color if that makes any sense. By the way…your kitchen is just charming…apart from the inconvenience of having it under re-“construction”, it must be somewhat torturous simply to not be able to spend time in there. I would miss it terribly. Hope the kitties hold up to the commotion. Mine aren’t fond of it at all. 🙂 (P.S. Can’t wait to see the “after” photos!!)

  55. Kelly J. says:

    We have a modest sized kitchen/family room combo that we wanted to freshen up a few years back. We too have white cabinets in the kitchen and wanted something to add a bit of a contrast to them, but lend itself to a cozier feeling at night. The walls were a light green which I liked, but it was almost too bright with our white cabinets. Long story short we decided to go with a mocha color…..which I LOVE 🙂 Bright enough by day, but very warm and cozy at night. So, maybe, don’t think brown, think mocha or latte or hot cocoa….you (and the house) may be pleasantly surprised! Kelly from Eastern PA

  56. Nancy says:

    Susan….love your kitchen…hope you don’t change it too much…your stove reminds me of home when I was growing up…we had a big, wide range….the flowers are beautiful !!! in your garden…..we had to redo wooden floors about four years ago due to an AC leak and it was worse than moving….glad it’s only your kitchen. You might even get little paw prints in your new floor if you’re lucky! 😉

  57. Gail Buss says:

    Hi Susan…………..Oh how I love your kitchen. I think brown would make the house dark on rainy days of winter

  58. B says:

    When you are deciding what color you want…think of how you will be decorating for the holidays and what colors would look best. I think the pale, pale shade of blue is perfect. You can do anything with pale blue.

  59. judi says:

    Ah, bluuuuuueeee a delightful color. A bit of pale yellow on a windowed wall would look sweet too.

    Pretty much in the clear here now. About 4 inches of rain and some strong wind bands but, we were so lucky. Did take the shutters off a couple of windows however, …..the Atlantic gets busy this time of year. Prayers to all of those in the northen Gulf states.

    Honey, they sell spring water in gallon jugs. Put that in your cooler by your tea pot so you have water in the morning and when you use it up….just refill the jug from your sink:) Did you say you have a microwave in your useable area too. And a grill outside. And restaurants nearby…’re all set.

    Smart to take the pics of your “stuff” so you can see where you had it. A few years ago my “all out” holiday decorator daughter got sick before Christmas. Her dear husband got out the pictures of Christmas from the year before and decorated inside AND out for her. HOW SWEET:)

    Your flowers ARE INCREDIBLE! Hugs!

  60. Susan in SC says:

    Personally, I think most of us can feel happy and cheerful surrounded by any color. It’s what is in our hearts not what is on our walls that make a happy, cozy home. <3

  61. Dale Worness says:

    Any color you choose would look wonderful, but I think a soft, light green would be pretty. That’s what I would love in my kitchen. One of these days I’ll get around to doing it. I hope! Right now we’re getting rain from TS Isaac. Stay dry and have fun with your kitchen re-do! Did you ask Jack and Girl Kitty what they would like? You could lay out some paint chip samples and see their reactions!

  62. tamar time says:


    Anytime any female, little girl to old woman asks me “which one do you think I should get?”, or “what color do you think I should choose?” my answer is always the same…You should choose whatever one makes you feel the prettiest. I dont care if it’s a toothbrush, dress or kitchen wall color….you will never go wrong with picking what makes you feel you the prettiest.

    You just had your colors done, and learned what colors compliment you the most.
    You might consider one of those that really “shows you off” and also goes with all the seasons that you adore so much. Happy deciding!


  63. Gail Buss says:

    Hi Susan, I just tried to write but it went up to comments. So as I was saying, I don’t think you’d be happy on dreary winter days with brown. Now I have to tell you…………we love “yellow”………….so some shade of yellow would be nice along with the white cabinets. Or yellow and blue go together nicely. Now don’t forget we live in Florida. Our inside walls are Behr Paints and the color is called Honeysuckle White buy it actually looks like a very creamy pale yellow. Actually our whole house inside is that color with white trip (except for Joe’s office.) Our outside is yellow and white…………very bright and sunshiny. My one friend here said before she saw it – I won’t like that but she loves it and everyone who visits comments on how pretty it looks. The sun will fad it over time too. Anyway as I said the inside walls are Honeysuckle white but our whole house has the theme of yellow and blue. I might have to send you some pictures so you can see. We are so happy we get many compliments and we love it ourselves too. Blue and yellow – very cheery. I also have to say I love those pink and yellow gladiolas…………beautiful and tropical looking.
    So happy for you getting a new kitchen. I love your kitchen and I have a counted cross-stitch of your stove that I plan to start on when I get back home by the end of the week. I love it. I have 3 altogether but have only completed one so far. The week will fly by and mid-week make Joe take you to The Black Dog for Quahog Chowder. Hugs, Gail Buss, Bev. Hills, Fl XXOO

  64. Peggy Cooper says:

    Well I guess I’m kind of a rebel because I’m going against the grain here. I think your kitchen would be gorgeous painted a very soft sage green. It goes with everything and would make all your colorful dishes, cups, and glassware pop.

    I know this remodel will be a little inconvenient for a while, but if it makes you feel any better, let me tell you about our recent bathroom remodel where we did all the work ourselves. We only have one bathroom in our 1942 bungalow, and everything needed to be replaced, including some walls. So it was showers at the gym for a month and a porta potty in the driveway for a week since we even had to replace the sub-floor. Now that it’s done and looking gorgeous, it was worth it. Just call me “Queen of the Tile”. It’s amazing what you can learn how to do yourself from internet videos.

    • sbranch says:

      Only thing is that the living room is a pale milky limey green, so it would be too much I’m afraid. Porta potty? You win!!! 🙂

    • Giovanna says:

      Peggy…thanks for sharing about your remodel. I have only one bath too and the last 4 days I’ve only had a potty in there….My sons and I are doing the work…it’s the first renovation for this 34 yr old bathroom and SO over due! I know the results will make me smile 🙂

      • Peggy Cooper says:

        Giovanna, I love your name! Good luck on your renovation. I didn’t mind making do with only the toilet in there, but when that was removed, we worked as fast as we could to get the floor done so we could get that back. Our bathroom had pink plastic tile on the walls, and crumbling pink and white mosaic tile on the floor. Also the vanity looked like it was homemade, and the pink formica on top was being held on with scotch tape – ugh. Anyway, it now has beautiful marble looking tiles called Toscana, and is just beautiful. Only thing left to do is crown molding, and we decided to keep the old tub since we liked it better than the modern ones, and that will be refinished shortly. Good luck and hang in there.

  65. Joann says:

    OK, now that’s a REAL GIRL post!!!! You’re down to the wood floors—it’s going to look wonderful—-

    On the paint…. hmmmm, brown with your darling black and white check valances??? I don’t know….. darling soft buttercup yellow, but brown? I think you should do what makes YOU happy and what colors you love…..

    Decorator Schmeckorator….you’re the Queen of the Kitchen!!



  66. Theresa says:

    I love white kitchens! Actually I love white everywhere! My sweet home out here in a pasture in Texas is All White, it’s a cross between a beach cottage and a farm house, built my adorable man! I love it, enjoy your update! Blessings from the pastures of Texas!

  67. Cyndi in NC says:

    Yep my message got lost too but that’s ok. I’ll keep it short and sweet. I like the blue!!!! *L* Whatever you do will be wonderful! Can’t wait to see the “new” kitchen. It’s so warm and comfy anyway so it can only get better. Oh and I’m with someone else who posted earlier. I’d take the soffet out too but that’s just me. More room to store things but I don’t think you had that big a project in mind.

    • sbranch says:

      Joe likes this idea, but I’m afraid it would just encourage us to get more stuff! To fill it, stuff we won’t be able to reach!

      • Cyndi in NC says:

        Step stool! *L* I know but it would be fun to get more stuff! In my case I didn’t have a lot of cabinet space to begin with. I did the lay out for my kitchen renovation and put cabinets where ever I could and took the soffets out. Not the big country kitchen I always wanted but much much better and I have cooked many family meals in it.

  68. Crystal S. says:

    I absolutely love everything about your kitchen. I used to have a stove very similiar to yours that belonged to my great-grandmother. I finally had to replace it a few years back and was sad to see her go. I love the sky blue in your kitchen and the only other color I would consider would be a light sea green. You have inspired me to clean my kitchen from top to bottom on this upcoming holiday weekend, if I can tear myself away from ny needlework! I know your kitchen will be beautiful whatever you decide. Thanks for sharing.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know why it’s spring cleaning . . . fall cleaning is so much more appealing to me … in the spring I want to go out and play, in the fall, I want to get cozy and make my house sparkle for the holidays!

  69. Cindy Garner says:

    What a fun thing to be doing :0)
    As for the colour….I think you should pic the colour that delights your heart….it’s your kitchen….brown is just brown…the same colour as dirt…..

  70. Pam G says:

    ahhhh….nothing like a redone kitchen-we are looking into replacing our tile floor (not real ceramic, but indiv. tiles with dirty old grout in-between with hardwood. The floor has not held up well and I can never keep it clean. I also want to paint. We have wood cupboards and the house is only 8 yrs. young but I so want to take some cupboard doors off or something. I’m still collecting pictures and ideas-fun
    love thise hollyhocks and can’t wait for the book

  71. Robin B. says:

    I love your blue. Maybe a blue tending towards aqua. I have my kitchen painted Weston Flax by Benjamin Moore. It actually runs through LR, DR and kitchen, as they open up to each other and there was no logical place to stop. It is nice and soft without being baby or bedroom yellow. It changes during the day depending on the light. It is easy to live with. Not bright at all. I looked tried out lots of yellows and most of them looked like Mickey’s fun house when you put them up on the wall. Weston Flax remained nice and mellow. The whole BM historical color range is very nice.
    Good luck in choosing your perfect color. Can’t wait to see the finished result.

  72. judi says:

    Ah, I see the Queen Mary is right below your island now and going into the haaabor tomorrow morning 6:30 a.m. 🙂

  73. Ann from VA. says:

    I love the idea of light brown… cozy, like your kitchen, but will show off your china so nicely! I’m doing my kitchen now as well. Tiny little thing it is , but I raised 4 children and entertained their friends and ours in it throughout the years. So NOW we are finally able to enlarge it a little bit and I’m so excited… never mind that all children have left the nest :-). My favorite addition is a little fireplace in the (new) corner with my mother’s slipper chair + 1 on either side. Enjoy the adventure of sprucing up!!

  74. Susan (Grayslake, IL) says:

    My suggestion would be to keep the colors in the lighter side of the color scale, so it does not detract from your ecclectic, but wonderful variety of china, etc.
    Can’t wait to see the “after” photos. Suggestion: post them along with the before pictures 🙂

  75. Giovanna says:

    Hi Susan,

    I so want to read everyone’s suggestions, but no time!! I’m in the middle of a bathroom renovation and the kitchen starts in 3 weeks. They are delivering hardwood to acclimate….where do I put it? I already have a claw foot tub and toilet in my dining room. There’s NO room left!

    Be aware, the floor sanders are huge and will cause vibrations. I wouldn’t want to see anything in your hutch get broken. Your kitchen is so adorable and with so much natural light, the sky’s the limit with color possibilities!

    I can’t wait to see the after! Enjoy the process. Even with the dust and disarray, it’s all worth it in the end.
    G 🙂

  76. Lauren Andersen says:

    I think you should keep the pale blue. It looks very clean and fresh and seems to suit your style more. If you do paint it light brown, I am sure it would be really nice though. Warm and cozy. 🙂

  77. Ruth Thomas says:

    When we moved into our house 24 years ago, there was poppy wallpaper on the walls with a huge hanging light over the dining area (like the ones over the pool tables in bars!). My dear brother in law came over and put up new wallpaper – small blue and white flowers. About 5 years ago, we put up this panelling called “clouds” – it covers the whole walls and is beautiful. My husband painted the cabinets white and we are getting new handles, 1950s kind I think. Then I will take everything out of here and remodel with some of my rummage sale and thrift store buys over the past few years. Trying to figure out whether to do roosters/chickens or just red and white stuff. I think you should keep your kitchen white – so bright and cheerful, especially in the winter when it is snowing. Also the white sets off all of your beautiful china and cups. I love dishes but where do you put all of them???? I have a very small house and my china cabinet is filled with old figurines and my special snowmen (I LOVE snowmen). I have several “Susan Branch” prints to put up – they will be so pretty in here. Either way you go, do what you love. You spend a lot of time there. I’m sure it will be fabulous.

  78. Jack says:

    First of all The pictures of the present floor come through in gleaming perfection and beauty So that any remedial work would only be suggested by someone with a very “unnatural” twist in the place where their brain is supposed to be located ,
    AN D – secondly the existing cabinets glowing with romance and with stark beauty need only to be admired from a distance. There should be not a. Single move to change the existing ambiance exuding from the relationship presently existing between your dishes as they are and the stove , sink and that specific area waiting to serve any and all particulars it could be called on to do in a Susan Branch Kitchen ! A kitchen that deserves to be recognizes and honored for wonderful past service and not converted into a Clowns Headquarters splashing a multiplicity of distraction from the functionality we know that room has enjoyed since the day I removed the doors from your elegant existing dish display
    Cabinet. The old saying –if it ain’t broke –don’t fix it could never be stronger than now !

    • sbranch says:

      But Dad, You know how much I’ve always wanted a clown’s headquarters . . . crying laughing! You can’t see how bad the floor is, because the fridge broke, the plumber goofed up, and for a week there was an inch of water on that floor, several years ago. Which took off the finish and it has looked awful ever since, not to mention the places where it’s all ripply, and where the chairs have scraped. Trust me, I won’t do anything “unnatural” with the twist in the place my brain should be, no clowns headquarters! Making me laugh again!!!

  79. KATHIE FERKO says:


    Put in my vote for the sky blue color. It is the perfect island color! Yellow accents would be nice. Waiting patiently for the new books. Thanks for another great willard.

    Kathie from Limerick

  80. LindaH says:

    Hi Susan,

    It sounds like you’re sticking with a pale blue, which I think is perfect. The only other color I’d recommend is a pale yellow, I have a yellow kitchen/dining room and its very cheerful. I’d love to see Gale Buss’ blue/yellow house, I accent my yellow rooms with blue as well. Good luck with the project, and enjoy eating out!

    • sbranch says:

      I had a yellow wallpapered bedroom once, that I have never gotten over, I loved it so much … such a happy color!

  81. Cindy in South Carolina says:

    I think it would be a waste to keep the same blue – life is too short! My daughter is the decorator in my house – she chose a color that looks like duct tape on the chip, but is a wonderful unobtrusive dark sage on my walls. That’s the hard part about choosing a new color – so many choices. I would hold the paint chips against both your Rose Chintz dishes and the ones you used for Jaime’s party and choose one that suits both. You asked! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Love to hear! Remember Rachel’s house, the silver paint in her bathroom? Also like duct tape, and gorgeous, but not 1849 I think!

  82. Cheryl says:

    Hi Susan,
    I am going to agree with both you and Amy. I love it the way it is, and I think mint green would be pretty. However as she mentioned you already have that in the next room. I don’t think your house would like brown. Even a light brown seems to modern to me. Your house has so much character and is so very pretty it seems to me it calls for a light, cheerful, pretty color. But then I am not a huge fan of the color brown for walls etc. You could buy those tiny buckets of paint, and try several different colors to see how they look when the light changes. But as I said….. I love the kitchen the way it is!

  83. violet says:

    I am a decorator,light brown will look warm and natural.Your flowers are gorgeous

  84. Polly says:

    Please, please, please keep the white with pale blue walls – I love the colors it is now, so light and bright and airy! It’s the perfect backdrop for all your beautiful teacups and china – and gorgeous Jack, of course!

  85. Linda Petersen says:

    The blue is perfect! Don’t change it! I know your friend Elisabeth is very talented~~~but~~~I love the cozy familiarity all of us girlfriends have come to know when we visit you :0). My living room & dining room (all one room) is getting a facelift too next week. Dreary carpet for wood flooring! I’m so excited!! Isn’t it wonderful that both of our projects will be completed for fall decorating & then the holidays? WOOHOO
    XO Linda

  86. Chris Wells from West Texas says:

    Well Susan by the time I got home from work and set down to read all the comments, it’s all been said. BUT……if I lived by the sea, my house would be filled with the colors of the ocean. It doesn’t get more peaceful and restfull than that.
    And speaking of oceans…we just got a full 1″ of rain! Praise God! Rain barrels are full, bird bath full, dust wetted down for the time being.
    Looking forward to the “after pictures”.

  87. Mary Nolan says:

    Yellow, yellow, yellow-I just love a yellow kitchen and of course my kitchen is YELLOW! I can’t wait to see the new kitchen!

  88. Carol (Daisy) says:

    I don’t envy you with the floor sanding ‘inconvenience’. We remodeled our kitchen last year and had the appliances in the living room and the garage. The dishes were washed in the garage sink. We lived with dust from the day after Christmas until the end of August, but again it was just an ‘inconvenience’ because it was so worth the wait. Although I think we will probably consider selling when it comes time to have the wood plank floors sanded! I haven’t commented since you returned from your wonderful vacation. Thank you for taking all of us along. When you said you were going to give us updates I thought, ‘oh goody, vacation pictures and stories blah blah blah’ but you made it so intersting without being ‘braggy’. The pictures are just wonderful, what a remembrance.

  89. Heartsdesire says:

    I love your kitchen colours as they are, light brown just wouldn’t fit in. I’m hoping to paint my kitchen this fall. It’s a pale butter yellow right now, but I’m thinking of white with just the tiniest hint of Granny Smith apple green (Ralph Lauren’s line called Vintage Masters has some beautiful pale, pale greens). Green seems to blend in so well with the outside. Like you, we have a lot of trees around the house and I think the palest of green inside makes it seem like spring all-year round. However, you have exquisite taste in colour, as is evidenced by your wonderful watercolours, so whatever you pick, I know it will be the right colour.

  90. Debbie '51 says:

    Love the shot of the glads & hydrangea near your oh-so-lovely picket fence! So very pretty!

    I have used a couple shades, from darkdarkdark to coffee with cream, “brown” in my house and love them- so subtle and workable. But I like happy colors in my kitchen. I’m with you, either stick to your beautiful soft sky blue or maybe some happy shade of sunny yellow.

    Hmmm… what color goes well with black tuxedo Jack cat… ? 🙂
    I mean, let’s talk about what’s REALLY important here.

  91. Debbie Borne in Fresno CA says:

    Kitchens just MUST BE blue (I love yours) or a soft butter yellow. Light Brown? Nay

  92. Country Gal says:

    Oh I cant wait to see the new floor , all though I like the old one to . I love your home and gardens they are lovely ! New book sounds exciting ! Are you going to share a little of it here for us ? I do hope so ! Have a wonderful evening !

  93. Carlie says:

    Another vote for keeping your beautiful pale blue walls! I giggled when you took pictures of your kitchen so you’d remember where everything went. I did the same this a couple of years ago – I think it’s such a clever idea!

  94. Debbie says:

    I was on the Vineyard yesterday and walked past your beautiful home! Looks exactly as I imagined it! Such a glorious day spent with my son and his girlfriend. I”ve always felt that pull to the beautiful island too!

  95. Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

    Darling Susan,

    You and the Girlfriends are just so far ahead of me now that I just can’t keep up!!! I am only through the first page of Comments from your last post and here we are already with a cleared kitchen on MV and at 7:00 pm EDT I suppose the sanding has either been completed satisfactorily or else you and Joe are somewhere crying in your beer and peah cidah! I thought I was supposed to be taking it slow during retirement and not have all this upset with grand parties every other week and kitchen makeovers in between and trips to England and don’t even mention gardening too—nobody mentioned weeding before I got things planted! And lovely stories to read from all my new girlfriends but no time to read them! OK, I’m done. . .enough about me. . .

    What a really neat kitchen you have, Susan, in a lovely and stately house! I really like the blue with the white or off-white trim. You really don’t strike me as a light brown kind of person but I’m sure Elizabeth knows you better than I do. It really depends upon whether you will be adding any other colors, such as in new curtains, etc. You may want to look at the colors that you already have in the kitchen linens that you use and pick something that would complement them; those are probably colors you really like. Also, since you are an Autumn, you might want to look at those colors or the Spring colors, which would be clear versions of the Autumn colors, such as coral, peach, apricot, turquoise, really any of the citrus colors, ivory, cream. I think that you would look really smashing in your Autumn clothes in a kitchen using the Spring colors! You might want to ask Joe what he thinks. Larry has surprised me more than once regarding his opinion of what he thinks makes me look attractive!

    Keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well with your floor and that you are able to manage around the loss of your kitchen for the duration!



  96. Paulie says:

    Hi Dear Sue….

    KEEP IT BLUE………LOVE THAT COLOR AND IT IS SO RESTFUL…..I am not a brown or beige person at all and I know everybody is using those colors this year even my own children and personally, I find them very depressing – They are not happy colors at all. At present my kitchen went from blue and white to a very pale lemon yellow with a very pale lime green below the chair rails and I am in love with this combo also. So…….do what makes YOU happy – no one else is going to have to wake up to the colors but you….Oh and also… glue down your teapots lady cause of the vibrations of the sanders…………….blessins. Paulie

  97. Perhaps painting only one wall brown and living with it for a couple of days…? I need to get some painting done but think I’ll live vicariously through your painting instead -smile-.

  98. Jeanne Hedin says:

    It sounds like “blue” is the winner! You might as well stick with what you love. If you have to make a change, I think a soft yellow would match your sunny disposition. 🙂 (Your dad is hilarious!)

  99. Pat Stier-Janes says:

    I think light brown would be beautiful. Everyday would be cocoa day….

  100. Judy J. from W.Warwick, RI says:

    Oh, please don’t paint it light brown. I think the light blue and white is lovely. It makes my eyes happy.

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