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. Laura says:

    I am sure whichever color you choose will be beautiful- your kitchen is so refreshing- unpretentious and homey- it looks like people actually live there (unlike the glossy magazines of beautiful kitchens where you just know no one ever cooks a meal!). Choosing paint colors is hard- we just moved into our new home at the end of June and have been living (if you can call it living!) with a RED (really red!) kitchen, gold living room, dining room and hallways and dark grey in the sunroom (thank goodness it’s been such a sunny summer)! I just received the Farrow and Ball paint color chart- and the names alone are worth the extra cost of the paint! How can I resist names like “Slipper Satin”, “Clunch” and “Cat’s Paw”?
    The big question I have for you- and one that I’ve wondered for a long time- is about your stove. I love it (and have been looking at similar ones online for a while) but am worried that the ovens might be a little small for things like cookie sheets and jelly roll pans. Do you use smaller size pans or do the regular size fit? It’s so tempting to buy a refurbished vintage one rather than a shiny new cooktop and ovens (plus, it reminds me of my Nana, who had one and she was a marvelous cook!)…what do you think?
    Good luck with your floors- it will be over before you know it and you’ll have all sorts of fun stories about how you survived the floor refinishing!

    • sbranch says:

      Regular sized pans do fit in quite nicely. You would love it, I have loved mine for 25 years. It’s the best thing I ever did for my kitchen. Takes up less space compared to some of the fancier stoves. Two ovens, two broilers, and they really work separately. My mom had one, so I understand that connection.

    • Susan Dasse says:

      Susan – have been a silent admirer for years – have answered you only in my mind – love your homes/gardens – everything about them. Just seeing the pictures is a day brightener. Having said that – brown? Noooooooooo – it just seems so wrong for your sweet house. Such a strange thing to say someone you have never met (in person)…….there it is though. Suze

  2. Rm says:

    oh No!! brown is not your color.. You will love your kitchen when it is finished what ever color you select.. it will be beautiful.. do what makes you happy.. hugs

  3. I am currently painting my livingroom/kitchen/dining room from brown to bright, light, airy white! I’ve had the light brown for almost 4 years, way too long. It’s time for me to step out of the dark into the light! 🙂 I do love brown, don’t get me wrong – I loved the way my house looked, but it felt dark and I’ve had a case of the ‘blahs’ that comes on every fall/winter because it just feels so dark and closed in with the tan walls. I am loving the brightness of my new paint color. 🙂

    I can’t wait to see the photos of the finished kitchen.

  4. Anna Limont says:

    I must admit, even though its silly, when I first read the words -kitchen makeover- I thought , oh no, I had visions of stainless steel and granite everywhere, – but then I found it was more of a freshening up you were doing. Good news! – Glad to hear it will look much the same, – I just love kitchens, they are so much fun to look at , each one special in its own way, – but, I’m definately partial to homey. – I too am hoping to get mine painted this winter. Thanks for your sweet blog!

    • sbranch says:

      I have never been the granite and stainless steel type. Not since I visited the wooden house of my Great Grandmother in Iowa when I was little. Her porch was so wonderful. It set the tone for a lifetime. That, plus all those Shirley Temple movies my mom played for me.

      • Anna Limont says:

        It sounds like your life is full of beautiful memories, mine is also, – My grandmother lived in a row house in Shoreham-by-sea, England- her kitchen was tiny, sweet and cluttered and she loved to cook, always singing songs like Oh Danny Boy, while she worked. Others have said it , but I will anyway, you are so thoughtful to take the time for these comments, I know this blog is growing in popularity as it should- so it can’t be easy. I get the feeling you like tidbits of information about your readers lives in return, very sweet!

  5. Ruskin Days says:

    I would probably lean away from anything brown, only because I prefer a really light blue, green or mauve with all that lovely white! I think those colours also go with vintage china, particularly everything you have on display. I will be renovating my kitchen soon and currently thinking of wall colours but I’ve decided for white as I’ll probably be changing my displays around a bit!

    • sbranch says:

      The blue has always been a good contrast to the trim, but it’s not been invasive; things look good with it no matter what season, like the sky I guess!

      • Christie Ray says:

        My Aunt Mary Bitty was an interior decorator…old school..did all the draperies in the funeral home and nursing home and grand pre civil war home in her little town. She always said a canopy of blue (walls) and green carpeting were the colors God chose…and since it worked for him, it was good enough for her;)

  6. Ardena says:

    Yes on lt. brown for the walls.

  7. Carolyn (SoCA) says:

    Hello, Susan, Such fun (when it’s over!) You just don’t seem like a “brown” person to me, although I know that it is a popular trend to use various shades of brown. Your blue is a comforting blue, but I do like the butter-yellow idea, too. I used it frequently in my home and never tire of it. Looking forward to the England journal. Please print many, many copies!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll have a preorder for the girlfriends on the blog, that way we take no chances, I’ll know how many to print and no one will get left out!

  8. I see you aren’t going with brown now 🙂 I’m with the others… yay!

    You seem like me with loving colors, but if you want a bit of a change after going through all the work why not use Robins Egg Blue on the walls… it’s almost like your own paint, except a bit of green mixed in. Goes with all colors too. and the best thing is, the color changes with night and day from blue to a bluish green 🙂

    I also LOVE butter yellow, it’s so happy and cheery 🙂

    I redid my kitchen this spring before Rosinda came to visit and put antique on my walls and cupboards… I know it doesn’t sound like a good idea, but my door handles are burgandy so I get my pop of color there. My kitchen doesn’t have a lot of wall space. My back splash will be grey ,, saw it once and loved it. It’s wainscotting cut to fit 🙂 and my floor will have a touch of grey and antique white in it.

    It leaves me with a fresh palate for decorating and changing my decorations with the seasons, too 🙂

    It’ll be so pretty, Susan ! Can’t wait to see it 🙂 and I like what one lady said, the bluish grey is like the sky, perfect 🙂

    I wonder what was the original kitchen color?

    I caught up on your blog, too but dind’t want to bombard you with my comments, but I absolutely adored everything!

    and Mister Jim Bird almost lost his name because of an old law back in the day, but he was saved thanks to my critique partner 🙂 He was alsomost Mister Joe Bird (to keep it for you) but is now Mister Jim W.D. Byrd 🙂

    I posted a picture of him about a month ago. and he’s still around! He and I had a little talk when Rilla and I went to get the mail today lol, wasn’t even scared 🙂

    Ok, I think I just wrote a book to you lol
    sorry! lol
    Denise of Ingleside, PEI

  9. Nellie says:

    We are in a bit of remodeling project around here, but nothing as major as refinishing a floor! You have a REAL project ahead! We are simply putting up some white shelves in the kitchen! Oh, and painting the living room. One thing leads to another, you know. Probably will order some slip covers for one of the sofas and move it into another room.:-) Wonder what will come up next!?!:-)

    I must go along with the ones who are voting for white. If it is white, pops of all colors will fit right in!:-) We have a decorator-type friend who thought we should paint the kitchen green because of a stripe in the valance when we liked the multi-colored valance against the white.

    I’m certainly wishing you well with Jack and Girl Kitty in this endeavor!

    xo Nellie

  10. Cindy says:

    I like the color your kitchen is now. Loved the music, I started listening to Rosemary clooney. You’re Glads are so pretty!

  11. Barbara B says:

    Your blue is so perfect. It just goes with everything in your kitchen. It doesnt get better than crisp white for kitchen cupboards. When we moved to our new house I had to leave behind my beautiful white kitchen and I really miss it. My new kitchen is now shades of taupe and although it is beautiful as a background for my splashes of color in my decor its just not as cheery. If you make a change I think you should stick to a cheery pastel.

  12. Jacquie says:

    Hmm. I’m not seeing brown. But I’m curious to hear your friend’s rationale. Why will it work? Does she see something we’re not? I’d love to know. It’s good to be open to everything. I just painted my (our) bedroom in “Queen Anne’s Pink” by BM and I love it so much that I’m recommending that color to all my friends and for every room, project and beyond. So, in keeping with that trend… How about Queen Anne’s Pink? – it’s lovely. It’s Peachy, pinky; it’s subdued in low light and glows in the end of the day sunset. If that doesn’t do it for you – I’d keep it that beautiful light blue. It seems perfect. Also, did I see a peek of your pantry? Oh, how I’d love to take a tour someday.

    • sbranch says:

      She’s just good at colors, her own house is wonderful! The brown would be new and fun to play with, but I think for the long term, I think I’ll be happier with the blue. I had pink in another house, LOVED it, did the same as yours, changed color with the light, was so fresh and pretty. I’ll take us on the pantry tour as soon as I get everything back together around here! Thanks Jacquie!

  13. Beth Keser says:

    I love your kitchen just the way it is! The color reminds me of the sea glass you collect. And I LOVE your stove. Can’t wait to see the “after” photos. Don’t forget to put all of the Beatrix Potter figurines back on the window sill -I always look for them in your pictures 🙂

  14. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    No Brown!! If it ain’t broken don’t fix it…….. What you have is perfect, so perfect I am going to try and do my one of my rooms in the rose pattern you have in your livingroom and I love the shade of green on your walls, and I love the color of your carpet. Your Kitchen is just lovely. I wouldn’t change a thing.
    That is my vote.

  15. Gini says:

    Susan, I too vote for the blue! If you must change, the idea of a very pale yellow is tempting.

    Hope the work goes well!

  16. Deborah says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your cozy kitchen is the epitome of cottage charm.. The next room we are working on in the Fairfield House is the kitchen. I love white bead board with blue and whimsical touches of red. Your garden is beautiful. I am looking forward to your latest book!

  17. Karen Saari says:

    Hi Susan,
    At this point, you have more than ample suggestions and ideas on the perfect
    color for your charming kitchen. With no delectable delights coming from the
    heart of the home for now, thought you may have some time to check out this
    delightful website, – she also has a blog, It’s all about raising farm animals, but especially sheep for milk and very soft
    yarn. With lambs named after Jane Austen characters, what’s not to love along
    with all the gorgeous yarns?
    The beautiful shot of the garden with the luscious glads was the perfect
    ending to your note! Best on your kitchen makeover.
    P.S. Thanks to Victoria Miller for mentioning the CD, Two Hands by Leon Fleisher.
    Simply wonderful and a favorite with my husband and I.

  18. Cheyenne Renard says:

    Your new kitchen will be so beautiful. I love the wooden floors. Are u ever going to move back to California ? i can see why you would not want to love to you and Joe and to the fur babies . I just love both of your babies i have a girl who matches your jack so darn cute love Cheyenne its 102 today so hot i do love the dry heat though but the hot temps get to you after a while , but its almost over hope to hear how u are love C

  19. shelley says:

    Susan, I really think you should go with the palest of pinks I believe it would really look great with your white and the pink pitchers. I had a pink kitchen years ago and loved it. It just seemed so inviting I still have touches of pink in it, it just seems so elegant. Just a thought good luck. Can’t wait to see the after shots.

    • sbranch says:

      I painted the living room and studio of a house we owned at one time a soft bubble gum pink, I loved it! The light shone on it so beautifully.

  20. Susan from Vermont says:

    I have renovated so many houses and so many kitchens, so just a few ideas:
    1 — Move your dishwasher as soon as possible; putting it to the right of the sink would be better, in the corner must be inconvenient. Your carpenter can detach the bank of drawers from the undersink cabinet, and you can make the switch. Don’t let anyone tell you it cannot be done, because it CAN.
    2 — Elizabeth is right that light brown could be good, but if you go in that direction, go with TAUPE. There are a million of them, some more beige, some more grey, some with a greenish cast, etc.
    3 — Paint your cabinets a whiter white to match your appliances. A bright white is fantastic against taupe, but even if you stay with blue (who doesn’t like blue??), the matching white tones will really sparkle and look very clean.
    4 — Bring a big thermos of water downstairs.
    5 — Have fun with this!

  21. Joanie B from San Diego says:

    Paint the color that you LOVE. You are in there every day!

    I was impressed and consoled by the fact that you don’t have much counter space and STILL cook such amazing meals. I have teeny kitchen with minimal counter space. Just goes to show that its the heart in the kitchen, that makes it the heart of the home.

    My opinion: make your color choice, whatever it may be, cozy, homey and avoid the trendy colors, which change with the wind…

    • sbranch says:

      That’s why I call what Joe and I do in the kitchen, a kitchen dance. Doe-si-doe around each other to the knives to the spoons to the fridge! He gets one side of the sink and I get the other!! We’ve thought about an island, but the character of the kitchen — I don’t know…we have to leave that to the next owners if they want one.

  22. Susan Ericksen of Bainbridge Island, Washington says:

    I love the shade of blue that you have in your kitchen. It is such an “Island” color. Some of the new browns, beiges, tans they are using now, are too contemporary for your kitchen…It is such a homey, cozy Island home…please keep the blue with the white trim…It is so perfect……… and it always is cheerful and bright, even on the darkest of days…..

  23. Marilyn says:

    Good luck with the do-over. We did this same thing a couple years ago and I thought the dust would never disappear. I do love it now. The light brown might be lovely.

  24. Susan Ericksen of Bainbridge Island, Washington says:

    Just adding to my last comment……In my “Island” kitchen, which is a 1903 home, on one wall I painted a tree that went from the floor to the ceiling and up into the ceiling and across part of one cupboard….On that I have added pictures of my family and friends. It is our family tree and it takes up almost 1/2 a wall. It is a highlight in my kitchen and I also add my grandgirls art work. It has become a place of honor for them to have their work there!!!! It has been so fun….and so many people love it. I also painted the ceiling like a sky. IT has a few clouds, and birds and right above the back door is an angel that blesses all those that go in and go out!!!! It has just been so much fun painting all these things….Thought you might enjoy hearing about some of my art adventures at home too!!!!…♥

  25. Cynthia Pfledderer says:

    “…when the skunks and maniacs are out” – Hahaha Skunks are such pests. ;-D

  26. Pam Wright says:

    I think you should stay with the blue!! It goes perfectly with the age and style of your house and the antiques you have. I think brown can be kind of depressing…soft blue is definitely good for the soul!!

  27. Kirsten Wichert from So. California says:

    I so love your kitchen the way it is! Crisp white (Clean!) cupboards and the palest of blue sky walls…….just beautiful!. Soft browns and beiges are so modern…..with alittle black here and there. Everyone is calling it vintage but I think it’s entirely new. My kitchens have always been white with touches of vintage red here and there. ( I love vintage cherries!) But let your heart lead you…….you have great taste!

    I love the way Joe set up the bed and breakfast tray with all the essentials! But if you have to go out at 4 a.m., please do look out for the skunks and their strangers (they always seem to go together) or is it the strangers with their skunks? No matter, we have them here in So. Cal. too (as you know well).

  28. Judy Tracy says:

    Advice is cheap:>) White is clean, brightening, light, enlarges space, matches the appliances, is a perfect foil for the colors of all the other things….that is my decorator two cents worth. Plus you are a “winter” in the color spectrum, and we all like pure white.
    It will all look wonderful in a week however you decide:>)
    Judy Tracy

  29. Mady says:

    Light brown walls for you? I don’t think so! Sun or sky colors, especially since you’re in the kitchen at 4 a.m.

    • sbranch says:

      Sunrise colors! Blue sky!

      • Mady says:

        Sunrise colors — Oh, yes! You are your loveliest as an “autumn,” but your charming home and garden are “spring” and “summer.” The contrast with the white-with-black house and kitties is a perfect combination.

  30. Mercina O'Neil says:

    Oh my goodness, lots of changes going on at your place. I know some say stick with the blue, but I’m going with the light brown, not necessarily the entire kitchen but a wall or two would bring warmth to the room, balance with the white and unify with the refinished floors; so I say go with Elizabeth! Your girl party was, of course, delightful! As for the cup, so close yet so far. Congratulations to Mary in Phoenix! I live in Payson, 1-1/2 hrs. northeast of Phoenix. Oh well, maybe next time!

  31. Debbie in Southwest Missouri says:

    S C A R Y! That sums it up, doesn’t it? When you are considering changing your kitchen’s “color” it is NOT an easy thing. But, be b r a v e! oxoxoxo Listen to your decorator friend. Since she is your friend, she knows you and Joe’s personality and she will NOT steer you in the wrong direction. Be b r a v e! Listen to her. 🙂
    Remember YOUR creative side, and Joe’s creative side in the kitchen too! Try a darken color to add w a r m t h to the culinary center of your h o m e!
    A friend did this for me and my husband and we still thank her to this day.
    Charcoal is what we went with … very w a r m! With your white woodwork and your honey colored floors it would be beautiful.
    From the Heart of Our Home to Yours,
    The Butlers

    • sbranch says:

      Wow, Charcoal. You are very brave. I bet it would be beautiful. One time I wanted to paint my fireplace shiny black. I still would like it, but with that old wood, I think once you did it you could never go back, and that is truly scary!

  32. DENA from New Orleans says:

    first is i dont know if id redo the floors because i love the old look, so shabby chic, but if you must and scince you doing all that you should go all the way, with repainting too and have the feel of a drastic change , paint something cheery, like a nice yellow on walls, leave cabinets white , love them, and maybe put a few splashes of a bright color like red, with flowers, or a bowl , some red would look great and compliment the black and white floor in the other room, it will feel like a new house, cant wait to see end result, a hint for you is to run your AirCondition a lot and change the filter often to suck up saw dust, also put fans in doors and window pointed outward to pull sawdust outside, also put curtains or plastic over doors so it is contained in that room and not other parts of the house. keep doors to all other rooms closed.

  33. Trish K. says:

    I vote to keep the colors you already have! It does go with everything….its cheerful and beachy-peaceful at the same time!

  34. Pat Mofjeld says:

    It has been interesting reading all the comments and suggestions as we are in the process of peeling wallpaper in our bathroom and are planning to paint it and then later this fall plan to paint our bedroom…so it was helpful to read all the input you are getting! We’re back to hot and humid weather now in Minnesota (mid-90’s mid-week) so will wait for cooler drier weather here…I’m watching for the pantry photos! 🙂

  35. Susan, Can’t wait to read your book…I know it will be beautiful! You are going to love your floors. So smart to be doing this now. I added hardwoods to my home office last year and it was cold out. I had to have the windows open though, the smell is so powerful. Definitely the wrong time of the year. You picked a great time! Can’t wait to see your kitchen when done. Good luck in choosing your paint color, I always agonize over that!

  36. Oh, I just had to stick my nose in on the paint color since I saw there were a few suggestions. 🙂 My fave color for kitchens (really any room) is a soft yellow by Duron called Sugar Cookie. Home Depot can mix it up and it’s called Sugar Cook in their system. It goes with EVERYTHING. Literally! Looks great with antiques and any color in any room. In that way, it almost like a neutral, but it’s such a happy color! You don’t need to post this comment…I want to include a link to a room with Duron Sugar Cookie just so you can see it. Another great soft yellow is Duron Tea Biscuit…it’s slightly lighter than Sugar Cookie. Okay, I’ll hush now and just share the links. 🙂
    My office is painted Duron, Sugar Cookie:
    Upstairs Family Room is Duron, Tea Biscuit:
    Again, no need to publish this comment, just wanted to share those two links in case it’s helpful since I know choosing paint is hard sometimes. I know whatever you choose will be wonderful!
    Love your blog, Susan! You are a treasure!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m writing everything down, unexpectedly, I have a list of some beautiful paint colors provided by the girlfriends!! Thanks Susan!

      • Christie Ray says:

        Oh, my goodness…anything called sugar cookie (or sugar cook) or tea biscuit..just makes my mouth water! Susan…I follow your sweet blog and will have to ck out your link. Sue, thank you for posting her comment. How wonderful to have a network of girl friends with great ideas. How could we ever do what we do all on our own. I love the Robin’s Egg blue…and was just thinking of doing our office/study in that color! Oh, I must get ahold of some paint chips, pronto:)) Thanks girls!!

  37. Susan Christmas says:

    Just love that you are in the midst of sharing your kitchen with all of us! You are adorable!
    My cat and I are sitting together reading your blog and we think either the robins egg blue or butter yellow to bring the sunshine in.
    Love you, from Cosmo and me. ( he was named after my favorite cocktail!)
    Susan Christmas
    PS Cosmo says hi to your kitties, he retrieves pom poms too!

  38. Elizabeth in Montana says:

    My north-facing kitchen is two horrible shades of blue, thanks to the apparently colorblind previous owner of our house…but I have the paint, a pale yellow, to change it. I tend to like apple accessories so green, yellow, red and white are my kitchen colors. I don’t think I’d like brown walls in the kitchen!

  39. Jack says:

    After all these years with the weight load of those dishes, you have not the least degree of sagging on the shelves of your display cabinet. Now that is amazing!

  40. Jenny L. says:

    This is a tough one because decorators have a good eye but so do artists like yourself. I agree with some of the other posters that brown would certainly make your dishes pop. It would also bring out your new beautiful floors. Take a walk on the wild side and if you don’t like it you can paint over it. Just do 1 wall in brown and see how you like it. I also think brown would make the kitchen so warm and cozy looking. A kind of brown-taupe is nice. That is what I have in my kitchen with aqua and yellow curtains and aqua countertops. I live in a 60s house so that is where the aqua comes from. I used to hate the counters and now I love them. It sounds weird but it all matches and looks really good. This is off subject but people were saying how big Jack is getting. My little tuxedo cat Teddy is getting really big too, but trust me they both have a lot of teenager left in them. I had some lace curtains in the living room that he was climbing on when he was little so I moved them out of the way over the rod. Yesterday I thought since he is older maybe I could put them back down – he was climbing on them in 2 minutes. He is such a Dennis the Menace when I am trying to make the bed – I finally have to kick him out and close the door to get it accomplished. I don’t care though – I like animals with a little spunk. I can’t even tell you how much I love that cat, so I know how you feel about Jack. Tuxedos are very special!

  41. Ann from Pasadena says:

    I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw your blog this evening! We’re a few days ahead of you in our own little, long-awaited, kitchen and laundry room makeover! We elected to paint first and then do the floor. Everything but everything is in our living and dining rooms. It’s amazing how much stuff we pack into our kitchens!

    I put our dog’s bowls in the bathroom and he’s pretty confused!

    Since our house is a 1928 Spanish cottage and the west-facing kitchen is a bit dark in the morning, we chose a humble, muted butter yellow with white trim. It’s very cheery! I think you should go with the paint color that resonates with the age and architecture of your house and that makes you smile in the morning. The blue is quite lovely.

    Last Thursday, the very old linoleum squares were removed and the Douglas Fir sub-floor was sanded, stained, and then two coats of polyurethane sealed the deal. Even with plastic up, the dust gets everywhere! The stain was super-stinky. So much so that we moved to a hotel that night. The poly smell was not as bad, but keep those fans going!

    Tomorrow morning we will put back the washer and dryer, which have been in the driveway for 12 days, and the refrigerator, which we squeezed into my teenage son’s room (handy for snacks!).

    The tile counter will be repaired tomorrow. It will be fun to find a new light for over the breakfast room table (Moravian star?) and search for those quaint cafe curtains that can be laundered.

    This long weekend I’m going to clean, reorganize, and put 3/4’s of the stuff back. We definitely need to pare down a bit!

    Good luck on your project! I’m excited for you!

  42. Marie says:

    I am liking the way it looked before. But then . . . you are living in my dream house and place! I wouldn’t change a thing!

  43. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    I just had a thought….How about some wall paper? Stencel or get a nice border of wall paper. If you pick what really talks to you, you will never get tired of it. You can also get a rolling cart or have an island made with wheels that have stops on them. That way if you move(goodness) it can go with you.

    • Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

      P.S. I all ready have the rose wall paper in my bathroom for years and now that I see your green wall and the white woodwork I will do my woodwok in the white and the wall under the chair-rail in the green. I have been years trying to decide to paint over the natural wood work. I am one that needs to see how it will look before I can be ready for the change. Your livingroom has now become my insparation to go forward.

    • sbranch says:

      I have wallpaper in so many rooms, love wallpaper!

  44. Kristina says:

    a little prayer for you and hubby for patience and endurance! I’t will be so nice to have a fresh and clean new kitchen for the fall! Butter yellow is nice cheery color for kitchens too. Can’t wait to see it finished. Thanks for sharing.

  45. Laura Ann in Vermont says:

    Susan, I have the exact same curtains in my kitchen as you do. (I made mine from fabric I bought from Country Curtains. I made a sink skirt and tablecloth to match.) I also have the ball fringe curtains in other rooms, like you do, too.

    Good luck with the sanding and smell and mess! Be sure and have them put at least four coats of finish on, if you want it to last. (Also, I would go with oil based, if you can talk them into it.) And I vote for sticking with the blue walls. I love it!

    • sbranch says:

      A few years back, I found a huge very long valance at a yard sale and bought it. When it was time for new curtains, I dug it out; such heavy wonderful fabric . . . cut it up, and voila! Yes, we are getting four coats! They sealed all the doors to the rest of the house with plastic and tape, the smell isn’t unbearable. I peeked in the window late yesterday, the floor is SO pretty!

      • Laura Ann in Vermont says:

        That doesn’t sound so bad! You’re giving me courage to get my kitchen floor redone. But with five kids (well, teenagers) and three cats, there is never a good time to do this!!

        • sbranch says:

          Oooo, that is asking a lot! The cats would probably be OK, but the kids! 🙂 Maybe later, when they’ve all grown up, and the floor has a chance of lasting a few years!

  46. Lynn Cooper says:

    I think the blue is lovely and cheerful – blue is calming, and the backdrop of your perennials and annuals outside probably help to extend the colors of the garden into the kitchen. I would not change it to brown – brown is great in a small den or cozy library, but not for the heart of your home, the kitchen. If you are tired of the blue shade, perhaps a different shade of blue, or a cheerful and sunny color such as yellow. would work for you. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke, and unless you are tired of the blue on the walls at this point in time, and are looking for a change, I would keep it as it is.

    Do you realize that you will get a zillion opinions from all of your bloggers about this question? I hope you set up a large chunk of time in your schedule to read all of our thoughts on the matter of color in a kitchen. It can be very hard to decide on these matters such as color on walls.

  47. Kelley S. says:

    Oh Goody! A Project! Your kitchen is so adorable just the way it is, but every girl needs a new outfit or hairdo once in a while to feel spiffy. Relieved that it isnt going to be major changes since you’ve already reached Kitchen Perfection. One question: How are you going to keep Mr. Jack from “helping” with the project? He is such a thoughful fellow, always wanting to be involved in the household activities. ☺

  48. Gwen says:

    Susan even when your kitchen is bare bones empty it is charming! I love that you are so true to who you are. Tired of all the huge homes that have no personality. Give me an older home any day. They have stories to tell. Not so sure you are a brown person, but I think your heart will guide you. Blessings.

    • sbranch says:

      I think it’s the real reason I moved here, I had to get my hands on an old house!

      • Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

        Susan, I love that you “listen” to your house! I do exactly the same thing. My cozy, little house is 90 years old and I always try to honor its past! It’s a very happy little house, filled with love and charm. Your new kitchen will be the perfect combination of old-fashioned charm and your love of life!
        Take lots of garden breaks during the process. Your picket fence garden is the perfect getaway!

  49. Wendy Louise says:

    I love to paint ! I painted the whole inside of my cottage home a few years ago, one room a day. I had soooo much fun and it was so satisfying! My favorite paint is Benjamin Moore C2 paint, the light and airy colors of the sea. This paint goes on so smoothly.The old names like; Portage, Vellum, Behive, Sea Foam, White Dove,Overcast, and Final Straw, are all in my home. I wouldn’t change the color of your wonderful,perfect kitchen. It is so good for the soul! My soul too when I see it in your blog,I love it so much. You do have to consider the flow of your rooms from one room to another and from what I can see your rooms flow beautifully. Freshing up is so much fun, and benefits like eating out and picnicing it is so romantic. Have fun ! I know you do in everything. OOXX

  50. nanette from Alabama says:

    how wonderful that you let us all throw our “paint stick” in with yours! You have an adorable kitchen and it will be beautiful no matter what. When I told my husband about the re-do (and I’ve shown him your kitchen) he immediately said “BUTTER YELLOW!” It would be so cheerful during long winters and gray skies. However much I love yellow and the sunshine it brings with it, I vote for Ralph Lauren’s POLO RED. It is a perfect red and I have had a red kitchen for ages. There is nothing like it! It’s so warm and cheery in the winter and in the summer, so fresh with crisp, white linens and lace! A hot cherry pie on the window sill goes with it perfectly! Red changes beautifully with the seasons and I never tire of it. Your white appliances would look so clean against it and your displays would be lovely. (I noticed that there is a color of red in your prints in your living room……….in the rose prints. That red would be lovely!) Btw, I also have vintage Johnson Brothers dinnerware and the pinks and reds in it go so well with the red! I know whatever you end up with, it will be beautiful. I love brown but I use it as an accent for warmth rather than on the walls. It makes the house too dark on the walls……. I can hardly wait to see what you choose! It’s exciting!

    • nanette from Alabama says:

      After going through and reading all our comments I realize that we are all like different flowers………flowers of every color and hue…….. all beautiful but all different. No color is “right” and none is “wrong.” Your kitchen should be YOUR color. Our colors are great in our different kitchens but what we all love is that YOUR kitchen suits YOU! I have always loved that you are not caught up in having to have the latest trends in your kitchen, that your pots and pans show the dents and dings of real life and that we can just smell the yummy smells coming from your oven! We love the kitchen the way it is. We want YOU to be happy in your kitchen. Be true to yourself. (I’m sure you will be. That’s what we always do in the end, isn’t it?)

    • sbranch says:

      I do LOVE the idea of red. But I fear I would want to change it too soon. It’s such a statement . . . I like the walls to fade back, and the STUFF to come forward. Especially, the flowers.

  51. "Auntie" says:

    In the first picture, I-spy a back stair case. Oh I just love, love, love back staircases, for some reason. Never had one. Always love ’em though. 🙂

    Wonderful clean-up-do-over! Perfect kind. No real changing. Just sprucing up.

    Mmmmmmm, could you please tell me, the name of the font which you use here in your blog? I love it! Can’t “place” it. So, can’t “find” it. -pout- Of course, one has to Have-It-On-Their-Computer first, to use it, I suppose. -sigh-

    Oh well, please would you tell me the name of your Font, though. Please and thank you… “Auntie”

    • sbranch says:

      Coming from California, a back staircase was so exciting . . . I know how you feel.

      The guy who set up the blog chose the font, so I will have to check with him!!!

    • Janet says:

      Me too, Auntie! Kitchen staircases, beadboard, a porch or two, a fireplace in the dining room and a fireplace in my bedroom – these are at the top of the dealbreaker list for My Dream Home. Don’t know why at all – guess I just must have had them all in a much-loved home in a past life… :>)

    • Janet says:

      Auntie – on my computer this font is Comic Sans! But as you know there are about 40 bazillion fonts out there so who knows? Hope it’s helpful [hope it’s right]. :>)

  52. As you can see I am late to the dance…poor Jim is suffering from either a sinus infection/cold (hard to tell the difference) I’m leaning toward sinus because he spent 3 days cutting down weeds and the shrubs/summer plants last week?? anyhoo we too are waiting for this humidity to leave IN so we can begin the painting process in this house starting with the kitchen. I have so many paint samples can you imagine how many “greens” there are and I do think I have learned one thing to always go lighter because it dries darker?? I am leaning toward a celery/sage green for the kitchen; but, in your case I have to agree with the MAJORITY of the girls stay with your blue although it might be nice to go a shade different either way?? just for something new!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE GLADIOLUS PIC…I didn’t have the nerve to ask you again because I knew how very busy you are and you remembered to post a pic (LOVED the red/yellow glad…cheery and makes me happy)!! Thanks and GOOD LUCK!!!!!

    • Susan, my niece who has taken chances with color in her home in Chicago and it is lovely I might add…suggested to us to go and get color paint samples and on several walls make a stroke of paint so you can “look” at it in every change of light during the day and into the evening…it will look odd but you are going to cover it over anyway…might be what you will want to do to make the perfect choice for you?

      • sbranch says:

        We usually do that too, but this time, I think I’m going to have to just go with the blue. It will be fresh and clean and it does go so well with my dishes, and with every other thing, and it’s also bright and cheery, and I’ve really never been sick of it, I still love it after all these years. Love all the suggestions though!

  53. Christy says:

    Hi, Susan! A very light soft shade of green might be a nice contrast with the white in your kitchen, and it would bring in the outside garden color, too. Our dining room is that color, and we just painted the outside of our house the same shade, and it looks gorgeous with the trees and gardens – I’m a true Northwesterner!
    By the way, I cannot stop laughing about the “skunks and maniacs” comment!!

  54. Tawni urrutia says:

    Good morning Suasan! I am a faux finisher/decorative painter. All day, everyday I’m moving people through the color spectrum. Done it for 19 years, it is the greatest, most fun job a girl could have! BUT, it can be scary for a client to make a big color or texture shift. So I do mock-ups on 3X5′ pieces of paper. That way they can see the new color on a big swath in artificial light and natural light. They can move the paper easily around the room, placing it behind art work or furniture. It’s a real confidence builder! So that said, why not try a mock-up of a soft fawn brown? Look at it with the snappy white in the kitchen, all of your charming Beatrix Potter people, and of course your fabulous dishes. At least you’ll have removed any doubts as to jumping in to a new color or completely choosing and loving the pale blue.
    Thanks for the shots of your beautiful kitchen, the place where you make and share so much magic!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Great idea with the swath of color! We usually just brush some on the wall, but I like the idea of being able to move it!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Tawni, that is a great idea for us, too!!! Thanks for sharing it–I’ll try that for testing out colors for our bedroom and bathroom… 🙂

  55. Jean says:

    Susan, Brown, even light brown, wouldn’t be a good choice. It can be cold and dreary especially in late fall and winter. I love the blue in your kitchen, but you could always check out the palest of yellows and a Benjamin Moore colour, Mellow Pink. I used MP in my living room and hallways and it was glorious. Good luck with all the work! Jean

  56. Jeannine Holmes, SC says:

    Can’t wait for the “after” pix!

  57. Christie Ray says:

    All the appliances we removed are stainless…and the counter around the sink is granite (a quick makeover the previous owner made to appeal to the younger generation, I suppose) so, we’re reclaiming the kitchen, so to speak…taking it back to a simpler, cozier time. We even found a pink vintage ice crusher and a vintage pink dish drain/rack. I have always loved washing dishes, and since it’s just my husband and me, no worries. I have been snagging all my mother’s old flour sack embroidered dish towels;)

  58. Hi Susan, I am finally getting caught up on my blog reading! Got verrrry behind!!! First Rosemary Verey Garden, oh my! Now I appreciate the quick glance on your trip! (was this really called a small kitchen garden???) How awesome! The smell of rain, rosemary and thyme Oh my! Just googled her and found her “The Scented Garden” book! I love the scents of gardens. I walk around my much neglected garden and sniff the flowers and herbs I love best!
    Susan I love the childs stove on your kitchen table! I got one for our granddaughter at an estate sale, it is beige and red, well loved by former owner! I love the way Jack sneaks around and shows up in your pictures! How do you keep him from knocking everything off onto the floor? We now have a new solid beautiful black 8/12 mo old male we adopted that has been climbing everywhere since we got him on Aug 15th! On Julia Child’s B’day! Came home from d-i-l’s J Child’s birthday dinner and he was sitting above the kitchen cabinets among my old tin boxes! Didn’t think we would get another animal to love after 17yrs with Gwinny but we fell in love! Named him Sammy after my very 1st cat when I was a child in the 50’s.
    Susan, I love the heart shaped balloons on Joe’s cake! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY JOE! What an awesome party! I bet the slides were a blast for everyone to see!
    I love Iris the waggley dog!
    Can’t wait for the England book! You are working very hard Susan, you will need a trip from the trip book! Lol!
    Thank you for your blog, Love you Susan,
    Tweet Tweet!
    Oh forgot!
    Congratulations to the winner of the beautiful mug! I know she will treasure it!

  59. Jeannette Wynne says:

    Sometimes you just need a change. Go for it! I like the blue, but yellow does sound nice too. Personally, my “cottage” kitchen has white cupboards, white beadboard walls & island with dark countertops. I chose to paint what wall shows a “Desert Castle” by Frazee. It’s a soft “latte” color and goes with absolutely everything – just enough contrast to all the white! It’s been 8 years and I still love the color.
    Whatever you choose will be lovely and I can’t wait to see the finished product!!

  60. Esther P says:

    I just don’t see you in a brown kitchen…maybe a cheery pale yellow or just a pleasant cream to set off your loads of lovely glass,etc. I am with you in your excitement to decorate for fall, this is the first time I get to in my ‘new, after the tornado house’, so looking forward to it! Have the earplugs handy as the sanding goes on 🙂

  61. Diane Byrum says:

    What a beautiful kitchen! it has such wonderful bones and looks good naked 🙂 Remember when you had your “colors” and Wendy gave you a palette of ‘your’ colors? Does Wendy do kitchen colors? I think there was a soft pinkish/coral color that would give a nice glow to your kitchen and would enhance your chintz dishes that are on display. I don’t remember a blue in your palette though, of course, it’s been awhile. Whatever you choose it will be perfect, charming and gorgeous. Thank goodness it’s not winter and you don’t have to trapse through the cold and snow like they did in the ‘olden’ days. Also, I didn’t know there were any maniacs on MV??–lol.

  62. Oh joy, rapture…a new kitchen! How fun, and paint changes everything. I’ve seen so many white cupboards on walls with a brownish…taupe color (does that make any sense?!) Not dark, but almost like mug of cocoa topped off with splash of cream and then swirled together. It’s a lovely color with white trim in a room filled with light. Whatever you choose, have a ball! We’ll be anxious to see the after pictures.

  63. Cathy Geisler says:

    Oh Susan!
    You had me so worried with your talk of a kitchen makeover!! I think you have the most perfect kitchen, I love it♥ Was so glad to read on and see that you are just “refreshing” it ♥ Good idea about taking the photos ! I love your little stove with the cherries on it from previous blog, so sweet. Love your site, you make my day ♥
    Take care

  64. JolieAnne says:

    I so agree with one of the previous comments.
    The light brown will be too depressing.
    I try to keep browns at bay unless it is on a piece
    of good furniture I don’t want to re-paint.
    The light blue is refreshing and light-it is a good
    back ground for your things. I wouldn’t change
    it-but if you want a new look just add something
    you love to give it a new-to-you look. I think we
    all like a little change in our lives but I try not to
    make it so big a change that it has to stay that
    way forever! I hope you have fun with the makeover.
    I would love wood floors in my kitchen-we live in Florida
    so we have to have tile, we have kids, dogs and sand!

  65. jennifer says:

    Susan, whatever you color your kitchen, you will make it delightful.
    I love the color it is now, but I also adore pink. The pale, vintage, time-loved pink on china dishes. Yumm.

  66. Joan says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOO! brown. BLAH! Need something cheery. I like the idea of some type of yellow – or stick with blue –

  67. Christine Anderson says:

    From what I see it is Robins egg blue! Keep it that lovely color but then i am not fond of “neutrals” no personality! I am a lover of color. All color, lots of color!! I have strawberries and flowers and blue everywhere, in my kitchen, living room and dining room!

    Keep the blue!

  68. How frustrating to not be able to use your beautiful kitchen for that long! But it will be gorgeous and I’m sure so worth it in the end. How fun to change the paint color! Mine is a light brown as well, so of course I would go along with that — I always think it looks nice with white. I’m looking forward to seeing the “after” pictures!


  69. Gumbo Lily says:

    I like your kitchen….and your garden gladiolas!

  70. Debbie in So,Ca. says:

    My daughter painted her downstairs different shades of brown and I get depressed everytime I walk in those rooms!. My Mother In Law redid her Bedroom in several shades of white. Bead board on the ceilings and half way up the walls, pine floors redone and painted with shades of white…it is absolutely stunning along with the antique bed, dressser, quilts, and newly added 1938 radio(her birth year) So I vote for anything light. The Girlfriends all have it right in saying whatever you do will be perfect! Because you ARE Susan Branch…Can’t wait to see the results and of course patiently awaiting your new book/diary of England!
    P.S. Susan would remind the girlfriends that if they could remember to say where they are from. It is so nice to put a city to any mention of weather for so many reasons like…how their particular type of flower or tree is growing in that climate.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, I’ll have to say it in a post, but that is such a good idea, I love knowing where people are from too!

  71. Suzan S. says:

    Oh Susan. We just refinshed our hardwoods, and they will be beautiful! Our cabinets were plasticed (is that even a word?) and taped off, but the little sanded wood particles are so tiny! Your cabinets will be full of dust and you will have to wash all the dishes to make them sparkle again – so just be aware. You can move them now, or wash them later!! As for the color, have you considered a very pale green? It kind of brings nature inside. Lovely!

    Best wishes!

  72. Marisa Leigh says:

    I love the idea of a cozy, warm yellow – but I think the brown would be awfully cozy as well. And you seem to have a lot of pink pottery. In my mind – nothing sets pink off better than brown!

    I also hate to say (at risk of offending) but I have never felt blue was a good color for kitchens. It isn’t a food color – I guess I mean it is not an appetizing sort of color and isn’t found much in food beyond blueberries. I’ve always thought a kitchen should be a color that goes with food – something really appetizing!!

    In any case – yay for you to have a spiffed up kitchen – it will feel pretty marvelous when it is all done 🙂

  73. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    Hi Susan!
    Your Glads, are by far, the happiest I have seen this summer! My first-ever Glads bow-down to yours! Ahaaa…..STRING! Why didn’t I think of that? Yours seem so extra ruffly and beautiful….love them! Have you been to any good restaurants lately? How IS the eating out? I think, perhaps, I could survive quite nicely on a few days of Pistachio ice cream cones! Your fresh kitchen is gonna smell so good…wood and paint….I love the smell of newness!!! Susan, now that everything is moved out of the kitchen…you have some elbow room to paint a little bit of Charleston in there! Perhaps, a little bird perched upon your lightswitch? Or flying by your clock? Maybe, a little mouse door that opens to reveal a little Mouse of Susan Branch in the mopboards? It is the House of Creativety…and you are going to be a Blue Ribbon winner soon…just thinking?! Da-da…Da-da…Da…Dadadada…Da-da…get it? Da-da…Da-da…Da….Dadadada…Da-da…would be a creative touch of YoU!!! Yesterday, I was walking in the most beautiful sunshine and blue skies, with little yellow leaves twirling down and acorns bouncing here-there-everywhere….and thought how lucky I was…not even one acorn bounced off my head! Hope your day is as happy as your Glads Susan!!!XoXDawn

  74. Nancy says:

    Now I see the blue. I’m not sure why I thought it was white. Anyway, I think pale blue is so much nicer than brown of any shade for a kitchen. That’s just my opinion. I like blue on the walls for sky and sea and light brown on the floor for sand and earth….

  75. Pat Mofjeld says:

    After reading all of the comments, Susan–I think you should paint a bathroom next so I can get the input from all of the girlfriends on paint colors for when we paint ours! 🙂 pale blue, green, yellow…? 🙂

  76. Patricia from Philly says:

    Hi Susan!
    I commented already about keeping the blue, but maybe your “color” advisor could make some suggestions… you looked so good in the plum color (not that I am suggesting that for your walls) but maybe she can give you some suggestions but still keeping in the “blue” family.


  77. Janet Rowland says:

    I love your kitchen and the fact that you have a window unit! Somehow, brown is not a color that I associate with you. But I can’t wait to see it completed. I feel for you washing all that “dust” away. It’s almost as bad as sheetrock dust! Thanks for the glads. They are lovely.

    • sbranch says:

      What is a window unit? We really had to wash the walls and cupboards anyway, before we paint, so I’m thinking it won’t be so bad. I can’t wait until its all back together and the dishes are all shiny again!

      • nanette from Alabama says:

        “window units” are small air conditioners installed into a window opening. 🙂 Is this a “Southern” term?

        • sbranch says:

          It’s probably just what everyone calls it, but I thought it was a type of window! 🙂

        • Cindy in South Carolina says:

          We definitely call window a/c “window units” in SC. 🙂 As opposed to “central air” which is an electric “heat” pump with ductwork in the walls and a thermostat on the wall. Gotta have one or the other in the South. My daughter in Ohio just has box fans and oscillating fans.

      • Joy Pence from Ohio says:

        Window air conditioner. That is what I have heard them called. 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          Oh, yes, my air conditioner! We just got them a couple of years ago, and they definitely make things easier in the humidity. Plus we can take them out in the fall; I don’t love they way they look, but I love what they do!

  78. Candace Weiss says:

    I think brown would be dull for your plates and the color it is now is wonderful!

  79. Lorraine says:

    Your kitchen is wonderful. I also have a designer friend – and her house is amazing – but she talked me into a lovely milk chocolate brown – and it looks ok, but it feels “off” for me. Too trendy… I haven’t decided what to change it to, but it will be changed soon.

    I also have been wondering how many copies you are going to print of your English Diary. Glad to hear you’re doing a preorder – although, I tried to preorder something else and I don’t think it worked… I’m a bit of a Luddite – so you might need a tutorial for us dinosaurs. But if you’re starting a list – please add me…

    Looking forward to the “after” pictures. I’m sure it will be just right.

  80. Tara Baker says:

    Dear Susan,
    Some day when you don’t know what to blog about would you please do a post on how you make your tea? I know that that sounds dumb but I’d love to see your step by step with pictures and such… I’m a tea lover too but only use bags and silly old mugs. I’d love to spruce up my tea time and ‘do it the right way.’ Love if you’d share you way… thanks, tara

    • sbranch says:

      I’m going to put a page in the Diary, How to make the perfect cup of tea. Or maybe I’ll just blog about it, Tara!

  81. Jacquelyn Wirthlin - Bainbridge Island, WA says:

    Such an ambitious project, Sue! We are thinking of having our oak floor refinished in the kitchen (have been “thinking” for two years … lol ) and I keep finding other things that need attention … just not up for all the moving, cleaning, etc., involved with it but it needs to be done and it’s not getting any better looking in the mean time… and I’m not getting any younger either … lol Neighbors next door had theirs done this spring and it was a real project. I’ve cleaned sheet rock dust, concrete dust, sawdust, etc., out of everything we own in several locations so imagine this will get done as well. Will be anxious to hear and see how your floor goes. As for the wall color … I vote for white. I love all the light reflected from white walls, blinds, curtains, etc., especially with all your colorful dishes and glassware. Wishing you and Joe a beautiful new kitchen floor and a calm week. Brings back memories of doing dishes in the laundry sink in the garage during one remodel…lol


  82. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    I cast my vote for the same beautiful color of blue. I have loved that color since the first time I saw your kitchen. The only other color that would come close is the lovely green that I think you have in your living room. You live by the sea so you should have the colors of the sea; plus your dishes will match. Hugs!

  83. Hello Susan/Girlfriends, I have a wonderful recipe that I want to share with all of you and I want to say upfront there isn’t an exact recipe as far as measurements (I gave mine) for each ingredient you just add however much you would like or have on hand…it is called “BLT PASTA SALAD”…..1 Box Farfalle (Bowtie) Pasta cooked per instructions rinsed/drained and cooled, red or green leaf lettuce (6-8 leaves) torn into bite sized pieces, bacon pieces (sm. bag/jar works well), tomatoes ( 2/3 C. (cherry) cut in 1/4ths) works well, pepper to taste and also a sprinkle of any seasoning like Mrs. Dash, no salt needed because of the bacon. Mix in mayonnaise not like you would potato salad just to moisten (2/3 – 3/4 C.) It keeps well for leftovers (you will think the mayo is gone but it still has the flavor), and with the tomato/lettuce that is all I suggest you try and keep it. It is great with BBQ meats. I thought maybe some would like to try it for the upcoming weekend picnics!!! Enjoy

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Yummm–sounds good! Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        P.S. I’ll just bet that would taste wonderful with take-out Famous Dave’s barbequed chicken–a wonderful meal for when it is 95-100 degrees and it is too hot to turn on the oven or stove as it is here in Minnesota this week!!! Cold watermelon for dessert? 🙂

  84. Denise Brice says:

    Susan, I’ve always loved the sweet freshness of your kitchen. I hope you’ll go with that which lifts your spirits and makes you happy. We did a remodel of our kitchen/ dining room this past winter. We went with white cabinets and butcher block counters. We switched out a butterscotch paint ( previous owners) for a lovely pale grey that looks pale lavender in certain light. We have never had such a color, and couldn’t be more pleased. I think the rooms are happier, too!

  85. Vicki B says:

    Doesn’t it just feel so great to freshen up our homes once a while!?! I think the brown would be nice, but it feels too trendy for your lovely home. Since you asked (!) in looking at the colors of your lovely collectibles I would vote for a lovely soft butter yellow. I think it would look great with all your white and it just soaks up the sunshine! Can’t wait to see what you choose. Glad you aren’t changing too much!

  86. Nia Rhind says:

    Hi Susan,
    I love the pale blue as it is. I have always imagined you living in bright and fresh surroundings just as in the picture of your kitchen.
    I live in Wales in the UK, and my kitchen walls are painted in Laura Ashley’s pale duck egg blue paint with cream coloured cupboards. It isn’t as blue as yours but always looks fresh and works well with pale cupboards and wood.
    Good luck with choosing your new paint colour! I’m looking forward to seeing the ‘after’ pictures. Enjoy!

    • sbranch says:

      Pretty sounding color “Pale Duck Egg” … and Laura Ashley too. Must be beautiful!

      • Nia Rhind says:

        Thank you for your reply Susan. It is nice. I find the colour quite calming. I need to make a new blind for the kitchen window and we need a new stove as well. The oven has decided it’s had enough after fifteen years. When the new blind is up I shall take a picture and email it to you so that you can see the ‘duck egg blue’ . x

  87. ChrisTea says:

    No, not brown. I think a nice, middle-of-the-road, leafy green. Not dark, and not real light. An extention of the beautiful trees outside – and in the winter, you can look at it and know that Spring is coming and your kitchen will again blend in with the outside world. Green and white would give it a light-hearted, soothing feel. I love your kitchen – very comfortable – kinda like a hug. 🙂

  88. Christine Youngblood says:

    Oh my! Haven’t been here in awhile and your blog has grown so popular. I use to read all the comments but too many to read now but that’s a good thing. I agree with the comments I read that you are not a brown type of gal. I see it a pale sage green, a pale sunshiny yellow or blue as you have it! Love your kitchen all homey and loved looking. I painted mine a pale tint of sage green with all white trim and cabinets with pale depression look glass green handles. So cheery and happy looking.

  89. Lin says:

    Love seeing these pictures of your house, Susan! We did this in most of our house a couple years ago, but it was more taking up wall-to-wall carpet after decades. We are SO glad we did – love the wood floors! Can’t wait to see how yours all turns out! You are so lucky to have that wonderful old house! How old is it?

    • sbranch says:

      Our house was built in 1849. I put in wall to wall carpeting when we moved here, in some of the rooms, in the living room, dining room and my studio downstairs, in one bedroom upstairs, to make things warmer in winter. There are wood floors underneath, but it seems so much harder to keep the floors clean than it does the carpeting . . . am I wrong about that? The dust bunnies hold still on carpeting, but fly to the back corners of the wood floors, around all the pegged chair legs to the hardest to reach places. I get tempted to take up the carpeting, but then I think of this. Tell me how it works for you!

  90. Jenny says:

    The blue is so happy and fresh – I love it. Your house is so cozy and such I see so much of your art in your life and your life in your art. What a gift you are!

  91. julie ivers says:

    I vote for keeping a blue & white kitchen ….. but then I’m a blue & white kind of girl : ) I’ve had blue and white check wallpaper and white cabinets for 18 years;before that I had blue & white plaid paper. And I love lots of white, so bright and clean. And you’re right: it goes with everything! Looks great with autumn decorations …and Christmas…and Valentines….and red/white & blue. We also lived through the floor refinishing ordeal, but the good news is that your floor will look sooooo good afterwards (btw, taking pictures was an excellent idea; I’ll file that idea away before we get started on our kitchen again). But with all of your accessories and decorations, Susan, your kitchen will look great in any color!

  92. Hi Susan!

    We decided to update the kitchen a bit earlier this year. Actually, my wife decided to clean out the house from top to bottom, paint every room and make a fresh start. That’s how things roll around here – we’re an all or nothing proposition. Originally, our kitchen had white walls with milk glass green cupboards with lots of 1940’s and 50’s red “stuff”. Now, thanks to the pink Kitchen-Aid mixer she picked up a few years ago, it’s pink and white! Still lots of the vintage red mixed in. Now, you might think this would be a little too “girly” for a house with only two girls and seven “men”, but we all love it. It’s very cheery. I think that just about any man who doesn’t secretly like pink is probably lying.

    On another note, and I would have emailed you personally, but my address book was recently wiped out (don’t want to be accused of shameless self-promotion… really). I would love it if you would look at my portfolio sometime. I’ve just put it online. What I’d really like to know is if you think I’ve done it “right”. That’s all. Of course, you are very busy and if you can’t make it, no hard feelings.

    Glad to be able to get back to your blog. The last month or so has been truly a family nightmare and your blog has been a refuge. I know people must tell you that a lot, but I am not sure that you can ever realize how true it is. When there is darkness, sadness and ugliness around, it’s such a gift to be able to go to something filled with light, joy and beauty. You know how there are books or music or movies that you revisit over and over to get some sort of comfort when things are tough? Maybe Miss Read or Gladys Taber or “An Affair to Remember”? Well, your blog is in the same category. Thank you!


    P.S. The link is…

    • sbranch says:

      That’s rarefied air there, Jake, for a regular person, one of the normal ones! You know you can always find my email address here on the contacts on my blog, just fyi. Good job on your new portfolio site . . . have to say I don’t think there’s a right and wrong way, at least I wouldn’t know it, but you have it so organized! Good job!! Love the sound of the pink kitchen!

  93. Susan Joy says:

    Your kitchen is so homey, whatever color you choose will be beautiful. Would it be possible for you to take us on a tour of your pantry after your makeover. It looks amazing in there! Thank you and good luck with the renovation.

  94. Live dangerously try RED! 🙂
    It will be cheerful . Heart of home ( red heart) . Try one wall and see if u like it. Has to be just right shade of red though more blue red than orange red. Would look good next to white. I saw a red kitchen once so cute and vintage dish cloths etc really look good against backdrop. But I know what u end up with will be great !

    • sbranch says:

      I would love red, it would be gorgeous for the first half hour, but I think I would get tired of it! It would be like poinsettias. I always get tired of poinsettias after the season and want them banished. Nothing worse than a poinsettia plant, leafless, begging to be put out of its misery, in February. I’m afraid I would feel that way about red paint.

  95. Maryellen says:

    Okay, I think we have all decided in our own way what color the kitchen should be 🙂

    However, I just love the little peek at your pantry. When the floor project is done, would we be able to take a little tour? I am in love with the black and white checkered floor and would love to see the whole room!

  96. diana navarre says:

    I think your kitchen would be gorgeous in the light brown – but, that is me…if it is not you then go with the color you love!! But, I vote for light brown (do we all get a vote?? I hope!). Thanks for sharing the re-do!

    • sbranch says:

      I think it would be gorgeous in brown too, I’m just afraid I would grow tired of it faster than the blue–moving all these dishes is something I only want to do once! Yes, I want votes from everyone!!! It’s made it so much easier to decide!

  97. Carol says:

    Thanks for showing the “broader” view of you kitchen! I always like to see how you have everything decorated, it’s so homey. It’s fun to see it bare and exactly where everything is located. Are you moving the fridge and stove too? It’s an adventure! have fun,Carol

    • sbranch says:

      We did move them, cleaned under them, which was one of my biggest thrills so far, it needed it! Sanded under them too, and refinished the floor there first. Can’t tell you how happy I am to have it clean under the stove and fridge!!

  98. Carol says:

    OH, I don’t know about brown……….

  99. Fran says:

    Susan-I just found your blog through Pinterest and I’m hooked. I absolutely love your vintage stove (brings back fond memories of Grandmas house). Your blue paint looks similar to what I have in my bathroom. It took a long time to find the perfect blue and I intend to keep it for a very long time. If you love your paint color, you should keep it too……hope you consider me one of your girlfriends…..will be following your blog from now on

  100. Kathy McKinstry says:

    Hi Susan,
    When I saw the first picture of your kitchen I thought that the blue was the perfect color, then you mentioned about redecorating and my and my heart did a flip-flop. I thought, I hope she doesn’t change the wall color! I don’t like the sound of tan, beige, or brown on the walls in that room!
    I love your photo of the glads in your garden, they are beautiful!!!!
    Kathy from CT
    p.s. good luck with the kitchen, before you know it, it will all be done…..

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