You guys, I'm about to share the most neutral I've ever gone with a room. Ever. So over our Christmas/NYE break, we removed wallpaper, repaired plaster walls, and painted our kitchen.
And here's a quick before and after.
The light gray really lightened and brightened up the space!
(Excuse the dirty dishes—we live like savages
during home improvement projects. Hehe.)
Quick tip: Always, always have the paint mixer guy show you a sample of the paint they mixed for you. We were in a hurry and when he didn't put a little dab of paint on the lid of the can, I let it slide. Surprise! When we got home and popped open the can, the color wasn't right. It was too pale and a little too cool/blueish. I wasn't thrilled, but I also didn't hate it. It happened to be pretty similar to some other shades of gray I'd considered. So rather than drive the hour back to the paint shop, I decided to go with it.
It's grown on me. It's still slightly cooler and lighter than I originally desired, but really helped lighten and brighten the space up. I like how it looks with the warm, dark cabinets and beige counter tops that we'll be living with for a while until we get to a full kitchen reno years down the road.
So with all the painting done, I turned my thoughts to decorating. As I mentioned in this kitchen inspiration post, I wanted my kitchen to be homey and vintagey—a blend of turn-of-the-century charm and rustic country vibes. Think: Downton Abbey meets farmhouse.
The kitchen isn't huge, but it has this big, blank wall between two doorways—one leading to the butler's pantry, the other going up the maid's staircase. (No maid or butler yet—still working on those #DowntonAbbeyGoals. Ha.)
One of my favorite decor sources, Gordmans, hooked up me up with a gift card to spend on dressing up this wall and recommended I check out their new farmhouse decor. Of course, this was perfect for my Downton-meets-farmhouse theme and I was so excited about shopping and decorating that I forgot to take a good "Before" shot of the wall. So above is a picture of my cats Cotton and Dahlia eating supper in front of the wall. :)
And here's part of the loot I scored at Gordmans! I had a long, vertical farmhouse sign at the top of my wishlist for this wall. And Gordmans had so many options! A black one that said "Antiques." A red and cream one that read "Farmers Market." And this black and white "Bakery" one that really caught my eye. I let Greg in on this decision since I simply couldn't decide. The excellent cake baker that he is, he chose the "Bakery" sign and I can't complain!
I also picked up the cream/black wall hooks and found a cute chalkboard in one of the clearance sections. (I'm a bargain hunter at heart and Gordmans fuels my bargain-seeking spirit with such great deals.)
Once we got those three things hung on the wall, I brought in my vintage stool from a flea market. I like to keep it handy (tall cupboards!) and it looks perfect with the farmhouse wall decor.
Then I stepped back and realized: This is the most neutral I've ever gone with a room. Gray and brown and black and white?! I know there are a lot of neutral-lovers out there—especially when it comes to farmhouse decor—but I really needed to bring in some color.
I also found an adorable towel in Gordmans' kitchen section. It features a little retro pickup truck and the words "I"m not old, I'm vintage." I hung it on a hook for a pop of red. My mom found that tealish blue colander for me a few weeks ago. We already have two decent colanders, so I decided this one would make a perfect accent for the feature wall.
I pretty much stood here for ten minutes admiring the wall. Sooo happy it's no longer empty.
That chalkboard is going to be so useful for writing down grocery lists and errands.
Here it is from another angle.
If you're a fan of "fixer upper" style, you'll find for less at Gordmans. I can't tell you how many compliments I've already gotten on the "Bakery" sign—and that jaws that dropped when I told them I scored it at Gordmans for less than $50.
I gravitate toward the chalkboards, wooden wall art, wire storage baskets, and burlap accents that I can mix into my turn-of-the-century home and vintage aesthetic. But there's an array of on-trend pieces that blend country and contemporary—whether you're on the hunt for funky, ceramic-based lamps or rustic galvanized metal decor.
On the other side of the doorway, there's a smaller empty wall. I used to have several of these old burlap coffee bags, but I skimmed down when we moved. I did hold on to one—and I thought this was the perfect place to hang it up since it leads straight into the butler's pantry, which I use as a coffee nook.
On that little sliver of counter space, you can spot another Gordmans find: that rectangular, blue and yellow, antique-inspired tin. It adds another big of color to my largely neutral space, plus keeps my tea bags handy.
Here's another view.
Since my lime green drying mat was getting old and no longer matched the color scheme, I also bought a black drying mat at Gordmans. This part of my kitchen is looking lovely, too, with a few rustic accessories, my turquoise toaster, and my favorite basil-scented Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products corralled in an ivory wire basket.
There are a few final touches I have in mind for the space: a simple linen cafe curtain for the window, and new Victorian-inspired outlet covers for the electrical outlets and light switches.
Other than that, I'm quite happy with how our kitchen turned out. It no longer feels like we're cooking in a dark, forest green cave... but a homey, charming, functional space that combines the Victorian feel of Downton's service quarters with the farmhouse vibes that a born-and-raised Iowa girl finds so comforting.
If you need another reason (besides great farmhouse decor) to go to Gordmans, they're bringing back their National Love Your Pet Day in-store event on February 18. Shoppers are invited to bring their pets to the store with them to shop! There will be lots of in-store giveaways, gifts-with-purchase, contests and prizes and, of course, adorable pets on shopping sprees.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Gordmans and I was compensated with a gift card to purchase items for my feature wall. Thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. And my love of Gordmans existed long before our happy decorating partnership. :)