Friday, January 9, 2009

Jen with a Hammer vs. Jen with a Paintbrush

Those photos in the previous post make my kitchen look nice and light, don't they? They were taken at night with a flash.

How I wish it was nice and bright.

However, it is not.

I need some help here, folks. So please give me your opininons. They are welcome, no matter what they are. I need some advice.

My kitchen is dark. The kitchen is the place where we spend most of our time. It's dark because we have a covered porch off the back of the house, and the roof cuts off all the light into the kitchen windows.

There are two skylights on the porch but it doesn't help. This is what I see when I look outside:

All that beautiful warm sunlight just dying to get into my kitchen. Making shadows of our van just to tease me.

Now most husbands will tell their wives to please not run up the bill on the credit card, or please don't try and mow the lawn because you'll screw up the lawnmower, or please don't try and hang the picture because you'll put too many nails in the wall.

My husband tells me to please not tear the porch off the back of the house.

This is because when we were cosmetically fixing up our HUD repo house in the 1990's, he saw me going at the paneling over the fireplace with a hammer. It didn't even occur to me that there might not be drywall behind it. His comment?

"Where there's a will, there's Jen with a hammer."

He knows I will do it.

But I digress. Back to the dark, gloomy kitchen -- here's the deal. I NEED SUNSHINE. Seriously, it's a health issue for me. I have SAD and clinical depression for which I take some great drugs that have been a lifesaver for me. No kidding. I am a different person than I was the the 40+ years before I started taking this stuff. It may wreck my liver eventually, but I'll die happy.

And today I would die happy in a dark kitchen. OK, happier than without the drugs. It's all relative, you know?

So I painted the kitchen blue when we moved in. It was full of '80's wallpaper that had to go. It has wainscoting all around, which was a nasty mustardy yellow. That's all white now, and I painted the kitchen cabinets white. I took down all the upper cabinets and put up shelving.

See all that sunlight just trying to get in?

This was actually taken with a flash. And still it's dark.

The eat-in part of the kitchen.

Would you want to walk down this hallway to do your laundry? Who knows what may lurk there? No wonder the dog hates going to bed at night in the laundry room.

I'm flirting with the idea of painting the walls yellow, though. A nice sunny color that would look like sunlight hitting the walls.

And that makes me think maybe I should paint the kitchen cabinets some darker color, maybe a nice slate blue or a really dark brown. To anchor the space, so to speak. And to cease the endless having to wipe down the cabinets so they don't look filthy.

I have to deal with all this immovable brick, which is dark. I can't replace the cabinets with two kids going to college in the fall. But I can paint.

So whatcha think? Should I do the yellow, or another color that would lend some light into the rooms? Should I leave the cabinets white and deal with the constant cleanup, or paint them a darker color?

Suggestions desperately solicited!



Debbie said...

My kitchen is currently yellow and I love it. I would leave your cabinets white, at least for a while, to see if that isn't brighter. Maybe add under cabinet lights?

Angela Fehr said...

They can do amazing things with lighting these days...
I wouldn't go darker with the cabinets - the brick is so dark already. But then, I just painted MY cabinets white - better to have to clean a lot and have brightness, I say.
I think lighting is the way to go.