24 February 2015

Dear Miss Cote de Texas: Kitchen Issues




 And today, we have a new Dear Miss Cote de Texas decorating problem!!


I am wondering if you have a suggestion for my kitchen?  It has a huge Bordeaux island countertop.  I don’t particularly like the dark interior.  Do you suggest I paint the ebony cabinets in both the living room and kitchen to white or change the countertops/backsplash?  Which one offers the most impact to lighten the room yet provide the best value in terms of the cost?  All furnishings in the picture come from the stager.  I will have a dove colored sofa and white barstools.  Thank you!



And here is the issue.   The house looks rather contemporary, with high ceilings and modern cabinetry.  The granite counters and tile backsplash look dated to me.   The main questions are -

1.  Should she keep the dark cabinets in both rooms or go with white?

2.  Should she keep the granite countertop and backsplash?

I may need some help with this one!!   OK, here goes.



First, you must take into account the architecture of the house.  No matter how much you might want a white kitchen like this one above – you have to be sure it will look good in the space.  To go with an all white kitchen – you would have to do a white family room next to it and I’m not sure that is the route I would go.




While an all white kitchen is so beautiful – I like the dark cabinetry that is there now.  If your budget is not large, consider keeping the cabinets dark and using funds to replace the countertops/backsplash which is more important and a better use of your money.



The more all-white kitchens I see, I really don’t think you should go this route.  Keep the cabinets dark.


Now, with the dark cabinets - what you don’t want – is a dark kitchen.  Today, with your dark cabinets and dark granite – there isn’t much contrast.    White countertops, when used against dark cabinets, will provide that needed contrast and add an attractive pop to your kitchen.



All dark counters and cabinets – too dark.



If you do choose to leave the cabinets black – what then of the granite and backsplash?  I think you might consider this:

1. Do you have to keep the irregular shape of the island?  Could you square it off?  I would make it a plain rectangle, if possible.

2.  When replacing the countertops – how about this look seen below?  A combination of the white and black look?



A beautiful white marble countertop – and backsplash – would look more in tune with today, rather than a busy, dark granite more popular in the last decade.  Consider a white/gray quartz if marble scares you. 



Here – white quartz – with dark cabinets.  Notice too, the oversized hardware which would be nice in your kitchen.



I love the look of the dark cabinets with the white island and backsplash.   And a fabulous statement light fixture over the island.



Consider using the same material on the backsplash as on the countertops for a more streamlined look.  Don’t forget to think about a new light fixture.




To further customize and update your kitchen, consider replacing the microwave with an interesting stove hood.

In summary:

1.  Keep the dark cabinets.

2.  Replace the countertops with white marble or quartz.

3.  Use the same material for the backsplash.

4.  Replace the lights over the island with something more today.

5.  Consider removing the microwave and replacing with a hood.

What do you think?   I would love to hear your ideas about updating this kitchen.


Do you have a decorating issue?  Email me with pictures of the area and I’ll try to come up with a solution:

email me at cotedetexas@aol.com



Image result for fleur de lis

And finally:




If you love the gardens at Highgrove, Prince Charles’ private country house – there is a new book just published about his fabulous creation.    The book was written by famous English landscape architect Bunny Guinness, a member of the brewing family – and the niece of the rose breeder David C.H. Austin!!  Wow.  That is impressive.  I love David Austin roses.


The book is interesting in that it is separated into months.   From January to December – it gives you a look at the beautiful garden whether it is winter or summer.   I love that!!!



The Wildflower Meadow Garden – shown in spring.



The most well known part of Highgrove – The Thyme Walk.    These bushes were here when Prince Charles purchased Highgrove – and he spent years cutting the boring bushes into incredibly weird but fabulous shapes. 



One of the newest gardens at Highgrove – The Carpet Garden.

To order this book on Highgrove, please click on the picture below!!