Going Green

By Kate Riley February 22, 2010

It’s time I spill the beans and tell you all what I’ve been up to this past week.  I’ve been painting my kitchen.  Not only the walls (previously yellow), but also the kitchen island (previously yellow).  I also recovered the barstools, crafted a new valance, and added some new accessories.  I left the existing white cabinetry and backsplash alone.

The main reason it took me foh-eh-vah was that I chose to use oil-based primer and paint on the kitchen island.  And oil based paint dries incredibly slow compared to its latex sister.

Hub and I agreed we were done with the butternut yellow walls and wanted the kitchen to blend better with the adjoining family room and dining room, which are both painted a pale gray green by Benjamin Moore called ‘Camouflage’.

I haven’t even taken the photos of the new space yet, but they’re coming soon !  First, I wanted to share some inspiration images.  I’ve been keeping a lot of these for awhile now because I adore soft green and white kitchens.  Celadon green is a color I keep coming back to time and again.  It’s seasonless, versatile, and always fresh.

To me, this is such an inviting cheerful place, and the perfect shade of green.

 country living green retro kitchen cabinets

country living green glassware  Both Country Living

I dig the marble top island here, paired with nickel pulls and this brighter green color.  tria giovan my home ideas kitchen Coastal Living

Love the colored plates and bowls behind glass here, and also the retro touches.

country living green bowls and lemonsCountry Living

Simple and inviting.

scan0001 House Beautiful

Here’s a lot of green in a dramatic space.  That marble top island and those pendant fixtures are incredible.

michael smith green kitchen Michael Smith Interiors


Love the wood top island here with the copper hood, and rustic beams.

elaine griffen kitchen Elaine Griffin Interiors

I heart this wall color, it’s just so cheerful.  I also like the medley of glass front with closed front cabinets in this space, and the wood top island.

  Country Living


An elegant French Country style. Brunschwig & Fils toile 

house beautiful green cabinets in kitchen Both House Beautiful


I love this casual kitchen and its personal touches. 

country living green island Country Living

This green color is as verdant as the plants on the windowsill.

design sponge green and white kitchen

Design Sponge

A perfect pop of color inside the cabinetry.  Love !

house beautiful green and white kitchenHouse Beautiful


I like this crisp apple green paired with the white cabinets, accessories, and ceramics.

laurey glenn my home ideas green and white kitchenMy Home Ideas


Okay, this is a dining space, but it still inspires me with its mix of rustic and elegant.

found style amy butler Found Style, Amy Butler


Here’s a nice mixture of black cabinets with marble countertops and green walls.

country living green walls marble counters Country Living

What’s your opinion on painted kitchen cabinets ?  Do you love white ?  Prefer black ?  Like a little color ?  Are you more of a wood tone person, or do you like to mix it up ?   Do tell.



  1. Gosh, I loved every inspiration picture! I’m a huge fan of green though. It’s so cheerful, yet has a since of warmth. I love all kinds of cabinets. My taste is always changing. I was really big into wood tones, but now I crave white or even black cabinets. I love when the island is a different color! I can’t wait to see the pictures of your new green kitchen!

  2. Love the green. I love painted cabinets. White, black or green all over. I even love blue ones. I definitely could not have wood toned cabinets. I have never liked them or wanted them. Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  3. Sounds like you’ve been very busy. Can’t wait to see the photos of your new kitchen, especially since I am a kitchen designer & love, love, love remodels, redos, etc. I’ve been following your blog for a few months now & I am hooked!

  4. I knew it! I chose a paint color to cover up my Kitchen yellow too. Now just need the hubs to get well enough to take down an old ceiling heat vent thing and patch it up so we can get started. Love the inspiration photos! I LOVE the colored cabinets and islands, but I would personally go with white b/c I am lazy and would not ever want to paint my cabinets again. I feel blessed to have white cabinets, even if they are old and crappy and need new hardware. Meh…

    Can’t wait to see it revealed. I’m sure it will go in MY inspiration photos!! ;)

  5. i love your kitchen (the way it is/was). White and yellow are my dream kitchen colors, but I’m very excited to see how the switch to green looks!

  6. Well, what a tease, I am looking forward to seeing photos of all your work! I adore white kitchens, love a mix of painted/wood finishes, someday I want to paint my island a color. Just have to find a color I completely love and will work in the space. Good luck with your project! Janell

  7. I love colored cabinets. I would paint mine red or black, but it wouldn’t work given how the cabinets are installed. We have white now, but only because we’re tied to it. It looks nice, but I think colors really pop more.

  8. You sure found lots a great inspiration pics. Can’t wait to see what you’ve done to make your kitchen fresh….it was already so pretty!

  9. Gorgeous inspiration pictures. Loving the soft green color against the bright white. Perfect combination of the colors. My kitchen is painted a bright white with lots of touches of burgundy for the chair rails, doors and window sills. We love it.

  10. I painted my ugly 1980’s white wash cabinets a beautiful green. i get compliments all the time. i am looking forward to your reveal.

  11. What great pictures to inspire us! Be sure and give us exact paint colors when you are done…it’s so hard to guess from pictures what the paint really looks like ! I’m in the midst of choosing paint colors for an entire house and it’s starting to get to me! Help!

  12. Those are such beautiful shades of green! Very subtle and calming. I’m off to see if I can find “before” pics of your kitchen. Don’t make us wait TOO long!

  13. I love the look of anything french country..that was a great pic. We just finished our NINE MONTH master bathroom remodel and I literally blogged on it….I was going for a little bit of french flare, just love the look!
    Always love visiting here….

  14. I love white cabinets! They look so crisp, clean & airy. My cabinets are dark now but I’ve convinced my husband white is the way to go, now all we need is Papa & Grammy to take the kiddos & a three day weekend. I can’t wait to see your big reveal!!

  15. I love white/cream cabinets with an accent. My wall cabinets are white with a cherry island. I love the warmth of the cherry with the brightness of the white. I would love to have a bright red island, or a cheery green, but I didn’t have the nerve when we remodeled and went the “safe” route.
    If I were painting the existing cabinets I think I would have had the nerve to be bolder.

  16. I can’t wait to see your kitchen reveal! I really love the crisp green apple kitchen you have pictured here. My kitchen was yellow before we moved into our new home and now it is a very light yellow but that crisp apple is very tempting!

  17. I love white cabinets and then you can design around them. Excited to see What you do!!

    All of the green examples are beautiful!!

  18. We just remodeled our kitchen and I chose blue wall paint but am accenting with green and red, so I can wait to see your version with the green walls. We decided to take our medium oak cabinets in a new direction by painting the upper ones cream and staining the bottom ones ebony. I love the look, somewhat of a collected look, I am hoping in the futre to build an island and paint in green and distress it heavily so it will look found, not made.
    I have pictures of my kitchen on my site if you are interested
    Cha Cha

  19. Beautiful inspiration pics! As if I wasn’t already dying to paint my cabinets white (we’re waiting until summer to re-do the whole thing!) but now I’m TOTALLY ready. We already had painted our walls a light green in Valspar’s “Nutria” to match the connecting living room as well as our fire place in the family room. I’m so excited to see how your’s turned out :-)

  20. Did you hear me gasp and scream….. NOOOOOOOOOO WAAAAAAYYY……. all the way out to KAL-E- Forn- YAA?
    Just looked at all your gorgeous kitchen pictures again LAST NIGHT, and dreamed about having that beautiful window view as I envisioned myself “EN SINK” languidly washing the crystal wine glasses! O.M. G. I’m Shocked!

    On the other hand, I have complete faith in you-that it will be even more gorgeous now…. ( love the 2 french country pics above from House Beautiful) I have been trying to pick out the perfect white for my cabinets…. I will always love white the best, with a contrasting stain/paint for the island…. Can .Not. Wait .for tomorrows pics!

  21. Great pictures! Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to see what you’ve done to your kitchen.

  22. I used to love a dark cherry wood. Then it was black. I painted almost all of my furniture black.EEEkkk!!! Now I’m in love with white but loving the color I see in pictures. I’m definitely confused and not feeling brave about color lately. Maybe seeing you do it will inspire me(as usual). I can’t wait to see your before and after pictures, although I can’t imagine it looking better than it did before. Go Kate!!!!

  23. Green is my favorite color, so you already won me over with that. Your inspirational photos are also winners- a few are also my inspirations as well. Can’t wait to see the before and after- everything you touch turns out perfectly!

  24. When it comes to my kitchen cabinets, I say keep them white. I think if you want color, you can do so many other things to a room in order to add that pop than paint the cabinets.

    That being said…

    I have seen many lightly painted cabinets that were beautiful, including some of the photos above. I would enjoy many of those kitchens in someone else’s home.

  25. We are getting ready to do our kitchen and I want white cabinets! We plan on buying unfinnished and paint them ourselves. Love the glass doors! Thinking about doing a different color for the island…hmmmm! Great post!

  26. I LOVE this idea. Especially green. I have an all white kitchen right now. While I normally love white, it’s the cheapo laminate, no inlays whatsoever kind of white kitchen with all white laminate counter tops. I’ve been thinking about doing something green too because other than white, I love green cabinets. I think they add that country touch that I really love. So I can’t wait to see yours!

  27. I do so love green. I’ve had a green kitchen of one form or another since 2002.

    My cupboards right now are all wood. A lovely, light-finish maple. Beadboard. Beautiful. But sometimes I really wish they were painted. All things considered, I think white cupboards are my favorite. But that’s probably never going to happen in this kitchen.

    I have a huge central island that would look stunning painted black, I think. I suggested it to my husband one day, and he nearly fainted. I’ve never gotten such a strong response to one of my ideas before. So for now I guess we’ll just stick with the maple!

  28. I have many of those same inspiration photos for my kitchen reno, but I added several more to my file. I really like the look of painted cabinets and butcher block counter tops. Can’t wait to see what your kitchen looks like.

  29. We completely gutted and remodeled our kitchen. Its a small space, so we went with white cabinets and a beautiful spring green paint! Good luck.

  30. I love all of these kitchens, they are all so warm and welcoming. I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with yours, I’m sure its going to turn out great!

  31. I seem to be getting more and more confused as I read all these blogs. I had a style that I was happy with, but honestly…I could live with almost all the above kitchens. I’ve had painted cabinets, and I prefer them not to be…simply because it is easier to have something that doesn’t chip and have to be touched up. I love white cabinets, but I’ve never had them. I did a custom kitchen in my last house and had white-washed cabinets custom made, I loved them…of course my husband got transferred 2 years after I got my dream kitchen. I think I need a few kitchens…my favorite room in the house!

  32. I painted our kitchen cabinets a few years ago… from a “pickled pine” finish, to white, and added some oil-bronzed pulls and handles. The wall color is “Camoflauge”, and I love the combination! I can’t wait to see how your kitchen turns out, and am looking forward to getting some wall color inspiration for my adjoining family room :-). I love the look of painted cabinets. I wish I had chosen a slightly creamier white, or aged the finish a bit. The brighter white I used shows a whole lot more of my kitchen mishaps!

  33. well I’m useless because I love white but I secretly hanker after black

    oh and I loved all the kitchens, in fact I stole some for my Inspiration Board Blog

    will be looking forward to seeing yours


  34. I love white kitchens! So timeless in my eyes, if we had a kitchne island it would likely be a shade of blue with butcher block counters – which i’m leaning towards when re-do our kitchen.

  35. Oh, I can’t wait to see it! Your kitchen is just totally gorgeous, so I can imagine the new color will be wowza. I have green in my kitchen and love it. You did an awesome job planning your kitchen out, I had to go back & see that post again.

  36. Four years ago we had our kitchen totally redone. We chose maple cabinets, some with glass inserts, with oil rubbed bronze hardware and lights, black appliances and a beautiful apple green color on the walls. I used red and gold accents and found a plaid fabric with all 3 colors that I love. Alas, we moved a little over a year ago. I have a good (and fairly new) kitchen now but not one I designed so I really miss my kitchen. Love your ideas.

  37. I like deep, rich color. Everywhere, really. From walls to furniture. My kitchen is still a work in progress. The upper cabinets are painted white and the bottom ones are a rusty-pumpkin orange. The walls are latte and espresso brown.

  38. First, let me say how impressed I am that you painted yourselves! We had our kitchen cabinets painted recently and I know if we had tried to do it, it would have been a total disaster! I had been wanting gray cabinets for a long time but never had the guts to do anything about it. But we recently moved into a new house and the cabinets were an off white – which I didn’t like – so I decided it was time to take the plunge and go for it. I’m really happy with the result. I can’t wait to see how yours turn out! :)

  39. I am sure loving those green inspiration pics! I do like painted cabinets, and I think the color really depends on what you’re going for. The black cabinets in the pic are lovely, but I think if there had been cupboards up top it would have been too much. I “finished” painting my kitchen cabinets this weekend. WHAT A PAIN IN THE [insert body part]. Veneer and I are not friends. How does one get paint to stick to veneer? Any suggestions??

  40. I’m in love with this shade of green too! :) I’ve been threatening to paint the island in my kitchen and while I long for green I keep wondering if I should just go with the safer cream. But if I do that I’m almost positive that I’ll always wonder what it would be like if I’d gone green. *sigh* must get some guts and just do it. After all, it’s just paint, right? :) Can’t wait to see yours “all done up”! :)

  41. Such pretty inspiration photos! I can’t wait to see your finished kitchen! I personally love white kitchens (I’m getting my own white cabinets very soon!) with warm walls and touches of accent colors like blue or apple green or warm red. I have loved green in my decor ever since I went to college & chose my own bedding & dorm room accessories LOL!! I have apple green & mossy green accents in my home now as a little “pop” against the neutrals and grey-blues & I love it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  42. I love painted cabinets but that’s I love black, white, blue, you name the color I like it! There’s just so much you can do if you paint the cabinets, not my current favorite is the color on the upper cabinet a different color then the bottom!

  43. I have never been a huge Green fan,,, but after seeing all the beautiful photos,, I have changed my mind…. thanks… have fun redoing yours…hope you share…


  44. I’m going to be painting our kitchen cabinets white this summer and we have soft green walls (BM Tea Light), so I guess I’m totally in tune with your ideas.

  45. I love the green in all your pictures. Very pretty choice for your kitchen too! I like painted cabinets. Sounds like you have really been busy. Love & blessings from NC!

  46. I love to mix it up. I like the wood tones with painted cabinets. I am really liking how more cabinets have color inside. Looking forward to seeing your transformation. I wish I would have used more durable paint on my island, but I hate any sheen. So I am left in the need of a touch up.

  47. I love creamy white cabinets with a bit of antiquing- that would look great with the lovely green colors in the photos. I plan on painting my currently maple with a bit of damage from the previous owner cabinets this summer and adding some nice nickel knobs.

  48. Ohhhh I can’t wait to see!!! Love your pictures. I’m usually a white cabinet girl, but I’ve seen some painted cabinets lately that make me go “Oooh, ahhh, hmmm”. If I had several houses to decorate, one of them would definitely have a color on the cabinets…you know, because that’s such a reasonable thought…ha!

  49. So pretty! Can’t wait to see what you have come up with! I love the look of painted cabinets and in our kitchen we decided to go with black. I was a little worried how it was going to come out since it was such a drastic change but I was pleasantly surprised how much I love it now.

  50. I have that same green glass orange juicer as in that second photo. :)

    My bedroom in my old house was painted a calm green called “sanctuary” which I thought was quite fitting! I love green and white together – my bedroom now is painted “oatmeal” and I have green accents.

    Painted cabinets…I think it depends on the age. Old cabinets I have NO problem painting while new cabinets I would hesitate to paint. I do really like white painted cabinets though.

  51. I was oohing and ahhing over each photo. So closely in fact that I spied the little bitty pretty one wearing a dachshund t shirt. My dog Rudi approves of this message.

  52. I love creamy glazed cabinets but I also like black cabinets. I have black now and I am liking them but they are not as great as my last kitchen. I am thinking of going green on the walls too. I had green in the old kitchen and I have green in our dining room right now. I just have to find the right color.

    Thanks for all the fabulous ideas.

  53. Really beautiful choices for your inspiration. I can’t wait to see your own version. My favourite colour for kitchen cabinets is white. It makes the space open and airy. Kitchens tend to be rather dense looking due to tightly built-in cabinetry or shelves. White opens the space considerably. However, the choice of the green tone for the walls and especially, the insides of the cabinets (fantastic!), really works for me. I, too, started collecting similar images as I’m slowly preparing to renovate my kitchen in the new house. Can’t wait!!!

  54. I am so HAPPY to find your site!!! I have been wanting to paint my kitchen cabinets in a green tone for over a year now, but haven’t been able to come up with the coordinating colors. My style is sort of country cottage but with a parisian flair. I would love to see the pics of what you decided on. Happy Painting!

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