Q & A from The One Room Challenge

Welcome to Abby Manchesky Interiors! I'm so glad you're here.

photos via Ashley Avila Photography

I am in the process of decorating our kitchen. I try to read as much as possible beforehand so I don't make any expensive mistakes. However, I find myself so confused as to the "do's" and "don'ts" along the way. I noticed that you used a bold color choice on your lower cabinetry and beautiful gold/brass hardware pieces throughout your space. In the past gold and brass fixtures were thought to date a space and we all replaced them as soon as possible. I love the look, but don't want to run the risk of dating the room if it is a trend that won't remain in fashion very long. Same with using bold colors on cabinetry. I feel forced into going with white for possible resale value, but I love color. How should one proceed with decisions such as these? I hate living for the possibility of what someone else would like if we sold the house. Yet I don't want to have the added expense of changing things to remain marketable in the future either. Perhaps I'm just over thinking everything....please help!

Dear Reader-

*You are smart to do some research on the "do's and don'ts" of kitchen design, but may I suggest you hire a designer for at least a one hour consult? This could save you hours of time and from the costly mistakes you're worried about. I will do my best to answer your questions, but what works in my kitchen is different than what may work in YOUR kitchen. We are different. Our homes are different. And most importantly our values are different--our goal is to stay in this home long term. You may want to move in 10 years. Hiring a designer helps you navigate what would be ideal for you and your family based on your goals and values.

*Yes, I used a bold color on my lower cabinets. Green. Steamed Spinach by Benjamin Moore to be exact. :-) But here's the important part--I've wanted green cabinets for more than three years. I did not select this color because it happens to be trending, but because I truly love greens and blues and it fits the context of our home. When you walk in it's not a jarring shock of color. It's more like "Oh, of course green cabinets." So questions to ask yourself for your own kitchen makeover:
1) What would make sense in the context of our home.
2) Do we plan to move in the next 10-15 years? If yes, then you may want to keep it the cabinets white and paint your island a color. For the love of all things design keep your back splash timeless. Subway tile has been around for decades and it's not going out of style. Your back splash is not the place to make a statement. There are countless beautiful subway tiles and different cuts to make them unique.

*Brass. Is it too trendy? Will it go out of style? Mmmmm...yes and no. But if you love it it doesn't matter. Brass, like subway tile, has been around forever. Granted, the brass we're seeing now has a more fresh look to it but it really depends on the context of your kitchen and home. Here are some general rules on metal finishes to help you.
1) Everything does not need to be the same metal. You can have a chrome faucet with brass hardware and black door knobs on your front door. Don't feel so locked in that once you add a piece of brass you have to change everything in your entire home. Mixing metals in 100% fine.
2) If you're going to mix them, then ideally you'd have more than one piece of each metal. This keeps it looking less like an accident and more intentional.

*Kitchens have a time stamp, even if they are a wood finish.  Oak cabinets to the dark mahogany of the 90's...you can usually walk into any kitchen and stamp a decade on it. This is why white kitchens work so well. They feel clean and they don't scream a specific decade. BUT if you love color, there are countless examples of beautiful blue, green, gray, navy, and white kitchens on Pinterest. You are the one that will live there. Do what you love. I would never recommend selecting colored cabinets because of a trend, but if you love color and know you want color on your cabinets, then go for it! Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1) Again, I'd recommend hiring a designer to help you select the color. Cabinets are an investment. Painting them is an investment. Color can go wrong quickly and you want to make sure it's correct.
2) Ask your painter to spray a sample door front for you so that you can see it in the light of your kitchen. Look at it in the morning...afternoon...evening. It will change color throughout the day and you want to make sure it works.
3) Will this color make sense with the rest of your home? Does it make sense with the style of your home? For example, if you live in a mid-century ranch you're not going to install a Tuscan style kitchen. Same goes with color.

*Make a list of your priorities. If resale value is your number one priority then I would go as timeless as possible. But select the most beautiful details you can that make you happy, such as the faucet, a fabric roman shade over the sink, hardware, lighting, even the hand towel and soap dispense that you use every day! If your number one priority is to love where you live and make it your own (this was our number one priority) then by all means do that! Don't make your decisions out of fear or what's trending, but based on what brings you joy every time you walk in the room.

A beautiful kitchen is marketable. Period. And no matter what, you can't make every future buyer happy. I hope you're able to love where you live soon!

This question was left on my blog's Facebook page. If you would like to join us there and have questions of your own, I'd love to connect with you. I'm also most actively on Instagram

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Abby Manchesky Interiors is a boutique design firm based in Grand Rapids, MI. Combining the new traditional, vintage and a dash of the unexpected is her ideal. Contact Abby Manchesky Interiors for more information on available interior design services for clients near and far. abbyminteriors@gmail.com | 616.719.9400


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