Seeing Red: Help me paint my kitchen!

red kitchen

The dumbest mistake I made when we purchased a gutted home ready for renovation was to stick to my old home’s color scheme.  I was trying to be thrifty.  I didn’t want to have to redecorate everything, and at the time I thought I couldn’t afford to purchase all new rugs, window treatments, throw pillows, etc.  In reality, these items are relatively inexpensive and as luck would have it, some of my window treatments simply did not work in this home.  My old home was done in golds, brick reds, and greens.  I loved it, but that was seven years ago.  I am NOT loving it now.  
This is where you come in my fellow home decor geniuses.  One of the stupidest boldest moves I made in this home was to paint my kitchen red.  If I had to do my kitchen all over again I would choose white cabinets, brown granite, and a neutral on the wall.  I’m not willing to paint my cabinets, and the granite is definitely staying, but I am willing to paint my walls. HELP!  I’m usually so good when it comes to choosing paint colors, but I just can’t decide.  Please suggest some color options for the kitchen.  
. .   .  –  –  – .   .   .   –   –   –   .   .  .  –  –  –
Dot,   dot,  dot,  dash,  dash,  dash…….
This is me sending my color S.O.S. to you!  I seriously cannot take this red much longer.  It’s getting to me….and making me feel frenetic.  Will you help a poor girl out?

****Edited to add:  Here are some pics taken today of my granite.  Please excuse the foam roller in the second pic but I thought it gave a more realistic impression of my granite.  I love greens but I’m hoping to go for something more neutral.  I am considering Sherwin Williams Restrained Gold, but I’m not sure.  THANK YOU!!!******


Drowning in Red
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  1. Beth@The Stories of A to Z says

    My countertops are black granite with brown flecks (uba tuba). My cabinets are maple w/ oil rubbed bronze fixtures. Keep the suggestions coming! Neutral is the direction I'm headed though.

  2. Dayka says

    What color is your granite? My initial thought is something in the light grey, grey-brown, or (light) brown family. If you want something light, "chocolate froth" (BEHR, and it's much lighter thank it sounds) is a nice color. I'm actually pulling out swatches, so give me some more ideas about what you like.

  3. Jody says

    I say go with a sky blue shade. I repainted my yellow bedroom a light blue (I think it was Hyacinth). We just recently remodeled our bathroom and did another similar shade of blue with white wainscoiting and it looks brilliant. I think blue would look great with the colors of the fixtures in your kitchen. I also love the blue & brown combo!

  4. Kendra @ Domestic Princess in Training says

    What about a soft butter cream….it’s neutral and a warm tone so it will look great with the other décor you already have.
    Here are a few Sherwin Williams colors that fit along the line that I’m talking about to give you’re an idea:
    1. Honey Blush 6660
    2. Sole 6896
    3. Midday 6695
    4.Solaria 6688

  5. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    I used a couple of neutrals in my house recently when we were prepping for sale that I really liked. One was Sensational Sand by Sherwin Williams and the other was Blond Wood by Benjamin Moore. The Blond Wood is the lighter of the two and I loved it because I wasn't picking up any pink or yellow undertone like you sometimes can with beiges. You could use your red accents with either of them and they would work with your countertop.

  6. Dayka says

    My suggestions were a bit cooler as opposed to your gold. I think anything in that area would be just as pretty as well. The buttercreme sounds like it would work well w/out being too overpowering.

  7. littleeverydaythings says

    Hi, I'm new to your blog, but I love it so much! My kitchen has very similar cabinets and counters to yours, and I've been trying to pick paint too. Have you been on HGTV's Rate My Space? I find lots of ideas there. Here is a kitchen with Benjamin Moore Hillside Green paint. I think this color scheme looks nice. You could lighten it up with lots of white/cream trim around the doors and windows :) What do you think?

  8. Lou Cinda says

    I think you are on the right track with the gold. It would work with the granite, lighten up the room tremendously and your cabinets would just pop against it.

    My other suggestion would be something in the green family. But, remember, I got my color for my dining room, Rosemary Twig, from you!!

    Lou Cinda :)

  9. BabinBlogger says

    ha ha ha ha! i want to paint my kitchen red and i've got white cabinets! but if i do red it'll be bordeaux red.
    how 'bout a pale pistachio to make that gorgeous maple come alive?
    love your blog and thank you for the big photo of that gorgeous house!!!!! i want that house!

  10. Pam says

    Not sure I can be much help since I tend to stick the the netural colors and decorate with what I put in the room. I have never been bold enough to go to something that dark. I usually do the creams/beige colors. Don't do stark white either. If I want a punch of color I might paint one accent wall a bolder color. Good luck in your choice.

  11. Chelsy@ Sweet Pea Kisses says

    I love Azores from pb. I think it would look lovely with the gold in your cabinets. It's nuetral enough to go with anything, but not so nuetral that it's blah :) I also have a phobia of mixing browns with black and since you said your countertops were black my brain pretty much shut down on anything in the brown family, sorry!! And, you look good in blue, right?! :)

  12. Rita says

    I just painted my kitchen and living room area Homestead Resort Pumpkin from Lowe's. I love it and have paired it with orange and red accents but it will go with so many colors. It will be a nice contrast to the granite and cabinets. Good luck with your selection and can't wait to see what you decide!! :)

    • laura schmid says

      does the resort pumpkin look orange at all or peach. i am looking for a light to medium warm yellow goldy beige if that makes sense to you with no green undertone. thanks for your help

  13. Sherri S says

    What color would you LOVE? That is the question. I feel either a soft gold or the new Valspar Ultra Shadow Valley 6011-9 (they sell it at Lowe's to check out the chip). I am LOVING that color and will probably paint my bedroom in it.
    I definitely feel a gold, mustard yellow or olive would work well with your cabinets, counter tops and much of your existing decor!

  14. Julia says

    I love your cabinets – they are gorgeous! As is the counter top. I love a dark kitchen. As for colors, I'm thinking of a gray, but I love grays and take no credence in the whole "colors that affect appetite thing." A tan would be nice too. I think anything to creamy or warm would mush into your cabinets, if that makes sense.

  15. Diana says

    "Brown Bread" by Behr (I think). It's a nice soft beigey brown color. Almost looks like it's in the green or greenish family in some lights.

  16. Brenda says

    I like the gold idea you have. I think it would look great with the colors you have going on. I recently brought home a paint chip from American Spirit Home collection/Pittsburgh Paints called Gold Buff.

  17. Vanessa says

    Hey Beth, I enjoy reading your blog, keep up the good work. As for your walls, I think a light blue-gray would be perfect; it's sort a trendy color in home decor right now, and I think all that read is making you nervous! Who needs that with a couple of boys; I should know I've got 4 (including my big one). BLues are known to relax you as well as suppressing your appetite. More relaxed and dropping weight, what could be better!

  18. Jen C. says

    Alright – I'm going to email you a pic of Mannered Gold that I boldy (stupidly) put in our 25×25 Arizona room that had 15 large windows on three walls. It looked like cute baby calf poop (the calves are cute, not the poop!). It is the next one down after Restrained Gold on that SW color chip. And that is how it looked with a lot of natural light. Now… could it look better in a kitchen with darker wood cabinets and granite to tone it down, deepen it, ect? Yes! I think it would look awesome. Just wanted to let you know where it DOESN'T look good so that you can evaluate with your lighting. Also, I have the SW Blonde from the same chip in my front living room and that is a wonderful color – I love it. It definitely is a yellow, but it has depth and warmth – perfect, but I'm not ure if it would be considered an official neutral? (Not my area of expertise.) I only have a bay window in that smaller space and darker furniture and floor (I'll send that pic too). Maybe the darker colors are all the colors from this chip need to make them work. :-)

  19. Carmen says

    I recently painted one of my rooms with Benjamin Moore's Bemmington Gray. It's a neutral beige, but sometimes it looks like it almost has a tinge of a grey green in it. They told me it was one of the most popular colors this year.

  20. Carmen says

    PS: My cousin has a red kitchen too…you're the second person I've ever seen with a red kitchen. You must be fun loving, bold and sweet. 😉

  21. Lynn says

    It's so fun to give advice! With your cabinets and countertops, I think a sage green would look good, BUT I think a tan/gold would look more sophisticated. I like SW Ivoire – it's one of those good colors that you can't really nail down. (Is it tan? gold? beige? yellow? all of the above?)

  22. Amanda @ Serenity Now says

    I feel your pain! I have red in my dining room and hallway and I HATE it now. :s I think a soft linen would be pretty, but I really do love that nice apple green color or the green that Rhoda has going on. :)

  23. the wiedmaiers says

    sherwin williams "grasslands" but you cannot go by paint chip. looks grey on chip but is a soft green/grey. i have the same cabinets & knobs… countertops are brown with flecks of gold, i love grasslands. another great sherwin color is "sea salt" which is a soft blue/grey. i consider both neutrals with the grey undertones.

  24. Kimm at Reinvented says

    I would pick a color out of your granite and put that on the walls. Restrained Gold is pretty, so are China Doll and Sundew (two of SW's older colors) Have fun!
    My family room and kitchen walls are SW's "Humble Gold", don't get that, I hate it. I'm getting ready to repaint too. :)

  25. Chris says

    Dear Drowning in Red,

    Whatever you do, do NOT TOUCH those cabinets. I'm all about painting cabinets, but NOT those. They're gorgeous. I'm a neutral girl, so this plea for help is right up my ally. Give me a minute to do some research, and I'll let you know what I think. You know…'cause what I think is so important. Gees. :)


    Justa…orrrr…Grasshopper…orrr Wise Thing. What am I again?

  26. Laurel @ Ducks in a Row says

    I'm a fan of neutrals – I say let the focus and energy come from the people not the paint. I love Kilium Beige from SW.

  27. Magic Brush says

    My entry is SW Restrained Gold… I love, love, love it. You can see it in this post

    The red is killin' your cabinets. Once your red walls are gone… your cabinets will look so much better.

    If your cabinets "lean red" in tone… you'd be best to pick a greenish color like SW Sawdust or SW Dapper Tan.

    I'm afraid if you go too neutral or too light after being so bold that you may be bored to death.

    Avoid the "fleshy" tones. Like SW Sensational Sand….too much pink in the undertone especially if your cabinets have that red already in them.

    Cant wait to see what you choose!!!

  28. Cara says

    I've got a similar stain on our kitchen cabinets and dark granite as well (darker than yours, actually). I've got Benjamin Moore Barley on our walls (in the kitchen and adjoining family room). It's a goldish/yellow…I'm not good at color descriptions, but it is a nice warm color without being too overpowering.

  29. Jenny says

    That is pretty red! I'd go with a linen or wheat-y type color. How about that Tobacco Road color I've seen on many blogs?

  30. Jenny B says

    I would go a bit darker than the restrained its almost too light for the cabinets and granite, but that is my opinion I vote for Sherwin-Williams Different Gold…it would pull out the lighter golden tones in the cabinets as well as the gold in your counter and still be neutral:) JMHO

  31. Melissa Miller says

    Beth we have the exact same dark green granite and our kitchen hardwoods are the same color as your cabinets. Our cabinets are lighter than yours though.
    I did choose a light gold paint called "Applesauce Cake" from Lowes. That was three years ago and it's not available anymore now but I still love the color. I think light gold would look fabulous! I have kitchen pics throughout my blog if you want to look at it.

    I still LOVE brick red, deep greens and golds! I know what you mean seeing all of these popular new lighter colors in homes now. Sigh….I'm not repainting our entire house again. Yet…*Smiles*

    I can't wait to see your kitchen!

  32. Allyson/HBMomof2 says

    I couldn't tell if you wanted to steer away from the green, because you mentioned that your whole house was red and green. My first thought was a deep sage, but if you want to stay away from green I like Yellow Gold from Behr. It is a strong color, which you are obviously not afraid of, and it would make your wood look good, reflect off the bronze and tie in the gold looking flecks in the granite. (Never mind how great it would make your hair look. ;0) ) Good luck with your decision. Can't wait to see what you do.

  33. Tanya says

    Have you ever seen the kitchen at twice remembered? She has red cabinets and light colored walls… her kitchen is beautiful..

  34. Britt@artbybritt says

    I think a color like Restoration Hardware's SILVER SAGE would look FANTASTIC with your cabinets and granite. It would totally lighten up the room and I think it would make the cabinets and granite look really rich and warm. Just a thought! Excited to see what you do!

  35. randee says

    this is funny – my dining room is a slightly darker red than your kitchen & our buffets look very similar. guess what my #1 pick is for painting my dining room next week? yep, restrained gold. but now i'm gonna check out honey blush, sole, midday, solaria, bemmington gray, ivoire, whole wheat, blonde, china doll & sundew. thanks everyone! my last house was laura ashley gold #1, 2, & 3 in most of the rooms. i love yellow gold.

    your kitchen is beautiful, can't wait to see how even more beautiful it's gonna be :)

  36. Mandi @ Finding Home says

    Oh Beth, I feel like I wrote this post myself! I painted my kitchen red when we moved in and have been longing to paint it for a few weeks now. I had planned to repaint it last weekend but it didn't work out. Planned to do it this weekend while hubby was going away, but decided I'm going to go away with him. I totally agree with you about the neutral wall color, white cabinets and the granite – except I would have black granite. :) K, so I'm painting my kitchen a color called Ranchwood by Kilz paint. It's a soft soft tan. There is enough color to make it an actual color but it's soft enough to not be jarring. I think it would look amazing with your cabinetry and countertops. That's my two cents. I can't wait to see what you do!

  37. Centsational Girl says

    Girl, you made me grab my BM color wheel just with this post ! I recommend BM's Soft Fern for a clean, medium to light tone celedon green, and I also really love a slightly grayer version called Wind Chime in the BM Affinity series.

  38. says

    Perhaps most difficult for you to decide which kitchen color scheme, you should choose. For many, the kitchen was a bit difficult to treat when it comes to issues of color. Here are some kitchen color schemes to guide you through the right shade of your own kitchen.

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