How I Transformed My Kitchen by Painting One Cabinet


I love the power of paint!  It is truly amazing to me that painting a room or even just a cabinet can completely transform a space.  Our “mostly” white kitchen cabinets took on a whole new look when we decided to re-paint our coffee cabinet. Let me show you what I mean…


Two weeks ago, the coffee cabinet in our kitchen was painted a deep blue and it made a big statement in our kitchen. We chose this color with the specific intention of having the coffee cabinet look different from the rest of the cabinets in the kitchen.  We wanted to to look like a stand alone piece…and it did.  

Just to give you some perspective, the breakfast nook, dutch door and coffee bar are  on the opposite side of my kitchen and I always thought of it as a separate area, so painting this cabinet a different shade than the rest of the kitchen made sense to me.

The thing is, when you walk into the kitchen/breakfast room, it feels like one space.  Even though it is separated by doorways on either side, your eye takes it all in at once.  While I loved the color of the coffee cabinet, it had the effect of breaking up the space and making the kitchen feel much smaller than it is.


I also found that by having such a distinct color in my kitchen/breakfast space, I was really constrained in my color choices for the rest of the room.  The breakfast nook pillows needed to coordinate in some way and that extended into the rest of the kitchen, including the barstools.

To complicate matters, one of the center islands is painted a deep blue/gray, which I DO love because it is a neutral enough tone, that I can incorporate just about any other color into this space effortlessly.  

We considered repainting the coffee cabinet the same as the center island, but we really wanted the entire space to feel like one cohesive room, so we decided to paint it the same white as the other kitchen cabinets.

And just like that, the kitchen was transformed!

By having all of the perimeter cabinets painted the same color, the size of the kitchen seemed to grow dramatically.  It wasn’t apparent until we changed the color, how much the darker cabinet created a visual separation in the space.  I am not a trained designer, so this might be pretty basic for a professional, but for me it was a revelation.  

The white dishes that used to contrast with the darker cabinet suddenly blended in and looked like the dishes in my kitchen cabinets. Now when you walk into this room it feels like it all belongs together.  

The entire space feels lighter and brighter and I am in love with how it looks all over again.  The neutral palette fills my imagination with all kinds of ideas for the coming seasons and I can’t wait to share them with you all!


Because I know some of you will ask here are the paint colors we used used in our kitchen:

Perimeter Cabinets: Benjamin Moore – “Swiss Coffee”

Center Island – Restoration Hardware – “Flint”

Coffee Cabinet (Before) – Benjamin Moore – “Deep Secret”

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    1. Hi Mary,
      Our cabinets were custom designed and made, but I have seen very similar styles from many cabinet companies : )

  1. I LOVE your kitchen design choices. My home is filled with Swiss Coffee trim and I’ve always thought it was too creamy to pull off a truly white kitchen, but your colors totally speak to me! 🙂 Can you tell me what kind of countertops you have…they seem to work beautifully with the Swiss Coffee cabinets. Thanks!

  2. Hi Karen, thanks for this info. We are getting ready to start building. Yesterday we met with our cabinet person. She suggested a dark gray( almost black) for the large island ( 4 x 9’) and for the coffee bar on the opposite side of the kitchrn in a similar situation as yours. I had asked for a dark gray/blue but it reads almost black. I didn’t want white for the same reasons you mentioned but I don’t think the color will
    work m. It feels too modern for me and stark. Does your island look blue? I believe you said it was flint. I feel like a softer color would blend in much better and I think you just confirmed that. Even if we don’t go with white on the coffee bar if we soften the color I believe it will work better. Also could you think of a better idea. The walls will be a neutral gray. Thanks so much

    1. Hey Judy, It sounds like you have a similar situation in your kitchen. The color of our center island in Restoration Hardware Flint. It reads like a very dark charcoal with a blue undertone. I prefer the look of all white on the perimeter cabinets, but agree that a softer color would probably work well or the same color as your center island. I’m sure it will look beautiful!! Good Luck!

  3. Hello,
    I have been on the hunt for the perfect cabinet hardware for our kitchen reno and the ones you have are the style I have been searching for. Any info on what they, are where they are from etc. would be very helpful and I would be so great full.
    Beautiful kitchen, the custom cabinetry couldn’t be done any better perfection!
    Thank you for you time,

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