The painted built-ins (finally)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When I went private for the week, I received quite a few e-mails saying...."will you at least let us see how the built-ins turned out?"  I had to chuckle because I had kind of forgotten....

I did want to wait until the room was finished but that might take a few more weeks/months so I decided to take picture this morning while Kate was still sleeping.  I LOVE the paint!  It has lightened up not only this room but also our kitchen and breakfast room too!

Here are a few before photos....




And voila...the AFTER photos....


I need to have an electrician come and install floor outlets so I can plug those lamps in!




I took most of these on manual without flash and it is a rainy, overcast morning, so you can imagine how light and bright this room is in person!!! I do not like what is on the mantle.  I have collected mercury glass for about 15 years but these are new pieces and they are just not doing it for me.  I am on the lookout for just the right pieces (either from around my house or out and about).

Next, I am putting woven wood blinds on the windows (not the doors) and linen drapes).....below is what I have chosen...


Even though I asked y'all and I knew this was the right decision, I still needed a professional opinion. I knew that this was a long and expensive process (the way we had them done), so I e-mailed Layla and purchased the one question consult.  I told her exactly what I had planned (including buying the sofa table and the window treatments) and she gave me her opinion. Luckily, it was just what I wanted to hear. She agreed with all of my ideas and even added a few of her own!  I have recommended her to others (Denise used her for her kitchen remodel and got GREAT advice and suggestions!)  She is fast and reasonably priced too.  So, if you need any decorating tips or just want reinforcement like I did, go see Layla.  You will be very pleased! She goes above and beyond what you will expect.  Her blog is one of my favorites too.

Thank you for all the well wishes for Kate.  I am pretty sad that she has mono.  I am a worrier. I had it in graduate school and my heath has never really been the same since.  The Epstein Barr virus which causes mono is linked to some terrible conditions (MS, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and even a type of lymphoma). I have also read that it can cause fatigue and irritability for months! I am trying not to think of that stuff but seriously all we can do for a few weeks is sit around the house so my mind is wandering.  I am bored out of my mind so I loved all the comments yesterday...please keep them coming.  I am in isolation for a few weeks here so it is nice to have some cheerful thoughts:)  It is 9:30 and Kate is still sleeping...this is an all time record.  I should go check on her.


  1. WORLDS better painted, Kim!! It looks so bright and cheery now. You've inspired me to go paint all my woodwork! :) We have beams in our ceiling too, and lots of built-ins (it's a Craftsman style house) and I have always thought a coat of paint would help brighten up all the heavy wood in here. It's nice to see the before and after, and know that it really does look great painted!

    I have kept Kate in my prayers the last couple of days. I'm so sorry to hear that she has mono... how awful. I will pray for her complete and quick recovery!

    Much love,

  2. I love the paint. It is so cheerful and bright. You definitely made the right decision. Your home is beautiful. I'm praying for a full recovery for Miss Kate with no long term affects.

  3. What a beautiful difference the painted cabinets have made!

    I love that your home is decorated elegantly, but still feels comfortable and very "homey."

    It is sooo bright and pretty..
    Love it..
    You are an amazing designer..
    Have a great day..

  5. love your blog. sorry you had a bad experience and had to go private. the room is gorgeous! amazing how paint can lighten up a room. makes me want to paint AGAIN. my son had mono last winter and i have had to really watch him. for some reason he has become pretty iron deficient too. goodluck!

  6. I love the white! They look beautiful. They really do brighten up the space. I have been trying to convince my husband that we need to brighten up our wood with white paint.

    I love your window treatment choices. When you started your decorating posts & sharing tips about choosing decor, I secretly hoped you would post about curtains. Our living room windows are EMPTY because we are having such terrible trouble making choices in our new house.

    The one decorator we did consult did not at all get our style. Maybe I will take your advice and consult Layla! Thanks for the suggestion. I hope Kate is starting to feel better!!

  7. Wow -- it looks great!! I love it!!

    So sorry that Kate has mono. My son had it in high school and now whenever he gets sick, I ask him if he thinks it's mono again! It hasn't been and he has felt fine ever since, so hope that Kate is too. Take care.


  8. Wow, I can't believe how much brighter the room got with that coat of paint. Here's a question, how do you keep your kids from destroying your lovely home? That beautiful china cabinet and all of those crisp white plates just make me cringe thinking of little boys running around crashing into things and throwing toys, etc. Or maybe my cousins are unusually active?

  9. Kim, the shelves looks great. I love the blinds and linen you chose, that will look beautiful!
    Finding the right mantel "look" is probably taking longer because you're not use to the flat screen, but you'll figure something fabulous out!
    Kate will be fine, don't worry beyond her current needs. You know what you're doing and when you don't you have plenty of help from those that do. Find a way to take advantage of your housebound time so you don't feel like you're missing out on so much! (that's what I do with my IA wait) :)
    I will continue to pray for Kate to recover quickly and to full health! ((hug))

  10. Kate is in our prayers...


  11. Our Asher had mono a few years ago, he recovered and is completely fine now :)
    Hope Kate is feeling better soon!

  12. i LOVE the paint! it is much better, i agree! your home looks so cozy and you'd want to sit on that couch for hours and talk. so homey, kim!

  13. You were right on the paint! It looks great :)

  14. Those built-ins looks so much better painted! You have a gorgeous home!

  15. Kim, this looks FABULOUS! As you said the room is some much more open and welcoming! Installing the floor outlets in a must for those lamps. Once you do that you need to take an evening photo for us! I am so, so sorry about Kate and I will keep her in my prayers.

  16. It does look really good. It lightens up the room even more. Now, are you going to leave the door brown or will you paint them white as well? You have exquisite taste, your previous home was gorgeous as well!
    I hope Kate feels better soon...

  17. I love how light the paint made the room. I have paneled walls below my chair railing that I painted a creamy yellow. Amazing how much it brightens the room. I have ALWAYS wanted to paint my fireplace brick but my husband has held me off, saying it's so permanent. What made you NOT paint your brick??


  18. LOVE the makeover. It always amazes me what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room.

    Kate remains in my prayers. I hope the isolation doesn't get too boring.


  19. I love the white!!! Wow...what an amazing difference it made. I must say, when you asked for people's thoughts I was sure you should leave them the wood. I thought they were beautiful but now that I see the finished product, I much prefer the white. That room is gorgeous- it looks so serene. Can't wait to see the windows. I have those woven wood blinds on my big windows in our family room and LOVE them. They offer privacy but still let so much light in. Kate is in our prayers!


  20. Love the painted wood! Looks beautiful and so cheerful!!

    Both of my childhood best friends had mono- one in jr high and the other in high school. Jr High has her masters and is a teacher who somehow manages to never get sick and High did the Peace Corps and is now a doctor of emergency med. No lingering health issues. I know it must be so scary for you but try not to read too much - I think it might be scaring you more than necessary at this point. Hang in there!

  21. Omigosh, it looks so great! I knew it would though, the lightness of it adds such warmth and softness. I adore the look of your room. My dream house would be a place on the beach with everything in white!

  22. Hi, my first visit, I came from Layla's place. Your room looks wonderful! I love the paint transformation, so bright and magazine worthy! Layla always does such a fantastic job. Hope your little one is feeling better soon. My middle child had mono as a baby,I believe he was 10 months at the time, and it was pitiful to watch. It is always in the back of my mind. Hope nothing else ever rears it's ugly head from it. He just laid on me for a month straight. Hope she is all better very soon.

  23. Beautiful! Love the transformation, so bright and airy. Layla is the best. Can't wait to do a consult with her.

  24. Kim,
    The built ins look great - your room is so nice and bright. You are such a great decorator. I wish I had a better sense of decorating. I can pick out the big things, but am hopeless when it comes to small details.

    I hope Kate feels better soon. Mono can keep you down for such varying lengths of time. I hope hers is short. I had mono as a senior in high school and have had no LT effects.


  25. Your room looks amazing!! I'll be thinking of your daughter, hope she is feeling back to herself soon!

  26. WOW! Impressive!

    Btw, I love the first song that plays on your blog.

    Jill xx

  27. MONO???????? Good gravy, how on earth did sweet little Kate get mono? I am so sorry Kim. I just hope she feels better quickly - I remember mono vividly and I would not want to revisit that! We will be saying extra prayers for you, please give Kate some kisses from us:)

    The room looks INCREDIBLE!! Love it, but I always love your style. Such a gift - I have always said you could take anything and make it warm, inviting and simply lovely.

    Thanks for sharing. Prayers for health and feeling great being sent your way.


  28. So sorry to hear about Kate having Mono. It seems that the past couple years I have heard of so many cases of Mono. My husband and brother both had it last year. Hope & pray she recovers very quickly & that the rest of you stay healthy!
    I love the painted built ins! Thanks for sharing the pics.


  29. Kate and the fam are definitely in our prayers! Hopefully no one else gets mono (make sure she doesn't share her drink with anyone!). You know, I was not a fan of painting the cabinets, but I have to admit, they look MUCH better painted!! Good job and thanks for sharing! Talk to you later!


  30. Love the paint. It looks really great and cheery!! Looking at that room it is inspiring me to do the TV above the fireplace. I have been hesitant like I know you were but when I redo this room, I think I am giong to get rid of the corner unit that has the tv in it and just move to the clean lines of the tv above the fireplace. I think It will look ok plus that way we will have lots more room to decorate.

    Hope you dont pull your hair out during your week at home. I would be!! I am horrible about staying at home. I hate not being able to go out and about but sometimes you just have to--maybe make some yummy meals or a scrap book project??? Good luck!!

    Christy :)

    ps- went to beckeys birthday party with karen and doug and it was a lot of fun. Becky is just a sweet little thing!!!

  31. I absolutely LOVE the paint!!! That room is beautiful!!! You have amazing style!
    I really hope Kate is feeling better soon. I'll keep you in my prayers!


  32. I love the new look of the room, it really did lighten it up. I think it updated it as well, great work Kim!! Your house is looking fabulous! I hope Kate is feeling better soon. I am a worrier too, so I know I would be beside myself. On another note, I made the chicken with sundried tomato pasta recipe last night. It was a huge hit!! I think it is my new favorite recipe, and I had some for lunch today, awesome!!! thank you for passing it along to us!

  33. The room looks fabulous. Love it. What great taste you have!

    Well wishes to Kate :)

  34. Fabulous! I love the light and bright.... what wonderful natural light!
    It looks beautiful!

    Praying your Kate feels better soon!

    So glad you are back... while I don't always comment I just love your blog!

  35. I love the look of the light and bright. Thanks for the advice on Layla...what a great site!

    I have been reading your blog for a while, and I have in my reader. I don't comment often, but when I popped over today I noticed your is adorable! Where have I been!

  36. Fabulous!

    Praying Kate feels bette soon!

  37. Now, that's a WOW! I looks just GREAT!

  38. What a difference a bit of light paint makes! The room looks very elegant and cozy. It's lovely!

  39. I'm so sorry Kate is sick with mono. It's yucky for sure (I had it about two years ago); however, there is good news: now that she's had it, she can't ever "get" it again. The antibodies will stay inside her, and it is possible for it to crop up again, but if it does, it isn't likely to be as serious. So, she won't be infected again in high school and miss all those days. Maybe that's a tiny bit of comfort.

    Also, and this may make you feel better and worse at the same time, I have MS (although, please, please rest assured that "linked" most definately does not mean "caused by" as they don't know what causes MS), which means that I get EVERYTHING, and I have never had a relapse of mono. My dad had it as a kid, too, and hasn't relapsed, either. So I think she's actually pretty safe. Give her lots of liquids and soft stuff, and she'll need more naps for a while probably, but she'll be good as new before you know it.

  40. Thanks for the update. I hope Kate feels better soon. Although, I haven't commented in the past, appreciate you keeping your blog available for me to read. My family has dietary issues as well and my girls love looking at pictures of Kate.

    I hope Kate feels better. My cousin's little one also has mono. Everything has been okay but the fatique is disturbing and scary.

    And the room is gorgeous. You are an inspiration!

  41. I am so glad you unwent private! I would have so missed you and your blog!

    LOVE what you are doing with your house!

  42. It looks great! I hope Kate is doing better.

  43. I love the room its so pretty. Again, I honestly love the built ins both ways, I would have to definitely see it in person and live with it as you did to decide. It would be a difficult choice just to see a pic both ways for me.
    Try not to worry about sweet Katie Ru. You know kids bounce back way better than we do. She will be 100 % again, I just know it. I will be keeping her in my prayers she is such a sweetie, I showed DH her sick pic last bight and he said a prayer for her too.

  44. Wow! The room is breath-taking! What a difference! I love your style, and I would love to have that room in my house! I came over from Layla! Glad I did!

  45. wow, what a difference...very beautiful. Still praying for sweet Kate. I hope she gets over this mono quickly and is back to her happy little self really soon. Hugs and I understand you worrying. I would too:)

  46. he Letterred Cottage provided a link to your redo. It looks terrific.

  47. Love the look of your room, Kim. It looks fabulous with the cabinets painted white (it is exactly what I would have done).
    My heart goes out to with Kate's mono diagnosis. I had it twice (in HS and again in college), and yes went on to be diagnosed with Epstein Barr :(. Praying that Kate recovers quickly and that the time goes quickly for you!! ;)


  48. The room looks wonderful Kim. I do like the just brightens the whole room.

    I am so sorry about Kate. I will keep her in my prayers. Poor sweet least she has a wonderful Momma like you to take care of her! ;)


  49. I can't believe how different the room looks...WOW, it looks fantastic!! Love the white, it really makes the room so light and airy.

    I feel so bad for Kate, I had it when I was 20 and I was down and out for a couple of weeks.....hopefully she will get it out of her system quickly......thinking of you all!



  50. Wow, Kim, it looks great. It's like the room has a thousand watt smile now. I'm so sorry Kate's feeling bad. I've worked in a pediatric office long enough to know, though, that kids can bounce back fast. She'll be better soon, you'll see.

    Gin =)

  51. Love them painted!!! Make the room look brighter!!!

  52. I love the paint Kim! Wow! And here I was one that voted for the natural - but OMG - look how bright and cheery and LARGE and welcoming it looks! Great choice! You really know your decorating stuff!

  53. Love your room...and the painted cabinets!
    Thanks so much for reminding me about The Lettered Cottage.

    Try not to go stir crazy!

  54. I love the painted built-ins! I think you definitely made the right choice!

    Hope Kate is feeling better soon! Mono is no fun :(

  55. Hi Kim,
    I was one who voted on keeping them dark, as I love dark wood, but I admit that I really like how they turned out. What a bright room!! I wish I had a room in my house with that much light.

    I am so sorry to hear that Kate has mono. I will say a prayer for her right now!

  56. Hey Kim! Just wanted to let you know that I made your recipe for a friend tonight and they LOVED it! All three of their kids ate it! Thanks for the great recipe tip!

  57. Kim the room looks great!!! I love the white and I love your choice of window treatments : )
    Poor Kate, I'm sending{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}.
    So your bored. I know how that is (remember the hand surgery I had). When stuck in the house and as Colleen does and shop online. is having some great deals right now. The corky coats are like half off...I bought a few of those the other day. Have you ever shopped at Cute stuff. My husband will tell you...when Colleen is stuck in the house that spells "spending money". Give that sweet baby a kiss {{{hug}}}}

  58. I'm so sorry to hear about Kate, I will keep her in my prayers AND you as well. Yuck, poor little baby girl.

    Your room looks wonderful, the paint really brightens things up; which is what I'm hoping for when we paint our den.

    I was so sad the other day when I couldn't come to your blog, I was worried about you. :( IF you do decide to go private, I'd love to be invited. Hope you don't though.

    Well, now that I've written a novel here.. I must take myself to bed!! Woo Hoo!!

  59. Wow. Life comes at you fast, doesn't it? I wondered if you had another psycho stalker when your blog went private. I am glad that is not the case. We all need to be kinder to each other, don't we? I am sad Kate has Mono too. On top of all the craziness from home remodeling and living in a new town, mono is not what you need! I had it while I was in college too. I remember just sleeping for an entire year. I literally couldn't wake up. Hopefully because she is so young and vibrant she will bounce back quicker. I do know the trick for me to "cure" my mono, though. I am sure you are giving her LYSINE by the gallons?! I promise you it WORKS. But like I said, I am sure you are already giving it to her. I found it is the only thing that really works. It works for cold sores too. Just a little FYI just in case you didn't already know that. I have been thinking about your 3 peanuts a lot lately. Maybe it is time for our critters to become pen pals like we wrote about. My kids would LOVE it! I plan to send a little package to Kate. Sounds like she needs a little extra love this month. I hope your Easter is good. Love to your family from ours. :) Lisa

  60. I love the paint on the built-ins. It looks fantastic.
    So sorry to read that Kate is sick. My three girls and I all love your blog so much. We'll say some prayers for Kate and all of you.


  61. Yep. . .like them painted! Good call! Praying for Kate!

    Be Blessed,

    Amy (Honestly)

  62. Painting was definitely the right choice! Beautiful!!

    Hope Kate is feeling better

  63. Ahhh, so pretty, just as I pictured them to look. I love Layla, she is my kind of gal! Sorry about the mono, no fun, Dayton had it a few years ago,I had it in high school. No fun but neither of us have had any relapses. We will pray that Kate is feeling better soon. Glad to see you again!

  64. I wasn't sure about the idea of painting the built ins. They were so beautiful. I have to say- I LOVE them! There is plenty of beautiful wood in your room and the white is so soft and calming. Just beautiful!

    Praying for sweet Kate. I hate when my babies are sick. So pitiful!

  65. You must be so happy with the way the built ins look now. Such a beautiful change. The room looks so inviting.
    Hope Kate is better soon. Nothing like the sad look of a sick baby!!!!

  66. I didn't know that Mono had so many potential side effects. I am sorry for Kate. I am also crazy about the way your family room turned out. Great choices (as always!) And thanks for the Layla tip... I will check it out. The blinds/drapes are very pretty. I really want to get some blinds like that!!!

  67. The cabinets are beautiful painted. Hope Miss Kate feels better quickly. Having a sick child, especially when it's an extended illness, is difficult.

  68. Oh my! Poor Kate, I hope she feels better soon. I love your choice of window treatments and the white built-ins are gorgeous.
    Take good care, you are all in my prayers.

  69. This looks gorgeous! Congrats on a fabulous redo and the drapes sound lovely as well.
    hope your little girl feels better soon - mono is the pits.
    cute blog!

  70. You are doing a beautiful job, Kim!
    A beautiful home for a beautiful family.


  71. Kim - your built-ins look fabulous! I love the white so much better. Great decision. Can't wait to see the blinds up - I think you're right - these will tie everything together.

    I admire your taste ... wish I could envision things like you do, but I have a harder time with that. Thanks for sharing the pics!


  72. The built-ins look great in white and I love it that you're keeping the door brown. It looks really good!

  73. OKAY I'M "SO LOVING" THIS KIM!! It's like I entered into a WHOLE DIFFERENT ROOM!!!! MAGNIFICENT!!!

  74. Kim- I was in the "don't paint them" camp....but I was SO wrong. They look beautiful- you were exactly right with each of your choices. Cannot wait to see the blinds and drapes.

    Am saying some prayers for Kate- and all you. That saying "when momma ain't happy" .....I'm thinking that it really applies to moms and little ones.

    Hang in there!

  75. Wow, what an excellent choice to paint your shelving! Looks wonderful! Great colors too!

  76. first of all...your built ins look fantastic. secondly, it is so worth it sometimes to just pay a professional for an opionion. I truly believe that if you sit in your own home and look at something for too long you are destined to have a difficult time finding your own version of perfection. I have finally bitten the bullet and am paying someone to make curtains for me. It is practically against my religion to do this, but I just needed another perspective!
    thirdly, let not your heart be troubled about the mono. I had mono THREE times in college and I have absolutely perfect health now. No chronic fatigue, no MS, no fybromyalgia, etc. (knock on wood, right?) That little angel will be fine. Oh, and the grumps? I hate to say it but it probably isn't even the mono. BabyGirl was an absolutely PERFECT angel until she turned three. Now, it's a roller coaster everyday. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "I hate you". It just rolls off her tongue and two seconds later she's saying "I love you" with no regard to her last statement. Just keep the faith. Gin doesn't hurt, either!!!

  77. I love cabinets painted and think your blind and curtain choices are terrific!

    Hang in there with Kate. I hope it starts to get easier as she starts to feel better...soon!

  78. Hi Kim,

    I just found your blog through The lettered cottage. I love your living room, it looks so cozy. Where did you find your chandelier and what brand is it? I am looking for something like that for my home.


  79. Thanks for coming by our "house" yesterday! The damask is secretly my favorite, too.

    Also thanks for being brave enough to paint your built ins! I feel the lightness in your room and I know lots of people who would roll over in their graves at the thought of painting stained wood. Shocking! I love it!

    I'll have to invite you back to see what happens with our chairs. I found yours and they looked great! Although, it might be some time before I have a bunch of spare $$$ to spend on the dining room!

  80. this really looks so beautiful! I love the painted cabinets - it makes such a huge difference. Your room is so warm and welcoming. I am eyeing those lamps - did James Farmer make them? they look like his!!! I love his work so much. You did great in this room. Love the rug too - and the furniture. really really cute.

    YOu know - my daughter's bf had mono last summer and then last week he had the flu and a lung infection. He was sooo sick! and she never caught anything from him. some people are just more susceptible. I wonder if Kate is just more susceptible to catching things? Poor thing! she is so adorable!!!


Thank you for your kindness.