Updated Painted Cherry Kitchen via eDesign; Before & After

This post is about an eDesign consultation! I was so thrilled to receive ‘after ‘ photos of this project because this house is so pretty!

Here’s what my client shared in her questionnaire:

We just moved in and are planning to be here for 20+ years. We love that the only other owners designed and built this house in 1959 and had an obvious love for this house.

We love that much of the mid century deign is still here, the fretwork, pendant lights, and completely original bathroom with original tiles and fixtures.

I don’t love my kitchen because it looks like it does not belong in a mid century modern home. I’m replacing the black appliances with stainless, looking to change the sink and faucet. Don’t like the tile floor but it will have to stay for awhile. Also most of the trim is painted various shades of orange.

Here is her lovely entrance with the original pendants lights and fretwork:

Here are some before pics

You can really see how pinky/orange the fretwork is in this before photo (above).

Living room with original wood panelling that’s staying, freshened up with white drapes. You can see the cherry kitchen from this open plan (above).

Here’s the pink/orange/green grey undertone stone fireplace:

Original fireplace which is staying. Another view of the open plan interior:

I chose a navy blue (BM Newburyport Blue) from her living room decor and suggested she paint her chairs the same colour to create flow in the kitchen.

Here’s the cherry kitchen:

You can see that the cabinets have a nice classic raised panel style and are nicely designed to go all the way to the ceiling without an awkward gap between the uppers and the cabinets a common issue I talked about here.

Here’s an example of what my eDesign Slides look like

In order to make her kitchen look more current and relate better to her house, all she needed was a new colour for her cabinets, the little bit of drywall in the kitchen and her decorative fretwork and these are the two options I gave her:



How to Test Paint Colours

These are the test photos (below) she sent with both colours looking good with the existing tile floor.

Notice that the  paint colour test boards are shown with white paper behind so that the colours are isolated (so we don’t make the mistake of comparing them to the old colours). Had these test boards been propped up directly against the cherry cabinets (that will be painted), it would have been harder to accurately see how they were relating to the floor (that stays). The deep reddish tones of the cherry cabinets would have inaccurately influenced the look of the colours being tested.

The paint colours are also in the same position in relation to the floor that they would be once kitchen is painted. Laying the paint colours flat on the floor DOES NOT give you an accurate read.

You can see that both these neutrals work well with her existing tile floor (above).

She also sent these photos, correctly testing the potential cabinet colours with the countertop. This helped us determine that Accessible Beige was the right choice because it provided more contrast with her cream countertops.

Here’s what her kitchen looked like before:


Here’s the lovely after:

SW Accessible Beige

After | I am including these surface mounts as a suggestion for new lighting.


Other side of the kitchen before (above)

She also repeated the navy in the throw rug, accessories and roman shade (above). | After

After | Notice the vignette in the right corner of her kitchen. Something you’d see from across the room!

Here is another view of her pinky/orange fretwork in the staircase (below). You can also see how green her radiators are in comparison:

And here’s the new paint colour and some lovely styling by my client:


How to do this kind of eDesign consultation is exactly what we will be covering on Day 3 of my Specify Colour with Confidence workshop along with the Business of Colour.

EDesign is getting bigger and bigger but everyone is busy selling furniture, very few designers are offering COLOUR ADVICE ONLINE which I’ve been doing since 2010. Having a niche where you can specify colour ONLINE is fabulous because

I will also show you how to shop online so you can be much more confident that the colour will be correct when it arrives on your doorstep. How many times have you been annoyed and disappointed when what you ordered was nothing like you expected?

The best part of attending my 3 day workshop is that I’ve done all the legwork for you! It took me 10,000 hours to discover and master this system, but YOU can learn it in just three days!

 My course has you working up close with a variety of granite, tile, and fabric samples, and when you know how to compare them all properly, you’ll be able to confidently chose the right colour.

It seems a little magical until you discover it for yourself in my three-day training.

Through the art of comparison, you’ll discover how to explain to your clients WHY the colours you’re suggesting are correct. And this moves your business from one where you’re giving advice via your intuition vs. using your intuition to guide you to give the right advice and then at the same time, being able to explain why it’s right.

This builds trust, and the more your clients trust you, the better your (and their) experience of the entire job will be and the faster you’ll become at choosing colours for EVERYTHING, not just paint colour.

If you’d like to become the next True Colour Expert™ in your area register here.

For help with any decorating project that has you going in circles, you can find our eDesign consultations here.

ps. I’ve had my fabulous wordsmith Irene Hill and my artist/Senior Colour Designer Tricia Firmaniuk here at the house in Palm Desert all week! We are finalizing the details of my colour wheel and working on updates to my first ebook! Very productive!

Irene Hill, Maria Killam, Tricia Firmaniuk



leave aREPLY

  1. Maria,

    I wonder how to find a True Color Expert in my area? I’ve googled it but no dice. Do you have a register of some kind? Of course I don’t want to take business from you, but it would be nice to have an idea if anyone in my metro area has ever attended one of your training seminars.
    And BTW, what a great job with this amazing house (as usual)!

  2. Hi Maria,
    That was very nice of your client to send you “after” pictures. She must have known we were all hungry for them.
    I bet the house looks better now then when it was originally built.

  3. Hello,

    I’m revisiting this post after reading the post on All Grey Home in 2011 and All Black in 2019 dated today 2/15/19.

    I usually am a fan of white/cream/beige kitchens but this one doesn’t appeal to me. It may be my computer monitor but there is a weird undertone at work here, at least to me. Maybe a touch of pea-soup green? I have been in many mid-Century homes from the late 1960s to today and I never saw one with a kitchen like this; Southern California is full of them from the building boom after WWII through the 1970s and maybe even later. What I mostly saw were kitchens looking exactly like the “before” photos. Maybe this is why I’ve never been a fan of that era. I’m glad the home owners like this but I just don’t get it. What am I missing?

    • What you’re missing is that the colour was chosen to coordinate with the tuscan floors which in no way belong in a mid-century modern kitchen as a few commenters have pointed out, but definitely make it easier to live with until that reno happens. Hope that helps, Maria

  4. I like the color chosen for the cherry cabinets. My personal preference is towards the cherry cabinets. The kitchen with cherry wood cabinets is far more inviting to me. It’s a room I would enjoy spending time in with family and friends