Colorless kitchen gets country flair with paint

DEAR DEBBIE: We are renting and can’t replace the old countertop in the very boring all-white kitchen, but we can paint. Do you have any ideas for making the kitchen cheerful and country style? — Virginia.

DEAR VIRGINIA: Try not to be disheartened by what you can’t change. The trick is to optimize what you like, and this will diminish the negatives.

Paint is a simple, versatile decorating tool that is the perfect solution for your kitchen woes. There are particular color combinations that work happily together to evoke the many popular country styles. A French country kitchen sparkles with bright white, sunny yellows and midtone blues. The warmth of Tuscan style revolves around rich tones of gold, ocher, terra-cotta and olive green. It’s always helpful to search through books, magazines and newspapers to find kitchens that you love. You can take ideas from anywhere and a photograph gives you a starting point.

My friend moved from the country into an old city apartment and felt somewhat lost with his colorless kitchen. I chose a mossy green paint for the walls and cabinets, and then rubbed a dark-brown glaze over the cabinets to give the surface some depth and to highlight any details. There was cardboard tile on the lower walls and the backsplash area painted white. These sheets of board tiles were commonly used in the ’70s to cover uneven walls. Rather than removing them (and uncovering more problems), I designed a pattern of larger tiles painted yellow and green.

The fake grout lines were covered with 1/8-inch masking tape, four tiles to the square, and every other large tile was painted the moss green of the walls. Then I mixed a colored glaze — one part yellow latex paint to two parts water-based glazing liquid — and brushed it over the entire surface, covering both green and white tiles. Once the tape was removed, the white lines made a realistic break to the pattern, and the yellow glaze added a translucent quality.

There was space to dress the windows and adding distressed wood shutters was a perfect complement to the rural theme. My friend’s collection of red-and-white spatterware is now right at home, and so is he.

DEAR DEBBIE: Help! We have three boys ages 10, 8 and 4 who primarily use a bathroom that has a pink sink, toilet and tub. How can I decorate the room to look boyish? There’s no budget for remodeling right now. — Matt.

DEAR MATT: They probably haven’t even noticed. But I suggest you paint the walls medium gray with a burgundy-red racing stripe around the sink, bathtub and shower as a fun trim. Stock up on dark-gray or navy towels and you’ll have diffused the pink and created a cheerful bathroom for your boys.

DEAR DEBBIE: I just painted our living room in sea grass (a lovely pale grassy green). My furniture is burgundy/brown leather and the floor is gunstock oak. We have a large bay window. What would you suggest for drapery color? — Stan and Val.

DEAR STAN and VAL: You have chosen a calm and serene wall color, which complements the natural wood floor and tactile leather furnishings. I would keep the draperies understated. For a fresh look I’d go with white, or for a more subtle effect choose a stone shade. Lightweight suede fabric will offer an elegant touch.


Debbie Travis is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. E-mail questions to her at

Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home and Garden Video
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like