New Plan Of Attack – Remodel And Then Decorate

Last Updated on September 5, 2016 by Kristi Linauer

I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to decorating, this house is kicking my butt. I can seem to handle all of the remodeling stuff. The big decisions. The grand ideas. Wall treatments. Trim. Built-ins. Adding cased openings. Making existing openings wider. And on, and on. Those big picture ideas seem to come easier to me.

And then I try to decorate, and I just can’t get started. Or if I do get started, it doesn’t work out and I get discouraged.

I can’t find the post, but I remember not too long ago writing about why I think I have such a hard time decorating my own house. I mentioned stuff like: (1) It’s personal, and I’m emotionally invested, whereas when I used to work with clients, I had zero emotional investment. (2) I love way too many styles and ideas, plus I have thousands of DIY project ideas I want to try, so it seems impossible to narrow down. (3) I’m like the woman who’s afraid to commit to a long-term relationship. Just as soon as I finally decide to settle on something, I see ten other ideas I like much better.

But also, I think these last three years have been a process of self-discovery and learning exactly what it is that I like.

So as I’ve been working in the breakfast room this last week, and dreaming about what that room will look like when it’s finished, I’ve realized that probably the biggest challenge for me has been decorating around my kitchen.

The kitchen was the first room I remodeled in this house. It’s very green, and very bold, and sits right in the middle of the main “public areas” of my house, joining the breakfast room, music room, dining room, and entryway. It can also be seen from the hallway.

I’m constantly asking myself why it is that I have so much trouble decorating around this room. It’s green, and green is one of my favorite colors! It shouldn’t be that difficult!

Well, as I mentioned, these three years here in this house have been a journey of self-discovery and learning what my personal style is. And one thing I’ve learned about myself is that I love a crisp, clean look. In other words, if I’m going to use white, I want it to be bright, crisp, clean white. If I’m going to use black, I want it deep, dark, and saturated.

I don’t like whites that aren’t really white. Creamy white is fine, but “whites” that are actually some kind of linen or oatmeal color aren’t fine with me. Like my countertops. I don’t like blacks that are actually off-black, or deep charcoal, or really super dark gray. I like my colors clear, clean, and unmistakable. I don’t like “muddy” colors. And I love contrast. High contrast with sharp, clean, clear colors.

I have no idea if that makes any sense to anyone other than me. 🙂 But this is what I’ve learned about myself, and I’m continuing to learn as I try new things.

Oh, and another thing I’ve learned…gold leaf doesn’t do well in a kitchen. Over the last two years, the gold leaf has rubbed off my kitchen cabinet doors, especially on the cabinets near the highest traffic areas that have to be cleaned the most often, like the stove and the sink areas.

So what exactly do all of these words mean? Clear, clean, crisp, high contrast, sharp colors, etc.? Well, this is a good start…


A photo posted by ELLE DECOR (@elledecor) on

I love just about everything about that kitchen, with the exception of what looks like a dark waxed finish on those lower green cabinets. That doesn’t meet the “clean, clear” standard for me. But I do love the brightness of the kelly green color. Those colorful lower cabinets combined with the deep black countertop, the bright white backsplash, and the clean white upper cabinets all really work for me.

And as far as gold trim on cabinet doors, I think I’ve learned that a little goes a long way. Ever since I saw this kitchen remodel at Design Manifest earlier this year, I haven’t been able to get this image out of my mind. The gold is perfect, and it definitely meets my “clean, crisp” standard.

kitchen remodel from Design Manifest, with black lower cabinets, white upper cabinets, and gold trim on glass front doorsvia Design Manifest

Anyway, that’s kind of where my thoughts are heading lately. My kitchen was the first room I did in this house, and I went very bold with it. I don’t regret it at all, and I think I headed in the right direction overall.

But at the time, my kitchen used to feel very closed off to the rest of the house, so I didn’t really feel like it was imperative that it be considered in my decorating decisions for the other rooms. But ever since I opened up the wall between the kitchen and the front of the house, the kitchen is pretty much the center of the “public” spaces in the house, and it feels even more so now that I’m working on the breakfast room. So if I stick with bold, saturated color in the kitchen, it will have to be a jumping off point for the entire rest of the house (i.e., the “public” spaces).

Like I said, I think I headed in the right direction. Bold and colorful were definitely the right choices for me. And green. Green was definitely the right choice. So I think with just a few tweaks, it’ll be perfect for me. AND will be much easier to decorate around.

Which leads me to my plan…

I’ve decided to hold off on any more decorating decisions (or, decorating attempts…ha!) until I’ve finish all of the remodeling projects in the main “public” areas of the house.

That means I’ll finish the big projects in the pantry and breakfast room, like building the wall to separate the two rooms, installing cabinets and storage in the pantry, getting the walls in the breakfast room drywalled, finishing the trim around the windows, installing the hardwood flooring, etc.

And then I’ll finish up in the hallway and get the walls and ceiling finished, the hall tree built, and the new doors installed. In the other areas — the music room, entryway, and dining room — those things are pretty much done.

In the music room, I’m done with the big projects…

…with the exception of the final coat of Waterlox on the floor. And there’s not a thing I’ll change in this room. It’s the perfect blank slate for me to start decorating.

The big projects are done in the entryway also…

There might be some decorating changes, but the trim, the ceiling, the floor, etc. are all done. And as far as the decorating, I can’t imagine changing anything other than possibly the pillows on the chairs, and maybe the lamps. This entryway is closer to being “me” than my kitchen currently is.

And in the dining room, the big stuff is done with the exception of just a little more painting where I still have some green on the walls. Those walls will all be white.

The bathroom is finished, but there are some things about it that feel a bit disjointed to me, so there are some minor things that might need to be addressed.

So for now, and for the foreseeable future, my goal is remodeling and the big picture. Once I get all of that done, I’m going to take my time and come up with a cohesive, whole house decorating plan, or at least a whole decorating plan for these public areas including the breakfast room/walk-in pantry, kitchen, music room, dining room, entryway, hallway, and hallway bathroom.

The good news is that when I was thinking about this plan, I realized just how very little actual decorating I’ve actually done in this house. Most of what I’ve done has been the remodeling, “big picture” type stuff, like building a fireplace, redrywalling the walls and ceilings, adding architectural detail and trim, building bookcases, ripping out old cabinets and replacing with new, etc. In the scheme of things, the actual decorating I’ve done has been just a small percentage.

And of course, I’m not saying I’m going to ditch those decorative items. The black and white curtains are sticking around, although if I find that they work better in the breakfast room, I’m perfectly fine moving them in there. The buffet, the birds & butterflies “wallpaper,” my black walls in the music room, etc., will all be part of the big plan.

I think in the long run, this plan of attack will be much better, and will result in a much more cohesively decorated house. And waiting until after the remodeling type projects are finish to really dig in and start decorating will also give me way less time to spend on Pinterest, Houzz, and change my mind about things once I actually get started on the decorating. 🙂

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara H.
    September 2, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Definitely sounds like you are on the right track! Love the idea of the black and white drapes in the breakfast room – like them in the dining room (I think) so maybe a touch of continuity from one space to the next? Glad things are starting to fall into place for you.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Karen M Ray
      September 2, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      Bless your heart. Just finish something and use the room. The piano in the “music” room and play it!!!!!!! Some books on the shelf! How long would that take. Any of your three tables with a bed sheet on it to cover the legs you cannot decide upon and a chair to sit in the dining room. Assume you are standing to eat since there are no places to sit. Be kind to yourself and sit at a table, any table, with your husband and eat and talk. Decore be damned. Love yourself. I’m sure a remodel of the kitchen is going to be your next post. Finish something. Finish anything. Perfection leads to absolute chaos. Remember–you never finished your apartment until someone else owned it.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 2, 2016 at 9:22 pm

        I actually agree with Karen. You can’t put your life on “pause” – it’s constantly ticking away. Enjoy it while you have it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Brilliant plan!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that green and white kitchen!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I like this plan of yours! I look forward to seeing all the big things will look and then you can layer in the decorating elements after that. Only a suggestion but in the meantime you could set up your table and chairs in the dining room and something else (sofa or reading chairs) in the music room – this will give you a chance to spend time in these rooms and enjoy the work you’ve already done as well as learn how you will use these rooms etc. – it might help with the decorating decisions. FYI – enjoy all the work you do – so fun to watch it unfold. Thanks!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 10:27 am

    You are on the right track!
    I hired a decorator to help me make some decisions about an upcoming remodel. The kitchen and master bath are going to be completely made over. And my brain is full of all kinds of ideas that I want to do! While she was here I asked what kind of rug should I be looking for in the family room – and her answer was perfect. “Don’t make any decorating decisions until the remodel is done!” So for now I’m just concentrating on the hard surfaces in the house and making sure they will go with any and all of the colors I love. Plus the comfortable, classic but fun vibe I want in the house.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I’m chuckling because the house is teaching you to be methodical (in a good way). I think you will have a lot more fun with decorating with this route.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 2, 2016 at 10:46 am

      The funny thing is that Matt has always been the methodical, analytical one who needs a plan before starting something. I’m very much a shoot-from-the-hip kind of person who likes to ditch the plan and just try lots of different things. So for fourteen years now, he’s been encouraging me to be more of a planner, and approach things in a more controlled and methodical manner, but his encouragements never sunk in. I’m still as “shoot-from-the-hip” as I’ve ever been. But it looks like after 14 years of his trying to teach me that lesson, it’ll finally be this house that teaches me. 😀

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 2, 2016 at 11:08 am

        I can really relate to your comment, Kristi. My husband and I are just like this. He is often right about the need to plan, whereas I jump in, and then regret not planning. It is frustrating to me that I often do things that I shouldn’t and don’t do things that I should. I am glad you are going in the direction of holding off on your decorating. I have felt badly for you about the projects that you re-did, knowing how very hard you work. My unsolicited opinion is that you should only do things you are really, really sure about. Yes, I realize there is learning and growth with mistakes, but still….

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kay Mc
    September 2, 2016 at 10:50 am

    This all makes total sense to me! Can’t wait to watch the process!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 11:17 am

    This may be the best plan as I think with the dining room you’re playing with the different things you like trying to blend them together and not quite working out. Getting all the rooms finished you’ll be able to walk through & see their flow & white is like a plank slate to work with. I think the white upper cabinet will tone your kitchen down to work better with the other rooms. The gold up top should hold up better also. The green on the lower cabinets looks like it has a dark glaze over it & will blend nicely with the black you’re using in the music room. Waiting to see where you go.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Oh Kristy I think we are decorating soul sisters becaus I can identify with everything you say about having so many design influences that affect you and your decisions 😊. I think you are so on track with your new plan! It makes such logical sense to me, and if I were in your shoes I think it would help me nail down my design decisions as I went through and worked on each project. By the time you finish up the remodel part I bet you will get a good idea of exactly what you want for each room. Oh, and I once again have to say that I love love love your music room, mural and that kitchen! You have beautiful taste.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 11:21 am

    I’m curious do you have a laundry room? Was just wondering as it seems like your pantry area could easily be made into a laundry and also a pantry without the extra work of having to move windows too.

    Or did I miss something on the pantry as to why you need it so large. I personally need a freezer and some dry goods storage, but most of our eating is fresh vegetables and fruits so a huge pantry is overkill for our family of three. Or is it a size thing so Matt can also access it easily?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      I have a laundry room planned in the big remodel that we’ll be tackling in the next couple of years (or maybe by the end of next year, if things go well). I am hoping that the pantry will be large enough for Matt to get in there if he needs to, although I don’t really know how often he’ll need in there. It’s kind of going to be a hybrid of a butler’s pantry, where I’ll store my nice china, plus a food pantry, as well as a place for me to store all of my kitchen appliances that I don’t use regularly and that just clutter up my kitchen, like the toaster oven, juicer, juice press, food dehydrator, etc.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 11:29 am

    It’ll be fun watching the journey no matter how you tackle it.

    I do wonder how you’ll handle the new approach. It seems like you get burned out on all the tedious, not fun, finishing like filling nail holes and caulking, etc. I can’t count the number of times you’ve said “I just want to get to the pretty stuff!” How do you plan to stay motivated as you’ve front loaded all the “ugly” stuff? The approach makes sense to me…but I can see when filling the eleventy billionth nail hole where I might just want to quit!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 2, 2016 at 11:56 am

      I think it helps to see that I’m nearing the end of the road. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. just have the breakfast room, pantry, and hallway to go, plus I’ll have help in the breakfast room since I’m hiring out the drywall.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I think waiting to decorate until after the remodel is a perfect idea. It will give you the opportunity to have things flow from room to room more smoothly in design. Your home is beautiful. Just breathe and enjoy as you go.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I get the feeling we’ll be seeing white upper cabinets in you kitchen’s future…

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 2, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      And black countertops. I wonder if you could stain the concrete black…

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 2, 2016 at 12:28 pm

        Yep, that’s what I plan to do. I’ve actually already purchased the stain. I just need to purchase the new sealer, and then I’ll be ready to tackle that project. But I’m going to wait until I have the remodeling done in the breakfast room, pantry, and hallway.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          September 2, 2016 at 3:01 pm

          Can’t sit too see how re-staining and sealing is done. I have brown stained concrete counters (that came with my house). They actually match my front porch, ugh! And they are textured, at that! Dislike those factors, texture/color, but scared to tackle changing them.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 11:58 am

    I’m so looking forward to seeing “the spaces” take shape. And you are SO right about staying off the decorating sites for awhile, they cause me to act like a child; “I want that…no, that…oooh, look at that”!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    You make me chuckle. 🙂 I got about 1/3 of the way through that post and I was like, “OMG, she’s going to paint those cabinets again.” 🙂

    This sounds like a sound plan of action, but don’t forget to give yourself a creative outlet. Every time you’ve said in the past, “I’m going to focus on the big stuff,” or the “ugly stuff,” you always get discouraged because you’re not doing something fun or creative.

    I thought you might feel that way after opening the new doorway into the kitchen. The cabinets are just so bold they draw the eye, even from outside the room. That’s why I recommended the pass-through instead. I wonder if maybe it’d make sense to reintroduce a swinging door or curtains or something on that doorway so you can go back of thinking of the kitchen as a separate room? Or how about maybe a dutch door and you could redo just the top cabinets in the kitchen with a complimentary color? Or an interior sliding window with curtains?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      I’m afraid I’ve gotten so used to it being wide open now that anything blocking the opening (and my view out of the front windows) will make me feel cramped in there. I LOVE being able to see out the front windows when I’m working in the kitchen, not to mention that the extra sunlight in my windowless kitchen is just perfect. 🙂 I really do love it open, as long as I can come up with a plan that works throughout.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Karen M Ray
      September 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      Agree. Standing all the time cause bad veins!!!! Ha!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen M Ray
    September 2, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Please–fellow fans, don’t encourage her to redo the kitchen!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Move on!!!!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I find it’s very easy to collect decorating ideas before it actually needs doing. Faced with an empty, remodeled room is a different story!

    I love the white and gold in those upper cabinets!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Sounds like a great plan (and you can always change your mind if you end up wanting to do a particular non-remodeling project during that time).

    One of the things I admire about you is your ability to take a step back when things aren’t working how you want, figure out why that is and come up with something different to try!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    My husband and I are redoing a cabin built in approx. 1877 in Big Bear Lake, Calif. We too have had to do everything from the foundation up. I find myself wanting to do the pretty stuff and we don’t even have all of the walls up yet. LOL I know I have to wait on most of these things but still need to know what I want so that the electrical is where we need it, vanity size etc. So much has to come into play even some decor items in the initial planning. I think you are on the right path. You can still sneak away to the decor sites once in awhile to satisfy those “pretty stuff” cravings. Just got to say I love your Blog the VERY best of all!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    karla j
    September 2, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I’ve always thought in this process, as you have struggled, JUST WAIT until you have everything in the room!!! I think you are making small decisions and missing the BIG scheme. Like the difference between your kitchen and the new photograph. Like with the dining room walls and tile. I definitely agree about the black counters and the gold on the doors, but do it one step at a time and then wait. I think I like the green uppers better, but I totally love the black counters. So do the counters and WAIT until you have the breakfast part done and then work with the rooms together. Just like with your clients…where is your vision board??? I really enjoy your posts!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    We bought a farmhouse from the 1800s that had some additions and sunroom conversions so many rooms could be used in different ways. I planned to open up some walls and close some doors and use rooms differently than the previous owners. It was very helpful for us to set up dining tables and chairs, couch etc. to live with different configurations for awile so i could try out the flow and feel. I can relate to how you feel different in your house with your kitchen open because i had the same experience with my house. Its amazing how even fairly small changes in openings can completely change the feel and way you live in a space. Your blog obviously focuses on your remodel and decor, not your private life of all aspects of how you and Matt live in your home. But i found it really informative to try out living in our home with rooms set up in temporary options to work out logistics. I was able to come up with a general plan of using rooms a certain way that felt right for us and continues to change over the years as our kids age and we use rooms differently. I look forward to your continued progress!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mrs Mike
    September 2, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I love all the big projects you’ve tackled and I find them SO inspiring. I typically go into a project with one idea, and somehow it’s tweaked along the way, so your decor changes make me feel “normal”, lol. Surprisingly, I will miss the green kitchen. It’s such a bold, rich color, but lovely at the same time. I have no doubt I will love whatever you ultimately update it to though, I always do. And what’s the point in owning your own your home if you can’t change something that doesn’t feel right to you? 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dawn V
    September 2, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    You mentioned the hallway bathroom, and I wanted for a very long time to ask something about its beautiful countertop. Is it still straight and smooth as it was intended or there are bent portions of it?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    I like the way you think!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Love, love, love those cabinets in your inspiration photos! Especially the black counters. I’m green with envy! Love all you have done so far and look forward to seeing whats coming next…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    You go girl!!! If one doesn’t have a plan, they will never finish their project(s)!!! So you are right on track by realizing this and forming “your plan”!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Anne Looby
    September 2, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    There never was any sense in decorating when you are still remodeling (think drywall and sanding dust). I think you hit the nail on the head when you said your problem was you like too many styles. I agree. I love your foyer, but think you are right about the pillows and lamps. The chairs don’t need pillows. They are just clutter on furniture. The lamps never went with the style but I realize that was what you had. You will find the right things when it is time. You may have to bring home one lamp then take it back and try another. You can love something in a store, and hate it in your house, believe me I know. You are still young and you have time to find the right things. I believe your taste is traditional, with a bit of eclectic (black and white curtains) thrown in.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 2, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Mary Anne: You suggest that she go to the store and try various lamps back and forth. That’s not how she thinks. She will personally manufacture two or three sets of lamps from scratch and then rule them out. That’s just the way it is. I suggest she put a pony wall to a washer and dryer hook up in the garage. Then something else. Then something else. She is a skilled finish carpenter and that is her one true love.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Hi Kristi

    You mentioned that: “I love way too many styles and ideas, plus I have thousands of DIY project ideas I want to try, so it seems impossible to narrow down. I’m like the woman who’s afraid to commit to a long-term relationship. Just as soon as I finally decide to settle on something, I see ten other ideas I like much better.”

    Can I suggest that you do some research on Highly Sensitive Person… the above certainly sounds like one of the many attributes pertaining to a HSP.

    Good luck with the remodel… I love receiving your posts. 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 2, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      I just took two online HSP tests, and barely registered a blip on the scale. Then I read an article on HuffPo about characteristics of HSP, and most of them actually seemed like the very opposite of me. 😀 I really think my issue is what I refer to as Design ADD. 😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Kirsti, Oh how I feel your pain!! I am 2/3rds the way thru refinishing our stairway and painting about a gazillion pickets. That is just a drop in the bucket to all you projects. You are so talented and have such a wonderful eye for design. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    It really seems by reading this you are leaning toward black cabinet tops and if you will like them, go for it! BUT, having a car with a black interior and a ‘library’ on my landing with black bookshelves…it drives me crazy to keep it looking nice. No matter how clean the car is, if there is lint…it looks dirty. The black bookshelves really do not look nice more than one day and the (very visible) dust starts collecting. These are the things I thought about when you mention black stain and coating; toaster crumbs, coffee grounds, water rings, lint from towels, etc. Even the very tiniest thing will show up on a black counter top. Food for thought please 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Love the bird pictures on the foyer wall….mind saying where you got them??

    The thing I love the most about you is your ability to admit when you need to go a different route or something isn’t turning out as you thought it would. I love how you openly reveal the uncertainties and confusion of your house projects.

    Keep up the good work…..you are doing great!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 2, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Oh my. I’ve been waiting for you to make this decision. Now you’re adding maturity to that stunningly creative talent you already had. Impressive!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Margene Kiefer
    September 2, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    I think you are absolutely amazing! Now, I should just stop there, but my 2 cents might just be the 2 cents that makes sense to you. Out of the pics you shared..Kitchen…I love it just like it is. With reference to the ‘gold leaf’, surely there is a durable gold paint you could use to take the place of the fragile gold leaf. I think without that gold, the pop will be lost. Wait a couple more years and then paint the top cupboards white and re-stain the countertops. Your idea of crisp white is for sure is a plus as it is a great contrast to the bold green. When you are in your kitchen, you are in your kitchen. Even though you have two openings, do you really feel the bold green and white countertops don’t sync with the next rooms. If so, then paint away. By using the crisp white and black, I would think the adjoining rooms would sync. The only thing in your entryway that might be a little off to the eye are the lamps and the mirror. To me the lamps are the wrong ‘flavor’ and your chic new space may lend to a different style. The mirror seems to take away from the beautiful hand painted wallpaper look. Finding just the right piece to hang on the hand painted wall may be a challenge. Someone mentioned going out and bringing home different lamps…may be exactly what you have to do. You have lots of beautiful new shelving on both sides of your you black French doors you will be able to fill with books and just the right pieces. I think your bathroom is wonderful…live with it a while before you even think about tearing it apart. I think one should be able to decorate each room as a room in itself if you have a few items of like color and the styles don’t scream at each other. Decorating is hard for most of us..me including. I can say that I can look at a space and say “oh my’ that just doesn’t jive. If I could accomplish just a smidgin of what you have I would be soaring. Stop, breath, and be very proud of what you have accomplished. Make a board and place before and after pictures of each room. I think you just may be very surprised how wonderful they really do look and how cohesive they have become. Just my ‘2 cents’.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Anne Looby
    September 3, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Maybe you who replied to me missed the times that Kristi bought things and then took them back.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 3, 2016 at 8:36 am

    YOU GO AHEAD AND DO YOUR THING!! I’m madly in love with that green kitchen..having said that I certainly see how it would be something of a challenge to decorate around…green is my color and I still would have to make changes and adjustments to work around a kitchen so green..I just enjoy being one of your audience…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Genelle McDaniel
    September 3, 2016 at 11:33 am

    It’s the same rule with gardening, get the hard scapes or bones of the garden first. You’re so right, get the remodeling done first before decorating. Then all the public rooms can be decorated cohesively. What fun it is to watch! The only thing that concerns me is that at the present you and Matt don’t seem to have anyplace to sit down and just relax. Does that mean you don’t relax. Even with a couple of chairs crammed into the music room or dining room, you could both have a place to just sit down for a few minutes. You need a place to light even if it’s not decorated.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 3, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I think I see what your issue is with the green kitchen. To my eyes, that shade is muddy. Every time I see a picture of that wall, I wonder how you came to that color. It takes over and draws my attention away from the terrific design you’ve created. So, I’m loving the idea that you’ll repaint!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 3, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Maybe you are like me and your most favorite place to relax is snuggled in your bed.
    I sometimes wonder why i have couches and chairs at all!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 5, 2016 at 8:09 am

    You might ask Maria Killiam’s advice — she’s a blogger and color expert. http://www.mariakillam.com/category/understanding-undertones/

    I could be wrong — but she’d know for sure. Making a clean crisp white pallet work requires picking colors that do not have yellow undertones. I think your green cabinets have some yellow in them. And it seems the teal bathroom cabinet does as well. Trying to use cleaner colored prints or paints with those bigger decisions may be the reason things are not working for you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Ruehl
    September 6, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Kristi, I think I’ve said this before, but I am in total love with your kitchen. I can’t believe you don’t think it’s so much “you” anymore. That room is a masterpiece! And I am nuts about your other rooms too. When you describe the clear, clean colors you love, you described for me what I didn’t have words for myself. I describe my personal decorating preference as “black and white and…” the and is usually green (my absolute favorite) or yellow. Those orange chairs absolutely sing to me and I love the pillows. When I see your music room, I feel all is right with the world. Just keep going on the big stuff. Your decorating ideas will show themselves when they are ready. Your skill and instincts are excellent. Love, love, love your house!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 8, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Those 2 kitchen pictures are fabulous! I like the cleaner color route you have been going (going white in the entry and dining room rather than the light green are big wins for me). I think you are wise to complete all of the construction stuff and then start decorating. Then you will know exactly what each room needs, and you’ll be able to plan a cohesive look for the house. I’m excited about the direction you are going! I do feel like your bathroom has a different look than this plan, though, so glad to hear you might tweak in there!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 9, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Well, I think you are on the right track. Finish the construction parts of the house, at least for the central part of the house. If budget demands, leave the master bedroom until later since it will be a major piece of work. As for the public areas, got those done so you can “see” everywhere when making decorating decisions. I think it will save you time and money in the long run and you won’t spend so much time in “do overs”. Once you can do a design board for each room and look at all of them together, I believe you will find everything will come together much easier. I really hope you give your kitchen lots of thought before redoing it. At least as far as changing the cabinet colors. You may want to make a change to your counter top color. I know what you mean by “off”colors. Maybe think about just doing the gold on the glass door cabinets. I’d love to know how the rest of the cabinets were done in the sample kitchen of your photo. Maybe another product will hold up better than gold leaf. After all, some gold leaf used in decor has lasted for centuries so there must be something that will hold up better. I can feel your frustration and I think you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself right now. So, take a deep breath and relax. Then take time to really give some thought to your priorities based on where you are now in the process of getting where you want to be. It will be much easier to create a showplace once the sawdust and sanding dust is gone.