Blue, Green, and Sunny: A South African Family Kitchen

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Take a look at this cozy, vibrant kitchen from South Africa! It was a Color Contest entry but we sadly ran out of space before it could be posted. But we just had to give you a peek into this colorful space. We emailed the owner of this wonderful kitchen and she gave us some more details about the colors she chose, and why.

The cook in this kitchen goes by the online moniker of se7en, since she has seven kids! (Wow!) She and her family made over this old home’s kitchen, salvaging much of the old stonework and also bringing in colors that reflect her family’s vibrant, busy life. The stone arches in this kitchen actually used to be public bread ovens!

Here is the story of se7en’s kitchen:

When we moved into our house, which is about 80 years old, the gleaming wooden floors were covered with layers of wall to wall carpets and chipped, stained, plastic tiles. The walls were all painted shades of white: off white, grey white, rose white, blue white — layers and layers and layers of hideous whites.

Each room had its own personality and required a dynamic color.

We went with spring green in the kitchen. It was a very dark room at the back of the house that never got any direct sunlight, and it needed some light airy fun. We were going to put in a skylight to brighten it up a bit, but bashed the wall down and made a huge kitchen instead with doors leading to a courtyard. We leave the doors open all the time and the sun streams in most of the day. Now we have a huge glorious sunny room.

The back wall is the original stone wall that was crumbling away behind the house, where, in days gone by, locals would collect their baked bread on a Saturday morning from the market. It seemed a shame to let the beautiful stonework crumble away so we incorporated it into our home.

The outside of our house is painted a deep denim blue all round, and the cupboards and the bricks in the back wall are the same blue to link the room with our courtyard, which is really our inside/outside dining room.

The paints we used are all Dulux “weather guard” outside and “wash and wear, acrylic” inside. The colors were stone-denim blue and spring green.

Color Tip: It is very tempting to do all your painting before you move in, but to get the right color you need to live in the room with your stuff and get the feel of it. I wouldn’t rush in just to get the job done. Patience will get the job done well!

Visit se7en’s blog to see the full story of this kitchen’s renovation, with before and after photos, and lots of pictures of her cute kids too. You’ll see how the kitchen is a multi-tasking space for this big family, too, since the dining room doubles as school room, and the kitchen becomes a great spot for crafts and kid-friendly baking.

Thanks so much for letting us peek into your kitchen, se7en. These colors are bright and bold, and while they might not be right for everyone’s kitchen, we feel a little warmer just peeking into your sunny space.

(Images: se7en )

(Images: Faith Durand)