Help Erin and Brendan’s Butter-Yellow Kitchen My Kitchen Needs a Makeover!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Last week we asked if you needed a kitchen makeover. Lots of you do, apparently, because we already have an inbox full of submissions! Here’s our first attempt to offer a little advice and inspiration to a kitchen in need of a makeover. How would you help improve this kitchen?

Name: Erin and Brendan
Location: Inner Sunset area of San Francisco, California
Rent or own? Rent

Read on for what Erin and Brendan want in their kitchen, plus their constraints. We offer a few tips, ideas, and paint colors. How would you make over this kitchen?

What does your kitchen need? Color inspiration (we HATE the nauseating butter yellow), a sense of warmth, flooring ideas, cabinet treatments (not paint), an island next to the stove?
What are your limitations? Can’t paint cabinets, small(ish) budget

Erin and Brendan, you guys are among the lucky ones who can paint — this is a huge advantage! You also have wonderful storage (how about that fold-out ironing board?) and so much counter space. This is a great kitchen! We also really like your red EAT sign over the stove; it’s hard to see it well in these photos, but we like it. We took inspiration from this, as well as your desire for warmth in the kitchen, and came up with a few ideas.

Paint is going to make a huge difference, of course. We suggest upgrading to a more definitive and committed sort of yellow; perhaps a warm, orangey-yellow. We have a color below, but of course grab swatches and try them out; something that looks good on the screen may not look great in the kitchen. (Our advice is always to go a shade or two lighter than you think you want; it’s always more intense on the wall.) We would temper the warm yellow with a neutral gray on the lower half of the wall behind the stove. Then paint all the trim a bright, warm white. Painting the trim alone will make a huge difference; it’s our secret weapon in every home we’ve painted!

The red sign and yellow walls make us want to go vintage industrial with the rest of this kitchen, with striped vintage-feeling towels, a stainless steel cart next to the stove for much-improved cooking flow, and some other pops of red.

Our biggest suggestion, besides painting? Leave the cabinets alone. If you can’t paint them, cut your losses and improve the rest of the kitchen. Let the cabinets (and brown flooring) fade into the background as much as possible.

Makeover Recipe:
• Paint the kitchen a warmer, brighter, more committed shade of yellow
• Paint all the trim bright white.
• Accent the white and yellow with a neutral gray behind the stove
• Add a kitchen cart next to the stove for easier cooking.
• De-clutter the fridge and move cereal boxes and unnecessary papers to a cupboard.
• Take inspiration for accent touches from the red EAT sign and yellow color.

Kitchen Spotlight: Leslie’s Sunny Yellow – Another basic rental kitchen without much to change — but a coat of yellow paint really worked wonders.

Suggested Resources:
• Paint: Benjamin Moore 2023-40 Sunburst and 2124-20 Trout Gray (looks taupe above but is a warm gray in person). Plus a bright, all-purpose white.
• Kitchen cart: FLYTTA stainless steel cart, $159 at IKEA
• Rug: 4×6 Murphy Rug in Maize, $79.95 at Crate & Barrel
• Towels: Martha Stewart Collection, $11.99 for 3 towels
• For countertop storage: Red vintage canisters, $24 at Maven Vintage

Those are just a few suggestions to start your inspiration process. Please check back in and show us what you do with your kitchen makeover. Readers — what would you do with this kitchen?

(Images: Brendan and Erin; )