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They dubbed it "the white house". White exterior, white interior and light wood floors. Not bad, just boring. We decided to tackle the kitchen and adjoining den. There was a small table in the kitchen that butted up against an island Pierre had made. Different heights and styles didn't work. (Sorry Pierre. They had to go.) The den is at one end of the kitchen, one step up. From this elevated perch, Pierre, Karen and friends enjoyed a view of the side of the refrigerator and a mishmash of odd corners and bulkheads, some made more prominent with wood trim. There was nothing of interest to break up the monotony, and Karen longed for intense color. They couldn't agree on which colors, but Karen had mentioned red!
The kitchen and den have been joined in a bright hot mix of contemporary fun, and fully balanced colors. Paint was the fastest way to wake up these spaces. Color blocks of orange and white cover the ceiling and walls. A newly built white cabinet decorated with wooden slats hides the fridge and adds needed storage space. Distinctly modern orange plastic sheeting was applied to the upper cabinet doors and framed with aluminum edges. Smokey gray melamine paint renews the old countertop and lower cabinets. The hip, new black vinyl floor keeps the equilibrium flowing between the two rooms and grounds the intense colors. Two very different tables were built to suit Karen and Pierre's lifestyle. A large table and bench decorated with slate tiles gives eat-in glamour to the kitchen. For the lounging area, a free-form coffee table on wheels has a cutout in its center inset with Plexiglas. Bold fabrics for cushions and hand-painted curtains keep the beat going, as does the funky lighting. Yes, those are desk lamps hung upside down over the kitchen table. This very hot dÈcor is cool.
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Pieces of translucent orange plastic sheeting were adhered to the cabinet doors with double-sided tape, and trimmed with an X-acto knife. Aluminum corner channels were glued around the edges of the doors for a neat, clean finish.
You need a jigsaw and a steady hand to cut out the amebic shape for this unique coffee table. To add even more pizzazz we cut a hole in the center of the table and covered it with Plexiglas. To make this design, the outer edge of the top was cut from 3 pieces of fiberboard, a 1/4" thick piece sandwiched between two 1/2" pieces. The 1/4" layer was removed and the center shape cut out of the outer 1/2" pieces. A rectangle larger than the center shape was cut from the thin middle piece and a sheet of Plexiglas fit inside the rectangle.
Plastic laminate countertops can be given a new lease on life with the right preparation and paint. Clean well with a heavy duty detergent such as TSP to remove dirt and grease. Lightly sand and prime, and then use melamine paint. Para Paints Smokey Chimney P1978-3 is the perfect color choice for the counters and lower cabinets to ground the blast of orange above.
Plain curtain panels were jazzed up with orange fabric paint. Place the panel on a solid, wipable surface, (as the paint will seep through to the back of the fabric), and draw your design using pencil or chalk. Fill in with good quality paint and apply enough to be well absorbed by the fabric. Heat set with an iron following manufacturer's instructions.
This modern kitchen is full of color and surprises. Bankers desk lamps are hung over the slate table. The refrigerator is now housed in a cabinet we built and covered with 1' x 2" slats running horizontally. Painted white, the unit makes a bold architectural element set against the blocks of orange and charcoal.
The table is heavy, handsome and practical. Built to accommodate friends that gather and eat in the kitchen, the 4" x 4" slate tile top doubles as extra counter and prep space. We splurged on more slate for the backsplash, cutting 4" x 8" tiles and laying them subway style.
Walls & Floor
A high energy, contemporary setting was created in the kitchen and adjoining den with the juxtaposition of hot and cool colors--orange, white and charcoal, applied in sections or blocks. To make the pattern interesting, we ran the color blocks onto the ceiling in places and over two separate walls. A modern, dark gray vinyl floor unites the rooms and balances the very orange highlights.