boxwood green kitchen island

by | Jul 12, 2018 | All Things Home, Decorating, Kitchen, My House, Room Makeovers | 109 comments

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When I initially painted the walls and island of my kitchen, I knew that I might change them once we had white countertops installed.  I didn’t know how long that would take, though, so I wanted to use colors that were neutral and worked with the dark granite.  If I had known we’d have our new Hanstone Quartz counters within a year, I might not have worried about my choices working with the granite, but I’m glad I worked with what was there at the time.  It gave me a kitchen that looked nice during the wait.

When we got the new counters and backsplash installed, though, the warmth of the wall color became more obvious and the pale gray island was just reading as white.  It was all a little too one-note and, though it might not have looked like it to the casual observer, it didn’t look like a finished design to me.  (I think that had more to do with the fact that I knew that the island and wall colors were picked before I knew which counters and backsplash tile I was getting.)

So, as I shared a few weeks ago, I repainted the walls in Stonington Gray (Benjamin Moore) mixed at 50% strength.  It is a soft, cool, blue/gray that worked well with the counters and tile and it flows nicely into the adjoining rooms.

The last thing to “fix” was the kitchen island.  I knew that I wanted a strong color on the island, in order to set it apart from the rest of the cabinetry.  Blue or gray seemed to be the obvious choices, but I have a lot of blues and blue/grays going on, so I went to my favorite accent color – green.  And not just any green…  Boxwood from the MMS Milk Paint line!  I designed the color, so it’s naturally one of my favorite greens.

I had considered using MMS Milk Paint, but since these pieces are built into the house, I want them to have the same finish (satin enamel) as the cabinets and trim in the rest of the house.  (For a more elaborate explanation, you can read THIS POST.)

I did want to use my color, though, especially since Boxwood is one of the featured colors in the dining room milk paint mural.  This color connection will help the rooms relate to one another even further.  That meant I needed to get Boxwood matched.  I brushed out a sample of Boxwood on a wood scrap and took it to my local family-owned paint store.  They were able to match the color perfectly!

The real Boxwood is on the left and the match is on the right…

Pretty amazing, right?!

I could hardly wait to get it on the island, so I started working on it late last week and finished it over the weekend.

And here is how it turned out…

(Dang it!  I just realized I need to get the toe-kick under the shelf!  Somehow I missed that bit.)

Anyway, the green was just the pop of color this kitchen needed.

The green is fresh and compliments all of the blues and blue/grays going on in this space.

I painted the island the same way I did the rest of the kitchen cabinets.  The full tutorial series starts HERE.  The only difference is I didn’t use my paint sprayer.  We are working on organizing and building shelving in our garage, so I couldn’t take over that space and I didn’t want to wait!  That green paint was too tempting.  So, I used a brush and micro-plush roller and it turned out great.

I did remove all of the drawers, doors, shelves, and hardware, though, so I could get everything properly painted.

Now that the island is painted and the butler’s pantry is almost done, it feels like all of the big design elements of this space are finished and now I can just tweak and play with the details…

…and that’s a fun place to be in a room makeover!

Just a reminder that the FREE Mrs. Meyers promotion is still running for new Grove Collaborative members…


  1. Meredith

    This looks AMAAAAAZING!!! I love that it’s kind of unexpected, totally custom and your house is all coming together. I also have been noticing an evolution in your style as you work on this house and it’s so fun to watch. You constantly inspire me!

  2. B

    I was really hoping it was going to be Aviary but Boxwood looks nice. Thanks for sharing all the transformations with us!

  3. Susan

    This is my favorite of all the changes you’ve made to your house. It’s just what your kitchen needed. Perfect!

  4. Kathy

    I cannot LOVE this enough! The painted island blew my socks off!!! Perfection!

  5. Chri

    I LOVE this color. It will look good in any season but I’m sure you’ll do wonders with Christmas decorating when the time comes.

    • Marian Parsons

      That’s just what I’m thinking, too! Fresh during the summer and perfect for evergreens and pinecones during Christmas.

  6. Marsha Kern

    Wow it turned out great!

  7. Julie Olmstead

    I just painted the base of a coffee table in MMS boxwood and I love it. It compliments all of my blue and white perfectly. As always, thank you for sharing!!

  8. Becca

    This completes the look of the kitchen. What a difference adding this color has made in the room! Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Stephanie

    I think boxwood is the perfect surprise complimentary color. My favorite designs of yours, are when a pop of it is added, so this is perfection!! Now I am even more excited to see the butler’s cabinet finished. The sneak peak on Instagram made my heart skip.

  10. Jean

    Wow! What a difference Boxwood makes !!!!

  11. Sue

    I love Boxwood and this is the perfect accent to your kitchen colors. Did I miss a post about those gorgeous stools at the island? They are perfect with the Boxwood as well.

    • Marian Parsons

      They are the schoolhouse stools from Restoration Hardware. I bought them when we were in our last house.

  12. Donna

    I love that its Green, I was at first, why not a blue or a gray, (and I was also voting for Aviary, but Green it is. It looks awesome….and as I was watching your stories and your butler’s pantry, thought for sure the bead board should be white, and I was like what is she doing, but seeing it all green….ITS PERFECT! I can see all that ironstone POP!!! Are you putting the glass doors back on? I kinda like it without….but heck I was wrong with the white beadboard. lol!

  13. Robyn

    I liked the granite.

    • Marian Parsons

      There was nothing wrong with it, but it just wasn’t my style.

  14. Mary in VA

    Never been a lover of green but this is gorgeous! Such a perfect pop of color in the kitchen!

  15. Amy Carpenter

    Love the green! Cannot wait to see what the butler’s pantry looks like! 🙂

  16. Ashley

    Lovely! May I suggest adding a lovely trailing plant of some kind to the area above the cabinets? I think it will tie in nicely.

    • Kris

      I agree! Just a little extra something to tie it all in together. Marian, NOW the kitchen looks like “you”. Before it was pretty but I didn’t see your personality coming through.

  17. Gina

    The island is perfect. Love the color. It balances everything out.

  18. Argelia Brown

    Two words, Beautimous Perfection!!!

  19. Linda

    I absolutely love the Boxwood Green on your island! I’m partial to greens and it is just the right touch of color that you needed in your kitchen! It really is going to look so beautiful around Christmas time too! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  20. Cindy in Oklahoma

    This feels like the throw or quilt folded and placed at the foot of the bed-so cozy and warm…..although not the color I was expecting at all. Don’t you just love how those clear handles show up against this darker color?

  21. Karen

    Unexpected, but beautiful. It is the perfect color for my base kitchen cabinets in a real farmhouse on 80 acres. Would you mind sharing the paint formula? Please, please. Thanks for the inspiration.

  22. Ramona

    Bravo! You did it again! Love, love, love it! Did you use BM paint? What kind of finish?

    • Terri

      Gorgeous!!! I’m with Karen and Ramona…would it be possible for you to share the paint details?

  23. Angela

    “Sigh” I LOVE it. What blues in your line do you feel match boxwood the best?

  24. Robbie Zeller

    Marian, You have such a great eye for blending design elements in your home! When the average person looks at this space the overall feel is that it just all looks very harmonious and good together with every part
    . You are a hard worker perusing your goals but somehow make it look so easy to the rest of us!

  25. Sharon

    Amazing! All the items on your shelves just pop now.

    What is the formula for this colour in BM?

  26. Ashlea

    Yay!! This whole room is just lovely. I adore the green, and can’t wait to see the full transformation of the butler’s pantry. Wonderful work. I know that all this painting, sewing, blogging- is no easy task! You are on a roll.

  27. Connie

    Could not be more perfect!! Love the green; think I’ll use your milk paint in Boxwood on a old (kinda ugly) family piece of furniture- this was just the push I needed to pick a color! Love following along on all your loveliness!!

  28. Cora

    Looks lovely! Always thought you needed a stronger color on the island to give it some character. What is the green you used on the blackboard in your studio? It is peeking out in one of your “before” pics.

  29. Leah

    I liked your kitchen before but now I love it! Well done! I love watching you create your home.

  30. Vicki

    This green makes me ridiculously happy!! LOVE it!!

  31. Connie in GA

    The island looks fabulous! I’m definitely using Boxwood Green on one of my upcoming projects. Dying to see the finished butler’s pantry!

  32. Julie

    Marian, the kitchen looks wonderful with this POP of green….I love it. I went back to your tutorial on painting the kitchen cabinets to find the protective coating solution you used on the cabinets and island, but I couldn’t find it.
    BUT…I did find the old picture of the BEFORE kitchen WHAT A DIFFERENCE WOW.
    What is the ending finish you used on the Island over the green? Thanks Julie

  33. Deborah Raney

    That green might have been the last color on earth I would have expected there…which might be exactly why I love it SOOO much! It is absolutely perfect and elevates the kitchen to perfect uniqueness. I especially love that it carries through the colors of the mural (and the butler’s pantry, which I can’t wait to see!) I have SO enjoyed watching your house come together to be such a reflection of your family and your artistic talents. You inspire me!

  34. Cheryl

    Just when I think it couldn’t get any better, you surprise us again! I love it, it looks fabulous! I was wondering when
    (or if) you were going to introduce some greens. I thought that you mentioned that in an older post when talking about your new house! Your mural is fantastic as well!

  35. Catharine

    Just when I thought your kitchen could not get any more beautiful, you did it again!! Love the Boxwood green. Fresh and a great accent to the blues and greens. Lol, I noticed the white under the kick plate right off! Also, no criticism intended, but does the paint need to “cure” before having the heavy plates back on them? You’re an inspiration!! Thank you for sharing your lovely home with us.

  36. Rhonda

    My lower cupboards were built to look like pieces of furniture, with shaker legs. I painted the toe kick black, it makes it look like they are free standing legs.

  37. Michelle Kup

    Beautiful kitchen love the Boxwood green island. When you painted the island and you said you took out the drawers and the shelves. Did you paint the whole inside of the island green also? So another words when you painted all your cabinets did you paint the inside also. So everything matches.

    • Marian Parsons

      I painted the inside of the doors, but not the inside of the cabinets. Those are a white laminate and look much better (and are more durable) left unpainted.

  38. Vicki

    I too am in the midst of a kitchen remodel, and while I am not doing as much as you, I am using your ideas for a direction. We are using quartz counters similar to yours and I have chosen to use the exact same backsplash tiles. I am getting the Venatino at Lowe’s. I currently have one square foot as a sample and there is so much more white than gray. But when I see yours completed, you have so much gray–which is what I want. I’m wondering if it is just a perception thing and that I will see the gray once it is up with all it’s “friends.” I am so enjoying watching what you are doing in your home. I don’t have an island to paint boxwood so now I am asking myself–where is my “pop” of color. I simply must have one!! LOL

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, it does look more gray once it’s installed. Mine looked much whiter when I was even just holding samples up to the wall, so it was surprising how gray it looked!

  39. Julie in Georgia

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the boxwood!! Green is my favorite accent color too! 🙂 To me, it makes a house feel like home; warm & cozy! And I agree with Chri above with her comment about Christmas decorating … I just love your kitchen and how you’ve brought it all together! 🙂

  40. Kathryn

    I like how it all came together….how YOU brought it all together with vision, skill, and hard work. When you installed the backsplash, I thought it stood out like a sore thumb. But I knew you’d see it also, which you did. And you fixed it by greying the walls from their creamy former color. Nice move! I can see how the visual lines from room to room have been carefully considered. And the green really helps all the white pop. Not that my opinion is worth much…but huge KUDOS!!!

  41. Peggy! It now looks like your kitchen! Love the green with all of your blue dishes, etc. Also, love the green with your wood chairs and floor. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  42. linda

    I could not love this more. Can you tell us what the paint formula is to match the color?

    Thank you.

  43. Kay

    I think it makes your room feel warmer. The stools really go well with the new green.

  44. Nancy Johnson

    In a few words: I adore it!

  45. Sue

    While I’m not usually a fan of green paint, I love this color and the kitchen looks so pulled together.

  46. Janet in Kansas City

    Love the color! Green with blues and grays always works. They were made for each other.
    Love it!

  47. Chris Moore of Seattle

    I marvel at your ability, your mindset, to just paint a whole room-or an island! To me. painting is the worst. Even though then end result is worth it, it is pure drudgery to me. And you! You clear the room, drape the plastic and get it done. And if you don’t like it, if it needs to be tweaked, you do it again! Hats off Marian and Standing O!

    • Marian Parsons

      Ha, I really do love painting, though. I love any kind of painting, except ceilings and really high walls that involve high ladders. Otherwise, I will always be happy with a brush in hand.

  48. Krista

    It looks so beautiful! Love how you’ve taken a newer home, put your mark on it and made it so cozy! You have such great design vision in addition to your many artistic talents!

  49. Laura

    The Boxwood on the island is beautiful! I am a big fan of that color!

  50. Ellen

    Absolutely beautiful!

  51. Rhonda D.

    I have recently started following your blog, and find that your color schemes/ choices are similar to my tastes. We are renovating a 113 year old farmhouse, and using many similar colors in our home. Love the green island!

  52. Louise Ryan Granger

    Beautiful color, we are planning to relook our kitchen cabinets in the near future and add an island… Would you be kind enough to let me know where you purchased the ”wingchair” at the end of your dining room table. I want to change all chairs in the dining room and this model would be just perfect. Thank you!

    • Marian Parsons

      I’m going to do a post with details on it and a link, but they were from Wayfair.


    As always, YOU are AMAZING!! You inspire me, and I also, can not wait to see what’s to come for Christmas!! Feeling excited! 🙂

  54. kat

    Beautiful! I have tried matching the boxwood color with no luck, can you please share the color match name?!

  55. Kitty

    Okay, may I copy your good taste ? And paint my island in Boxwood ??
    Love, Love, Love, what you have done ~ in such a short time !

  56. Sukhi

    The kitchen was beautiful before but there was something missing. The green paint is gorgeous and unexpected in an otherwise white kitchen.

  57. Suzanne

    LOVE this !!! Stunning! You have such a great eye!

  58. Alicia from California

    Wow! When I remember what the kitchen looked like when you first moved in til now…now I’d have no difficulty knowing this was Miss Mustard Seed’s kitchen! Remarkable what you’ve done…but expected because you are who you are…God”s talented daughter!

    Just caught up with past postings and must say your dining room mural reflects the 100 oil paintings project you set for yourself. The blending, subtleties, foreground are remarkable and keep with your style. You’ve inspired me to do something with my dining room wall (beach house theme).

  59. Erika Elliott

    It looks great! What kind of plant is that on the island? I’ve been meaning to ask for ages.

    • Marian Parsons

      It’s a dwarf wandering jew. I found it in the indoor plant section at Home Depot.

  60. Naomi S

    Perfect! What a great shade of green!

    If it were my kitchen I would be tempted to add one other item in Boxwood just to tie the rest of the room in with the island. Maybe a grain sack valance with a Boxwood stripe(s) over the window above the sink. Maybe some plants in Boxwood-colored pots. Now, you have to realize that I have a tendency to “over-decorate”, so, to you, this idea may seem “too much” and “leaving well-enough alone” is better!

    All in all, the kitchen looks wonderful with the Boxwood island! I love it!

    • Marian Parsons

      Ha, just wait. I’ll show how it all ties together. 🙂

  61. Deedra

    I love that shade of green and think it really freshens up your space. It all looks just perfect!

  62. Carole Prisk

    Thinking it might be time for you to contact a paint company for a Miss Mustard Seed wall paint collab. Looks nice.

  63. Becca

    I’m joining the others in the quest for the paint formula.

  64. Julie

    I wouldn’t have thought green but seeing it in place it works well & I think it goes especially well with your wood bar stools.

    BUT – what I would love to know is what that potted plant is you have on your kitchen scales on the island?

    I’m looking for something small leafed just like it.

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Marian Parsons

      It’s called a dwarf wandering jew.

      • Julie

        Thanks for taking the time answer – much appreciated.

  65. Donna

    I painted ALL of my kitchen cabinets AND island boxwood last year (plus a few other things!). Of course green is my favorite color (meaning this green and similar shades). I love love it and am so excited when I see you paint something of your own with Boxwood! It’s perfect!! ♥ Can’t wait to see the pantry!

    • Donna

      I had the Boxwood color matched as well, for the kitchen cabinets, but used Milk Paint for other pieces throughout the house.

    • Marian Parsons

      It is a great green!! 🙂

  66. Francean Gospodarek

    It. Is. Absolutely. Beautiful!

  67. Kimberly

    I was hoping for Aviary on the island and I think it would’ve been absolutely beautiful in the room, but Boxwood is just such a fantastic shade of green, I think it looks gorgeous on your island. Great job, as usual! I really do think your kitchen is pretty much perfect in every way, I love the layout and I bet it flows well and is a wonderful space to work in.

  68. Connie

    LOVE,LOVE,LOVE the green. Painted the lower white cabinets in my kitchen a green ( used a different brand). And love the contrast. What a great look for your home. And an inspiration for me.

  69. Patricia

    I don’t think it could have turned out any better!

  70. Jo Ann

    I agree with Linda. Can you share the formula? Thank you

  71. CindyJones

    Love the color choice! My favorite color and my favorite neutral.

  72. Suzanne

    This is just perfect! Love it!

  73. Paula

    Absolutely love how this turned out. Did you put a finish over the painting any kind?

  74. Yvonne

    Love the boxwood green! I have few touches of green in my home and they just make me smile;)

  75. Pamela

    Your kitchen looks amazing! I love seeing what can be done with existing cabinets. You absolutely nailed it!

  76. Susan Guillebeau

    Would you be able to share the mix formula for the Boxwood paint? By the way, the dining room is impressive.

  77. Maureen

    Love boxwood on the island! The perfect color contrast! Would you mind sharing the paint formula they created? I wanted to paint my bottom kitchen cabinets and this is the exact color that I’ve been dreaming of using. TY!

  78. Sandra B

    Just what it needed. No it stands out.

  79. Linda O

    Perfection. Your island is truly stunning. I think I have finally found the perfect color for my old desk. Also, your mural is absolutely beautiful. You continue to amaze me. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.

  80. Tammie

    I love it. Your boxwood is my favorite color of all your paints. I did my dining room chairs in it, they look lovely with my oak table.

  81. Alison

    Very nice indeed, paint formula please.

  82. katybee

    That boxwood island takes the kitchen to a different level. It was all lovely before but now it has a unique personality. The green was an inspired choice vs. a blue or gray.

  83. H

    I love the green. It’s looking like Ms. Mustard Seed in there now. I think I so green accents above the cabinets would look good. Maybe plants.?.

  84. MaryLisa Noyes

    It looks lovely!!!

  85. Mary Jane

    I know someone else already asked, but do you need a finish coat on the island and butlers pantry so that it will all wear well and is easy to wash up?

  86. Rebecca K

    The island is amazing. Great choice of color. I cannot wait to see the butler’s pantry. It will be just as stunning!
    I think the green makes the wall color pop! I can now see the color well!!!!

  87. Katie

    That shade of green with your hanging copper pots has me swooning! What a fantastic breath of fresh air into your lovely kitchen. The perfect bit of personality to finish off the space. But seriously… the copper and green! I can’t get over it.


    So pretty, Marian! You have done such a lovely job of your island! God has truly blessed you with so many wonderful gifts! Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us all! Blessings! Have a great week!

  89. Sanaâ

    Green, bronze and vintage!
    Daring but perfectly mastered.

  90. Robin Bentley

    Marian, I love your house and you have inspired me. I just redid my laundry room and painted my builders grade wooden cabinets in the boxwood MMS paint color and I love them. Doors a gray color and white walls. Moving onto my kitchen next. I’m thinking of painting my white island cabinets in the aviary. I love the rug in the kitchen. Can you tell me the name and type of rug it is, by chance? I miss you at Lucketts, btw.
    Thanks so much.

  91. Jessica

    Do we need to purchase the green milk paint from you in order to color match it to cabinet paint? Thanks and if so how do we do that.

  92. Rebecca Whitelock

    I love how it turned out! I also love the drapery fabric you used. I think it may be what I’m looking for to use in my dining room. Do you have the info on it?

    Thank you so much!

  93. Cathy Hinckley

    I have a color question for you……I love your color scheme here and would like to repeat using the boxwood green. If I have the MMS boxwood copied it should be fine correct? Then my main question is I have a doorway with a curved door with vertical grooves – right off the kitchen, the intent is for it to appear as a Mediterranean doorway I’m picturing a deep blue. What color would you recommend to blend with this color scheme yet have that pop I’m looking for?


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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