kitchen layers & textures

Marian ParsonsKitchen57 Comments

Since we’ve been talking a lot about the kitchen and adjoining eating area, I thought I would share a bit more about the direction I’m heading.

Right now, it’s all a little one-note, but that’s intentional.  When possible, I like to start with a foundation for a room that’s classic and will have longevity for me.  Longevity doesn’t necessarily mean neutral, but in the case of the kitchen, I kept the foundation of the room neutral.

Now it’s time to start adding in more layers and colors and also refining what is already there.  I already shared the fabrics I’m brining into the space and I’m planning on using the large scale check on the French dining chairs.

They really are lovely as is, but, as you can imagine, the seats are prone to stains and they aren’t going to look lovely for long!  So, I’m going to make skirts out of the buffalo check, so they are washable.  I’m also going to reupholster the backs (the back side with the check and the front with grain sack).  This is mostly to bring some color and texture to the space.  (And because I’m me and I like to put my stamp on things that are in my home.)

I really don’t want to redo my current checked chair, just so it matches the new check fabric, so I’m moving it up to the guest room…

…and I’m brining up the pair of chairs I purchased off craigslist right when we moved here.

I must admit that the red doesn’t look bad in the space, but it does seem a little random and out of place in context.  So, this pair will be redone in the check as well.  It’ll be nice having these extra chairs, so we can pull them into the living room for extra seating when we host small group.

I’m already gearing myself up for lots of upholstery work.  It’s not my favorite, but I know it will be worth it in the end.

I also thought I would share the result of decorating above the kitchen cabinets.  I decided to go with a simple row of ironstone pitchers, just on the wall above the range.

I had tried them above the cabinets flanking the sink, but they looked odd from the side, so I took them down.

The row of pitchers is just enough to add some visual interest without competing with the pot rack or looking too cluttered.

I’m also realizing that I need to get a move on with the dining room, so both of these spaces can be ready for Thanksgiving.  That’s an ambitious goal that I might not meet, but I’ll give it a try!

kitchen layers & textures

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57 Comments on “kitchen layers & textures”

  1. The pitchers above your cabinets look amazing!! I just noticed the vintage fan in your kitchen are you able to use it? What a good idea!👏👏

  2. Triple Love on all that was in this post,, love the buffalo check and the re-do of the Red Fabric chairs,, things are coming along nicely with the Marian touch,, this is great…

  3. What about a lettered sign above the cabinets? That might work too. Love seeing your new spaces come together. Thank you for sharing. : )

    1. That is such a good idea! Marian could do a verse or saying with her beautiful designs around it. Or a piece of her art. It would fill out the space nicely . Think about it Marian !

      1. How about some African Violets?
        They are not that difficult to grow. You can find some locally or order online – there are different sizes and types. Standard, semi-mini and miniature. Trailers. Variegated. Unusual bloom types. Girl foliage. You are likely to find something you’ll fall in love with and enjoy growing in your beautiful space!

  4. The space is really coming together with all of your hard work. Although the large checked fabric looks great draped over the chairs, it may be too large a pattern for such a small area. It may even be too large for the French chairs, but I’m not sure. I’m curious why you didn’t use white wax on the table top that you showed yesterday.

  5. Oooh. I love those chairs in red and white. They’d go well in my house! Don’t you think the big checks would overwhelm/compete with the delicate carving on the chair?

    I like the pitchers marching across the cabinet tops!

    1. They might be too big for dining chairs, so I have the small-scale check as a back-up plan. I think the scale is fine for the arm chairs, though. I’ve seen chairs upholstered in this exact fabric and they look great.

  6. Normally I would prefer the red fabric, but in the context of that space, I like your buffalo plaid. You have such a good eye!

  7. Your style and good taste have always been an inspiration. Other bloggers attempt showroom/catalog sets instead of functional, livable homes and keep adding (visual interest?). Trust your intuition. Less can be more and your new home will reflect just that, a HOME. Take your time and don’t feel the need to get it all done.
    Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Stop, enjoy the process as well as the end result.

  8. I actually like the red chairs. Since there’re 2 of them, it doesn’t seem so random. I would add a couple of additional accents of red to balance it out, but that’s just me. I love your choices of the blue checks, but I agree with Kathy, the large check seems too big for such a small area of the chair backs. It seems the plaid will get cut off & loose it’s “plaidness”

    1. I have to clarify, I love the large checked fabric on the larger chairs, but I think a smaller check would look better on the backs of the dining chairs.

  9. I think the different checks will look quite nice. I had to chuckle when you showed your ironstone pitchers. My mother has had that look since the 70’s when she started collecting ironstone. Back then she paid 25 to 50 cents for some of the smaller pitchers. If it looks good, why change It!

  10. The talent you have for redoing, rearranging, refinishing, reupholstering and painting…I don’t question a single decision you make! You are an inspiration and your home always shouts WELCOME !!! Its never the same ole, same ole you see on so many blogs where they all try to copy and nothing looks original. You go girl, and I will be admiring every step.

  11. I’ve been wondering where those chairs went!
    I love how u bring it all together. I’m learning so much from your home doodle book! Answers so many questions I’ve had over the years when I’ve been stuck and did t know what to do.
    I love watching your rooms progress, thanks for sharing.
    I’ve been looking for a medium sized check fabric, so hard to find. I love the buffalo check but need a smaller check. Just not too small. If anyone knows sources I’d appreciate some.

  12. I just love those red chairs as is! I know we each have our own style and I’m sure they will look awesome in the check too. Red is one of my go-to colors so you know….. 🙂

  13. I LOVE the red chair. I wish I could find that fabric!! We have a few of the antique fans and they all work!! Your home is beautiful, Marian!!

  14. No – the Buffalo check is not too big for the chairs, even the smaller ones! I do think you need to add something else above your cabinets. To me, the ironstone pitchers just get lost. You need some color and/or texture up there – baskets, greenery, etc.

  15. Love, love, love the fabric choices! I love those red chairs also, but think the blue check fabric is going to be stunning! Oh how I wished I lived in your neighborhood and could meet you and see your house in person! It really is so beautiful!

  16. I’m loving everything! I wish I knew how to upholster. It just looks like Greek to me. 😩. Can’t wait to see it all.

  17. I love when a house has a little surprise, sort of a wink that one doesn’t take this decorating thing so seriously. The red print chairs do that for me in your space, Marion. It would be fun if you then did one of your meadow paintings with the same chair turned on its side, perhaps with a cow curiously looking on. Just a thought!

  18. I love the layering of the fabrics and your ideas for your redesign. But I agree with Anne, the sweet pitchers are lost up ther but I think it’s because the wall colour is too much of a good thing. Maybe paint the wall a soft blue or gray to make the cabinets, platters, and the pitchers ‘pop’?
    I am thinking it is just a bit too much of a good thing in white on the walls, cabinets, and pitchers.

  19. I like the red chairs and I really do not wear red or decorate with red!
    I think the buffalo check fabric seems too big as well, so I am anxious to see how it Will Look. I Trust That You Know Exactly What you Are Doing! 😉 I Am sure It will be lovely.

  20. I’d leave the chair in red and placed as is! It looks awesome and adds a note of formality in a fun, unexpected way. To help segue into the beautiful blues of your larger spaces, you could accessorize with a touch of blue to the niche area via wall art or textiles. Keeping a little red in your color scheme would give you some accent options elsewhere plus you’d save yourself a lot of work!

  21. I love it all!😊 I love that large check on those French chairs! Can’t wait to see it all done!

  22. Is the fabric for the chairs washable? Looking at it on your site,, I would have guessed dry clean.

    Do you know the name, company of the red print? Red is my color and I like the print. Thanks!

  23. I too like the red! It’s a nice little surprise. And if you just have to reupholster I’d go with coordinating fabric instead of matchy matchy. Maybe blues and greens to tie in with the plans for your green cupboard.

  24. Love the Buffalo Check for the dining chairs… Since you said your making skirts so they’ll be washable, I
    would love for you to have a tutorial on those…. pretty pleaseeeee!

  25. I have a suggestion regarding the ironstone pitchers. Agree there is not enough contrast between them and the wall. They would definitely pop with a darker wall color behind them. BUT! The pitchers draw my eye to the left, to the column cabinet in the corner which has nothing above it. Put a basket & greenery there on it? AND turn the left 2 pitchers the other way. That way, they are pointing to each other in a line above the center-of-interest, and will keep your eye THERE. The center-of-interest when you enter is the column of stove, platter, vent hood, and center cabinet door line, right?? Try it and see what you think, dear Marian. …. I too love the red chair there, as something different, which makes the room more interesting to catch your eye. Love the crock & plant by the chair on the stool – a lovely vignette. Keep on keeping on. Wishing you the BEST. Vicki K

  26. Keep the chairs in the red print. That looks great. It gives it a nice contrast and keeps it from looking to matchy matchy.

  27. I love the white on white and the blue fabrics! The red chair is ok but the blue checks and buffalo plaid will look awesome! I have the same large blue buffalo plaid on a big comfy chair in my home. I’ve had it for years and I still love it! I look forward to your finished projects! Love the blue and white!!💙

  28. I like following your post. If it was my house I would leave those chairs the way they are and cover a couple of stuffed chairs with the fabric on each end of the dining table. Also the pitchers above the counters are too small the pot rack makes such a statement the pitchers are lost. Too much. Just an idea.

  29. Did u try putting the pitchers at a slight angle? That might make it possible to put them on the cabinets next to the sink. I live vicariously through your projects, as my life right now is lived in a classic wooden house on stilts in a Cambodian village. Love what u do – on so many levels!

  30. I want to marry that blue check fabric! The pitchers look swell, marching across the tops of your cabs! I have some on our kitchen window sill + some yellow ware bowls on a large sorter. Seems less “busy” when matching objects are display together.

  31. Love the blue check and I love the contrast of the red chairs with it. I suggest that you keep the chairs red throughout the Christmas season. It will take some pressure off you to get the entire room finished before the holidays.
    And the red is perfect for Christmas decorating. By February you will have a real sense of whether to keep the red fabric or go ahead and redo them.

  32. Love the blue check Marian and the pitchers add just the right touch without being too much. It’s all coming together and will be so beautiful for the upcoming holidays!

  33. Love the check, but think you should wait until all else is done before re-doing the red chairs. At that point you may find you like their little bit of contrast and add a stool or accessory in the MMS red paint to tie it all together. Maybe. They are beautiful chairs, as is, but if they don’t suit the overall look you are working to achieve then they must be recovered in that gorgeous check. I don’t recall you ever using red, so I am thinking the red will not stay.

    The pitchers look sad up there. Kind of lost. Maybe they cannot compete with the pot rack. Having them on one side and not the other feels unbalanced, but it is more than that. Maybe it is their proportions in relation to everything else going on. Whatever, it does not do the collection justice. They are lovely and don’t show well up there, nor do they add to the overall look. That pot rack is the star, and useful, besides.

  34. I would leave the red print in the chairs for some COLOR…after a while, all the blue and white/cream just blends together—that great reddish tone really gives things a little punch up!

  35. I’m curious about the black high chair. Is for guests or just for decortion? I used to have a youth chair – it sat up high but didn’t have a tray. I was very old with the original patina. I eventually sold it – now wish I still had it because of the soft lovely wood. But it got to the point where every corner had something sitting in it. It was time to spread out a little and open some spaces up. Trying not to repeat that mistake again.. Hard to do when I love all things old! 🙂

  36. Loving the ironstone – one can never have enough ironstone. Paging down to leave a comment I notice a few similar to mine. I’m loving the red chairs. I think they add a nice balance to the blue check. I would do the back of your chairs in a linen with a red thread, I bet you have a good selection in your stash. Everything is coming together – you have fabulous taste!

  37. Love seeing that you have hung some of your cutting boards on the wall. My collection has gotten to big for just kitchen counters now. Love love the ironstone pitchers too. The old stool with the crock and plant is perfect!!! Think you will paint the wood on the chair?

  38. please don’t take this as a major criticism because it is not meant to be one…… i love the glass handles on the cupboards; but do you ever think that they do not provide much of a contrast in all that white??? just curious….
    also, above your cupboards, someone mentioned a large sign….. we have one above our cupboards and it looks great, mainly due to the cathedral ceiling…. i also have a large corbel up there (at the corner) and an old drawer filled with antique tins (all sizes)…. beach grass provides some green by sticking out of a tall woven french market basket…. i like how the grass just sort of drapes down… and i replace it every year when it loses its green hue…..
    thanks for letting us watch your transformation…. i am living vicariously through you right now!!!!!

  39. I agree with keeping the red chairs, at least past Christmas. I’m personally not a fan of the idea of skirting the dining chairs. It feels too fussy when you’ve already got so much going on in the rest of the space. You’re filling everything up so much that there’s no place for the eye to rest. If you’re planning on recovering them anyway though it doesn’t matter if they get dirty at thanksgiving so if you need to do other things I’d give yourself a break on the chairs and finish some bedrooms or office space that guests will be using/want to see. You’ve got a long winter for upholstery projects!

  40. You mentioned washing the slip covers for the dining chairs. Is the fabric machine washable or dry clean only?

  41. i love your blog, and i’ve been looking at a lot of your pics…i am trying to make some decisions as to new flooring, our house is 30 + years old and we are in florida…LOTS OF HUMIDITY!!! we currently have a laminate in part of the house that is starting to bubble, and big white squares in the rest of the house…i am thinking of doing a wood look tile in a driftwood grey ( we don’t have a lot of natural light and don’t want the house to be dark) but want to pick something that won’t go out of style in 5 years…would you share your thought…i know you are super busy…

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