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17 February 2011


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Dear Corey, No, please don't paint the Armoire. It is the perfect accent color for your kitchen.

I vote for an aubergine armoire and blue/green desk. I can show you the blue/green on a pair of garage doors in the quartier Mazarin in Aix!

I don't think you should. I think it's a lovely color.

I think the Armoire accents the tiles very well... the desk suggestion is a good one! blue/green....

Maybe you use Photoshop to try on all the different coats for your furniture. I personally like that your armoire is a deeper shade of the floor, but another color may be interesting too.

The room has many different colors, emphasizing one color would bring things together. The tiles limit you-they almost force you to use the orange color (I think that's why the armoire looks so nice there now.) I know it's sacrilegious but can you change the tile?

I like the armoire as well and it speaks to the most permanent color you have in the room and that's the floor. I think unifying the wall color to something compatible would be the better choice instead of so many converging colors.

While we are seeing the armoire for the first time, you have already lived with this piece for many years.
Sounds like you have headed down the path of no return and your entire kitchen is getting a makeover.
How scary....yet fun!

Ummmmm..... I'd leave the old wood it's natural color. Better for the planet and the antiques retain theri value!

I'm sure it will look amazing no matter what you do.

I'm with Sacha - the orange armoire is gorgeous. My kitchen is deep yellow and ochre tones - my favourites. Anything darker will be too sombre. Fabulous floor - reminds my of my grandmother's kitchen, and these are good memories.

I think that the desk and armoire are wonderful just as they are. I especially like the natural wood of the desk. And the red of the armoire anchors the room with it's relationship to the floor. I think you've done a great job. My opinion is don't paint those pieces.

LOL, Yann cracks me up. I think the desk should definitely be painted a light color to make it pop. It kind of blends in with the wallpaper right now. As for the armoir, I like the black idea. That would look sharp. I like contrast a lot.

Btw, my kitchen is sage green with a "splash" of burnt orange on the wall right above the window over our kitchen sink.

I wouldn't touch the armoire, it anchors the room and gives it warmth. Did you paint it that color or did you buy it like that? Lovely color, less flashy than Charlotte's locks (F & B paint), that I have chosen for our ceiling cornices it the entrance.
As for the desk, why don't you paint a A4 sheet of paper the desired color and just blue tack it on the desk, and take a couple of photos and mull it over a little and of course share the photo/s with us all.

Lovely kitchen Corey:)


DON'T paint the armoire! I love things in their natural place, it gives them character and a story. You see all the stains or cracks and wonder how they got there. Aaand, I can totally relate to Sacha as a child that recently (relatively) moved away from home, when you come back and things are different, even when it's things you "don't care" about... it's sad :( I know its unrealistic to have home stay the same forever... but wouldn't it be nice if it could?

is the furniture antique? if they are don't paint them. is your house an antique too?

I love the armoire the color it is. It's perfect for the room. Painting it black, it will all blend together. Every room needs color. The desk, I like it too, but not opposed to painting it.

My kitchen walls are a warm white. I wanted a contrast to the dark stained windows, doors and trim. Also have dark cedar beams. My island is Farrow & Ball French Gray. I love my island - the kitchen cabinetry was made in England to my specs. Three colors of paint, one stain, three counter materials. It's perfect. It's me.

I like the color the Armoire is, it gives a pop to the room, and actually is in the same color family as the floor tiles. However, I think Black would be very stunning and modern... decisions, decisions!

To add, do NOT remove the floor tile, even though someone suggested it.. I LOVE the floors, they look aged - like millions of people have walked on them!

Do not paint the Armoire .. Sacha is right :-)

The "orange" armoire gives the room light and it marries well with the charcoal granite counter and the terra cotta floor.

You could paint the wall behind it in bright Provencal mustard yellow.
How about that for a splash?
Just thinking. ;-)

My kitchen is white with a splash of red.
I hated it when we moved in, especially the red grout! Yikes, I said.
Well, I feel a lot of affection for all that red by now, but it does not mean that I would necessarily select these colors if the kitchen were really mine (it's a rented apartment). Then again, who knows? A fire-engine red kitchen could just be the thing! ;-)

I love your kitchen and your style.
Wished I .....

I would keep the armoire as is. It warms up the room and makes a nice contrast to the other neutral/darker colors. But you have to live with it so you get to make the decision!

My kitchen has yellow walls with lots of vintage red accessories, including an enamel-top table that's white with a red design. My kitchen is always designed around my table! ☺

Quite the question since we can't see the room as a whole. I love the grey-green colour suggested for the desk. I might go with charcoal for the armoire because it is a little softer but you might not want a soft look. In that case, I think black would make a great statement. It sounds like both would tie in with counter top. I would like to see the armoire another colour so it highlights the floor rather than matching it. Colour boards taped to the armoire might be a good idea before starting.

So far I seem to be the black sheep in answer to this question. Can't wait to read the rest of the suggestions

It sounds like you and Sofi are having a grand time; carry on.


Corey, before making a decision about painting the Armoire, decide if you're completely satisfied with the wallpapered wall. I wouldn't have papered the stairwell portion and would remove the clock and smaller items from the desk and replace them with one large piece. I wouldn't paint the desk.

I like the armoire as it is. It adds warmth and draws the eye into the kitchen.

OK, sounds like you have tired eye. Just give it a few weeks after you are outdoors a little and traveling,then think about changing. Like I said yesterday, love the wall, it's a great focal point. As for the rest, I wish it was all in my house. C, you have a terrific eye, from brocante down to every picture you take. Again, I would change out accessories not the color of that fantastic amoire.
Oh, and I have no color in my kitchen other than exposed 2 x 4's and unfinished drywall; hoping to get this thing finished in the next 6 months (but I would rather spend the $$$ on a trip to France!) oh well, my family wins, they want a finished kitchen!

Our kitchen has little wall space, but, what is there is painted a chocolate brown. Not a good choice for a chocoholic like myself? We have yellow cafe curtains with embroidered parrots that people stare at before saying "oh, birds, how fun" (we have a cockatiel sitting nearby who then states "feed me"), and antique English and German breadboards hanging amongst pottery from a local artist.

I would not paint the armoire. No. Nyet. Nein. Never. The desk, well, I like it as it is, but, I'm not one for re-painting furniture.

I love your kitchen.

YES! Paint the kitchen armoir, but before you do check out Annie Sloan's chalk paints. There may be a stockist in France, but if not you can order from one in the UK. They are fabulous paints, so easy to apply, no need to sand and prep the item and the waxes just finish the piece! You won't be disappointed with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint!!

DO NOT PAINT THE DESK. I don't have the same feelings about the Armoir, since it is already painted. But the desk is perfection as is.

I'd leave the armoire but Sophie's idea for the desk is interesting. Can you photoshop with the color to get an idea for how it might look?

Thanks for additional pics. They give me a clearer view of what you are doing, but I agree with the others. Don't paint the desk. Your tiles are lovely, too. Our very small entwined flowery wallpaper is 30 years old, and I still love it. However, the floors are being ripped out and slate laid down as I type, and I love it. Next I will change the 30 year old curtains inside the glass cabinets. This was the German influence that followed me home after living in Frankfurt for three years (wish that had been 30 years).

still don't paint the desk.. the armoire.. well I might brush a dark gray/taupe over it and let some of the red show through.. I love the pop of color.. but I know whatever you do, it will look magnifique.

The armoire seems to fit with the floor, but you might want some brighter color in there. In the photo it looks more brown than orange.

French husband is right :)

Beautiful indeed
as is all you share
Love you

When honey says what is for supper I tease him and say reservations.
Half the time I am not kidding
Kiss the cook often and season everything with love

Well, I actually like the idea of painting it black. But, it does beg the question of how to tie in the floor. Go ahead- PAINT!!

Do not paint the desk if it is still the natural wood. The armoire might look nice in a slightly lighter color with accent color in the panels. Our kitchen was orangey yellow but I repainted it gloss white last September, with a French blue accent wall. The previous yellow orange made the already small kitchen appear Lilliputian.

My kitchen is a warm yellow with cherry cabinets and a large dark green jelly cabinet for canned goods. I love a yellow kitchen....but...


I personaly would NOT paint the armoire either BUT if you MUST, I'd paint it a pale soft green, a soft sage maybe....(I like green cabinets too).

I like the armoire the color it is, it works well with the floor. DO NOT PAINT THE DESK, please...

Dear Corey,
I love the orange armoire...if you paint it black it would be like a million others in the world. Besides it is right for the tile floor. I think Sophie is right about the desk...paint it. All that being said I love it just as it is....sigh.........
missy from the bayou

deFiniTeLy pAiNt
the armoire- charcoal- not black.!
the desk dirty cream...!
the floor is a floor and will stand on it's own...!
just my thoughts.!

I'd keep the two pieces as they are. The desk is too beautiful to cover with paint. And the armoire is now a fond memory for family. I once stripped an antique olive colored piece and rue the day I ever did that!

I kind of like that orange Amoire like it is. I remember when I first saw it in a magazine I loved it!! But I know how it is, when you live with something day after day, sometimes you want a change. I'm trying to decide what shade of grey to paint my living room. I've had it Restoration Hardware silver sage for 10 years, which I have liked, but just feel like a change. But you know how it goes, one thing always leads to another when you start changing things...... (loved Sasha answer, and FH too)

I wouldn't paint the desk - it looks beautiful as it is. I would paint the armoire but that opinion is likely weighted from my own taste - I have a thing about orangeish wood.
When I look at the picture through the doorway it's all I see - if it was painted to blend in slightly I think you would see a vignette instead of an orange rectangle. Black might be too strong if you're not sure - dark taupey grey might be a good place to start...
Regardless of what you decide, it is a charming room with huge character!

YES!Paint the AMOIRE black!The desk like the color SOPHIE suggested but I need to go back and look at it once more in the photo.I tend to be like most of your readers leave be the natural wood..........How old is the desk?If its a REAL ANTIQUE I would say NO PAINT if its just VINTAGE GO FOR IT!

Maybe you should ask Annie her opinion of painting or not. I think it all looks fabulous how it is. My kitchen is white with ugly wood cabinets, my floor is charcoal color tile. I wish I had a bigger kitchen but for three of us I guess it will do.

Collage the desk ;-)

WHAT??? The orange armoire? I think NO. It's beautiful and blends in well with the terra cotta tiles and a typical and serene feeling of Provence. I'm not sure what suggestion to paint the desk...a deep green (moss color) would look good. Keep us posted and good luck with the redecorating.

I love the orange of the armoire. I say no don't paint it. My kitchen walls are a soft yellow with yellow and turquoise tiles. Wasn't sure of the turquoise, but it suits my 1950's house.

YES, paint the desk. Even grey, skip the green.
You'll need a "pop" of color.

My kitchen walls are neutral and my countertops are green. Which coordinates perfectly with the Fire King Jadeite strewn and displayed all over the room.

But lately I've been adding in hints of red because I got a red Le Creuset 3-in-1 pan for Christmas and when you've got a $200 pan from France, you've gotta make it feel at home amid the green.

Dear Corey - For what it's worth: Please don't paint the desk!! It looks to have as beautiful stain and patina that shows off the piece to perfection. I love the wallpapered wall - it's fabulous (actually both the kitchen/stairwell wall and the toilet room look great with the collaged papers - really fun and interesting, but work like a solid/neutral). Yes - I agree the Clock has to move - and you'll spend months adjusting to its new location. The armoire's a tough one - the orange is very distinctive, but I could see how one might tire of it over time. And of course there's the fact that your son identifies with that color armoire - hard to change that. Nonetheless, it might take over the room a little less with a different color - but I agree black might be too harsh and massive. Maybe a blue/green/grey, or something else. Perhaps a more muted barn red . . . I don't know. I love your kitchen no matter what - such a special space and the wall hanging is beyond fabulous. Just please don't paint the desk!

I'm in the "Don't Paint" camp too. The woods of the armoire and desk are lovely.

Corey, I have been reading your blog long enough to know that you have already decided what you are going to do. LOL! I prefer natural wood and have spent many hours undoing what others have done before me, namely my Mother. The armoire would be nice in a deep, dark red or charcoal. My kitchen is teeny tiny (10x7), a hall, really. Bright yellow walls, faux white granite formica on cupboards and counters with a cobalt accent. It is bright and cheery.

Mom says that it should be painted black!
Cause that's my favorite color and it will go well
with the grocery list on the wall!

Sorry. I like the before. The wall with steps and doors and collage and desk is way too busy for me and too confining. It makes the room look smaller. Sorry. Please don't paint the desk, I too have had to remove what people have done to lovely old wooden things and once it's been painted, it's never the same. But it's your kitchen. And you live there so do what your heart desires. This is the first time I've ever disagreed with what you have done. Maybe the wash would tone it down and unify it. I like my walls simple so the accessories can transform the room if I need a change. Loved the collage in the toilet room, though, that was the perfect place for it.
My kitchen walls are espresso brown and oyster shell (white with a grayish, brown tone.) I have an oak kitchen queen and a HUGE clock with a black face with an ancient world map printed on it wedge between the cupboards over the sink. I love our kitchen because it's "me". Do what you love because you are you!

I think it's obvious, either black (matte or satin) or gray blue. Either will look fabulous. Distressed of course.

Armoire is a "pop" of color, ties into the floor. Black armoires are a dime a dozen now and will look like a "black hole" swallowing up tons of light. Change the wall color behind, warm it up a bit. Please remember this advice is coming from someone who hasn't changed a thing in her house in twenty years, french vanilla walls everywhere w/bright white trim. Send the interior design police now!

I like the hallway but may I suggest a "wash" of coffee over the wall to soften it and make it recede a bit? Instant Sanka made strong works stunningly to age paper. Next, trim the stair risers in black to frame and define the wall. I vote for not painting the desk. Lastly, I fear if you paint the armoire black or charcoal, your kitchen will be very cold. You have a lot of wood and iron neutrals in the kitchen, you need the color or you'll probably find it very blah looking after a while, I know I would. If I were to paint it black, I'd make sure the worn surface you create, had some of the orange showing through, kind of like an old Chinese chest. Also, if you paint it black, you need to have something else painted, possibly a yellow or turquoise or ? The kitchen needs a pop of color so the other beautiful pieces stand out. Gee, aren't I the bossy one with your kitchen?! LOL! Good luck!

Hi Mom,
My kitchen has alot of black because our kitchen growing up was black and white, and you always loved black.
Sophie says paint the armoire too. You know the orange armoire is burnt orange, and the photos make it look like a brown orange wood, which it is not. I like it. But ever since Sophie said paint it... I don't think I can paint it black....
The papered stairwell is soft, and neutral unlike the impression the photo gives it. The riser everyone is talking about could work, I had it like that at first but the room is big, light and the outline on the stairs seemed to draw too much attention.

Black.... Aubergine...greyish green... dang that Sophie for liking the cat, and suggesting to paint the desk and armoire.

I love everyone's imput, and suggestions. Interesting ideas, creative and not at all insulting, so please continue to share your opinions.

Mom, would you come over and help me?


I can't get that image of a charcoal or black armoire out of my mind, standing in your kitchen like a massive steam locomotive. Remember when the train choo choos off in Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood? Now imagine that taking place in your kitchen every time you want to sit down for dinner: the station chief calls for "Everyone on board!" and choo choo goes the train, filling the kitchen with soot and steam!

Then again, it may be just what you want
"You leave the Pennsylvania Station 'bout a quarter to four
Read a magazine and then you're in Baltimore
Dinner in the diner
Nothing could be finer
Than to have your ham an' eggs in Carolina ...."

I gasped when I saw the idea of painting the desk. I'm all for paint but that wood looks just lovely. I'd leave it and I like the armoire as it is. The color is great for the room and I like the idea of leaving some orange showing through if you do go with black. Or if you go with all black you need that pop of color others are talking about. My kitchen walls are Christmas red with white cabinets and black soapstone counters. The adjoining dining room (0pen to kitchen) is a pale yellow. I love it. When I decided on the red I came home to find the painter had not painted a drop of color on the wall. He said to me "I was afraid it was the wrong color". I laughed and told him better safe than sorry I guess. But it's been 5 years and I haven't tired of it yet.

lovelovelove the beautiful armoir and it's stunning color. like old would too

Yes, go ahead and paint the amoire--but you might need something in the kitchen to echo the floor tiles, even if it smaller details. But I feel a little unsure about the desk. If it is an antique and in nice condition, I wouldn't want to cover that nice wood. But if it is not a very important piece to you in that way, go for it!
The kitchen in my rented house is a light butter color. Someday, I'll have my own kitchen and get to pick my own color!!

Hi Corey,
I have no idea, but probably I would paint neither. Love Sasha's unexpected reaction. Maybe you should ask FH same question after the dinner :)

Pleases leave your beautiful armoire orange, it is a lovely accent, and loved by your family. Don't change too much, especially when your children are not at hand to process it all.

I like the pop of color....but I am no fan of orange. How about a distressed french blue? I agree on the desk...or you could find another desk that is more distressed and chippy in the color you are looking for.

My kitchen walls are butter yellow....love them.

I love changing things up, don't you?

I'm not the person who one would ask for decorating advice, but FOR GOODNESS SAKE . . . PUT A RAIL ON YOUR STAIRCASE!!!

I simply feel sick every time you post photos of it. Maybe it is my poor sense of balance but I know that if I was ever lucky enough to stay with you, there would be a well worn groove all the way down the wall where I would have to press my body against it going up and down the stairs.

So, maybe that means I will never be invited to visit :(

oh, and FWIW - I just love French Grey and I think all your color choices have been wonderful.

I'm with Sacha! I like the orange!

I vote keep it orange for a pop of color in the room.

I never liked the idea of painting antiques, but one day I looked at my primitive armoire and decided it should be black. I have never regretted the change. The contents look much more attractive against the black. From what I can see of your kitchen, I think your armoire would look great black or charcoal. I really like your table; I think I saw it when your home was featured in Romantic Homes.

Paint it? No why would you?

my kitchen is red....it has been red for almost seven years.....this summer i am going to paint it cream....change is good. the armoire would be great in black. i like black. i painted a pine pie safe that a friend made for me and stained. it is now black. i love it! your kitchen looks awesome !

I like change, but I really LOVE the color of that armoire and I think your kitchen is beautiful. Don't change everything or it won't feel like your own home anymore.

The oversized menu is stunning in place with tiles and armoire as is. Perhaps admire and digest your the millefeuille wall for a few meals for perpective. After an evasion to the FarEast you may want to return to the home as you remembered it, along with new additions, of course.

Hi Corey,
My kitchen is in transition...it has a mottled gray floor and pale yellow walls. I will be painting the lower kitchen cabinets a soft blue-gray and the upper ones a distressed white..eventually. That's the plan for now but who knows what tomorrow will bring! I like your orange armoire but I could see it an antiqued white. Your kitchen has "character"...love it. Hope your weekend is a good one.
Maura :)

Why don't you drape something black over the armoire and see how it would feel to have that much black in the room. I suspect you will be happier with that lovely red-orange color. I think it's perfect next to the large sign.

And I agree with most of the others -- leave the desk as is.

I think paint the desk grey/green straight away then review the armoire. I think that orangey colour will look even more fab against the grey/green. There are other colours that you could paint the armoire. I know black is trendy right now but the armoire is a big and solid piece and will be very imposing black - i am not sure it would be the right match for your kitchen in black. If you dont like the grey/green desk ( a must) with the orangey armoire, Im thinking maybe chalky grey. Love Jx

Hi Karen,
It isn't as bad as it appears. I hold on to the floor above, if that makes sense.
You can come over, cause you like French Grey!

Oh My God Wonderful and lovely your kitchen . i loved that . Fantastic this post and interesting details shared in the post . amazing your idea and beautiful looking your kitchen. thanks

oh gosh, I am SO useless; I have completely missed THIS post and therefore didn't know what armoire you spoke about; NOW I CAN SEE IT and I find it goes so terrifically well with the tiles that I wouldn't touch it... and you know my advice for the desk.... Although, maybe one should see it from very near to judge the wear and tear - maybe that would change MY mind!
Sorry Corey, to have started with the newest upload; I really am... You have a lovely kitchen (but I wouldn't expect anything less....:) would I?)

No to the black armoire. It will suck the light out of the kitchen. Yes to painting the wall but keep it light. After you do that then live with it for a bit. I like the rusty color but it could be a taupy/mustard color. Hugs, E

From what I've seen of your kitchen, I think the black armoire would look fantastic. Can't wait to see the results.

I vote with the "don't paint either of the antiques" group. I love the pop of orange in the kitchen.

Paint! orange is 70's! We painted ALL of our "orange-y", oak kitchen cabinets a "shabby black" a few years ago & love the results....

The Armoire is a lovely colour. I have a red one that was once in an old Kitchen. My last kitchen was a shade of orange, my new kitchen is lime green. I felt it would be good to brighten things up since i'm in California now. In new England i always lived in very old houses and i liked plaster walls with shades of white,or blues..totally different.

I wish i could find terra cotta tiles here..much easier to find where i lived back east.


Please don't paint that desk! Do paint the orange Armoire! Blue grey sounds nice, so does the matte black with distressed streaks! I AM TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH YOUR KITCHEN TABLE! It really "yanks my gizzard!" Where did you find it?

My heart stopped for a moment when I read this post! Paint the orange armoire?! NO! Perhaps I should explain myself. Let's go back a few years ago when I, flipping through an issue of Victoria magazine, literally swooned at the sight of an amazing orange armoire in the midst of a beautifully simple (yet elegant) kitchen. I immediately tore that page out of the magazine (don't worry, it was my own copy) and put it in my LOVE IT file. I would add to and edit that file periodically, but my love for that orange armoire never wavered. It wasn't just the armoire, it was the whole composition of the room. Somehow over the years my LOVE IT file got misplaced, but I never forgot my favorites. Fast forward to this past November, my beloved father had just died two weeks before after suffering through a long illness for five years, and I had just returned to work (I work part time at an antiques store). I was pretty raw at this point, but needed to get out of the house and try to think of something other than how sad I was. As I was wandering through the store to see what treasures the owner had unearthed, I saw a stack of old magazines. I picked up the one on the top of the stack, casually flipped through it, and there it was. MY orange armoire. I sat. I smiled. Then I read the accompanying article and........Wait! I know this woman! She's a friend of mine! Every morning, while I drink my coffee, she tells me a little bit about her life. She shows me photos, she makes me laugh. I've even purchased a couple of her brocante finds. What do you know, all this time that orange armoire was living with her! With YOU! Such a seemingly small discovery (my long lost orange armoire and the fact that it's yours) brought me a little joy at such a sad time in my life. This time I didn't tear the page out of the magazine. Instead, I'm keeping the entire issue, for there is far less chance of me misplacing a whole magazine. So, paint it? Obviously, I love the orange. I really do. If, however, an aubergine armoire would make you smile, then why not? I'm pretty sure I would tear out a picture of that one, too. Thank you for making me smile.

Dear Corey, Please leave the Armoire orange. If anything, you might try rubbing on a little oil based brown stain. You can easily adjust how much ageing you want to end up with. It will give the Armoire a rich appearance and will easily fit in with the rest of your antiques. I have a Chinese-red cupboard in my kitchen and I have always loved it. It adds just enough punch to the otherwise neutral tones.

Before taking your decision, think about the colour you're going to re-paper the walls of your kitchen ... (if you still plan to)
The armoire must match the new wall paper ...

You have the largest kitchen I've ever seen. I'd like photos of it from every angle to see what all of it is like.

Clearly, opinions run both directions (and strongly!) about painting. I"ll wait to see what you've figured out. (and now on to the weekend's postings; I may learn in the next several moments!?)

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