Mood Boards Q + A

Q+A: PAPER-INSPIRED KITCHEN

Q: Hi Greg and Ashley! … I LOVE a good white kitchen (yours included- wowee it’s gorgeous!!!). While house hunting, we were looking for a great white kitchen OR a kitchen we could happily rip out and replace. However, we wound up falling in love with a house that had a custom, high quality wood kitchen already done. Not white and not something we want to rip out. We debated spraying the cabinets (which have goregous moulding at the top and the shaker door profile i adore), but the wood is really beauitful and we’ve actually grown to love it and fully embrace it. …We haven’t even moved in yet but I’m super eager and so I’ve plucked some photos from the real estate listing for you to see:

The problem I am finding is a lack of inspirational kitchens with wood cabinets. People tend to go very earthy and traditional and that is NOT our style at all. I thought “modern bistro” but then people started talking about tin ceilings and that’s also not what we’re going for. This may seem strange, but I have found Rifle Paper Co.’s shop and displays really inspirational because they always feature wood mixed with black (often chalkbaord, which i love) and white with some vintage touches but still lots of clean lines (which i also love). So, we’re keeping the cabinets and replacing the appliances to stainless steel but I wondered if you could give me suggestions for knobs, flooring, paint, backsplash, countertop, and table and chairs … Any help at all that you could provide would be HUGELY appreciated. Thanks SO much in advance!! -Robyn

A: Thanks so much for your email, Robyn! First of all, I must say… I love, love, love the idea of a kitchen inspired by Rifle Paper Co. They are one of my all-time favorite stationery / art shops and I’ve actually been channeling some of their style in a few house projects I’ve got going on in my head at the moment. It’s modern, vintage, industrial and a tad rustic all rolled up into one nice, neat, clean lined package.

Even though I’m not a professional interior designer, I thought it would be fun to take a crack at this and put a little mood board together. After all, ya’ll know how I love a good mood board! Before we get to that, let’s talk about the things Robyn wanted help on. Here are my suggestions…
  • Knobs – I’d definitely stick with black hardware, but maybe update the style. I suggest something a little weathered and industrial like this (in oil-rubbed bronze).
  • Flooring – You mentioned in your email that you wanted to go with tile. I think 12×24 tiles in a brick pattern in a matte, warm, neutral gray would do just the trick. Another option would be to continue the hardwood floors from the foyer.
  • Paint – Chalkboard paint! To me, this would be “so Rifle”. It would make a big statement,  and give you an opportunity to get creative with chalk and channel your inner Rifle Paper Co. I would also remove the wainscoting for a more “clean lines” look. On the wall next to the door to the foyer (on the left of the second photo), I’d hang a small grouping of gallery frames (maybe with a mixture of white, gold and wood frames) and include a few Rifle Paper Co. prints. This would help break up the dark wall color, add a lot of color and help bring home the overall vibe you’re aiming for, not to mention that it gives a nod to your inspiration!
  • Backsplash – Since you like clean lines and vintage elements, I’d suggest going with white subway tile. It timeless! I think this will also give you a sense of a white kitchen (like you said you love), but still have the warmth of the wood cabinets.
  • Countertop – You mentioned in your email you were a fan of carrera marble, but wanted something uber easy and durable. Definitely check out quartz! Cambria has some great options that look very much like carrera. That’s what we’ve used in our kitchen, and we love it. You can read more about that here. When it comes to color, be sure to bring a few samples home and see which ones tie in with your cabinets. To start out, try something white to tie in with the subway tile backsplash but with brown undertones to tie in with the cabinets.
  • Table & Chairs – Here’s a chance to bring in some rustic touches. A round rustic table would be perfect for this space. To balance the rustic table, pair it with some modern white chairs (the Eames shell chairs would be perfect!).

Now that we’ve got all of that sorted out, let’s put the whole look together and throw in some accessories to bring it home…

wood cabinets modern kitchen

1. floral heart print by rifle paper co. / 2. quad wall clock / 3. wood shaker cabinets / 4. white subway tile / 5. chalkboard paint / 6. unfold pendant / 7. eames molded chairs / 8. wood cutting board / 9. painted amaryllis butter dish / 10. cook’s books set / 11. fejka artificial potted plants / 12. flag conversations tea towel

So, that’s my take on a paper-inspired kitchen. I hope this helps you out, Robyn. If anyone else has any ideas for her, be sure to chime in!

Rifle Paper Co. images found here and Instagram (@annariflebond). 

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    Amy
    October 22, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Wow. If I were going to decorate a mid-toned wood kitchen, I’d steal this look in a heart beat! I LOVE this Ashley!! You did awesome!!! I hope once Robyn gets moved in and gets everything done, we get some after pictures!!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 22, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Thanks! I’m hoping for some after photos too! : )

  • Reply
    Sarah
    October 22, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I love the Rifle Paper Co inspired kitchen idea. That mood board is great Ashley! I second the idea of chalk board paint (and nixing the wainscoting).

  • Reply
    Mary
    October 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Love this! What a great job pulling this all together!

  • Reply
    Jamie
    October 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Slate tiles would go beautifully with that mood board.

    • Reply
      Robyn
      October 22, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      I had been looking at slate…not sure about cleaning/kid-friendliness and we plan to continue whatever tile we choose into the entry, so it has to stand up to Canadian winters- which involve a lot of salt. We’ll definitely look into it more. Thanks for the suggestion : )

  • Reply
    PAppel
    October 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    What a wonderful mood board. The only thing I would change is to go with an all pure white quartz countertop. We are about to embark on building our dream (but modest-sized) home. While I love, love, love all-white kitchens, I don’t want the upkeep with small kids. I love quarter-sawn oak cabinets but could not figure out how to do the rest of the kitchen. Problem solved with this mood board!!! Beautifully done.

    • Reply
      Robyn
      October 22, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      I am so glad you’ve also found this useful! I kept seeing gorgeous cabinets but not in rooms I found inspirational.
      I hear you on the pure white countertop- it’s something we’ve been debating because of the strong grain in the cabinets. We’ll get some samples and see!

  • Reply
    Tracie
    October 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Love this mood board. That kitchen is going to be so awesome.

  • Reply
    Emily
    October 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I can’t believe it! I, too, love a white kitchen and we just bought a house that has a beautiful wood kitchen with granite countertops that we really don’t want to change. We, too, have grown to love and embrace the wood but I just commented to my husband over the weekend that I was having a hard time finding inspiration for all the colors I was working with. THanks for all these ideas! Such perfect timing!!

    • Reply
      Robyn
      October 22, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      so glad our timing has worked out for you! congrats on your new home!

  • Reply
    KELLI BARR
    October 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I love the mixture of styles and colors. Beautiful! Would love to see the finished product when they get it finished:)

  • Reply
    Naomi
    October 22, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    You guys come up with the best ideas!

    Naomi {Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups}

  • Reply
    Robyn
    October 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Thank you SO much- i LOVE it!!! I am in total shock over how much you nailed it! You are amazing.
    With two young kiddos, we’re a bit slow…but I will definitely send you some after pictures! SOOO excited!!!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      Yay!!! We’re so glad you love it, Robyn! : )

  • Reply
    Robyn
    October 22, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    p.s. I just showed my husband the mood board and he said “holy crap. that screams you. she is GOOD.” : )

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      Haha! Too funny!

  • Reply
    Julia [Chris Loves Julia]
    October 22, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Fun moodboard! And great ideas! Yellow Brick Home has wood cabinets and their house is so fresh and modern. Perhaps another good inspirational source. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jackie
    October 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Just found your site and love it! By chance, do you know what that orange is called that covers the cooks books? I’m trying to paint something that orange and I’m afraid that it could go wrong!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks! Glad you found us! 🙂
      It’s kind of an orange-ish / red-is, so I’d try looking up Persimmon. Martha Stewart has a great persimmon color that’s similar. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Brave New Home
    October 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Holy moly! This is awesome! I’m kinda jaded on moodboards but this one is so refreshing—polished, sweet, and unique. I’m pinning this one cause I know a lot of places in our area have these kinds of cabinets. How generous of you to respond with such a great resource : ]

  • Reply
    Sue
    October 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    wow I love the kitchen cabinets and stand by your decision not to tear them out. Also love the idea board I think switching the appliance from white to stainless would be pretty. Also LOVE a slate tile pattern especially if you don’t go with square tiles.

  • Reply
    Elisa
    October 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I love how you put this kitchen together! The art the chalkboard paint, no doubt it’s rifle inspired. Bravo!

  • Reply
    Sara Smith
    October 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Sweet mood board!! I’d one up the subway tile and get the handmade version….have you ever seen the “sugar in the raw” commercial with a couple in their kitchen doing a crazy handshake?? If not, google it! They have an amazing combo of wood cabinets and handmade subway tiles…it’s stunning!

  • Reply
    courtney
    October 23, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Can’t wait to see after pics! love Love LOVE chalkboard paint in kitchens!!

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelli
    October 24, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I came across your blog through iheartorganizing and just love your style! This post is great – I too have a kitchen with wood cabinets but always wanted white. This post inspires me to embrace my very new but wood cabinets and infuse beautiful style. Thank you for sharing!!

  • Reply
    Leeann
    October 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Oooh…I love this kitchen! I’ve been on a white cabinet kick lately (I will have one someday, darn it!), but these cabinets are gorgeous. And that mood board is perfect. I fell in love with the cook books…and then cried when I saw how much they cost!

  • Reply
    annie
    October 24, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I’m obsessed with the pendant lights you picked. Any cheaper alternatives? I’m a gal that you could say is ‘ballin’ on a budget

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      Yes, I do! How about this: http://bit.ly/SvA1ew
      Very similar & less than half the price : )

  • Reply
    Jen
    October 25, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Absolutely brilliant! I hope your vision comes to life in her kitchen and we get to see the results!

    xo,
    Jen

  • Reply
    Leeann
    June 23, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I really love your the subway tile backsplash. I am also getting the Cambria Torquay countertop and wasn’t sure about the carrara marble subway tiles. Are your white subway tiles beveled or regular? Also, are they gloss or matte? I am going with your smokey grey grout, too.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 26, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Thanks! The subway tiles aren’t beveled and in a gloss finish.

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