Painting Advice Needed!

So I mentioned a while back that this wall in our new house was going to get its own blog post. And here it is.

This wall divides our eat-in kitchen space and family room. Ideally, we’d like to see that half-wall removed, as it serves no purpose, and extend the hardwood flooring that is in the kitchen into the family room.

It appears that there used to be a full wall in this spot, and that’s why there’s a piece of molding running down the wall. The current owners have everything kitchen through family room painted in the same pale yellow color. Which isn’t offensive or anything, it’s just not me.  I think that the cabinets and backsplash will really stand out against a brighter color (which will likely be a more muted shade of green than we currently have, though I still love that color) and the family room is going to be painted in the colors we used last summer when I repainted the living room on a whim.

So…the only way to divide colors between the two rooms, to me, is to leave that molding and switch colors there. Any other suggestions? I’m totally at a loss otherwise.

22 responses to “Painting Advice Needed!

  1. I’ll be curious to see what others say; I can’t think of anything better than what you said. Ideally, it would be nice to do both rooms the same color, but I can see how the taupe color you’d like in the f.r. really wouldn’t do anything for the kitchen, and I don’t know what color of green you’re thinking so don’t know if that would work in the f.r. at all. The wood strip is certainly an easy solution. Would the dividing place on the opposite wall be right to the left of the message center?

    • The green for the kitchen/breakfast area definitely wouldn’t work in the living room – I’m thinking of something kind of olive-y. You’re right about the dividing place for the other wall – there’s a much more natural break there for the hallway, and it means that the tan for the living room starts a little more into the room on that side, but I think that’s ok.

  2. I think I’d be inclined to leave the half wall (I’m thinking how great it would look as the kitchen side being a chalkboard/magnet/message center for the kids, but now I can’t remember -and don’t have time to go back and look- what Nana Jo’s talking about the message center you already have planned??) but you’re right, the molding strip is just weird. Do you think there was really a full wall there or did someone just put it up to divide room colors?
    Anyway, I’d remove that for sure because I think it’d odd and it seems sort of attention drawing there. But I know what you mean about wall color… if you remember, that’s how our kitchen/family room is too. Right now we have taupe in our family room and it continues along the back wall of the house to above the kitchen cabinets where I switched it over. I never knew what/where to do the color change!!
    I would think maybe do the long continuous back wall a taupe or neutral to both rooms color and then paint the other walls in each of the “rooms” different colors that coordinate but differentiate the rooms. Like I just have the two green walls in my kitchen… and the rest (including the long wall) is taupe. But you could do another color on the other walls of your family room area too??
    Does that make any sense? And of course I don’t know if that would really work with your layout. I’m having a hard time remembering the rest besides the wall you pictured here.

  3. We have the same issue here (not the interesting molding strip) with the wall to the living room is continues all the way to the kitchen. I am wanting to paint too, but I think we have decided that at least that one wall needs to be the same color. Heather M. suggested to me that we do an accent wall in the living room. could you do that? Take the strip down and make that wall the same in both rooms, but add your other color to another wall in the living room.

  4. I’m kinda with Heather! Paint one color along the whole long wall & use another color on the rest. With it being one big open space I think that will flow better & not chop the space up. But then again, this is all being said by someone who hasn’t seen the space in person, that could change my opinion.

  5. Jill (thebaglady)

    Interesting situation. My only suggestion is to paint both rooms the same taupe-y/olive-ish color.

  6. OK, just a thought. Possibly do the taupe color all along that wall, except only do it where that wall is flat–and doing the bay window area in the color you’d do for the rest of the kitchen.

    The wood strip–it’s too bad it’s not farther to the left, where the bay window ends, rather than several inches onto the liv rm wall; that’s the thing that might make the stop & start more obvious. Esp if you ever decide to take the little wall down.

  7. my suggestions:

    remove the wall. 🙂

    don’t paint both rooms the same color.

    i’m not sure i have any suggestions if you keep the wall because the molding is in a tricky place. i think you would just be forced to use that as your divider. for the little piece of wall that’s the strip of width between the 2 areas i would choose to paint that strip the less dominant of the 2 colors you choose.

  8. I like Nana Jo’s idea about painting the whole long wall one color but the bay area the color you want for the kitchen, as long as the 2 colors coordinate together. I would also leave the half wall and do the chalkboard paint on the kitchen side. My friend, who is a day care provider, did a huge section of her basement with this paint and it is awesome! The kids love it and it was really easy to do.

  9. Ok, so I went back and looked at your kitchen/family room pics and here is my two cents.

    I would do two different colors in the two rooms. I would take down the molding (it’s just weird and draws attention in my opinion) and have your dad or someone put up a half column there(the length of the wall). (do you remember what we have between our kitchen and family room?) If you don’t, I can send you a pic. We have a half wall like that with columns on both sides, but you could easily just do one side. That would break up the rooms, and I think the columns give some class and look cool, too.

    In our old house, I had to paint the the kitchen/family room walls all one color with the fireplace wall being an accent color and I just didn’t like it. I like rooms being broken up with color and that’s why I suggest the above.

    Just my opinion, but I wouldn’t do the chalkboard paint there on the small wall. I think it would be a mess over time, and that’s something I would save for their play room/bedrooms.

    I do like the idea of painting the bay area a different color. Maybe paint it the color of your family room to kind of coordinate the two rooms?

  10. It may be something you have to deal with until you take out the carpet and extend the wood floor. Then you may be able to have your divider at the edge of the bay window but I don’t know if that coordinates with the other side. I agree that the chalk board paint is going to be very messy and may be better downstairs and not in the dinning room. It would help to see the place in person:)

  11. Throwing my ideas into the hat – I actually just had Alan build a have wall about a year ago to divide the living room from the entry. Maybe adding a column to the ceiling on the end of the wall (mine is like that). Hard to explain – but that would break it up a little more and I would do the two different colors or a variance on one color. I use my half wall as a shelf with a basket for odd mail I may still get for the kids and a small piece of art work or you could put pictures there since yours isn’t by the front door like mine. I also have a wire that I used to string from the wall to the column and clip pictures on it. This may be cute for the boys to display their art work. Just my own little ideas.

  12. I say you get rid of the half wall and have your dad do a floor to ceiling built-in. Whether it be some wine cubbies and shelves, or whatever. Something that is decorative and narrow, but floor to ceiling so it can break up paint colors.

  13. Hi Nicole! I am from homefront and I found your blog on Kelli’s! I love it! I also love your recipe one. I love cooking too and am always looking for something new! Love your new house and hope yours sells soon. Have a good week!

  14. I wish I had painting advice to give – but that’s outside of the realm of what I’m even remotely, sort, even maybe a little bit good at. I will say, however, that I’m excited to see your new house in person! 🙂

  15. Take down the wall, extend the hardwood floor. Grab a huge rug from Tuesday Mornings or Marshalls for the family room and pull a taupe out of it to do a continuous color throughout the two rooms. To make your kitchen cabinets “pop” try a black chalkboard paint between the counter up to the cabinets. This would look great if you have black appliances especially. it BEFORE or start construction RIGHT when you move in or it’ll never happen!!!
    Looks like a great place! Can’t wait to see how it all turns out!
    BTW, if you want to keep the green, there are so many green “neutrals” out there these days! My sister did that throughout most of her house…keeps a “flow” going rather than breaking up rooms. Kinda like remember when we were growing up and every room had different colored carpeting? (Or was that just us?!) And now it’s more all the same throughout a house mixed in with the hardwood/ceramic tile.
    Good luck!

  16. I’m definitely a fan of keeping the two rooms the same color. I think a room like that looks so much better when they flow together, and creates a feeling of openness that makes the room feel huge! I think you should pop some color with accents in the kitchen, artwork, appliances, dish towels, fruit, curtains, etc. I’m thinking the half wall needs to go; especially if you’re going to run the hardwood flooring into the living room. Painting the half wall the same color as the rest of the room will sort of hide it, but still give you some sort of divide. Also, a huge area rug in the living room will go a long way in brining in color that you’re wanting like someone else suggested.

    I’m wondering if you would be a fan of the color I have in my kitchen. It’s an olive green, but it may be too dark to use in such a large room. I’ll have to find the name of it and send it to you. Also, I can send you pictures of my kitchen if you want.

    If you’re really wanting to do two colors I would take the half wall up to the ceiling to create more of a divide. Could you also do a half wall on the opposite side to create symmetry? Maybe you could find some sort of partition thats more decorative, and has a little more character than just two slabs of drywall, but still give you that feeling of openness and not create such a strong divide? I’ve seen people cut out a section of a wall divide, so you can see through, then set a decorative vase or just leave it open. I remember seeing a room makeover on HGTV where they did two half walls on either side but they didn’t use drywall. I cant think of what they used right now but I remember thinking it was awesome. I’ll see if I can find some ideas online.

  17. Nicole, I just e-mailed you with two more ideas b/c I didn’t want to leave another ridiculously long response. For what it’s worth, the built-in bookcase/shelving one is my favorite! I forgot to mention in my e-mail, you could also have a solid drywall base on the bottom, with the shelves starting halfway. Versus shelving from floor to ceiling. Hope my descriptions and pictures made sense. Good luck! I’ll be anxious to see what you decide to do.

  18. Just realized you have built-in’s on either side of your fireplace, so scratch that last idea. That would be overkill.


    I finished looking at all of the house pictures and I think that your new house is lovely!! It looks very comfortable and homey. If it were my home, I would take out the little thingy by the door. I had something like that between the LR and kitchen and we ripped it out several years ago and I haven’t missed it one time and there is a better traffic flow in that area. Just my idea. That is the only thing that I saw that I didn’t care for. GOOD JOB picking out a beautiful and roomy home!!!

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