Using Subtraction To Update A Room

May 10, 2016



Updating a kitchen

Change is not really my thing. Once I decide I like something, I stick with it, especially when it comes to decor. I'm not into trends and or fads, I like the classics. So once I decorate a room, it stays that way, for a good long time.

Or about 15 years.

That's how long it's been since my kitchen has had an update. While I still adore all of my red accents, this weekend, I decided it was time for a makeover.

Now. If you know me at all, you know that I am thrifty.

Ok. Cheap is probably a better word.

I don't like to spend a ton of money on decor, because I like to swap out my accessories often and, well, if they're expensive, I won't do it.

I have also been on a simplifying kick lately.

So when planning my kitchen update, I thought long and hard about the look I wanted to achieve, the amount of money I was willing to spend and how I could marry the two.

The simple answer was subtraction.

Rather than adding a lot of new items to my room to transform it, I simply took things away.

Color was the first thing to go.

I know.

That is not what you expected to hear, but it's ok.

red and white kitchen

Trust me, there is still plenty of red in the kitchen, but overall, it's a cleaner, more elegant look, much lighter for spring and summer and one that lets the red that's left stand out.

I sent my ring clip rooster curtains off to the dry cleaner to get ready for their reappearance in fall.

Then I went to the fabric store and bought this fabulous linen material for $6.99 a yard. The bonus was that it is 108" wide, instead of the usual 54", so I only needed one yard to make my new ring clip valances.

Once they were up, it was clear that the rug had to go.

burlap valances

Next, I removed the patterned placemats I normally have on my farmhouse island and replaced them with the ones I found on a weekend away with my girlfriends. I think they look perfect with my birthday cake dish.

wicker placemats

I cleared my countertops of some excess pieces and relocated them to my table in my rattan tray...


...and then I subtracted all the color from my pine server. 


Removing just a few key elements has made a huge difference in the room.

Eventually, I may add a new rug. I'm not all about the subtraction. Sometimes a new element is necessary.

I love the old braided rug I had under the table, don't get me wrong, but like I said, fifteen years...time for a change.


In the meantime, I am happy with my kitchen update so far.

Even if it did involve a little math.

What do you think of my red-less room?


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92 comments:

  1. I like it! The curtains are very nice. If I could just find the motivation, there are a lot of things I could take out of my house to make it look better. You are always such an inspiration; maybe this will be a good motivation!

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    1. Thanks Nancy. I know, I need to get rid of more stuff. I keep tossing and donating, but the stuff and stuff and stuff just seems to multiply! Grr. Good luck on your own purge! :)

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  2. As the old saying goes......less is more! Everything looks fresh and bright for warmer months. I've done the same thing in our home....a great pick me up!

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    1. Thank so much and you are right, it has been a great pick me up!! :) Thanks so much for the comment!!

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  3. The curtains give the room an airy look, good job!

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    1. Thanks so much!! Just don't look too close! ;)

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  4. I'm being completely honest when I say that I don't remember those beautiful windows in your kitchen and it's because the red curtains always caught my eye! This is so pretty and seems so perfect for spring and summer. Having no rug looks great too and it's going to be easier to keep clean. :)

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    1. Thanks Stacey! Yes, those windows are my favorite. When we designed the room, they were first on the list. I had a picture from a magazine (ah, the days before Pinterest!) that I showed the architect and said, "this!". I love them!

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  5. I like the fresh and lighter change for spring and summer. The curtains are perfect for letting in all that light. :)

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    1. Thanks Audra. It is a bit brighter and certainly cleaner for the months when there's a lot happening outside my windows!

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  6. I like it a lot!! Sometimes less is more! Once the weather gets cooler again, you might want the cozy red back :-)

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    1. I have those curtains clean, pressed and ready to go AnnMarie! Great minds... :)

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  7. Love it, Kim! It's fresh and light. A very nice change, perfect after a long winter. Well done! Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! It was a long overdue swap! :)

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  8. Looks so springy!! It looks fresh and summery. I like the look for the season.

    Great job.

    Judy

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    1. Thank you so much, Judy!! It just feels right for the season, you're right!! :)

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  9. It looks great Kim. I liked the red valances but I like the new ones equally as well. And the missing rug is great. There is just something warm and cozy about a braided rug and that is a great look for cool weather but the naked floors is beautiful. I don't know why people complain that math is hard. You have made it look easy. :)

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    1. Thank you Lorri!! Your comments are always so kind. ❤️ THIS kind of math is easy for me, although I am not generally a math person. I do have a feeling I will be doing a bit of addition come the fall though. Cozy and warm colors call my name that time of year. Who knows, I may even get a new rug! :)

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  10. Hi,
    I think it is ready for Summer! I like how it looks all fresh and bright!!
    Well done!
    Carla

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    1. Thank you, Carla! It's a look I am really digging! Without red...who knew! ;)

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  11. I liked the red but I really like the white. It seems so fresh and bright. May be that we're just yearning for spring clean but I think it is perfect.

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. I am kind of surprised by how much I like it, too!!

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  12. Looks Awesome Kim. I like the lighter shade for your curtains for the spring and summer months. Great job.
    Kris

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    1. You’re pretty style is rubbing off on me, Kris!! :) xo

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  13. I really like it Kim . . .
    It makes your room seem larger and the lighter curtain definitely makes it look brighter.
    Very nice . . . still some touches of red here and there.
    I'd live without a rug for awhile and see what you think.
    One thing about getting a rug, there are some great finds for not a bunch of money!

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    1. Thank you, Lynne!! So far, I have loved the bare floors. This weekend though, I found something that I think may work and yes, it wad cheap!! I just hope I like it because I think the return shipping would be as much as my bargain!!

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  14. Kim I love it. I think this is the perfect time of year to go white! Here in Greece we take all of our rugs and remove them, clean them and then put them down again in the fall. It's too hot to walk on rugs in the summertime. It makes a huge differenc to the room giving it a light airy feeling. As you did here, it looks fresh and breezy just perfect!

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    1. I usually pick up a few rugs around here, too, Mary. The summer is a mess of sand and pool water. That doesn't mix well with rugs!! ;)

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  15. I love it, Kim! Lighter and brighter for spring and summer.

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    1. Can you believe it's not red, Kristi? Ha!!

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  16. I think it looks very nice for spring/summer. You can bring out your reds again if you like/want to come fall/winter.

    Your floors are beautiful!

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    1. I fully plan to bring it back, Lorraine!! I am ready with freshly pressed and cleaned roosters! :)

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  17. I would not have imagined it, but seeing is believing...it looks great! Thanks for showing us your "less is more" look :)

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    1. Thanks Karen. I know!! I was reluctant to do it, but I really do like it.

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  18. Kim, it looks beautiful! I love the before and also the after. Perfect look for the warmer months. xxx Maria

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    1. Thank you Maria! I was ready to give the roosters a bit of rest!

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  19. Gorgeous!! I just adore your kitchen and that sunny little corner by the Windows is always charming. Love the new valances!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie! The sunny corner is my favorite, too!

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  20. Kim,

    I luv your kitchen makeover!

    Beth

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    1. Thank you, Beth! You are always so sweet! xo

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  21. Hello Kim, I love the new look! It's so clean and fresh and just perfect for summer!! Yes, less is more!! :)

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    1. Thanks Julie!! :) I am happy with less!! :)

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  22. Great post! I love this concept about using subtraction to update! ;)

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    1. Thanks so much! It has served me well. It also helps my budget. It's much cheaper to subtract than add!! Thanks for the comment! :)

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  23. Replies
    1. Thank you Tammy. It's simple for sure!

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  24. I love red, too, but I really love the changes you made. I do like to frequently change things so I don't spend a lot of money on decor. That way I feel free to change things! I really like your change in curtains and you'll really love putting the red ones back in the fall. I am wanting to make changes in my home too - after owning it for 15 years, it's time for some updates!

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    1. 15 years seems to be the magic number, Deanna! :) And thank you!!

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  25. Kim it looks really fantastic. Love the less color, BUT I loved the more too. It is nice to have a change for the seasons and it will feel much cooler this summer. Good job, I love it..Happy Wednesday..Judy

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    1. Judy, I haven’t given up on my more! Addition time will come this fall, when plan to pop those roosters right back into place!! ;)

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  26. I love it!
    I've done the same thing over past year or so in our living areas. But I seem to slowly add things back then miss the empty spaces! It's hard, people give gifts or the seasons change & I pull things back out.

    I need to do more simplifying through my decorating stash.

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    1. Right there with you Jenny! I have already ordered a rug! I just couldn't deal with the bare floor or the lack of color. I get it!! :)

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  27. I think it is nice for spring / summer! :) Lighter for awhile...

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  28. Dear Kim ... Your home is perfect, no matter what you add or subtract. I do love your new look as it is so fresh and clean for the warmer seasons. But, I do love your "old" look as well. It was warm and cosy and perfect for the chillier seasons. You do a beautiful job in whatever you do. I am thinking that I may lighten up our kitchen a bit. Sweetest blessings for your evening. Hugs ♥ Teri

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    1. Thank you, Teri! I did get my roosters cleaned, so they are ready for their debut again when the weather turns cold. I guess it's subtraction in the spring and addition in the fall...just in time for school!! ;)

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  29. I think the new, lighter look highlights the stunning architectural details in your space. I like it. A LOT.

    I don't change things that often either. Fifteen years? How about twenty? I guess that attitude is not conducive to our kind of blogging, but we muddle through nonetheless. ;)

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    1. No Doreen, our kind of decorating is definitely not conducive to home decor blogging, that's for sure. Oh well!! ;)

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  30. Less is more, and in your room this proves true. You did a fantastic job and I love the new valances, no rug and new chandelier!

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    1. Thanks Carol! I appreciate your kind words! :)

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  31. I really like it, Kim! You rock the math-thing and your kitchen looks like it's very ready for the lighter and more casualness of summer.

    Warm hugs,
    Carol

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    1. Thanks Carol!! Just don’t look too closely at my seams! ;)

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  32. Subtracting made everything look lighter and brighter! Your kitchen is beautiful :)

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    1. Thank you Kathleen! It feels lighter and brighter. Now if the weather would just catch up and get warm, I'd be in business! ;)

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  33. Love your floors and they are center stage now, Kim! This is the perfect time to pare down.

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    1. Thanks Janet! I really do appreciate the floor now. I had forgotten how pretty it was!

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  34. Love the changes! Your kitchen looks so much brighter! And your floors, like wow!!!

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    1. Thanks Brandi! I forgot how pretty my floors were underneath that rug! Thanks for noticing! :)

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  35. I love the idea that less is more! Your kitchen looks fabulous, and I liked your math decorating lesson :)

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    1. Decorating math is the only kind of math I am actually good at!! ;) And thanks!

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  36. It looks lovely! Less is always more. I am a knick knack lover, and yet, I want the simplistic look too. Such a quandry. :)

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    1. I love those little accessories, too! I have the same dilemma! :)

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  37. Good Morning Kim,
    I have missed visiting my friend (you)! Oh goodness, I LOVE what you have done for Spring.
    Your red is wonderful, warm and perfect, but for this time of year your subtraction method worked beautifully.
    Love how you sewed your own valance too.
    Great to see you and of course you know we absolutely love having you at TOHOT too:)
    xx
    Jemma

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    1. Thank you Jemma! I love creating, but sewing is not my strong suit. I tend to go for the easiest option, hence the clips! ;)

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  38. I really like it! It looks so clean and fresh and clutter free! I have done the same thing with my home too over the last few years......subtracting instead of adding!
    Happy weekend.
    Helen xox

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    1. Subtraction is good, Helen! I agree!! :)

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  39. Very pretty kitchen update! So clean and fresh for the summer!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! And I don’t even miss my roosters. Yet. ;)

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  40. Amazing! Such a different look with less. Perfect for spring. Thank you so much for linking up to Thoughts of Home on Thursday. You make our gathering a happier place.

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    1. Thank you Laura! Your sweet comments always make me smile! :)

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  41. I just recently used clips too and they are amazing. I really like the look - great job!

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    1. Thanks Ronda! I love your clip curtains!! :)

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  42. For a minute I thought you were talking about me. I am so like you right down to the red accessories in my kitchen. I have even been thinking it is time to switch things up after so many years, yes years of looking at the same thing. After lookng at your pictures you have given me the motivation to make the change.

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    1. I love my red, Debra, I just needed a little less of it after almost 15 years. Those roosters will be back this fall, but for now, I am loving the look. I say give it a try!! :) Thanks for the visit!

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  43. I'm so happy to find your blog and read this post. I totally agree that it's all about subtraction. Less is more in so many ways. Your new kitchen is fresh and crisp. I'm doing the exact things in my living room and dining room. It's feels great!! Hope you enjoy! Susie from The Chelsea Project

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    1. Spring and summer are a great time to subtract, Susie, I agree!! So glad you popped by today!! Thanks for the comment. :)

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  44. i kim,, i love you house and your blog ,, you have a new follower
    Angelica

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    1. Thank you Angelica! You just made my day!! :)

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  45. I think both looks are charming Kim. Love the wall hutch with the plates!

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    1. Thanks Florence. I am enjoying the change. For now!! ;)

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  46. Love the subtraction makeover. I am in the process of purging my rooms too. Red is one of my favorite accent colors as well.

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    1. Thanks Denise...it's my favorite way to decorate! ; )

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