Inspiration for Colors Inspiration for ColorsThe kitchen in our 100 year old house is mostly white with gray and pale yellow with aged maple floors. That’s why when I found some vintage oak stools, they just weren’t doing the trick. I needed to find some inspiration for colors from something and here’s what it was…

Even though the walls are fairly neutral in our kitchen, there are splashes of color in the artwork and accessories around the room. rooster bowls

Like these fun colorful rooster bowls, that hang on the wall above the peninsula. (remember these bowls back at our former house? this is how I displayed them there)

But back to our current house…

Here’s what the stools looked like before in our kitchen: kitchen toward basement stairs

The oak finished wood wasn’t vintage enough to be charming… it was more like the ‘oak-ey yok-ey’ from the 1980’s… sorry, not my favorite. I found these stools on Craigslist for $10.

I have been thinking about all different ways to paint them, but because I wasn’t coming up with the perfect plan, they went unpainted for over a year.

Are you like me? Do you live with something totally fine until one day you suddenly can’t live with it that way any more? That’s how I can be sometimes, I mill stuff around in my head, trying to figure out the best look for something, and usually find some sort of inspiration somewhere to get me going on finally changing the thing that was bugging me to begin with.

With these 2 oak stools that was for sure the story. But then one day this spring, after stopping in a cute vintage shop in a neighboring town, I found (and bought) a very simple stool that someone had painted red and put a cute striped fabric on top. striped fabric top

Absolutely nothing fancy about it at all… but maybe it’s just in it’s simplicity that I found something kind of charming about it, and that’s why I brought it home.

Also, we only had 2 stools at the peninsula, but it seemed that we were frequently wanting one more stool… And this one was narrow enough that I could squeeze it on the end of the peninsula without feeling like it was crowding the kitchen too much.

Once I brought that stool into the kitchen, I realized, there was my inspiration…

I hauled the two 1980’s oak stools outside and started.

stools primed

First giving them both a good coat of spray paint primer.

And then spray paint. Wow, there are so many lovely colors of spray paint available now, even with different finishes, flat matte, satin and gloss. I did kind of want a satin finish, but the colors that looked best with the stripe were only in a gloss finish. stools done

Here’s my rationalization for the color selection…

There are 3 stools, now, but they aren’t matching in style, so instead of having the one stick out like an oddball, I decided to use the fabric stripe for the inspiration for colors of paint… The stripe has 3 colors on it, and that stool was already one of the colors, so simple for me to deduct that the other two stools should be each the other two colors…

hmmmm…. is that one of those things that makes sense in my ‘pattern’ making brain, but sounds a bit crazy to you? ha ha, oh well, it works for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ fabric with stools

They are cute and fun now. And add a bright splash of color in the kitchen. stools with bowls

And the stool colors look good with the colorful accessories around the room, including the rooster bowls hanging above them.

If I come across a great new idea for inspiration for them them in a few years, trust me, I’m not afraid to change them later. ๐Ÿ™‚ But for now, we like them and I’ve only got about $25 or $30 invested in all 3 stools with the paint and everything, (including the actual cost for the 3 stools!) so no big deal to change the color, or even sell them and change the stools all together some day.

So what are you using for inspiration for colors in your kitchen?
Want to read a little more?

Click here to read more about color.

Click here to read more about the kitchen in our 100 year old house.

Click here to see all the posts I’ve written so far about the projects renovating our 100 year old house.
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Reader Interactions


  1. Christine @ Must Love Home says

    This looks fantastic! I love how you painted the stools!! What a dramatic change:) Your post has been pinned,tweeted and shared on Facebook! Your post will be featured this week on the Friday Favorites Link Party at I appreciate you coming by our party and I hope to see you again tonight at 7PM..Hugs – Christine at Must Love Home

  2. AnnMarie says

    We definitely think alike? I recently repainted my whole kitchen over again because I couldn’t live with it’s worn appearance another day. I love it now all fresh in it’s new white paint. As soon as I saw your three stools I knew exactly your reasoning for the colors you chose. It is perfect, because that is what I would have done! My kitchen is mainly cobalt blue and white with an ivy pattern wallpaper on the very top. Recently I have been adding in garnet red in the mixer, dishpan, a framed rooster and my spoon rests. I am loving the pop of color. Loved reading your post….stopped by from Share Your Style.

    • LIz says

      Your kitchen sounds beautiful AnnMarie! Yay, I’m so glad someone else gets my reasoning for color pattern too. And thanks so much for reading, I appreciate your sweet words of encouragement.

  3. JaneEllen says

    I see things, buy, but then maybe they’ll sit for quite awhile but when I decide something has to be done to use for an idea I have, then watch out. Love colors you painted other two stools, perfect with fabric. They look perfect with rooster bowls. If you ever decide to part with those bowls, PLEASE contact me. Chickens are my kitchen theme, have been for long time. We have 5 chickens in our back yard, 3 different kinds and 2 blk/white bantam hens. Your bowls are very special with style of painting roosters.
    Did you sand stools before you primered them? We have 4 stools out in yard I’d like to paint, make some thing with them?

    • LIz says

      Thank you Jane Ellen, I really like roosters and chickens too. Fun to have some in your backyard! Yes, I lightly sanded the stools first. (forgot to mention that in the post) Thanks for following along! Liz

  4. Donnamae says

    Yes…I’m just like you. I can live with something, then all of a sudden, it must be changed or banished forever from my home! I totally get it! Love those stools…so colorful! I’m glad you kept those rooster bowls too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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