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Tasty Turquoise Kitchens

I cannot tell you how much I am itching to start work on the lakehouse, but the townhouse sale has hit a few snags and my research takes precedence.  I am planning to make the 1500km trek there (sans Hubby, unfortunately), at the beginning of September and hopefully get some work done on the house.  Almost every night I dream about painting the kitchen cupboards at the lakehouse.  If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know I’ve never really loved our kitchen in the townhouse.  I always wanted to paint the cupboards, but keeping the wood was one of the few things Hubby felt strongly about.  With the lakehouse kitchen though, he isn’t so keen: the oak, combined with cathedral cabinet fronts, is just too woody.  As you know, eventually we plan to completely renovate the space.  But first I’d like to live in the space, figure out how we use it and, the biggest deciding factor, save up some money for a “real” reno.  I also need to figure out what we’ll love for the long term because I keep changing my mind!  Right now, this is my dream kitchen.  Note the dreamy turquoise fridge, which is a must.

This is our kitchen right now:

Inspiring Turquoise Kitchens

When I first saw it, I envisioned a makeover kind of like this (if you don’t want to click the link: basically paint the lower cabinets turquoise and take off the upper door fronts).

Sadly, the insides of our cupboards are not show-worthy and are really awkward (see the three teeny weeny ones shoved in the corner?).  Plus the cupboard above the range hood drives Hubby nuts.  So we’re just going to take all of the upper cabinetry right off and install some open shelving instead, which is something I never thought I’d love.  But painting the lower cabinets turquoise is still the plan – and this is a plan that I plan commit to.  While I patiently wait, I rounded up some tasty turquoise kitchens, ranging from grey with the tiniest hint of blue, to pale mint to bold robin’s egg to deep teal, to keep me inspired.  See my faves here:

Oh yeah, those links just made me more antsy to break out the primer and paint!  Do you have painted kitchen cupboards or open shelving?  Do you love them?  Hate them?  Both are new terrain for me.

UPDATE! I Got the turquoise kitchen of my dreams – 3 times!!

I ended up painting my kitchen cabinets 3 times in 9 years – 3 different shades of turquoise & teal!  Basically, I couldn’t choose between a bright bold turquoise, a soft watery grey blue and a deep, inky teal.  So I tried all three version of turquoise kitchen cabinets – and loved each one!  Here’s a sneak peek at how this DIY kitchen evolved over the years…

Bold Turquoise Cabinets:

Color matched to my Pyrex collection, this was the first version of my turquoise kitchen.

Then I switched up the open shelves a little, because my original was a LOT of bold color!

Inky Teal Cabinets:

Then I decided to repaint the cabinets an inky teal color and replaced the open shelving with these cute DIY cubbies!

Watery Cabinets:

Tempted by softer, watery colors – I repainted the cabinets AGAIN and chose a very pale shade of aqua.

Find all of the different versions of my turquoise kitchens linked in this blog post.



  1. Lisa Kilgariff-Slusher
    August 21, 2013 / 12:40 pm

    Ooooo yay! When I saw the picture of your kitchen I though 'If this was my place, those uppers must come down'. And turquoise is my favourite colour, I would be painting ours a deap teal if we weren't renting. A cute minty coloured kitchen island is my goal project for now so I'm looking forward to vicariously living through your kitchen. 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 21, 2013 / 8:00 pm

      The uppers are so weird, right? Odd door shape, weird arrangement, and they are all different. They date the space.A minty kitchen island sounds fun!!

  2. Lil
    August 21, 2013 / 1:11 pm

    I love the look of open shelving, but the idea of all those dishes getting covered in "dust grease" (because no matter how careful you are, and how good a range hood you have it always gets greasy) and all the work involved in keeping everything relatively clean… it just exhausts me.I'd need a maid to go with the open shelving

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 21, 2013 / 7:59 pm

      I have often thought that too, but anyone I know with open shelving SWEARS it isn't bad! I will definitely provide an honest review once we've lived with it for a few months. I'm hoping to pare back out plates and stuff so they get used and cleaned a lot, and don't linger much on the shelves, but we'll see!!

  3. CaseyinTO
    August 21, 2013 / 3:36 pm

    Do you think it's possible to paint the fridge turquoise? I feel like u can get away with a lot more things in a cottage-house 😉

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 21, 2013 / 7:58 pm

      I think it's possible! I might leave it white with the turquoise cabinets, but maybe painting it the same colour would be fun. I've seen a lot of chalkboard painted fridges, so it's do-able. Great idea!

  4. Dora
    August 21, 2013 / 4:59 pm

    These are such great ideas, Tanya! I can't wait to see you start working on the house 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 21, 2013 / 7:57 pm

      I know, I keep teasing with plans!! It's because I'm dying to see me start work too 🙂

  5. anu
    August 21, 2013 / 7:51 pm

    I love that first kitchen from h&h too. We have a turquoise backsplash in our kitchen (I still have to blog about it though).. So, needless to say, l'm a fan of turquoise in the kitchen. Can't wait to see how your kitchen turns out!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 21, 2013 / 7:56 pm

      Ooo, a turquoise backsplash sounds so fun!! I can't wait to read more about it.

  6. Dana@Mid2Mod
    August 21, 2013 / 10:02 pm

    I love the color in the Shelterness photo. It's going to be so much fun redoing the kitchen. I know hubby isn't a big fan of painted wood. Are the open shelves going to be natural? I think open shelves would be a greasy mess if you were just using them for display and never moved anything, but if you use them for pieces that are used often and regularly go through the dishwasher, it probably wouldn't be an issue.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 22, 2013 / 1:11 pm

      I am thinking of white shelves, on white walls with white dishes (and my turquoise Pyrex) for a really clean look. I hope things stay clean up there!

  7. MJ
    August 22, 2013 / 1:18 am

    I have been sloooowly taking our kitchen cabinets from a rusty brick to a creamy yellow, inside and out. (Remove doors and hardware. Wash. Scuff with wet sanding sponge, while wearing respirator, in case that's lead paint. Two coats Glidden Gripper primer. Two coats paint. Looks lovely, but OMG, I am never doing this again.) Putting the doors back on is the most difficult part for me, so we've unintentionally lived with the open look. It's not for us; what with Fiesta dinnerware and mismatched glasses and battered serving bowls, the kitchen feels…noisy. But you have beautifully edited collections as well as an eye for calm. Looking forward to your transformation (and to watching someone else do the work!). Meanwhile, hope your dissertation is going well.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 22, 2013 / 1:13 pm

      Oh my, that sounds like a lot of work!! But it sounds like it will be beautiful. There are not many kitchen cupboards once the uppers are removed, so I'm hoping the painting will go quickly for me. But thanks for these great tips. I will look into that primer and try two coats as well.P.S. Fiesta dinnerware! I'm so jealous 🙂

  8. Lauren Frayne
    August 22, 2013 / 5:35 pm

    I love turquoise (it's definitely one in my home's colour palette) but I have a hard time pairing other colours with it. Thanks for the inspiration! I love love love some of those

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 22, 2013 / 7:20 pm

      I have had the same trouble! For the new house, I'm pairing it with white, grey, and tiny pops of yellow and orange. I've also broadened my turquoise palette to include really rich teal shades. It pairs so nicely with similar hues, but deeper or lighter. I always tried to make red and turquoise work, because I love the combo, but it just wasn't "me". Good luck mixing and matching your turquoise!

    • Paula
      August 2, 2022 / 2:54 pm

      Hi! Try looking up the designer Tracey Rapisardi. She is based in Florida. See how she pairs turquoise and aqua blues with pale greens, flamingo pinks, peaches, citrus colors like orange and yellow and other ocean blues.

  9. Storypiece
    August 23, 2013 / 5:38 am

    We are on the edge of painting our cabinets. Literally, I should be starting now and yet, I'm on the computer instead. You have some incredible sources of inspiration and although we are doing plain white, I would LOVE the turquoise! So excited that your someday kitchen is almost right around the corner.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 28, 2013 / 9:04 pm

      White is LOVELY and such a good choice for the long term. I think I want white in the long run, but turquoise will be fun for right now. Good luck with your painting!! I hope the kitchen turns out beautifully for you.

  10. cred
    August 27, 2013 / 3:55 pm

    It's so exciting… but frustrating that you have to wait. My husband is waiting to hear from an interview and has another on thurs. But we've been looking at house in the area online and the plans and renos are buzzing around in my brain with nowhere to go- I haven't even stepped into any of these houses. I can just imagine how it must feel for you. Thanks for all the inspiration photos- I had a look in mind and will have a hard time implementing it in some of the kitchens we've seen. So I appreciate a few other options that I love that can be used in many spaces.Looking forward to seeing what you do. btw- don't know if I mentioned it before but I have open shelves and love it- the less oft used items do get dusty but I find easily remedied with a run through the dishwasher. However I really prefer the daily dishes on the open shelves since it never becomes a problem.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 28, 2013 / 9:06 pm

      Ooo, sounds stressful!! I hope the interviews go well for him! I wish you'd start a blog, because I'm so curious what style of kitchen you're dreaming of. Hey – are you on Pinterest???Happy to hear the open shelving is good for oft-used pieces. I'm excited to give it a try!

  11. cred
    August 31, 2013 / 12:01 am

    Shoot! I hate when this happens. I had commented but then had to sign back in to google and don't know if my original comment posted. I apologize in advance if I'm repeating my comment. Yep, I'm on pinterest. I'm addicted and the inspiration just adds to my to-do list. I already follow you on pinterest, back when you first mentioned it in a post.The idea I have for my kitchen is similar to what I have now but with fewer limitations (namely size and a back door- it's too small for an entry). But I love having a chalkboard wall, open shelf and large restaurant-style rack. So, I'd repeat some of that but love so many other styles and ideas out there. The problem becomes keeping it pared down and cohesive. But I do 'love' kitchens- it may be my favourite room to style.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 31, 2013 / 10:07 pm

      I do the same thing!Can I be a snoop and follow you? What's your Pinterest name?Your kitchen preferences sound so drool-worthy (love the chalkboard wall idea!).

  12. Fiona
    September 1, 2013 / 9:19 pm

    Love the inspiration! Gives me hope for my small, cathedral-front cabinet kitchen too! What would be your dream lighting for the room?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 4, 2013 / 2:52 pm

      I am thinking of some George Nelson pendants (maybe the cigar>?) in lieu of the pot lighting, but I haven't found a great ceiling fixture yet! Hopefully soon!

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