With a blank canvas in front of us, we could now seriously start thinking about the design elements of our space. Living in France, we are both food-lovers and enjoy afternoons spent cooking or baking away… so naturally the kitchen was the first area we started to think and get excited about designing.
While still researching different layouts and colour schemes, there was one element which I knew needed changing straight away. These were the beams in the kitchen which supported the upper mezzanine. As I’m sure you’ve picked up by now, we wanted to keep a fairly rustic, French vibe, so of course when it came to beams, the more the merrier! However, these ones were stained in an old fashioned dark amber varnish and had a bit of a tired 80’s feel to them. No matter our future kitchen style, I knew this colour would have to go.
With our (other!) wooden beams exposed throughout the apartment, I thought it might be a bit much to also have exposed wooden beams in the kitchen (trop de bois tue le bois…). So the idea came to me to simply paint them white. This would keep the rustic note but with a more clean, modern edge to it.
The first step was to sand them down with coarse sand paper, removing as much of the old varnish as possible.
Secondly, we gave them a good clean up with some sugar soap. This removed the grease, grime and whatever else had been building up on them over the years as a result of previous kitchen activities…
Once sanded, cleaned and preened, we were ready to go. I firstly painted them with a layer of white primer, to act as a good base coat for the ‘real’ paint on top. Once the primer was dry, then came the paint. Personally I prefer more of a matte finish than a glossy finish, but it still needed to be washable for the inevitable kitchen splatters. After two coats of paint, the beams were complete and they transformed the feel of the entire kitchen space. It felt like a hop, leap and a jump away from tired and dated to crisp and modern. Take a look for yourself: