Everyone has a problem with commitment at some time or another whether it be personal, financial, family, or design. Design commitments will have far less impact, hopefully, than family issues or employment decisions, but hesitance to make design commitments seem to result in people doing nothing rather than something or anything, when it comes to changes in their home.
I, too, have commitment problems with some design challenges. My solution is to find an option that will give me more choices. The most recent dilemma I faced was what to do about the inside of my upper cabinets in the kitchen. The doors on the upper cabinets are glass and therefore expose my dishware, which is white; with the interiors painted white, there was no contrast and hardly made an impact. A few weeks ago, I emptied the upper cabinets of all the dishes and glassware on both sides and painted just the back wall of each of the upper cabinets the color of the kitchen walls: a soft sage green. While I liked the change, it was barely noticeable. At least that exercise forced me clean all the glass shelves, and the new color did give it a fresh look.
Still not satisfied with the lack of impact in those cabinets, I had toyed with the idea of painting the backs of the cabinets black—yep, black. I can imagine what many of my readers may be thinking, “Is she painting the entire house black”? I do like a bit of drama in design. The kitchen is one of my favorite places, and I thought the introduction of a little more black would give me the impact I wanted. Painting the backs of the cabinets is not an “in your face” dramatic change; it is more subtle. In fact, people hardly notice it; but I do, which is the point.
As for the lack of commitment, I decided to use black foam board cut to size before painting the cabinets and then painting over the black if I did not like it. I have suggested to clients over the years that to add a little color in bookcases or glass fronted cabinets, first use foam board painted the color they want, to see if they liked it, before painting the back of an entire bookcase. This option also allows for seasonal changes for displays for Easter, Halloween and Christmas.
I will confess that painting would have been cheaper and take less time than I spent on cutting foam board and going back to the office supply store for more material. I was pretty sure I was going to like the black, but thought I would give the foam board a try. I am glad I did. I like the smooth texture as opposed to the less than perfect plaster walls behind my cabinets dating back to 1938, and all the things that have been done to these cabinets over the years
I still have some black paint plans for my home. They too will be subtle, but will make an impact. If you have considered taking an old entertainment unit or bookcase, and using it as a room divider or as a display area for some of your collections, you might consider removing the back of the cabinet and painting it a bright accent color that you are using elsewhere in the room. Painting an old cabinet or dresser that you are re-purposing, is a win-win project, with little to lose and a good exercise in trying something new. Try it, you might like it.