Daughter, I think painting the lower cabinets in a charcoal and the uppers in white gives the kitchen a more "living" space look. I also think the counter tops and backsplash need to blend in and not be a statement piece. After all you DON'T want the kitchen to be the focal point in your small "all in one" space.
How's that for a fresh start? Chip and Jo took down walls, added brand new cabinetry and gave everything a coat of white paint to brighten up the space. The new island creates the perfect spot for Preston to hang out while Mom cooks.