You are so smart, Goddess, to stick with glass & stainless in your kitchen! I bet it is sleek and pretty.
I long sometimes for sleek, but it isn't in my nature. I am certainly no minimalist! I get swayed by color, but I do love the look of simple grey and white. I admit I can't stand Formica, so I really feel for you. But every time I see bits of your apartment, I am overwhelmed by the simple elegance of it all. You have superb taste.
Those neutral, lightly stained birch cabinets of mine only look good with saturated colors, no pastels - brights or deep hues work best, though I don't really like pastels much anyway. I'd love to be able to switch out colors every six months in there, but I haven't got enough room for storing that many dishes. I stick with a small mix of dishes, a few dark olive or lime greens, periwinkle blues, cobalts and rich purples, and some deep rich yellows, I am a yellow fanatic. I have recently added some saturated turquoises, but I can't always display them with the other colors, so they stay hidden or get placed in the dining room. The bright olive (more like a deep grass green) seems to suit the kitchen best, so I keep a few of those items out on the counter or on the open dish rack. The walls are still white, making a neutral scheme, so I can show off the colors in the glass front upper cabinets in the corners. I love the colors of Talavera tile, which seem to suit the Spanish look of the rest of the kitchen and use those colors I just mentioned. I am sometimes tempted to paint the entire room rich caramel, but I stop myself, because it would be a huge undertaking, we have a high ceiling with no discernable line to stop at, and plus the room is really rather small to darken with color that much.
Oh my gosh, I AM Mrs. Blandings! Listen to me: caramel, lime, olive, periwinkle! Yeah lady, yellow, green, blue.
Oh man, I love Toile de Jouy, I would probably kill myself if I went to France and couldn't bring back the whole country. I once saw a pair of traditional silvery pewter lamps with silver-grey toile shades, the grey was a dark background to the lighter pattern, silky looking but in a slightly modern shape, they would have fit any room beautifully! I still think of them and the opportunity I passed up.
Alison, I too am wondering what I've done, bringing the dog into this mix, all I am doing right now is picking up shredded sticks embedded in the carpet, bits of chew toys and fuzz from her stuffed animals that she rips into shreds, and carries with her proudly to us as her 'kills'. It could be worse, at least she isn't leaving bodily fluids or other functions behind.