I am pretty excited for our “Cottage Fresh” kitchen reveal.
It has been a long time coming.
There are still a few things to wrap up, but I thought she had reached a point where I could primp her up, and pose her for pictures. Of course, the kitchen being the hub of the home, that meant sending the children off with a blessed Aunt for a few hours, so it could actually stay clean.
First, lets see the before – a picture I snagged off of the Real Estate Listing before we bought the house.
Ahhh, maple cupboards . . . so glad you are long gone.
There are definitely worse before’s, and the kitchen was very usable – but just too dark for my taste.
Now, after hours (and a year or more I dare say) of work from the wonderful handy husband, gallons and gallons of white paint, many late nights of brainstorming, trips to thrift stores, antique stores and lumber stores . . .
. . . here is the new cottage fresh kitchen.
What a difference! I spend probably 95% of my day in this room, and I love the change of light and happiness it brings. Dark spaces really effect my attitude, so I knew the kitchen needed to lighten up!
There are a lot of sources and how-to’s to list in this room. Some will become their own posts and tutorials, but I will try to list any helpful sources as we go through the pictures of this kitchen. I just have to say, my husband is so incredible and put so much time and effort into this space and so willingly adapted to my requests. He is heaven sent, and we really had so much fun planning this room together.
If you are new to my style, I often try to define my taste as a mix between a beach house on the coast and a cottage in France. I sum it up and call it “Cottage Fresh”. Basically – I just add things that appeal to me, and those 2 styles really get me excited.
If we aren’t DIY’ing something in our home, it will either be thrifted, passed down, re-loved, or found in an antique store. Of course, there is the occasional new purchase, and I will list those as applicable.
I might add, real quick, the biggest challenge with our kitchen is the lack of direct natural light. No windows open up directly to this room, only the cut-out which leads to the living room. This not only makes it hard for pictures, but tends to be a bit darker for a kitchen than I would like. But, by painting things white, it has really helped a lot – and thankfully there are a lot of overhead lights.
Alright – let’s talk details!
First, I’ll address the countertops. You may have seen or heard of DIY faux concrete countertops (example here and here)- that is what these are. We used some Home Depot brand, feather finish concrete to create these one of a kind counters for under $200. However – a year later – they are falling apart! They look great from a distance, but as I will explain in a very detailed post later, these types of countertops did not work for us and something new is in the works. You can be sure I will update when finished! In spite of it all, I’m glad we did it, as it kind of got the ball rolling for us for the kitchen when new countertops was not in the budget. I really REALLY love the look and wish I could find something similar that would hold up. But I couldn’t. Stay tuned for our next DIY countertop attempt.
The farmhouse sink is from IKEA, and I couldn’t love it more. There were regular cupboards under the original sink, but my husband removed them, added a scalloped edge and faux pillars to the sides, and I sewed up a skirt/curtain out of painters drop cloth. Our faucet is from Home Depot. The kitchen mats are from Target.
The sink top colander was also from IKEA, and I LOOOOVE it! The hand washing blue ball jar was a simple replace-the-top DIY. The other glass bottle is full of dish soap, found at Homegoods and replaced with a pour spout.
We have saved a countless amount of dish soup by using this method. It comes out slow, and has time to bubble and you use way less than you would squirting it out of a bottle.
The back-splash was a basic white square tile, installed by the hubs, found at Lowes.
I wanted a place to hang a dishtowel by the sink, so I found a different handle from Hobby Lobby that would allow that, and replaced it on just one drawer.
That wraps up the sink area.
Let’s talk about the open shelves – my all time favorite part of the kitchen.
On the one side, I embraced my love of blues and whites and a more coastal feel.
I have real antique canning jars handed down from my mother-in-law. The tall blue jars were found at an antique store. The sea-horse “cookie jar” was found at Homegoods, and the white stacking bowls were a discounted find at a local Downeast Outfitters. Some of the blue and white dishes and bowls were found at thrift stores or handed down from my Grandma, but the majority coordinating blues and whites are dishware found at IKEA. They’ve been hiding behind maple cupboards for a year now, and I was so excited to let them out!
The shelves are simple pine from a lumber store, and the brackets are IKEA, but painted white.
Then, on the other side, I embraced my love for wood tones and a farmhouse feel. The hubs made these shelves from a tree my late grandfather cut down, shaped from the saw mill he made, and left to deteriorate for years in a junk yard. Now that is beautiful family history on display! We stained it with walnut gel stain.
The clear canisters are from IKEA, the stacked canisters were $2.oo at a thrift store, the white planter filled with fake grass from Michael’s craft store. Two of the cutting boards were made from my husband (he is so good!), and the round pizza cutting board was from Homegoods.
Call me crazy if you will, but I really like the contrast between these open shelves.
Just under these shelves, I place a French inspired find from Hobby Lobby, to store our produce.
These pennant lights are a bit of an “IKEA hack”, which I posted about in full how-to tutorial, HERE.
Over by the oven, we did the un-thinkable. We removed a perfectly good over-mount microwave, and replaced it with a simple shelf made from old cedar for some pots and such. I justify this for two good reasons. 1) A ton cuter and 2) I couldn’t fit a pressure canner on the stove-top with the distance of the microwave hanging down.
The cheap $50 microwave we stuck in the corner is kind of pathetic as far as the quality of the one we took out, but I try not to microwave a ton any ways, so it works well enough.
I posted detailed “before and afters” of the desk area in this post, and I still love having my “blogger work” area so close to my “mommy work” area. Then again, it could be a bad thing. But, I always tend to think the computer should be in a main area of the home, and this works perfectly.
We stuck an IKEA rod on the peninsula side to hold some cutting boards, hot pads and dish towels in handy reach. (Make your own grain sack striped dishtowel tutorial here, and french inspired hot pads, here.)
These bar stools are from . . . you guessed it . . . IKEA. They were the most affordable ones I could find for the quality. But those with kids are wondering how in the world those white slipcovers stay clean. I’ll let you in on a secret. (pssst – they don’t!). Not even close. They are dirty with little food fingers the second I wash them. Why then, you ask? Well, I fully intend to sew some wipe-able oilcloth covers for them with some pretty fabric. Something, I feel the space really needs. Until then, I’ll wash weekly for an hour of cleanliness 😉
I wanted to mention, all the woodworking was done by my husband. He planked the walls, to flow with the entry way and the mudroom. He added crown molding and planked the peninsula. I often get asked if we painted the cupboards ourselves. What we actually did was have the cupboard and drawer fronts sprayed professionally for a silky smooth finish. It cost us a few hundred. Then we painted the boxes of the cupboards ourselves. It would have cost us well over $1000 to have it all done professionally. All the hardware I bought from Amazon, which I really love them and the price was excellent. Here are the links for those:
The hinges on the doors were brass, but to save hundred we simply spray painted them black. I have had to touch them up from time to time, but well worth the save.
I added dark baskets from Michael’s, above the cupboards on one side to balance the darkness found in the open shelves on the other side.
The pantry is found in the doors closest to the fridge. It was just a regular door, but if left open it completely blocked the mudroom entry. Drove. Us. Nuts. So, my brother was getting rid of some slatted bi-folds and we jumped on them. My husband changed the hinges so they opened in the center, turning them into small french style doors. I added some cute knobs found at Hobby Lobby.
And that is a wrap!
Is there anything you would like to know that I missed?
As always, I welcome any input. Is it any better than the before 😉 Any kind constructive criticism? What do you like about this kitchen?
Coming up is a tutorial for the pennant light IKEA hack, as well as an update on our new countertops when they get installed. Also, the dining room opposite the kitchen is just about finished as well and I’ll be posting about that shortly. If you haven’t signed up to get updates by email, you can click HERE for the form.
If you’ve missed our other home-makeovers, click here to see a quick tour of the rooms we’ve done so far.
Thanks for stopping by!
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