Our cottage style kitchen is one of the most “lived in” rooms in our home. This space went from dated to light and cool to finally warm and welcoming! We got it just right with this refresh.
Is there anything more exciting than kitchen reveal day? It’s like Christmas morning for me. Our kitchen has been evolving for almost 5 years. It has grown and changed right along with our family. As our needs changed and we’ve refined our style, our home was followed. It’s come quite a long way since the first day we walked through the door. When I look back at the before photos I feel such a sense of accomplishment. It embodies the transition that our colonial has gone through in the last 5 years perfectly.
Let’s take a look at what it looked like the first day we unlocked the door and walked in.
A Dated and Sad Before
It’s a great size kitchen! The size caught my attention right away. There’s lots of counter space and plenty of room for a table in the breakfast nook. The solid wood cabinets were also a plus, even if they were missing a few doors and all of the windows allow the space to be flooded with afternoon sun.
The kitchen was one of the first rooms we completed. We broke it up into several projects. We ordered missing cabinet doors, painted, relocated appliances, installed counter tops and back splash. Only in the last two years has the kitchen really been complete.
In our previous home we went with warm tones and colors. When we bought this house I decided I wanted cooler tones. Here’s how it looked after the first renovation.
Getting It Just Right
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I had made a mistake. There was absolutely nothing wrong with our first renovation. At first I really liked it. It just wasn’t totally me. I began to crave warm tones again. Over the years we have gone back into rooms that were painted cooler colors and repainted them with warmer ones. For a couple of years I knew I should have gone with a warmer color scheme. I kicked myself for not staining the counter tops the first time and opting just to seal them as is.
If you’ve ever completed a kitchen renovation, you know just how taxing it is. Painting cabinets correctly is not a quick or easy task. The thought of stripping and refinishing the countertops right away was just too much at the time. Fast forward 4 years and our butcher block was in need of resealing. That’s where this makeover starts! I made the decision in the spring that once fall arrived we would refinish the countertops and I would also repaint the cabinets. It was ambitious and I had no idea the issues we’d run into, but I was determined to get it right this time!
Our Kitchen Today
A Warm “Lived In” Kitchen
I went with a warm, creamy white for the cabinets. I originally tried to color match our tea kettle at Sherwin Williams and Lowes. (Our kettle is the perfect shade of cream in my opinion.) After each sample came back slightly pink, I found that Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore was almost an exact match! It was just the color I was going for. We went for Swiss Coffee in a satin sheen for the cabinets, trim and walls. Just as I did in our foyer, dining room and living room, I went for tone on tone. The kitchen looks larger and much more cohesive. This paint color also pairs really well with our marble back splash tile. I really love our tile back splash and wanted to make sure that whatever paint color and countertop stain color we chose worked well with it.
We warmed up our countertops by staining them Minwax’s Provincial. I’ll be sharing all about that process next week. It threw me a serious curve ball.
Earlier in the year we swapped our old stove out for a slide in range. Shortly after that I shared an easy and cheap way to hang some of our copper pots. You can get that how-to HERE. We use almost all of our copper cookware, so they’re not just for display.
Our Cabinet Hardware
I especially love the hardware we chose. Shortly after our first kitchen renovation, we remodeled our powder/laundry room. I went with unlaquered or also called a “living” finish for the cabinet hardware. Over the years it has gotten the most beautiful patina to it. I quickly realized that I had made a mistake going with brushed gold hardware in the kitchen. Again, purchasing quality hardware is not cheap. I knew I would have to wait. It was well worth the wait, friends. We counld’t be happier with our new unlaqured pulls and knobs.
Instead of tradition round knobs, I chose unlaquered oval knobs. They’re still very classic, just not as common. They appear slightly smaller, but I like the no-fuss appearance of them.
Josh refaced our drawers for me. I was never a fan of the old drawer fronts, so he cut and routed new ones that are a little more simple and timeless.
Our island got new corbels that are not as bulky and fit the style of our kitchen so much more than the last ones. I found this PB stool on the FB yard sale site for $20 and I made the pleated slipcover from leftover windowpane fabric I had on hand.
Our baking station stayed the same, just cleared out a bit of clutter.
Breakfast Nook Before
Our Breakfast Nook Today
Cozy Breakfast Nook
Not much changed in our breakfast nook. The wall color is very similar to the previous Dove White color that was there before. I decluttered our shelves and bit and went through our baskets to get rid of any linens we no longer use. Everything on these two shelves is used with the exception of the antique copper tea kettle. From the vases, to the pots and cake stands, I use each one throughout the year. I’m not a fan of clutter, so our kitchen essentials double as decor.
I like to use natural fall decor each year. Gourds and leaf stems are a great way to keep things simple, yet festive.
We used to have a rug under our breakfast table. I found it to be troublesome with moving the chairs in and out from under the table, so we opted to go without a rug. It’s also been much easier come clean up time.
Over the summer I took our roman shades down and made cafe curtains in their place. It’s allowed so much more natural light to flood in. I’ve always adored cafe curtains and I love the cottage look it gives the space. You can find the fabric HERE.
Creating More Storage
Last week I shared our DIY plate rack. Ever since we moved into our home, I have struggled with that wall. It just felt lost and a bit drab. A plate rack was the perfect thing to fill the space. It not only looks charming but it’s extremely useful. It has given us a place to store those larger platters and serving trays. It’s just the best when form meets function!
If you noticed in the photos above, we had made a shelf to cap off the stove. We never used it like I had planned. I knew that we could get more use out of it as storage for sheet pans. Sometimes things don’t turn out like you had hoped and that’s okay. I’ve learned to be open to changing things that I didn’t get right the first time to make it work better for our family. Josh and I decided that closing it up on the side was the best options. With just a little plywood and time, we now have useful storage.
I named this post a “lived in” kitchen because lived in describes it perfectly. We spend so much time in this room. From homeschooling each morning, to baking all kinds of goodies, to family gathering around the table and island, we live in this space! Over the last couple of weeks we’ve made crock pot dinners, oatmeal cream pies and have had family dinners right here.
While this space is rarely as clean as it is in photos, it’s used. For that reason, I’m so glad I made the effort and pushed through the stress of refreshing this space. There were several things that did not go smoothly and many late nights were involved. When it comes to a kitchen, it’s well worth it. This room is now a true reflection of my style and what I’m most at home in. We couldn’t be happier with the result and I’m so relieved to have gotten it just right this time around.
Cabinet, Wall & Trim Color – Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore in Satin
Birch Butcher Block Countertops – Ikea (sadly, discontinued) stained in Provincial by Minwax
Apron Sink – Ikea (also discontinued)
Wheat Horseshoe Wreath – My Tutorial
Plate Rack – My Tutorial
Round Breakfast Table – Vintage Find
Saddle Back Windsor Chairs – Thrifted
Bar Stool – Pottery Barn yard sale find
Bar Stool Slipcover – Homemade
Pot Rack Above Range – My Tutorial