This house has been a dream come true for me. After renting a rather dark and what felt like gloomy house for almost four years, I have been so delighted to actually have our own little home! Yes, it’s little. Only two bedrooms, about 1500 square feet altogether. It’s little. But it’s oh, so cozy. And so full of natural light! I LOVE that.  And there is no landlord that says what we can or can’t do. :) Poor husband, now that his wife is let loose!

I felt really stifled in that rental, but you know, I think it was really good for me. For one, it makes our own house so much more special. And two, I think I learned creativity and contentment in a whole new way at the rental house. It wasn’t a natural cute house, so it took a lot of effort to make it cute, without pointing out all the unattractive things about the house. It was a real stretch especially in being content. I can’t say that I mastered that area, but I do feel like the Lord really helped me grow in that. And I keep growing even now.

I think the kitchen in our new house is one of my very favorite rooms. Yeah, well, they’re ALL my favorite. :) But this is especially a favorite. A lot because our rental house had a very very tiny galley kitchen in the middle of the house – no windows, only an overhead florescent light, and if more than two people were in the kitchen it felt overwhelming.

My new kitchen still isn’t large, but most standards. But to me, coming from a teeny kitchen previously, it feels HUGE!

First impressions, though, weren’t very pretty. It was almost the exact colors that were in our rental. Yuck!


In the middle of January, in 30′ weather, this was very depressing. I had a hard time seeing potential in this place!

Kitchen before 3

Kitchen before 2

Kitchen before 1

Kitchen 38

Brown and yellow put together may come back one day, but I dare say it will not be for me.

We tore out some walls in between the kitchen and dining room and living room. It made the front of the house seem twice as big, and so roomy and spacious. The kitchen was probably the most work out of any other room in the house.

THIS was my kitchen inspiration photo. I think it came from Better Homes & Gardens. My colors and basic theme came from this.

Kitchen inspiration

Of course there are differences   that and MY kitchen – they are two totally different houses! So here’s my version… That cool flooring went in a bathroom instead of the kitchen.

So this is AFTER!

Entering the kitchen from the living room and dining room… Ben added these beams, which came from an old house locally.

Kitchen 6

The hardwoods were refinished, along with the rest of the house. I love the painted floor look too, but it wouldn’t have worked well with our open floor plan.

I made these 12 X 12 burlap squares, thinking they would go by a fireplace, but they seemed to fit here. These are words that describe what I want our home to be like: lots of love and affirmation, peace and comfort and rest, and lots of fun and joy.

Kitchen 35

The chalkboard in the kitchen was an idea I had wanted since years ago – partly for looks, because I think chalkboards are awesome, despite their ever-growing popularity, and partly because supper time can often be a crazy time of day at our house, and I thought this would keep the girls entertained instead of following me around every inch of the kitchen.

If you look on the first picture, it says, “Let’s celebrate Ben!”, from his party back in August. (see how long ago I shot these pictures?) But it’s covered in little scribbles. So yay, my hopes for this area being child entertainment are fulfilled!

Plus, it’s one of the first things you see upon entering the front door, so it makes a fun way to welcome guests!

kitchen 1

For the top of the chalkboard, I dry-brush painted two metal grates that I had found at an antique shop years ago, then tied jute string from one end of the other and clipped pictures of our friends onto it, wash-line style.

Kitchen 5

Entering the kitchen a bit more… Having a window above my sink is dreamy!

And can you believe that Mr. Husband surprised me with this apron-front sink?? I could scarcely believe it when he told me. This is what I really wanted in here, but gracious, they’re expensive. So this is my birthday and Christmas and birthday and Christmas and birthday and Christmas gift for the next decade. :) We tried to justify the $$ because we really didn’t spend that much on the rest of the kitchen. :)

Ben added crown molding on the ceiling, and also on the top of the cabinets to make it look like staggered heights. This side is existing cabinetry, with the doors removed on the top half. We did order all new doors for the kitchen. [side note: we ordered them online instead of in-person, and they were way too “fussy” in real life. I would have preferred something a bit simpler had I known].

The chandelier was a $7 auction find.

Kitchen 7

A close-up of the apron-front. I love this baby! Not only does she look lovely and old and vintage-y…

Kitchen 33

… and fit so well with the butcher block counter top that Ben made out of old 2×4’s out of walls torn out of the house [isn’t that just precious??]…

Kitchen 34

… but it was perfect for bathing little children before the tub was hooked up…

Kitchen 36

… and it’s a perfect height for a little girl who loves to wash lettuce and is always asking to help in the kitchen.

Kitchen 37

One more peek at her. :)

Kitchen 17

Quite frankly, there is nothing I don’t love about this sink!

I chose the rainy-day blue color because I wanted a cool-feeling kitchen. The color is “Kittery Blue” in eggshell finish from Benjamin Moore, but we mixed pure white with it as well to soften it – the color was too bright blue for me.

It is so hot so much of the year where we live, and i didn’t want a “hot” color to where i’d feel like i was roasting along with my dinner. I think this is the reason I chose cooler colors throughout most of the house, which is quite unlike me, really. I have always loved COLOR. And now I still like color, but more splashes of color than rooms of color. Even though I still people’s bright colors and think to myself how lovely it looks and perhaps i should have done that too… :)

Details in the window cupboards… Wanting it to feel cozy, not sterile (though definitely clean!).

I love my open cabinets. It feels so comfortable. Not sure why, but it does. And guests know where my glasses and everything are. No opening five cupboard doors before finding the right one!

My open cabinets were inspired by The Lettered Cottage and A Country Farmhouse in particular, and a few other magazine sources.

Kitchen 13

I had so many white/silver/glass dishes, so I didn’t go out and buy many at all. I did add a few little things I found for a dollar or two at junk shops.

Kitchen 12

Fun little cups I picked up at my favorite little junk shop. These are our chocolate milk glasses. :)

Kitchen 4

These are my fave. So sweet and cute.

Kitchen 23

This mirror was randomly placed here soon after we moved, when we tried to clean up the house one day to get ready for guests. And what do you know, but I really liked it there. So it stays! I dry-brush painted this gold frame, and I love how it made the molding stand out. This is also my little picture board while I’m washing dishes. Seeing happy faces while I’m cleaning up seems to make the job happier!

Kitchen 15

Kitchen 3

This reads, “peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” [unknown] I so often need this reminder!

A container [found at Goodwill – does anyone even know how much I love Goodwill??] filled with glass vases. Sometimes this is emptied out and used at a salad bowl for company. And sometimes the vases are gone and scattered all over the house, holding various flower arrangements and buds.

Kitchen 29

And the third fireplace of the house is in the kitchen. Believe it or not. I can’t wait to use it in the winter! I think I will actually like cooking and baking then!

Kitchen 11

Little girl who follows me around the house while I shoot pictures. :)

Kitchen 10

Kitchen 9

And another look I’ve had on this mantel. It’s fun to change it around a bit, but I know I will not be one of those people who changes their mantels every single season. Because, with 5 fireplaces, that would be 20 different mantel-scapes, and I know is not going to happen here!

Kitchen 31

Kitchen 32

My baking corner. Pretty much all I need to bake with (pans, mixing bowls, ingredients, beaters, refrigerator) is within arms reach.

Before & After 033

Ben also made this concrete counter top. Yeah, he can do pretty much anything he sets his mind to. It all started when we began pricing new counter tops, and were blown away with how expensive they are! My ever-frugal husband began thinking of alternatives to the classic counter tops, and decided to experiment with this. The only cost was a few boards to frame up the counter top and the concrete to pour in it. Very very inexpensive.

People that make concrete counter tops as a business must have formulas and things for different colors. We didn’t, so it was pure experimentation. He added some black dye in the concrete when he first made it, but it only turned it a light grey, and we both wanted a charcoal color. So he rubbed ebony wood stain on top after it was dry, and then sealed it. It turned to the perfect color. I think he’s a genius. :)

Now that we’ve lived with it for a while, I still LOVE it. However, we would go with grout sand rather than concrete sand. It would make a smoother finish.

We searched online for “DIY concrete countertops” and found various blogs and tutorials.

I love the practicality of it as well – my pans can come directly out of the oven and be set on the counter.

Kitchen 25

Ben took away the old yellow vinyl and replaced it with beadboard. I really like this look.

Bamboo and white tongs in one jar, black and stainless steel in another. I’m funny about that.

Kitchen 28

A flat-top stove! Very, very exciting after my vintage model at our rental. :) I kept trying to tell myself that “Hey, vintage is cool!” but I wasn’t able to convince myself. A flat-top feels so clean and I have been loving it! We did get all new appliances in the kitchen.

Kitchen 8

Can you believe that my dear friend Linda found this at a yard sale for TWO DOLLARS, and GAVE it to me?? I couldn’t believe that she didn’t keep it for herself!

Kitchen 2

And now after seeing my perfectly clean kitchen, looking like it’s never used, I’ll clear up that illusion and tell you that this is what it looks like quite often. Almost daily, in fact. Except without the cookies.

Ben made these cabinets on this side, but we ordered doors.

Kitchen 18

And now you know that I live in a real world. :) Yes, I realize it does not look safe for my children to be on the counter. But if you only knew how happy they are to be up there with me, you’d allow it too. And yes, I do stay close by. Except when taking pictures. :)

Once more, before:

Kitchen before 3 Kitchen before 2



Kitchen 24

[I think a round jute rug would look so very cozy right in the center of the kitchen, but where do I find one for super cheap??]

Kitchen 7

Kitchen 34

Thanks for taking my little long tour!


Farmhouse Sink:

Blue wall color: Kittery Blue; Benjamin Moore, in eggshell, mixed half/half with pure white trim paint [edit: this is discontinued. the closest thing I could find was ‘Harbor Fog’ by Benjamin Moore.
This Harbor Fog would not need to be diluted or altered; it’s the closest match to the finished wall color that I could find.]

Butcher Block Color:   Waterlox (a food-grade sealer), multiple coats, no poly

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the butcher block countertop through messages, so I’ll answer a bit here:

The kitchen butcher block countertops are made from reclaimed Antique Southern Pine. We then used only Waterlox, multiple layers (like 4-6!) because poly isn’t food-grade safe. The Waterlox does give a water-proof sealant, and also a bit of natural color although it’s not considered a stain. We didn’t use any color/stain on the countertops. The amber color came because of the Antique Pine and combination of Waterlox.

Cabinet color: Dove White, by Sherwin Williams

Floor Stain: Dark Walnut; Minwax

Cabinet doors: cabinet door world

156 thoughts on “My Kitchen at the Cottage {before and after}

  1. rachi882

    I am green with envy. :) And blue with sadness…because I live in an old rental…yellow siding, windows that won’t open, 1 closet, etc….
    Your kitchen is beautiful! One day when I have my own house again, I will look to your cottage pictures for inspiration!

  2. fruitloops115

    Oh my. How. beautiful. I love it all. I love the blue. and the baskets, the open cabinets, the EAT, the fireplace, the countertops. I love how open and airy it seems. How beautiful, and how clever your husband is to make all these things. What a dreamy kitchen.
    BTW, as soon as I saw the words ‘before/after’ in the subscription updates, I got the same giddy feeling that I get when I get a fresh new magazine in the mail, or something equally delicious. When I open it, i savour every bit along the way, just like I did this post. Loved every second of your long tour.

  3. seekinHISwisdom

    Like Thelma I felt giddy to read “before and after” as well. There is something great about things being reborn. Love the new look, the whites always draw me though I seldom go white.

    The beams, counter top, open shelves and your personal touch…all beautiful.


    I love what you’ve done, Clarita! Your kitchen is beYOUtiful . . . and one day I will come work/sit in it with you. :) I love the “EAT” in red . . . stands out kinda like your poster in the LR. I am wondering if your cupboards are pure white~same as your trim, etc.? Phil bought off white for my cupboards last Christmas, but then I got scared that I wouldn’t like it and have been holding on to my black ones. Will I?? Should I? Getting rid of the black would help with the poor lighting situation that we have, that’s for sure.

    My room project for the children is coming, but s.l.o.w.l.y. One day I shall have “after” pictures to go with the “before” pictures. :) And hopefully that “one day” will be before this baby arrives. I have loved hearing from you in your recent comments and since I feel like I’m behind in about everything right now . . . well, one day I’ll be caught up a little more and give you a call. Until then, enjoy your beautiful home and family. Love!

  5. thisisabother

    love the utensil containers & wonder where you got them. i’m not real fond of utensils on the counter but truly like yours in a basket! beautiful kitchen (i’m w/you about cooking/baking)! :)

  6. JakeandJanelle

    you were on my mind so i came to pay you a visit….and look what i found, (a reason to stay up EVEN longer)!  I told myself I was GOING to be in bed by 10:30pm….so much for that! 

    i am in LOVE with your space.  I too have that same picture torn out of that magazine.  I went much more vintagey in my kitchen, but nevertheless, loved the idea of it all!  and that SINK, oh, you must NAME HER!!!!! she’s worth that.

    someday i will visit you and we will talk late into the night, (or early into the morning)!

    love from up the coast!


    p.s. i’m soooo sorry you didn’t make bundles of dollars @ your precious little stand, however you have gifts for the next 10 years!!! 

  7. myall4christ81

    Gorgeous! Some day when the Lord sees fit to give us a house, I will have to pick your brain for inspiration. In the mean time, I will do my best to be greatful for my small apartment knowing it’s not forever. And hey, it’s more than others have, right? :)

  8. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    what everyone else is sayin’: magazine material!
    so beautiful!!
    my favorite part is the sink. oh, my sister and i talk about that kind of sink, and someday! when i’m all growed up, i’m gonna have me a sink like that! ;O) they are soooo wonderful!
    i have to say that what you all have is a GifT. a gift in that you can do this yourselves. seriously, not just anyone can do that, and you and your husband have surely been blessed!!
    thanks for sharing your gifts with us!!

    happy weekend!

  9. clearlyhis

    Your Kitchen is totally darling!  you are amazing lady (and Ben too)! 

    Seems like a kitchen like that would make cooking /baking fun for anyone! =)

  10. smilesbymiles

    Clarita, this is GORGEOUS!!!! I love your cottage style … just so perfect for the little cottage you live in and so refreshing and clean and restful. I was telling my SIL about your house the other day b/c she’s getting ready to paint her living room and I said that every time I see pictures of your house, it feels like my mind gets a rest. I just want to come sit in it. :) Only half the pictures are loading so I’ll come back and look at the rest later. I love what I do see so very much!

  11. down_onthefarm

    my heart starts to pound now when i see that you’ve posted a before and after!!!
    gorgeous. just gorgeousness!!! i love the cool, the white, your SINK and many, many clever ideas!
    you two make a great team! with kitchens and babies! ;)

  12. singingrachel

    wowzers girl… you guys do miraculous things TOGETHER as a team. Love seeing that in couples.  love the concrete counters, the sink, the open cupboards, the white and blue and just overall coziness.

    i also totally get the ‘don’t enjoy cooking’ comment and i’m with you… i want to learn to like it, and i think i am s.l.o.w.l.y, because it’s going to be a part of my life FOREVER.  (pretty sure that’s NOT going to be my job discription in heaven PTL)  :)

    Happy wkend to you.

  13. Elizabethmarie_1

    I’m going to cry I’m so jealous of your kitchen!!! It’s GORGEOUS!!! 
    I came onto your site right after you posted yesterday, and left it on my screen so my husband could see your wooden countertops when he came home from work. I really like them.  But, I forgot to tell him when he came in, and he clicked off the screen before I could show him. I’ll have to show him tonight. 
    I highly dislike my kitchen.  It pretty much looks the same as your before pictures! Cabinets, same dark, dreary color, scallopy wood thing above the sink…I hate it!   We are still in the thinking planning stage of the kitchen!  I do want to brighten it up, it’s so dark!   
    I LOVE your new kitchen! I love the colors, and I am coveting, coveting, coveting your farm sink!!! I want one!  Waaaaaaaaa!!! Lol.
    Ok, I think your house is cute enough to go into a magazine! You are so creative! You should send all your before and after pictures to This Old House! I’m serious, you really should. You two did a GREEEEAT job! =)  Thanks for sharing!!!

  14. carriedoneagleswings

    I love your kitchen, Clarita! Actually I love all of your house that I’ve seen pictures of. You have a real gift. I agree with the above commenter. Your photos and story are worthy of This Old House. Thanks for sharing!

  15. redladybug18

    so many things I wanted to comment about but I probably can’t remember them all! I love your decorating style. I think if I ever have a house I’d like to order one just like yours ;) Sounds like so much work-I know since we just recently redid our kitchen too-but man is it so nice to have it all done and beautiful!
    I love the idea of the pictures and chalkboard too. So fun for little hands!
    I can’t believe you have 5 fireplaces in such a small house and in a house where you don’t live terribly far up north. I like the kitchen decorated mantle as well-I’ve never seen one in a kitchen so it’s neat and different. We put a mantle frame in our hallway upstairs and then put family pictures over it to give the hallway something interesting. Looks kinda cool if you ask me.
    I’m with you on letting the kids get on the counters…keeps them out of other business in the house, you know exactly where they are, and they get to have fun too-though you never know how many cookies your missing at the end!
    As for baking, I’ve found in the hot summertime I really hate it but then in the winter when it’s all cold and I want something warm to eat, I love baking. I used to hate doing the dishes with a passion but then the month long girls camp I go to every year in the summer cured that and now I just view it not a drudgery but as something that just has to be done and then it’s over with. Maybe doing all those dishes there with friends fixed the mindset of how bad it was. :) Cooking is just one of those daily things you just have to do…..kinda like getting up in the morning :P Though, if you continue to get those girls cooking you won’t have to do much in a few years :P My mom started me stirring the gravy for Thanksgiving every year and by the time I was 7 I could make it all by myself :) Now I’m known as the gravy maker at my house….no dares take that job :)

    As for finding a rug, I’d look on craigs list. There’s some good deals on there.

  16. aretheyallyours

    You did a wonderful job on this remodel!  You have such great ideas.  We are getting ready to move into an older home and I can’t wait to get started painting/decorating/fixing up.  You gave me lots of great ideas!!

  17. ABAHM

    Came on a rec from Liz. I love love your kitchen remodel, and all the fun, great looking things you did! I could move right in. We did a remodel way back as a young family, a wonderful time, busy, but lots of energy! Your sink is fantastic, I just see it full of vases and flowers being arranged. You are right, your hubby is a genius, and you are too. Well done!

  18. lovinbloggin

    sooo soooo pretty! i love the blue color
    and the countertops your hus made for you.
    and love your decor.
    and your chandelier.
    and your cuties up on the counter.

  19. baileyandme

    ok, your kitchen is so pretty it kinda insane. i have brain freeze in a good way.
    i don`t even know you– but it looks very “you”.
    you have a gift is all i can say.
    all i could think of was how much i would love to come visit you and curl up beside one of those fireplaces.
    love the shiny wood countertop!!
    and the apron sink!!!
    so much more to say but it`s an understatement to say i should not be on the computer right now. crazy week. :)
    thanks for making my very laaaaaaaaaaate night! it`s after 1:00 am here…

  20. rugbana

    I dropped by from a link to elizabethmarie and enjoyed reading and looking at all the projects in your remodel. Great job. I was very inspired by the concrete counter tops. Very neat idea. Thanks for sharing.

  21. mel5680

    Love the white cabinets.  Just wondering if that makes for more cleaning?!  I try to keep cleaning to a minimum around here and would be concerned about that with so many little boys in this house, I already have enough to do!

  22. lifeisadance

    @rachi882 – – one day! and right now will make one day all the more special. even though that doesn’t make right now more special, I know!

    @fruitloops115 – you made my day. :)

    @FOREVERLANE – my cupboards are off-white. i think they hide the dirt a little better like that, and they’re not to stark and cold. i say go for it in your kitchen! :) and looking forward to those before and after of *yours*!

    @thisisabother – the utensil containers came from T.J.Maxx or Marshalls, I can’t remember which, and they were about $3 each. I have loved them too!

    @JakeandJanelle – I LOVE your idea to name my sink!! I think I shall have to do that! :) And yes, would LOVE to have you here – anytime! :)

    @smilesbymiles – You just made my day when you said these pictures bring you rest, because that is sooo what I want it to do! Thank you!

    @down_onthefarm – kitchen and babies, huh? :))

  23. lifeisadance

    @aretheyallyours – I peeked in on your blog, and sounds like you will have so much fun in your old new house! Cheers!

    @baileyandme – do you even know how much I would love if you could come??

    @mel5680 – my cabinets are off-white, even though that doesn’t show on the pictures very well. and yeah, they’re probably a little harder to keep clean than stain, but they brighten my kitchen so much that I don’t mind. I often quickly wipe the cabinets after a meal, or when I wipe up the floor, so they don’t get too dirty for too long. And Mr. Clean magic eraser works wonders on them!

  24. MartinTreehouse

    Wowz!! I love cozy houses! That kitchen is big compared to the ones I’ve lived in! You made it seem bigger with your decorating. It looks so awesome. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have such a dreamy house!

  25. Anonymous

    I get so excited to when I see a new makeover post from you! Your kitchen is just DELISH!! I seriously want to buy another house just so I can re-do a kitchen again – it is just so much FUN! We seem to both be blessed with hubbys who can take our creative visions and make them come to life. I especially love your concrete counter tops – I totally want to try that sometime! Your kitchen is amazing!! Awesome job! ~Aimee

  26. dreamstillcometrue

    If I didn’t know and love you so well, I would see this and either 1.) unsubscribe immediately in fear and intimidated trembling, 2.) hide in a [dull, undecorated] corner the rest of my life, or 3.) hire you to be my lifelong interior designer no matter the cost. On second thought, I know and love you so well but I’m STILL going to hire you as my designer. :) You are fabulous, dear sister, and I can’t wait to visit your little kitchen again.

  27. lin789

    i remember coming across your site once before and you were in the throes of remodel. I come back to THIS! I  truelly felt that jittery excitement  just looking at the beautiful transformation. so much talent you guys have. To dream and then get it right!

    I AM inspired . b/c we have an old house too. A big one. and we are so tired. i think we will never see the end. But seeing this makes me want to kick it up once again and get serious.                                                                                                                                                                                                             love love the sink. thanks for the gorgeous tour…

  28. Anonymous

    I am so delighted to see how creatively you approach your roles of woman, wife, mother, and homemaker.  This kitchen, your entire house, inspire this  fifty-something, empty nester so much my socks are nearly falling off.  Keep blogging, keep inspiring us all.  I think we just need to ask the Lord of ALL creativity to pour creativity into our lives as we desire to serve Him in the four roles mentioned above.

    Most sincerely,

    Kim W.

  29. Anonymous

    Would you mind sharing the color, brand and finish of the paint you used on your cabinets? It is the absolute perfect shade of off-white. Beautiful kitchen!!!

  30. lifeisadance

    @darcyinmo@twitter – Thank you so much! We absolutely love our kitchen! :) There is one thing I have regretted, however, and that is mixing the paint colors ourselves to get the desired color! Yes, there is no name. :( I mixed a light blue and a grey together myself, and have wished ever since I would not have done so. I’m so sorry I don’t know the color name or brand!

    The concrete countertops were definitely an experiment, and one we’ve been happy with! My husband did build all the forms and do everything himself, but he went online and googled ‘concrete countertops’ and there are a lot of tutorials and guides. I love that it looks somewhat like stone, but for a fraction of the cost!

  31. turnstylevogue

    I just pinned your countertops…they are beautiful and what a wonderful change from expensive granite (like mine, lol…) If I ever build again or renovate, I will be stealing a page from your book :)

  32. Anonymous

    Your kitchen is beautiful!!  I love the cabinet doors, don’t think they are fussy at all, where did you order them online? My hubs and I are doing our first major remodel now, the masterbath…..several lessons learned! But great experience overall and we love it!

  33. KellenorB


    I’ve been looking at various ideas / methods for making frugal wood countertops… any chance you and your husband would share your “how to” for making the 2×4 counter? I’d be forever grateful… ( kkellenor at gmail dot com )

  34. Anonymous

    I was wondering if you could tell me the paint color and brand you used for the cabinets and blue wall color please! I Love it and can’t wait to do mine!! Thank you!!

  35. lifeisadance

    @t2key – Hi! We would recommend using grout sand instead of concrete sand (it’s finer, and makes a smoother surface) – we found that out too late! :) Unfortunately we didn’t do step by step instructions when we were making the countertops, but  if you google “how to make concrete countertops” or something like that, you should be able to find some good tutorials. That’s what we did, and we found some very helpful sites! Good luck! :)

  36. Joslyn

    I am in love with your kitchen. You guys did a fantastic job!! Can you come and do mine now :) My husband and I are hoping to re-do our kitchen with this similar style!

  37. Robin

    I just love your kitchen. We actually have very similar kitchens…white cabinets, bead board, wood floors and accents. I am in love with your blue walls. I went to my paint store and they said, “Kittery Blue” doesn’t exist. Is it a custom color or from another brand?

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Hi Robin! How neat that we have similar kitchens! I’d love to see yours! I do think the ‘Kittery Blue’ has been discontinued. :( How sad! I wish I knew of a paint color to replace it that would be similar! If I find one I’ll let you know.

  38. Mickey

    I LOVE this renovation! This is EXACTLY what I’ve been wanting to do in my new home. This site for the door fronts is wayy cheaper than home depot is quoting me for prices. I’m curious though, which style of door front did you get? I can’t seem to find the same one you used online? Thanks!

  39. Stephanie

    Hello! I love you kitchen as well! Can you tell me the height of your cabinets? We were thinking of updating our kitchen cabinets and I was wondering if yours were a standard size with added molding. Thanks!!

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Hi Stephanie! Thank you for visiting! :) The height of our cabinets before molding is 90 inches, and to be honest I’m not sure if that’s standard height or not! But we did just add the crown molding onto the existing cabinetry in varying heights. The transformation was amazing! Good luck!

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Hi Susannah! We used oil-based paint for the cabinets for better wear and finish, even though it’s much more trouble! But I am so sorry, I cannot remember what the exact color was! (we had a bit of miscommunication with the painter). It was in the Creamy Whites line – not true white, but unless you have a pure white next to it, it looks white. I’m sorry I can’t be better help!

      1. Lauren

        Hi! Did you order the cabinet doors unfinished and then paint them yourself?? Also, where did you get the paint for your cabinets just a home improvement store? Also, what kind of clear/top coat did you use? Thank You!!

        1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

          Hi Lauren! We did order unfinished cabinet doors and paint them ourselves. We recommend good quality paint from Sherwin Williams, or somewhere similar – paint stores are great places to ask questions and get good tips. :) We did not seal the cabinets with anything after painting them, although that would probably be a good idea. Hope that helps!

          1. Lauren

            Hi! Thank you for responding so quickly! What paint finish did you use for the cabinets? Satin, eggshell ect.?

            Thank You!!

        2. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

          Hi Lauren! We used an oil satin paint from Sherwin Williams for the cabinets. The oil paint makes the finish just a bit glossier than latex, but it makes cleaning and wiping down the cabinets a lot easier too! Hope that helps! :)

  40. Chelsey chiesl

    Hi! I love what you have done with your house. I too live in a small old house and we are slowly remodeling….I was wondering on the butcher block counter tops what y’all used to fill the gaps between the boards?

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Hi Chelsey! Thanks so much! The butcher block counter tops…. we used wood glue and clamps to make the counter tops, and that was it! After sanding and installation we used something called “Water Lox” which is a sealer and gave it about 8 coats of that. I hope the remodeling goes well! :)

  41. Helen McCulloch

    I have recently gave my kitchen a facelift and when I saw your site I was inspired by not only your kitchen, but your love for God. You are so blessed to have such a precious family and I pray that god continues to pour himself in you!!By the way, my reno is very similar. Love the cream cupboards and I save a lot of money by having mine sprayed and not replaced.

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Your comment was one that blessed me so much! Thank you for your life-giving words, and I wish blessings upon you in return! And isn’t it so exciting to have a seemingly new kitchen for at bargain value?! I love the beauty and new start to an old, worn-out before!

  42. Dagmar Bleasdale (@DagmarBleasdale)

    Dear Clarita, well, this is scary – we just moved into our little cottage, the Blue Cottage, it’s about the same size of yours, and our kitchens are so similar! Same farmhouse sink, and I want those exact open shelves you have over the sink. We totally have the same style! Oh, and my husband is a finish carpenter and we are slowly fixing up the cottage. Going to make a coffee to read on. Glad I found your blog!

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Hi Dagmar! It was great to hear from you, and I would love to see your kitchen too! The cottage style kitchens are so warm and inviting, I think. I followed the link to your blog and had a delightful surprise! It was fun to see your ‘dream home’ tours! I’d love to see your before & afters – send me a link? :)

  43. susan macisaac

    HI Clarita,
    My husband and I just bought our second house this last july, the exterior looks a lot like your before except for the 2 bump-outs on either side. Our house was built in the 1880’s. The kitchen layout is almost identical and so is the living room.I have been scratching my head and trying to figure out how I was going to lay out those rooms, you have been an immense help.thank you. who says you cant teach an old dog new tricks.would love to send pics but dont know how on this site.

  44. Demi

    Such a beautiful kitchen! I have been on the hunt for a utensil holder and I absolutely LOVE yours! Where did you get it from?!?

  45. Laura

    Hi Clarita! Just came across your blog as I was searching Pinterest for backsplash ideas. I am entertaining the notion of beadboard, because well….its so wonderful! You’re overall look is similar to what I envision in my 1971 kitchen. I am already in the process of painting the cabinets a creamy white and I have wrought iron knobs and pulls. I wonder though if the wood countertops and the wood floor seem to be overkill but it looks like that is not the case in your kitchen. Thank you for having a place for me to view them in action! Do you ever have issues with water or scratches on the floor or the countertop? I just know with kids and animals its bound to happen and I don’t want it to be a point of tension, just charm :)

  46. Janet Hurley

    I love your kitchen! We are buying a farmhouse in Cullman AL, and I would love for the kitchen to turn out as well as yours! You have a beautiful family! (found you from Pinterest)

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      You are so sweet! It is so much work to redo a kitchen/house, but the effort is so worth it! We have absolutely loved this little cottage. All the best to you, and I hope your farmhouse kitchen turns out even better than you hope. xo

  47. Michelle

    We are remodeling our kitchen and I came across this post. I absolutely love the colors. Did you paint the ceiling moulding the same color as the cabinets or the white of the ceiling? Also what about the door frames?

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Hi Michelle! Thanks for visiting! We still love our kitchen. :) The ceiling molding and door and door frame were painted pure white (a bit different from the ceiling white and cabinets). It all blends together well, even though the cabinets are a bit creamy in color and the trim is all pure white. Hope that helps!

  48. Beth

    I know this might be a personal question (so please feel free not to answer!) but I was wondering about how much you spent on this kitchen? Our kitchen is almost identical in layout and size (it’s pretty uncanny actually!). We are itching for a remodeling and I LOVE this kitchen. Just hoping that you could point us in the right direction budget wise. We were looking at making/reusing cabinets and we already have flooring.

    Thanks! :)

  49. V

    I love your kitchen! For those wanting as similar look, artist Susan Branch has a very old home on Martha’s Vineyard and she used Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee on her cabinets (a creamy white that looks good with white appliances) and Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue on her walls – you can see it on her site- just google Susan Branch kitchen makeover. Also Benjamin Moore makes a wonderful new formula Advance paint that has a beautiful oil finish (very durable) and cleans up with water! It also will not yellow over time like oil based paints do. Still it is much more durable and long lasting than the typical latex paint. They make a floor paint also with the oil finish, but water clean up. Homespun Living blogger says that it is very durable and holds up to traffic even from the dogs! Sherwin Williams also has a beautiful blue Copen Blue. Pretty Handy Girl did her kitchen in Swiss Coffee and Copen Blue if you want to visit over there to see. My local Benjamin Moore store can mix Sherwin William and Glidden colors in their paint–I bet most Benjamin Moore stores still have the formula for Kittery Blue.

  50. Tamara

    Michelle, hurray for you and letting your girls stand on the counter top. I used to let mine do that so that they could explore my spice cabinet. You have excellent taste and me thinks a brilliant take on mommyhood.

  51. Melissa

    One day I decided I wanted a fireplace in my kitchen. It couldn’t be a real one, and we were building it out of scrap wood, so I went to Pinterest for ideas, and saw yours and loved it. Thank you for sharing your lovely home, so that people like me with very little creativity can draw good inspiration for making a nicer looking home.
    Here’s links to how ours turned out, if you’re interested in seeing,

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Thanks so much for your kind words, I’m so happy to be of inspiration! I’ve been inspired by so many people as well! And love what you did in your home – the idea of a faux fireplace is perfect!

      1. gardensatserenity

        I have a real fireplace in my living room and love so much. My husband built the wood mantel around it. I wanted the same look in my master bedroom. I started shopping at antique stores to find a white mantel ……yeah, I found one and my husband nailed to the wall and I painted the lower part black, which would be the wall where a real fireplace would have fire brick. It adds such character to the room. The mantel itself is all white.

  52. Susan

    Love the kitchen makeover! It is very warm and cozy looking and the bamboo window shade adds an even more inviting feel. Here is a link to a bedroom makeover you might enjoy It also features a bamboo shade, vs. white window blinds. It is a driftwood flatweave bamboo, from Home Depot. It really gives the bedroom more character, I think.

  53. Morgan

    Hi! I was wondering if you could give me the stain you used as well as poly you used for your countertops. I love the finish! Also, do you know the name of the off-white paint you used? I love it! Thank you!

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Hi Morgan!
      We didn’t use a stain on the countertops; we just sealed it with a no-color poly and then used Waterlox (a food-grade sealant) and put multiple coats on of that. The color is the natural color of the wood. The off-white cabinet color is Dove White by Sherwin Williams. Hope that helps! :)

        1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

          Hi Elizabeth! We just used 2X4’s that were in the house, but we tore down walls to open up the rooms. So no special kind of wood! And my husband used glue and clamps to hold the wood together. It has held up wonderfully!

          1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

            He used neither; but glued it all together, screwed each piece to the next piece from the back side, and used pipe clamps overnight. If you glue and clamp it sufficiently, the screws may not even be necessary.

  54. Stacie

    Love love this! I’m working on my remodel now and want the same, white cabinets with blue walls. My problem is the wall color for the living room that is practically in the same room! What color is your living room? It seems to blend well with the blue and white. Thanks

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Our living room color is “Tuscan Beige” by Ace Hardware, which we have loved! However, we would recommend getting that color in Sherwin Williams or Ben Moore paint rather than Ace Hardware – both of those are much better quality!

  55. ellenmeehan

    I stumbled across your blog while looking for ideas to complete my almost 10 year long kitchen renovation on our second DIY home. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at all your pictures. It reminded me of our remodels and the days working around little ones. My husband is quite handy/frugal too, and made every attempt to see my dreams for a home come true. Glad to see the next generation of DIYers – conserving and appreciating previous generations’ work. I love what you did in your kitchen. Enjoy your home!

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Thanks so much for your kind words! I love to meet fellow DIY-ers – there is a mutual understanding and appreciation of the hard work and end results! It is wonderful to be able to preserve and bring to life something that was once neglected. Have a great day!

  56. Lauren H

    I love this! So you first sealed with the no color poly (how many coats of the poly?) then followed by 8 coats of waterlox? Did you have to sand in between coats? My husband and I are planning to do this in our new home. Thanks for sharing!

  57. marya

    I aabsolutely LOVE your kitchen!! My husband and I just bought our first home and move in soon! I have been so overwhelmed and stressed with the endless options of paint, floors, countertops, etc! I’m so thankful for this post and details of everything you did because it’s now my inspiration!

  58. Tiffany

    I can’t believe how much your before photo looks like my kitchen right now! And I love the after! Did you guys paint the cabinets or get all new cabinets?

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Thank you so much! We love our little cottage kitchen! :0 We mostly painted the existing cabinets, and added crown molding on the top for varied height. A few of the cabinets had to be replaced, and we bought all new doors.

  59. krists

    I love your kitchen! I’ve recently moved into a new home; it’s been renovated by the previous owners but it doesn’t feel like a home. I really like the cottage/rustic homely feeling, and your kitchen has every element I want… down to the pale blue! Beautiful job!

  60. Marya Fenton

    I love this kitchen! I’ve been looking at paint colors and I know you said that kittery blue isn’t an option any more but I still can’t find Harbor Fog. Is there another paint color that similar to your kitchen?

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Hi Lana! Basically, Ben glued the boards together, clamped them overnight, and then used a few screws to hold it tightly together. We sealed it with Waterlox sealant, and it’s been wonderful! We LOVE the butcher block countertops!!

  61. julie

    I absolutely LOVE your kitchen!! I was wondering your paint color… if we do the harbor fog, do we add half white to get it to look like yours? My mom was thinking of painting her pantry that color…

  62. LC

    Im loving your kitchen and thats what we are in the middle of doing right now, close to the same colors and design. Few questions about the sink, First are you still loving it? Has the front chipped or scratched? and which design/style was it?

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Yes, we are still LOVING our sink! It was one of the best choices we made when we remodeled the house. It is held up beautifully and there is no cracking or scratching that I’ve seen, and we use it daily! I cannot remember the exact design we chose, I’m sorry! But I linked to the website on the end of the blog post. Cheers!

  63. Jeri Bridgen

    Love your kitchen, Question. The butcher block looks amazing, but can you put hot stuff directly on it? And the coating looks shiny, and special thing used??

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Thank you so much!! We do love our butcher block countertop! But no, I do not place hot things directly on it. Wood is not considered that durable, and so we chose to put the concrete beside the oven, and the butcher block surrounding the sink for that reason.

  64. Nanci

    Your kitchen is amazing! We are doing a re-do (less involved than yours) and I SO wanted concrete on my island. Hubby wouldn’t agree though. :( I wish I had found this sooner, I might have been able to convince him with your DIY tips. Congratulations on your beautiful home, I know you are enjoying it!

  65. Aubrey

    Did I read right, that you did not stain the butcher block countertop?! I’m in envious awe that the wood is a perfect color! Lol I am curious though, why not wood countertop on all counters? I like the idea of being able to set hot ovenware directly on the counter instead of messing with a trivet or towel but I LOVE the look of butcher block!

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