Come see our new cottagecore kitchen reveal! We transformed a worn, run-down 1950s galley kitchen into a cottage kitchen full of beautiful pastels and country charm. Tour our kitchen today for some kitchen reno inspiration.
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Over the last four months or so (or what feels like eternity), we’ve been slowly working on renovating our kitchen all on our own. A daunting task even for intermediate DIYers.
To make it worse, we began renovations when I was in my first trimester of pregnancy. Somehow I powered through the nausea and fatigue and here we are today, almost into the third trimester and our cottagecore kitchen finally complete.
We mainly only had weekends to work on it and some weekends we just needed our rest or had social obligations with family. Our approach was just taking it one step at a time.
Part of me is really glad we approached this cautiously, as it allowed us more time to customize and create the perfect pieces, to pay as we went (vs going into credit card debt or taking out a loan), and to stay sane. Nothing good ever comes from rushing through big projects.
If there’s one thing we’ve realized since moving into our old home, it’s that our relationship is so much more important than the house.
As much as we wanted to get it all done, some days we were meant to spend quality time with one another instead of working in the kitchen. Renovations often put extra stress on relationships and for us it’s not always worth it. We’ve learned when to take a step back and just let things be for a while until we’re ready to try again.
All that being said, it is finished now and we are so happy with the results that we can’t imagine it looking any other way.
I’d been putting the kitchen off for the first three years we lived here and it was time to tackle it. I spend much of my time in the kitchen, creating content for this blog and going about my normal homemaking tasks. I love making things from scratch and consider myself an intermediate baker, so you can imagine how much time I end up spending in here.
All in all, we were able to spend around $1,500 on the large majority of the kitchen, which I’m very proud of. I also really wanted to invest in a new, more efficient, modern oven that had a sleeker design for our kitchen, so that added a decent amount on top. Unfortunately, we also ran into some electrical work early on in the beginning that we needed to get professionally done. Overall, we spent right around $4,000. Not bad for a brand new style and so many drastic changes.
All things considered this is still a very budget-friendly kitchen makeover, especially for the dramatic difference. Many large-scale kitchen renovations can cost upwards of $30,000, with even the cheaper ones costing $5,000+. A simple paint job with other basic aesthetic fixes can be much cheaper, but we had more major work to do than just that.
Now that you have a little bit of background, I think it’s safe to say you’re ready to get all the details about our new cottagecore inspired kitchen.
Cottagecore Kitchen Reveal
First and foremost, I knew we needed to cover as much of the dingy, textured walls as possible. Even after we’d previously changed to a white shade of paint on the walls that brightened up the room a bit, it still needed major ambiance added. It needed to look more fresh and new while still holding that country cottage charm that is both simple and elegant.
Beadboard is one of the most classic ways to add a cottage style to just about any room, especially bathrooms and kitchens. This was an easy decision for me, and with some chair moulding and the most dreamy beige paint I was able to recreate some inspiration I’d seen on other older country homes.
The effect adds height to the room, creating more interest and detail that allows us to juxtapose two textures and colors seamlessly alongside one another for a perfect cottage kitchen style.
You can read more about how we installed the beadboard in this post HERE.
White Farmhouse Quartz Sink
I had been dying to get a new sink since day one of moving in. I knew if I was patient enough I would eventually get what I desperately needed. Patience paid off and nearly three years after setting our roots here, we were able to find the purest white, roomy, farmhouse-style sink that fit perfectly and had a very affordable cost. After adding a new stainless steel faucet, we felt the look was complete.
I use this sink frequently between cleaning, cooking, and gardening. Because of this I baby it every single day, scrubbing and washing it thoroughly each evening before bed. This is definitely one of the main focal points in the kitchen that really gives it such a farmhouse-cottage style immediately upon entering. This is one of my favorite and most-used areas of the kitchen, so it was well worth the small investment.
Directly above this sink, I updated an old light fixture, giving it some life with a milk glass effect. We replaced the other light fixture in the center of the room with schoolhouse style lighting we’ve also used in our hallway and bathroom.
You can read about how I clean my farmhouse sink and keep it scuff free HERE.
You can read about how I updated the vintage light fixture in this post HERE.
‘Farm To Table’ Cabinetry
You can’t do a complete kitchen remodel without touching the cabinets. Rarely are they still in great shape after years of use. We had typical, cheap-looking 1950s cabinets from the get-go and as much as I wanted to rip them completely out, we could not afford to replace them in their entirety. That would have had a steep cost.
Our compromise was updating them through a beautiful sage green Farm to Table paint color, changing all of the hardware out, and adding in brand new lower cabinets only on one side of the kitchen. (The side opposite of the plumbing in our galley kitchen.) Before doing any of this, though, my husband replaced the water line that runs directly under our range and lower cabinets, and then we were able to proceed with the installation process.
You can read about how I transformed some of the existing cabinet hardware in this post HERE.
Rustic Custom Open Shelving
I knew I wanted to open up the kitchen since the space is small and prone to darkness. To lighten up the area, I decided to add open shelves to the side of our kitchen with our appliances. It is located directly above the oven range, located just to the right of the refrigerator.
I had already envisioned how I wanted to style the open shelves with both useful, convenient items and beautiful vintage-inspired pieces that gave it some life and personality of an old, country kitchen.
These shelves are practical, lovely to look at, and very easy to install. We didn’t spend much on materials and the brackets we used can bear a great deal of weight. It was a win-win situation.
You can read about how we made these DIY open shelves right HERE.
Slide-In Range and Marble Effect Countertops
I absolutely needed a new oven in more ways than one. You see, the previous one did work, but it didn’t work great. The door was janky and let out quite a bit of heat when it was going, a big no-no in an old home that gets warm in the summers.
The previous owners had not given it much love and care, and I could never get the inside or the racks clean no matter how many solutions I’d tried. I also really disliked how bulky and black it was. It just did not go well with the kitchen and would have looked so out of place in our newly updated cottagecore kitchen. I am not a fan of freestanding ranges because I hate the backing and like the seamless, sleek look of a range that looks like it was made for our cabinets and kitchen, not just shoved in as a last minute thought.
I cook and bake not only for my husband and I frequently, but I also use it often for my blog content on this website. Having a functional and beautiful oven was essential.
This new range looks great and I was pleased to get it during a Memorial Day sale at ⅔ of the regular cost. My only complaint is that one of my most-used burners in the front-left operates at a high level regardless of what setting it’s placed on, which is why I won’t link this product. We otherwise love it, but this would really be a deal breaker for many people. I’ve decided to make due and use it only for boiling water for pastas and coffee/tea. It is annoying, but it still serves a purpose.
As for the countertops, I had high hopes and every intention of replacing them with real stone, either quartz or marble. After those unexpected electrical costs in the beginning of our kitchen renovation, I quickly decided I’d need another option.
I debated pouring white concrete or even purchasing an epoxy painting kit where you paint the marbling effect on. I even considered butcher block, but decided against it because of the time it would take for fitting and installation, plus the maintenance involved.
Finally, we settled with purchasing some vinyl contact paper that had a marble effect on it that we could stick on top of our existing laminate countertops. This was not an easy task and I’m not head over heels for it, but it does look better and it will do for now.
I am happy to say that we successfully cut and installed butcher block countertops ourselves on the side of the kitchen we added new base lower cabinets to. We still added the vinyl marble paper on top to cover it so it would match the others. If we ever change our minds, it is intact underneath.
Glossy White Textured Subway Tile Backsplash
Since I knew I could affordably install a kitchen backsplash in a couple days’ time, I decided on these glazed subway tiles HERE. I absolutely love the sleek look they add to the kitchen, giving the cottage charm a more modern feel. The white subway tiles are very classic and are always on-trend, but I wanted them to deviate from the normal basic matte ones to something more unique and fitting for our kitchen.
I decided on these subway tiles that are larger in size than standard subway tile, with added texture that creates interest. It makes a perfect backdrop to the oven range and marble countertops with the floating shelves directly above. I am simply amazed with this side of the kitchen. It is completely brand new!
On the opposite side of the galley kitchen are our plumbing and other, older cabinets. The tile on this wall is still original to the house. It’s a basic square tile that I refinished with a tile painting kit. It’s plain, but it works with the kitchen and is in good enough condition to keep for now. I’d love to replace this eventually, but I also like keeping as much as I can of the original house.
Blue and White Vintage Checkered Floor
The very last task we had on our agenda for the kitchen was to update the vinyl tile floors. I was in no way interested in completely ripping out the tiles that were already in place. We had already done so much hard work to this room. I know if I took the time and effort to redo them I would invest in real tile, which can be pricey. I had my eye on some terracotta stone tiles, but I just didn’t think we could realistically pull it off on time and budget.
However, I happened to see a gorgeous blue and white checkered floor from another blogger that inspired the heck out of me in this kitchen. She had painted this effect onto hardwood floors in her studio and it looked stunning. It had a classic vintage style, but was gentler on the eyes than a stark black and white checkered tile effect.
Then I began seeing reels online of people painting their vinyl tile floors and updating the color on them without actually replacing the tiles. Apparently they had some success and since it was a frugal project, I decided why not combine the style of the first blogger with the methods of these other influencers?
Right then and there I decided to paint my tile floors a light blue and white, checkered and all, fit for a small cottage kitchen.
The results have been wonderful.
They went from a very builder-grade faux marble look to a more authentic checkered style that is classic with a modern twist. The colors bring some extra life into the room and help tone done all the warm beige and green on the cabinets and walls. It has such a serene, glorious feeling to it. I am in love! Something about it gives it a regal, European look without being too dramatic or looking out of place in this kitchen.