Design Quickie: A Cottage Kitchen

Remember that cozy, cottage-inspired living room that I designed for a lovely client a few weeks back?  Well, I promised you guys that I would also share the plans for her kitchen and dining area, so I’m back to deliver!!

Here’s a sneak peek at what we’re working with.  As you can see, everything is in great shape but it just needs a little tinkering to make it fabulous:

Design Quickie: A Cottage Kitchen

Each of the three design plans I created is totally affordable and provides a neutral base (per request) that my client can easily spice up with accessories, inexpensive rugs, or whatever she likes!  You will notice that all of the design plans feature the neutral walls and gorgeous hardwoods that are found in the design plan for her living room.  With an open concept plan like my client’s home, keeping the flooring and wall color continuous throughout the living room, dining area and kitchen is an important design factor that instantly makes the space appear larger because the rooms are not chopped up by different floorings and paint colors.  Because of this, the  soft beige paint and oak floors that are featured in the living room will be continued into the dining area and kitchen for a seamless, flowing look.

Let’s take a look at Option 1, which is simple and classic and can easily be dressed up or down as she pleases:

Kitchen + Dining Room - Pattern Play

Cabinets:  The existing cabinetry will feel fresh and new with a coat of crisp, white paint.  White cabinets are classic, and create an open and airy feeling.

Countertop:  This medium toned laminate countertop is made to look like natural stone, and will be a lovely complement to this neutral palette.

BacksplashSubway tile grouted in white will add to the airy feel of the kitchen, and at only 21 cents per tile my client won’t feel like she’s breaking the bank to achieve such a stylish backsplash.

Sink: This single bowl stainless steel undermount sink is the perfect addition to any kitchen, and its simple, clean lines will work perfectly with the classic design of this space.

Hardware:  These oil-rubbed bronze pulls and knobs will highlight and repeat the iron accents that are found throughout the living room and dining area.  A pop of black adds instant sophistication and drama to the white cabinets, and gives the cabinetry an added bit of personality.

Dining Table & Chairs:  The dining area is the perfect shape for this round table, which is lovely because it invites conversation.  The clean lines of  these woven banana leaf chairs are a nice contrast to the curves of the table, and create visual interest with their beautiful texture.  The existing barstools will look fabulous after receiving a coat of this walnut-toned stain.

Lighting:  The shape of the round table is repeated in this chandelier that will make the family feel like they are dining by candlelight.

Curtains:  The pattern of these cream and mahogany curtains add another layer of texture and interest to the space, and will look lovely framing the sliding doors.

Turning to Option 2, this design plan really plays upon the cottage features of the living room design plan to create a breezy and comfortable space:

Kitchen + Dining Room - Cottage

Cabinets:  The kitchen cabinets are kicked up a notch in this design plan, featuring khaki insets on a white background to add definition and visual interest to the cabinets.  This simple painting technique will be applied to each panel on the upper and lower cabinets.

Countertop:  The white accents in this stone-like laminate countertop will pick up the white in the woodwork throughout the room.

Backsplash:  Since we are going a bit more cottage in this design plan, a crisp beadboard backsplash is just the ticket.  As an added bonus, the beadboard will be a lovely tie-in with the beadboard in my client’s entryway.

SinkThis farmhouse sink is just the right combination of rustic and refined.

Hardware:  A bit of shine and shimmer is always a good thing, and these chrome knobs and cup pulls will sparkle on the existing cabinetry.  The cup pulls on the drawers will help convey the cottage-y feel of the room.

Dining Table & Chairs:  This dining room is all about being comfortable with family.  From a rustic trestle table to a cozy bench, family and friends will feel instantly at home in my client’s dining room.  The bench will look best placed so that it faces the kitchen, and the other side of the table will be flanked with these cross-back chairs.  Painting the bench and bar stools a crisp white will tie everything together perfectly.

LightingThis pendant light will look great hung above the table, with its natural woven shade adding oodles of texture and interest to that side of the room.

Curtains:  By repeating these curtains on either side of the sliding doors in the dining area, the living room and dining area will instantly feel cohesive.

Now for Option 3!!  This third option is the most formal of the design plans, but still allows for a cozy, family feel to the space:

Kitchen + Dining Room - Classic

Cabinets:  With this plan, the upper cabinets (as well as the larger pantry-sized cabinets) receive a coat of fresh white paint, while the lower cabinets and drawers become rich-looking with a coat of walnut stain.  This beautiful combination of finishes on the cabinetry will be both visually interesting and eclectic, which is a hallmark of cottage design.

CountertopThis granite-like laminate countertop provides the perfect transition from the rich lower cabinets to the fresh and crisp upper cabinets.  With touches of caramel, white, black and cream, the countertop embodies the color palette for this space.

Backsplash:  I would love to see this classic subway tile used for the backsplash, finished with black grout to define each tile and add a touch of drama.

Sink:  An undermount double-bowl stainless steel sink is the perfect combination of form and function, and will fit perfectly into this design plan.

HardwareThese iron cup pulls and knobs will look fabulous against the cabinetry, adding pops of black that will stand out against the white upper cabinets and look rich against the stained lower cabinets.

Dining Table & ChairsThis dining set is just beautiful, and will be perfect for family dinners.  The existing bar stools will fit right in with the rest of the wood in this space after a coat of walnut stain.

LightingThis textural pendant lamp mimics the shape of the dining table, and will provide a great focal point for this room.

CurtainsThese beautiful striped curtains add a refined touch to the kitchen and dining area, and will look fabulous flanking the sliding glass doors.

So there you have it – one space, three ways!  Which of these designs tickles your fancy?

P.S.  Thanks for all your advice about what to do with that corner of our den – most of you were thinking the same thing I was, which is always reassuring!  Hopefully I’ll have an updated photo for you guys soon!

This post is shared with DIY Day on A Soft Place To Land.

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  1. Jill says:

    Liz, you are the BEST! So creative! Seeing this again makes me want to JUMP right in!!! Know any good money trees I could plant??

    Thanks again! Keep up the GREAT work!

    BTW, how is the flip? Have you had any offers yet?

    • Liz says:


      I’m so glad you still love it! And yes, of course I know of a fabulous money tree!! :) You’ve taken on a ton of fun projects at once, and now you have a few more fun projects to look forward to when things settle down. As for the flip, no one’s taken it off our hands quite yet but we’re crossing our fingers that someone falls in love with it soon. :)

      ~ Liz

  2. christy says:

    I love all your designs Liz, but if it were MY house I’d go with the first option for sure. I love the table and chairs, the patterned curtains and that faux candle chandelier – so classy!

  3. Catherine says:

    I love the first one! (and the second and the third but the first one wins out for me this time….)

  4. Averill says:

    Hmm tough call but I think my vote is for #1 (with #2 being a close second for me). Truth be told, your client really can’t make a wrong decision!

    Can’t wait to see the “afters”!

  5. Joseph says:

    You have some excellent ideas for kitchens. That has been one of the recurring themes in my own life–looking for a way to make our bathrooms and our kitchen look really glorious, even though those rooms are much too small. One of the glories of the Internet, though, is that there is absolutely no dearth of ideas. Right now I have no idea of what I will ultimately do, but I keep hoping I will come up with something really slick.

  6. It is quite a traditional and clean design but I don’t like that contemporary aspect of having space above the wall cabinets.

  7. Motherhood says:

    What great ideas!! I would love a country kitchen!
    *Eliza’s blog*

  8. JohnB says:

    Number 1 wins for me!