A Tired Kitchen Gets a Fresh Farmhouse Makeover

Tips for Choosing Kitchen Countertops
A few tweaks can give your kitchen a fresh new look. See how this kitchen combines cottage design and DIY style to create a cozy and modern kitchen.

Before: Brown and Lifeless

The kitchen in this 1950s Cape Cod was in sad shape. Brown cabinets were the same tone as the floors, which created a bland and dingy look. Smart design tricks and DIY solutions -- plus lots of paint -- restored this kitchen to a cozy cottage gathering spot.


After: Bright and Lovely

Soft blue and white paint brightens and unifies the newly renovated kitchen. The existing island was replaced with a stock island, tricked out with a pegboard storage system and casters added to the legs to create a mobile workstation.

Rich walnut counters, found for a bargain at a flooring outlet, top the perimeter cabinets. The island's butcher-block top was stained to match, unifying the kitchen's look.

Durable porch paint in a warm khaki color covers the warped but solid wood floor.




Skip completely refinishing a wood floor and consider painting it instead. Here's how to decide if your wood floor is a candidate for this DIY treatment.

Get the Look: How to Paint a Wood Floor

Learn how to decide whether you have a floor that can be painted and what materials to use.

DIY Island Storage

Inspired by Julia Child's kitchen, a pegboard storage system was added to one side of the new island. Paint and DIY storage take a standard island to an organized workhorse.

Flea Market Finds

Bought at a flea market for $20, an old ladder makes a rustic pot rack. Pretty copper cookware hangs from nails along the side rails.

On-Display Storage

Open shelves keep cookbooks at the ready. Below, a vintage chair offers a spot to perch while hunting for the right recipe. Painted beaded board wraps around the room, adding color and dimension.

Pour On the Paint

Beaded-board paneling painted a dreamy blue was installed horizontally on the backsplash for a fresh spin on traditional wainscoting. Six cabinet doors were replaced with custom glass fronts to lighten the look for a fraction of the cost of completely new cabinets.

A set of secondhand chairs tucks under a freshly painted table against one wall in the kitchen, adding seating while keeping the walkway open. 

Pretty Details

Brackets mounted under the wall cabinet create the look of a hutch, another small detail that adds up to big style in this kitchen.

Pantry on Display

A nook in the corner of the kitchen was already outfitted with pantry shelves, but it got an upgrade with more blue beaded board. Pantry staples are stored in a collection of 1960s Pyrex with wood lids, as well as glass containers and tins. Below, a woven basket fitted with two metal bins is an attractive way to sort recyclables.

Countertops are a big ticket item in a kitchen. Use these tips to help you select the option that's right for your kitchen.

BONUS: Want Wood Countertops?

Learn what to consider and look for before you choose wood countertops.

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