How Do You Completely Overhaul a Kitchen on a Budget? Here's How

Design a Cottage Kitchen
With a too-small island, boring backsplash, and commonplace cabinetry, this kitchen needed some serious revisions. See how a Washington couple put their personal imprint on the lackluster suburban space.

Before: Cookie-Cutter Features

Despite up-to-date finishes, this suburban kitchen lacked the polished personality desired by the new homeowners. Lined with wood cabinets and sandstone tile, the space was too similar to other kitchens in the neighborhood.

After: Creative Cottage Style

A sophisticated color scheme of creamy white cabinets and woodwork, rich taupe walls, and light khaki ceilings allows the homeowners to layer seasonal accessories. The expanded island received new display shelves and a larger countertop. Polished granite countertops replace tired tile surfaces.

Before: Brown and Bland

With cabinets hugging every inch of wall space, the mostly-brown room felt cramped. A tile backsplash that spanned just a quarter of the wall shortened the space even further.

After: Bright in White

The couple's carpentry skills played a huge part in keeping costs low. Rather than hire a professional, they installed the paneling, crown molding, and display shelves found throughout the kitchen. An inexpensive cottage-style backsplash of white beaded board covers three-fourths of the walls. 

Charming Beverage Zone

Counter space and open shelves next to the fridge make the room feel open while forming a handy spot for drinks. Around the corner, a small butler's pantry repeats the kitchen's clean cottage color scheme.

Vintage Character

With a neutral foundation in place, homeowners were able to get creative with accessories such as vintage silver, white everyday dishes, and pops of pink. A single-handle faucet with vintage style adds personality.

Borrowed Hardware

Although the upper cabinets were replaced, homeowners refreshed the existing base cabinets with four coats of oil-based paint. Brushed-nickel cup pulls saved from the old kitchen complement the creamy white color.

Sleek Silver Finishes

Thick metal brackets give birchwood display shelving an industrial-chic attitude that is softened by cottage-style paneling. Purchased from IKEA, the cheap shelves were sanded and painted to match the cabinets.

Great Lengths

A new wood frame and extended countertop made it possible to incorporate a discount beverage refrigerator found on Craigslist. The expanded surface seamlessly links the kitchen and dining nook.

Room to Grow

The homeowners' favorite feature? This L-shape banquette bench that extends to the cabinetry. A chalkboard made from purchased corkboard greets visitors with inspirational messages, while gauzy white curtains from IKEA and pretty homemade pillows soften the seating area.

Cheery and bright, cottage kitchens often feature simple white cabinetry, a farmhouse sink, and plenty of charm. Get inspired to add cottage style to your own kitchen!

Creative Ideas for a Cottage Kitchen

With a little design direction, you can infuse cozy cottage charm into your kitchen. Watch as we share our most inspiring ideas for the style.

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