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Country french kitchens

Description: Country french kitchens
File name: Country french kitchens

(photo credit - Mark Lohman- for  Maison Chic Magazine)
I have often asked myself why I fell in love with this house.

Why I decided to take on all the work it needed... 

along with all the headaches,

 aching back

 and hair pulling that came along with it.

 (photo credit - Mark Lohman for Maison Chic magazine)

 There were several reasons why we bought our house...

and when I think about it...part of what talked to me was this kitchen.

It was the first thing that greeted me when I walked in with my realtor

Tall white cupboards.

Old red lucite hexagon knobs

Planks of grooved knotty pine on the walls 

and a lot of space to work with

The kitchen had a few good points that were untouched and original
in this vintage loving girls eye.

But just a few good points...

they were THE ONLY good points.
The bad points stood out much more.

This is what the kitchen looked like when we first walked in.

Ceiling fans -especially in the kitchen are totally not my thing

and that beer bottle pull on the fan string was the topper
that put me over the edge.

A vintage oven...

Now, normally a vintage oven would be charming and a nice feature if it worked
but this was vintage and not in a good way.

Mottled brown linoleum- laid over hardwood I might add.

The entire cottage had old original hardwood floors except for the bathrooms where they had put tile over the hardwood and the kitchen where they put old linoleum over the hardwood.

Most of the house had old double hung wood windows... 

but in the kitchen and living room they were in process of replacing the windows with aluminum. 

Well those aluminum windows were barely in place and with no trim,

There was unfinished sheetrock ceilings as well.


 It was a big old mess.

Beyond a big old mess really. 

Have I told you before that I see potential to a fault?

Well, I do.

It was easy to look at the kitchen and say 'gut it.' 

As a matter of fact, I do believe that was said by several people...

But I have always been a sucker for a diamond in the rough

this cottage was especially rough

 and in that roughness...

 I saw a glimmer of shine coming through.

 I knew that it could become so much more than what was right before our eyes.

I had something in mind...

 I loved those old original cupboards.

Loved. Loved. Loved them


those knotty pine walls? 

Well, they were covered in creamy paint immediately in my mind.

I saw hardwood floors, stone counters and chandeliers with a lot of bling as well

Open display cupboards for favorite dishes and collections.

Baskets in place of old drawers

A mantel above the stove 

A big center island 


 lots of French charm added to the already there cottage character.

We did the remodeling ourselves (A LOT of work!)

 and the new look for the kitchen was achieved on very little cost by working with existing

 and creating the charming space that this house needed.
This is an overview of the kitchen-
 but I will be sharing more pictures and information on details soon.

The original cupboards are constructed of thick pine-

and were perfect for removing a couple of doors on and using as open cupboards.

 I  created a little arched top for each of the cupboards by tracing a platter, 

cutting out the arch and 'caulking' the new piece into place. 

Very sophisticated construction, I know


We replaced the cracked tile with granite, the backsplash
 with bead board and found a new Kohler sink on clearance 

The original small window above the sink became a beautiful tall window that was bumped out a bit 

for a plant ledge and we replaced the other window with a taller wider window as well.

There were four drawers on each side of the sink that were removed

One of the spots became a place for the dishwasher and the other I decided to turn into shelves
for baskets  by taking wood and lining the drawer supports to create shelves.

New dark stained hardwood was laid over the linoleum 

and bead board and beams were put up on the ceiling to finish it.

(yeah... that was a job. We did this ceiling before we had a nail gun)


the hallway went right through the kitchen down to the kids bedrooms.

We changed the flow of the house by closing off the hallway and relocating it.

(this photo is from down the original hallway looking towards the kitchen)

Adding 3 unfinished cupboards stacked on each other to create a tall cupboard 

and a custom made wine rack for the extra inches that were left over-

the old hallway has become a useful area.

We then moved  the stove over to the end of the original cupboards
We constructed the mantel area above the stove

out of wood and stucco and then added corbels and a shelf.

The little breakfast nook is sitting right in front of where the original

'2nd' front door once was.

The black farmhouse island came from Costco several years back

but it had the look and size that I wanted.

I added crystal knobs to it and called it good.

It's absolutely perfect.

The double chandeliers are both vintage and both thrift store finds.

I found the first one several years before I found the second one.

I brought it home and my husband tossed that fan out 

and put the chandelier in.

Though at the time- 

everyone thought it was a little crazy (and that I was a little crazy) 

to have a chandelier in the kitchen.


A few years later in another city at a favorite thrift store- 

I bumped into the second one.

It was missing it's crystals and a few of the upper arms

but it was a perfect match.

I knew 2 chandeliers in our kitchen would be better than one

this is a long space and so here they are.

We estimate (because it was not all done at one time so give or take)
the kitchen was remodeled for somewhere around 00 -00+
which includes the island, new counters, hardware, new ceilings, cupboards, lighting, windows, flooring

 and even the kitchen sink (clearance find for )


(but not including the appliances)

(photo credit- Mark Lohman for Maison Chic magazine)

It would have been easy to tear out the old and put in a whole new kitchen

but I loved the vintage feel of this one and wanted to keep that charm and character.

 Though we do have a couple changes planned for the kitchen coming up shortly

it already feels like it is the perfect kitchen for my French Country Cottage.

I love that this crusty neglected kitchen has turned into something 

pretty and so much like the kitchen I imagined it could be when I first saw it.

I'll share details on how we did everything in upcoming blog posts this one is already too long!

 I'll also share the other changes we are working on in here when they get finished up too!

You can find more about the open cupboards HERE 

Thank you Whisperwood Cottage!

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