Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation
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Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

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Check out the before and after of this French Country Cottage kitchen renovation including reclaimed brick backsplash, farmhouse sink, Calcutta quartz countertops with built-in cutting board, open-concept dish rack and so much more. 

Happy Throwback Thursday!

Were you around when we renovated our French Country Cottage kitchen?

This has been my favorite kitchen design to date, and I was able to play with several design elements that I am considering incorporating into our forever kitchen when we build.  We will see.  The jury is out on a couple of them.

But without further ado, let’s take a look.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Before

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Here is where we started.  Remember this?  If you missed the before tour of our third fixer upper, the French Country Cottage, then be sure to check it out here.

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Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Demolition

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Let the demo begin.

If you missed the post on what our family demo day looked like then, read it here.

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Check out Lily’s hammer.  Goofy girl.

These kids have grown up around tools and home renovations, so they have learned to respect a work zone.

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Goodbye, horrible green wooden beadboard.

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Go Gracie.  This girl ROCKED a hammer.

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And also rocked her finger with said hammer.  She had a good cry, then got back to work.  #mygirl

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My world right there in that drywall window.

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I did not last long with the sledgehammer, but pounding on drywall with a large heavy object is therapeutic.

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Lily’s job was to walk around being cute.  That and “shoveling” up the drywall bits.

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Home renovations with kids.  You work around them, over them, under them, and sometimes, with them.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Caleb is a good little worker, but our most distractable. 

If I remember correctly those little pieces of drywall were dinosaurs at the time.  In case you wondered.

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Drywall between the kitchen and the family room is gone.

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Now for that old tile.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Getting there.  We also have to remove all those cabinets.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Pulling up this flooring was rough.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

What is the deal with layering floor material?!?!  There are FIVE different floors here.

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See all that oak plank?!?!  If you want to see what I did with all the old oak plank at our second fixer upper, then click here. I used all the plank to repeat that look in this basement reno.

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No wall.  No makeup.  No problem.  It was a good day’s work.

French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Framing

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So we got rid of the 2×4’s and you can see the header that now runs across the top!

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Here Zach is framing out the nook for the fridge which would become the bench seat for my foyer on the other side.  Check out our French Country Farmhouse Style Foyer Reveal here.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Cabinetry

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Our kitchen cabinets arrived!! 

For our first fixer upper, the Vintage Victorian, I used the same wholesale cabinet company and have recommended them many times.  LilyAnn Cabinetry is our FAVORITE wholesale kitchen cabinet company. 

If you want a whole bunch of tips on how to renovate your kitchen on a budget and 10 mistakes NOT to make, then check out this post HERE.  

You can check out our Victorian kitchen renovation click here.

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You can either have the cabinets shipped to you already assembled or RTA (ready to assemble).

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Zach’s family came to help us for the day!

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Designing a kitchen is my FAVORITE. 

When someone asks me to help them redesign their kitchen I get giddy with excitement.

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For the kitchen renovation in our second fixer upper I refinished all the existing kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them which is nice, but my favorite is gutting the cabinets and starting over with my own design.

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Lily did not appreciate the fly-by mushing. 

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

In typical Caleb fashion, he disappeared and was found in a little kitchen cabinet fort.

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Getting there!

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

I had to measure just right in this space to make sure I could fit everything in this small kitchen.

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After all your cabinets are installed be sure to caulk along the seams for a finished look!

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Breakfast Nook Benches

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Here we are building the benches.

Check out this easy tutorial on DIY breakfast nook benches.

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Want to see the full breakfast nook reveal?  Click here!  It’s one of my favorite spots in this house.

French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Flooring

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Time for flooring.  Look you can see how the foyer now opens into the family room which now opens into the kitchen.

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I hate laying the floor.  It’s such an easy DIY to save money, but I’m not gonna lie, I do not enjoy it at all.

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Quick lunch break on our drywall trays.

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Voila!  This is Modeled Oak LVT by Shaw.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Countertops and Appliances

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Countertops are in. 

This is quartz from Keystone Granite and Tile.  I plan on doing a full review on countertops in the future as I have had HD laminate, granite, wood, and quartz.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

There were a lot of design elements I wanted to play with in this house as this is the last one we will renovate before we build. 

A built-in cutting board was one of those elements.  Read all about how to design a built-in cutting board here.

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In go the appliances and farmhouse sink.  A full review will come on these appliances as well, but they are the Cafe Appliances by GE.   Bottom line – I LOVE them.

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When you have to work on the electric behind the fridge that you didn’t create a wide enough opening for . . .

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

And your father is standing behind you.  Yup.  Enough said.  Zach was defenseless.

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Our gorgeous copper cabinet knobs.  These are beautiful, and I would totally use these again.  I enjoyed mixing several styles, but all in the same finish.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Reclaimed Brick Back Splash

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This brick.  Oh my word.  The best bang for our buck ever.  I bought this from a local store that was selling it by the skid.  They had torn it up from their landscaping and delivered it by dumping it in our driveway.  Which in fairness they said was going to happen.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

So we had to load it back onto the skids.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

In the dead of winter.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Zach was not happy with me, but he is now 🙂  We have used this for SO MANY THINGS.

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He also loved cutting every.single.brick by hand.  Actually once he figured out the best process we rocked and rolled.

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Look at that gorgeous reclaimed thin brick.  Ah.  It makes my heart so happy. Learn how to make your own thin brick tiles here.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Ready to do the back splash.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

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DONE!!

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Letting the mortar harden and then . . .

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. . . time to remove every single one of the hundreds of spacers.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

This is why I had children.  Put ’em to work.

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Good job babies. Look at that.  No more spacers.  Next up . . . the grout.

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So eventually I will do a post on the different types of mortar-washed brick because I have tried 3 different styles (on purpose) and what we did in the kitchen is my favorite technique so far. 

Also hands down the most time-consuming.

Before and After French Country Farmhouse Kitchen Renovation

The key was to use my finger and “smear” the mortar into the lines to create an older appearance.  We used a true white mortar.

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

I would also go over all the bricks that had stamped numbers into them to make them pop. 

My fingers were bleeding and I had to space it out, but the finished product was so worth it!!  I sealed them with a semi-gloss brick sealer.

Without further ado!

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

After

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation
Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Our kitchen!!

Two posts you may want to check out if you are planning a kitchen renovation in the future are 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating a Kitchen and Design an Efficient Kitchen Around These 4 Work Zones.

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Rug can be found here.

We LOVE these cabinets. 

LilyAnn Cabinetry sells soft close doors and drawers at 30-50% less than big box stores!  They offer free 3D kitchen design and free shipping over $2499.  If you are planning a kitchen renovation or remodel, then I highly recommend LilyAnn Cabinets.

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Love my Cafe Appliances by GE!  They are so gorgeous, and I have been very pleased with the features!

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By the way, those hand towels are SO CUTE

I bought 4 of them in different colors and they add a really pretty French Country farmhouse flair.  I also have some in our bathroom.

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Here is my “prep zone”!  Be sure to check out the 4 zones in Design an Efficient Kitchen Around These 4 Work Zones.

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Love, love, love our reclaimed brick.

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A dish rack was another design element that I wanted to trial in this kitchen. 

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Tell what I will do again is this adorable counter sized vintage microwave.  

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Find it here!

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation

Before and After

Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation
Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation
Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation
Before and After French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation
French Country Cottage Kitchen Renovation Reveal

 

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Check out our cottage kitchen renovation including reclaimed brick back splash, quartz counter tops with built-in cutting board and more!
Check out our cottage kitchen renovation including reclaimed brick back splash, quartz counter tops with built-in cutting board and more!
Check out our cottage kitchen renovation including reclaimed brick back splash, quartz counter tops with built-in cutting board and more!

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32 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness! Your kitchen looks soooo amazing!! All that brick! It’s gorgeous! I’m sure that was quite the job. All of that hard work really paid off, though.

  2. Just WOW oh! I’m in the U.K., WHEN ARE YOU FREE TO POP OVER, ????? I WAS going for black appliances, but now I want yours! Er I mean white and a change of handles, and you five of course! Amazing transformation

    1. I would love to pop over to the UK!
      I’m sure they deliverthose appliances across the pond! Ha. Thanks so much Jenny!

  3. I love how your kitchen turned out! The contrast between the brick and white cabinets is amazing and totally pulls it all together. I would love to have something similar with my <a href=”https://www.nhance.com/centraljersey/cabinet-refinishing-ocean-city/”>cabinet remodel</a> when I finally have the budget to do it. Thanks for sharing!

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