The warmth of the wood adds so much to the charm of a country kitchen. Drool over a few of these other inspiring country kitchens I’ve found:
Pottery Barn Fall 2011, via Small Place Style
Nancy Fishelson, via Freckled Laundry
And now, here’s Dana to share with you the process of remodeling their country kitchen.
White Country Kitchen Remodel
by Dana of Stable Living
After five years and baby number two on the way we were quickly outgrowing our tiny kitchen. Narrow, warped cabinets, leaky faucets, crumbling flooring and sagging ceiling were just a few of the cozy luxuries that were given to us from the previous owner.
But even though the kitchen was far from ideal, we loved our circa 1790 stone home with deep sills inside oversized windows and wrap around covered porch just steps away from the antique stone barn that sheltered our horses.
We knew going into this project that we would have to live in the 1970s kitchen a few years to save enough to cover unseen costs behind the walls. While the refrigerator lived in our formal dining room, the sad microwave with the melted door sat next to the cook top and the hideously dysfunctional bathroom’s unidentified odor seeped into the kitchen, we made plans for our first floor renovation.
Our contractor started his preliminary work as we packed up and temporarily moved into a friend’s home around the corner. Our temporary living arrangements allowed my husband to stop by our house on the way to work each morning to check the progress and help out as needed.
The ceiling was removed and we were immediately told we had to replace all the knob and tube electric throughout the house. We watched our budget shrink as the contractor found damaged drain pipes in the second floor bath. All things considered, it could have been much worse.
To save money, my husband rewired the house after buying a how-to book and bombarding our electrician friend with questions. Hubby spent days running the electric behind the original plaster walls for new lighting and outlets.
As the load bearing wall between the galley kitchen and dining room came down, the morning light flooded the length of the house and warmed the darkest corners of our home. A recessed structural beam was put in its place to create a large eat in kitchen.
With the walls removed, what was once a narrow front entry hall with three doorways became an open light-filled entry way.
We widened the doorway from the living room to the kitchen to create a more open layout. The original stone was then sandblasted and repointed and we repurposed an old beam we found in our barn as the new header.
While the wide planked floors received a dark stain treatment, recessed lighting was added to show off the stone and brightened up the living room.
We had the best chance of utilizing every inch of our kitchen with custom cabinetry. Tim, owner of Flegel Woodcraft, is a gifted cabinet maker who created a double vanity for our bathroom renovation the year before. Tim agreed to take on our kitchen renovation, and thank goodness! We met to discuss cabinet door styles, wood choices, paint color and layout. In historic homes, storage space is sparse. We utilized every square foot by placing upper cabinets to the ceiling for seasonal items. With all this cabinetry, we needed to stay on budget by helping Tim install the cabinets and completing all the trim work ourselves.
With the cabinetry on order, it was time to add the lighting. Even though we have many oversized windows, our south facing house backed up to a hill and was surrounded by many mature trees which made the back of the house a bit dark. We added 17 strategically placed recessed lights, 4 pendant lights and under cabinet lighting to brighten up the place, but added a dimmer switch for entertaining.
There are so many amazing moments in our renovation, but choosing finishes is definitely a favorite task of mine. After weeks of scouring the internet and local stone yards, we chose soapstone and a beautiful white marble to top a dark walnut island.
As I returned from the hospital with a newborn in my arms, the rest of the cabinets were installed. It took a few more weeks to get the counters in place. The sink and appliances immediately followed which helped me tend to my growing family’s needs.
Nightmares of the old microwave with the melted door fighting for countertop space soon disappeared as the ‘scratch and dent’ wall oven and built in microwave/convection oven slid into place.
The perimeter cabinetry in a creamy white, stainless steel appliances and chrome hardware all work to brighten up the kitchen. The dark walnut island is made to look like a piece of furniture and is a nod to the traditional farmhouse style.
The cooktop is placed inside the oversized island with a pop up venting system. The island creates a place for my family and friends to gather while I prepare meals. By the way, we live around this island. From art projects to paying bills to family time or catching up with friends over a glass of wine, the large island is the center of this home.
Because I needed so many door handles, I needed to find the quality pieces I longed for at closeout prices. I liked the idea of a few different styles in the same chrome finish. I used long pulls for the large cabinet doors and drawers and smaller pieces on the island. The ceiling cabinets have chrome cupboard latches which also adds a traditional element.
Chrome and crystal pendants add the ‘bling’ for me. Chrome and leather counter stools are a masculine touch that look like they would be found in a hip Manhattan NY apartment. They remind me of my husband’s former years on Wall Street and bring his personality into the kitchen.
I scrimped, saved, negotiated and haggled over every single item in the renovation except for the back splash. We didn’t need to purchase a lot, and it was located right at eye level, so I wanted something fantastic. The setback of running the electric inside the cabinetry because of the thick stone walls actually worked in our favor to create this seamless marble mosaic uninterrupted by outlets. We treat our back splash like art.
The soapstone counters were cut to show off the white veining in task oriented areas and the marble island was also placed strategically to show off “the movement” in the stone.
The banquette seating was added to give us more seating and storage in the eat-in kitchen. The pillows cozy up the space and the little ones can pile in for family meals.
For more renovations inside our country farm house, go to Stable Living at http://horselvinmom.
Gorgeous, Dana! I love how you have combined the classic country kitchen styles perfectly with the stylish chrome and modern touches. Simply beautiful, and I cannot believe the changes from the before to the after! Love it!