Adding Elements of a Cottage Kitchen: Our Renovation Journey

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Rachel Stone

The allure of a cottage kitchen lies not just in its aesthetic beauty but in its ability to bring warmth, comfort, and a timeless charm to any home. As we start our renovation journey, we are drawn to the homey elements of a cottage kitchen, and we’re excited to share what we discover with you!

Even in our suburban setting, these elements transform a space, with timeless character and vintage appeal. From the rustic details to the harmonious blend of textures and colors, the cottage kitchen captures a unique charm.

Join us on this journey of transforming our kitchen, showing how even everyday, modern homes can capture the beauty of the English country house style.

Adding Elements of a Cottage Kitchen Video

What are the Elements of a Cottage Kitchen?

When you hear the term “cottage kitchen“, it evokes imagery of warmth, nostalgia, and a distinct rustic charm. However, the true essence of a cottage kitchen goes beyond just its aesthetic appeal; it lies in the careful blending of various elements that together create a space that is both functional and timeless.

Let’s dive into what defines these elements:

  • Warmth and Character: At the heart of every cottage kitchen is a welcoming warmth. This warmth is achieved not only through the use of colors and textures but also through thoughtful design that prioritizes comfort and coziness. It’s a space that invites you in, encouraging you to stay, relax, and perhaps enjoy a cup of tea.
  • Vintage Appeal: Vintage pieces, whether they are reclaimed wood shelves, vintage art, antique ceramics, or aged metal fixtures, are hallmark features. They carry with them tales of the past, adding depth and story to the space.
  • Natural Materials: A cottage kitchen often celebrates the beauty of nature. From solid wood cabinetry to stone countertops, the use of natural materials grounds the design, making it feel both earthy and enduring.
  • Functional yet Charming Details: While functionality is key, it’s the little details that infuse the cottage charm. Think scalloped trims, plate racks, or even a quaint window placed just so. These elements, while practical, also contribute significantly to the aesthetic of the space.
  • Harmonious Blend: One of the standout elements of a cottage kitchen is the harmonious blend of old and new. While there’s a strong nod to tradition, there’s also room for modern conveniences, ensuring the space feels both timeless and current.

As we started our renovation, it was these cottage kitchen design elements that we wanted to include, transforming our suburban kitchen into an English cottage kitchen.

Celebrating the English Cottage Elements That We Already Have

the elements of a cottage kitchen are present even in this before picture

Every home has its unique features, and our kitchen was no exception. Before diving headfirst into renovations, we took time to analyze and appreciate the existing elements that already worked with our desired cottage theme. In our case, several of our kitchen’s features naturally aligned with the elements of a cottage kitchen.

Cottage Kitchen Style Traditional Layout:

Our kitchen’s layout already had that intimate, cozy feeling characteristic of cottage designs. The functionality of the island’s placement, in particular, had a thoughtful balance between form and function – a core principle of cottage design.

Solid Wood Cabinetry:

One of the cornerstones of a cottage kitchen is its reliance on quality, natural materials. Our cabinetry, made of solid wood, is well-made and durable bringing warmth and character to the room. We were really grateful for this as it meant we could keep the original cabinetry and apply those savings to the rest of the renovation!

Scalloped Trim & Plate Rack: Details, however minute, can significantly influence a space’s overall vibe. Our kitchen cabinets have scalloped trim topped by a charming plate rack, both of which are quintessentially cottage. Additionally, the routing patterns in the cabinetry give a traditional hand-crafted feel.

Quintessential Cottage Window: A window does more than just let in light. Our centrally-placed window, framed perfectly, serves as a focal point, drawing the eye and bathing the room in soft, natural light – typical of cottage charm. I spend a lot of time here every day and can see so much design potential!

a medium sized window above the kitchen sink.

Warm Neutral Tiles: Lastly, our choice of warm neutral floor tiles was in perfect harmony with the desired theme. The tiles, in their warm tone, not only added texture but also helped ground the space, evoking that familiar, homey feel.

With these basic elements in place, we knew (budget-wise) we were off to a good start. The changes we would need to make would be more cosmetic than structural – another budget stretcher!

Our Cottage Kitchen Design Vision: Adding More Cottage Elements

A typical 1960s suburban kitchen.

While our kitchen already had some inherent cottage elements, our vision was to amplify this charm by infusing more features. Here’s our plan to take our kitchen from simply cottage-inspired to a more recognizable version of the style:

Painting the Wood: Color plays a crucial role in setting the tone and atmosphere of a space. We decided to introduce a color scheme that echoes the serene and welcoming palettes of the cottage kitchens we’ve admired in our favorite design inspirations.

The two-toned paint approach not only adds depth but also accentuates the vintage charm that’s so central to the cottage aesthetic. By painting the upper cabinets a creamy off-white, we could lighten the space while the rich grassy green color on the lower cabinets would add personality. This is the same green we used in our patio remodel.

I found inspiration for this look from Miss Mustard Seed, and other kitchens online.

Vintage-inspired Hardware: Hardware might seem like a small detail, but it can make a significant impact. Since we’re opting for designs that reminisce old-world cottages, I’ve discovered some handmade brass hardware for the cabinets. The addition of a brass window pendant will add a touch of antique simplicity.

Lighting & Fans: Lighting is more than just functional; it’s transformative. By choosing fixtures that resonate with the cottage feel, we aim to create a warm, soft glow that accentuates the cozy ambiance of the space. The massive fan will be replaced with a minimal flush-mount white fan. On the countertop, I’ll be adding a small lamp for that pool of golden light in the evening.

Natural Materials: We’re introducing butcher block countertops, emphasizing the raw beauty of wood. Paired with the natural color floor tiles and bamboo blinds, we will keep the rustic warm tones of natural wood in our cottage design without it being overbearing.

Appliance Choices: Modern conveniences can seamlessly blend with traditional design. By replacing our old black electric “lemon” of a stove with a white gas stove we will increase functionality and give a brighter, more cohesive cottage look.

Detailed Craftsmanship: Every cottage kitchen tells a story through details. Our plan to add corbels, make electrical adjustments for vintage art placements, and other small changes will help give that thoughtful, custom feeling to the kitchen.

In re-imagining our kitchen, our goal is to strike a balance. While we’re introducing new elements, we’re ensuring they blend harmoniously with the existing ones, culminating in a space that truly captures the essence of a cottage kitchen.

Our Final Cottage Kitchen Ideas:

many elements of the cottage style kitchen are displayed on a table.

As our renovation journey unfolds, we’re learning that the charm of a cottage kitchen is not just the visual appeal but also its ability to evoke feelings of warmth, and nostalgia, and to offer efficient function. By keeping the cottage elements we already have and thoughtfully introducing new ones, we’ve planned to create a space that is both inviting and authentic.

The elements of a cottage kitchen serve as more than just design features; they’re a reflection of a lifestyle that values coziness, craftsmanship, and timeless beauty. While our suburban home might be miles away from the quaint English countryside, we hope our new kitchen will resonate with the same charm and character.

Dear readers: Whether you’re embarking on a renovation or simply seeking kitchen design ideas, we hope our journey encourages you to find those cottage elements that work for your space. With a little imagination and elbow grease, you can capture the heart and soul of a cottage kitchen! See you in the next episode!

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Author: Rachel Stone
Rachel is passionate about creating a comfortable and beautiful home for her family. She also loves to share the lessons she is learning with her wonderful audience both on this blog and her YouTube channel.