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French Cottage Kitchen Refresh- Reveal

 I mentioned before that I wasn't sure why I fell in love with this house
when I first saw it. I think that any time you tackle a renovation or change
in an older house- you will question it again. 

Sometimes I wonder why it is that I see the potential for what something could be
instead of the 'are you kidding me?' 
But you know... I see the original. 
The vintage charm. 
The old handmade construction and detailing.

The huge amount of work, sore muscles
head shaking, smashed fingers and hair pulling that will be involved? 
Not so much.
Well, until after tackling the project of course.

This project definitely involved all of those things when it finally kicked back into gear.
We knew there would be some not so fun aspects since it would involve
re-building and re-doing. 
But it would also give us the opportunity to make some changes 
that we had been thinking about for awhile.

So this refresh is kind of along the lines of the saying
Something old, Something new.

So shall we take a look back at where we originally started?
It was... for the lack of a better word~ 

It had that crowning glory of an old ceiling fan with the beer bottle pull.
Those dark wood walls and even darker linoleum.

The ceiling was unfinished sheetrock that actually had dropped about 4" because it was never 
secured. Not quite sure how it stayed up for all those years.

We did the first renovation on a major budget. As in like just a few hundred dollars. 
We made do with a lot of things originally
 and  actually, interestingly enough, found that we really liked them. 
Like the broken cupboard door that caused us to take another off and make into open display areas.

We originally put a 12" gray granite tile in place of those tile squares for the counters
(this is an older photo- that was taken right after a mag photo shoot
but it shows the counter better than some of the others)
We added beaded board and a trim for the backsplash
found a black farmhouse style island
and said goodbye to that ceiling fan
 in favor of  two vintage chandeliers from the thrift store.

And I loved how it turned out. 
Minus the few things that I really wanted to change that were not in the budget
 or on the agenda  at the time. 
So when the dishwasher had an issue and we had to pull it out and found damage
well, it was like a shining light of golden opportunity to make those changes.

As I mentioned before, we didn't gut the entire kitchen. 
I thought about it. I really did.
But when it came down to removing original solid wood cupboards 
that had been a part of this home since the beginning
 I paused. 
I knew we could refinish them and add a few things for more function and they would be better made than most stock cupboards that we probably would have purchased
and so,  the bulk of the originals stayed. 
But that said, we had to do some work.
Some of the not so fun aspects of the remodel involved rebuilding an entire cupboard
 where the sink goes which also meant rebuilding the basket area 
and tinkering to get the cupboards to all be level and plumb
in a not so level or plum 1940's room.
It was not fun. It was not easy at all. It was frustrating. 
And just saying- 1/8th of an inch off- well that definitely makes a noticeable difference
when laying counters down
so you can imagine what anything bigger than that does. 

I will save a more detailed account of the fun of before and the during for another post.
because, honestly,  this post is already going to be 
pretty long.

So let us just talk about how we are looking like now.

I knew how I wanted the kitchen to look.
I knew which colors and textures inspired me 
and what I wanted to incorporate.

I wanted light, bright and classic
with French cottage inspired charm and details.

I have had a huge crush on marble for years and so I knew 
that beautiful marble counters were number 1 on the list
And yes, I know all the cautions and warnings.
Throwing them to the wind big time and embracing any 'patina' that comes.

I also wanted classic and simple for the backsplash and something that felt
1940's to me. In went a subway tile - in a medium size.
 Not big, not mini. But a perfectly sized subway tile that felt classic and updated
and that would compliment the style of the cupboards and countertops.

 The other number 1's on the list ;) (I had a few )
a fluted farmhouse sink

and a touch of gold.

All put together- they helped create
a charming French Cottage inspired  kitchen.

I am in absolute 185% in love with our marble slab counters. 
   We worked with Arizona Tile to choose the perfect slab for our kitchen
and when they brought this slab out - I knew it was the one.
It is a 3cm Eureka Danby marble. 

That one simple change alone 
absolutely completely changed the look and feel of the kitchen.

My other new love?
This fireclay farmhouse sink. 

The fluted farmhouse sink was love love love the minute I saw it and
 I knew that it would be perfect for adding that farmhouse charm.
Did I mention that it is HUGE? 

For a touch of elegance - I went out of my comfort zone a bit 
with a champagne bronze finish for the faucet and hardware.
I tend to be a classic type person- and I love classic hardware and faucets etc
and I questioned a single faucet... with no knobs or anything else.

But, I will say that life truly is better outside your comfort zone- the color is perfect.
The functionality is perfect. This faucet and I bonded in about 5 minutes.
This is a Delta Cassidy Touch2o faucet - and after just a month of using it
I cannot imagine not using a touch faucet. I am hooked.

The hardware has a similar finish that is very close to a nickel color
 with just a warmer touch and compliments the color in the chandeliers really well too.

The island changed from matte black to an aged vintage green/blue,
we added plate racks and other organizing touches,
and replaced the dishwasher (of course) as well as the stove 
among several other things.

I have so many more details to share
Like the other sides of the room where the breakfast nook and stove areas are.
There are fabric choices, a few more changes I didn't share yet, etc.
and even just a couple things that are in these photos that might have been swapped out as well.
 So more coming on those things another day.

For now,
 I am just enjoying the new fresh look the kitchen has.

Happy Weekend everyone!!!
Imperial Danby Slab- Arizona Tile
Farmhouse sink- Lowe's
Faucet- Delta
Hardware- DLawless
Paint- Lowe's 
Island- Costco (back in the day) 
Farmhouse oak stool- Restoration Hardware

I worked with some of companies and sources and materials we used in our refresh
but all designs and opinions are my own, of course.

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  1. I loved your kitchen before but the new changes are fabulous! I love marble and farmhouse sinks. The color of your island is divine! can't wait to see the other changes. have a great weekend!

  2. omg!!!!!!! i love your new kitchen look!!!!! and your flowers!!!!! happy weekend, hugs, angie from germany

  3. Drooling! simply drooling at all the fabulous prettiness!!!

  4. Gorgeous, Courtney! So many beautiful design choices that you made! And of course your photography of it all is just to die for. Can't wait to see all the details in future posts.

    1. Thank you for your compliments! I am excited to share more details about everything. I might have taken about 300 photos of everything the other day... ;)

  5. Simply divine!!! I luved it before... now it's even prettier!

  6. It is absolutely breath-taking, I love it! Everything compliments each other so well, its country/cottage charm at its finest! Inspiration for my "one day" dream kitchen

    Can't wait to see more!


  7. Your kitchen is gorgeous, such a drastic change from where you started. You have worked wonders.

  8. Courtney I've always loved your beautiful kitchen!! The marble counters are beautiful and I LOVE your gold faucet...makes me want to order one for our kitchen!!

    1. You won't regret it if you do Martina! We seriously had no idea how much we would love the touch faucet. It is pretty awesome- and that gold... yep, crushing on it big time over here too. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. As beautiful as I expected it to be...just gorgeous...enjoy your lovely new space!!

  10. I thought your beautiful house couldn't get better. Now I see it can! Love the changes especially the marble!

  11. Isn't funny how a few changes can change the feel of a whole room. As gorgeous as it was before, your new changes have added a touch of elegance without being over the top. You are always an inspiration!!
    Have a Great weekend,

    1. I totally agree about just a few changes- sometimes it is all that is needed to take something to that next level. Thanks for stopping by Lorie!!

  12. Reading your blog makes me want to buy another house and start over again. Not. It took many years to remodel this home, but I'm just saying...

    1. Haha!! It is so great to get to the finished product but the in between can be more than a little exhausting sometimes.

  13. It turned out beautiful, Courtney. Love all the new touches and really want to add the subway tile as a backsplash in my kitchen.....just need to get my husband on board!

    Have a great weekend:-)

  14. Beautiful, lovely. White kitchens are the best, and your detailing is exquisite. Beth

  15. A marvelous transformation! Any who have gone through these undertakingsknow the blood, sweat and tears. Gotta love your effort!

  16. Love, love, LOVE your kitchen. It is my dream kitchen, and the countertops are perfect!

  17. Really beautiful, Courtney. No matter what you do or how you do it an "old" house is so special. Thinking about all that has gone on there over the years and then what you are adding to that just takes it to a place beyond imagination. All the hard work is nothing in comparison. That sink is a treasure and the countertops sublime..Happy Weekend..Judy

  18. Perfection! I have original wood cabinetry that I'm redoing as well. And they are by far, so much better than new! All those chemicals leaching into the air from the pressed/particle board composites.
    Beautiful right down to its toes on the island! ;-)
    Happy weekend everyone!

  19. I adore all the details Courtney! The plate racks, baskets, painted island, and chandeliers are a few of my favorites ;-) When it all comes together, looking back at the work makes it all worth it, doesn't it?

    1. Thank you! It definitely does help you forget all the work when you step back and see it come together and look like the vision you had in mind :)

  20. That looks great, Courtney. Love the marble and that sink.

  21. Well what can I say ....I am gobsmacked!!! I did not think I could love your kitchen more..but I do about 185% more!! Good job..xo

    1. Thank you Chrissy!! I am loving it at least that much more too ;)

  22. It's so beautiful - every detail. I have kitchen envy :)

  23. Your kitchen tuned out lovely! I,too, really love marble and hope to have it in our kitchen someday. Happily waiting to see the rest!
    Enjoy your weekend,

  24. I bet it is hard to get it dirty,it is really a wonderful place to spend the day.Courtney you have a great kitchen and i can't wait to see the rest.

    1. Haha! At first- yes totally and I didn't want anyone to cook anything and make a mess. But it is so much easier to clean up a smooth slab than it was the tiled counters- so we have definitely jumped in- and I have relaxed a bit ;) Thanks for stopping by!

  25. Your kitchen screams charm! I love the baskets, island & the chandy !! This kitchen will always be one of my favorites!!!


  26. I am speechless. It is perfect and I can't imagine not being in that kitchen with a constant smile on my face. The brightness of it is wonderful. It all fell together like it was meant to be. You did a marvelous job Courtney -- a labor of love -- you forget the pain afterwords.

    1. Aww thank you Marisa! It does put a smile on my face every time I walk in.

  27. Courtney, your kitchen is beautiful! I love everything you did! We just finished our own kitchen renovation and hubby and I did all ourselves, I understand the joys and frustrations! We put marble countertops in as them!

    1. Aren't marble counters even more amazing in person? I am in love! Bet your kitchen is gorgeous!! Thank you for stopping by!

  28. Courtney, it looks so beautiful. So refreshed. I can't wait to see all the other details. Have a nice day.
    Mary @ Orphans With Makeup

  29. This is lovely. The marble counters are gorgeous. The gold faucet is really pretty. Yours are the first images that make that gold look appealing again. Your sink is amazing! Absolutely wonderful remodel.

    1. Thank you Katie! I was a little hesitant on 'going for the gold' in such a big way- but I have no regrets and am in love. This is not a 1980's brassy finish- it is called champagne bronze- so maybe that is part of the appeal. :)

  30. You kitchen refresher is absolutely stunning and very timely for me. I will be starting on my kitchen in March and have been admiring the same kitchen sink you chose. I have also been eyeing a similar look in countertops. I found a quartz that is called Rococo and is quite beautiful. Thank you so much for listing your sources on various items. I will be checking those out for myself.

    1. Thank you Tricia! I have heard good things about quartz as well.

  31. Courtney: Just beautiful! My husband and I are considering marble for our kitchen counters. Could you please tell me what type of marble you used, was it honed or not honed, was it sealed and if so with what and how many coats? Will greatly appreciate any information that you can share. Thanks so much, Sandra.

    1. Hi Sandra,
      Yes I will be doing a whole post dedicated to the marble and how we sealed it etc-so stay tuned- but it is a Vermont Imperial Danby Honed finish. I did seal it right away as well- with 3 coats.

    2. Courtney:
      Thanks so much for the info and I will be anxious to see your post dedicated to the marble. Your kitchen is just over the top and the sink is just gorgeous. I read the other day that in Europe there is an entirely different attitude regarding stains, etc. on marble. In France, pieces of marble counters are actually given to family members and they regard any stains, scratches as the kitchen has had love and that love was shared with their families and friends. I really love those thoughts!

  32. Congratulation on your GORGEOUS kitchen redo! We have an older house too and refuse to gut it and are getting ready to redo our kitchen - I will definitely be taking inspiration from your post. I look forward to hearing more about the marble too. Thank you so much for sharing and if you're interested in food, wine or entertaining please stop by my site if you get the chance. Cheers!

  33. What a dreamy kitchen to take in all it will's perfect beauty Courtney! And a sweet cottage kitchen to LOVE.
    A perfect Valentine gifting to your self.

    Amazingly inspiring.


  34. Love the kitchen. I've been thinking of using chandeliers above part of my kitchen bench too. Is that the only lighting you have in your kitchen, do they give enough task lighting. I would put mine above the part of the bench where i usually just dish up the food, it's not the prep area, so am thinking they would give enough light


  35. French country cottage kitchen. Beautiful and serene. Kathleen in Az

  36. So lovely! Please provide details regarding your bead board ceiling and beams, including ceiling height. Your ceiling is the icing on a beautiful cake! - Kim

    1. I will definitely share more- Thank you for stopping by Kim!!

  37. So lovely! Please provide details regarding your bead board ceiling and beams. Ceiling height appreciated too. Your ceiling is the Irving on this beautiful cake!

  38. I loved the kitchen before and I LOVE the kitchen now! <3
    Nina ~ Farmhouse Junk

  39. Courtney, this is my DREAM kitchen! We don't have the budget to even start on our kitchen just yet but pinning for inspiration when we can get there. :)

    1. Aww thank you Danielle!! Hope all is well with you and yours and you are staying warm over your way!

  40. Your beautiful kitchen is amazing! Each and every detail brings more joy and happiness, surely you will never want to leave it!
    Our daughter and her family just moved to an East Sac, 1950's home and she is doing a kitchen remodel, too- a project not for the faint of heart.


  41. Hi Courtney.
    Your kitchen in absolutely beautiful! We are just getting ready to embark on a kitchen remodel ourselves, and I've been agonizing over the subway tile I want to use. You said that the tile you chose was not mini, but not too big. Did you guys use a standard 3x6 tile, or is it something different? Where did you purchase your tile?

    1. Hi Beth!
      Thank you for your compliments!! I will be sharing all the details about each different element in separate posts- including where to find them. I hear you on agonizing over the subway tile - I bought a couple sizes and styles before deciding on this one. Stay tuned!!

    2. I will be anxiously awaiting hearing all the details of your kitchen remodel, especially the subway tile. I love subway tile, but I just keep thinking that I want to do something different than the standard 3x6, but I'm not sure I want to do the mini tiles, either. We will be ready to order the materials for our remodel in a few days, so I am really agonizing over it this week. We will also be getting a farmhouse sink with the flat edge and beveled edge. I was thinking I would put it on the flat side, but now you have me agonizing over that, too. :) The beveled edge looks really nice!
      Hope you get me the subway tile details soon. :)

    3. Hi Beth, totally understand. We used a basic inexpensive tile- we did not use the larger 3x6 tiles. I tried setting a few of the larger ones up but was not a fan in my kitchen and I didn't want the super busy small ones either. These tiles also come on a grid to help lay them as well- which is easier most of the time- but know that there will be ones that don't line up correctly and you have to tinker with them. Hope that helps.

  42. It looked perfect for me before but even more so now!!!! Love it Courtney!

  43. Love, love your kitchen. It is a challenge redoing old house kitchens or at least updating them. Ours had the history of floor coverings in 5 layers! Linda

  44. I am so in love wth your counters, sink, faucet! All incredibly lovely.

  45. I see another magazine spread in your future! It's stunning in detail. You did a great job!

  46. Wow, gorgeous! I invite you to share at my blog hop( you can link up through Sat) Hugs!

  47. Oh it looks absolutely lovely!! LOve the marble and backsplash.....though we bought ceasar stone years ago because I am a slob in the kitchen....but I always think about marble....perfect.
    Love the barstools too....lovely....
    Great job....

  48. WOW! You decided to accept the challenge of a kitchen redesign and a beautiful result. So fresh and surely a much better space to work in. You encourage others to take the challenge!
    Great Job