Did you guess that we were going to go full steam ahead with the butcher block in the cottage? We did. And we love how they look.
This was such a simple and easy update to make- and inexpensive too. Todays post is all about a Before & After- a first look at our yet unfinished counters and why we chose butcher block for the guest cottage.
Guest Cottage Kitchen Before
Well, the Before Before is a little different- it was a non existent kitchen when we moved in. We thought this is where they original guest cottage kitchen might have been through finding that old antique bank of cupboards in the basement that fit this space perfectly and old plumbing details in this area- we figured this corner in the cottage might be where they had the kitchen area.
We brought that cupboard back in and mounted it on the wall and then went about building custom lower cabinets. We kept them open shelves and added drop cloth curtains – and put quick and easy granite countertop using leftover granite from another project. Fun fact: We had to get the kitchen put together in a pinch since there was a last minute photo shoot out there happening- so it really was grab and use what is on hand or can get here and get done the quickest kind of project.
Guest Cottage Kitchen – In Between
Once that was all wrapped- this is how it was looking. These photos are after I took photos for my first book- Incidentally I just noticed that they have copies of French Country Cottage in stock at Amazon – FINALLY. It has been out of stock for about 4 months- but they are finally getting restocked.
While we liked how the kitchen turned out- I was ready for a new look. I wanted the kitchen to more match the rest of the feeling in the cottage. More rustic. More masculine. More horse country or English style with rich moody colors and details.
We changed the lighting and that instantly changed the feeling. I shuffled some of the decor and then removed the small shelves by the range in favor of simplicity like stacked breadboards and a small plate rack turned upside down.
Then it was time to tackle the sink and counters.
New Butcher Block Counters
I am Obsessed with how these turned out. They are such a simple classic look- and I love how they instantly made the kitchen feel more old world. We picked up the butcher block from Home Depot. They had several types and sizes to choose from and ranged from around $150- $800 a piece depending on what you choose. Installing them was fairly simple. I would recommend getting a new saw blade so that you have a cleaner cut without splintering- and of course, some sandpaper to smooth and round the ends after cutting.
These are simply attached to the cupboard frames from underneath. To note: Butcher block slabs are Heavy. Especially when they are longer ones. Make sure to have some help on hand to lift and move them.
Up Next & Why Butcher Block
We haven’t picked the stain yet- so we need to do that. We also need to ‘mend’ the seams by filling and sanding them smooth.
As I mentioned, I wanted something classic and simple- but that also brought a more rustic, more ‘cottage’ feeling. I am a huge fan of the marble in our kitchen in the house- but it just wasn’t the feeling we were after out in the guest cottage. We are also considering that we may rent it out at some point and wanted something that we weren’t worried about oil or stains as much with.
Wood counters don’t feel as precious. And I love the way that well loved wood looks as it ages. I think that the dings and slices on old cutting boards is such a beautiful patina. So, I am not as concerned about the surface being damaged by those. It is character and full of charm. The other side of that is that if they are damaged beyond what we would like- they are inexpensive and easy to replace.
I love the big amount of warmth and the feeling that wood adds to the kitchen. These countertops already have warmed this room up considerably and they aren’t even done yet.
I also love how they mingle with this old painted table that I placed here to use as a temporary island. It is from the 1930’s I believe and has the most lovely old floral painted accents. Those wood tones in the counters go perfectly with painted and stained pieces alike.
Things to consider
Food Safety – Mind the safety with sealers and stains, etc. with butcher block. You don’t want to use a sealer on butcher block counters if there is any chance of them being used as a butcher block.
Oil- Oil them about every 6 months or so to keep in best condition. Good news- you can sand out stains or dings before oiling if you would like to keep them more pristine looking.
Cutting Board- yes you can use them as a cutting board if you prepare them properly (food safety so no sealer). But you can also layer a regular movable cutting board on top and use that as well.
We are working on cleaning up all the sawdust and work mess and freshening the paint out here- as well as finishing up the install of the counters and sink area. Stay tuned for the final look soon- but wanted to share progress as we go.
What do you think of how these counters are coming together?