Thursday, September 12, 2013

Our Cottage: A Quick Kitchen MakeOver

A few years ago we bought a cottage about 3 hours north of us on the gorgeous Higgins Lake.  
Yes, that beautiful, crystal CLEAR, lake is in Michigan.  This is a shot taken near the "drop off".  Clearly there is an abrupt and deep drop off near a perfect place to swim.  My kids love swimming there and every time they speak about it all I can hear in my mind is Nemo's dad telling him it's too dangerous and Nemo's friends chanting "Nemo touched the butt".
The cottage is...interesting to say the least.  It is pretty big for the area.  We have the original floor plan
Shooting from the living room area into the kitchen/dining area.
Shooting from kitchen end into the living room are
which includes the living room/kitchen/eating area and 2 bedrooms as well as a small full bathroom.  But the original owners built on and connected the garage to the house, turning the garage (with it's cement slab) into the master bedroom leaving a large extra room between the old house and the master bedroom.  
Yes that is PINK carpet.
Between playroom and master bedroom.
This is now the "playroom" for the kids stuff.  There is also a small laundry area and lots and lots of storage space.  We turned the closet in this "playroom" area into a small half bath.  But the biggest problem remains... it stinks.  The former owner lived there full-time and with an 800-pack-a-day cigarette habit so you can just imagine what it smelled like in there.  It stinks.  Add the pink/mauve carpet in the bedroom, the oh-so-swinging paneling throughout, and a bathroom that...well let's just say it hadn't been updated in the last 400 years.  It stinks.  When one smokes that much it does more than stink up the discolors everything.  And it stinks.  In full disclosure (#1) it doesn't always stink....anymore.  But we  my husband has worked hard to seal all surfaces behind layers of paint to keep that smell at bay.  And I think it is finally working.  As of last summer he had painted everything. ..except the kitchen cabinets.  As this seemed an obvious source of continued stink, I am not sure why those weren't painted- oh wait,  I know damn well why they weren't painted.  They are a pain to paint.

But after painting all the walls in all of the rooms, replacing that hideous pink/mauve carpet in the master bedroom with a "wood looking" vinyl product (the rest of the carpet was new), having the place professionally ozoned twice, cleaning the cabinets and everything with still smelled bad on hot days.  Like really it burned my nose bad.

I complained enough that Rick decided to paint the cabinets and they look fabulous.  (disclosure #2: I didn't plan ahead on blogging this so we don't have good "blog-worthy shots" and in fact these are all iPhone pictures that he took to send to me since I was home ill during this process).
 Before: God I HATE oak cabinets.  Especially this orangy oak that is everywhere.  Blech.
 More Blech. 
Ignore the top cabinets at this point.  This is a "before" of the bottom cabinets.  For reference.  
Two things have heavily influenced the color palate and decor of out cottage: 
1. It is a cottage near a gorgeous lake
2.  It came empty with nothing but the ugly pink carpet, the hideous paneling and cigarette smell 
Talk about blank slate...I decided early one that I wanted to go blue and white for the living area.  It is sorta ironic because Rick suggested we go to white walls at home in preparation for possibly selling the place and I went all ape crazy on him.  NO WAY AM I LIVING WITH WHITE WALLS... at home.  At the cottage?  PERFECT.  So the paneling was a painted white white in the living room and kitchen area.  The kitchen table was stained (don't ask) and the chairs will someday be painted white.  I recovered the seats in a beachy teal/blue/sand stripe fabric.   When we decided to paint the cabinets I wanted to keep the beach theme going because it really is just one big room.  
We decide to paint the cabinets with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  You probably know that it is hard to find- there are two stores on the West side of Michigan that sell it.  Neither is near my house.  Luckily one isn't far from the cottage and they had all sorts of color charts of paint mixes that Rick photographed and texted to me.  Yes, this is actually how we chose out paint colors.  In the end, after much texting and phone talking, we stuck with Pure White and Provence. 

***If you have never heard of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint , I am not sure what to say....get with the program's the biggest thing in home make-over and furniture refurb to hit the bloggosphere and Pinterest.  Annie Sloan has a great website with a lot of helpful information on using the product.  A quick Google search will also yield hundreds of YouTube videos of people using the product.  Check it out. 
One reason we went with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is the ease of use and the fact that priming isn't necessary.  Unfortunately, after Rick had two coats on the top cabinets, he started seeing grease marks bleeding through.  So, I guess the caveat to Annie Sloan not needing a primer is "it doesn't need primer as long as the cabinets have not been exposed to an 800 pack-a-day smoker and probably a lot of greasy cooking".  After he plopped on some primer and repainted them they look great. 
 I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bottom cabinets in this blue color.  It is a super awesome color and a super awesome look.  But best of all....a super awesome odor.  The cabinet knobs are little clocks from Anthropologie.
Chronograph Knob ($8.00).  They aren't cheap but they look terrific and we didn't need that many.  While I was searching for the link and picture to show you, I found a few more gorgeous knobs that would also look terrific on my new cabinets. 
 Compass Knob ($8)
 Druzy Quartz Knob ($18 Yikes)
The hook hanging on the end of the cabinet is similar to this one with our last initial on it.  Ceramic Letter Hook($14)

Lots of people just go ahead and paint the hardware but we decided to avoid a potential mess with chipping paint since these doors get a lot of use.   It is certainly a personal preference.
My favorite part?  When I walk into the kitchen, forgetting it is painted, and see all that clean, bright, new, gorgeous color.  It just makes me smile. 

I hope you day is filled with Sunshine and GLITTER. 


  1. I have such a "big" smile on my face, wow, I love what you did, and of course I love that lake! K

  2. What a great job! Your kitchen looks wonderful. And, kudos to your husband for doing all that painting.


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