Thursday, December 18, 2014

a Christmas cottage kitchen tour-before and after


Hello friends.

I hope you’re all enjoying these last days before Christmas.

The other day my Mom told me that my decorating seems different this year and she’s right. Even though we’ve been in this house since August the truth is, I’m still working on the basics. In fact our entry is still half-painted because I’ve been trying to pace myself.

So Christmas decorating—especially in the kitchen-is lighter this year.

This kitchen is not technically a true “After” because we plan on a total remodel sometime next year (fingers crossed) so I haven’t wanted to throw a lot of money at this space; it feels uncomfortable to add hardware to these beaten up cabinets that are peeling in places and when the appliances are so dated.

So instead we’ve painted, done a few superficial changes and I’ve basically brought my own style into the room.

In the meantime, I’ve been learning lots of lessons about living in the moment and being grateful for what I’ve got (smile)

So on that note, here’s a little update on my kitchen.


The bamboo shades for this window are being installed the first week of January.

On the day we were shown this house I brought my camera. So we got to see how the previous owners used this space.





Removing the broken microwave and cabinet doors and installing some white beadboard helped lighten this dark space up. (Thanks Dad)


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Apparently this side of the room is designated as a ‘family room’ on the original floor plan (go figure)…But there’s a second master bedroom next door that we’re using as an office/den instead.

So this entire space got painted in BM’s Brilliant White and we’re using this side as the kitchen nook.



I’m using this table from our previous home as the kitchen island for now…to make up for the lack of counter space.

And right now I’m looking for some vintage style stools that can fit underneath to save space.




Remember this tray?


the L shape counter (only counter space)


There’s one thing I reaaaalllly miss in this kitchen and it’s the under the-counter lighting we used to have. Do you have it?

With this granite (not a fan) I can’t see a darn thing without my glasses so I stuck this little lamp (still looking for a bigger one) on the counter and…


Halleluiah I can see!

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To help with storage I’m using my old office shelves on this wall and it holds our microwave, coffee cups and recipe books over here.


You can see more of my rustic chic table setting HERE.



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I like using art in the kitchen, do you?




I have plans for this corner.



Well, that’s it for now my friends.


Nothing ‘designer’ here, but I hope you liked seeing the changes

thanks so much for visiting..I’m so grateful for all the kindness and support I get on this little blog of mine.



I’m linking at Feathered Nest Friday, Grace at Home, Wow Us Wednesdays



Cyndia said...

I love all your changes to the original! Like you, I'm having to live in the present with what we've got for now, when I really want to gut our 1950s kitchen and get busy! Wow just removing that microwave and putting up beadboard made such a nice change. And transforming that "den" area to dining is so much nicer. Merry Christmas!

Gypsy Heart said...

Hi Leslie,
I've missed you! It's been crazy around here plus I still have continuing problems off * on with my internet, computer, TV, you name it. Back issues too so I haven't visited in blog land very much.

Your decor looks so pretty! A much better look than the previous owners. I know that in time you'll have made the changes you desire even though we all like it now! :)

Wishing you and yours a most blessed Christmas!


Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Leslie, You have made some wonderful changes and your home is lovely. Happy Holidays.

Linda said...

Oh my! Love all your changes! Like the wee terra cotta pots on the shelf and that huge clock! I could go on and on. Merry Christmas!

Unknown said...

Wonderful changes!! LUV the table as the island ( doing the same myself, but mine is due to space constrictions) and the chunky legs on the farm table in the eat8ng nook.
Happy Christmas to you and yours Leslie!
Hugs, Gee

AntiqueChase said...

Great changes! Love the lamp too! I am sort of surprised that the owners had their kitchen with dishes all over during a showing, lol!
Happy Holidays! Marcy

Leslie Harris said...

I was shocked by the mess :)

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

You've really transformed your kitchen into a stylish, cozy space in a very short time, Leslie! I have about the same amount of counter space as you, so I had a counter height table made for extra work space. I love the addition of beadboard to your walls and I hope to do the same this winter. The whole space looks wonderful already and the big windows are one of the best features!

Thanks for sharing your before and after and I hope you get the chance to bake some gingerbread cookies in style!

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Leslie I loved all the changes you've know how much I love your style!! Merry Christmas my friend!

Karen said...

I love the changes, even if they are temporary. Yes, I love art in a kitchen. I have a page I tore out of Traditional Home magazine, years ago, that had paintings in the kitchen. It's a look that really appeals to me.
Your changes made the kitchen look great.

karen@somewhatquirky said...

we have approximately the same amount of counter space. I wish I had a space for additional "table space" like you have. Yes, I do love art in the kitchen. I love kitchen art as well. Another thing that I don't have much room for. Are you living temporarily without a vent over the stove? We lived with a microwave hung too low like yours for several years before I finally couldn't stand it anymore and rebuilt the cabinets so we could raise the microwave 9 inches. I'm surprised that you are getting much decorating done at all since you haven't quite unpacked yet! Enjoy the holiday with your family and friends!

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

It's perfect. I'm always fascinated by how different a home can look, just by adding the right touches.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

It's unreal how much you have already transformed this space, Leslie! It really is are such a talented designer with a real eye for beauty. I just love what you've done!

Sarah said...

Leslie, your changes in this space make a big difference. Looks great! Yes, under counter lighting is a must, especially with dark counter surfaces.
Hope you have a very merry Christmas.

chillcat said...

Just beautiful. So much warmer and with your gifted touch! I haven't had to change anything thankfully as I'm tied up with work.. just a weary Xmas tree and scant gifts. Too much running around! Although I do have my favourite reading/napping corner which is full of African masks and cloths. I should show you one day!

cippy said...

Wow, the changes you've made already are wonderful! The kitchen looks fabulous!

Beth C. said...

Your changes were lovely and a perfect illustration of how even simple changes make a huge difference. I am struck by the untidiness of the home though. Who sells a home looking like that? Oh my! Best, Beth C.

Leslie said...

Leslie, beautiful transformation! Your kitchen is so cozy and I like your holiday touches:) The large clock is perfect (I have one in my kitchen too!) Those table chairs are gorgeous!

Enjoy your day and the festivities of the season.. xxL

Wendy Kidd said...

I love what you've done with this space. My kitchen has virtually NO wall space to hang anything on, which makes me crazy. I wish I had your talent for decorating.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Leslie, life hands us challenges as reminders not only to live in the moment but to help us stop and take stock of things and their importance.

I love your attitude about your new home as well as what you have fond so far to make it a home!

Merry Christmas and blessings to you in the new year!

Thank you so very much for your note. It came at the perfect time!

Hugs to you, Elizabeth

Art and Sand said...

I love the look you created by just removing and/or changing a few things. The area where the microwave was looks so much nicer as does the dining area. I love the oversized clock.

When KC and I went house hunting (without telling Steve) she hated this house because it had berber carpeting throughout (including over the tile in the bathroom) and was decorated in a mismatch of furniture. She couldn't get past the decor. When Steve saw the house, he could see the potential and loved it. We have to have vision.

Unknown said...

Your changes are wonderful. It makes me want to take out our microwave! The space there in your kitchen is just perfect. (But I don't know where we would move it to.) I love your touches for the holiday too. Good luck with your projects.
Merry Christmas!

michele said...

i love what you've done. the beadboard just tugs at my heartstrings, and i have toyed with the idea since we moved in our home and think it adds so much interest and charm. hope you are enjoying the weekend and being gentle on yourself--you are so talented and soulful. peace to you, right where you are.

Jeanne said...

You have a lovely blog

Merry Christmas across the miles


Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie ~ just getting caught up on posts as our wifi was acting up. Love the changes you have made already. Clean and freshens it up until you can reno. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas! Patty

Sue said...

Your changes are all perfect Leslie. It's amazing what a little vision can do to change a space. Just taking out that micro and adding the beadboard made a huge difference. And of course, cleaning up a bit:-)
Looking just lovely.

Lori said...

Will keep my fingers crossed on the remodel. Love everything that you have done so far ~ it's hard decorating in a new space but fun at the same time.

designchic said...

Love your kitchen, Leslie. Such an amazing transformation and now I can't wait to go get wreaths to hang on each window…fabulous!! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

Cindy said...

Love all the changes you've made. It looks so homey and welcoming. Looks like you're ready for Christmas and entertaining - I'll be right over.

Sheepskinsandfairylights said...

Love seeing the changes you make and how you reuse & change things to suit your new home.
Wishes for a wonderful Christmas, Vikki, Xx

cindy hattersley design said...

Your kitchen looks absolutely fabulous!!! I can't believe I have missed all these posts!! You are one clever woman!!

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