As I continue to share all the behind-the-scenes in my “Celebrating Our 100-Year-Old Beach House” series, I’ll take you through the many phases of our 8-year cottage kitchen renovation project.
Are you in love with your kitchen? I am! It’s one of my favorite rooms in our beach cottage. But it took a while to get here. 8 years to be exact. We worked on several kitchen projects in phases, due not only to our budget restrictions but also because my husband and I kept coming up with more and more ideas.
Are you ready to see what the cottage looked like on moving day?
- Painted the cabinets white and added new hardware
- Painted walls
- Installed hardwood floors
- Added a pot filler
- Installed new light fixtures
- Demolished the main bathroom and added a walk-in pantry
The first phase happened immediately. We had the cabinets painted white, knowing it would be a few years before we would be in a financial position to install new kitchen cabinets. The walls were a quick fix. Sadly, I was really into yellow walls back then.
And this little beauty made me happy. I had always wanted a pot filler. Do you see that fun tile? When we did finally renovate the entire kitchen, we took the broken tile and mixed it into the cement path we created in our backyard dog run.
Here’s the hardwood flooring being put in.
- Installed new windows
- Replaced door and window trim
- Updated plumbing
- Relocated the refrigerator and created a hallway
Moving the refrigerator into the actual kitchen area was a big project that really made an impact. The refrigerator was originally behind the wall where the hallway door was.
We removed the door to the stairs and reconfigured the space to bring the refrigerator into the kitchen. I’ll share more about the renovations we made to the rest of this space, including adding a walk-in closet to the bedroom by closing off that wasted space, next week.
Have you ever wished for a double deep cabinet where you could store all the things that you only use once or twice a year? Holiday platters, those appliances that you received as a gift that are so complicated that you’ve never used them, cookbooks you never use? We built one of those cabinets above the new refrigerator space and I LOVE IT!
Getting new windows was the most fun of all. The windows we took out were original to our 1920 house. I remember every winter morning we would have to take a squeegee to them to get all the excess water off the window. And when the extra-wide trim was added, it really made a beautiful statement. (You can see the before and after window pics in the window seat section below).
- Complete renovation and tearing the walls down to the studs
- Replaced sink with a vintage farmhouse sink
- Replaced garden window with updated window
- Installed subway tile
- Added new cabinetry
- Updated all appliances
- Tongue and groove ceiling
- Replaced lighting fixture in the eating area
We had issues with water damage behind the walls and a lack of proper insulation, and although we never planned for it, we ended up tearing the kitchen down to the studs.
The vintage farm sink was our main inspiration for the kitchen. We basically built the rest of the kitchen around it. We went with quartz countertops with a stone speckled color palette for a more beachy feel. White cabinets were installed. And I FINALLY got my dishwasher!
And how beautiful does that window and trim look?
We wanted a classic and timeless look for our 1920 beach house, and felt that subway tile was the perfect choice.
Here are some “after ” pics. The island was created from a dresser with a piece of butcher block from a Dunkin Donuts that was going out of business.
My husband and I made the iron pot rack last year.
Here are the before pictures for our cozy little eating nook. The improvements we made to this area since these pictures were taken were …
- updated the windows and trim
- removed the baseboard heater
- installed tongue and groove to ceiling
- removed the cabinet to the right and the wall it was on
- installed hardwood floors
- installed updated pendant lights
- painted the walls
- installed new quartz countertops
- added open shelving above the window and above counters
- Built window seating in eating area
You can see the new windows and trim in the picture above, but we still hadn’t addressed the small space for entertaining. No more than 4 people could fit at the table so we decided to add window seating.
We installed bead board along the wall for a more cohesive look. As you can see at the time of construction, we hadn’t taken the wall out between the living room and kitchen so we built the seat all the way around the table for a “u” shape.
It gave us so much more space for entertaining!
- Tore down the wall separating the living room and kitchen
- Replaced one kitchen cabinet with open shelving
- Repainted the walls
Tearing Down the Wall Between the Living Room and Kitchen
The cabinet was one of the first things we took out to make a little bit more room in the eating area.
The window seat was already in before we started this phase. We had never even thought about taking the wall out between the living room and the kitchen. So we felt terrible when we had to ask our contractor to tear out part of the window seat.
And the wall is down! Look at all that space.
Finding extra hardwood flooring for this space was quite the challenge.
Here’s the new view from the living room
Let’s look at this wall project from the other side.
The dry wall is down and look what we found! The original shiplap walls from 100 years ago.
It was better than I could have ever hoped for.
The final view. Taking this wall down was one of the biggest changes that we made to our home. We have so much more room for entertaining.
The above picture shows the white cabinet that we had originally installed. We decided to take the cabinet out and replacing it with open shelving.
Here’s the final view.
We lived through a lot of noise, mess, and chaos but I wouldn’t change a thing. We are so in love with our 100-year-old beach house, our “forever” home.
More Before & After Pictures
I hope you enjoyed our 100-year-old kitchen before, after & everything in between. What’s your favorite part of our kitchen? I’ll share the pantry and hallway renovation with you next. Here’s why we fell in love with our 100-year-old beach house.
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