Before and After: Light, Bright Cottage Kitchen Renovation

It’s time for the long awaited final installment of our Rosehill Cottage kitchen renovation journey! Back in December, our pipes burst and that set into motion an earlier-than-expected kitchen renovation that I am so 100% delighted with. I can’t even begin to tell you how much happier it makes me to cook in this space with its light, bright counters and darling backsplash. Everything feels so fresh and new. I’m obsessed.

Our Cottage Kitchen Renovation Journey

But first, let’s go way back to when we bought the cottage. Here’s how the kitchen started. Overall in good shape, but definitely of its time. The stain of the cabinets is early 90s and the space felt darker than I prefer. As a reminder, we moved the peninsula against the wall to open up the kitchen (in retrospect, I don’t know that I would have done this again because I love an open prep space). We kept the cabinets because they are solid wood and in great condition.

cottage kitchen renovation - light and bright cottage kitchen

Phase One of the Renovation

This was our middle iteration of our cottage kitchen renovation. We’d painted the cabinets and walls, replaced the hardware, and swapped out lights. But that was it. It was definitely just lipstick on the situation, but it was fine. It was still a good size kitchen that functioned well.

But I wanted something lighter and brighter. The taupe granite and tile made everything feel dark and a bit muddy, even with the white cabinets. Plus, considering how much we cook, especially when we have friends visiting, I wanted this space to be somewhere we were excited to spend time.

cottage kitchen renovation - light and bright cottage kitchen

Our Rosehill Cottage Kitchen Renovation

One thing that I had to repeatedly remind Adam and myself throughout this process was that we were undertaking a cottage kitchen renovation. It needed to feel like a cottage. Simple and light. It couldn’t be bold or eclectic. It needed to feel true to its sense of place. And that’s what we did.

For example, I wouldn’t normally opt for a beadboard backsplash, but the wainscoting was the right move in this space — I just did it in a slightly more streamlined way, with wider planks. The quartz countertops are white with a fine veining in a neutral gold hue. They feel fresh but not at odds with an older home.

One of the small changes that had the biggest impact was removing the wood valance above the sink. I knew I didn’t like it but I didn’t realize how much it was making the space feel stale. It lightened the entire space up when we removed it and added a simple brass light rather than the fluorescent light that had been there. The addition of recessed lighting and new under-counter lighting, both on dimmers, was also a game changer.

Everything We Did in the Kitchen

As a reminder, here’s a look at all what we did:

  • Left cabinets and floor plan as is
  • Added recessed lights
  • Replaced and added to the under counter lights
  • Added a pendant light above the sink
  • Removed the wood valance above the sink
  • Replaced the sink with a single basin
  • Replaced the sink faucet with brass
  • Installed a wide wainscoting backsplash
  • Installed light quartz countertops
  • Replaced the oven (dishwasher was replaced earlier)
  • Replaced the microwave with one that actually vents outside rather than recirculates 

We only added one additional project throughout the renovation. We realized that the wainscoting behind the oven was going to stain and we wanted something that would wipe down easily, so we ended up running the quartz behind the oven all the way to the microwave. I don’t love a quartz backsplash generally, but this looks seamless. I took these pictures before that was done, but I absolutely love it.

I wish I had styled photos, set up with life to show you, but, alas, I haven’t had a chance and I want to push this live. So we’re going with it.

cottage kitchen renovation - light and bright cottage kitchen

cottage kitchen renovation - light and bright cottage kitchen

cottage kitchen renovation - light and bright cottage kitchen

cottage kitchen renovation - light and bright cottage kitchen

cottage kitchen renovation - light and bright cottage kitchen

cottage kitchen renovation - light and bright cottage kitchen



  1. Liz
    April 18, 2023 / 11:14 am

    Looks really great, PROPS! The backsplash is clever and perfect for a cottage!

Leave a Reply