Cottage Style Kitchen on a Budget
Decorating Editor Lindsey Ellis Beatty brings her work home to rehab her drab, old kitchen, making it a bright and happy spot with color and pattern
Cozy Cottage Kitchen
After two years of living with a dreary kitchen in her otherwise sunny 1930s Birmingham home, it was finally time for Lindsey Ellis Beatty to create the cheerful space she had always envisioned.
“The old kitchen was a mess,” says Lindsey, who shares the space with her husband, Kevin, and their two boys, Walker and Beckett. “There was a large piece of plywood in the middle of the floor where an island had once been, the refrigerator floated on an empty wall, and the black tile countertops felt dingy.” After spending an entire year researching, compiling tear sheets, and planning the space, Lindsey devised a manageable renovation plan.
Phase 1: Remodeling
“Remodeling our kitchen first ensured that my budget fully covered the more serious elements of the room before I could get carried away with my fabrics and furniture,” Lindsey says, laughing. “I also know that anything requiring construction cannot be easily changed, so I played it safe and spent money wisely.” A veteran remodeler, Lindsey ordered all of her paints, fixtures, and appliances before construction even began to prevent delays waiting on products to arrive.
Raising the existing cabinets to the ceiling gave Lindsey space to install pretty floating shelves above the countertops.
Mindful of saving money but not one to cut corners, Lindsey kept the kitchen’s original footprint and placement of appliances. She designed a new custom pantry with double doors that echo the look of the side-by-side refrigerator. The extra storage space now houses the microwave and helps anchor the refrigerator against the wall.
Lindsey designed her pantry with ample open space at the top to store and display her white cake stand collection.
Refrigerator: For a similar look, try GE Energy Star Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Dispenser
Sticking to her clean and simple vision, Lindsey chose an airy gray-and-white color palette that wouldn’t tire. Fresh coats of gray paint and shiny new chrome hardware unified all of the cabinetry, but the real star is a glass tile backsplash in a chevron pattern. She invested in durable, high-quality white quartz countertops; dark, easy-to-mop hardwood floors; and a new tongue-and-groove ceiling with a grid of six chrome lights—all materials that will hold up well over time. Having saved in other areas, Lindsey (a great cook and frequent entertainer) splurged on a new collection of high-quality stainless steel Thermador appliances.
Backsplash Tile: Encata Glass Mosaic Herringbone in Everest
Countertops: Zodiaq Quartz in Snow White
Cabinet Hardware: Nouveau III Collection Square Bar Pull 8 13⁄16" in Polished Chrome
Phase 2: Decorating
With her home free of construction workers, Lindsey turned her attention to transforming the other side of the room—the breakfast nook. “I wanted a comfortable place where Kevin and I could sip coffee and read the paper while the boys ate Cheerios and watched cartoons,” she says.
She spotted the ideal camelback sofa at a yard sale. Twenty-five dollars later, the sofa was at home, perfectly sized to fit beside the refrigerator. Having saved so much on the sofa, she reupholstered it in a splurge-worthy bright coral strié.
Sconces: Serge Single Sconce
Curtain fabric: Smokebush in silver
Sofa fabric: Beach Strie (BST3)
Chevron chair fabric: Alan Campbell’s Zig Zag (AC302-16)
Table: Eero Saarinen Style Tulip Table in White
Side chairs: Louis XVI side chairs (FC010-4) by Zentique
To mimic the backsplash pattern and tie together the two areas, Lindsey chose dark brown-and-white zigzag fabrics for the chairs and sofa pillows. Traditional draperies frame the nook, while the clean lines of the Saarinen-inspired table add a modern edge.
Lastly, Lindsey played up her eclectic mix of furniture and fabrics with a graphic gallery wall filled with an assortment of framed art, including one very special work in crayon by her son Walker. “When creating a gallery wall, always add something three-dimensional, such as the mounted horns used here,” Lindsey says. “It adds interest and keeps it fun.”
Art: Flamingos by Eastwitching; Night Swim by kikiandpolly; Vulture No. 1 by Sharon Montrose; Rosie and Her Bee by Peggy Wolf Design; Insect Collection by United Thread; Zen Garden V006 by Once Upon a Paper; Spider by Dimdi.
Antlers: Suzanne Kasler Atelier Antlers