White Mountain Cottage: Kitchen Inspiration and Plans

We’re in a fun rut at the cottage. The excitement of demo is over and we can’t start putting things back together because we still need to refinish the floors. We originally planned to hire professionals but my confident and capable DIY husband has decided we should try to do it ourselves. So after taking a weekend off we’re headed back to the cottage Friday to sand, treat and poly the floors.

In an effort to stay productive, or distract myself from the inevitable mess this weekend, I’ve been coming up with design plans and shopping for furniture and accessories. Design wise the plan is to keep the color palette neutral and give the house a modern + rustic + cottage aesthetic. I’m excited about the direction we’re going but it’s quite different from my traditional farmhouse style so I’m also anxious about the creative challenge this may be for me.

If you missed it make sure you check out the Before Tour of the entire house here, but for now we’re going to focus on just the kitchen. Are you ready to get into all the yummy details?


This kitchen by Jenna Sue Design Co. is my main inspiration for the look and feel I want to achieve:

kitchen inspiration from jenna sue design co

In fact, her entire recent flip project will be a huge source of inspiration throughout the house.

And this kitchen by Blair Harris has the modern look I’m going for:

kitchen inspiration from Blair Harris Interior Design

And this DIY kitchen makeover by Bigger Than the Three of Us is amazing:

kitchen inspiration from bigger than the three of us

And I love the simplicity of this kitchen featured on Maison de Pax:

kitchen inspiration from Maison de Pax

Do you sense a theme? Black cabinets, wood counter tops, white tile and warm metals offer bold contrast and a clean yet warm feel. By mixing these things together purposefully and creatively we are hoping to make a big impact in our small kitchen.

Just for the sake of it lets take another look at the kitchen at the beginning:

galley kitchen before

It’s a small kitchen with awkward cabinets and no dishwasher. So, that brings us to…


The most affordable thing to do in any kitchen makeover is to paint the existing cabinets but we realized almost immediately that this kitchen needed more.

kitchen sink before

We quickly decided on new cabinets which also gave us the opportunity to change the layout. Adding a dishwasher was a no brainer, because honestly who wants to hand wash dishes on vacation? The toughest part to overcome was the stove. I just couldn’t find a way to make the refrigerator and stove being right next to each other look good.

kitchen layout before

So, we went back to the drawing board to consider our options and after much debate settled on layout that moves the stove and adds a dishwasher giving us a perfect work triangle:

new kitchen floorplan

We started demo a few weeks ago and took out the upper cabinets:

kitchen demo removing cabinets

Then because of a roof leak and buckled paneling we ended up taking it to the studs:

kitchen demo down to the studs

Even though demo is exciting it is also chaotic and stressful to live with (even when you don’t live there full time). So, let’s get back to the pretty stuff!

Design Plan

new kitchen design plan graphic

Let’s talk about material choices!

First cabinets… In our own kitchen renovation, we used Malibu White cabinets from Cabinets to Go and I love them! They were easy to assemble and install (my husband and I did it ourselves in a weekend).

kitchen cabinets from the dutch farmhouse

We considered getting cabinets from there again but the cost, even though affordable, was really eating into our small budget. After a lot of research and shopping around we settled on unfinished stock cabinets that we’ll paint ourselves. Here’s why:

  • The cost difference is more than half of prefinished ready to assemble cabinets (Cabinets to Go or IKEA).
  • True black cabinets are hard to find on a budget and I really didn’t want stained cabinets even if they were almost black.
  • For all intents and purposes, this is a weekend kitchen. It doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of an everyday kitchen.

We were excited to find cabinets at a Nashville store that are made from maple. Most unfinished cabinets (like what you find at Lowes or Home Depot) are made from oak and from what I’ve read oak has deeper groves which makes it more difficult to fully cover the grain when painting.

stock cabinets ready for paint

We plan to try a new-to-us product from Lowes called Valspar Cabinet Enamel to give the cabinets a high-end look with a durable finish.

Valspar cabinet enamel paint

Like most of the inspiration kitchens above we opted for open shelving over upper cabinets. In such a small space I was afraid that having black upper cabinets would make the kitchen feel like a cave or black hole. The shelves will run from the refrigerator to the window wall leaving either side of the kitchen window open. There was never a doubt in my mind about a simple white subway tile backsplash. It’s classic, affordable and keeps the kitchen feeling open. Plus, it pulls in from the white walls in the other living areas. We’ll run them from counter to ceiling on the refrigerator wall and around the window.

The appliances will be stainless since that’s what most people like. For the countertops we choose butcher block. It’s affordable, durable and will add warmth to the black and white kitchen.

new kitchen butcher block counter top

We picked up the DOMSJO apron front sink and GLITTRAN faucet from Ikea. We chose the smaller 30-inch sink over the double bowl because it fits the scale of the kitchen better and it increases counter space.

IKEA Domsjo sink IKEA Glittran faucet

When choosing lighting and cabinet hardware I pushed myself past my go to black or oil rubbed bronze and decided to jump on the gold/brass bandwagon. The goal here is to have fun and try new things. I found this light on Amazon:

sconce choice for new kitchen

And these cup pulls too:

brass cabinet hardware for new kitchen

I think they’ll really pop on the black cabinets.

Lastly, we’re increasing the depth of the peninsula by using standard base cabinets and will have over hang to allow for additional seating. We have a set of three unused stools from our first house so rather than spend money on something else I plan to give them a little refresh to make them fit in with the look here.


diy kitchen stool makeover

The list of things to do and projects to start is growing every day. The pressure is mounting and we’re anxious to see some progress. I’ll be busy painting cabinets for the next few days and then we’ll head back up to the cottage on Friday. Make sure you follow along on Instagram (@thedutchfarmhouse) and Facebook for real time updates.

What do you think of the kitchen plans? Let me know in the comments!








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One thought on “White Mountain Cottage: Kitchen Inspiration and Plans

  1. Are you venting the stove? I love the plan and think it will work well. I especially like open shelving in a vacation setting. You can readily see what is available for prep and dining and putting it back in place when you are finished is much easier. It will encourage your renters to be neat! I also love the fact that butcher block has made a strong return as a counter option. Keep us posted!

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