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Friday, December 5, 2014

Storybook Cottage–A French Country Kitchen

I am going to tell you right now that the kitchen is not finished.

There are still countertops to be replaced, a stove to be saved for, curtains to be sewn, art to be hung….

and it’s not gonna get done before Christmas.

But it really doesn’t matter because there is still beauty in the unfinished, the undone, the imperfect. 

I hope you agree with me.

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Let’s get this party started with the glorious “Before’s”.



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Before, also known as “The Dark Dungeon”.


After: every square inch of anything wooden be it ceiling, cabinet, wall or trim was painted white.

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“The Black Hole”.

Whiter and brighter!

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I mean just look at this fresh ceiling! It was SO dark before and those images were taken in the summer. I can’t even imagine this kitchen in winter because it was very overcast when I took these images yesterday and they still turned out ok.

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Here is the view which peeks into the family room. It was the first room to receive a transformation after we moved in on Halloween day.

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Here’s a larger view of the gallery wall.

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On the opposite end you can see in this image that we chose to keep the brick in it’s natural state. It provides a great warmth to the room.

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Did you spy some lovely aprons peeking out in the last image?

The red check on the left belonged to Grandma Mary, the geranium delight was a gift from my dear friend Jeanette, the full red check was my mother Nadine’s and the polka dot beauty on the right belonged to dear Grandma Jingles.

Lovely ladies all and I am so happy they are hanging out in my kitchen!

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The top of the shelf holds the elf tree that sat in my mother Karen’s hospital room as well as a few vintage bottle brush trees that my sweet friend Heidi collected.

Storybook Kitchen 098 So let’s talk about French Christmas décor.

While living near the German/French border I had the privilege of attending several Christmas markets. It was always such fun to walk through quaint villages and capture glimpses of happy homes and their kitchens peeking through lace covered windows. Only a simple few Christmas décor items stood out:

Bright pops of red~ generally through the generous use of ribbon, dishware and table linens. 

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Natural touches of greenery and berries.

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Happy little wreaths.

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Woodland gnomes and lucky little mushrooms.

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Bright happy packages piled atop old sleds or wagons.

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Of course always pretty sweet treats!

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Across from the range is the sink area. While plans are being made for curtains, a French antique table runner works for now.

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I had plans to nestle greenery into my vintage Père Noël (father Christmas) mugs but alas as we are still unpacking they have yet to be found. For now these crocks are pretty charming too.

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Did you spy my baskets of “berries” next to the dish soap?

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Further on down the counter are some glass jars with heirloom baby cups.

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Rounding out the counter space is my beloved mixer just waiting for its holiday cookie workout and the Advent Calendar for Sweethearts I made for Mr. Décor back in 2012.

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For now I shall leave you with a Christmas greeting from Franz the dachshund.

(Please know the Fashionista was hiding behind the counter and we hid dog biscuits next to the plate of cookies to get this shot. :)

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Monday’s post includes all the details.

Joyeux Noël de ma cuisine à la vôtre.

(Merry Christmas from my kitchen to yours.)


Linking to:

Not Just A Housewife



Jane said...

It's all so lovely! Hard to believe how much you've accomplished in such a short time!!!

Auntie Em said...

What a beautiful transformation! Your home is definitely living up to it's Storybook Cottage name. I love the white cabinets and ceiling. It looks so fresh and happy. I wasn't sure about the brick before seeing it against the white but it's so charming. I enjoy having aprons hanging in my kitchen. My old sturdy everyday ones aren't as sweet and feminine as your cherished collection but over Christmas I like to dig out a few and hang them where I see them often. If makes me feel like those sweet ladies have just stepped out of the kitchen for a few minutes and will be right back. Love those memories.
Thank you for sharing a peek at your hearth and home. You are doing a fantastic job! Cheers :)

Debbie said...

No words!!! I just love every single solitary inch of it! I wanted to do hanging aprons this year, but I have't done it yet. I love that look.

GSGreatEscaper said...

What a transformation! I love it. Congratulations on all your hard work, it has paid off in spades. You should invite your real estate agent to come back and see it - if you want to reboot your decorating business! I'll bet there are people who could use your kind of help.

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

Votre cuisine de Noël!
Ce est beau!
You must be so relieved to have this HUGE project behind you, Laura!
I LOVE your collection of black wire accessories above the cabinets!
You know that I am envious of your Storybook Cottage in only a good and loving way!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Your kitchen looks beautiful, Laura! I'm so glad you got to paint it white. It really brightens the whole room up. Your decorations look wonderful and it seems like this room is definitely the heart of your home.

Kathy Moreland said...

Love the kitchen painted white. I'd love to do that, but don't think the hubby would agree. Your Christmas touches are delightful!!

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

WOW what a transformation!! Your kitchen looks amazing Laura and I love the way you have it dressed for Christmas!!

Angela said...

Wow, what a transformation! Your kitchen is lovely and I can't wait to see all of the other changes you've made. Your home is beautiful.

Lorrie said...

The before and after difference is immeasurable! You must have used gallons and gallons of white paint. I love it! Ta cuisine a l'air très charmante!

sandy said...

Inspiration overload! Thank goodness I have the day off so I can try to replicate your amazing creativity. You did a fantastic job on the painting. All of those long hours paid off.

I have the exact same cupboards. I painted them white over ten years ago and they are now starting to show wear. I used
the paint recommended, but after repeated washings, some of the brown is starting to show through. I am thinking of sanding them a little so they all look alike....

Thanks for posting!

Shelia said...

Hi Laura! I love your pretty redone kitchen! The white makes such a difference too. I love the space you have and of course, how you've decorated too! It will all come eventually. I'm still unpacking and think - one day! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Susan Clayton said...

Love love love every bit of this redo and your decorating style. Visiting from My Romantic Home

Bonnie said...

What an amazing transformation. I love making all the wood white.

Your decorations are so lovely too. I pinned almost every image.

All your work is incredible as well as your blogging posts.

FairfieldHouse said...

Laura, Your kitchen looks fabulous! I love the brick alcove and your ceiling. My only question is when do you arrive here to do my kitchen? :)
Your Friend,

diana said...

Well I was going to say something like amazing what a can of paint can do... but holy moly more like 20 cans of paint... did you paint all of that and the ceiling? Stunning transformation and hooray for you for seeing what you could do with that!

Terri Steffes said...

I about fell off my chair when I saw the after, with all that beautiful white! I love that you kept the natural brick. I actually love the countertop, too, the white really made it beautiful! What are you thinking of replacing it with?

I am so impressed with your energy, focus and drive. Many hugs to you!

Language of Color & Texture said...

First of all, so beautiful and transformed is too week of a word! My question is how did you decide if you wanted to keep the wood on the ceiling or paint it. Did you absolutely know it should go white? love to hear your thoughts. You are so amazing Laura.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh Laura, it is absolutely fabulous. I love everything. It is so fun to see after all the before's. The little wagon filled with presents is such a great piece for that window area, and I adore how you decorated the table and chairs too. Absolutely perfect.

Christine said...

!!!!!!!!!!! AMAZING !!!!!!!!!!!
I can't believe how it is totally different.
I can't believe how fast you did this (with all that has been on your plate)!!

Karena Albert said...

Laura, I love, love love it al!! So light and bright and the holiday decor is just perfect.
Seeing the beloved aprons hanging is so meaningful and fun!!

The Arts by Karena said...

What a difference. So lovely and bright now!

Catherine Holman said...

How beautiful! The white is such a beautiful transformation and makes everything look so charming and cozy!

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Oh Laura....that house is a BLESSING! I am enjoying seeing you enjoy it!!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Another Wow from me also. Painting the kitchen was definitely the right decision. Looking forward to seeing more.

Creations by Marie Antoinette and Edie Marie said...

PS Franz was my favorite part of the post, truth be told. I have 2 doxies, mother & daughter, that I adore!

Creations by Marie Antoinette and Edie Marie said...

OOPS! I don't know where my original comment went. Your kitchen is amazing! I loved every element. I'm so intrigued with anything French or German. The white has totally transformed your home!!

Christmas blessings, Edie Marie

Linda said...

Oh my goodness, Laura, you have outdone yourself and it sure looks complete to me!!!! You are all amazing!! I'm embarrassed at my old kitchen so need of updates. Yours is so cheery and I love every inch of it. Thanks for sharing. ♥
Love, Linda


LOVE your kitchen!!! You certainly know how to make your Home Sweet Home, perfect! It looks like a brand new kitchen.

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Laura, your kitchen transformation is beautiful; and your Christmas decor just pops in your white kitchen! Everything looks so warm and festive! You did a great job!

Di said...

Love your kitchen and that little doggie is so sweet!! Di@Cottage-Wishes

Nancy said...

Laura, your kitchen is just stunning. Such vision you have and what a transformation.

You asked for questions so here goes, I just hope you haven’t already answered these. Did you use the color ‘de jour” on the wall, cabinets and trim? Did you use oil or latex paint? What sheen did you use on each surface? And finally did you put some type of protective coating on the cupboards?

All the sweet French Christmas touches truly make this a happy kitchen. Job well done.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Laura, it's beautiful! What a difference white paint makes! Glad to see, though, that you did not paint the bricks; so many people do.

The Boston Lady said...

I am in love with this kitchen! Wonderful change. It's exactly what I would ha

The Boston Lady said...

Comment got cut off! What I would have done. Love the whole look, and Franz, of course. Ann

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

Oh my gosh that kitchen is gorgeous! You give me hope for my dark-cabineted kitchen. You'll have to share how you painted the cabinets. For having moved not that long ago you really are organized and settled in! Congrats!

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

Oh, wow! It looks so bright and welcoming now! The brick wall that looked so dark before, now bring warmth and harm to your kitchen. The transformation is amazing!

Christine Graves said...

Gorgeous kitchen!! Love the holiday touches and hope Franz got a treat for that beautiful shot...adorable puppy!

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

I would love an all white kitchen...what a lovely change you have made! Enjoy the holidays!

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

Holy cannoli it is hard to believe this is the same room!!!! It looks AWESOME!!! Isn't it incredible what paint can do!? I love all your Christmas touches too. The mugs will turn up and you can use them next year! Thanks for sharing all this!

Carol said...

Well, it may not be totally finished, Laura, but it looks beautiful! I really like the brick, too!

The Charm of Home said...

Looks lovely Laura! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Wow, what a transformation on your kitchen, it is stunningly beautiful.............
Love all your Christmas touches, all very festive and pretty. Love love loved your idea with the cups tied to the canisters, I have
some silver punch cups, so think I am gonna have to copy kat that...........hope you want mind!!

Blessings for a Merry Christmas Season,

Katie Mansfield said...

An amazing transformation!! I love so many of the cute touches.

Rita C. said...

Laura, I don't how in the world I missed THIS, but I'm sure glad you did a best of 2014 so I could see it! Oh my lands, you're neck must have been hurting for weeks! This kind of stretching really taxes my neck and literally gives me migraines. I cannot believe the transformation you've done here with mostly just paint - simply outstanding. The decor touches are also wonderful, many of which inspire me. I think you should leave the runner as curtain - it's beautiful that way! Love the marmalade crocks and baby cups, the chair wreaths and the memories in your aprons & ornaments. Looking out your window across the street, I was thinking how I bet your neighbors are glad you're there - you've already added so much quality to the cottage house. Very inspiring. Happy New Year!

Joni Webb said...

omg - that ceiling!!!!!! it is so beautiful in white. i'm so sorry i am late!!! i can't believe how wonderful it all looks. amazing!! Good luck and much health and happiness in your home, life in Texas! Don't you love Texas??? :)