diy, in the kitchen, new, The Cottage
Comment 1

things are finally cookin’

What a week! Where do I even begin? My parents arrived and we quickly made our way up to the Cottage.  I had a laundry list of projects I had hoped to tackle while they were in town. As you can see, the biggest project was the kitchen. Here’s a recap of what we did, what I learned, and what we used. I will be following up on the floors in a later post (I’m saving that for the big dining room reveal)


As you know, I am a big fan of white. It’s an easy way to instantly make any space feel fresh and updated (and boy did the kitchen need it.) I had already painted the kitchen cabinets last summer when I first bought the place and have been dreaming of taking down the ugly wallpaper and weird fake stone panels that adorned the main wall and backsplash ever since.  I wanted something classic and clean, and not too country. This was a DIY project from start to finish, and the biggest piece of advice I can give is to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Take the time to make sure you have all the tools you need, the right amount of materials, and test them out before you dive right in.

THE BEFORE  – I don’t even know where to begin. The florescent light? weird fake stone paneling? that floor?!!!

Jentertaining_kitchen before


I had originally planned on using 3X6 subway tiles – I actually went to Home Depot and purchased 15 boxes of them! When I got them home, I realized they weren’t as white as I had hoped. If my cabinets were a darker color, you wouldn’t be able to tell, but once you out them against  pure white surface, they had a bit of a yellow undertone. The search began to find the right white tile and along the way I ended up falling in love with the 4X4 square look and am so happy with the result. It feels fresh and just a little bit different. Arctic White is the way to go if you are looking for a pure white tile (in my opinion.) Home Depot only sells them online, but you can have them delivered to the store for free.

As for the grout, I always knew I would do a dark charcoal. It adds a graphic quality to the space and think it is perfect for a kitchen space. The 1/8 inch space was also a debate, and once I got it up on the backsplash, I knew it was the right choice. I think 1/16 is perfect for a bathroom, but if you want graphic – 1/8 is the way to go for a kitchen.


The light was an easy choice – just one look and I knew it was the only option for the room. It’s the subtle centerpiece that adds height while also being a bit unexpected for a kitchen space. TIP: the medallion was a last minute addition when the hole left behind by the florescent fixture. What a difference it makes – it’s plastic and I painted it the same color as the celinging. For under $20, it’s definitely worth it.

A LOOK AT THE TILE WALL: It’s light, clean, and oh so fresh! (and yes, I placed every one of those tiles myself)

jentertaining kitchen_ in progress

Tile- Arctic White: Home Depot, $1.96 (per sq. ft.)
Grout- Charcoal: Home Depot, $14.47 (25 lbs bag)
Spacers – 1/8 inch: Home Depot, $2.97 (250 per pack)
Tile Cutter: Amazon, $83 (we looked into renting one, but it was $50 per day, so it made sense to  just buy one. This one was super easy to use)
Light Fixture:, $284
Light Bulbs:, $20 (set of 4)
Medallion: Home Depot, $20

I really don’t have words that can express how thankful I am to have my parents come out and help me. It was such a wonderful visit filled with so many memories. They have taught me so much and I am forever grateful that every time I walk into the kitchen I get to think of them and the fun times we had together building out this space.

What do you think? Any other tidbits you would like to know?

1 Comment

  1. Amber says

    It looks great! Wish I could come for a visit. Cheers to warmer weather.


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