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Our modern cottage kitchen {makeover}

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I won’t lie, it’s been a little difficult to not show our modern cottage kitchen makeover for months but Woman’s Day Magazine revealed our kitchen and dining room on their website last week so I have the go ahead to finally show you. Last summer (I cannot even believe it’s been that long), I installed blue glass subway tile for the first time on our back splash. What a long but fun project! I had never used a wet saw and was like a kid in a candy store after I cut my first tile and it didn’t break. I was pretty excited. The existing 1970’s kitchen was dark and outdated. Our new kitchen is a white, modern cottage style with a blue glass back splash.

cottage kitchen reveal

 Woman’s Day Magazine & Bob O”conner

Here is a shot of the before and after,

white modern kitchen

The cabinets were sanded, primed and painted by a local painter just about 2 years ago. I have since repainted some of the lower cabinets simply to freshen them up and cover knicks. Once you paint cabinets, you have to expect to repaint and/or touch them up every two years or so, especially if they are white! I will do a tutorial soon on how to cover dark stained cabinets with primer as well as the steps used to paint white kitchen cabinets.

Here is a shot of the kitchen before from our dining room.

dark outdated kitchen makeover

We tore down the wall between the kitchen and dining room to give it a more open and modern feel. We did this just before I started blogging so I did not take any pictures. Who would have known that pictures would be so important.

Here is a shot of the kitchen after from the dining room.

white cottage kitchen cabinet makeover

Last summer I spent a week tiling the kitchen backsplash with blue glass subway style tile. When Woman’s Day contacted me about featuring our kitchen, the backsplash hadn’t even been started and I only had 3 weeks to get it done. I had no idea what color or even how to install tile so needless to say, I panicked. I got online and read through tiling tutorials and finally ended up at Home Depot to purchase supplies. I ended up special ordering the blue glass tile from Dahl Tile and was a bit nervous because at $16 a square foot, I couldn’t afford to break many! Would you believe me if I told you the tile was removable? Oh yes, my first tiling job and I made it removable. A modular backsplash. I’ll share the tutorial soon.

blue glass subway style tile

The cabinets are painted with a  Benjamin Moore white paint called “decorators white”. We also added a custom brown glaze on top of the painted white cabinets.

modern kitchen painted white cabinets makeover

Here is a picture taken for the Woman’s Day Magazine January feature.

modern cottage kitchen makeover with red accents

Woman’s Day Magazine and Bob O”connor

I love how the blue glass subway style tile coordinates with the red kitchen aid appliances. I think the red appliances and red bar stools give the kitchen a great pop of unexpected color.  The range hood below was spray painted with Rustoleum hammered silver spray paint.

cottage kitchen before and after

 We also added a french door between the kitchen and hallway that leads to my parents master bedroom. We added 5″ crown molding as well as roping detail to give the cabinets a custom look.

white modern kitchen makeover

I purchased the roping molding and just nailed it to the 5 inch crown molding with 1 inch finish nails. You can purchased crown molding with all the detail already but it was more economical for me to do it this way.

kitchen cabinet with crown molding

Here is a view from the newly installed french door near the dining room looking into our mudroom and sitting area.

white painted kitchen cabinets

I think the red stools offer such a fun pop of color and coordinate perfectly with the red kitchen aid products that Target donated for the Woman’ Day makeover .

white kitchen painted cabinets

Here is a picture of the kitchen before without the newly installed french door.

1970s outdated kitchen renovation

Here is the newly renovated kitchen with the addition of a white french door.

white kitchen makeover with french door

Here is a shot of the dining room that is open to the kitchen. This shot was taken during the Woman’s Day makeover. I am so thankful that they let me keep the proofs from the professional photographer!

cottage dining room makeover

Woman”s Day Magazine

I am so happy with the transformation of the original dark and outdated 1970’s kitchen to a new modern cottage kitchen. My mom and dad recently had the house re-appraised and were very pleased with the increase in the home value. Kitchens and baths are certainly worth the investment for resale value. Target is giving away a $100 gift card here on the blog later today or tomorrow so stay tuned! UPDATE: You can enter the TARGET $100 gift card giveaway here.

Other projects in this room:

How to install a kitchen backsplash

How to measure square foot for a backsplash

How to cut glass tile

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. It looks so beautiful Jessica. All your hard work and thoughtful details made it such a bright and inviting new space! Love the addition of the french door too. I hope you all enjoy your new space for a long time to come.

    (or until you change that back splash tile. hehe. what a smart trick!!)

    1. Thank you Shannon! I am so happy it’s removable because my style span is short and who knows what color I’ll be loving in a year 🙂

  2. wow! this looks awesome. i love the colorful bar stools and the submway tiles. everything looks wonderful. great job!

  3. Beautiful. Love the crisp white with the lovely blue backsplash.

    1. Thank you Nicole. I love the blue as well. I was hesitant at first because it’s so bold and non-traditional for subway tile in a kitchen but I am so happy I went with it :).

  4. this is beautiful, jessica! you all did so much! love that french door idea to give more light!

    i love a white kitchen!


    1. Thanks Kelly! I love the french door as well. When I suggested it to my dad, I said oh it would add so much character to the kitchen. His response was, “what? why do you need character in the kitchen?”. Men!

  5. It looks wonderful. I’m anxious to hear about the removeabe tile. I painted my cabinets and did a brown glaze over them 6 years ago. The guy from Home Depor told me to use a satin floor polyurethane for the final coat. I have not had one chip in all those years.

    1. Great idea on the stain polyurethane. I’ll post the tutorial on the modular tile soon 🙂

  6. Oh my goodness! I love the way it turned out – those bar stools are great and the pops of red really add to it! I plan on tackling our cupboards this month also. 5 years ago I painted them black, but they will be white this time! Great job! Love the dining room too!

    1. Thanks Erica! Good luck covering up the black cabinets. Lots of primer 🙂 I bet they will look so good white. What a difference it will be!

  7. ValenzMom aka Helen says:


    I love your kitchen transformation! The colors are so perfect for a kitchen. I love the french door, and how you spray painted the stove hood – so smart! Also, I never knew that there was removable tile – you’ve opened up a whole new world for me! I’m one of those people who loves to change things frequently, so this is very exciting news. I really love your entire blog, too. I just found it a few weeks ago by linking from another blog. I’ll definately be subscribing!

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I am loving the idea that it is removable as well 🙂

  8. It looks wonderful! The blue glass tile that you selected pops against the white cabinets. Congratulations on your Woman’s Day feature.

  9. Wowzas, Jessica…it looks amazing! I love the new door…it extends the kitchen a bit…and the colors? Blue and white are always my favorites!!! Fabulous job!

    1. Hey Jessica! Thanks so much. I’m loving th eblue and white as well. Even if my dogs slobber shows up all over the white cabinets 🙂

  10. Wow, you’ve done an amazing job – well done! I love, love, love the blue backsplash the most, gorgeous!

    1. Thank you Heather 🙂 I am so happy I went with the blue. I wasn’t sure at first but so happy I did 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  11. I just found your blog and love your story! The kitchen turned out amazing! I love the pop of red. Perfect!

    1. Thank you so much Amy 🙂 I love your blog as well, I’m kind of a stalker! ha.

  12. Such a great job Jessica! It is a great inspiration for mydesperately in need of a makeover kitchen! I noticed you didn’t mention the countertops or the floors. What are they made of?

    1. Hi, thank you! The counters are formica (beveled edge) and the floor is ceramic tile.

  13. Love your kitchen! We are in the process…cabinets in the process of being painted as we speak! Thanks for sharing all your great tips and ideas! Would you share where the rug under your dining table is from?? Thank you!

  14. I love your kitchen! What color paint are your walls? It is beautiful!

  15. Elizabeth says:

    What a beautiful kitchen! We will soon be adding a tile back splash to our 1912 farmhouse kitchen. Do you mind sharing the name/model number of the subway tile you used? It is such a lovely shade of blue!

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