The itsy Bitys cottage kitchen makeoverKitchen Remodel on a budget

I will never forget he first time I walked into the cottage I said to my husband  “These cabinets dividing the kitchen and the living room have got to go!”  And so the cottage renovation began. And on closing day we remove the cabinets under the soffit and it immediately made the kitchen seem more spacious. Aside from removing the curtains and blinds it was the easiest improvement that made such an impact on it’s look. The kitchen was last renovated in 1993 and although the cabinets were pickled pink pine (say that three times fast)  they actually were in very good shape. The previous owner had used shelf liners and the insides of the cabinets were extremely clean. We primed and painted them a very soft shade of blue gray, American traditions Valspar paint from Lowe’s Tsunami sky 7004–4, in a semi gloss finish. I replace the old rusty hardware with a soft sea glass green ceramic knob from Anthropologie bringing in my soft coastal colors.

The itsy Bitys cottage kitchen makeoverThe itsy Bitys cottage kitchen makeover


The cottage renovation was shaping up

The its Bitsy cottage kitchen makeover






Marble like Laminate counter

There were two very 80s glass and wood pendant lights hanging, one in the kitchen and one over the back entrance. We remove the two and replaced them with a chandelier that we had in our dingroom at home that was purchased years ago from Horchow.  The hand blown glass chandelier was a bit formal for the space but it was FREE and I still loved it.  I would make it work in this cottage renovation!  I purchased burlap mini lampshades which tied in with the other fixtures in the cottage.  The bright lights bring your eyes up appreciating the vaulted ceiling height.  The original laminate counter was beyond repair. it also was a creamy pink and pulling away and several spots. Replacing it was a must.  We replaced the counter with a Wilsonart White Carrera Marble laminate 4924–38. The large marble looking counter lightens up the space immensely and the peninsula also serves for great entertaining space. It can seat up to 7 people and is a ideal spot for weekend buffet spreads. The previous sink had a two shallow basins. We replaced it with an American Standard Sink Kit from Lowe’s, a wonderful four piece workcenter with portable sink, colander and cutting board. The extra removable basin makes dishwashing so much easier.

The its Bitsy cottage kitchen makeover

Mackenzie Childs tile backsplash

Last was the tile backsplash. A few years ago my mother had purchased a few hundred handmade white ceramic tiles. She had bought them at a barn sale for one dollar each. They originally retail for over six. I never really had a use for them until now. We measured out the square footage for what we needed and what we had and were short by a 4-5 square feet. what to do? I was not going to purchase more tile new. A focal point over the stove and under the hood would eat up 2 ft.² but we were still short. I checked out our basement at home and found extra white 3 by 6 subway tiles to fill in.  I had a few calls out to tile people but no one could fit me into their schedule.  In my job I have watched so many tile jobs. I felt that Ross and I could do it on our own. (he cringed) We borrowed my cousins wet saw and decided to tackle the job ourselves. Yeah it was nuts. No practice runs just a lot of measuring and praying for few mistakes.  It was relatively easy but math sure does play a part!  The itsy Bitys cottage kitchen makeoverI went to my favorite tile distributor and told him that I needed tile for the backsplash but I didn’t need a lot and needed it fast.

DIY mosaic backsplash

Typical story….He said to me “You’re an artist, and your creative. I have a great idea for you come with me.”  He took me into the basement vault of the tile store where there were samples, broken boxes,  discontinued tiles you name it.  It all was there all in dirty dusty piles. He said “Pick out what you want and bring it upstairs and I’ll give you a price.”   Earlier on in the spring I had purchased two Portuguese ceramic fish at HomeGoods. The itsy Bitys cottage kitchen makeoverThey would be the focal point of my mosaic . There really wasn’t enough of anyone tile that wowed me so I took a bunch of sample boards that reminded me of Seaglass and water and he gave me the entire box  for $30. Woohoo A cottage renovation on a budget! Ross and I would have to remove the individual tiles on each board. I made a practice design on a piece of paper making sure we had enough to cover the area. We then went to town on the wall, I would hang the two fish in the center of my mosaic and adhere them with extra tile adhesive . We let the wall tiles try for at least 24 to 36 hours before grouting.

Mosiac tile backspals at the Itsy Bitsy Cottage RenovationMosiac tile backspals at the Itsy Bitsy Cottage Renovation

We were so pleased the way that our first mosaic came out!  Although I probably would’ve never done something this colorful and crazy at home it was the perfect splash of color for the cottage renovation.

The kitchen renovation at the Itsy Bitsy Cottage

The window over the sink was natural wood.  I painted it cobalt blue with Kelly Smith Velvet Finishes one step paint.  It highlights this sweet little space.  For a window treatment I bought a simple black rod and hung a vintage tea towel that I purchased at the Country Living Magazine Fair in Rhinebeck, New York.  I folded the tea towel over and found self adhesive fabric letters at Michael’s and spelled out est. 2014.  A simple black and glass pendant shines light on my workstation.  A welcome to the the lake sign from HomeGoods hangs above it all and greets all to our happy carefree place.  A reclaimed wood and iron tri shelf from Hobby Lobby hangs to the right where a large corner cabinet used to be. I accessorized with vintage inspired glass tumblers, storage jars, and  fun coffee mugs also from HomeGoods.  The kitchen renovation at the Itsy Bitsy Cottage

Upcycled side board

On the other side of the room sits a $20 craigslist find dresser that happens to have a Carrera marble top. I painted and distressed it with the same light blue cabinet color. A barn sale $40. hutch painted white sits on top of it and is the perfect place for our dishes, vintage planter and vase collection and other entertaining accessories. A Victorian mirror/ mail/key shelf that got a fresh coat of turquoise paint is hung to the right. The Itsy Bitsy kitchen even though so small we adore and all was done on a budget. It’s the first thing that greets us when we come to the cottage on the weekends and we couldn’t be happier with it’s sweet quirky charm. Thanks for visiting! Xox AmieThe kitchen renovation at the Itsy Bitsy Cottage The kitchen renovation at the Itsy Bitsy Cottage


  1. Reply


    May 9, 2024

    Wow, that’s an incredible transformation! Kitchen Renovations Did removing the cabinets make a big difference in opening up the space? Love the new color palette!

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Amie Freling

"Life's too short for white walls .." Amie Freling-Brown, a Rochester, NY-based designer and artist who transforms ho-hum spaces into works of art. Her creative designs can be found in many fine homes, restaurants and businesses. Her work has been featured in national magazines, on HGTV and has been sold through retailers nationwide from True Value Hardware to Nordstroms. She proudly offers such professional services as design, staging, color consultations and fine art.

Amie Ferling Real Estate

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