Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lake Kitchen Progress

So, this is what the little kitchen in the lake house
 has looked like for the last 21 years.
It was a small addition to the back of the camp.
 We found the Quaker Maid cabinets at a yard sale
 and Mr. Flea adapted them to fit our space.
The counters we put in were hunter green Formica which we thought was very daring... and oh so Adirondacky.

Picture those green counters crammed with old kitchen collectibles, kitschy souvenirs, wooden ware and all manner of things adorned with cutesy moose and bear motifs.

Although I love my mountains and lake...
I am sooo over the Adirondack theme in every room of the house!

This was to be a low budget, cosmetic make over.
I desperately wanted a lighter, brighter look.
First, Dad and I  painted the cabinets with Cabinet Rescue.
In retrospect, we probably should have tinted the white
 so it is not quite so bright...
...but I am happy with them.
The hardware is the original....just cleaned up.
I like the silvery pewter color.

Next, we tackled the green Formica. 
We used Rustoleum countertop paint.
It was not easy and it is not perfect.
But, I'm not a picky kind of girl and I LOVE the color!

This stuff is tough to work with... sets up quick and didn't dry evenly.
It is an epoxy like substance and the odor is very strong.
We gave it four days to dry and it still hadn't cured all the way.

You can see here how the sheen is uneven and the texture is pebbly in places.
 I think we gave this small counter a third coat.

We learned a lot along the way...
especially what we would do differently!
But, overall...I am happy to have a fresh new look.
I am keeping my fingers crossed in regards to durability.

I have been having fun pulling out stashed kitchen collectibles from hidden boxes and bringing some dishes and things up from home to decorate my new pewter colored counters.

I painted the dish rack to sort of match...
just mixed a little black and white paint together and sloshed it on!

I've been giving the tops of the cabinets a new look too
 using tin, wire, enamelware and wood.

The decorating with all my pretty things was my favorite part...
...the DIY part was hard and frustrating and took such a long time!

And, of course we are not done yet.
We still have to tackle some drywall issues on the back wall, need to figure out a back splash, finish the floor, add a shelf over the sink between the cabinets and one over the fridge.

 But...we are pretty much done for this season.
Next summer we will finish up!
And yes, I am one happy camper!

What do you think?
Any suggestions for a back splash?
What kind of pendant light for over the sink?
farmhouse? industrial?
A valance at the window?
More color?
I need your help!

But, aren't you proud of me for tackling this DIY project?
(Thanks Dad! )

 Dan will be here this weekend...
he says he liked the green counters and couldn't understand
 why I wanted to change things...

...hope he likes it!



Jamie said...

It looks amazing! I've been toying with trying Rustoleum's Counter Top product - it is good to hear from someone who's actually used it.

Tamra said...

Love the look! Would love to see a shot of the whole room though.

I'm leaning towards either an industrial fixture over the sink or an industrial type with some crystals thrown in to dress it up a bit. You've got a very pretty Rough and Rustic look going on so I say make a statement with the light.

oldgreymare said...


I think it looks soooo...well so YOU! which is a great thing, and your Dad will love it. I wondered about that formica paint, if it would really work. Perhaps the humidity affected prep and curing? and goodness knows there has been humidity. It looks so fresh and yet still fits the cabin perfectly.


Anonymous said...

I love how it looks!!! As far as pendant lights, I would go with looks absolutely amazing! Xoxoxo

Angela said...

Beautiful choices! Your accessories are so it!!

joanne said...

love the new brightened look....glad to have the skinny on the countertop re-do,,,,i wondered how that rustoleum stuff works....i think i may pass on that sounds like not only a frustrating process, but i don't think i would like the are brave to try this....

have been thinking about a re-do for my kitchen as well....tired of the old tuscan dark look......

thanks for sharing.....

Paintings by Louise, Maison Louise said...

Oh, the kitchen is beautiful!
And all this great stuff, it's a beauty of a kitchen.

Regards Louise

Theresa said...

I think your re-do looks fantastic! I love the white cabinets, mine are white too:) Never knew you could paint countertops, looks great even with some flaws! I'll have to think about the backsplash! Have a blessed day my friend, HUGS

White Ironstone Cottage said...

Looks so wonderful Laura
Love the little vignettes and all of your vintage treasures too
I did not know you could paint formica Love it
Fabulous job

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Wow! What a difference - looks great! I have heard of painting counters, but have not attempted it myself.

north pal said...

i definitely love what the two of you have done with thekitchen. love it!! i am also in love with the straight up and down wire container on the counter. have seen it before someplace and i am lusting. Bestest,Denise

Renee said...

Looks awesome! Industrial type light all the way and I like the idea of adding crystals, too. For the backsplash, a slate natural stone would look awesome, but, let's see you're on a budget, so what about that embossed tin wall paper or even bead board?

My Sparrows Nest said...

I love the grey countertops. Very informative and inspiring. I think you should either go with a glam vintage crystal chandelier over the sink or a rusty wire crate style pendant. Depends on which way you would like to go!

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Dear Laura,
I haven't a clue why you are asking us for help and have done a wonderful job, you, Mr Flea and your dad ! It looks brilliant. I love the grey work surfaces and, like you, I'm not so keen on the DIY part but, I love putting all the lovely finishing touches together.
It all looks so lovely and, I have to say as well that your son Dan is also right, as I loved it before as well !!!!....but, I know how lovely it is to get the white paint out and lighten everything up.
I am always a little envious of you as, I know that, whenever you do the finishing touches, you know that you have a treasure trove of accessories at your fingertips !!
To you, Mr Flea and your dad.....good job !!!! XXXX

time worn interiors said...

It looks great! I've been dying to see pictures ever since you started the project!

Christine said...

Your "treasures" look right at home in your freshly painted white kitchen. Maybe tin ceiling tiles would compliment your white/gray color scheme. An old galvanized bucket wired with a bulb might be darling over the sink. Have fun decorating...

Egretta Wells blog said...

Wow! I love the white cabinets with the gray countertop and your accessories are perfect. I saw some metal tiles that resemble those old metal embossed ceilings at the DIY store and they come in several finishes--copper, silver color (not too bright and gaudy) which I think would be lovely as the backsplash. Then maybe a punched tin lantern looking pendant. But I know whatever you choose will just be stunning!

Mona Kay Gorman said...

Wow, I love it!! The counter looks great, and all your "lovelies" are just gorgeous!!

erin's art and gardens said...

laura, i LOVE the new look! all the shades of grey to white are fab! job well done....i know that is hard work.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh I love all the changes, so bright and cheerful. I love all of your top of cabinet decor. So pretty. Great job. Hugs, Marty

Unknown said...

Looking lovely...really nice light change. Love the white cabinets...sets of your lovely accessories. I agree with Egretta on the backsplash. I was going to mention the old look ceiling tiles at HD. Have fun! Enjoy.

Vicki said...

Laura this looks great. I say with all your great collectibles you should go with an industrial looking light. Would look great together. Do something fun like the old ceiling tile look mentioned above for the backsplash to keep the look going. Enjoy it!

beth gales said...

I love what you did with it! And I love the decorating, too.

Unknown said...

It's fantastic !!!! Very good taste

ohiofarmgirl said...

It looks so wonderful. I just have to ask where you purchased your plate rack...I would love to have one. Dianntha

Anonymous said...

I am so loving your transformation! You guys did an awesome job! And your decorative touches are perfect! I love your collected pewter objects!

I painted over my wood kitchen cabinets too, in a creamy white colour....using Malemine paint. it's smelly too because it has urethane in it! But it's worth it in the end! Now I too would like to do my counter top. It's a cute teal colour, but its just not me. It's been bothering me since we bought our house and moved in, but ripping out counter tops is just not what I want to be doing!

You have just given me that final push to just go ahead and paint already!

An industrial light would be the perfect fit for your 'look'.....
And if you're on a tight budget, you can use beadboard for the backsplash. Or even that beadboard wallpaper in white.

So glad to have stopped in here tonight, I'll show my hubby your cool post and try to convince him to work on it with me this weekend. Here's hoping!

Ciao Bella!


Andy's Attic said...

It looks great! I like that you kept the old knobs because of their history and they "fit' the new look. I was also thinking of the old ceiling tiles for a backsplash or that would be a placed you could add an accent color with tile or something. I would leave the window without a valance to let in light. Your extras around the counters and on top look wonderful!!

Shanon at Vintage Sparkle Chic said...

I love the color you chose for the counter top! It looks amazing with all of your pewter items on top. And I also love what you did on top of the cabinets, I need to re-do mine! Thanks for the great ideas! I can't wait to hear how your dad likes it!


Unknown said...

it is an amaaaaazing transformation. I just LOVE it! as for your backsplash...why not faux pressed tin that you can find at almost ANY major hardware store (or the real stuff for that matter!) I have it for my kitchen backslashes and just LOVE the look! .

Libby said...

No, no valence!'
Would you....maybe...consider new hardware? You could add some great color that way: some fun ceramic knobs and handles???
Ballard has some great pendant kits: very inexpensive and great looking.
Love the counter top color, and the entire "new" look!

Gina at Vintage Junk in My Trunk said...

I think it looks fabulous Laura! Love the pewter color and the matching dish rack. My hubby used the tin (painted white) and some beadboard as our backsplash and I love it. Great job by you and your dad!

very merry vintage style said...

Very cool--countertop paint is new to me. It looks great and I love the new colors

Gert said...

Oh my gosh I love the makeover!! You did an amazing job! And yes, I am very proud of you and "your dad"

xoxo Gert

Karena said...

Laura wow great job. I love the light fresh feel . I am glad you gave us a review because one tends to think Rustoleum will always be great to work with!

Come and join my new fashion Giveaway from Fresh Produce!

Art by Karena

janice15 said...

It looks simply amazing...nice and fresh..great decorating...i love it.

Anonymous said...

Looks fabulous! When I saw the first photo I thought, "I would paint the cabinets white and counter tops grey." All the accessories look great too and I would do an industrial light. Love your blog!! :)

Burlap Luxe said...

Hi Laura :)
I just love it, your grey colour is singing to me!!
I feel like giving you a house warming party!!

Even if is not perfect better yet to be perfectly imperfect more charm this way! I would love to see a wide view of the kitchen... sigh!!!

Thank you for sharing your hard work, and your beautiful treasures :)

Anonymous said...

I love your completely refurbish kitchen Laura!!! White ore creamy white is the best choiche nowadayes!!

lisaroy said...

It looks great! Awesome decision to paint the countertops - green is ok but feels a little dated. I think a plain white subway tile backsplash would look nice and it would be budget-friendly. And it wouldn't take away from your collections of pretties :)

Patty C. said...

I think it looks great -
I'm thinking about doing mine now !!!!

Cottage and Broome said...

Really like the new look, you have it accessorized beautifully. Laura

Le Style said...

Wonderful blog!
Thanks for visiting and following Le Style.....

Warm greetings from a very happy new follower

LaPouyette said...

It looks absolutely GREAT, Laura!
Well done! A fresh and somewhat contemporary look with a suggestion of the past (the handles on the cupboards).

I like the existing light over the sink and would not add more color. Lets 'speak' your collection of old kitchen pieces which is wonderful and unique, the attraction in this kitchen. And I spotted a wire basket which I have not seen so far! The wire snail (not for eggs!) basket on top with some 'elements' to close it and use it for drying salad by 'swinging' it around.

All your collected items are beautiful and look great in your updated kitchen!

Greetings from the Périgord,

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Great job! Dads are the best!
My dream kitchen would have either a patchwork of mismatched floral tiles or white brick shaped tiles or distressed mirror panels. I believe you can distress new mirror with paint stripper speckled on the back with an old toothbrush but I'm yet to try this....

Angie @ thejunkranch said...

It's just beautiful! We are getting ready to tackle our kitchen and for a backsplash I'm using tin ceiling tiles...I didn't read through your one zillion comments and it may have already been suggested, but that could be an option for you too with the wonderful greys you have going on. I know you are already enjoying it!

Unknown said...


Wow! I am very inspired by you. It is beautiful. I need to redo my kitchen as well. I am so happy that you found my blog through Rachel. Now I found yours, Thanks also for posting my giveaway on your sidebar. I love Angie's idea of tine ceiling tiles for a backsplash. You girls are unbelievable creative.

La Dolfina said...

You did good Laura!!
Real good...
I am very proud of you and completely understand the DIY part being the most challenging especially when you have to have so much patience before placing all the treasures about!
Great job, really great!!!

Cindy said...

Beautiful Laura! I love the grey countertops. I was waiting for you to post about the rustoleum countertop paint. I am wanting to do that to my countertops, but might have to re-think it. Yours turned out pretty, but I am not as patient!

aimee said...

i love all of your treasures. i know it was a tough job, but by the looks of it all the hard work paid off. it looks amazing!

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

I love it Laura!!! You've dressed up the top of the cabinets and counters absolutely perfectly!

Hmmm...backsplash...I love the glass tiles and how it adds a slight touch of glamour! I think you should use a pendant light fixture with an old wire basket as a shade!

LizlovesVintage said...

Looks great Laura! I'm a big fan of subway tile for the back splash. White would be wonderful.
xxx Liz

Amber Weinberg said...

LOVE the kitchen makeover! Do you have some tips on painted the cabinets? We have those oak cabinets that come with every house nowadays. Love what you did with the top as well...I've started displaying my glassware up easy to grab and use when I do need them!

colleen said...

what a transformation ;). backsplash ; white subway tiles or beadboard either wal paper or the wood . as far as the lite wire up an old galvenized funnel or a metal basket lite. good luck or or or up date the fixture you have now paint it grey and cover shade with linen. then you don't have to rewire

Anonymous said...

I agree with beadboard or classic white small(ish) subway tiles for the backsplash. It's all so cute!

Corrina said...

Ideas for the splashback that would look fab and not date- white tiles, stainless steel, pine lining boards painted white, zinc sheeting (this ages to a beautiful patina. The light fitting- try a brushed steel light shade- this looks industrial and country as farms like the practical and easy care finishes or to change it up a bit a small chandelier- do you have Ikea over there? They do some great small chandeliers with glass beads/dangly bits that don't break the budget and look fab. If you get sick of it in a few years you don't mind if it didn't break the bank. xx Corrina.

jade said...

Oh Laura, your kitchen looks absolutly heavenly.......i loooooooove the new look....sooooooo beautiful!!!! Have a wonderful weekend,

Hugs Jade

Zita - Mlle Magpie said...

I just LOVE what you've done with your lake house kitchen, Laura! I think it turned out fantastic and it looks wonderful with all of your vintage treasures. Honestly, you must be thrilled with the results!

Revi said...

I love your makeover! Your new kitchen looks like a different place altogether, and is the perfect backdrop for all your wonderful neutral objets d'art!

One of my favorite things about my new-found blogging passion is the inspiration and motivation you get by seeing real people with real budgets renovations and decor. It's so motivating to get busy and make your home more "YOU."

I've wondered about the Rustoleum countertop paint - thanks for your info.

Until next time,

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage said...

Everything looks fabulous, Laura! The whole "adirondacky" look is somewhat passé, so I applaud your willingness to update. I love how "fresh" it looks now. And your decorative elements are fantastic. I would happily "shop" your kitchen. ;)

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

sabrina said...

Love the fact you can paint these kinda counter tops...I never knew! Wow!

Susanne said...

The new light kitchen looks great.
My sister recently remodeled her kitchen and used old ceiling tile for the back splash. They were more like boarder pieces, maybe 18" wide and long. When she stripped the layers of paint the finish was almost black so she just sealed it. They turned out beautiful!

Evi said...

I ADORE the "new" kitchen. It looks so light an airy, a place to dream in, to cook wonderful meals in and remember the hard work and the beautiful result, that you and your Dad shared.
Everything is picked with so much care.
Enjoy the fruits of your hard labor.
Lots of love,