A Peek at (Half) the Kitchen at Cottage on the Corner

Remodeling & Design / Sunday, August 18th, 2019

I know it has been a while since we did any remodeling posts. That doesn’t mean, however, we haven’t been hard at work at the Cottage on the Corner. We have a lot to show you. But that will come in all good time. Today, we’re going to take a peek at half the kitchen – the half that’s done!

First, let’s get a bit of perspective. Here are a couple of shots of the “before.” The first one is from the MLS listing; the second is the move-in condition:

MLS listing photo of kitchen
MLS Photo
Move-in condition
Kitchen at move-in

For those of you who are familiar with Debra’s work and her particular fondness for kitchens, you may be surprised about the fact that we even considered this house. Obviously, the kitchen is pretty tiny. I had a difficult time seeing any potential. Having seen what Debra did with the kitchen at Hildring House, however, I had faith. (You can see our post about the spectacular unfitted Hildring House kitchen being featured on Design Sponge HERE.)

Demo Time

So …. the work began. Debra worked with our wonderful contractor, Shawn Cowdin of Shawn M. Cowdin Construction on a plan for custom cabinets to maximize storage and prep area. The new configuration required re-locating the gas service and the 220 electrical outlet, as well as installing a water line for an ice maker in the fridge. Perhaps most importantly, at least from the standpoint of design aesthetic was the fact that the walls had to be completely smoothed for something really special.

Removing texture from the walls
Removing texture from the walls

You’ll also notice in the picture above the new light fixtures in the ceiling.

Debra & the grandboys looking at bare kitchen
Debra & the grandboys discussing the renovation with Project Manager, Justin Cowdin

The Crux of the Design

From a design perspective, the kitchen revolves around substituting a truly fabulous wallpaper from Schumacher for a traditional backsplash. Debra selected one of the colors from the paper and color-matched it for the cabinet paint.

Color matching the paint for the cabinets

Once the color was right, the cabinets got their gloss on – high gloss, that is, along with a topping of beautiful white marble. Very little movement in this countertop – we don’t need it competing with the wallpaper (this will make more sense in a minute).

painted cabinets and counter tops


Then, it was time for the jewelry. Cabinet hardware makes such an enormous difference in a kitchen. It should never be just an afterthought; neither should it be simply functional.

I’m much more function-over-form in my sensibilities than is Debra, but she has convinced me of her wisdom when it comes to kitchen cabinet hardware (and, well, okay, many other things). Take the time to make the right choice and don’t be too terrified by the expense. It will be worth it.

For the Cottage on the Corner, Debra chose glass. Simple. Elegant. Understated and gorgeous.

There Be Dragons

Finally, we were ready for installation of the vent hood

Ready for vent hood and wallpaper

and the long-awaited Chiang Mai Dragon wallpaper

Chiang Mai Dragon
Chiang Mai Dragon by Schumacher
Handsome devil, isn’t he?

So, here is a view of the after condition for this half of the kitchen at the Cottage on the Corner.

After view of half of kitchen

Yes, the floor is still paper and, yes, the other side of the room is still an ugly disaster. But this half is spectacular. Don’t you agree?

Before & After – Half the Kitchen at Cottage on the Corner


We’ll be back with more of the Cottage on the Corner – as well as travel adventures to places like lovely Ljubljana, Slovenia – an absolute delight!

In the meantime, let us know what you think of this half of the kitchen at the Cottage on the Corner, and please feel free to share with friends and family.

And keep coming back! We love the company!

Best –


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