Category: Blog

Before & After Guest Bedroom Makeover

Get ready for a miracle bedroom transformation! When I bought my 1947 ranch a year ago, my guest bedroom was literally the ugliest room in the house. It’s also one of the largest rooms in the house and was painted a horrible dark purple-ish blue. Even the baseboards were painted in the same color.

 

 

***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links; should you choose to make a purchase using said link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.***

The first time I came to see the house with my realtor, I remember joking with her about the guest room and naming it “the purple room of doom.” She remarked at how the room would be a challenge, but the house had good bones and it just needed a little tlc. Surprisingly I was ready for that challenge!

I was in love with the home’s layout and it felt big and spacious. But when it came to the guest bedroom I would just keep the door shut as if it was not even part of the house. This continued for about 6 months as I worked on other paint projects.

After transforming the rest of the house I decided it was time to tackle that room. First off I want to say that this room took months to complete. There was a huge water spot in the ceiling, holes in the wall and countless nails and screws all over.

 

The funny thing is each of the four walls was a different texture and material. Now that’s challenge! One wall had wallpaper, the other panel, the other is drywall and one plaster. I thought how in the world can I transform this room into one cohesive space?

First I want to say that this was a complete diy project. The first thing I did was prep the walls by removing all of the nails, screws and wallpaper. The next step was spackling all holes and sanding the walls to a smooth surface. Then it was time to prime the walls.

My first stop for paint and supplies was my local Sherwin Williams store. After explaining my dilemma and then showing them a picture of the “purple room of doom” they recommended their Multi-Purpose Interior/Exterior Latex Primer/Sealer.

This stuff worked amazingly on all of the different wall materials! I was so excited to finally have somewhat normal looking walls!

Next I chose Sherwin Williams Sea Salt Paint. Since it was such a large room I wanted a cozy, calming color that would compliment the rest of the houses beachy theme. I was shocked at the transformation! The ugliest room in the house became one of the prettiest.

My next job was to tackle the baseboard heater. I considered replacing them but then decided to try painting them instead. It took three coats of Rustoleum Ultra Cover White Paint to hide the hideous purple-blue. I’m very pleased with the outcome and the savings were around $400-$600 dollars.

Now that I had a perfect beachy blank canvas, it was time to decorate! I added a Pottery Barn bead board bed and a simple white nightstand from Homegoods. I didn’t want to add too much furniture and clutter the room.

Now I have a beautiful guest bedroom that anyone would actually want to sleep in.

 

Homeowners, you don’t have to spend a ton of money! With the right paint colors and a little bit of time and patience, you can makeover your dream home. Do not be afraid to do it yourself. Anything that you want to learn how to do it is on the internet!

I saved lots of money just by choosing the right paint colors, taking my time, and not hiring a painter. I do believe if there is something that you cannot do, like scary plumbing or electrical projects (hire a professional).

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you would like to do your own paint projects, see my related blog post: Everything You Need To Know About Paint.

 

New Front Door Makeover

Hello and Welcome back to The Aqua Cottage where we dream in colors borrowed from the Sea! Today I’m so excited to share with you my renovation of my 1947 ranch. I simply love how this project finally turned out! A new front door can change the look of your entire house. ***This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

The Original Door

My house was custom built in 1947 and came with the original front door which had never been replaced. Back then they did not build according to standard measurement which is 80 inches in height, so I had it custom ordered from Home Depot. Normally it is a 6 week wait time but thanks to covid, that wait ended up being 4 months.

As you can see in the photos below it was pretty warped and had been painted over many times.

I also had Home Depot install my new door, they scheduled and appointment to come out to my home and measure. Upon measuring they also discovered that the door was painted with lead based paint, so they said it was definitely a good idea to replace it! We also discovered there was a 1-2 inch gap underneath the door which allowed hot and cold air in.

 

Out With Old, In With The New!

They really did a great job and the whole project took about 3 and 1/2 hours complete including ripping out the old frame and trim. They also hauled away they old lead based door. The door was installed October of 2020 just in time before winter. (Thank goodness it’s freezing in New England during winter!) Since there was a delay I was not able to paint until spring of 2021. I decided since there was a covered porch to skip the screen door.

Welcome Spring! Time to Paint

 

I used two coats of Sherwin Williams Resilience quick dry exterior paint in Festoon Aqua! You can never go wrong with this paint and it turned out amazing. I’m in love!

The Finished Look!

There is something so beautiful about the color combination of Pink and Aqua! I do not have a green thumb so I purchased these flowers at my local Dollar Tree Store. I found this outdoor rug and these gorgeous planters on Amazon. You can find them here by clicking on the link: Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug or Pure Garden Decorative Outdoor Garden Potted Planter Box, White. I hope I have inspired you to create the home of your dreams! Thank You for your support and allowing me to share my renovation ideas with you!

PS: I know summer is coming, but I am slightly obsessed with pumpkins!! lolol Don’t laugh at me 🙂

How To Decorate With Aqua

Do you love the color Aqua but are not sure how to use it in your home? Find inspiration here and learn how to decorate with Aqua. It’s not just for beach houses!

If you don’t want to paint your walls aqua, here are some colorful inspirational ways to add aqua decor to your home. It can be used in any room in your home.

The color Aqua soothes your soul and creates an instant sense of home and belonging for you.

People who love the color aqua are highly creative. Aqua is a classic color that many turn to when decorating their homes. Closer to green than blue, aqua is refreshing and uplifting. It is creative and light hearted; strong and individual. It also calms the mind and balances the emotions.

The color aqua is naturally serene and calming, but it also reminds us of the ocean. No wonder it’s a natural choice in home decor for people who love the beach!

If you do decide to refresh your home and use the color Aqua to paint, start with this colorful guide from my Beach Cottage Style page.

 

Here are some of my favorite inspirational pics from Pinterest!

Adding touches of Aqua accents & decor around your home is the easiest way to bring the beach into your home. I hope you have enjoyed this post. 

 

 

10 Dreamy Beach Cottage Rooms

Hello everyone, get inspired to refresh your home with these 10 dreamy beach cottage rooms! Beach cottage style brings together cozy and casual elements to reflect an easy-going way of coastal life. When you think of beach cottage decor, white may come to mind. White creates the canvas for bold accent colors such as aqua, navy, turquoise and coral.

***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links; should you choose to make a purchase using said link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.***

Wicker baskets, sisal rugs, rustic wood tones, driftwood, and cedar shingles are all natural elements that give a beachy or waterside feel to your home. The use of natural light, soft tones, and a clean aesthetic is meant to evoke the breeziness of the beach. Basically, it feels like summer year-round inside your house.

  1. Shiplap gives a light and airy feel to this beach cottage living room with neutral furniture accents.

2. This is a great idea to decorate a reading nook with gorgeous coastal wall art as the focal point.

3. This vintage cottage style bedroom is bursting with color for a light and cheery feel.

4. What a great design idea for a small space coastal style entry way!

5. I love everything about this beachy bedroom with aqua blue and navy accents.

6. This beautiful beach cottage style bedroom in shades of white and aqua has natural textiles of cotton and linen, with coastal accents and plants.

7.  You’re going to love this ALYS Beach beauty designed by Birmingham designer, Lisa Flake of Caldwell Flake Interiors. Click the link below picture to see the full house tour.

8. This modern kitchen has light oak flooring than is quite literally the foundation of your coastal style interior design aesthetic.

9. This modern coastal kitchen with aqua blue backsplash and natural barstools create a cozy beach cottage feel.

10. Is there anything more relaxing than a tub overlooking water? What a gorgeous view!

I hope you enjoyed these beautiful design ideas! For more ideas see my Beach Cottage Style page.

25 Amazing Christmas Gifts For People Who Love The Beach

Are you looking for gift ideas for beach lovers? Look no further, as beach lover myself I have gathered a list of gift ideas that anyone will love.

***This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

I love the beach! Spring, summer, fall, and winter I’m there. I just can’t resist being near the sea or listening to the soothing sounds of crashing waves in any season. I guess you could say I am truly dedicated.

I believe that everyone loves the beach. The feeling of the sand beneath your toes puts everyone in a relaxed mood when they step foot in the ocean. If you know someone who’s constantly thinking about their next beachy getaway, then these gifts are right up their alley. There is something for everyone on any budget.

What’s amazing about this list is that not only can you find a great gift for a loved one, you can also find something amazing for yourself! This list is great for anytime of year, but there is something special about Christmas time. It’s when I like to give the very best!  It’s no secret that I love Amazon, I have been an Amazon customer for over ten years. So, I have lots of experience when it comes to choosing quality gifts.

Gifts For The Home

20 oz Big Stemless Wine Glass
  1. Nothing like spending a day with my beaches! Find it here https://amzn.to/2MyRKXs
Barnyard Designs Beach Rules Wooden Box Wall Sign

2. Perfect for anyone who forgets the rules. Find it here https://amzn.to/2BoS18X

Ebros Nautical Ocean Marine Seahorse Drinking Beverage Blue Stoneware Ceramic Mug

3. This Mug is perfect for Seahorse lovers. Find it here: https://amzn.to/2P4vBBH

4. Warm up their home this holiday with scents from the beach. Find them here: https://amzn.to/32xm8a9

Integrity Bottles Set of 4, Sea Turtle Stemless Wine Glasses

5. Calling all turtle lovers! Find them here: https://amzn.to/2P7Der9

GOOD MANORS Stripe Throw Blanket with Fringe in (Light Turquoise)

6. Stay warm and cozy with this cozy Beachy throw! Find it here: https://amzn.to/2pE47Is

Riverside Designs Beach Life Metal Sign

7. This metal sign is all about the beach life. Find it here: https://amzn.to/2J7Ijw1

Pfaltzgraff Everyday The Beach Is My Happy Place Large Coffee Mug

8. Beach lovers will start everyday off thinking of their “happy place.” Find it here: https://amzn.to/2Bv1j3i

3-Piece Coastal Beach Theme Quilt Set with Shams

9. This coastal quilt will spruce up any beach lovers home for the holidays. Find it here: https://amzn.to/2Muv5vg

10. These decorative candles are a perfect reminder of a beach vacation. Find it them here: https://amzn.to/2BtodrD

Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses Nautical Seaside Beach Sign

11. A perfect gift reminder of the beach. Find it here: https://amzn.to/31vjctj

Gifts For Mermaids

 Barn Bath & Body Works 3 Wick Candle Mermaid Life

12. Perfect for anyone who thinks they are a Mermaid: Find it here: https://amzn.to/2VZsgWj

Barnyard Designs Always Be Yourself Unless You Can Be A Mermaid Box Sign 

13. Makes a great gift for that special mermaid. Find it here: https://amzn.to/2MVmhxz

kksme 60 x 80 Inch Always Be A Mermaid Pattern Super Soft Throw Blanket for Bed Sofa Lightweight Blanket for All Seasons

14. Keep your mermaid warm and happy with this colorful throw. Find it here: https://amzn.to/32vWbYl

LARGE BEACH BAG Tote Bag for Women

15. Love these colorful beach totes perfect or Mermaids on the go. Find it here: https://amzn.to/32uNTQI

Mermaid Gifts Sorry Too Busy Being a Mermaid Beach Lover Gift Coffee Mug 

16. The perfect coffee mug for the busy Mermaid. Find it here: https://amzn.to/2oOF2Lb

Gifts For The Cook

KitchenAid KSM155GBSA 5-Qt. Artisan Design Series with Glass Bowl – Sea Glass

17. The ultimate gift for the cook in your home. Find it here: https://amzn.to/2BpvIQx

.

Jozie B Seas The Day Sea Star 18 x 22 All Cotton Flour Sack Towel Set of 2

18. Why not pair these cute kitchen towels with that gorgeous new Seaglass Kitchenaid? Find them here: https://amzn.to/32HF2eF

Pfaltzgraff Venice 16-Piece Stoneware Dinnerware Set, Service for 4, Aqua/White

19. This gorgeous china set will make any beach lovers dining table look amazing. Find it here: https://amzn.to/33KdJQP

Gibson Cape Coral Starfish Serving Bowl One Size White/blue

20. This festive bowl will please anyone who loves starfish. Find it here: https://amzn.to/2ByUBch

Cathy’s Concepts SEA-1110 Seashell Stemless Wine Glasses – 4 Unique Designs

21. These wine glasses are perfect for people who love seashells, and wine. Find them here: https://amzn.to/32tmH4G

Keurig K250 Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, With Strength Control, Turquoise

22. Know someone with a beachy turquoise kitchen? This Keurig is the the perfect color match! Find it here: https://amzn.to/2P5QTyW

DII Cotton Embroidered Blue Sea Dish Towels

23. A perfect gift for the beach cottage kitchen. Find the here: https://amzn.to/33LfVHH

Brownlow Gifts Galvanized Metal Round Serving Tray, Seas the Day

24. A beautiful serving tray for coastal farmhouse lovers. Find it here: https://amzn.to/35NFcmu

LIFE IS BETTER IN FLIP FLOPS Teal 12 oz Stemless Wine Glass With Lid

25. Life really is better in flip flops! Find this wine glass here: https://amzn.to/2Mwqd8P

I hope you find these ideas helpful. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

New England Corn Pudding

This buttery golden corn pudding recipe will make your house smell so amazing while it’s baking, you’ll want to eat it straight out of the oven. It’s also a quick, easy, and deliciously rich side dish for Thanksgiving!

Ingredients:

1 can whole sweet corn

1 can sweet creamed corn

8 tablespoons of all purpose flour or baking mix

3 whole eggs beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 quart whole milk

4 tablespoons melted butter

In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs and milk. Add all other ingredients and stir until nicely combined. Bake in a pre buttered baking dish at 325 degrees for 45 minutes until topping is a pretty light golden brown, Enjoy! Serves 6-8. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think and if you find it to be awesome, share it with friends and family!

Sweet Potato Souffle

Sweet Potato Souffle

Happy Fall Everyone!

It’s Harvest Time! I love this time of year because the leaves start to change making New England look absolutely stunning. I call it Pumpkin Spice Season, lol. As the days become a little longer and a lot cooler, it’s also time to start preparing for the Holidays. Today I am sharing an awesome recipe for Sweet Potato Souffle. I have made this just about every Thanksgiving for the last six years, and sometimes for Christmas. This melt in your mouth recipe has always been a hit with family and friends! You will love it too but warning, it’s very rich and yummy. Once you make this delicious dish, people will bug you to make it time and time again! This easy recipe can also be prepared the day before saving you time in the kitchen.

***This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

Ingredients:

4 cups sweet potatoes

½ cup brown sugar

2 beaten eggs

4 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup milk

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Sweet Potato Souffle

Boil sweet whole sweet potatoes 15-20 minutes until done or fork tender. Once potatoes have cooled, combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Beat in eggs with a mixer. Spoon mixture into a baking dish and let set. Next make the topping.

Topping:

3/4 cup flour or baking mix

3 tablespoons butter softened

3/4 cup chopped pecans

½ cup brown sugar

1 package marshmallows

Into a large bowl add all of topping ingredients and combine with a fork, Mixture should begin to crumble, and once it does sprinkle topping over sweet potato souffle. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add marshmallows on top, then place back into the oven until marshmallows are golden brown or at least 3 minutes until marshmallows are melted. Serve while still slightly warm, and enjoy! Serves 6-8.  If you try this recipe, let me know what you think and if you find it to be awesome, share it with friends and family!

FALL Mason Canning JARS in Wood ANTIQUE WHITE Tray Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Find this gorgeous Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece here: https://amzn.to/334y0QN. For more decor inspiration, see my blog post The Best Cottage Fall Decor on Amazon. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Everything You Need To Know About Paint

Are you ready to spruce up your home? The fastest and most inexpensive way to do so is with paint! There is something so promising about opening up a new can of paint. It has the power to transform walls, and freshen up a room almost instantly. Here you will find everything you need to know about paint and pro-tips on how to make your next painting project a success.

As you know, if you have visited my website previously my favorite color is aqua, hence the name “The Aqua Cottage.” Aqua blue reminds me of my favorite tropical beaches but; Did you know that the color blue is tranquil and calming? That’s because it’s the color of the sea. The word Aqua is not only a color, but in some languages also means water. The color blue  promotes relaxation which makes it ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms.

***This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

Before you choose colors consider the function of the space. For example kitchens are high traffic areas and bathrooms have high humidity. Living Rooms and bedrooms are more restful. Do you want your paint color to spark creativity or encourage rest and relaxation? Before you pick up a brush, let’s look at the different types of paint and finishes first.

Types Of Paint

Primer: A coat of primer lays the foundation for a lasting paint job. Primers are formulated with special binders that help paint adhere to it. You can have your primer tinted to match your paint and ensure even coverage. There are also many new paint options that have primer already combined into the paint.

Latex: Today most paint is vinyl acrylic or one hundred percent acrylic latex. It’s water soluble and DIY friendly because it cleans up easily with soap and water. Latex paint dries quickly, usually in two hours or so and cures in a matter of weeks.

Oil: Oil paint is known as alkyd or solvent based. It dries slowly and must be cleaned up with mineral spirits. Oil paint also hardens well to create a durable finish. 

Low VOC: This paint has ingredients that contain volatile organic compounds to eliminate the gas which creates that familiar paint smell. It’s best for those with breathing or health issues where as regular paint fumes may be hazardous to your health. Today there are many low to no VOC lines on the market that still offer great color and coverage.

Paint Finishes

  • Semigloss: It’s less shiny than gloss and almost as easy to clean. It is the finish of choice for most kitchens and bathrooms. For the bath, choose a paint or primer with mildewcide such as Kilz (see below) to handle high humidity.
  • Flat: This finish has little or no shine creating and even tone and hides surface imperfections. It is harder to clean than finishes with sheen, also good for ceilings and living areas.
  • Satin, Eggshell: Good for foyers, family spaces, and high traffic areas: This finish has less sheen than semi-gloss. It also cleans up more easily and resists “burnishing” or shiny spots that result after being rubbed and scrubbed.
  • Matte: This is a low gloss finish that can help camouflage tiny cracks and bumps in the walls. Good for bedrooms, livingrooms, and dining rooms, this finish delivers a rich coat of color.
  • Milk Paint: This powered paint formula comes in dozens of colors and gives walls and furniture a vintage look. Just add water and mix with a blender or a hand mixer.  It can go right over sheetrock.

Find it here: https://amzn.to/2mZ9Dol

Painting 101

Now that you know the type of paints and finishes, and how much you’ll need, it’s time to get started! Before you open that can of paint or dip that paint brush, here are some application techniques and secrets to giving your walls and trim a flawless finish. Painting walls is a delicate balance of cutting in with a brush around trim, outlets, inside corners, and the ceiling. Only cut in as much as you can roll while the paint is still wet. Otherwise you may notice a difference in sheen or a stripe that occurs where the wall meets the ceiling.

Click image to find list items here on Amazon.

One gallon of paint covers about 400 square feet. To figure out how much paint you’ll need, add up the lengths of all your walls, then multiply that amount by the room height. Subtract 20 square feet for each door and about 15 for each window. Divide the result by 400 to get the number of gallons you’ll need for one coat.

Now it’s time to paint! Follow these basic steps after applying painters tape.

  1. Cut in around the edges with a 2 ½ inch angle brush. Only dip the edge of the brush into the paint or less than half way in  to avoid over saturating the brush. Shake off excess paint, to prevent drips down the wall or floors. Draw the tip up to meet the edge, then drag the brush steadily along. Reload brush when the paint starts to fade. To prevent overlap marks avoid working the paint brush back and forth. Finish with a light pass across the area.
  2. Use the roller once you’ve cut in around a wall to fill in the field. Damped the roller before using it (with water for latex and paint thinner for oil). Dip the roller into a lined paint tray with just enough paint to reach the grate. Roll it back against the grate to distribute the paint evenly and squeeze of the excess. Make sure the roller is covered completely before using it on the walls to avoid dry spots. Start out rolling by making a W on the wall and then fill it in using short easy strokes. Now you’re painting like a pro! Aim to cover a 3-by-3 foot patch with each rollerfull. Keep a damp cloth handy to wipe up any drops along the baseboard. Continue painting until fully covered. Overlap the edge to avoid visible brush marks. Wait an hour to retouch the wall before applying a second coat.
  3. Remove painters tape pulling it off slowly while the paint is still wet. If you wait for it to dry the tape can gap causing damage to the finish or surface.

Once all of the walls are completed and the walls are dry, step back and take look at your work. See if there are any touch ups needed. Now, enjoy your newly painted space and decorate accordingly. If you love coastal decor, see The Ultimate Guide To Beach Cottage Style. I hope you found this article to be helpful. Save time and money by ordering online and have one neat pro-painters box shipped right to you door. You can easily find all of the painting supplies on the list through my link here on Amazon. Also, If you are planning to renovate your kitchen, see The Ultimate Kitchen Renovation Guide.

The Best Fall Cottage Decor On Amazon

Can you believe that Fall is already here? There is a crisp chill in the morning air here along the New England coast, and the leaves are starting to change! Some people refer to it as “Pumpkin Spice Season.”  (haha) It’s my favorite time of year although I’m still not ready to let go of summer thanks to my love for the beach. It’s time to reflect back on the year, gather with family and friends and be grateful.

***This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.*** 

As for the beach lovers who just aren’t ready to let go of summer yet don’t worry, I have also added in some fall coastal decor items to inspire you too; and they are all budget friendly. It’s also time decorate for Halloween if you haven’t started already. 

Pretty soon the leaves will begin to fall from the trees and then before you know it, the holidays will be here. Save time and money with this list of inspiring fall cottage and trending coastal farmhouse decor ideas from Amazon . These items transition well into the holiday season. 

  1.  Set of 4 Pumpkin Decoration Cotton Blend Cushion Covers -Nothing says fall like pumpkins and tons of cozy pillows! I cant get enough of them, so I started buying pillow covers instead.

2. Custom Decor Coastal Pumpkin Garden Sign-Everything really is better at the beach, including pumpkins!

3. White Pumpkin with Gold Centerpieces (3 Piece Set)-Don’t you just love white pumpkins? They go with everything!

4. Amish Wagon Decorative Indoor/Outdoor Garden Backyard Planter-This indoor/outdoor wagon comes in 3 lovely colors and can be display all year long.

5. Coastal Fall – Welcome – Garden Size, Decorative Double Sided Flag-You can never go wrong with pumpkins and lanterns.

6. Lamb’s Ear Wreath with White Pumpkins Pinecones Cotton Bolls Fall Front Door Wreath-This wreath is perfect for the coastal farmhouse look.

 

7.Welcome Happy Fall Yall Large Hanging Flags Signs Porch Banner– This door banner also comes in other styles for Halloween and Christmas.



8. Set of 2 Swedish Fall Gnomes – So cute and perfect for fall tiered tray decor!

 

9. Fall Decorations for Home Set of 4 Fall Pillow Covers -Pumpkin spice and everything nice!

 

10. 4 Pcs Wooden Fall Sign Pumpkin Block Set – Place these cute pumpkins anywhere to add a festive fall touch.

 

11. The Pumpkin Express Train– The cutest Halloween Decorations For Fall Home Decor Table Top Figurines

Check out some these decor items and many more coordinating items on Amazon. Many of these items make great gifts for fall October and November birthdays! Enjoy your fall!

Click this image to visit the blogs shop to see all fall decor throw pillows!

The Ultimate Kitchen Renovation Guide

Are you looking to create the perfect kitchen of your dreams? The first step is to figure out your must haves and create a wish list. Proper planning is the key to success. You can use this guide and free printable checklist to plan any style kitchen renovation. I created this article as a guide for my own future renovation and sought expert design advice from contractors and renovators. Now I am more than happy to share it with you! A kitchen is an investment that impacts your quality of life and the value of your home, so you’ll want to invest wisely.

***This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

The kitchen is the most important room in your home. It’s where we live, entertain, and make wonderful memories. Whether you’re creating a brand new kitchen or updating an old one, the key is to tailor it to the way that you live. When planning a renovation, consider choosing eco-friendly products and finishes that are beautiful and sustainable. You want to design a kitchen that not only makes the most of your space and budget, but also improves your quality of life. The modern kitchen is the new command center where we handle most household affairs. Designing a kitchen involves lots of choice. As you start to weigh all of the elements think about longevity.

Before you get started, ask yourself these important questions.

  1. How do use your current kitchen?
  2. What kind of kitchen will suit your needs? 
  3. Do you like the current layout or do you need more space?
  4. Does your kitchen need updating or and extensive remodel?
  5. What is your budget with contingency?
  6. What permits will you need if any?
  7. Are you going to do any of the work yourself or hire a contractor?
  8. What is your time table to complete this project?
  9. Are you renovating with intent to sell?


Are you wondering how much all of this should cost? Of course! Here is fairly accurate prediction of what each part of the renovation should cost. This should give you some ideas on how to break down your initial budget.

Source: National Kitchen & Bath Association.

Assessing The Project

If you are working with a small budget and your kitchen is functioning properly, then you may want to consider a moderate make-over. The easiest and least expensive way to change the look of your kitchen is by applying a fresh coat of paint on the walls and painting the kitchen cabinets. Remember to update the hardware. These minor cosmetic changes plus updating the appliances can dramatically improve the look of your kitchen without spending a fortune. If your floors need updating, consider using durable yet affordable eco-friendly linoleum, not vinyl. All of these projects can be done without having to hire a contractor.

A full or partial renovation means a more time consuming and costly undertaking. The advantage is that you can expand the layout, knock down walls, move the appliances, add more counter space, and update the style. For example relocating the stove may involve installing another gas hook up and vent.  Moving or adding a sink will require additional plumbing. Anything that requires venting plumbing, gas or electricity requires a professional. You can easily remove walls, but if the wall is load bearing you will have to take special precautions to support the structure during the process. I suggest hiring a designer or and architect who can assist with the renovation and assure that you get the best kitchen for your money. Re-configuring space means buying new cabinets, which is the biggest portion of the budget.

A major overhaul is the most expensive type of renovation because it involves adding space to enlarge the footprint. There are many ways to open up and reconfigure most kitchens within their existing space. If you have a small kitchen and you want to add an island, breakfast nook or home office, you will need to consider building and addition or taking part of an adjacent room  such as a den or spare bedroom. I personally prefer knocking down walls to create one cohesive open space such as a kitchen, living and dining room combination. Any additions will require and a new foundation and roof, so you will need to factor the labor, materials and permit fees into your budget. I recommend hiring and experienced architect who can design and integrate your new kitchen seamlessly into your home. 
When planning a major overhaul, you will need to be prepared for any plumbing, electrical or structural issues before you begin. Usually these surprises sometimes sprout up once you begin opening up the walls. Don’t skip on fixing any issues that arise just to save time and money. You want your renovation to add value to your home, so be sure to hire a good contractor and make smarter choices. Yes there is lots to think about, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Your renovation does not have to be a nightmare, there are new innovative products and materials on the market everyday to make it go smoother. 

Before you start planning, think about the following questions. Are you looking for low cost or best quality? Do you want to use the kind of products that will last a lifetime? Will you use eco friendly products that have a low impact on the environment? The truth is although there are lots of choices, there is no right answer for everybody. That because everyone has a different budget. What matters most is figuring out what’s more important to you and why. 

Now that you have answered those questions, it’s time to plan. Whatever the scale of your project, first organize your ideas to allow you to make smart decisions along the way. I highly recommend using Pinterest for inspirational ideas! Don’t focus on trends, but think about both style and function before you make any choices. Think about what would suit your households needs in the future.

  •  Do you cook in your kitchen often, or entertain regularly?
  •  Do you need space for more than one cook? 
  •  Do you have enough cabinets and countertop space?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ll need to incorporate them into your design to make sure the kitchen of your dreams not only comfortable but functional. Remember, you’ll want your kitchen to have lasting value. There are lots of options, but for now you can start planning by answering these questions

Next you will need to consider:

  • How old is your house?
  • Any Asbestos or Lead Paint?
  • What kind of electrical wiring is in place and how old it is.
  • What kind of lighting will you be adding in the ceiling?
  • The kind of insulation in the walls if any.
  • What kind of plumbing is in place, how old is it and is it functioning properly?
  • Are you adding wiring for computers, smart homes and audio and visual components?
  • Can your heating, cooling and Hvac systems handle the changes you want to make.
  • Are your walls plaster or sheetrock?

Now let’s think about the style. What style will you choose? There are over sixteen different types such as Modern, Traditional, Contemporary, Rustic, Craftsman, Industrial, Mediterranean, and Beach to name a few.

My personal favorite design is Beach Cottage Style. A beach cottage style kitchen should be light and airy reflecting the colors of the sea. Your design plan should include white cabinets, but if you have dark cabinets that are paintable, consider lightening them up by painting them in a cool coastal blue.

See list below to shop this look.

Add shiplap, wainscotting, engineered wood, wood look ceramic tile, or bamboo floors for warmth, and chunky open shelves to display pottery and give the kitchen a cottage feel. Next include natural elements in the decor such as flax and linen, and nautical elements such as seagrass, sisal and driftwood.  Remember to add comfortable seating to keep it cozy and casual. I hope you enjoyed this post. View my Pinterest board Coastal Style Kitchens for more design inspiration.

Shop or find items in Image on this list here.

  1. Safavieh Jute Area Rug –https://amzn.to/2lpWAeO
  2. Dining Room Chair – Wood Seat – Set of 2 – Blue/Green- https://amzn.to/2mRyyK6
  3. Solid Wood Dining Table- https://www.jossandmain.com
  4. Kitchen Cabinets- http://www.willowlanecabinetry.com
  5. Wood Look Ceramic Tile Flooring- http://www.BuildDirect.com
  6. Golden Lighting 3602-L-CH-WH http://www.build.com
  7. Seaglass Bottle- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/421368108887254088/
  8. Emerald Coast Countertops- https://www.vetrazzo.com/inspiration/sea-and-sand/?lang=en
  9. Seagrass Baskets- https://amzn.to/2mYktu6
  10. Glass Back Splash Tiles- https://amzn.to/2nyURVd
  11. Cabinet Hardware- http://smarthomekitchen.com/black-kitchen-cabinet/black-kitchen-cabinet-hardware/
  12. Kitchen Canisters- https://amzn.to/2lm00PH
  13. Moen Faucet- https://amzn.to/2ljY3TK
  14. Sink- https://amzn.to/2nyTGVN
  15. Cabinet- http://www.willowlanecabinetry.com
  16. Wall Clock- https://amzn.to/2nsXRlO