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"Where better to care for the soul than in the details of our daily lives?....The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought... An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sense of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant." ~ Thomas Moore.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

White Humble "Frenchy Cottagy" Kitchen Done

 Hello Beautiful People.

 *Warning, lots of pics....
** And I finally googled "French Country" and "English Country" in images and to ask one vs the other to see what the differences are and I can't quite grasp it and it's not interesting enough to pursue. Suffice to say it appears my Kitchen has elements of both French and English and I would say some Fairy too. :D..on to post.........

In my process of Going White I realize that various shades of Whites has the most interesting effects.

This kitchen is not one of the amazing jaw dropping makeovers, people, it is the efforts of someone who has to make the most out of what she already has, loving what she already has, and with the help and transformational power of paint....and a few artistic touches here and there.....this is a humble transformation.....more for the likes of us on a "monstrous budget"....but great transformations CAN be done with very little to no money.

It has taken a bit longer to finish this kitchen and yet there are still a couple of touches I have yet to put on that will be done when I have the'm still recouping from full out workdays here. I don't know what happens, but when I work from morning to evening, I experience alot more pains than I used to and it is unbearable. I'm learning the slow way that maybe I don't have the energy I used to and that its meager portions allotted to us in our age is simply a very stingy thing! But I move on.

I have found a few interesting comments from my neighbor and from the housemate John himself, who have both said that this "new" kitchen feels like a French Country Kitchen, and not knowing what that is like because I've never been to France nor in a French Styled Kitchen, I couldn't say, but they are pretty sure it is and so I have called it so. It's that Frenchie thing again! LOL

But here are some pics.....

First the before in its Tuscan Italian Clay color which I loved, and which I have to say, as I was painting the Pale Mint, I was missing it terribly and had a pang of fear that I wouldn't be able to make such a pale cool color feel warm and cozy, but I pushed through it, and had to finish. I did have to do some stenciling and a few other details to get the feeling I like in a kitchen.

and now...........


I guess those pics show the transformation of paint, things moved around, some other things painted and a new wall dish rack which is the main purchase and beauty focus over the stove.
It's not awe inspiring, but its my world. For more details about this process read on.

The colors were chosen by John, based on my dishes here......


But alot of painting of many things had to be done. Once the walls were painted, it felt oh sooooo cold in there and I didn't like it at all. I just knew I had to find ways to make it warm again. I even thought of not painting the cabinets at all....leaving them their natural pine color to keep some warmth.

But the harmony and whiteness I wanted was not there, and though I always know what to do, in this case I didn't, so I called the Robyn Story people I buy the Annie Sloan paints from and explained my confusion, and sent her pics. They were soooo cool about that and within 10 minutes of receiving my pictures Laurie, on her day off! called me at home to tell me she saw the pics and read my email, and she advised me on painting the cabinets a half and half blend of Old White and Pure White to bring in the appliances because using just Old White as I wanted could make them look 'dingy', and then to bring in some white on the left side by maybe painting just the chairs instead of everything else on that side as I feared I might have to. But it occurred to me instead of painting another thing! I could just make slipcovers for the chairs which I've decided to do.

I did decide to paint the cabinets, and once I did I questioned my doubt! because they looked better.
However they looked too stark so decided some stencil work was needed but I wanted something botanical, lacy and delicate and I didn't have anything like that but Martha Stewart to the rescue! I googled her stencils and there was the perfect one which I ran to Michaels to pick up and then did the doors. This one is called "Tendrils" was perfect. I mixed some green peridot paint with the Annie Sloan and stenciled away. I used green to pull together the counter tops and the wall paint. It works for me.

Thank goodness! that looked better and the cabinets went from stark plain white to Country Kitchen just because of the Botanical Stencil.

The focal point is the dish rack over the stove, and my new lacey white them! Dish rack is from IKEA. John liked it when he saw it in the store as we were buying brackets, and they had white dishes in it and he wanted it. I said GREAT! Lol....because that was exactly what I wanted for over the stove area, to get rid of the basket. I bought these dishes from my favorite all time store, HOME GOODS, love them!

I added sea shells to the dish with sea shell embossing on it, love the textures.

Then on the other side the other cabinet bothered me alot and oh god, I realized I had to paint that too.
But not just a plain coat, it needed some textured look or faux finish and stenciling because I wanted Country Cottage as always. I did it and waxed it in one day. I love it!! This has two coats of the "Original White" as its called by Annie Sloan, which is half Old White and half Pure White. Then I mixed some Old Ochre and French Linen to do the faux dry finish 'wash' and then I stenciled it with the same "Tendrils" set from Martha then waxed it.

The oak cabinets I've had for years are not being painted but I did bring some of the white there just a little bit by adding some lace trim to the was my neighbor's idea.....I loved it. Done.
I did have to paint the basket over it white and the apothecary spice jar rack white and then I glued on some dried pink peonies I had from this past summer. Many roses I've dried sit on top of the cabinet.I love wood and ironwork together....need more of it.

These two little shelves also got painted the "Original White" but they looked boring to me, but I knew something would come to me to fix that......soo. I made this my tea pot cute and whimsical.....
whimsy is necessary in my life, very much so! :D I added some small cup hooks to the bottom and hung one teapot ornament and the others are silver sugar holders from the thrift. My authentic Moroccan Teapot now has a better place to sit, next to my favorite of all pots, my heat resistant Glass Teapot.

The ceiling fan blades got painted too.

Over the kitchen entryway I added a shelf using salvaged wood from when my neighbor moved away. I painted it with the leftover paint from the living room, in Off White.....held with adjustable IKEA brackets painted Off White too...... holding my thrift store finds creamware and milkglass.

I was in an exhausted state and even my most beloved Mercury Glass pieces were having the strangest effect on me.....the sparkle was making me irritated?!!! Can you ever imagine such a thing!? ME!...sparkle getting on my last nerve?? Well that's what happened and so I removed it all from the mantle and the tables, put some elsewhere and a few up on the shelf.

I decided I really really like the look of the wood boards and wanted to have that same look somewhere else, but didn't want to paint anymore and wasn't sure how to do it yet.....but when John too looked up at it and said he liked the look of those boards, I decided to figure it out and I did.

Especially because there was a place that was really naked and screaming for something.........

can you see it here?

Naked I tell you! and there was the answer. I decided to paint the other boards I had and nail them over the cabinets on the borderless naked wall LOL
THAT finally happened yesterday, and John keeps saying how much he likes it. Strange the effect of rustic wood on people huh? can't be explained but I love it too. And I wanted more Country and nothing does that like wood! I love wood and ironwork together, love it.

I have plans for that bare wood too, some delicate stenciling of more Tendrils of creeping greens coming in from the door, over the wall, onto the wood and a bit over onto the shelving too....LOL....whimsy people, gotta have whimsy ! :D:D:D

I even reorganized the kitchen cabinets that hold spices and got some 3 tiered shelving and mini lazy susans from Bed Bath and Beyond and I have to say it is the fun part of this kitchen. I can spin this one and pick my glasses LOL These are 24K gold rimmed glasses I use for my "Chocolat" hot chocolate....not your average chocolate, people, lol nope! whimsy! :D

The center of this shelf seems to dip just a tiny bit so I added a seashell in the center for support.....:D

Parisian Pink Goblets and Persian teacups with tea spoons.

I finally found, after 8 years of searching for a tiny 8" dishrack that would fit in the only space we have for it, in a store....that in itself is a story. I had gone into the store because a voice in my head kept telling me to go in as I went to buy my foods at the Italian Market next to it, and I refused because I didn't want to shop and I had only 10 dollars and didn't want to go in. I heard this when I went into the market and when I was leaving the parking lot. YET! I realized I left something at the store when I bagged my own basket at the Italian market and so I HAD to go back and again! that voice kept nudging me to go in that other store and I did so only on the condition that it would show me precisely why I had to go in there and since I walked up and down the isles not finding the purpose of being in there, I said "I'm not finding what was so important and I'm leaving", and as I walked out, I looked down and there were these gorgeous dishes  in a rack, and I stared at them but not needing them because I had just bought my white ones, I noticed they were sitting in a white dish rack, the very one I needed in the no longer available size I needed!.....and it was.......$9.99 ! and it was the only one. It came home with me, and now I even like my dish-rack area.
I painted the bamboo caddy in Old White and stenciled it too. lol.....alot can be done with paint and stencils !

We also reorganized the freezer with an organizer I bought for John just because that entire space is a balancing act but I never use it except for ice cream in emergencies LOL....and pulling it out is tricky. So we organized it last night and its like new. No pics sorry, not a pretty thing. lol.
I think thats most of it.
So I leave you with my favorite pic I this one....must be the lace and chandelier and the iron scroll work on the corner rack.

 Thanks for reading!

Sharing this post with Coastal Charm
and with Mod Vintage Life
and with Savvy Southern Style
and with TIMEWASHED; Blissful White Wednesdays
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  1. Oh My,how much work you have done and I think your World is just perfect,homely and so fresh. Lovely xx

    1. Thank you Jeanetteann, you are very kind for saying to.
      blessings, lady

  2. No wonder you are tired! It looks fantastic--I love the cabinets..makes a big difference. Your chandelier is so pretty! I think the slipcovers for the chairs would be a great idea. But rest awhile first :) I am so glad you shared--everything looks so pretty!

    1. Thank you Sandy. It is a big difference, as you said, the power of paint. lol.
      Can't wait to do the slipcovers and add a litle whimsy there....
      Would you believe, I began the bathroom today which I had no intention of doing, not painting it but "decorating" it, going shopping in my home to find ways of making it ''wow'' me...... but one thing I am painting is the cabinet which is the same one as in the kitchen holding my wooden bowls....I'm in between coats now....still working ....on and on and on....:D

  3. Your kitchen turned out beautiful! I don't know about French Country (I've never been to France, and the so-called French Country houses and kitchens I've seen here have been McMansion Monstrocities, that have none of the charm of your kitchen) -- to me, it looks like charming Florida Cottage (which I guess it is, right? lol).

    1. I don't what those French or English country kitchens look like either and all I see in google images are homes that have been stylized and photographed by artists....I'd love to see real kitchens in those countries.....but yes, I think its Fairy Cottage in Florida LOL

  4. What a fabulous amazing job! I can't believe the transformation. I love the dainty leaves on the cabinets. Is that done freehand? xo

    1. Hi Barbara, thanks for visiting. No I used a stencil by Martha Stewart as I wrote there in case anyone like it and wanted to do the same.

  5. You are AMAZING!!! No, no....AMAZINGLY AMAZING!!! :))) (Don't you love my way with words?..heee)
    Tired, you say?? I would be relaxing for weeks after each little project, dear friend...but you tirelessly tackle one thing after another with extraordinarily gorgeous results...BRAVA!!! (Even though you could use some R&R, yes?)
    Really, you inspire me so much, you cannot imagine, dearest Lady.....

    The kitchen was warm and lovely...and yes, very Tuscan...but is a wow!
    I don't know if you want to call it country French...or country English...but it is COZY, FRESH, and GORGEOUS!
    Enjoy, I do hope you well and take some time for lovely tea poured from those sublime teapots!
    Blessings to you,
    - Irina

    1. lol there are those sparkly bubblies again palomasea! lol thank you most humbly, gosh it feels like a I have a fan club of one here lol
      I work for good results and I don't stop until I see something that makes me smile...and I somehow have a vision of it all beforehand which helps alot.
      I corrected my post to say I googled those kitchens from France and England to see but it seems I have elements of both, but of Fairy too and so it is! lol
      hummmm...enjoy....what is that?? lol
      am going to take a hot bath in my "new" Bohemian Bathroom" which I am just about finished with today.
      I thank you for visiting again!
      warmest hugs

  6. I think your kitchen looks charming. I love your dish rack above the stove and all your pretty white dishes. The cabinets look so pretty painted white as well. Also love the wall color. You did such a great job. I hope you take time for a well deserved rest!

    1. thank you for saying so Diane, I love hearing from readers. I just finished the bathroom today, I think just a couple more things to hang up but I will post on that soon. Then I begin work on my own body! lol......and outside again before it gets too hot to do anything out there much work to do, trimming trees, planting new beds etc.
      blessings, lady

  7. All is just so amazing and magical!!! I wish I could visit your beautiful's really perfect!<3

    1. ;D thank you Delvalina, I love your descriptions! just my cup of tea.
      blessings, lady

  8. Good morning my dear! I am a bit late but so enchanted with all the hard work you have put into this wonderful transformation! Isn't it lovely? Light and whispy surroundings give us so much peace. BRAVO MY DEAR! Anita

    1. Anita, you are never late, I am only always pleased to see you in my comments or email. Yes transformations are wonderful and I cannot wait to begin on my self, my body which has been neglected for years and I just began jogging again, and hope to gain some measure of my previous sleek body soon.....I decided I've done alot inside this house and some things outside and the potting bench was a huge piece of that, and now I can focus on my self and come home to a dignified sanctuary.
      peace however is elusive because of constant flying planes, non stop....don't know if I can stay here because of that I did all this work :D

  9. Beautiful and refreshing! The story about finding your rack is such a good reminder to always listen to that inner voice I know that when I do t always leeds me to a magical find! Good job!

  10. Hello anam cara, finally I can see the results of so much hard work... and the change is amazing! That kitchen looks now lightful and very fresh, and the pale mint on the walls gives the sensation of a bigger room. Is it pure French style? I´m not sure... perhaps in certain details, but not totally -French country seems too GREY to me, so I honestly prefer your color scheme-. I rather agree with Palomasea that maybe has some touches of English country. In the end, only one thing is true: this room is definitely VERY YOU!!! Anyway, I cannot believe that you have already started with the bathroom, without taking the time to rest properly after this marathon... Could you please stop for a moment and BREATHE before your body collapses??? (don´t mind me, remember it comes from a SLOW person whom would take a minimum of two years to do the same you do in a single week LOL LOL LOL)
    So much to tell you, so little energy to write... but always following and longing to hear more from you, my dearest friend. Please keep in touch!
    Hugs and blessings,

    1. Yes, I guess its really me because that is all I really have to work with right lol....not French nor English but me....and so it is. I googled those kitchens and could not discern their differences much, because most pics are stylized kitchens and photographed for magazines, ........who sees real kitchens? lol
      I'm still putting some touches on mine, trying to get it warmer, but because its so small the lighter color is better and I even had to change the light bulb from a 60 Watt to a 40watt because it was so much brighter! Even then I keep it off all day.
      I just finished the bathroom today and am going to take a hot bath tonight and hopefully get some quiet. warmest hugs, lady

  11. Wow! Amazing transformation in such little time. I don't really understand what Americans call "French kitchen" even if I keep seeing it. But anyway I love YOUR kitchen whatever style it is, maybe it's yours and that's enough!

    1. Thank you, Yes, it's mine, whatever anyone would call it, But Fairy Cottage works for me! LOL

  12. Still love it, so pretty! Love your blog! Celeste

  13. Sweet Lady! THANK YOU for coming to visit tonight! I just sold a set of cards! YIPEEE!

    I love Kenny Rankin, the singer on the post. When my husband and I met, he was very popular and was our favorite singer.

    May every day be one to celebrate the good and happy things in life my dear. I am still so touched by your gift...Anita

  14. You have been so busy, Namaste! Your kitchen looks fantastic! I love how everything looks so refreshed, I am truly
    inspired! Thank you so much for sharing at Simple & Sweet Fridays.


  15. Oh what a transformation......I can tell it was an total labor of love..sweet lady. It has turned out so soft and feminine....very beautiful!!!



  16. Your kitchen looks absolutely amazing Lady!!! What a transformation!!!! You probably smile every time you walk into the room :)I LOVE IT!

  17. Oh how absolutely stunning and enchanting! I am overwhelmed looking around at it all.. it just takes my breath away... and makes me wish I could do something similar! lol! love, Leslie

    1. oh, you are too kind, but I thank you humbly for your enjoyment! lol
      blessings, lady

  18. 6/24/'13

    -happy sigh- How lovely. You inspire me to find more lace. :-)



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