For the last year or so, I have been working on a plan for my cottage kitchen design. I think almost every single day, I opened my plan and found some big or small change that I needed to make. But, it’s been a month or so now since I’ve made any changes. So I believe I have finally finished the design – and I am beyond excited to share it with you!
We obviously have a huge undertaking ahead of us to build and install our new cottage kitchen! But in the mean time, I thought I would share the process I used to work out the design, as well as share some images of the actual design itself. I think it’s always a plus to have other eyes on something before I get the circular saw out!
What is a cottage kitchen anyway?
If you’ve been around here before, you’ll know that I have been on a bit of a journey getting to this point. Learning the nuances of what makes a kitchen a “cottage kitchen” was a bit of a revelation to me! The discovery that there was more to creating a cottage kitchen than just choosing to put shaker doors on my cabinets, or that a gorgeous cast iron farmhouse sink wont on its own magically deliver the cottage kitchen of my dreams. Rude I know.
There is just so much more to an authentic cottage kitchen.
A cottage kitchen, while often charming and beautiful to look at, is by necessity, a workhorse. It is truly the heart, the engine, and the epicentre of the home. This is where, in days past, the wood stove sat. And by the wood stove, the home and the water was heated, meals for whole families and friends were prepared and cooked, produce from the garden was preserved and stored, bread was proved every day, and most importantly – the kettle was boiled.
Imagine trying to do all of that in a kitchen that has been designed around aesthetics, rather than function!
So I’ll design a cottage kitchen. Just as soon as I figure out how.
For me, this was the hardest part. Like most of us, I have designed many kitchens in my head, dream kitchens that I hope to one day build and use. But even in my dreams, aI have not designed a kitchen with function as the main driver before. I have always started with a dream aesthetic and then shoehorned aspects I feel I need to include while trying to keep the visual I began with.
For this design, I did something a little different. I really thought about how I wanted this kitchen to serve both my family, and my cottage.
I thought about the things I would use this kitchen for:
- Cooking & baking
- Meals – we don’t have a dining room, we eat at our kitchen table
- Preserving – preserving is a big part of our meal planning
- Breadmaking – another huge part of our lives – optimizing our kitchen design for proving dough, warming a starter, kneading and shaping loaves, just makes sense!
- Bulk food storage – all that preserving means we need somewhere to store the food
- Equipment storage – as with any kitchen, we still have all the usual suspects that need to be stored (I’m looking at you Mr Food Processor!)
I’m sure I have missed a tonne of stuff there!
I also made a list of design elements that I thought would be ideal if I was trying to be really, genuinely sympathetic to the age and period of this cottage:
- Cast iron sink
- Wood stove
- No visible appliances
- Minimal built in cabinetry
- Any built in cabinetry needs to be the old fashioned depth of 45cm
- Any built in cabinetry should be simple and symmetrical
- Cabinet doors to be inset, with exposed hinges
- Furniture to be functional (that doesn’t mean it wont be beautiful!)
Not much to ask!!!
My final cottage kitchen design
Once I really thought about the list above, I needed to work out how to put all of that into the space I have. A great tip that I got from Paige at Farmhouse Vernacular was an app called LiveHome 3D. This really was a gamechanger for me! This app asks you to put your room dimensions in, windows, doors, etc. and from there you can play!
I took this very seriously. This house is small – so I knew from the start that including everything I want into this kitchen was going to be tough! I knew that my design would be relying on my measurements being EXACT, so I measured and measured again – I made sure my plan on the app was 100% accurate – down to the millimetre!!
I’m so glad I did this.
It meant something huge happened for me! I found a space in my home, linked to my kitchen, that was juuuuust enough to create a small pantry. A PANTRY!!! I would never have thought about that space as part of my kitchen area, if I didn’t see it clearly in my 3d plan. But there it was, clear as day, and now Im gonna have a freakin pantry. That alone made all my obsessiveness worth it.
Are you an appliance?
The biggest issue I was facing was how to deal with the obnoxious stainless steel appliances we have nowadays. I know the option is always there to replace them with vintage appliances, but honestly I don’t think I can deal with that!!! I really tried to come up with alternatives, but the fridge was doing my head in.
Again, the app saved my bacon! By moving things about again and again (and again and again and again), I finally came up with a solution that I think is a very good compromise. I get to keep my big loud fridge, and still get my lovely cottage kitchen. I decided to tuck my fridge into a little alcove, that will be visible from within the kitchen, but absolutely not dominate the space at all.
Take a look at my plan – what do you think? Im pretty excited about it!!! I think Ive ticked all my boxes.
Where to now? What next?
So now that I have my plan in place, I need to really get planning to build the cabinets! Im obviously excited about that, but it is a pretty big job. Even though the cabinets are simple in design, we are not carpenters! Ginger has some woodworking experience, but it will still be a very big deal for us to get this done. Much YouTube will be consumed before we can reveal anything that may resemble a kitchen. But we are used to that – arent we!!!
We are also elbows deep (literally!) in our Metters Canberra wood stove restoration. It is currently pulled apart, soaking in a huge otto bin of molasses and water. This apparently removes most of the rust, allowing us to clean and reassemble. But my goodness, if anything was ever a whole other story – the restoration of our wood stove definitely is! A story I promise to tell soon x
Let me know what you think about my unfitted cottage kitchen design. I would be so happy for your feedback, as well as any pointers or tips to improve it before we go to the shed!
Heather Morris says
Hey, you could probably put a curtain on a hinged curtain rod and completely hide the fridge given that set up! I’ve seen ones used for under sinks too, ones you don’t have to slide over to get through but rather like french doors but curtain rods…
Oooh that sounds like a great idea!
This is genius! I just may do that!