The Cottage Flip Kitchen Plan


Are you ready for some kitchen talk? Let’s do this!

I gave a quick preview in my Before Tour video if you missed it, but now it’s time to get into the details and walk you through my thought process. Let me remind you that this is a flip house, so there’s a slightly different approach. I need to keep things relatively neutral to appeal to potential buyers, however I also want to challenge myself creatively and try new things. And there’s the whole limited budget part, which has always forced me to come up with creative solutions.

Step 1 of any new room design is to gather inspiration, so naturally I looked to Pinterest.

This was the photo that first sold me on black cabinets (by Blair Harris):

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And this masterpiece from Studio McGee reaffirmed that decision:

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Another angle from the above kitchen:

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There’s something so inviting about this rustic and warm kitchen by Barbara Westbrook:

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While the navy cabinets are a bit too niche for me, I love everything else about this space as seen on Fixer Upper:

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I can’t get enough of these black windows and light fixtures:

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Shanty2Chic never ceases to amaze me with their DIY plans…

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These folks found a way to bring big style to a small kitchen:

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So simple yet elegant:

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Another clean and classic design combo by Elizabeth Lawson:

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Notice a theme? It’s all about the black, white and wood. High contrast with mixed metals and lots of warmth, with some rustic touches thrown in. Now let’s rewind to what I first walked into:

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Not the most functional layout with the fridge blocking the walkway to the bathroom/stairs and very limited counter space. I realized right away that the door had to go so that the back wall could be one solid expanse of cabinets/counters, the stove could be relocated to that wall, and the fridge would move in its’ place to free up the pathway.

Then below the window on the right wall, I’ll add a built in bench with a table for an eat-in area that can double as a work surface:

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Up against the bench on the right side, I’ll add another wall of lower cabinets for extra storage and counter space (which will serve as more of a buffet/bar area—excuse the poorly lit photos):

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There won’t be any upper cabinets aside from a small one on top of the fridge, just two rows of open shelving between the fridge and back wall, and on the back wall above the stove I’ll build a vent hood from reclaimed wood flanked by two wall sconces.

Let’s look at a few progress shots. The sink is the only thing that will remain in its original place, underneath the window:

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Here’s how it looks today, just about ready for patching up the framing, adding a gas line and rewiring the electrical:

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Fortunately, my contractor was able to locate replacement pickwick pine boards for the ceiling (they were damaged during removal) so I can have those patched rather than having to use drywall.

And here’s my design plan:

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Let’s talk materials!

Lowe’s was my first choice for cabinets. I used them for my last kitchen, had a great experience and knew they’d deliver again. I briefly considered Ikea but needed something a bit more custom, and didn’t have the time or desire to deal with delivery/assembly.

The most affordable option for a true black finish in the style I wanted actually ended up being the same brand/style I used before—Kraftmaid Durham Maple Square in Onyx:

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The top drawer is solid a though panel, they’ll look just like my old kitchen:

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The appliances will be stainless because let’s face it, it’s easy and that’s what buyers want. For the countertops, the choice was obvious—you can’t beat the affordability of butcher block, and they just happen to look amazing next to black. I was going to use Ikea until I discovered that Lowe’s just began stocking them—here’s a shot I took in the store:

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They’re a bit more expensive than Ikea, however, they come unfinished so you can easily stain them to your liking, and I’m already using Lowe’s installers so they can take care of everything at once rather than having to road trip to Ikea and pay a $250 delivery fee and separate installation. Plus they’re thicker and better quality. Sold!

The farmhouse sink and faucet, though, still goes to Ikea. You just can’t compete with the Domsjo sink and Glittran faucet combo:

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I’ve debated on the backsplash, but always come back to simple white subway tile sheets. They’re timeless, affordable, and keep the space feeling light and open. Just like my last kitchen, I’ll run them from counter to ceiling to elevate the room (my ceilings are just under 8′). White subway tile is also the perfect backdrop for the custom range hood I plan to build…

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I decided early on that this would be included in the design plan, and did a happy dance when Shanty2Chic revealed that they’ll be releasing build plans for this one soon. I’m stalking their page to make sure I don’t miss it!

Flanking the vent hood will be two wall sconces. I had a hard time deciding on the finish for these. Black is an easy and safe choice, but I wanted to add some warmth and dimension. Brass/gold hardware is having a big moment and would look stunning no doubt, but as mentioned earlier, I want to push myself to branch out and try new things.

I spotted these copper sconces on Wayfair for just $68/ea—half the cost of the closest brass option I could find (the price has gone up a bit since) and couldn’t get them out of my head:

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I don’t see copper around too often so this is a great opportunity to do something different. There also isn’t a lot of copper hardware out there but I found and ordered these surprisingly affordable cabinet pulls and knobs from ATG Stores:

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The built in bench seat under the window will be simple and built from wood with pillows to cozy it up, and I’m thinking something like this round table refinished in a soft gray:

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Since its a casual seating area and there’s limited space, I ordered 4 of these stools which can easily be tucked in when not in use:

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I recently had a change of heart when it came to the flooring. I’ve always defaulted to engineered wood due to the low cost and the fact that it’s still (partly) wood, but as I was examining my original choice at Lowe’s, I spotted something that made my heart skip a beat. Then I found out it was laminate. But it looked and felt more wood-like than the engineered wood, so I compared them side by side:

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The Sterling Maple wood on the left is $5.50/ft compared to the Scottsdale Oak laminate on the right at $2.50/ft. The laminate had the 7″ wide plank I was looking for, while the wood was varying width. The laminate was also warmer in color and had a more rustic, hand scraped texture while the wood was smoother. Both are Pergo brand, are super durable and have lifetime warranties. Laminate has always been a product I’ve never considered using due to the perceived lower quality, but it has come such a long way and doesn’t deserve that stigma anymore. So I’ve decided to stand up for it, take another risk and save a bunch of money in the process. I wish I would have found these for my last home—these floors are going to look amazing!

All of the paneling on the ceilings and walls will be painted using Valspar’s Bistro White (along with the rest of the house).

On another note—after weeks of challenges with my contractor, I had to start over and I found a new contractor who has been awesome to work with so far, and I’m finally feeling much better about everything. The job is scheduled to be completed by the end of December (barring any extreme weather conditions) but I’m optimistic that the house will hit the market by February.

As the design and products are being finalized and ordered, I can already visualize the end result and the excitement and anticipation is building. I’m preemptively declaring that this will hands down be my best renovation yet (the character of this house makes it easy) and I just want to fast forward to January when I get to add all the finishing touches.

On Friday I’m heading back to the flip for a clawfoot tub makeover, more thrift shopping and meetings with contractors/vendors while the foundation work begins. As usual, I’ll be live streaming the progress via instagram stories and snapchat (@jennasuedesign) so I hope you can tune in to watch!

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34 thoughts on “The Cottage Flip Kitchen Plan

  1. It is going to be great! We used Lowe’s for our kitchen, and we have the Kraftmaid Durham in Canvas, which is just the very slightest off-white color. We love the cabinets, and Lowe’s did a great job.

  2. I love the plan for the kitchen! Have you considered a faucet with a pull down sprayer, much like the one in your last kitchen, instead of the Ikea one you selected in your inspiration board? I have the same sink and I don’t know what I’d do without the pull down option in my faucet beings the sink only has one hole. Just a suggestion but I know whatever you decide will be great! Oh, and I LOVE that flooring!

  3. I love the flooring choice! I went with pre-engineered hardwood when we replaced our floors, and I wish there would have been a laminate option this nice. I would pick it in a heartbeat! Your design board is amazing as always, and I’m so excited to see how this comes along. I agree that it will be your best work yet!

  4. I seriously stalk your blog, YouTube, IG, FB, Pinterest, etc…my husband and I love your designs and we both cannot wait to see the end results!!!

  5. So so so excited to see the finished project!!

    I might have missed something at some point- did the previous owners just leave absolutely everything they owned behind!? What are you doing with it all? Is that a burden or easy enough to deal with? Just curious, I dabble in real estate and I’ve never seen that happen 🙂

  6. I’m curious to know how the laminate flooring will be put down. Is it a floating-type of floor? We’re considering something like this for our basement when we finish it but I don’t want that “click” or popping sound you can get with laminate sometimes. Anyone have comments on this?
    Can’t wait to see it finished! Beautiful choices!

    1. Hi Kim, they are floating and require an underlayment, which I know is quite common. I’m using Lowe’s contractors for installation and their work is warrantied so hopefully it will work out 🙂

  7. So beautiful!! Have you considered the GE artistry line though for appliances? I think that vintage look would go SO WELL with your design scheme. I definitely agree most buyers want stainless, but I think a mountain cabin like that could definitely go outside the norm.

  8. Your design board for the kitchen looks fantastic! I’ve been trying to talk the husband into subway tile backsplash , with butcher block counters as something we could try ourselves (especially since Lowes sells butcherblock now!). He might be more interested when I show him this post and your last kitchen tiling post! Can’t wait to see how things come along!

  9. I have black furniture and would never get it again…it shows every single mark ,stain, dust, and finger prints and the copper lights will tarnish eventually (just thoughts that a potential buyer may have also). It looks awesome on paper though. Is this cabin for year-round users or just seasonal?

  10. Love all your ideas! Seriously gorgeous.. I’m in deep kitchen envy. Maybe I can convince my husband to do black cabinets if I show him your post! Lol. Silly question.. for the grout in the subway tile, what color do you use? Is that black?

  11. Love the design choices. We have black kitchen cabinets and while I totally love the look, they unfortunately do show every spill, dust, etc. They require alot of upkeep to maintain their good looks. But yours should look amazing as a selling point as no one all be using them. Carry on

      1. Your last kitchen was gray right? I was really asking about the color, not the style. It seems like the black is modern and the house is not. So I was curious.

  12. Hi Jenna,

    A fellow fan and follower that loves your designs!! I just thought I would chime in as investors we have done several flips/renos. Our most recent property we had to redo all the vanities and a large kitchen. I gave Cliq Studios online a try and I LOVED them! I had a very good experience. I’ve heard they are similar to Ikea in pricing, BUT they are better quality and cabinets come completely assembled. You can order color samples ahead of time and they have lots of colors and cabinet front choices. Pricing includes full overlay doors, full extension drawers and all soft close. We did the Dayton style in grey and white and then did three other colors (pale blue, white and cream) for the three bathroom vanities. I was shocked at how good the price was for an entire house of cabinets including a good size kitchen. We had two separate cabinet installers who were impressed with the quality as well and took down their info for their own client needs.

    Anyway…for future reno’s you should look into it and maybe compare their pricing with the kitchen you are doing now from Lowes. You can actually price it out on your own on their website for a basic pricing idea…minus bells and whistles and moldings. The ONLY thing was the painted finish had a longer lead time…6-8 weeks I believe. We even had one molding piece come up short and they had it to us within a week.

    Can’t wait to see what this place ends up looking like! You always do a fantastic job! WIsh I could get your design help on my current new build =)

    Good luck!

  13. We installed vinyl floors last year. I wanted a consistent look downstairs and had to be waterproof since it was going in a laundry, bathroom, kitchen etc. It also needed to be big dog proof, not scratch. I LOVE them! We are asked all the time if they are real wood. Vinyl really has come a long way!

  14. I stalk your site for the newest updates and love all your plans! Cannot wait to see the final look! I’d love to flip a home, but feel I would get so attached and love it so much, I would want to live in it!

  15. Hi, I have that exact table. Mine is still wood, and would love a coat of paint. I also had a insert made so it can extend. Interested. I am planning to sell it.

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