European Cottage Kitchen – Planning a Staged Kitchen Renovation

When we bought our lovely 2010’s craftsman in 2021, I knew I wanted to de-farmhouse the kitchen somehow and transform the space into the European cottage kitchen I know it can be! Unfortunately, the average price of a kitchen renovation STARTS around 20K so I knew my dreams had to be organized into a very specific staged kitchen renovation. In this post I breakdown how to plan a staged kitchen renovation and the pricing of our Stage 1!

Kitchen with subway tile backsplash and walnut butcher block counter tops

Welcome to my Kitchen!

The image above is my kitchen currently. It’s basically untouched from when we bought our house.

The previous owners were big on farmhouse style and I don’t have any major issues with that except… We don’t live in a farmhouse. Now you may be thinking by that logic it’s CLEARLY not a European cottage either so whats your deal? That’s a totally valid point. Cottage style, in my opinion, conveys a warmth, coziness and ”lived in” feel that I’d love our home to have.

I also think weaving textured and architectural elements into your home decor can mesh with any style of house!

Woman standing in kitchen cutting strawberrys

3 Things To Consider When Planning a Staged Kitchen Renovation:

Graphic for planning a staged kitchen renovation

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase

Function: What would you change about how your current space works?

Anytime I think about renovating a space the first thing I think about is FUNCTION. Maybe that’s because I have 3 toddlers and the last thing I need is additional dysfunction. Haha!

However, I think it’s a good place to start because adding better function to a space is always a good way to add resale value. When you are looking at adding function to a kitchen space here are a few things to consider:

  • Which parts of the kitchen are too cramped(AKA you find yourself running into your spouse/kids constantly and getting aggravated)?
  • Which areas could use more storage?
  • Are there areas where space is being wasted?
  • Is the sink near enough to the stove? (I can’t be the only one carrying giant pots of water across the kitchen with toddlers underfoot).
  • When the oven or dishwasher are open does it cause a traffic hazard?
  • Do you have enough counter space?
  • Are your counters and backsplash easy to clean/maintain?

White kitchen with subway tile backsplash and walnut butcher block island

In this picture you can see that the island separates my stove from the other side of the kitchen where the sink is. This isn’t very functional for me because I have to keep going back to the kitchen to dump water, etc. when I’m cooking.

You can also see my pantry by the fridge is super small. Another thing that isn’t the most functional is that there are only drawers on one side of the island. I find myself running around to that side quite frequently while cooking.

Again, these are small gripes but definitely something to consider if you’re planning a staged kitchen renovation.

French kitchen from rabbit hill French lifestyle
Photo from Rabbit Hill French Lifestyle

Aesthetics: How do you want your space to look and feel?

The second thing to think about when planning a staged kitchen renovation is AESTHETICS. The aesthetic of a space determines how it looks and feels. To me, this is just as important as function.

Like I said earlier in this post, I love the warmth and natural architectural feel of a Euro cottage style. In a kitchen space there are a few things you can easily change to create a different style without totally gutting everything.

Here are some things you can consider:

  • Hardware– Easily the biggest change to cabinets without replacing them.
  • Open shelving– You may be able to simply remove some dated upper cabinets to create a more open look but keep in mind how that might impact your storage space.
  • Rugs– Runners or a rug under your kitchenette table can add a ton of character.
  • Backsplash– If your home doesn’t have a backsplash already installed a great ”in-between” option are peel and stick tiles like THESE.
  • Lighting– Can you change out pendant lights? Install recessed lighting? Major electrical changes can be costly so that might come in a later stage of the renovation.
  • Accents– Pretty art like THESE oil painting prints in a frame, antique charcuterie boards, vintage crocks. All of these items can add a ton of character!

Kitchen with black stove white cabinets and vintage pot rail
Photo from Magnolia Home

Budget: How to get the kitchen of your dreams… gradually.

Once you know what you’d like to change function wise and the aesthetic vibe you are going for, it’s time to determine how much this is all going to cost. For a lot of people planning a budget is super stressful and boring but to a planner nerd like myself it’s just a fun afternoon. Cozy up with a cup of coffee, some scratch paper and start looking up the pricing for the ideas you have.

Once you actually have an idea of the pricing, you can separate the renovation into stages based on what you’ll be able to afford.

Here are a few action items to make planning the budget less stressful:

  • Think about what you can afford for Stage 1 and set a dollar amount.
  • Look at all the changes you want to make in your kitchen. From there, determine which changes will make you the happiest AND still fit within that dollar amount.
  • Make sure the changes you are spending money on will not have to be UNDONE when you move on to your next stage. (Example: Don’t buy a new pantry door if you plan to relocate the pantry in a later stage).

Stage 1 of the Cassie J Blog European Cottage Kitchen:

Mood board for Cassie j blog staged kitchen renovation

Without further adeau, here is my Stage 1! The Budget for my stage one is around $1,500.00. I think it’s important to be transparent and share my budget. Some people may have a much higher budget and others may have a much lower one. Either way, I think the staged kitchen renovation process is much more attainable for most people.

Breakdown of Stage 1 of CJB Staged Kitchen Renovation:

We plan to do a pretty large renovation at some point. I don’t want to give it all away but it will include relocating plumbing and some demo. Because of this, my Stage 1 is mostly small cosmetic changes that I’ll be able to use in our bigger renovation!

Price Breakdown:

Budget Goal: $1500.00

Unlacquered brass faucet for staged kitchen renovation

Etsy Unlacquered Brass Faucet – $399-$579 (depending on size and if you get the sprayer or not)

Schoolhouse pendant light

Schoolhouse Pendant Light – $195

Oil painting of an artichoke for staged kitchen renovation

Etsy Oil Art Prints – $45 I actually lucked out and got two kitchen themed oil prints at an antique store for $12/each! But something like this would be darling in a kitchen/dining space.

Gold hardware

Hardware- Etsy Brass Hardware – $250-$500

Ok, let me just say on this one price can REALLY vary. I’m hoping to keep the hardware under $500 but considering that we have 27 pulls/knobs we’ll need to replace it could be pretty substantial! There are a broad variety of options. A few pricier options I love from Schoolhouse and Rejuvenation. There are also some great options from Amazon!

Merlot Chris loves Julia runner rug

Runner Rugs- Chris Loves Julia Merlot Rug $70 x 2 (For my kitchen I’d need 2 so this would come out to $140).

Copper pots on pot rail for staged kitchen renovation

Pot Rail + Copper Pot Set: $200

I’m *HOPING* to source these items through thrifting or DIY but I’m budgeting at least $150 for the copper pots specifically. Etsy has some fantastic sourcing for copper pots. Check out my post HERE about how I source these gorgeous pots.

Sand and Re-stain Butcher Block – $150 (Tutorial to come!)

I’m so excited to start this project soon AND keep you all updated each step of the way. Have you ever considered doing a staged kitchen renovation? What ideas do you have to make it more affordable? Tell me below!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *