Cottage Kitchen – Fandom Plan

So, if I’m all about adding touches of Fandom to home decor – what are my plans for the Kitchen?

At the moment, I’ve got three Make-Believe elements in mind.

First, the curtain under the sink. My plan is to design my own toile pattern (here are red toile samples via Google’s Image Search) and have it printed by Spoonflower. A lot of toile patterns focus on detailed scenes of country romance, but there’s also a style that involves a series of frames. I figure, between Dover Publications and The Graphics Fairy and other sources in my collection I can find half-a-dozen or so mythical beasts that look like a set. Gryphon, absolutely. Dragon, phoenix, then I’m not sure where to from there.

Second, a trio of prints to go on the wall between the counter and cabinets. (Or possibly on the wall over the door into the dining room. There’s not much wall space to speak of in this kitchen!) I’m leaning toward Tolkien quotes here. Thorin’s words to Bilbo: If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. And Pippin’s meal list from the Fellowship movie: Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Elevenses, Luncheon, Afternoon Tea, Dinner, Supper. Still working on the third. Oh, alas, I shall have to re-read again…

Third, I have an odd, narrow panel on a lower cabinet that came about because the door isn’t as wide as the space behind it. It’s about 5 or 6 inches wide by the height of the cabinet. I’m picturing knotwork here, or possibly a Celtic beastie. Either a vinyl decal or stenciled. I have a Silhouette cutter so either one is an option. Plus there’s Dover and their stencils.

Now, I just have to finish clearing away and purging what’s accumulated in the last many years and get the project underway!

Cottage Kitchen – Rough Draft Plan

I’ve been looking at lots (and lots) of Cottage/Farmhouse/Vintage kitchens on blogs and Pinterest posts and magazines and books, and I’m starting to sort out the must-haves vs the not-thats vs the wouldn’t-that-be-wonderfuls. And comparing those lists to the size of my budget, my minimal DIY experience and the size of the room. (Good news! – my tool-using sister is on board as far as the counters are concerned!)

So – the Plan – in no particular order in each category.


  • remove 5 fluorescent lighting fixtures and replace with 2 pendant lights
  • add tops to currently open cabinets (where drop ceiling used to sit)
  • paint cabinets white
  • paint walls white
  • install Ikea butcherblock counters
  • replace green sink
  • do something with green floor – paint if necessary
  • remove short hanging wall or finish kitchen side
  • curtain under sink


  • new cabinet hardware – pewter or nickel or glass or white knobs and bin pulls
  • black and white tile floor
  • remove low counter in entry
  • new faucet
  • bead board backsplash
  • under counter lighting


  • tile behind stove
  • paint stove and hood white
  • camouflage dishwasher
  • crown molding on cabinets

Cottage Kitchen – Inspiration

Here are some of the (many, many) cottage/vintage/farmhouse kitchens I’ve looked at via Pinterest and Google. I’ve listed the top 4 or 5 (or 7?) ideas I liked from each of these lovely kitchens. Practical doesn’t enter into the thinking right now {g} just, “ooh, pretty!”



White cabinets
Farmhouse sink
Under-sink curtain and gingerbread trim
Open shelving
Herb pots



White cabinets
Under-sink curtain
Architectural posts



White cabinets
Open cabinets
Apron sink
Crown molding
Bin pulls
Wood countertops



Red cabinets
Hidden dishwasher
Farmhouse sink
Wood counter



White cabinets with subtle texture and plain knobs
Wood countertops
Beadboard island
Glass cabinet fronts

Fandom Five – The Kitchen

{Fandom Five is a series showcasing fannish decor by room, by item, by fandom, or by any other category I realize I can find five examples for.}

I have kitchens on my mind right now, so my first Fandom Five will be – kitchens!

The owners of these kitchens have expressed their fandoms in the full range of possibilities. Perhaps you’re not ready for a Tardis stand-in refrigerator. But maybe you could imagine adding a Tardis to your backsplash.

A plain, tall box – one you could swear was bigger on the inside the last time you had to clean it out – just calls out to become the Tardis. You can paint it (no really,) wrapped it in vinyl, or the artists at can help you with a custom-fit skin.

This one is probably not, technically, a fannish design – (although GoogleTranslate does say it’s Finnish.) But it’s easy to see how this window decoration could be adapted. The Tardis and all the Doctor’s regenerations? The crests of all the Houses from Game of Thrones? Bilbo and thirteen dwarves? And it has the advantage of being easily removable – if family politics would make that… politic.

When this Los Angeles cottage was built it was called Storybook Style. Now, of course, it’s recognized as a hobbit house. The curves, odd angles and astonishing details make this a labor of love – 24 years, in fact, by a Disney artist. If you have a vision for your home – make it a reality! (CNET article without a link to the original Craigslist “for rent” post.)

A subtle show of fannish affections – this crimson A stands for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide. (That’s football. Actually, that’s FOOTBALL.) It’s bright, instantly recognizable by fellow fans, and pretty much permanent. If you’re sure your love is true, here’s how to declare it. (If your affections are more… variable, vinyl appliques might be a better choice.) I’m considering 4″ white tiles behind my stove so that I can change out decals.

Small kitchen, major statement. The owner of this small Italian apartment kitchen painted everything white and then let artist Marco Kooiman do his thing. Large surfaces in the kitchen – fridge, cabinets, ceiling – offer all kinds of opportunities for in-your-face fannish displays.

The Final Straw: Why I Started My Renovation

This pile of plastic and metal is the remains of the dropped ceiling.

That pile of yellowing plastic and metal used to be my kitchen ceiling. (Some of the metal pieces are 12 feet long.)

It was hiding five (5!) fluorescent light fixtures and the top twelve inches of the kitchen walls.

Old kitchen wallpaper, plus old water damage and newish blue paint.

Here you can see the late 60s-early 70s orange, yellow and green wallpaper. And the Very Blue paint I slapped on when I moved in. (I didn’t know about primers and three coats of white paint hadn’t dimmed that orange at all.)

This short "wall" closed in the end of the dropped ceiling.

Oh, and over here is the back of the short wall, hanging from the ceiling, that closed off the open side of the dropped ceiling.

Now, tearing this down in October wasn’t the smartest of moves! I spend my holiday weekends working/playing at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. And workshops started on Halloween this year.

But I just couldn’t stand that yellowing plastic overhead any longer. So I Googled and Youtubed and took a closer look. And I pulled it all down. And I met my first ratcheted screwdriver (the screws were hexes and my little cordless screwdriver didn’t have the right attachment.)

So – I’ll do my Christmas cookery in this very odd-looking space. And I’ll look at lots of websites for ideas (well – of course – I’ve been doing that!) And I’ll make lists. And convince my sister she’d love to come play with me – and power tools<g>

And in January I’ll start to turn this odd little kitchen into a pretty cottage kitchen for my Make-Believe Cottage.

Welcome to Make-Believe Cottage!

My cottage is make-believe on two levels. First – I don’t live in a cottage. I don’t live in a bungalow, farmhouse or cabin. I live in a circa-1969 mobile home in a mobile home park. Second – I love fairytales, history and magic. In other words, I still play at make-believe.

I’ve lived here for mumble-mumble years, but last week I decided NOW was the time to make some major changes and create the home I want. And not just a place to keep all my books and my computers… And if you’re doing renovation and redecoration, you have to blog it, right?

As FlyLady says, You Can’t Organize Clutter. And have I got clutter! Books and crafting stuff and… stuff. But I’ve started using the KonMari method (yes, more name-dropping<g>) and I see the clear light at the end of the emptied tunnel. Which means I can start thinking, planning and scheduling changes!

My goal is a cottage that might belong to a wizard, a place where she can work, play and entertain. Comfortable, pretty, with a pair of small dragons curled up beneath a side table that holds three candles and a small pumpkin-and-fall-leaves arrangement. Mostly cottage style plus vintage, bohemian and romantic country. With gryphons.