Dining Room Updates – Adding Cottage to the Cottage

You understand that, right?  Adding cottage?  The outward style of our home is undeniably cottage, but the inside is slowly working to catch up to that description.  We’re trying to be worthy!  :)

In my mind (and I’ve clicked through hundreds of ‘how-to-add-cottage-style-to-your-home’ slide shows – so I have back up on this one), nothing says cottage like bead board.

Backing up a bit…  I got the urge to paint our counter stools (they were black).  How about this green???  It’s Valspar’s Tropical Foliage.

addcottage green

I love how fresh and bright it is.  But when I sat them in front of the counter – against the taupe walls – yuk.  I’ve been wanting to add bead board for a while, and since re-painting was obviously in my future, this seemed like the perfect time.  (I couldn’t even stand how awesome those stools were going to look sitting in front of white bead board!)

If you’ve been following me for a while, you may have heard me mention the bathroom that is ripped apart to the studs.  Kevin claims that I keep side-tracking any progress on the bathroom when I add other projects to his list.  So I asked him to please just do the one wall under the counter for now, I’d be able to take a nice picture, and he could go back to the bathroom.

I’m not sure what happened (and I’m not about to question it!), but he didn’t stop at that one wall.  yay!  And to make things even better, he replaced old outlets along the way.  Are you kidding me?  I have tried to ignore the old outlets since we moved in –  they were so ugly.  I’m not sure what color they started out as, but I’ve actually (and I probably shouldn’t admit this!) painted over them every time I’ve painted the walls.  Is that even legal??

addcottage corner

We were able to re-use the existing chair rail, but we moved it up almost 2 feet.  I always felt like it was too low.  Is there a rule of thumb about chair rail height?  I think the previous owners broke the rule.

addcottage into lr

I painted too, of course.  Always such deliberations involved in paint color choice.  I had at least a dozen swatches of gray on the wall, and almost had myself convinced that gray is just not for me.  Then I decided to just copy Layla from The Lettered Cottage and use Ben Moore’s Gray  Owl.  Seriously – I would copy her entire house if I could.

Layla actually used Gray Owl lightened by 50%, but this didn’t work in our dining room.  It was too light, and it also read a little blue – which I don’t need any more of – especially right beside my blue kitchen cabinets.  Of course I didn’t make this decision until after I finished 2 coats all around the room.  ugh.

The difference in the 50% and the full strength Gray Owl is really subtle.  But there’s no more blue coming through and full strength gives a little more contrast between the wall and the trim (which I love!).   Happy now.  (Except for that corner along the crown molding which needs to be caulked.  geez.)

addcottage gray owl

So here are my newly painted stools in front of the newly bead board-ed walls.

addcottage - stools

Wouldn’t a new butcher block counter top look great sitting above the beadboard?  I predict another bathroom project distraction coming this way… :)

Much love-





  1. I vote for the butcher block counter top!

    Lovely cottage fluffing you’ve done :)

  2. You and hubby did a marvelous job, Brenda! I love everything! I tend to shy away from big bold colors but I am loving those stools! Yes, totally cottage with the beadboard and paint color. I’ve always heard, and it could be wrong, that your chair rail should be 1/2 or 2/3 up the wall. Go for the butcher block counters…I so wanted those when we did our counters and lost the battle! :(


  3. Wow, love your dining room. I just purchased the same style chairs that I want to paint black too. The rest of your house is also amazing, and very much in the same style as mine. I’d love you to drop by. So happy I found your site and will be happily following your blog. x Julie

  4. Christy says:

    I just love your house! Now I want bead board! :)

  5. A little late to the party …but WOW…love it! Love neutral with a pop of color. So easy to change with the mood or season.
    Yep, butcher block would be perfect!

    • Thanks so much Rachel! And believe it or not, I’m already thinking of changing the color of the stools! So glad 2 cans of spray paint doesn’t break the bank!

  6. The bead board looks great as do the stools, but I couldn’t take my eye off the arch in the doorway and the beautiful wreath on the old door.

  7. Donna Kelly says:

    Hi! This is Donna …..the lady that wouldnt stop talking to you at the tour on Sat!!! (with my hubby Bill) I am trying to email you at your address, and it seems like its not working. I had that information for you about that store in Ohio. I was also going to share some pictures of our home with you! You may email me at kelly717578@comcast.net Thanks Brenda! Loved talking to you and Kevin!!!

  8. Dayna Wellborn says:

    Hi Donna,

    I have always loved rock houses, just was wondering about how you found yours and the history of the house. Has it been any problem aas far as insurance or any home improvement projects been more difficult because of it being a rock house?



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