1960s Modern Ranch / home / interior design / makeover

Our Kitchen….. “New Country Collected”


Country Collected Kitchen

New Country Collected?????  I’ll be honest, and I’m sure most of you feel the same, but hearing “COUNTRY” to describe home decor makes me want to crawl under my modern shaped coffee table and pretend like I didn’t hear that word.  Yet here I am with that word in the title of my new kitchen’s  name.  And it didn’t happen by accident…..

Two important details to note:

  1.  We live in Texas.  Yes, Austin, is the misfit city in Texas, but we’re still in Texas.  There is naturally A LOT of country in this state (not so much in Houston, Dallas & Austin, but outside of the bigger cities, country is a thing as it should be).
  2. We bought a ranch style home.

Double wammy there….. And after thinking about those two details for quite some time, I decided that the kitchen/main living area needed to feel true to Texas and the house’s ranch style.  Thus why I’m calling my kitchen “new country” even though that’s not a thing.

To keep this post from exceeding 3,000 words, I’ll direct you back to the first two posts I shared on the kitchen.  I really can’t remember what I had to say in the first post, but I do remember that the second post is beefed full of so much info on this kitchen.

The Future of Our Kitchen

So Much Info on the Kitchen

Can we please eat up these before shots?  This first shot is my favorite because it shows the whole picture (also makes for a dramatic before/after).

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

Nothing wrong here functionally, and really, aesthetically, it could have been much worse….

Kitchen Before

I shared way back when that this was our first home to purchase.  We met with Jeff the day before we closed and scheduled the demo of this kitchen and floors to start five days after we closed.

I reached out to the lovely people at Lowe’s on a whim and asked if they would be interested in partnering with us on a kitchen remodel.  I sent over my design, thinking there was no way a company like Lowe’s would trust me to showcase their product on the level they expect.  To my surprise, I heard back from them and they really liked the material selection and overall “unique” look I was hoping to achieve.  Lowe’s said they were looking  to show people how to use budget friendly materials in a way that looks totally unique and custom.  (Music to my ears right there…..) A new partnership was formed and we started chatting about how to achieve my vision for around $15,000.

So first, that wall had to go.  Why someone would abruptly cut off that beautiful ceiling beats me, but the first step was removing that wall and finishing off that ceiling vault.


As for floor plan, we walled back up the dining room.  The photo below is taken from the dining room, and we walled back up along that line where the posts used to be.  You can see the original kitchen jutted out into the dining room, and we kept that wall line on the dining room side.  Right now it’s just an empty closet with no doors.  We’ll eventually turn it into a bar closet.


kitchen floorplan

Next up was drywalling the dining back up.



Next came flooring (which I yapped about here).



After the room was a room again, we started the fun part: installing cabinets, painting cabinets, countertop installation, appliances, tile, lighting & everything else.






That saltillo tile gave me a tad bit of anxiety (documented here), but man, I’m so happy I did it.  It’s incredible in person if I do say so myself.

The saltillo tile came in 12″ squares and we (we = Jeff’s professional tile crew) cut it down to 4″ squares.  That tile is SO SO SOFT.  No way were we touching it especially after the bathroom tile experience.  I decided as they were cutting the tile that I didn’t want to grout……..  The installers thought I was mad crazy, but I think it lessened their work load which they appreciated because they didn’t know they were cutting down the tiles until that morning.  Sometimes I forget to mention important things to people.


Okay, that’s the evolution of the kitchen summed up in photos.  Kayla photographed this kitchen beautifully and I’m so excited to share….

Kitchen Before

And here we are:

Country Collected Kitchen

My brain is exploding here.  I have so much to say but can’t type fast enough.


Country Collected Kitchen

It feels fresh yet collected, which is just what I hoped to achieve.  This kitchen is the only “color” this house is getting, so I wanted to make it classic color.  Classic color as in natural color…. The saltillo tile photographed brighter than it is in person (just slightly).  It feels good in person.

Country Collected Kitchen

I had those shelves custom made, and Justin exceeded my expectations.  I sent him a photo of what I wanted as well as dimensions and he went to town.  He calls them “rustic” although I refuse to use that word.  I just don’t picture things I like when I hear “rustic”.  He refers to them as that because of the natural patina he was able to apply.  Is there anything better than the phrase “natural patina”????????

Country Collected Kitchen The kitchen cabinets were a breeze to paint.  Because we went with unfinished cabinets, they were sanded and ready to go.  Parker used a mini foam roller (about 6″ wide) to avoid brush marks and they really look professionally painted.  He applied one coat of primer and a couple coats of the paint.


Country Collected Kitchen

I hear you can never have too many cutting boards….

Country Collected Kitchen

If this house were on fire, that giraffe would be one of the top 10 things I would grab.  He belongs to my Grandmother (I’m terrible and kidnapped him from her).  That giraffe lived on  my grandmother’s entry table for YEARS.  Before I was born.  Last year I borrowed him for my parents’ living room (knowing he would end up at my house).  I showed my grandmother a photo of that giraffe now living on top of our kitchen counter, and she LOVED it.

Country Collected Kitchen

I talked about the countertops here, but basically I wanted something very simple. I love the look of soapstone and thought the black Duralosa material on the back cabinets looked similar to it.  We went with a white-ish color on the island to brighten it up.  Glad we did that.  This material is literally indestructible.  I’m 99% sure you can light a flame on it.  They’ve been great and visually do just what they need to do.

Country Collected Kitchen

And one more view looking out from the living room.  I spend 80% of my time in that end chair at the island.  I truly couldn’t be happier with how the kitchen turned out.  It feels very “us”…..which I’m sure will be ever-changing, but now it feels warm, cozy & fresh.  Parker loves to cook and tears up that kitchen every night for dinner.  The appliances have been a dream.  Sometimes I just stare at that fridge.  The whole process has been a dream really, so thank you to Lowe’s for making it happen. I’m incredibly grateful.

Country Collected Kitchen

Really excited to hear what you all think!

*Photographed by Kayla Snell



*Indicates product donated by Lowes


(1) Project Source 36″ Sink Base Cabinet – $100

*(2) Project Source 36″ Base Cabinet – $266

*(3) Project Source 24″ Cabinet Base – $270

*(1) Project Corner Base Cabinet – $179

*(1) Project Source Over the Fridge Upper Cabinet – $63

*(1) Diamond NOW Pantry Cabinet – $277

*Olympic Cabinet Paint (3 gallons) – $84


*Duralosa Avena (Island) Countertop (28 sq ft @ $64/sq ft for material & installation) – $1,792

*Duralosa Pizarra  Countertop (37 sq ft @ $83 sq ft for material & installation) – $3,071

*GBI Saltillo Tile (150 sq ft @ 1.50 sq ft) – $225

Saltillo Tile Installation – $1,000


*Premier Copper Antique Single Basin Sink – $1000

*Elements of Design Oil Rubbed Bronze Faucet – $241


*Kichler 16″ Natural Brass Pendants (2) – $516

*Allen + Roth 2-Light Bronze Sconces (2) – $120


*(6)Hickory Hardware Iron Pulls – $48

*(17)  Hickory Hardware Round Iron Knobs – $79


*(4) Winsome Wood Natural Barstools – $300

Styling accessories (all vintage and/or pre-owned) – $300

Metal/Wood Shelves (custom made) – $725


*KitchenAid Counter Depth Refrigerator – $2970

*Kitchen Aid Built-In Dishwasher – $650

*KitchenAid 5 Burner 30″ Range – $2610

*Broan Convertible Wall Mounted Range Hood – $480

TOTAL – $17,366

What do you all think about that number?  Yes, its A LOT of money, but for a brand new kitchen, what are your thoughts?  Obviously it’s not a custom kitchen (that would triple the price at least) BUT not everyone needs that.  I’d consider this kitchen a “ready made kitchen with custom touches” (shelves, fridge panel, tile job)……


Country Collected Kitchen

*This kitchen was a partnership with Lowes, as they provided all materials.  Thank you for supporting such an amazing brand.


Our Favorite Spot (Outdoor Patio Reveal!)
Natural, Collected Living Room

49 comments on “Our Kitchen….. “New Country Collected””

  1. Well done Claire!!! I love love love how you guys took ready made materials and made this kitchen look custom! You alsohave some impressive collections!

  2. Soooooo I’ve basically died and gone to kitchen heaven!! ITS PERFECT Claire!! Seriously perfect! I loooove every detail. The amazing tera cotta looking tile, the green cabinets, the hardware, the cooper sink, the GIRAFFE!!!! Seriously this space belongs in House Beautiful! Congratulations on achieving a wonderfully unique and beyond gorgeous space friend. Also I can’t even pretend to get enough of that burlwood piece either. Just all the things babe!!

  3. I love it. In particular I like how you were able to prove you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful uniqueness space. Very well done. Thanks for giving the pricing breakdown as well.

  4. OMG!! It’s truly fabulous! The tile turned out so great, it’s so warm and welcoming. What an inspiration you are. It’s so encouraging to see an absolutely beautiful kitchen designed in an affordable way. Your kitchen turned out to be so lovely. Way to go, and hope you both enjoy it for years to come!
    (And the giraffe…sooo fun!)

  5. Oh, this is exactly what I would want a country house in Texas to look like! Great job, love the tile, the countertop, and the paint job on the cabinets looks great. Really stunning before/after!

  6. Just beautiful! ALL OF IT!!!! I believe the giraffe has found its’ new home…guardian of your gorgeous new kitchen!!

  7. This is so fun!! I love your posts and your honesty through them all!! You are truly talented and have such a fun but tailored aesthetic!! I randomly found you through instagram, I believe, and am so glad I did! I’m an Austinite living in New York, so when we finally make our way back south I’ll be contacting you!!!

  8. Your open shelving really pulls the room together. I would call it a bistros look except that it’s more eclectic than that. What a wonderful custom and unique look! Great job!

  9. Wow. This kitchen is beyond. Insanely good. So unique you killed it! EXCEPT… those bar stools. Pleeeeasseeee change them?? Immediately? They are what I rememeber in every house while growing up in the early 90’s. It’s like you kept them from the pre reno or something. Everything else though, 1,000 times yes.

    1. HAHAHA I’m laughing out loud right now. But I totally get it. The barstools remind me of every house from the 90s growing up too. But for some reason that’s why I was drawn to them (???!)… good nostalgia?! I actually do have thoughts of doing something upholstered but that’s so far down the list…….. 🙂 So glad you like the kitchen even if the barstools are repulsive though! (i really enjoy this kind of feedback, so again, thanks for your honesty!) xx

  10. No surprise that it looks absolutely AMAZING!!!!! I feel so happy for you that Lowe’s chose to sponsor your project. You deserve it. You are so talented and have a unique flair you add to every project you do. I always find myself smiling while reading your posts. So happy for you!

  11. Woah. You knocked it out of the park, again. It’s so unique and perfectly collected. I think all the chopping boards might actually be my favourite part, but I feel like that’s a disservice to the rest, and I love the rest too!

  12. CLAIRE I LOVE IT! It’s beautiful and feels just right. I love the tiles in the kitchen and all the accents feel right. Lovely work my friend!

  13. Wow! I am in love with that tiled wall. The whole space looks so warm and inviting. The gallery wall of cutting boards is awesome!

  14. Amazing job! I think it’s challenging to create a functional kitchen that looks so well integrated with the open living area but you nailed it! I didn’t realize you were going to use the saltillo over the range hood and that looks marvelous. Did you have to use something to seal the saltillo behind the range? Those open shelves are beautiful. It looks like the legs that support rest on the countertop. Do you ever feel they are in the way when cooking or cleaning up? Finally, any chance we can get an “after” to match up with that first “before” photo? Or are you waiting on that for the dining room to be more finished. I’ll be very interested in seeing what you do with that space, too. You must be thrilled with how things are coming together!

    1. Thank you Shelia! I really appreciate the kind words here!

      Saltillo tile – okay we haven’t sealed it but only because we’ve been lazy. The saltillo is SO SOFT and literally water makes a stain. When we cook on the range we usually put cutting boards/towels behind it to protect it. So yes, we will need to seal it but just haven’t yet! I’m 95% sure it will darken the color of the saltillo which I’m not really excited about but it has to be done to be functional LOL.

      Shelves – So yeah, I do think the legs on the shelves get in the way a bit…. I’ve noticed we always do meal prep on the island since there’s plenty of space there, but I think it’s because the legs make the countertop feel a bit crowded. However, I liked the look of the legs, so form won over function there. 🙂

      And YES on that last before/after shot! I really want that shot too! That before shot was from the real estate listing and they must have had a really wide lens. My lens wont go that wide, but I’m going to rent one to get that shot!!!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! Really appreciate it! xx

  15. Wow! I love that it is not cookie cutter – it’s so unique… and gorgeous!
    I have a question about the thinness of the counters, which are beautiful. It doesn’t look like there are any supports where it overhangs for the bar. The material is stronger enough without brackets?

    1. Thanks Sharon!! So if the overhang is under 12″ then you typically don’t need brackets/extra support. This overhang is right at 12″ so we didn’t go with anything. I actually wanted something just for the look though. Might be something we go back and add! And on the thinness on the counters – we didn’t have an option when it came to the thinness, which was a bummer. I would have liked it to be thicker! I think a thicker countertop just looks more luxe….

      Thanks again for leaving a comment!

  16. I love that you went so bold and unique without spending a lot of money. My taste tends to lean more modern but I love quirk and while white on white on white kitchens are pretty too, my soul craves colour. You mentioned you didn’t use grout (I didn’t even know that was possible), did you seal the tiles with something else? How did you finish them. I hate the look of grout lines, especially the wides ones in my kitchen, and now the possibility of no grout is making my head spin with ideas!

    1. Thanks Reehana!! I love hearing when other people crave color too :).

      I didn’t want to grout purely for the look. I just thought it would look cleaner and more intentional without the grout. I honestly don’t even know if that’s a “thing” but I asked the tile installer if the adhesive on the back of the tile was enough support to keep the tile on the wall. He assured me that grout wasn’t necessary to hold up the tile but was a little confused why I didn’t want it, LOL. We havent sealed it yet, but we will seal it with a matte sealant! Saltillo tile is SO soft and porous, so anything will stain (water included). Hope this helps!!

  17. That tile is perfect. The entire kitchen is perfect. Amazing. Gorgeous. Unique but classic ( can that be? idk but you did it!) The green is fabulous. I’m sure I will pour over the details 10 more times in the next few days… I’ve been in working in Honduras for 8 days and was so happy to come back and see a kitchen post!!!! I don’t know what else to say except that I’m impressed with what you managed to pack into the space and it look just perfect without being crowded or themed. Well done!

  18. Wow, Claire, it’s so gorgeous! I think $17k sounds on the lower end of what many people would expect to spend for a full kitchen reno, but this looks SO high end. You definitely made wise choices and got the biggest bang for your buck. Tell Parker great job on the cabinets–I know how tedious that painting can be, but they look amazing. I’m hoping to do my own kitchen reno at some point and was leaning toward an Ikea kitchen, but after seeing how great these cabinets look, I’ll definitely check out Lowe’s!

    1. Brittany, Thank you!! And I agree on 17K being on the low end of what most people expect for a top to bottom kitchen reno. Although that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still A LOT of money!! I was really interested to hear what others thought about 17K though, so thanks for sharing. And good luck on your kitchen!!! I bet it will be beautiful!

  19. Amazing Clare! I’m so glad you referred us back to your original post about your kitchen so I could be directed to the Duralosa page. I’m so intrigued by this product. I love my caesar stone counter tops, but they can stain….not as easily as marble, but still. Love learning about new products, and this was new to me!

  20. I am so beyond obsessed with this kitchen (and the living room- that dresser is INSANE)! Your designs are so unique, avant-garde and yet approachable. I love following along with your journey here!


  21. I must be the only odd-ball who doesn’t care for this at all. The colors and especially the zebra remind me of the 90’s safari-style decor. My friend used to have this decor in her home and I hated it then and still hate it now.

    I can’t seem to understand how everyone is “in love” with this design. Different? Definitely. Beautiful? NO WAY!

    1. Hey Teresa! This kitchen definitely isn’t for everyone!! I’m sure there were other people who didn’t like it as well but just didn’t voice it. I think the people that said the kitchen is “beautiful” just meant that they liked it in general. But I do agree, “beautiful” isn’t a word that I would use to describe this kitchen, as it feels very collected and kind of weird (!). It’s also interesting that you mentioned “90s safari style”……. I think I was channeling a bit of the 90s here. (i like the 90s though in a weird way.) But the “safari” part is interesting to hear……. I wasn’t intentionally doing that but looking around, there is zebra print and a giraffe, so yeah, the safari part happened unintentionally!

      Thanks for your honest comment. Of course I hope most people like what I put out there, but it’s also interesting to hear why people don’t!

      1. Hi Claire,

        I just want to clarify. I have been a big fan of your style & decor, but just not your kitchen. You are 100% correct in that it’s not for everyone. I didn’t mean to come off as negative with my comment. I was being 100% honest, and to keep it 100% honest, I LOVE your outdoor area!! 🙂 Your living room and powder room or bathroom you just redid were also 100% FABULOUS!

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