The Retreat kitchen | before & after

by | Nov 3, 2015 | All Things Home, Decorating, Room Makeovers | 14 comments

I shared about our photo shoot in this 1799 manor house last week, in case you missed it.  I promised I would share more about the house and I’m fulfilling that now!  There was just way too much to cover in one post without allowing for an intermission or potty/snack break.

Today, I want to share more about the kitchen.  It’s actually one of the most humble spaces in the 6,000 sq ft house and it’s still pretty fabulous!  I think it’s the most “relatable room”, though, since it doesn’t have the amazing woodwork that you see in the rest of the house.  It feels a lot more like a butler’s pantry in the house and I liked how it gave the vibe of a pair of jeans, balancing out the pearls and designer shoes in the rest of the space.

Here is how it started.  It was in a pretty sad state when Suzanne bought the property that had been vacant for 30 years.  The appliances weren’t functional, so they were removed and Suzanne started with a clean slate.

She shared on the Lucketts Blog that conventional cabinetry was never really considered.  It just wouldn’t have felt right for this space or the house, so she collected antique pieces – cabinets, hutches and shelving.

The barn wood beams were built to hide the ductwork, which I thought was so clever!  It’s a great design element that turned a potential eye-sore into feature.

The fridge, in the back left corner, was also framed out with barn wood, so it feels like a built-in piece.

The schoolhouse lights are pretty fantastic, aren’t they?  I don’t know the source, but I found these on Etsy that offer the same feel and look like they are quality ($152/each).  You can get the sockets and cords in different finishes as well.


I also like how Suzanne chose to put a comfy armchair in the kitchen.  It makes a lot of sense here, since the kitchen is all by itself in the house.  You really do need a place for someone to sit to keep you company while you’re cooking!

And you know I loved the black and white cow prints by the window.

The window looks out to a patio with the sweetest old chairs.  I didn’t go out there, but I snuck a picture through the wavy window glass.

Right around the corner from the kitchen is the laundry room and a powder room.

The doors off the laundry room were killing me!  I love the frosted glass windows with the transom above.  I just wanted to stuff them in my bag and take them home.

As I shared before, the Retreat is located in Bluemont, VA and is available as a vacation rental on VBRO.

If you love the look of this kitchen, I did a bit of shopping around to find things that were similar to those used in Suzanne’s design…

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Karen

    Sigh, swoon,drool, faint, dead!

  2. Naomi S.

    Oh, my. Charming beyond words. So basic yet so beautiful in its simplicity. I want to live there!

  3. Saskia

    The kitchen feels so welcoming! I could move in without wanting to change a thing. And I just love the comfy chair. I can see myself sitting there with a nice cup of tea or a hot chocolate and a good book. I definitely need an armchair like this in my kitchen.
    You look great in your new cover photo!

  4. Cheryl

    The house and property are lovely, but I really love that kitchen. Ingenious idea with the beams to cover the ductwork. I also love the idea of the collected cabinetry and hutches. So appropriate for this space.

  5. Dorene @ Seasonal Chapters

    What a beautiful kitchen…simple, cozy, full of charm and character. The Retreat looks like it provided the perfect backdrop for your photo shoot.
    And I agree with Saskia…you look great in your new photo.

  6. Sonja

    Hello Marian, I just saw your new photograph on your home page. You look so lovely.

  7. Traer

    Love it!! I actually have a source for school house lightly fixtures if u are ever in the need 😉

  8. Sandy Henderson

    Hello! Could you please share with me your source for your cow paintings? Do you have a source for cow prints that you might like? I have a friend who loves cow pictures. Thought I would see if I could help her with a source. many thanks! Sandy

  9. MaryLisa Noyes

    I love the idea of an armchair in the kitchen space. Fantastic restoration of this great home.

  10. Shirley

    What is there left to say? This place is a beauty.

  11. Alicia

    So nostaligic. Reminded me of a set out of a 1940’s Hollywood movie!

  12. Rhonda

    Hi Marian,
    The rug in the kitchen is beautiful – it looks like it may be jute but the coloring is more soft. It appears more gray/white than warm brown. Do you know where that rug is from?
    Thank you!

  13. Nick

    I love the beams! What species, new or reclaimed wood, and are they solid or box beams?


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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