I shared a few before and after photos of the little guest cottage that sits on our property when I did a post about myself and why I began blogging. If you‘re interested in reading that post (it is pretty amusing) you can link back right HERE!
Today I’m just focusing on the cottage remodel. What it looked like before, a few of the snags we ran into during and the end result. Note: When I say end result I don’t ever really mean it because every time I walk into our cottage I see more things I’d like to do, especially since I‘ve become hooked on blogging and found so many of you great bloggers who’ve inspired me with a plethora of new ideas!
So I’ll start off by saying,
Come on in!!!
I want to begin with a couple of “afters” because the “befores” are so amazingly ugly that I’m afraid I’ll lose you along the way!
Here she is, our sweet little guest cottage.
This cottage was built in the 1940’s as a fishing cabin and has had two additions (by previous owners) over the years, bringing her to a grand size of approximately 400 square feet!
This first “before” is actually not so bad because new white cabinets were added not too long before we bought the place. We were able to reuse the cabinets, but first we had to take them down and remove the funky square wood pieces that were secured in place with about a gazillion hard-to-remove nails. You’ll get a better view of that later. They made the whole place incredibly dark inside. Ugh!
The ceiling over the original portion of the cottage is beadboard, which I love, so we were able to keep that as well and lighten it up with paint.
So, here it is with the cabinets taken down and the square panels removed. I sort of liked the horizontal beadboard on the walls and would have tried to paint over it but it was installed so haphazardly (by another DIY-er) that it wasn’t really an option.
When we started getting inside the walls we found two things: Carpenter ants (out came the exterminator that very day!) and some really scary wiring. There were even areas with burn marks on the insulation. My husband, Dr. Professor, began reading electrician’s manuals trying to figure out how to rewire it himself. Thankfully we have friends that care about us enough that they led us to a good electrician who was nice enough to allow my hubby to work side-by-side with him, so he could learn all about it (learning new things is my hubby’s hobby).
The ceilings in the first and second additions to the cottage were done with acoustical tiles. I would’ve loved to have added beadboard here but it wasn’t within our budget (especially after the electrician’s fees). A fresh coat of paint over the stained yellow tiles is already making a big difference in the picture below.
Here we have the living room area where you can better see the wood squares. If you look over to the far left you can see where I actually took some blue paint to see how it would look if I just painted over them. It was a no-go! They were so warped and buckled that it would’ve looked just horrible.
So off they came revealing more poorly done paneling which we ended up covering with beadboard panels.
Here is a view of the bathroom before. The walls were sponge painted over paneling by the previous owner. In this picture I’ve begun filling gaps between the panels with wood putty, and texturing the upper half of the walls for painting. The bottom half will have beadboard panels.
We were able to salvage the newer cabinet below, just replacing the top and the faucet.
Another close-up of the square panels, taken in the tiny bedroom, in hopes that you’ll get the full effect. Just looking at it I can begin to smell the fragrance of burn coming from behind the walls! Can’t you?
New insulation going in. I really enjoyed that part of the job as things began to look cleaner!
This was a funny little nothing area off the bedroom. We decided to turn it into a closet/dressing area.
So, enough of the “befores”. I’m excited to show you how we were able to turn this OLD cottage into something NEW and I’m kinda proud to tell you that most of the hours put into it were MY hours. Hubby worked on it when he wasn’t working his real job and we had a few things done by a good friend and handyman. This was the first big DIY project I’ve ever done and it was extremely rewarding/hard/fun/exasperating.
Below is tiny peak at the kitchen with new hardware on the cabinets, new black laminate countertops and a faux tin tile backsplash.
We put up sheetrock in the kitchen and I painted it a cheery yellow (hubby’s idea). The ceiling and trim are painted in a soft gray color.
The not-so-old oven was still in good condition and ties in with the white cabinets, so we avoided spending money there, but the old black refrigerator (a cast-off from our main house) was gigantic. We replaced it with an apartment sized stainless steel fridge (on sale!).
The beam between the original cottage and the first addition was covered in, what else, but funky square panels. We covered it with some beautiful rough boards and left the color natural . . .
. . . to tie in with the new laminate flooring.
Here are a couple views of the living room with the beadboard panels we installed.
You can see the contrast more clearly here between the white walls and the gray trim and ceiling. I saw this color combination used in a coastal magazine and fell in love with it.
Next is the completed bathroom. It still has the big hot water heater in the corner but I‘ve attempted to hide it with some old shutters. The limestone counter top and faucet are new.
Almost everything that we bought new I found on sale. I love these mirrors that tilt so I was really happy when I came across this great buy.
Below is the tiny bedroom. I found an iron trundle bed on Craigslist so that this room can be used as a sitting area during the day and, when you pop up the trundle, a queen-sized bed by night.
There is a peek-a-boo view of the lake and Mount Rainier (on a rare clear day) from this room. Two windows make it nice and bright.
Here is the closet/dressing area which I’ve put some storage pieces in for clothes. It can be closed off to hide any messiness.
I’m going to zoom in a bit now to share some details with you. First off, every piece of furniture in the cottage was purchased used. This was a pine armoire I found on Craigslist. I painted it white with gray trim, added wood appliques and crystal knobs. It has an area to hang clothes in the top and drawers in the bottom.
I repainted some antique chairs and recovered the seats with new fabric.
All the rattan furniture is also from Craigslist. It was in really good condition so I left it natural for now and just recovered the cushions with Sunbrella fabric. I love how stain resistant this fabric is.
Before, the cottage had a big, dirty, ugly gas heater. I love this cast iron Lopi stove. It is both pretty and it heats the whole cottage.
I found this old iron bed that someone had made into a bench and made some bright pillows from beach towel fabric to use in the bedroom.
Hung above the bench is a painting that my mother-in-law did when she was just a teenager. She is 94 now! She told me I could repaint the frame. Are you kidding? I love it!
Oh no! I lied. This was one piece of furniture that I bought new at Idea. I painted it turquoise and added a bar towel to the end.
I simply couldn’t resist buying these fun shell hangers.
We used outdoor light fixtures from Hampton Bay on the inside of the cottage,
and similar light fixtures on the outside, except in black. Are you ready to see the outside sitting porch?
It’s a covered porch and it wraps around two sides of the cottage.
This is a really old dining set (above) that I spray painted. The seats I recovered with some of the same fabric I used on the interior furniture. I found the fun retro glider at Lowe’s (so inexpensive!) and I spray painted an old metal table that my daughter left behind when she fled the nest.
In the summer I hang these gauzy fabric panels around the porch. They can be closed for privacy while one takes a little nap.
This is the view of the lake looking between our main house and the neighbors trees.
It is such a peaceful place to just sit and relax.
The DIY work we did on our cottage isn’t perfect. It definitely has it’s rough spots (I call it quaintness), but we love having a guest cottage where our family and friends can stay when they come to town. We also rent it out on a short-term basis only. We’ve had military people stay while awaiting base housing, medical professionals doing rotations at local hospitals and clinics, ministry people who just need a place to get away. Occasionally I slip up there myself just to look around and enjoy the lakeside cottage ambiance. I love the feel so much that I’m beginning to pull together a few coastal touches for my own home that I’ll have on display for the summer season.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour of Patti’s Lake Cottage. That is what I’m calling it for now until I come up with a name that feels just right. Ideas anyone?
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