Cottage Recap: Living/Dining

For the first Cottage Recap we looked back at the exterior transformation. Now it’s time to move inside to the living/dining area.  One open space that will get the most use by far…including as a guest room.  I’m happy to report, according to our FIRST overnight guests, the pull-out couch is actually comfortable!

MARCH 2016: There were some charming rustic features but we ended up taking everything out so we could start with a blank slate

We salvaged/recycled as much as possible, down to the studs

We were able to raise the ceiling and play with the footprint

New insulation, drywall, sub-floor & wood planks…so many wood planks

This is when things started to get really exciting…painting & flooring

And then my favorite part…decorating and “moving in”

SUMMER 2018: Completed living/dining space = LOVE

The finishing touch was “Mark’s chair.” A recliner that was heavily debated and required a good amount of searching.  Thankfully, we found one we could agree on.

Now we can relax & enjoy!

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Cottage Recap: Exterior

If you’ve been following along (which we appreciate!) with the progress of our Cottage remodel/renovation, you may have already seen some of the reveals along the way.  However, I wanted to take some time over the next few posts to reflect back on the entire transformation, starting with the exterior…

where it all began, a cute little cottage ready for some TLC

the roof stayed, the rest went down to the studs

new siding, windows, etc…ready for a new deck

where we are today…SO IN LOVE

exterior final

For anyone that might be wondering, the front door paint color is Jitterbug and the deck stain is Canyon Brown 🙂

I’ll be back soon to continue with the interior.

Unitl next time,

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My Story

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment my interest in interior design & decor sparked; but I do know it started at an early age…

In elementary school I remember walking through a house for sale with my parents and our realtor.  To this day I can vividly remember one of the bathrooms had large, dramatic black & white tile and a clawfoot tub.  I was disappointed when we didn’t buy that house because of that bathroom alone.  I also remember finding a vintage chair at a garage sale that I fell in love with but the fabric was terrible.  What 4th grader falls in love with a chair?  We had it re-upholstered and it was perfect. It was at that point I first learned the importance of looking for the potential.

A few years later, when I was in middle school, we started building our house.  Mom & Dad asked for our input when it came to our bedrooms.  The one thing I wanted was hardwood floors.  They indulged me and it was the only room in the house that wasn’t carpet. Again, what 6th grader cares about their bedroom flooring choice?

Throughout high school I watched Trading Spaces almost obsessively, and liked having a bedroom that was put together. Don’t get me wrong, I still had the messy teenager room at times, but probably mild compared to many of my peers.

I went into the Interior Design program at GRCC after highschool and a few years later went through the C.I.D International coursework to become a Certified Interior Decorator.  There was a lot of valuable information in these programs.  However, I have learned the most from personal experiences over the last decade or so. Experiences like: moving into different rentals where you have to be creative in making a space your own, decorating with virtually no budget, Mark and I going through first renovation together, and a complete remodel of our Cottage which has been our biggest undertaking to date.  Not to mention our current house will always be a work in progress, even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

I have never been a decorator or designer by profession.  Most of my projects have been personal or for family and friends.  I enjoy being the “go-to” person for people I know when it comes to consulting on paint colors or picking out fabrics or wall decor.  Over the years we have been together, Mark’s interest has also grown and he has developed very good taste (I’ll take partial credit for that).  It might still be a hobby at this point, but that could change in the future.  Whatever the case may be, I’d say this passion of mine isn’t going anywhere after 25 (ish) years and I enjoy sharing it with you.

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What’s your story? I’d love to hear it.

 

 

 

 

Cottage: Bath Reveal

Between being on vacation and trying to get caught up after being on vacation…I have slacked on my updates, but I am here today to remedy that.

We were able to use our shower for the first time!  To refresh your memory, we had some unexpected issues that had to be addressed before our plumbing could fully function.  Now all is WELL.  See what I did there? 🙂  Moving on…

Here we are once again, looking back at how far our little cottage has come:

before

after

another closer look 

Given the small size of the cottage, we ended up pleasantly surprised at the amount of space we were able to get in the bathroom.  I kept the blue/grey/natural color palette that goes through the rest of the cottage with the addition of few orange accents.

One of my favorite features of the bathroom are the cabinet knobs (pictured above) that are a near perfect match to the colors/pattern of the shower curtain.  I purchased the shower curtain about 2 1/2 years ago on clearance at BB&B.  I found the knobs on Amazon about 2 months ago.  This may seem like no big deal to you, but details like this make me giddy.  Different brands, stores, etc….and yet they look like they belong together.  Coincidence or meant to be?

Have a great weekend!

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Cottage: Well…shoot (UPDATE)

WellThis photo may not be pretty but it is very exciting for us…

If you remember from this post we received the unfortunate news in March that the well for our cottage needed to be replaced.   After the permits were squared away we were added to the list of a local well drilling service.  We have been waiting ever since for the weather to cooperate long enough for a solid date.  As a temporary solution when we were up to visit, Dad rigged a hose system from their house to the cottage so we could at least use the toilet and faucets (not enough pressure to shower). Don’t worry , we showered at Mom & Dad’s.

Yesterday afternoon they started drilling. Once complete our cottage will be fully functional…just typing that makes me smile.

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Cottage: Kitchen Reveal

Why does it always feel like long/holiday weekends seem to go too fast and the “short” work week after seems to drag on? Surely I’m not the only one who feels this way…

Anyway, over Memorial Day weekend we were back in Michigan enjoying time with family and in our little cottage.  Since it was a relatively short trip, the only work we did was hang a few things on the walls and clean/organize.  Most of the previous progress pics of the kitchen have highlighted the butcher block or shelves , so I figured it was time for a full reveal…

THEN

 

NOW

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The kitchen isn’g quite 100% complete yet, but it is getting close (note the tape and stickers still on the oven). There are a few minor items including hardware, we have yet to pick out, that we will take care of when we are back in July.

Before I end, let me take a quick moment to zoom in on this adorable wine rack we found at a flea market.  We are now officially stocked and ready for an evening glass of wine on the deck this summer…priorities right?

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Cottage: Shelves

Earlier this week I mentioned I’d be back with another Cottage update so here it is!

From the day we decided to purchase the cottage, I started collecting things to decorate.  I’m sure this doesn’t come as a surprise. Early on I had my heart set on open shelves in the kitchen to display some of the items I had found, and planned to find.

We kept the design of the shelves simple, a blank slate

I compiled an assortment of old and new items, which is what I’m always drawn to when it comes to decor.  I wanted the shelves to be appealing to the eye but also functional.

Once I started styling I had to move things around “several” times to get it “just right”

“fruition: the state of having successfully completed an activity or plan”

-Cambridge Dictionary

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One more thing checked off the list.  Have a wonderful weekend!

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Cottage: Living Area

As promised, I have a progress update to share with you! Despite our bad news about the well last week we thoroughly enjoyed a long overdue visit to our cottage and time with family.  We had time to discuss a game plan to take care of the well, checked a few small items off the to-do list, also cleaned and organized the living area….

To jog your memory…this is where we started

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then it got “worse” before we could make it better

And now…

A couple of my favorite features not shown in the views above

As you can probably tell…we both love the color blue

My uncle found the oars for us and with a couple of cans of spray paint we were able to add  some pops of color on our wood wall.  The mirrors came from Hobby Lobby (1/2 off!) and those are heavy-duty Command Hooks.  It is a small space so we want to keep the decor simple but to add interest we focused on using different shades of blue, patterns & textures.

There are still some finishing touches, but for the most part that space is DONE and it feels so good. We are still on the hunt for the “perfect” recliner for Mark to add to the space, it will have to be just right as far as size & scale…I know it is out there somewhere.

I have more to share later this week so make sure to check back!

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Cottage: Well…shoot

Earlier this week I mentioned I wouldn’t be posting again until next week (which I didn’t plan on)…but since then we received some less than ideal news…we will have to put in a new well at our cottage.  There have been some issues with the running water over the last few months that got progressively worse. We were hoping for the best, that it would be an easy fix, but alas that’s not the case.  There are some potential temporary workarounds that will buy us a little time until we get it figured out.

I’m sharing this because unexpected expenses and setbacks are part of the game when it comes to remodels & renovations, and they can happen at any point.  As discouraging as it can be, you have to learn to roll with the punches…not something that comes naturally to but I’m working on it.

This doesn’t take away from our excitement, or our satisfaction in the amazing progress that has been made.  We’ll be heading North early tomorrow morning and will be able to discuss a game plan over the weekend.   Onward!

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Cottage: We Miss You

Quick post today…It has been nearly 3 months since we’ve been back to our little cottage (insert sad face here) We miss it, along with everything that comes with it…seeing family & friends in MI, the progress, the relaxation that comes with being near the lake.  BUT…we’ll be heading back at the end of this week for short weekend trip.  If you remember from this post we reached the milestone of sleeping there for the first time and haven’t been back since.

We hope to make some progress on our punch list while we are there, along with decorating and organizing.  Our main goal this trip will be to get the cottage ready to use and enjoy for the summer.  I honestly can’t convey how exciting it is to be at this point.

Since we’ll be traveling, this will be my only post for this week.  I promise I’ll catch you up on our progress when we get back.

In the meantime, you can check out my IG (@by.the.poole) for some sneak peeks over the weekend. Also, you can catch up on our progress under “the cottage” menu tab.

I wish you all a Happy Easter!

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