After seeing this...
I knew that I had to leave this wall open. Now there's a view from the living room, through kitchen and dining room all the way into the den. I had to sacrifice a small narrow pantry, of sorts, but I decided it was worth it to have this open airiness. I'm all about light!
I'm still currently planning to leave the original brick chimney as a kind of "conversation piece". I think it would be a shame to destroy it, since it's original to the cottage.
You can see the original heart pine ceiling beams. They're so strong that they're able to support a bearing wall without any additional supports. I was planning to have a decorative column, but it wasn't necessary.
There is, at the moment, a hole in the floor! My contractor is going to replace it with new floor boards stained to match the original heart pine floors.
This is the guest bedroom, where the old sliders have been replaced with a new set of french doors.
Master bedroom and guest bedroom both open onto the patio and pool area.
Thanks for looking!