Monday, August 23, 2010


Remember this picture? An awkward little powder room had been ripped out. I was thinking of putting a gas fireplace on this wall.
New plan!
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!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


"Like topsy it grew"

The cottage renovation continues! Progress is slow, but steady. Things seem to be more by happen-chance, than by design. My extremely patient contractor just rolls with it, as I continue to come up with new ideas. 
Not unexpected, in an 80-year-old house, I had to have $8,000 of electrical work. Not fun, but if the house burned down...
I have new tile floors in the bathrooms and laundry room now and new french doors in the guestroom. (Forgot to take pictures---what a bad blogger!)
Plantation shutters have been ordered for the den, along with a Pottery Barn slip covered sofa. (dog-friendly!)
 Here's  picture of the new granite counter tops in the kitchen...
It's called Gold King, and is 3 cm with a double beveled edge and a 4'' back splash.
For years, I've been a fanatic about having a large, single bowl stainless sink,  in any of my kitchens.
 I had small recessed can lights put in the kitchen ceiling, and  found these pendants to hang over the sink. The ceilings are low in this old house (about 7-12 feet!)  Much to my disappointment, that pretty much rules out chandeliers. But, I'm happy with the look of the pendant lights. And, considering that my view, from the kitchen windows, is of the swimming pool and palm trees, I can't complain too much.

Tomorrow, the sea grass is being put down in the den, all three bedrooms and the two hallways. Here it is, but it's hard to tell what it looks like..
We've had it in the beach house for years, and it's another very dog-friendly material. 
(Do you see a theme here?) 
 Hopefully, by this time tomorrow, I'll have even more to show you!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Weekly Words To Live By

Summer Sundays

Dogs are miracles with paws.  
~Attributed to Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy

Some of ya'll who follow my blog regularly may remember that I lost my precious dog a few weeks ago.  I have found, when I've lost dogs in the past, that the quickest way to fill the hole in my heart is to get another one...or two! 
Since my grand-dog. Lola, is a Maltese, I decided to get her a couple of playmates. 
Male and female, but not litter mates, they were born one day apart and are 12 weeks old. 
Names are still pending!

Friday, August 13, 2010



"We choose, and in doing so, we design our lives. Learn to master the moment of decision and you will live a life uncommon." 
--The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion & Purpose by Matthew Kelly


Monday, August 9, 2010


Welcome to Day 2 of my New Cottage post! Talk about a demolition zone! These pictures make it hard to believe that this house will be cute someday. But, as I told you...I have a vision!

Here's what's happened, so far:
>The hurricane shutters have been removed. 
>The large window at the left end of the house has been replaced by 2 new windows, which    
    makes for a more symmetrical appearance and a much brighter den.
>The wall between those windows has been pulled out, insulated and re-sheet rocked.
>The hot water heater has been replaced.
>Many thousands of dollars of electrical updates have been required. Typical for an old house.
>A powder room has been taken down to the studs.
>Old wall-to-wall carpeting has been removed.
>Kitchen counter tops have been removed.
>Vanity has been removed from one bathroom.
>All ceiling fixtures (lighting) have been removed.
>All the trim has been painted.


Every inch of the house is being repainted.

A section of the living room had been walled off to make an odd little powder room. Thanks to my carpenter, Richard, it's gone! He removed the plaster that was covering the original chimney. There must have been a stove here at one time. I'm investigating the possibility of a gas fireplace.

New water heater---not a fun expense, but definitely necessary!

New doors, coming soon...

The den had one large window on the left. It was removed and 2 windows were put in, for a brighter and more symmetrical room. The wall was ripped out, insulated and re-sheet rocked.

2 of the bedrooms, in progress ...

These sliders will be replaced with French doors, and the linoleum is gone, needless to say.

New windows and a French door are going into the dining room.

The oh-so-lovely laundry room and walk in pantry will be painted, have new neutral color stone floor, and a new washer and dryer, of course.

Are you discouraged yet? Luckily, my enthusiasm is still running high!
Tomorrow, I'll show you some pictures of the bathrooms and kitchen.

Sunday, August 8, 2010





For years, I've had a dream of taking a shabby little cottage and transforming it. Well, the time has come, and I'm so excited! I think this project is going to provide me with an endless subject for blog posts.
I've been on the lookout for a cottage in my favorite coastal town, and I had several criteria:
It needed to be walking distance to town.  Check!
This is 1/2 mile to Main Street, with sidewalks the whole way.
It had to be bright, with the potential to be both cheery and cozy. Check!
It needed to have some closets---very rare with these old cottages---and this one did. Check!
It needed to have 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. Check!
It needed to have a swimming pool--- dream on... Wait! Check!!!
It  would, ideally, be close to the water. Check!
1/2 block away from a wooden stairway down to a private beach.
I've died and gone to heaven!

Now, for a little history...
I found this house a year ago and made an offer, which was not accepted. Fast-forward to earlier this summer. Price reduced $30,000.   SOLD!

Now, before I show you any pictures, you have to understand...
For some reason this cottage "spoke" to me the first time I ever saw it. I had a vision of just how cute it could be, with enough work, love and money put into it.

(Blue front door and blue pool for Blue Monday)

The original cottage is believed to be about 80 years old and constructed of clay bricks. It has the original heart pine floors and some original windows. Two "wings" were added on, in a "higgledy-piggledy" fashion, over the years. The result is a somewhat U-shaped house built around the pool. It's just under 2,000 square feet.

I'm not a DIY-er at all. That's the understatement of the year! LOL But, I'm fortunate enough to have access to some amazing gentlemen who seem to be able to do everything that needs to be done. I just supply the ideas and pick out the "fun stuff".

Check back tomorrow for more pictures and updates!



Friday, August 6, 2010


I'm so happy to be posting to this very first week of "Furry First Fridays". Since I have many dogs in my life, this is going to be fun!


Violet was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She was my dear little companion for 11 years. Unfortunately, this breed tends to develop heart problems as they age. Although she was taking a new "miracle drug" and seemed to be fine, I knew that she had begun to develop congestive heart failure.
A couple of weeks ago, she and I were alone at the beach house. At midnight, she walked over to where I was sitting and died at my feet. Although not unexpected, it's still always so heart-breaking to lose our beloved furry friends. I miss her terribly. But, I know she crossed over Rainbow Bridge and is once again a healthy, happy puppy. Rest in peace, sweet girl.


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