My Cottage Style Fixer Upper

January 20, 2018


When we bought our 1920s fixer upper we had a lot of work to do. Come peek at some of the before and after photos of our charming cottage style beach house.

Cottage Style Fixer Upper

Hello friends! I'm back with some more of everyone's favorites, those delicious before and after photos. 

Earlier this week, I shared pictures of the yard, before the pool and the patio. I also shared what the living room looked like when we moved in, complete with its wall to wall seafoam green carpet.

Today, we're starting in the kitchen. There's really not much to say, except that it was really, really, really small. I knew immediately that the room wasn't going to work. There was no way that a modern family could function in this space and it didn't make sense to gut and redo it, because the square footage just wasn't there. 

It was, however, chock full of charming period elements. The scalloped trim over the sink stole my heart, along with the open shelving and that pull out cutting board, dreamy. 

Unfortunately, there was no way to work them into the new kitchen that we added in the space right behind that window.

Small Vintage Cottage Kitchen

This is what we added there. Well, part of it anyway. There's another dining area next to it. We worked hard to make sure that the addition fit the existing architecture and style of the home. That was our main goal. I am no kind of cook, so form over function drove the design. 

White Modern Cottage Kitchen

And the old kitchen space, that housed an awkward cabinet and rolling dishwasher that hooked up to the sink (um...no) that became my desk area.
Portable Rollaway Dishwasher In Small Kitchen

It's a much more functional space. Lots of writing happens in this area, where I covered my cabinets with fabric to separate it a bit from the rest of the kitchen.

Kitchen Desk Ideas

And the teeny, tiny space that held the fridge ~ the fridge that was as scary on the inside as it looks from the outside ~ was enlarged and is now a coat and shoe closet. Not that anyone puts their shoes in there.

Vintage Kitchen Makeover

I have lovingly referred to it as my sentimental wall of shame, but it's actually received a small makeover since this photo was taken. I'll have to let you in on that one soon. 

Pantry Doors

Let's step into the family room, shall we? Originally, this room was a screened in porch. Then it was framed and made into a dining room, since the house lacked one. Where everyone ate before that, I do not know. 

Family Room Updates

When we moved in, the room had already been stripped of the paneling. It was painted and had a chair rail. We removed that. It cut this already small room in half, visually. We ~ and when I say we, I mean my husband ~ also replaced the old thin ceiling moulding with a chunkier one and added high hats, since I didn't want to have to worry about lamp placement in a tight space. 

However, the biggest change we made here was to that bay windowsill. It was very tall and not appropriate to sit on. My extremely handy husband lowered it to seat height and literally added another couch to the room without actually putting anymore furniture in it.

He's a genius. 

Family Room Construction

This is the room today. Big changes....now I have a cottage style family room that we spend loads of time in, with plenty of seating for everyone. 

Cottage Style Family Room

The last room I have to show you is the master. This was basically the way the room looked when we moved in, except it was painted bright, sunshine yellow and had that same seafoam carpeting. 

Cottage Bedroom

We ripped it out, painted it green and added our own antique furniture, which looked very similar to the original. A perfect fit.

Cottage Style Bedroom

I'll have to see if I have any more before shots laying around, but for now that's all folks! I have to say that the renovation was quite involved. As I mentioned in my earlier post, we replaced and updated many of the systems in the house, so it was more than just paint and decor. It was cooking in the hallway, paper plates and too much take out with little ones, dust, mess and more mess for at least a full year. I shudder just thinking about it.

I told one commenter on Facebook, I still get a little freaked out when we have to do something small, like replace a light switch cover. Or a bulb.

However, when we were looking for houses, my husband did, very wisely, say, "Do not find a house with an updated kitchen and tell me it's not your style and you want to renovate, because it's not happening."

So in a way, I was lucky that this house needed so much work, even if it did almost drive me over the edge, because I ended up with the kitchen of my dreams.

Of course, it proves that old adage true.

Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

And all the sheetrock dust that goes with it.

Have you renovated?



54 comments:

  1. your kitchen and dining area never fail to make me feel happy!
    it was worth all the upheaval and torture of a renovation.
    like goldilocks said ... it's just right!
    and I loved your husband's final words "... it's not happening!" LOL
    yet look what he made happen! he's a keeper.

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    1. Tammy, your comments never fail to make me feel happy!! It was a lot of work, but yes, very worth it all. And I agree, the guy's a keeper. 😊

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  2. I so look forward to your posts. You hAve inspired me to declutter. Thank you!

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    1. Cindy, you have just made my day. Thank you so much...and decluttering...it's a constant battle over here. I think I need a support group! 😉

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  3. We’ve not renovated as in adding new rooms or opening up spaces. The house we bought already had those things done to it. However it was neglected, big time and we had to fix it up, add an hvac system, put new flooring in and reclaim the property from weeds and overgrowth. It took four months before we could move in!

    Now we need to reside the house, repaint rooms, add some trim work, and replace windows. Houses require upkeep. I don’t mind it at all, though.

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    1. Houses do require upkeep, that is so true! It is a labor of love and sounds like you had a lot of labor on your place, too. The decorating in the fun part!

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  4. Wow! This was a big renovation project! I totally remember seafoam green carpet. :) You all did a wonderful job with every part of the makeover. Your kitchen will always be one of my favorites.

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    1. Thanks Lisa! It was a big renovation. I shudder when I think about all the work we did...and with toddlers. I must have been crazy! 😉

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  5. Been there with the renovation nightmare. I could not believe how much dust came from renovating the basement into our family room. I love your post today on the before and After's. Kim you should be so proud you have brought that sweet cottage home into a beautiful cozy and wonderful cottage home. I still love your fireplace the best in your house. That is a real show stopper. I think I would have swooped up this home too between the pool and the fireplace. You took this "hey love me again and make me pretty" home and made it into a really beautiful retreat. It was fun to see all your changes.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Been there done that, I'll say! I think I've seen you do major renovations about three times since I've known you...and they are always, always fabulous!! Thank you so much for the sweet compliments about our renovations. We really did love the house and knew it could be very pretty. I hope I've done it justice... Hugs!

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  6. Enjoying your before/after posts . . .
    I think you achieved and need to receive the prize.
    Your kitchen is so you . . . said by me, and I haven’t had an in person meeting!
    Really though . . . so charming, cottagy, perfect . . .
    Each room, corner, place you touch is wonderful . . .
    I love your rennovated cottage . . .

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    1. A prize? I'll take it! It was a long and exhausting project, but I love what we ended up with. Thank you so much, Lynne!

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  7. Thanks so much for stopping by!! I love what you have done with your home especially the Kitchen!! Looks lovely!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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    1. Thanks so much, Debbie! I have to admit it's my favorite room to decorate and "play" in! 😊

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    1. Thanks Deb...and I am glad that the construction is just a memory!!

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  9. Oh how fun to see your before and afters! I've been there with renovating too & it was a nightmare I don't ever want to relive. Always something unexpected happening...like a new $3000 expense you didn't plan for. Hopefully that's behind us. No plans to renovate anything here. I know what you mean about freaking out if you have to change a bulb. I know you were kidding, but I was thinking this morning, "what in heavens name would I do if I had to change a florescent ceiling bulb?" My goodness...would probably have to hire someone. Well, anyway Kim, your home was and is charming. When you've been through renovation hell, it makes the "now" so much more enjoyable.

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    1. Truer words were never spoken, Florence!! Now is much more enjoyable!! 100%!!

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  10. Hi Kim, oh I love all of your before and after photos. You and your husband did an amazing job transforming your cottage into a beautiful home. I really love the nice job you both did with the kitchen.
    I have been in my home since 1995 and we have done so many renovations over the years!
    I love this series of before and afters and I really look forward to seeing them. :0)
    Julie

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    1. Thanks Julie! It's been fun to peek back. Sometimes I forget what the house looked like before. I'm happy I stumbled on the photos!

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  11. It's obvious you've been very thoughtful about the changes you've made, and it really shows! I adore your kitchen! Renovating is definitely one of those "love/hate" things. We've renovated many times over the years, but kitchens have to be the worst. We've added on to create a new kitchen, completely gutted & changed the footprint of a kitchen, and re-worked and made our existing kitchen much better. YES, it is probably one of the more stressful things we do to ourselves, but we just have to keep our attention on the end result.

    Hope you are staying warm!
    Warm hugs,
    Carol

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    1. It sounds like you've done a lot of renovation, Carol and knowing your handy dandy husband, I bet he did a lot of it himself. The kitchen construction seems to be the worst, so much mess and then you're left without a place to eat!! It's all good now though...of course, it's going to look this way for a good long time. I am done with renovation!

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  12. I love seeing before and after pics. Your home is so pretty and welcoming now.

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    1. Thanks Carol! I like before and afters, too...and when it comes to my own house, afters more than before!

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  13. How fortunate that you have a handy husband to do the work. We (actually I - my husband is not allowed to paint :-) )painted a lot when we moved in. We are planning a full bathroom gut and have hired a good friend who is an excellent contractor. I am scared of the process, to say the least.

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    1. He is super handy, AnnMarie, but was much more motivated all those years ago. Now he still wants to do it himself, but on his timeline, not mine. Ah well...good thing I'm not usually in a rush. Oh, and over here, I'm the one that's not allowed to paint!! I'm a lazy and imperfect crafter and apparently I paint the same way. Ha. Good luck with that bathroom...shudder. Be strong. 😉

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  14. You did a fantastic job! It's incredible all the transformation. You are a good designer. I pinned your kitchen photo. I love it! Indeed it makes a difference to have a handy husband. Have a wonderful week ahead!

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    1. Angela, you are so sweet. Thank you and I am so honored that you pinned my kitchen! And I agree with you, the guy is super handy and it makes a really big difference. I got what I wanted, when I wanted and for a price I could afford. For that I am very grateful.

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  15. Kim, I love seeing the before and afters. You did a fantastic job making your sweet little cottage a wonderful home. I probably said this on your last before and after posts. Those of us who have handy hubbies are really lucky. I know I wouldn't have MOST of the things that I want without one..Happy Week to you..xxoJudy

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    1. You are so right and I am so grateful, Judy! I can't even imagine what it would have cost me to get everything done around here if we had to hire someone. Frankly, we probably wouldn't have been able to afford half of it. Plus, I wouldn't be able to be as picky and change my mind as often with a contractor. I don't think it would've gone over very well!! xo

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  16. Before and after pictures are fun. You did a beautiful job. It is so warm and cozy and the kitchen is lovely.

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    1. Thanks Debra! I loved peeking back, I'm so happy you did, too!!

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  17. So wonderful that with all the renovating that went on, that you did get the kitchen of your dreams, it really is dreamy! I just love the coziness of your kitchen. I can't even imagine how horrible it must have been to have little ones, and teaching at the time, and renovating! So amazing the incredible beauty that you and your husband created though, so it is very fulfilling to look back at the before pictures and to see how much work you did! Great job my friend :)

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    1. It was totally chaotic, Marilyn, but in the end very worth it. Looking back there were a lot of silly stories thrown in there between all the dust, but I am so glad it's behind us now!! Thanks for all your sweet words!

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  18. I love seeing these before and afters, Kim! I know I have an album kicking around somewhere that the previous owners left behind of the house through the years, I just can't imagine where I tucked it - I went to look for it recently in the spot I was certain I had put it and NOPE!! Ahhh it will turn up some day. Yes, renovations.....I lived with renovations for the first 8 months I was here, and then again a year later when the floors downstairs had to be replaced. Same as you, now I hate even the tiniest project going on - I'm still recovering from the nightmare of renovation! Not as bad as my hairdresser who is living though it with newborn twins and a toddler and no kitchen/bedroom!! Sheesh!!

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    1. Oh my gosh, that poor woman! I can't even imagine. You and I both know the craziness that comes along with renovation. Yikes! I do hope you find that album. I would love to peek back at your cottage!! I'm such a voyeur!

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  19. Absolutely WOW!!! What a great post Kim. I have loved your Home Sweet Home forever! This is the first understanding of the work you all did. WOW!

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    1. Thanks so much, Carla!! I am glad I was able to find the pictures. I hadn't really thought about them when I started blogging. The work had been long finished by then. I guess I was blocking it all out!! Ha!!

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  20. The house looks wonderful. How fun to see all of the before pictures. I really like the choices that you made. Very pretty.

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    1. Thanks so much, Lorri! It was a lot of work, but I have to say, it was all worth it.

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  21. Love the after photos! It is always so fun to see before and afters!

    xo Dianne

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    1. Thanks so much, Dianne! It was fun for me to peek back, too! I had almost forgotten the way the place looked before! Thanks for the visit and the comment. I hope you'll come back!

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  22. So fun to see the before and afters. So much work but it all looks beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Kristi. I was a lot of work...but I don't have to tell you that!

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  23. You've done a lot of work, Kim, and it all looks so beautiful. The kitchen is amazing, should be in a magazine, and - would you believe I have that exact same scalloped trim over the sink?
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thank you for your super kind words, Amalia. I do really love the kitchen even though there's nothing fancy in it. It's full of basic items that I pulled right off the shelf and plain laminate counters...and if I could've saved that scallop I totally would have. It's so charming! I actually kept it in my bedroom. So we are still twins!! xo

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  24. Your new kitchen looks lovely! I can sympathize with your renovation woes-we are currently living with the dust and mess of a full upstairs re-do.

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    1. Oh Melissa, hang in there! From experience, I just know it will be so worth it when it's all done but the during is the worst! Sending you smiles and keep us posted with your progress!

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  25. It looks so perfect now Kim and wow what a big difference between the before and after. In hind sight it was probably worth all those take aways and paper plates

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    1. Absolutely, Michelle! Very, very worth it...and thanks so much!

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  26. Kim, I've always admired your beautiful kitchen, so I truly enjoyed seeing the before photos!

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    1. Thanks Cecilia! It was fun for me to peek back, too.

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  27. Your kitchen looks like something out of a fairy tale! It's easy to see why it stole your heart.

    We never renovated to the extent you did, but if you recall our cabin before and afters, we are no strangers to diy either! As strange as it may sound, some of my happiest memories are when we were in the thick of it. I guess I'm a masochist. 🤗

    xxx

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    1. Thank you, Doreen!! I do love this house…and I understand what you mean about being happy in the thick of it. While I don’t miss the actual work and the dust (oh that dust!!), I do miss the collaboration with my husband and the dreaming we did during that time. Like Neil Sedaka…sometimes I miss the hungry years. 😉

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