Welcome to our home!
Or as we like to think of it… the little cottage that could.
I live with my husband Jim, our son Austin and our two Maine Coon kitties in a little 1920’s cottage style bungalow. It’s located on the coast in the lush, green, blue skied… (okay, often grey skied) Pacific Northwest.
Sadly, when we bought our cottage home, she had been neglected of basic maintenance and upgrades over the years. We started renovating, re-roofing and making lots of improvements as soon as we became the owners. We hit the ground running and worked on her night and day, before we even officially moved in! Since she has become ours, we have showered her with lots of attention, love and money. Of course, more money would come in handy! The trees in Oregon are green, but they don’t grow money. At least, not any that I have come across. Darn.
If you are into “scary”… just click here to view our before and after gallery.
Okay now! To start this little home tour, we’ll enter from the street level, where you’ll find yourself on the main floor. There is no foyer or formal entry… you open the door and hello you are “in” the house, fast as that!
We recently made some changes to this spot in our home to make it function better for us. We are really pleased with the changes.
You can see the new “entry area” here.
And it all started with letting go.
If you sweep your eyes left when, you’ll find the living room proper.
Our house is full of thrifty finds and made over treasures, like our entertainment armoire, coffee table, chair, etc... The smaller furnishings come and go and don’t stay in one place for long. I’m always moving things about and trading things out. I’ve been that way as long as I can recall. I was moving my furniture around in my bedroom at an early age. I’m so glad my mom indulged me and didn’t mind!
Things can change on a whim around here. Like I said, I love to move things around, switch out my home decor accents, paint and mix it up! I try to stick with neutrals for the big stuff, so everything is pretty interchangeable. If you follow me on social media.. you’ll know I have a slight pillow addiction.
The sofa and chair and a half traveled with us from our last home. They are so deep, and comfy! Doing the neutral thing really helps me be able to feed my need for change pretty easily!
The hardwood floors were installed in the Summer of 2013. We did it all by ourselves.
Was it hard, messy and a lot of work? Yes.
Was it worth it? A million times YES!
If we had not done them ourselves, we never could have afforded them. While I love doing projects on our home, they have to be realistic. The labor estimate was more than the actual flooring! So DIY it was. While we had the old carpet pulled up, I painted ceiling to base boards. Everything feels so fresh and clean with new paint!
You’ll find lots of flowers sprinkled around the house during the Summer months. Mostly just clippings from my French and Spanish Lavenders or sometimes our giant climbing Rose. Occasionally I splurge on $5 grocery store flowers. Once in while, I get lucky and have a bloom from my Hydrangeas the Deer have not gotten too, but not too often.
They are so magnificent though, I’ve come to not mind at all. They have been visiting for all the years we have lived here.
It might have something to do with the fact that we sort of feed them apples too…
So anyway, back to the flowers. They are really handy for decorating your recyclables. Which is great since I have a teeny-tiny obsession with making over tin cans.
Tequila bottles too.
Continuing with the tour, turn to the right after entering the house and you’ll find our fireplace.
Jim, Austin and I made it over by adding a big, fat mantel with custom routered trim as well as a brand new hearth. I spray painted the orange brick white at some point before the makeover to tone it down.
It was painted aqua for a bit, then I went black. With chalkboard paint. I also re-did the fire box which was a big improvement!
My home decor and craft storage room
is to the right of the fireplace was completely moved.
I got the bright idea to flip it, and our sons room, so it’s in a brand new space and more organized than ever. Whew. Such a relief to have that room in order. There are now tons of shelves and a place for everything. Austin’s room is much better too, it was such a smart solution! Even though he stole most of my globes and the vintage fan in the process… hahaha.
Down the main hallway is our linen closet. I made it over almost two years ago. It was well worth tackling. It looks so clean and organized now, after years (like almost ten!) of being pretty ugly and blah.
Whenever you make a change like that, do you wonder why you waited so long? I know I do! Especially when I did it on a zero budget. So nothing was holding me back, but me. Head slapper.
Continuing down the hall is the main floor bath. This room got a “mostly paint makeover” and 2 of the 23 new windows we put in the home… along with a (very modestly budgeted) new commode, sink, faucets, light fixtures, hardware, flooring, mirror and accessories. The paint was the most integral part though. Lots of white paint!!
This the image that inspired me to do something a little different in our bathroom, and that leads us to the latest look… is this!
You can see the full before & after bathroom makeover here. But I’ll give you a little peek…
Next, we’ll head into the kitchen and the adjoining sun room. If you want to see how the kitchen looked when we bought the house and how far it’s come, you’ll want to check out this post right here to see the very bad beginnings.
We made the countertop in the sun room. It’s changed a bit since we first installed it. I’ve been trying to go neutral so I have even more decorating freedom.
We also took advantage of the fact we never used it as a bar and created some hidden storage beneath it!
You would not believe the craft supplies I’ve got stored under those skirts! And in all the tiny drawers of the apothecary cabinet too. Small space solutions guys! No craft room means crafty thinking.
On the far side of the kitchen, you’ll find the open kitchen cabinets that I made over. They are so much more versatile without the glass doors! Sometimes there are shelves and sometimes there aren’t. Depends on my mood and what kind of storage I’m needing at the time.
I try to pull in fresh finds from the property whenever I can to sprinkle about the house. When I can’t get the little wild roses, a potted fern works fine!
I painted the cabinet backs with Maison Blanche paint in Wrought Iron. It acts as “chalkboard” and I even stenciled a portion of it with actual chalk when I first painted them.
I’m in-between decor in the open cabinets right now. I’m debated nixing the gold polka dots, and maybe the chalkboard paint altogether? I’m undecided though, so I’m in a holding pattern.
That is our make-shift pantry to the right. It’s backed with beadboard and we added shelves to capture extra storage out of that dead space. We used a curtain as camouflage, it fit perfect. A bi-fold door wouldn’t work and the curtain is actually fun, since it’s another place I can change out the look of the room really cheaply and simply.
If you wonder why we tackled this house in the first place, it’s because when we were viewing the home, the Realtor walked us out the lower set of French doors and said the words;
“Now let me show you the other house”.