The Cottage : The First Pass

I’ll admit : this won’t be a very exciting blog post. Sorry.

But sometimes renovation isn’t about the shiny, finished room. It’s about the little, small things you do to prep yourself to GET to the point of the shiny, finished rooms. Like, this is the boring hallway of renovation. That’s what we have here. But, it’s an important part of the journey, so here we go!

The first weeks that we owned the Cottage (Spring of 2012) were about going through and getting to know the house, and trying to discover things about it. The first thing I wanted to discover, was how the kitchen looked without the wallpaper. I have no idea how this was installed, or what the deal was, but I grabbed a corned and pulled, and it all came off : no steaming, nothing. Doug was outside working on the exterior and he came in and I had the wallpaper down in an hour without really trying. It was HEAVEN.

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What a difference it made!

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The carpets and linoleum came up next. We knew that the downstairs had some water damage in the Midwest Flood of ’08, but we hoped maybe the original floor underneath would be OK. No dice. Between the water damage and some old termite damage, the floors would have to be replaced. Bummer.

The bathroom closet floor :

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The floors of the living spaces after the carpets came up  :

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There was also some AMAZING patches done with plywood and duct tape.

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The kitchen floor MIGHT have been the worst. There was a layer of lauan that had been stapled and glued to DEATH, and we had to get each splinter up. It was a nightmare. Edgar did a lot of it.

It. Was. Awful.

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We painted, and hung up a new light in the Dining Room, since there wasn’t one in there. So there was ONE pretty thing to look at!

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Jen came to help me paint over Spring Break –

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– and Veronica hated the bathroom wallpaper a ton, so she got rid of it.Cottage 6-24-12- - 25


Until we took down the mirror, and realized there was more! Ugh.

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I came up with a bathroom layout that I liked, which included removing a window to put the FIRST EVER SHOWER in the house.

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We moved the plumbing to get a toilet back in and operational. We had sold Jackson Street by now, so there was no going back to our house next door to use the bathroom! (also, this is a better shot of the window that we removed – and the old college torchiere lamp that we put in the bathroom since it had no light. It almost caught my dorm room on fire once).

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After polling everyone I know on social media, we decided to put double sinks in the bathroom. The bathroom was large enough to EITHER have a separate tub / shower / single sink, OR a combination tub & shower with double sinks. I would have preferred the former, but it turns out most people prefer the latter.

So, we found this AMAZING double vanity on Craigslist. We left it on a dolly so we can move it around as needed.

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The house has this lovely detail throughout :

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And I found a medicine cabinet at a thrift store that looked like this :

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So, that was a fun find for the bathroom that I plan on refinishing!

So, carpets out, floors assessed, woodwork painted, missing lights replaced, layouts done, toilet in. Not very exciting – but important!

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