Monday, November 11, 2013

The Beach Cottage - Before

We bought this house a couple of years ago, with the intention of renovating it at some point.  We've had wonderful renters in there, but now that they've moved out, it's time to do some updates.  There are some issues we need to deal with and it's time to invest (if you look closely, you can see that the front steps are falling apart!).

View from street, in front of cottage
We're very excited about this house.  Why?  Well, it's a nondescript cape cod style today, but we think it's got lots of potential.  It's the 5th house back from the beach, sits up high off the road and has a beautiful 'ledge' rock hill behind it.  As you can see from the street view, Casco Bay and Fort Gorges are straight ahead.  Once the leaves come off the trees, there is a beautiful view of Spring Point Lighthouse from the front porch.  All in all, the perfect backdrop for a beautiful Maine style cottage!

Built in 1943, this house has only had one owner, prior to our purchase.  They kept it in great shape…..but most everything is still original.  For example, the Formica countertops are still there, but most people probably don't want the white with gold fleck design. And there is no dishwasher - which would make me crazy!  It has the tightest kitchen work-triangle I've ever seen.  The cook wouldn't get a lot of exercise in this kitchen.  You only have 1-2 steps between the sink/stove/fridge!

Note the exhaust fan built into the wall.  I'm sure it's an efficient design (no ductwork required!), but must be really cold in the winter!

I'd love to show you pictures of the dining room.  But there isn't one.  Which seems odd to me, didn't people have a more formal lifestyle in the 40's?

The living room is great.  The fireplace is beautiful and we love the built ins.  It's a nice sized room with lots of sunlight coming through the 'picture window'.

The bathroom.  Well, the bathroom gives everyone a laugh.  Have you ever seen a tub, tile and toilet this color?  Our plumber said it was a first for him and he sees a lot of bathrooms!

The furnace is original and seems to be held together with duct tape and bailing wire.  That will be one of the very first things we address, as we switch to a gas, high efficiency boiler.  We also have problems with water in the basement, so will be doing a full waterproofing system.

There are two bedrooms downstairs.  They must not have had closets originally (which seems odd, wouldn't people have them in 1943?), because the closets are built of plywood and appear to have been added much later.

Upstairs, we have two bedrooms and no bathroom.  Quite a challenge, if you need to go in the middle of the night!  The ceilings are very, very low.  With the dark pine paneling and the tiny windows, it's a very dark space.  And for some odd reason, one of the dormers is built over top of the staircase, making it tricky to get into that space.

There's a nice screened in porch, right off of the kitchen.  But I can't wait to paint it white.  The brown stain makes it so dark out there!

So as you can see, there's lots of opportunity for improvement and updating.  It can really be a lovely house, it just needs a little work (well maybe a lot) :-)

And as always, 'like' us on Facebook to see all the  photos and updates!

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  1. So excited to see the changes to this home! I always get excited when you start a new project.

    1. Thanks Terri!!! We can't wait to get this one going!

  2. My parents' bathroom had the exactly same colour. I vividly remember waiting for the porcelain to be imported from Italy. That was around 1982

    1. Wow, thanks for the reference! I have a feeling this one is much earlier than 1982…….maybe 1960's? But I would imagine they were very excited as well. It is a fun bold color. Just a little too bold for me :-) I'm thinking white with white subway tile :-)

  3. I'd put a big shed dormer across the back of the house to open the second floor up.

    Good luck with the project!

    1. Thanks Oliver - I think we think alike!!!

  4. My house was built in 1978 and had the same blue tub and toilet AND blue veined cultured marble double sink in our girls bathroom! It was one of the first rooms we renovated during the east coast blizzards a few years ago. :) Everyone used to laugh at my blue tub and toilet - and talk about a decorating nightmare! NOTHING works with that smurf blue.

    1. Ha ha….Smurf Blue - that's exactly the color!!!! Thanks for the chuckle. I knew it reminded me of something :-)

      And thanks for following our adventures! Laurel


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