Thursday, October 19, 2017

Art Makes a Room Come Alive

This might seem odd, but I start thinking about the artwork for a room as soon as I start the design.  Why?  Because artwork brings color and style to a room - it creates instant ambiance.  
And since the Cozy Cottage was going to have large, dramatic walls, I wanted large, dramatic paintings.  I'd been drooling over the work of HLombardoArtist on Instagram and decided to reach out to her.  

I love her work.  It really captures the look and feel of Maine with her images of trees, water and islands.  Does her work look familiar to you?  That's because she did the cover of the summer LL Bean catalog!  You can also see her work at The Portland Art Gallery on Middle St.

And Holly was so amazingly helpful!  Not only did she lend me a couple of her beautiful paintings, but she let me pick the size and color palette that would work with the decor.  When she delivered them, I was blown away.  Isn't this fantastic in the space - before we even started furnishing it?

And once the furniture was in place, it set the mood for the whole room.  This painting really brightens up the space.
For the basement, she painted this large canvas called 'Morning Rocks'.  Doesn't it pull together all the colors and textures in the room?  I LOVE it!  
Want to see more of Holly's amazing paintings?  If you're local, visit Portland Art Gallery on Middle St in Old Port.  Or, you can check out her website.  

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Willard Beach Gem: Open House Sunday, October 15th 11-3 pm: 366 Sawyer St

Does this look like we're ready for an open house???  We are frantically finishing up the details (today we had carpenters, electricians, plumbers and movers - trying not to trip over one another). But it will be completed in time for Sunday's Open House.

We hope you'll come and see the dramatic living space with a cathedral ceiling, new kitchen and big new windows that let the sunshine pour in.

Enjoy single floor living with two bedrooms and a brand new full bath on the first floor.

The finished basement has a large living space and a legal 3rd bedroom can easily be separated if needed.  Tired of doing laundry in a dark, dingy basement?  This one is bright with lots of storage.

A convenient half bath is located here as well.

What else is new?  The roof, skylights, boiler, driveway, walkway and more!

And there is a lot of outdoor living space, including a large deck.  Even better, the house sits on .43 acres of land, so there's room for lots of expansion.  So do you want a garage?  There's plenty of room to add one!

It's hard to beat the location - you can walk to both the original Scratch Baking Co and the brand new Toast Bar.  Plus area beaches, restaurants and shops.
Want to see if there's a cruise ship in port?  Just walk out the front door and look down the street!  

Want to see more sneak peeks?  I'll be posting them on Instagram and Facebook as we get the rooms completed.  Offered at $340,000.

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Three Key Words That Stop me in my Tracks - Antique - Marble - Free

While the decision to add a half bath in the basement was a bit of an afterthought.....the design for it is anything but!!!  It might be small, but I want it to be truly special.

How did this come to be?  Well it all started with a phone call in January.  My wonderful plumber was tearing an antique sink out of an old building.  The owner didn't want it.  Was I interested?  He didn't give me a lot of details, but a few things got my attention.  Antique. Marble. Free.  Ha - of course!!  

It's a good size, with a fantastic round, antique bowl.  The faucets are original brass, with the stopper in the middle. The decorative brackets that hold it up are original and give it a beautiful sense of style.   It went into the storage facility on the waitlist to get used.  And now's the time.  It will take some work to pretty it up, but it's worth it.

And this bathroom is the perfect place!!!  

So here's the design:

1) Amazing antique sink.... that takes a LOT of work to fix up

.  I've spent hours doing online searches on stain removal and weeks applying different poultices to remove them (each one has to remain for 24 -48 hours, so it's a long process to see if it works).  The basement looked like a junior chemistry lab.  My husband periodically opened the basement door and yelled 'don't blow the place up!' (I did discover if you mix rust remover and baking soda, it creates a volcano like reaction.  Yikes!).  It's still not perfect, but heck, it's an antique!  And once I polish up the antique faucets, they will be beautiful!

Lots and lots of chemical mixtures to draw the stains from the antique marble!

Once that was done, I had to strip the old painted brackets and give them a new coat of paint, to highlight the beautiful pattern on them.

2)  I LOVE wallpaper.  When we lived in Amsterdam, I went to all the home decor stores.  I saw this fantastic toothbrush wallpaper in one of them - and finally have a bathroom it will work in.  It's from a Dutch designer, Daniel Rozensztroch, with a pattern called Obsession (which pretty much says how much I like it).  It's crazy expensive, but I ordered it anyway and had it shipped to the US.

3) Lighting - We're using Restoration Hardware sconces on either side of the medicine chest.  That will wash the sink wall with light, but since this room has no windows, we also added a recessed LED fixture in the middle of the room.

4)  Medicine Cabinet - from Pottery Barn, this will provide some storage and lends some old fashioned charm.
With this wallpaper, your kids will never forget to brush their teeth!!

This is the first room we've finished and I couldn't be happier.  Isn't it a great half bath?

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

T-Minus 10 Days to Finish!!!

There's a whirlwind of activity going on around here.  The kitchen is in, countertops installed and I'm in the process of tiling the backsplash.

I finished the bathroom tile last week (love this marble interlocking pattern!!) and trim is getting installed this week.

Justin started framing up the new built-in china cabinet today.  Don't you love the antique leaded glass door I found for it?  And it will be lighted inside, with glass shelves.

But it's not just the inside that's getting a lot of work.  Thanks to some nice weather, I was able to stain the deck (which was in nice shape, so we simply changed out the top rail and lattice skirt with new wood).

The landscaping went in over the weekend.

And we now have a brand new driveway (the old one was a disaster) and will soon have an interlocking paver walkway to the front door.

My husband Richard usually prefers to paperwork end of SoPo Cottage, but he's happy to lend a hand to get it done!

Why the rush?  Well, our daughter is expecting a baby on October 20th and when the big day happens (my theory is first babies are usually late), we'll drop everything to go have fun being grandparents!

Is there more to do?  Oh yeah, it's crazy around here.  And this is an all success schedule to get us across the finish line.  But I've got my fingers and toes crossed - hopefully we will make it!

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Look at all the New Living Space!

We've made lots of progress in the basement too!

What started as a dark, wet space has come a long way.  Thanks to a new waterproofing system, lots of insulation, new walls, new windows and lots of natural light, this is a great space.

Want to add a wall and make this into a couple of rooms?  No problem!  

This is what it looks like with two lightbulbs.....think what it will be like with light walls and the 11 recessed lights that we've added.

My favorite feature?  This new bulkhead door.  It's a Cleargress Door, from a company in Pennsylvania and really floods the space with light.  Plus, it's so easy to open, it's a legal egress exit!  That means this could be a legal 3rd bedroom.
Original door was rusty and had to be propped open - the new one lets light in from all sides!!

Thanks to the new bulkhead, even with the lights off there is still a lot of natural light flooding the room!

Don't you love the floors?  We installed this new vinyl product by Lifeproof.  It's amazing how much it looks and feels like wood!  And yet it's perfect for a basement, where wood really isn't suitable.

What else is going on in the basement?  Well, the guys are working on the built ins for the laundry room and I have lots of projects for the half bath.  There is also a utility room, which sports this brand new boiler and lots of storage space.  Stay tuned for more updates! Pin It

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Progress Updates - Look How It's Changed!!

The drywall is done and we're making great progress!  Just wanted to give a quick update.  Can you believe the difference?
Removing the wall between the living room and kitchen - as well as the ceiling - has created a bright and comfortable space.  

Here's the view from the kitchen towards the living room Before
And here is how it looks now.  

The guys are working on the kitchen this week, so now it's really going to start taking shape.  Stay tuned for more updates!!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cozy Cottage: The Boy's Room

For the second bedroom, this pillow from Pottery Barn Kids inspired me for the room design.  I love the colors and pattern and it just seems kind of fun! The way a kid's room should be.

For the bedding, I’ll be adding this orange quilt from Target to provide a pop of color.  And the wool throw from Pottery Barn Kids can go at the bottom of the bed.

And we’ll be including this giraffe – he makes me smile every time I look at him J

I want to add a mirror to the room and found this one on clearance at HomeGoods.  With a quick coat of spray paint, it will look great!
This hanging light fixture was on clearance at Target.  

Source:  Pottery Barn Kids

I’m thinking about painting each pendant a different color and hanging it over the bed.  Sort of like this one in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog.  Still mulling over that idea….but it could be fun!

For the permanent fixture on the ceiling, the room gets this simple Hudson Valley light fixture that I found from Wayfair.  I really wanted a fixture that had two bulbs, so it will provide plenty of light.  And this low profile is nice and understated.

For the wall color, I want to go with a pale blue.  Sleepy Blue from Sherwin-Williams should do the trick.  But I need to buy a sample and give it a try first.

Of course we need to get the house finished before I can start staging.  But I can’t wait to get started! 
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