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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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cozy Cottage: Master Bedroom Plan

For each house we renovate, I create imaginary owners as I start to decorate.  It might seem silly, but it gives me something to go with, as I choose colors, products and décor for each room.  In this house, I’m pretending the new owners will be a young couple with a little boy.  That helps me create each space – especially the bedrooms and bonus space in the basement. (BTW - I've NEVER guessed the future owners correctly!! You'd think I could get it right at least 10% of the time.  But no!  This is why I don't play the lottery!)

Master Bedroom Before
Unlike the rest of the house, we aren’t making big changes to the footprint of the bedrooms.  But we want to make them lighter and brighter and provide some of the character that we're adding to the rest of the house.  As you’ve seen in previous posts, we’ve changed out all the windows.  That was a nice first step.

Ranch (or clamshell) molding
We removed all the old ‘ranch’ molding (sometimes also called clamshell molding).  I wish it was an easy job, but for baseboards, the old school method was to install the molding  first and then the flooring was done over top of it.  That means you have the tedious job of cutting all the baseboard level with the floor and then dig it out.  Ugh!

Ranch molding is the cheapest molding available and was used a lot in the 60’s and 70’s.  I’m not sure why, but I HATE this molding.    It just has no character or architectural interest (although this is a 1960’s rancher, so it's historically appropriate J ) Instead, we’ll add a head casing and trim that’s similar to what you find in other cottages and bungalows in the area.  It’s hard to believe how much difference something this simple can make – but wait till you see it!

I’ve also ordered all new doors. – the old hollow luan doors have been donated to Habitat for Humanity.  And again, taking cues from old homes in the neighborhood, we’re installing simple 2 panel doors.  To make them a bit more special, I’ve ordered these knobs from Nostalgic Warehouse. These are going to really be a wow factor!

For the master bedroom, I reworked this headboard from a previous project and covered it with this tailored navy fabric from Ballard Designs.  To dress it up a bit more, I'll add giant nailheads around the perimeter.   

For bed linens, I’ll be using this West Elm Nomad quilt, shams and throw, to give it a warm, cozy feel.   This needs to be a room you can relax in.
And for the window treatments, we'll use these soft sheers from IKEA - we want to maximize the light coming into the room!  

I’ve agonized over the light fixture.  We don’t have high ceilings, but I want something with some character.  So, I’ve ordered two different lights from Wayfair.  The first is a bit more practical and is flush mount to the ceiling.  

The second is more of a ‘wow’ and I really love it.  But it’s possible it will make the ceiling feel lower – so we’re going to try them them  out, once we get the room finished.  Stay tuned for the decision! 

I'd love to show you a progress photo of the room, but we have so much stuff stored in there - you can't even get in the door!  Hopefully the other rooms will be done soon and we can clean this room out!!

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Interior Update - Lots of Progress Inside!!

So much has happened in the soon-to-be Cozy Cottage, that it seemed like a good time for an update. And the theme for all the changes - 'Let in the Light'.  We've added a lot of light enhancing features, to completely change what was a dark, dreary house.

Of course one of the first steps was to update the electrical in the house.  Soon we will have lots of recessed LED lighting to bathe the living space in light.  Plus a couple of amazing pendants will go over the kitchen peninsula.

But we want natural light as well.  Thanks to the new windows we installed throughout, we’ve changed the feel of the whole house.  There is a lot more light and the 2 over 2 panes give it a cottagey feel.  Best of all, they are a whole lot more energy efficient than the old ones that were held together with packing tape!
The new windows bring in so much more light!
Remember the antique leaded glass window I found at the Brimfield Antique Market?  The guys reframed the opening to fit and it's going to look fantastic!  We've wired the interior for a recessed light and we'll install glass shelves.  It will make the whole thing glow.  

Bathroom - Before
Without any windows, the bathroom was really dark.  I LOVE natural light in a bathroom, but was reluctant to put a window in the shower (always a maintenance issue and a bit awkward to boot!).  I’d seen the VeluxSun Tunnel at a trade show and thought it would be good to try one.  Boy am I glad I did!!!  What a difference!  

Bathroom - gutted, before Velux Sun Tunnel

Before the Sun Tunnel, the bathroom was dark!!

Now, it’s as if there is a light on in there all day – it’s really brighter than the rooms with regular windows.  And once we put the diffuser on, it will soften the light a bit, so we don’t get bands of light like you see below.   We’ve also moved some of the plumbing fixtures around, to improve headroom in the basement and provide new built-in storage.

Bathroom with Velux Sun Tunnel
Speaking of windows, we removed the fixed, horizontal window in the back bedroom and have replaced it with a large window that capitalizes on the view of the backyard.  It changes the cave like feel of this room and makes it feel completely different!  I can’t wait to get it painted a lighter color and furnished!

Such a nice view of the giant backyard!!!

The basement is getting closer to being a finished space.  It’s nice and dry with our new perimeter drain and the walls, electrical and plumbing are all in.   I can’t wait to see how this new found space changes the livability of the house!
There is a lot of living space in the basement! The space on the left can be a legal 3rd bedroom.

Since the sills of a basement (the space right above the foundation) can often have lots of air leaks, we decided to have the insulation team install spray foam insulation, to block out any potential cold air.   This will also keep our water pipes nice and warm. 
Foam insulation along the sills of the house, to keep it snug and warm.

Oh, and look at that laundry room (okay, maybe it doesn't look like much at this point, but it will be a thing of beauty soon!). 

With electrical and plumbing done, we completed all our inspections.  That let us complete the insulation.
Living Room

Future kitchen

Now it’s on to drywall!  But can you believe all the progress we've made???  
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