Thursday, June 27, 2019

Storybook Cottage Master Suite

A huge plus for this house was a first floor master suite.  But it was also a huge negative.  The bedroom was extremely narrow – probably just wide enough for a twin bed, because of the way the closet jutted out into the room. The ceiling was low, which made it seem even more cramped.

The bathroom was easily the smallest I’ve ever seen.  The bathtub was build into a closet like space – it had to have been a real chore to clean!  And the fixtures and finishes were ready for a refresh.

Given all the space challenges, we decided to gut the entire space.  All the walls were torn out, as well as the ceiling.  The guys installed a new structural ridge beam and suddenly the new cathedral ceiling made the room feel huge.

Next was updating the floor plan.  Because we removed all the walls, we could start from scratch.  And now the front door doesn't open right next to the bedroom!  Instead, we were able to create a small hallway with a nice big closet. 
Master Suite Before
Master Suite After 

How does it look now? Well, all the changes made a world of difference. 

 It’s warm and welcoming.  We wrapped the new structural beams with wood from the original sheathing – a great reuse of materials that keeps the antique character of the house. 


 And the new bathroom is about as big a change as we have ever done.  Gone is the cramped little space, to be replaced with a big open room with a cathedral ceiling.

The glass tile on the shower feature wall simply glows.  The sliding glass ‘barn door’ provides an elegant touch.  And I’m still in love with the shoe mold mirror and towel hooks that I found to give the room a bit more character.

Don't you love it?

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Storybook Cottage: Porch Before and After

The house is finished and I can finally start sharing some Before & After photos.  So let's start at the entryway!   When we started, it was a 3 season porch right off of the driveway.

This was the primary entrance to the house and had a row of windows all around it - and an electrical meter against the wall (certainly not something that's allowed by today's code!!).

Now that we're finished -  it's the main entrance with year round use.

This explained why the floors were so bouncy! 
But changing all that was a bit of challenge.  As we got started, we discovered that the joists and footings were in bad shape.  We had to re-dig a couple of footings (not an easy task in January!!) and reframe the floor joists.  And since the sidewalls were essentially a row of old porch windows, we had to reframe them to provide enough strength for the new doors and windows that would get installed.

We wanted to make the space warm and cozy for our Maine winters, so we installed foam insulation in the ceiling and floors, to maximize the insulation value.

And we used this new living space to change how you enter the house.

Porch - Before
Porch Becomes Living Space - After
Now there is a big foyer/mudroom that will give the new owners a place to shed their coats and boots before entering the rest of the house.

The mudroom features lots of hooks and a built-in with shelves/baskets for gloves and hats.  Can you tell we live in Maine???  Certainly it's great for sunscreen and flip-flops in the summertime!!
Porch - Before
Porch - now foyer and office - After
To the right, there are french doors that open into a home office.  This room features two walls of windows that provide a bright spot to work.  And with a view of the giant lilac tree, it looks and smells heavenly!
This antique plate rack was a gift from a dear friend.  It graced her family's cottage for years - doesn't it look perfect in its new home??

Off of the foyer, there's an entrance to the main living area and also the master suite - but we'll save those updates for next time!  Stay tuned!
Office looking towards living area - before 
Office looking towards living area - after

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