Thursday, July 11, 2019

Tiny Rooms to Open Concept: Storybook Cottage

We've had lots and lots of folks come see the Storybook Cottage and they've had a hard time understanding how much it has changed.  Because removing all the interior walls has just made it feel totally different!

Here was the starting point.  There were 4 different rooms - the kitchen,

the dining room,

the living room (yup, they were all wallpapered!!!),

and the front entrance hall/porch.

My goal?  Remove all the interior walls to create an open concept living area.  It was a huge job, requiring us to add new beams as we removed load bearing walls, levelthe floor, open a new entrance and create one large, open living space.
The new entrance allowed the kitchen to be larger and freed up space for the refrigerator to sit in the kitchen (it was in the adjacent hallway before!!).
A refrigerator in the hallway...... not exactly convenient!
Was it worth it???  Well we think so!!  See how you enter the house now, through the foyer?
New entrance from mud room/foyer
And we freed up enough room for a dishwasher!  That's a modern appliance this house had never had!

I went bold in this house and installed deep blue cabinetry.  It's a big living space with lots of sunlight and could handle the dark color.  And I love how it came out!

We created a built in banquette for seating in the dining area.  It's 10 feet long, so lots of seating space.  The seats open up for storage and thanks to my dear friend Faith, we have custom cushions to make the space extra cozy.
And that light fixture is swoon worthy!!  You should see the dramatic shadows it casts at night!

And the living room?  Well thanks to incorporating the front hallway, it's now a large room, with lots of seating for everyone.

Don't you love the difference in the living room?  With the wall gone, there is now a bank of windows flooding the room with sunlight.  And the window in the corner - well that was the original window in the entry hall!
And look at the difference from another angle - the main structural wall was removed, making the whole room one open space. The photos below help illustrate the before and after, the wall to the left and the right were both removed.  Now you can see the whole room, including the newel post!
Living Room - Before

Living Room - After, with built in hutch replacing old radiator
There is so much living space with the new floor plan.

Of course we incorporated a couple of special touches.  These oak leaf cluster brackets once graced a home in Kennebunk - but now they look pretty fabulous between the living room and kitchen.

This corner cupboard came from our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore (for $30!!).  Did you notice it in the photos above?  It needed a bit of work, but doesn't it look like it's been there forever?

And I stripped many layers of paint off of the newel post and handrail, to expose this beautiful vertical grain fir.
It positively glows!

For window treatments, I really wanted to compliment the bulls eye woodwork.  I found this embroidered circular fabric - it's just perfect!

It's such a warm, inviting place - can you imagine what it would be like to cook in here, while talking to family and friends?  The perfect home for entertaining!

Corbels - Old House Parts
Fabric - Curtainshop
Appliances - Samsung
Reclaimed Lumber - Rousseau's Reclaimed
Cabinetry - Thomasville in Deep Slate Blue
Countertops - Quartz Silestone Statuario

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  1. Just lovely, as always. I'm not normally an "open-concept" fan, but this really works well, especially bringing in more light, as you said. The newel post is gorgeous!

    1. Thanks!!! The additional light through the windows makes a HUGE difference!!!

  2. Just gorgeous, as is everything you put your hand to.

    Your talent is amazing.


    1. You are far too kind!!! I just get great satisfaction from updating these old, tired houses for a new family to enjoy!

  3. Per usual . . . . just beautiful! I must thank you for stripping the paint off the newel post. It looks like it's supposed to!

    1. Ha ha - I think the newel post did appreciate it!!! Thanks!

  4. Absolutely love it! I can only imagine the number of hours that went into the stairwell. So beautiful! You make me want to move to Maine

    1. On these hot summer days - Maine is a pretty fabulous place! The winters take a bit more getting used to :-)

  5. This is so beautiful!! Are you able to share the dimensions of the first floor?

    I just bought a 100 year old cottage with a main footprint of 26x27 plus a sun porch I am thinking of integrating into the main first floor with a space of 7x26.

    My house feels so small chopped up into individual rooms, but your cottage gives me hope it could look much larger!


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