Wednesday, January 31, 2024

New Project - The Charming Cottage

We moved into this house for what we thought would be 9 months, while we renovated a home for ourselves.  18 months later, we've finally moved out and can start renovating this sweet place.  We loved living here - great neighbors, walkable to everything and a fabulous, private backyard. 

The guys keep joking that this is the nicest SoPo Cottage house we've ever bought.  It doesn't have all the major challenges that many of our projects do.  But after living in it for awhile, I've got a good idea what needs to be changed to make it work better for modern living.  First thing that needs change - this kitchen!!

I shared some photos when we first moved in, but here is the whole set of 'Before' photos as well as a few 'After' of the exterior.  I got impatient and we updated the roof and siding while we were living there!!!

The foyer is pretty tight as you come through the front door, but you quickly note the wide staircase and the fireplace wall in the living room.

The entry always seems a bit dark, even on a sunny day

The living room is a nice size with multiple windows and original oak floors.  We installed an electric fireplace while we lived there, but our plan is to return it to a wood burning fireplace and move the electric one to the basement.

The dining room is charming.  The French doors open to a brick patio in the backyard.  

The previous owners added heat pumps - and while I hate the look of them, they're a nice addition for heating and cooling.

It has two built in corner hutches, one full size and the other is built over the back of the firebox.

The kitchen is surprisingly large for the 1940's (isn't that when women were the only occupants and there were doors hiding it from view?😂).  And I'm pretty sure these are the original cabinets.  They may have been great in their day, but they are only 30" tall (vs. 36" for modern cabinets), which our counter surfing dog thought was fantastic!!! 

I don't think the sink is original - probably a 1950's or 60's update.  After using it for the last year an a half, I can tell you it's a workhorse of a sink.  We'll talk a lot more about the sink soon!

Upstairs is a really small bathroom.  And yet oddly, the dimensions of the room aren't bad, it's just the layout that makes it so tight.  We can fix that!

There are two street facing bedrooms that are almost the exact same size - so I'm not sure which you would call the 'primary'.   

Bedroom 1:

Bedroom 2:

The third bedroom is small (my husband used it as his office), but it would be great as a child's room with a twin bed.

And then there's the basement!  The basement is like a time warp - my parents would have called it the 'rec room'.  It has all the hallmarks of the 50's and 60's - Pickwick Pine paneling, a big fireplace and a built in bar.  I'm guessing there have been some great parties down there! And it could be whatever the new owners want - a kids playroom, a man cave, craft room or large home office.  It's versatile!

Check out that bar!!! 

The back of the basement has the laundry, utility sink, boiler and lots of storage. 

But the basement has one other feature - a half bath!!!  Isn't it a thing of beauty?  Now that's vintage!!

And of course there is the exterior.  We updated the old siding with blue vinyl and PVC trim (aka no maintenance) last year.  The trellis on the front of the house (and the garage) is from a much older house that was a gift from a lovely friend.  

There is a one car garage with a bump out on the back for extra storage. 

And the backyard is pretty fabulous.  The round brick patio is bordered by stone walls.  The plantings provide amazing spring color with lilacs and beauty bush.  

It's a small yard, so little maintenance is required - and yet it has fantastic privacy.

So the guys were right - this is nicer than our usual SoPo Cottage starting point.  But it's going to get even better when we're done!

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  1. She's a charmer! Can't wait to see how you pretty her up.

  2. I think what Nikki said is completely accurate!

  3. Hello, can you tell me the height of the ceiling in this home? We are moving into a home with 7ft ceilings and I am, admittedly, panicking. Thank you!

    1. The ceilings are 7' 5" - so not super tall. Are you sure yours are exactly 7'? That's a bit lower than what I've seen in most houses.


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