Musical Chairs and the Room in the Middle

While most homes have functionally specific rooms, my little cottage suggests it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. For example, the original kitchen is now the master bedroom, the original master bedroom is now a closet, and the room in the middle has been a living room, bedroom, dining room, and now a foyer – all within its original footprint.

You can start from the beginning here, but to quickly recap: we were on the hunt for a cute cottage for downsizing our life; found it, but got outbid by a flipper; convinced her to sell it to us anyway, as-is (remodel in-progress); finished the remodel so we could put it on the vacation rental circuit until we were really ready to downsize; changed (or lost) our minds and moved in; added one more room onto the back of the house, which allowed us to repurpose almost every room (move furniture from front to back and all around). This is the story of the room in the middle.

It was a bedroom when we first saw the house in August 2017. The doorway on the left would have been the front door until a 1970’s addition created a new kitchen and living area, which makes us think this room would have been the location of the home’s original living room.

The room also has a small coat closet and a fireplace. It’s hard to see in the photos, but the crown molding had an unusual design along the bottom – sort of the shape of fish scale shingles. The flipper had already replaced the windows with french doors, which we thought was a grand idea, but she had also removed the crown molding. Our lead carpenter at the time told me he could replace the molding, but make it even better. He did not disappoint.

The photo below shows the outline of the original crown molding. This was how the room looked on our first day after buying the house.

When we furnished the house for the rental market, this was the most logical room for a dining table. We added a closet in the center hallway that would eventually become the entrance to the new addition at the back of the house.

I discovered the German Schmear the same year we bought the cottage, and tried out my own version on the little fireplace in this room. My husband found an arched style ventless fireplace insert on Wayfair, and the carpenter created the curved trim surround. A thermostat causes it to turn on randomly throughout cold winter days giving the room a warm glow.

From the angle of the photo below, you can see the bricks on the left side of the fireplace are shaved flat while the other side is angled. I love these oddball things about old houses where only an owner from long ago would know the background story. We’ve made our own contributions in this area along the way I guess. The wildflowers are from my garden.

Now that we have a covered carport on this side of the house, this room has become the way we most often enter the house. We also linger over coffee here in the mornings, and sometimes we sit here with a glass of wine at the end of the day. As you might imagine, we solve a lot of the world’s problems from right here. 🙂

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