Just Beyond the Front Door

There were only 13 homes in our neighborhood when it was first founded in 1913, but summer cottages continued to pop up throughout the area over the next several decades. Some of these cottages, including ours, have remained in their semi-original condition for years.

Our front door opens onto two rooms: the kitchen and a living area. We’ve since learned this front area was a 1960s addition to the original 1945-era cottage. Somewhere along the way the first owner’s family probably grew large enough to require extra rooms to accommodate their summer get-aways. This two-room addition followed the sloping landscape, leaving it two steps down from the front door of the original cottage.

Our first carpenter came up with the idea to expand the steps and incorporate a platform of sorts on the right side with a large storage drawer underneath. We found the antique wine rack in Ecuador and it fit perfectly atop the platform. The big drawer below has become our go-to spot for dog leashes, extra dog food – dog stuff in general.

Although our cottage sat idle for 60 years or more (decoratively speaking), we’ve re-worked the two front rooms three times in the past two years. The first decor was designed around using the cottage as a vacation rental property, although we decided to move in before we went through with that plan.

The kitchen was updated during the first renovation. After we moved in permanently, we added one more room onto the back of the house and almost every room in the house got re-worked again.

We changed out the appliances, added a backsplash, upgraded the light fixtures, and most recently, exchanged the small table in the center with a more practical counter-height table/island and two stools.

The Kitchen (version III):

The metal roof had been originally installed directly onto the ceiling joists, leaving no room to run the overhead electrical wiring – meaning recessed lighting was out of the question.

The only answer was to run the wiring along the back side of the ceiling beam, add a plug to the chandelier and plug it into a new outlet installed close to the ceiling beam. Old houses seem to require out-of-the-box thinking sometimes.

The “living” side of the front rooms had been our family room:

Now it’s a Dining Room (version III):

We’re definitely done re-decorating. . . for awhile.