• 28Sep

    We really did it.  We bought a house in Sweden.


    This has long been a dream of mine.  I fell in love with a different house on a real estate website and we went to Sweden intending to buy it.  However, it didn’t live up to the photos, so, disappointed as I was, we said “no.”  Luckily, there were two other possibilities.  I love the setting of this one.  The house and outbuildings surround the yard.


    The house was built in 1930, and an addition, including the porch and an entry hall seen here, was added in 1989.  The house is very livable, but we already have plans for some changes, including removing this porch and replacing it with something more like the original.


    The outbuilding on the left is made of log and part of it was built in the 1200’s!  It’s hard to wrap my mind around that date.


    These pictures are from the real estate listing.  When we saw it, it wasn’t furnished.

    Here’s the entry hall that was added in 1989.  The two round windows were originally on the outside of the house.


    The living room is a nice size, as it used to be two rooms–the living room and a bedroom.


    The short wall behind the corner fireplace used to extend across to divide the two rooms, and it’s kind of awkward with the fireplace sitting at an odd angle–something we plan remedy, although we don’t have a definitive plan for it yet!


    This free standing fireplace is in an odd location–the doorway that leads to the kitchen.  It was part of the 1989 remodel and was attached to some ductwork that helped spread the heat throughout the house.


    The kitchen was rather awkwardly laid out without much counter space.  I’m sure the island was there to remedy that problem, but it made it hard to move around.


    We only had possession of the house for two days before we came home, but we have entirely removed the kitchen and made plans for a new one!


    The dining room is a part of the 1989 addition.  There is a ton of built-in storage along the right wall.  The sellers left us the table and chairs and the little cabinet on the left wall, so we’re not entirely without furniture!


    The other part of the addition was a bedroom and three bathrooms–two down and one up.


    Upstairs, at the top of the stairs, is a bonus room.  The doors to the left lead out to a deck that looks toward the river.  I can’t wait to sit out there on a warm summer morning, enjoying a cup of coffee.


    Here’s the upstairs bedroom.  I think we’re going to have to fill it with beds and make it dorm so everyone can come visit!


    So many of the homes I’ve visited have aerial photos taken in the fifties.  I stumbled onto a website that has thousands of them, and found one of our house!  I’m going to order one to hang on the wall.  If you look closely, you can see the original porch.


    So, what was my first purchase for the new house?  The little tart forms you can see in our China cupboard!


    Here’s what they look like close up.  Perfect for individual apple pies!


    The second was a pair of chairs from a loppis, a kind of permanent garage sale.


    I can’t wait to get back do more!

  • 15May
    Categories: brilliant ideas Comments Off on Welcome to Gull Cottage

    Our dear family friend, Lil, became ill last fall and recently passed away.  When she went into a nursing home, it fell to Bob and me to clean out her house and ready it for sale.  It’s a cute, two story house with a very open plan, and the living space upstairs.  Lil had lived there for 23 years, along with many cats.  And, oh, Lil was a smoker!

    We decided we had to remove all carpets, draperies, bedding, etc., and start over.  I didn’t take many before pictures, but here’s the living room after we (read Bob) had torn up two layers of carpeting, the first glued down.

    All the woodwork in the house was dark and the walls were white.

    The kitchen cabinets were also dark, with very plain door and drawer fronts.

    I wanted to give them some style, so we decided some Shaker detail would be nice.

    Once painted white, they looked terrific!  Eventually we added brushed nickel hardware and replaced the countertop, too.

    The cleaning started last fall, but the actual remodel started in March, and we are now one project away from being finished.

    Welcome to Gull Cottage!  The front door is new, as is the exterior paint on the house.

    A beachy touch in the entry–and a new light fixture.  In fact, all through the house the light fixtures have been replaced.

    Once you enter the house, you turn left and head up the stairs.

    You’re greeted by a spectacular wall of windows facing toward the ocean.  If you look closely, you’ll see the outside trim was blue.  We’ve changed it to a dark gray.

    At first I had a wicker chair by the stove, but replaced it with this chair.  And notice the hardwood laminate floor that
    Bob put in in the entire upstairs.

    The wood burning stove is a great feature.  It did have red tile under it, but we replaced that with this new hearth pad.

    The new sofa sits with its back to the stair railing, now painted white.

    On the opposite wall is the dinette.  I love the wicker, iron and glass set.

    The kitchen is small but efficient.  I love the painted cabinets.  The bar is on wheels, so you have great versatility.

    We replaced the kitchen counter top.

    Since the bedroom and living room were open to each other, we got this track and panel system from Ikea.

    You can slide the panels open, if you prefer.  And look how cute Lil’s desk looks tucked into the little nook that was created!

    Queen sized bed.

    Opposite the foot of the bed–closet on the left, bathroom on the right.

    The bath off the bedroom.  I love the Ocean Breezes art that I found.

    We upgraded this countertop to granite.

    The vinyl floor looks like tile.  We used the same flooring in the entry and downstair bath.

    Downstairs is another large, open room.  The only thing left to do is finish the headboards we are making and painting them and the night stands white.

    I found a great fabric that matched the bedding and made valances.

    Update – June 6.  Bob made these headboards.  Don’t they look adorable?

    Here’s the carpet we put in the downstairs.

    The downstairs sitting area.

    There was no bathroom downstairs, so we took some room from the garage and added a nice bath.

    That allowed us to add this big closet.

    Which houses the washer, dryer and hot water heater.

    We even finished sheet rocking the garage.

    And I spread bark and topsoil in all the beds.

    It was a lot of hard work, but I love the way it turned out.  I also learned that I’m not ready to start flipping houses for a living!