Wednesday, October 30, 2013

CottageK, ladies night (and by night I mean day...)

Wren and I made a strictly girls only house call yesterday to Cottage K. It was warm, sunny and I decided to get snapping my final exterior shots before the big fluffy stuff comes along, which could be any day now.

If you ever see one of my projects on MLS you will probably recognize all the shots! I like to take my own photos and send them along to my realtor. It isn't that her's aren't good or even great actually... it's that I am little overprotective of my creations. I like to make sure the light is perfect, the angles display everything the best and that it comes across in photos exactly how it feels to me in person. Crazy? Controlling? maybe... but it is just another part of the process that I highly enjoy. And I do this mainly for the fun and creativity, profits and business come second. 

Long story short, we got our good outside shots out the way.

Then we hopped inside to touch up some paint and before you know it we were table sawing ourselves silly getting the shelves up!
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I was just tired of seeing it look a little sad and blank here (although infinitely brighter and cooler looking than before, if I do say so myself).

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Also, ignore all the pumpkins, those were from the front porch for our photos. I swear I haven't been Fall-decorating a renovation!

I am so happy to see our plank wall 95% done (just trim in bottom of the window remains).

It was Sean's idea to run it up around the ceiling too and I love the 'alcove' is creates. Nice touch, Mr. B!
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I am so happy with how it turned out, and even happier with the cost. This whole wall of shelves came to less than $50. I found these simple and classic brackets at Lowes for $1.58 each, and then custom cut and stained 10 foot long planks of cedar. I sourced some beautiful reclaimed and raw woods but they were going to be a minimum of $300 for planks long enough to cover this wall seamlessly... NOPE! So a few $15 planks of cedar decking I ran through the table saw for a nice straight edge did the trick (I didn't like the slightly rounded edge on pre-cut wood).

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And yes, I did get around to my paint touch ups too! The bedrooms are as good as done once the new doors go in. I could seriously slap who ever decided a metal window would be a good replacement in the middle of the beautiful old wood ones, but there's not much I can do about it now. Either way, I am thrilled with how the windows POP! It will all come together entirely when our white and black decor starts to fill the rooms.
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I love these Home Decorators lights from Home Depot, they are the perfect geometric touch to compliment all the squares and rectangles in the window.

The finished back room has been designated Fairytopia by Wren, who I will admit has enjoyed 1 or 2 treats from McDonald's this past month which is exactly how many times a year she usually has it. So you can imagine how much she has been loving hanging out in here.
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The boys are working on the rough plumbing for the bathroom (BORING, but so necessary) and then I can start rebuilding in there!

Monday, October 28, 2013

CottageK Counters

Sorry to disappear on you all. I wish I could say that it was a result of us busting our tails, but the reality is that we lost a very beloved family member about 10 days ago. 

Sean's grandfather was one of the sweetest,  most caring men you could wish to meet and he accomplished much in his full life. His service in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War 2 was part of our inspiration behind Wren's name (Wrens were what they called female members of the Air Force) and her middle name, Berry, is also in honor of him. He was a very special person and we will miss him. So we flew out last week to be with family. 

We returned at the end of the week and got right back to work on the cottage, all while fitting in Halloween parties on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Whoa, crazy weekend!) AND also driving 2 hours out of town with my Dad to witness our family cottage get demolished... but more on that on Wednesday.

Amidst all the chaos I forgot to snap any progress we made this weekend, aside from a couple shots of our new counter tops that were installed on Thursday.
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Sean installed and plumbed our new Domsjo sink and Ikea faucet since then, but I couldn't resist setting them up seconds after the counters were in!

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My love of honed marble finally made it into one of my projects and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. The light, bright, white surface looks great with our darker cabinets.
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And I PROMISE to show you all the other exciting things happening this week! Maybe I'll glue my camera to my hand so I don't forget it again LOL. 

Happy Monday!

Monday, October 21, 2013

CottageK: Kitchen progress

We had a really really busy and productive weekend at CottageK! All the behind the scenes work that isn't so noticeable or exciting seems to take a long time and doesn't give me much to show you (wiring, plumbing, demolition, new subfloors, etc.) is over and we are on to the good stuff. 

Of course, I forgot my camera! But my iPhone will do because I could hardly wait to show you. 

Our kitchen is now entirely tiled, in a 2 inch Hex tile. It is traditional, yet feels totally fresh to me, I love the texture it gives the room. It should be grouted by the end of the week and we can start painting the walls in here.
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It is hard to believe that 2 weeks ago this was the kitchen.
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Already, it is hard to believe how far it's come! I've sprayed the planks in an untinted, pure white semi-gloss paint. The smooth finish is so lovely in person. We have the countertops going in on Thursday and then Sean can install the final plank and trim it all off so I can install the shelving.

I also sprayed all the cabinetry in Martha Stewart's Bedford Grey. It is warm, rich and perfectly cozy in this little kitchen.
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Sean and my Dad spent the weekend installing all our new light fixtures in the house. Everyone is in agreement that these swiveling arm sconces from Restoration Hardware are the favorites.
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One of the bedrooms is completely finished, and the other is just in need of having it's trim painted, then we will start on the bathroom rebuild! So lot's more before and afters to come.

Also, THANK YOU all so much for your amazing comments!! I truly appreciate them. I see many of you have asked questions about supplies, sources, etc. and I apologize for not going back to each comment and answering. Right now I seem to only log on briefly to upload photos and post a quick update, but I plan on doing a Q&A post at the end of all this, after I post a full re-cap/source list, so if you don't see your question answered there you will have an opportunity to get all the details in one place. It just seems much easier for me to answer everything in one place since you often have similar questions, and easier for you to find the answers!

Have a great Monday

Thursday, October 17, 2013

CottageK Weekly Update!

My apologies for leaving you in the dark the past few days! Things always seem to get crazy all at the same time, don't they? It's like a strange law of physics that life squeezes all craziness into the same little window. 
We had a very productive weekend at CottageK,  enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with family, and then Wren got really sick on Monday night and Tuesday. No school for her, and no work for us at the cottage until she was back to her self.

But we are all back into our routines now and have plans to go full steam ahead this weekend!

Since the last time we had a chat here are the projects we've been working on:

The electrical for our beautiful wall sconces was done and Sean has the planked wall almost done! We are filling holes tonight and painting the cabinets and wall tomorrow.
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Sean also got our new subfloor layed in the kitchen. Our honeycomb tiles arrive today and we will be installing them over the weekend!!!
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The last owner's family left a few big heavy pieces of furniture that we finally removed. It obviously hadn't moved at all in a long time! Once we moved them we realized that I would have to do a few new layers of top-coat on the wood floors so I did that last weekend and once it was dry we starting prepping for paint.
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All the walls are being painted in Vermont Cream by Behr. It is a really soft cream, and a perfect blank canvas with a little warmth.
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A full day of stain blocking all the old trim and protecting our newly finished floors later the walls had their first couple coats.
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All the doors have come down as well, with new five panel craftsman doors primed and ready to paint. I am saving the beautiful old hinges off these (which were not original to the house, the original doors downstairs are not in great shape) and will be put on the new doors to keep as much charm as possible. 
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As always, things are more messy, crazy and look worse than we started. But I think we are finally turning the corner into pretty territory this weekend!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday... and more CottageK (as usual lately)

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Wren and I recently discovered the joy of making your own confetti. some watercolors and a pair of scissors mean endless color combos and possibilities. We have been shoving it in mail, thank you and get well cards, and I'm sure we'll use it in her birthday invites coming up in the next month and a half. I promise you will be smiling if you make some too. 

I/m also smiling because our evenings at CottageK have been very productive! Sean was a wrecking ball this week and got all my outside trees chainsawed into submission on Monday. Now we are officially done with the outside and are taking the wrecking ball inside.

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All our beautiful floors are hidden for now... while I plug away on windows... STILL. It will be one of the more time consuming projects on this reno, that's for sure.
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And as of last night, all our uppers and backsplash are out. Not to mention the icky old appliances, which required taking the house doors AND appliance doors off their hinges so I'm not to keen on how we're going to get new ones in here!
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It's a Thanksgiving weekend up here, and while we'll squeeze in a little turkey I am thinking it is gonna be a busy and productive weekend that I can't wait to share on Tuesday!

If you're a fellow Canadian, have yourself a happy Thanksgiving. And for everyone else:

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

CottageK: Exterior progress

Our weekend was pretty busy! We spent Saturday at a haunted pumpkin festival (totally awesome, I'll definitely share pics later this week) but besides that we were feverishly getting CottageK's big make over underway. Nearly a full day was spent with Sean just loading up and carting over all the tools and equipment we need while I sanded and stripped years of flaky paint. Sunday and yesterday we have focused all our energy on getting the exterior painting done, while my Dad was awesome and moved all our downspouts on the gutters.

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In case you forgot how it started.
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Sean removed the awnings over the windows (they are just stored in the garage in case future owners actually prefer them) because they were not showcasing how beautiful the old windows really are. Plus they didn't let a lot of sun inside, which makes small rooms feel smaller. So down they came. 
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Since this photo the rest of the windows have their first two coats of paint and just need one more.
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I have to install my new house numbers on the door, and put up the new exterior light as well, and I'm sure a few pumpkins will find their way onto the porch...
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Sean is in the process of trimming back the big evergreen in from the house. I like it and the privacy it gives, but it is awfully overgrown. So we're tidying it up.
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It is good to know we are nearly all done outside and can start getting the inside all prettied up. Today the counter top fabricators are templating the kitchen which means we are about 10 days away from new marble in the kitchen. Which also means I only have 10 days to get it ready for new counters! no pressure or anything.

Out picking a slab. If you are thinking of new stone counters I highly recommend you personally choose the slab directly at the stone yard. 
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Each slab can be totally different, and often fabricators only have one small sample in their showrooms that is from a batch that was brought in months or years before. Each batch can have totally different characteristics and coloring! It's nice to know exactly what you are getting. 
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Now I'm off to get more black paint under my nails! Ciao

Monday, October 7, 2013

CottageK: Black Out

Things are rolling ahead at CottageK! I am going to show you our progress tomorrow after I snap some photos today. The first order of business is to get the outside painted and fixed up before the cold weather hits us hard. 

When I walked through the house with my realtor a couple weeks ago we were talking about my plans for it and I mentioned that I was painting all the old window trim black. She glanced at me in horror (totally understandable, it sounds crazy), because it's not something you see everyday around here. But I have already started slathering the trim and door in black paint and I am pretty confident that she will love it, and I'm hoping everyone else will too!

Here are a few reasons I'm thinking the beautiful old panes will benefit from a fresh coat of black paint.

What do you think? Wild, cool, unexpected? I can't wait to show you the outside tomorrow.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Here we go!

{ even small keys can open very heavy doors }
charles dickens
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I wanted to capture and bottle up my walk home from school this morning. There wasn't even a slight hint of breeze, the sun was bright and beautiful yellow leaves were literally raining down from the trees on me. It was one of those rare moments you could actually feel crystalizing into a memory. 
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Let's cross our finger the beautiful sunshine holds out all weekend while we get the outside of CottageK painted.

I hope your weekend is full and filled with memories yet to be made.

PS: be sure to follow me on Instagram or search #CottageK for sneak peeks in between blog updates!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Eclectic Love

The week leading up to a new project seems to be nearly as busy as when we get the keys. Utilities to sort out, lawyers to meet with, supplies to purchase and pick up. So I apologize for the little absences that I am sure will crop up over the next two weeks, but I am going to make a real effort to share our real time progress as we go. I love a good 1 hour HGTV reno show as much as the next, but things are always much crazier, dirtier and uglier than they portray before it gets pretty again. 'Pretty' really only happens on the last day or two.

I also really want to do a big post (or maybe a series of posts) afterwards about the in and outs of what I've learned and experienced during my adventures in real estate. I have had so many of you email and comment here about your dreams of someday doing a flip of your own. It sounds like a lot of us share the same passions, so it only makes sense to talk on it. Yay, or nay?

Today I am trying to take in all these delicious rooms, getting my fill of 'pretty' before I get my hands dirty. REAL dirty! Tomorrow the fun officially kicks off at CottageK.

All these images come from the talented Magnus Anesund. He perfectly captures my idea of mixed eclectic spaces.

Cheers to fun and sunny rooms!

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