the little cottage that could

My cottage is getting a make-over. So even though 2 adults and one fast-growing and active toddler occupy about 600 square feet, we are going to make improvements, dammit, and when spring comes and we can go outside, maybe I’ll finally stop checking real estate listings every day.

First of all, “the cottage” is almost 100 years old, built before 1920 by my great-great grandfather, along with many other cottages along the lake side. My great-grandmother (his daughter) continued to maintain and rent out the properties. Over the generations, the cottages and their lots were sold off one by one, until only mine remained. And since I bought it, and I am the direct heir, I suppose it is still the only one remaining! It was not intended as a year-round residence, but by the early 80s, my grandmother’s sister and her husband decided to live their full-time and the cottage received a full renovation. Including the refrigerator that just died.

So the old, beige-ish carpet and stained, dented tile in the kitchen is all to be replaced with wood laminate flooring. The counter tops (an ugly white and speckled formica) to be replaced with laminate counter top that imitates granite. The counter/breakfast bar will be gone completely, the new refrigerator will be moved across the room, a new dividing wall built between kitchen and living room (oh how I disdain open floor plans), and a new closet for coats and shoes will replace the space near the door where the refrigerator was. Add in a new range for the oven, one that isn’t stained with 30 years worth of grime, and voila! New kitchen!

The bathroom, oh the bathroom. It is a sad sight to see. The flooring in there will be replaced with vinyl “wood” flooring. The bathtub, yellowed with age and stained with rust will be completely replaced. The medicine cabinet (it makes me shudder) will be replaced. I will then need to re-paint it, and either replace or re-paint the door. New bathroom!

The porch is enclosed and heated, although with the large windows that span its length it’s a little cooler than the rest of the house. The windows are brand new from last year, but the ugly utilitarian carpeting will be replaced to match the rest of the house, the piano will be moved into the living room (and will replace the little shelves that are there under the TV), and my mother will get a nice comfy chair and ottoman, and little desk, to go along with her bed and dressers. Oh happy day.

The front “stoop”, a rickety concoction made of wood, is going to be replaced by a simple and functional deck this summer.

Look out for some before and after photos when this is all done! I just wish it was done already.

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Categories: life in general

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