July 14, 2011

Finally

There can be a negative side effect to blogging. The feeling of dissatisfaction with what you have and the feeling that you need to strive for perfection. A perfection you will never attain, no less.


I think this might be the reason I have been slow in sharing pictures of our new cottage with you. This is not one of those blogs where the budget is endless and the projects come together in what seems like days. I have been working my back-side off since we moved in, but I'll be honest, I've just scratched the surface. I'm just focusing on the bones of the place right now. And my budget? Well, there's not much of it left right now. But you know what? It's okay. We love our cottage. It's cozy and homey and it's ours. The projects will get done as we can manage them and that's okay too because we plan to stay here for the rest of our lives.

To thank you (or punish you, depending on your opinion) all for being so patient in your wait, I'm going to saturate this post with pictures. You've been warned.

These are the before pictures:


This room is very narrow. Our cottage was originally 1 story and when they added the 2nd floor the stairs took up a lot of real estate in this room. It is also long which can give you that bowling alley effect if you aren't careful. We plan on getting a slipcovered sectional in the not so distant future which will help this area work better. The rug is from Dash and Albert. LOVE it.



This is the media console formerly known as a dining room hutch. I'm going to paint it a medium grey. I'm thinking about trying that new chalk paint that I'm hearing so much about.


The as-of-yet still unfinished stairs. I have high hopes of getting them done soon but I have to say, even like this they are a big improvement.


This is Sweet Hubby's drafting table which is to the right of the sofa. I love this piece and all it's industrial beauty.



To the right of that is my time out corner which you have seen before. It's where I am likely sitting whenever you and I are talking. My feet are up on that soon to be slipcovered ottoman right this moment. Also, someone asked me about the fabric I have thrown on here. I know nothing of its origins. I purchased it recently at a favorite shop.




This is to the right of my corner. It's not much of an entry by suburban standards but for an old house it ain't too shabby. I still want to get an antique dresser to replace the table so I can organize and hide all our scarves and mittens for the cold months. I also have a rug on the shopping list.





An overview from the opposite side of the room.  The room to the right of the entry area is my studio. You can see one of our 2 ugly ceiling fans. I look forward to seeing them gone.



This is the view from the sofa. The door on the left is Maddie's room and the door on the right is the downstairs bathroom. The doorway to the right leads to the kitchen and dining room. That is a rip it all out to the studs project that will not be happening in the near future. The print helps me to remember to choose joy before I walk in that room. I often need the reminder.


We've made good progress but still have a way to go. I'm starting to work on window treatments for this room and I'd love to hear what you picture there. I feel like the room is telling me it doesn't want full length panels. It's a bossy house. Originally I thought cafe curtains 3/4 of the way up the window but now I'm having doubts and thinking about other options. What do you think?

70 comments:

  1. Hi Jen-

    Your home looks beautiful, and I fully understand the reality of time, energy and budgets- we've been in our 'dream home' for six years and have barely scratched the surface- but it sure makes you appreciate when a project finally gets done, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ditto--to poster above-- 7 years in our home and still lots to do! Restoring 16 windows?? Wonder when I'll get that done...lol!

    BUT, at least I finally got my annabelle hydranges planted 24 or so of them---that will make even the un-restored windows purty!!

    everything looks lovely--pat yourself on the back and go sit on that porch swing & drink some sweet tea....
    This is the day the LORD hath made...xo
    kara

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love it! I can see white curtains inside the frames or white wooden slat blinds or more pricey yet...plantation shutters. I love them but I won't turn loose of the $ for them. You are on a roll I'd say. It looks wonderful so far!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I so feel your pain! We just moved into our dream house about ten days ago. It has the best of bones and some good features, but the buying of the property wiped out any available funds. Nothing like a frustrated thrift store addict who's been asked to quit "cold turkey". You have done a lovely job on your cottage so far. I am impatient and want the vision to come right away, but maybe, the lack of funds is teaching me to enjoy the dreaming and the process. I love what you've done for decorating. It's appealing on so many levels and looks so comfortable and chic. Keep us posted!
    Courtney

    ReplyDelete
  6. For one, I love everything about your new space. It feels very settled and comfortable. Good work. It takes time. Don't get too worried. It'll fall in place. I once heard someone say a house is never "done."

    ReplyDelete
  7. You have done a GREAT job!! I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think everything is absolutely lovely! I am not for sure anyone has an unlimited budget. There has been a lot of talk going around about being real. I have loved following your blog. Don't change a thing. Everything will fall into place, just in time for you to start changing everything again. At least that is how is goes over here. Enjoy the process!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Looks perfectly lovely to me! Love the comfy furniture and rustic cottage treasures. And those stairs would be so cute with white treads and stained risers. I just love the knots in the wood!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think it looks fabulous !

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ha! We've been in our home for 30 years and it's still mostly furnished in garage sale chic and roadside freebies. I think your new home is beautiful, and I enjoy your blog wether you are talking about the house or the family or whatever. Conratulations on moving into your forever home:>)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love your 3/4 cafe idea...go wirth your first instinct. Your house is totally charming...love!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Most of us reading your blog are in the same situation and we don't care if your budget is small or non-existent, and if things only get done a little at a time. I can relate better to you than to someone who is wealthy. I loved this post and your home looks beautiful. As to the windows, since you have such lovely window trim, I would keep things simple, and inside the frames if possible. So glad you are enjoying you new home. How about some more pictures of your village? Lana www.lifeatwildberrycottage.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Don't worry, you have great bones to work with. The rest of us that have so called perfect homes and endless budgets...not so in my house. I would love to change mine after almost two years but it's not happening anytime soon either.

    Carey

    ReplyDelete
  15. Jen- It is lovely. I can just feel how homey and welcoming it is when you walk in the front door. Love it! I kind of like the windows bare but I know you need something. I think the top is too lovely to cover up though! Why not try pinning a few things in place at different heights and angles and see what looks best... Love what you have done so far~ xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
  16. There are many blogs that I occasionally visit and they are a feast for the eyes BUT they are not food for the soul. Too perfect and too wrapped in the necessity of being so. How many sets of dishes and matching accessories does one family need!! I enjoy your blog a lot and love your little cottage. It looks homey and comfortable and you're doing a great job. As those of us also on a limited budget know, it takes time and creativity to make a house a home. Blessings, Ann

    ReplyDelete
  17. Good Afternoon Jen~

    Love that you are real - that's why I stop by. I SO get feeling less than adequate if you don't have an entire room magazine-worthy by weeks end!

    I too have been thinking about window treatments and just stumbled upon a great DIY roman shade tutorial {via The Nester's post yesterday, I think}. Romans can be very expensive if you have them custom made but I like the idea of using ready made bamboo shades and covering them in fabric. I may try in my living room which is also "telling" me that it doesn't want long drapes!
    xo~Jill

    ReplyDelete
  18. You never showed me the before pics- it looks like old people lived there, lol! Your cottage is beautiful, warm and inviting. It's one of my favorite places to be! I know it doesn't seem like it to you but when you step back and think of all the things you've done in such a short amount of time you should be darn proud sister, it's looking awesome!

    p.s. your ceilings are so tall and amazing I think they want crispy curtains to accentuate them.

    p.p.s. is it 9:15 am tomorrow yet?

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's beautiful, JJ! You've done an amazing job. It's fun to see how you've made this cottage your own so quickly! I've been tagging along on this journey since way before you even mentioned your dream of moving from the burbs, and to think you are there and living it out now.....it doesn't get much better than that!
    I'm looking forward to the rest!
    Miss you....:)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh my goodness. I ADORE it.
    I totally want that wall color. Sensational!

    ReplyDelete
  21. It looks so cozy and fun! I am picturing wispy white cafe curtains on those windows pushed back during the day. Thanks for sharing your new home with us. I am in the same boat as you are...lack of time and money! I am learning to enjoy the journey b/c this is our forever home too.
    Amy

    ReplyDelete
  22. Already looks beautiful and wonderful to me. Inviting, homey, cozy! And your newest gray accessory is precious! Enjoy! Best wishes, Tammy

    ReplyDelete
  23. same here, we moved in 8 months ago..and little by little we making our home!!!! your house looks beautiful, love the colors!!!
    Ezia.

    ReplyDelete
  24. oh jen, it looks gorgeous. so light and airy. so homey!!! perfection. i love the character your cottage has. and i love the kitty on the stairs. so cute.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love it! I never have the money to finish a room, or design project right away but now I don't get frustrated by that (as much) because it allows you to live with what you started and see if it truly works for you and then add as you go along.... you will appreciate it even more!
    It is lovely! karen....

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love it all! It is so cute and lovely and perfect just as it is. The blog world can be intimidating - I know oh so well. But I love seeing real houses and their journeys!

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's come along way already. Most of us can't even fathom unlimited budgets or oodles of time to reach perfection in a week, a month or even years. And really who wants to? Half the fun is in the hopes and dreams and tinkering...making it your own. A lifetime of living sounds like just enough time to get it finished. Enjoy living the dream. Patty

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love everything you've done, I even love your current couches. I think cafe curtains would make your house happy! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. oh my I just love,love,love your corner how cozy and comfortable it looks. And you are definitely putting your stamp on the place. That older homes have little quirks like bowling alley living rooms is true, but I think that is what make them so charming nothing is really predictable. Maybe relaxed romans would work for you a little more cottagey than a straight roman but the fabric selection really tells the story.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love your cottage and all you've done to it so far, it looks just adorable. I've been in my cottage 10 years and still working. I love the bossy house phrase. I think that window would be charming with little white shutters.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Jen, I think your new cottage is BEAUTIFUL!! I love your stairs, couches, windows, rug and kitty. :) I understand what you are saying about blogging. I read once that comparison steals joy. Very true for us ladies!! You are doing a beautiful job on creating a home for you and your family. And it is nice to know that there are other people in this world that live on a budget besides myself. And who have to take baby steps to get things done. :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think your cottage is looking beautiful! Don't put too much pressure on yourself to achieve perfection. You have done remarkably well, especially considering you just moved in.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Jen, the room is already beautiful. It is filled with your things and your family. That's the best. You are right about blogging and those pressures. We see one after another big re-do and I often think, where do they get the money? We add vintage things bought for a song and that's about it. The bedroom needs work as does the rest of the upstairs. Nothing is the way I would like it to be sometime in the future, but that's okay. It's our home. I'd love to see more posts from everyone showing 'real' rooms and next-to-nothing budgets.

    xo
    Claudia

    ReplyDelete
  34. Oh, it is just perfect!! I love picturing your little fam. under that roof.

    ReplyDelete
  35. jen...it's looking SO wonderful! i just love seeing what you're doing in this new space you love so much. please keep sharing pictures~I just love them!

    ReplyDelete
  36. The chair by the window ... divine.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Looks absolutely charming - love the paint color against the wooden floors. The entry is darling :) I am very interested in seeing the studio ...hummmmm? And, I'm in love with the You Are My Sunshine sign ... it reminds me of my last painting :)

    I also know what you mean about the ups and downs of blogging ... It can keep my posts at bay at times. I will say that blogging makes me take more effort to really search for the beauty and magic of each day - - especially where my children are concerned.

    Love this post - thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Your home is beautiful and IS another blog that makes me feel all "WOW" when I look at all you've done!!! Congratulations on such a gorgeous home!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi Jen,
    I had to do a double look at your before photos, because your space looks so different!!! Sometimes when you live in the space, it doesn't seem much different. But ohmygoosh . . you have really changed a lot and it is as charming as ever.

    Laurie
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh, JEN!!!! it is just beautiful...and charming...and YOU.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow! Your home is so cozy and full of light! When my husband and I bought our first house in the country our budget was $0 and we worked our backs off also. A couple of homes later, I still miss it. Your post reminded me of how wonderful it was as each project was finished. Thanks for sharing photos of your lovely home.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh I think you are being too hard on yourself...it's awesome! It's you - I think you've done a bangup job since you moved in .

    ReplyDelete
  43. I like what you have done so far. I can totally understand the take it slow/budget issue. Most of us are in the same boat. We have been in our home 12 years & just finished a little remodel on our guest bath which was sad when we moved in. We've done a lot of other things but like I said we've been here 12 years. It takes time and I personally would hate to rush something to get it done and then hate it after lots of time and $$..

    I actually like the windows with no treatments - the trim is so pretty. I would probably do white wood blinds for now - they are fairly reasonable & look nice if you need them covered. I actually have them on most of my windows since I cannot part with the $$ for plantation shutters which I really would like to have. Guess they're just not that much of a priority. :)

    Thanks for sharing your space. I really look forward to seeing what you do. I love the bones of an old house and will live vicariously through you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I think it looks great Jen...you have wonderful taste..and that's what my hubby and I tell ourselves we have the rest of our lives to fix up the place...

    ReplyDelete
  45. I think that is the fun of it. Decorating a little at a time. I believe you have to live in it for awhile to make it yours and then the fun begins. I think it looks great now!

    ReplyDelete
  46. First of all, Jen ~ please don't worry about being "perfect", not having an unlimited budget, etc. Though I do understand what you're saying because I'm in the same boat! There are some blogs I look at where the person has a HUGE house and obviously lots of money and time - and it makes me feel, well, inadequate at times.

    Your new cottage is beautiful - homey, comfortable, full of charm, welcoming. As for your windows, from what I can tell in the pictures, they have beautiful mouldings around them. I wouldn't want to cover them up! Maybe you could find some kind of sheers so that the mouldings peek through.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Your decorating style is tasteful, elegant and comfortable.

    Having just purchased a cottage in the Okanagan, I am on the look-out for decorating tips. We don't take possession until next year but I'm already dreaming about decorating.

    Our cottage is part of a development (285 cottages all together) on Osoyoos lake. We have four interior schemes to choose from: http://osoyooscottages.com/the-project/interior/

    I love your 'time out corner'. Your blog has given me lots of great ideas. I will be posting some pictures of our new cottage on Osoyoos Lake as soon as we've moved in!

    ReplyDelete
  48. well yay!!!i feel like i just walked through your sweet charming cottage & held your hand!
    and
    i LOVE IT!!!
    i love the warmth , i love the drafting table and quiet time corner. i love the sunshine art and the doggie bed. i love that it's uncluttered, clean & welcoming all together.

    our home is the stage where it's old enough to need ALOT of things updated, redone, etc.
    but not old enough to be charming.
    our little community is rapidly changing. and not for the good.
    i love your little town & what you've done.
    i think you rock
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  49. looks so sweet and homey!! and i know you weren't feelin' it, but i adore that newell post on your stairs! all homes are a work in progress ... if they all came together overnight, a) it would be stinkin' expensive, and b) it wouldn't look organic and "gathered" like it does when it takes time and love and intention. at least, that's what i keep telling myself. ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Your cottage is so cute!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I love the colour of your living room walls. Would you mind telling what kind and colour paint it is?

    ReplyDelete
  52. Beautiful! Now enjoy it completely - even if you're not 'all done' with the projects. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Please let me say THANK YOU fir having a blog with a limited budget. I also have verrrrry little to work with as far as money....
    LOVE your home. And your REAL blog!
    Hugs and
    Have a PRETTY day!
    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  54. Jen,
    I think it is looking just lovely. I love your floors. I ave a "thing" for bare wood! You have done a wonderful job and should be so proud of yourself. I could imagine living there forever!
    Hugs,
    Suz

    ReplyDelete
  55. What a perfectly cozy little home you have! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  56. I absolutely love your
    cottage, Jen! It is so
    sweet and beautiful. I
    can't wait to see more.

    Where did you get your
    sign "You Are My Sunshine"?
    I have always sung that to
    our daughter. She is marry-
    ing an Australian in November
    and living there so I would
    like to get a sign for her so
    she won't forget her ole Mom! :-)

    Becky

    ReplyDelete
  57. Just came across your blog and love it. I especially love your sign: "You are My Sunshine". Where did you buy that?

    I am now a follower, please feel free to stop by at my blog:
    chestercountycottagegirl.blogspot.com

    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Jen, this is my first time stopping by and I'm SO glad I did! First, this is just beautiful! So many awesome improvements...makes me want to kick my feet up and relax! :)

    Also, we just moved and renovated our house (not a cottage, we live in CO) but I've yet to post pictures for the same reason. I can so relate. I just loved this today...so thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  59. Your house looks lovely! Very welcoming, happy, and inviting! I know what you mean, though, about being hesitant to share images of how your home is coming along. Thanks for your real-nes, honesty, and vulnerability! I wish you continued happy nesting!

    Also, I just checked out pininterest for the first time. I requested an invitation from them and I'm having to wait. I don't really know how it works. Do you have any invites left? Thanks for any help/ info you can give. joelnkelly at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  60. Your cottage is so sweet and adorable. I love the look. It's so nice to hear the honesty of what having a home and being a blogger is truly like. I too have a limited budget but am dying for changes. They will come in time. Your windows are gorgeous what about simple woven blinds inside mounted so you don't have to cover up the beautiful millwork, just a thought. Take Care, Carrie

    ReplyDelete
  61. It wouldn't be any fun if it all came together at once! It's a labor of love. The thrill of the hunt. all that and more.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I love your cottage, Jen. The tall ceilings and hardwood are great and I really love the entry. It already looks lovely. Our suburban builder home is 13 years old and, although we bought it new, still needs so much work and is now getting to the age where it needs things replaced, roof, carpet etc.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Jen, it is looking light, lovely, and cozy!

    We have ceiling fans too, and they do help with temperature control, so I like having them. I painted my blades white and distressed them. You can also replace the light fixture on them with a small, flea mkt light. It helps and is a cheap fix!

    ReplyDelete
  64. hi jen,

    your home and style are priceless. i know just what you mean about budgets, etc., because it's the same here (what budget?) -- but with paint and creativity, we make houses our dream homes, just like you are doing with yours and it's lovely and loved and that shines through.

    xo
    elyse

    ReplyDelete
  65. You home is looking lovely so far. But I totally understand that blog land perfection feeling and the reality of budgets and time. We've just moved house two weeks ago and I haven't shared any photos yet. We also have so much to do and with a 10 month old little boy its not just our minimal budget that is going to slow progress on the mass of things we want to do here. We've actually blown pretty much all our budget on a new kitchen as the present one is circa 1970 with crazy multi colour tiles, drawers that keep falling off their runners and a very leaky sink! So I will be sharing my before and after photos on that one soon. Only two and a half weeks until it is ripped out! Good luck with all your plans. I look forward to seeing more of what you've done over the coming months but I think you've done great things already. Fiona

    ReplyDelete
  66. I would live there right now as it is. Just lovely. I'm loving your front door too. Does the house have an interesting history? I'm a new follower.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I love your cottage!

    I`m a new follower.

    S
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  68. Oh my gosh I had that same (white) coffee table! I bought it at the thrift store, refinished it and re-sold it on Craigslist. Check it out here:
    http://www.handbagsnpigtails.com/2010/08/coffee-table-transformationcomplete.html
    I love your home/blog! Ive been hopping around for about an hour now:)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.