Horror Reveal Time at the Beach Cottage
Thu 3rd, Sep, 2009
The Sitting Room Before
I get a lot of questions and emails along the lines of this:-
‘there is no hope for me and my house, it is brown, filthy, stuck in the 1970′s, in the middle of a wood, has orange carpet and purple walls – it will never look anything like a beach cottage or for that matter any cottage. I have a tiny budget, no money for professionals, please help do you think there is any hope for me? I am so fed up with my house…’
this is for you…
And if we can do this, thousands of miles away from friends and family, on a shoestring budget and with no help whatsoever, then anyone can…here’s to white paint and sunshine!
I recently came across a whole load of pictures on an old phone of the day we first viewed the beach cottage (there’s more coming people, my goodness no wonder I was upset the day we got the keys to this tatty old place, boy were we brave)
so what we were faced with here was a whole lot of mess (& you thought the non-art on my walls was bad)
(I mean people who has an Open House like this? hello!)
first impressions, hideous grimy colours, piles of junk, outdated fittings…a door that had been blocked up with a melamine bookcase…and did I mention the errrrm fragrance?
but wait and look beyond and you’ll see a fairly decent ceiling with a bit of detail and no gunk, wallpaper that could be easily removed, a faux bookcase that could be ripped out, a wide double sash window with heaps of sunlight streaming in and a wood floor under years of carpet layers…and a space that while not perfect offered opportunities away from the Family Room for quiet time…
So here’s what we did, first we pulled up the carpet layer, then the linoleum layer, then the newspaper layer and underneath we already knew was a beautiful wood plank floor (we sneakily pulled up every piece of carpet as we walked around).
That was sanded, in-filled, varnished and sealed.
Next we painted the whole room in simple, standard white (since been changed to Dulux Whisper White which doesn’t show up but is a touch of cool grey to the white) to clean it up and give us a quick easy palette should we want to change it in the future.
Painting everything in white meant we didn’t have to worry about cutting in and meant it was not only much quicker but meant we could buy in bulk meaning more economical.
The faux bookcase (purlease) you can see in the top photo that the owners for some reason put in was to the left of middle of one wall, it meant the room felt very tight and boxed in, apart from the its errm aesthetic properties…
So we pulled it out, it hid the original doorway to the breakfast room. You can see here the original architrave is still there, we considered pulling that off and making it slightly wider, more of an arch but in the end because, again of time constraints we just painted it white and left it at that
We’ve since talked about a glass door here but I now kinda like the little old doorway…
Old sash windows was on of the things on our list of must-haves for our old Beach Cottage when we were house hunting, these were for sure worse for wear, but they came up pretty ok and I love pulling them up with the breeze blowing in… Mr BC is not so sure and threatens to replace them in Stage II (like he’s got a say *wink)
One of the panes was cracked so we repaired that and I spent a whole morning from very early til after lunch cleaning this one window. Years and years of neglect were stuck on there – I scrubbed the little runners with a toothbrush. That afternoon as the paint went on it all suddenly started to look just a little less frightening…
Here’s the other side now
and often the blinds are up, windows wide and displaying a few shells
So on the window we added white blinds to emulate plantation shutters but without omitting the beautiful light that streams through here and without the cost.
Next up went a double layer curtain fixture in matt steel, with clear round finials. Bottom layer drape natural unbleached linen and top layer a white heavy drop cotton.
The other side of this room there is another door to the tiny entrance hall which makes this room tricky to arrange furniture and this little corner has seen many a camera shot as I have collected various pieces of treasure and tried them out here… for the moment it is like this but one of the changes coming up is a small two seater sofa for here somehow…on the other side of the coffee table
So that’s it, a little cottage trash to beachy treasure
and you can read here ways to add a bit of coastal country style in your sitting room for not a lot
window: poles, finials, IKEA, blinds IKEA Lindmon, drapes (unbleached) IKEA Aina, drapes (white) IKEA Merete rug: IKEA coffee table: ten year old recycled pine table + natural distressing :-) side table: old meat safe (more pics here) from junk shop, painted with Dulux Antique White lamp table: old sewing box, one of my first thrifted finds ever trunk: thrifted butler’s tray: garage sale pot cupboard: auction, sale, read about it here sofa: our trusty old white slipcovered, similar IKEA/Pottery Barn slipcovers pillows: now closed beach shop similar Target, bulap – made by me with coffee sack covers lamps: old vintage – auction, clear base, Target mirrors: all thrifted lantern: IKEA throw: Bed Bath & Table decor balls: shells, now closed beach shop, pearl – Freedom pitcher: Wheel & Barrow canvas: oh goodness, again IKEA
stay tuned for more gruesome reveals, this little photo find has shown me a whole lot about how far we’ve come, wait til I show you the garden tour, euuuh…and if white coastal style is not your cup of tea you can easily do a similar transformation in a more modern spiffy style – if you can look past the details you can change a room easily with some DIY, a lot of elbow grease and a bit of paint ;-)
p.s. I’m on the mend and OUT of bed and if you have a question leave it in the comments I’ll answer it there :-)
blogged for the fabulous DIY event at ASPTL