Saying Goodbye to a Beach Cottage Wall

Mon 12th, Aug, 2013

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Hello wall?  Remember that from Shirley Valentine?  Sometimes I feel like good old Shirls – you know, whatever happened to that 24yr old who had a Honeymoon Baby?  She now talks to walls?

Not quite, but definitely talks to a dog, strokes furniture and pleads with English roses to grow (even blogs about a dog – btw my new blog design and Barley Blogging is coming…I’ve had to have the whole blog completely re-coded, a whole other story and not one I like very much, it will be ready, with Barley’s little blog of his own, in the next few weeks…plus the pics will be the size I requested in this new design, the front page will be in-line and not jumbled up, and the back-end will work again, I will be able to use plug-ins to help me blog again …or so I’m hoping)

Anyway, would you look at this little wall…white, pretty un-assuming and… a pain in the rear end…this wall makes the tiny kitchen, umm, tiny and means that this ‘breakfast room’ area adjacent to it, called as such because when we first moved in here we had a table in it (albeit a small one) for my much younger kiddos where we ate breakfast, well it is pretty much a waste of space…as time has gone on the table went and this is sort of an extension of the kitchen housing the vintage dresser I found in Vinnes and an armoire I rescued from a garage sale and while it’s all fine, this room is a walk through in the middle of the house and could be put to so much better use.

Sooooo, after rather a few tradies in to quote about knocking the wall down (Frank wasn’t up to it) and many who never bothered to get back to us, we finally found someone to rip this wall out and make it good…


After that happens we are doing either of two things:  one, ripping out the kitchen and putting in a new one, or two, using some of this old kitchen and renovating some of this one for a mis-matched vintage-y look. 

The main problem in this kitchen , indeed all of this old cottage, is storage…this kitchen has virtually none and one woman who likes to collect rather a lot of white china…the other problem is our fridge needs replacing, not because it doesn’t work, but because our family has grown and it’s too small nowadays…trying to get a cold drink from the fridge has turned into a mammoth expedition the day after grocery shopping.

Fridge shopping has not been particularly enjoyable for me, especially when it’s looking likely that the fridge I want doesn’t suit either our budget or the size of our family (because if we buy the one I want we’ll need to buy two) and that I am going to have to settle for one of those huge French door fridges with a computer in the door which you have to press to steal a piece of chocolate late at night.  Not digging those at all.  My fault for having 3 children who suddenly have gotten rather large I guess.

The other thing is the breakfast room and this whole house is crying out for an island…there will be one going in here…

I’ve been kitchen shopping for a while now, particularly kitchen lusting on Pinterest (you can join me on Pinterest over here if you like) and at first I wanted something quite fitted and while not sleek in terms of style, sleek in terms of how it fits in this space, all doors and drawers and gadgets behind closed things….the more I looked though and after a trip to IKEA, I decided that I wanted something a bit more eclectic, a bit more different, something a bit beach cottage coastal vintage and so I have been looking at using some of the units we already have here, adding other ones but building units onto the top and installing an island that matches but doesn’t match if you see what I mean.  I have realised for sure, I don’t want those shiny acrylic doors and I don’t want matchy matchy.

This news has made my husband quite happy.

I haven’t told said husband the price of two of the fridges yet.

So that’s what’s happening in this old cottage today, wall knock-down and I’m off to meet a lovely Beach Cottage reader for a macaron or six – I first met Fleur a few years ago when I was holidaying in Noosa and she gave me heaps of help on what to do and see…love how the internet connects people…

Goodbye wall…it’s been nice knowing you.


p.s. A Beach Cottage Vintage Wares kicks off this week over on Facebook…if you love yourself a few coastal vintage things, you might want to stop-by, more deets coming soon xo


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32 Responses to “Saying Goodbye to a Beach Cottage Wall”

  1. Can’t wait for Barley to have his own blog, photos of him and your house makes my heart sing.

    Happy Monday Sarah!

  2. kat says:

    Exciting plans ahead for your little bc kitchen Sarah. I am sure you will put your own unique bc stamp on it. I cant wait to see it!

  3. Mary says:

    I can’t wait to see what you do Sarah. You are always inspirational with your decorating. I would much rather read your blog than buy a homey magazine.

  4. DeAna says:

    Can not wait to see the finished project! woo hoo!

  5. I really love your Swedish boutique kitchen and love the idea of just adding to it…eclectic is a lovely thing!!! And you won’t know yourself with that wall gone!! Will be fab…can’t wait for pics!! xx

  6. Karen says:

    How exciting – a big kitchen!!! Bet you look like you have ants in your pants and can’t wait for it to be finished. Ignoring the dust and mess in the intervening period of course! Really good decision and can’t wait to see what your match but non-matchy big new shiny kitchen looks like! x

  7. Keren says:

    Oooh exciting! My hubby has just been putting together our new white kitchen with our awesome next door neighbour. I have requested a big chunky piece of recycled timber as our new window ledge so I can have an eclectic little group of pots with herbs. Sooo can’t wait to see what it looks like! We also have a big piece of Brazilian granite called azul macauba coming to top our island bench. It is white with heaps of blue through it – it is going to be out there but really hope it doesn’t look too busy… Guess we will see! Hope the kitchen putting together goes well for you guys. It is a fun ride!

  8. Mary says:

    We have a mix and match kitchen here! It’s an “in steps” thing. The original bits are 1950s, then the dresser arrived, the Ikea island came with us, then the ikea cupboards came with mad nesting before the boy arrived, then the french door fridge, then the oven to fit right into the fireplace. I think the original cupboards, benches and sink do need replacing, mainly cause they were built for a tiny woman. Luckily the dishwasher fitted into the pantry! Can’t wait to see your finished product!!

  9. alison says:

    I love the way you approach a new project. I almost become paralysed in the decision making process. I had to talk myself down the other day just to enter the plumbing shop to buy new fixtures for our ensuite reno. Somewhat pathetic really. LOL


    • sarah says:

      haha I know what you mean though…I kinda know what I like now but the choosing is tricky…especially when you have to think of budget ;-)

  10. merilyn says:

    that will really open up that area … sounds great! … albeit, after the dust settles about news of the fridges!
    eclectic is always what I’ve loved, because you can use your gathered bits and bobs and it reveals the personality of the owners and the integrity of your lovely beach cottage … much more interesting!
    lol m:)x

  11. Jenny says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Can’t wait to see the pics when its finished or updates of the work in process. I personally think that the eclectic look is the way to go, will follow through with the look of the rest of your cottage which is just amazing. I’m with you on the fridge two of the look you like would be the way to go and more useful also. So fingers crossed it works with your budget.

  12. Jane Tomlinson says:

    http://www.yarnagogo.com/blog/2013/04/hehu-island.html did a cool vintage style kitchen island that my tickle your fancy

  13. Paula Kennedy says:

    If drinks are the problem, why not keep the fridge you have and get a small, under-the-counter drinks fridge? I am thinking of the small ones we call dorm refrigerators in the US, since students have them at university. They are very inexpensive.

  14. My cottage is even tinier than yours. I had a tiny kitchen and a tiny dining-room, but now that the wall between the two is partially gone, it looks a lot better.

  15. Rukmini Roy says:

    First world problem. But still, I’d love to see how you transform :)
    Rukmini XO

  16. Tiff says:

    I had the same pain when looking for a new fridge 2 yrs ago. I ended up with a glass door fridge and I LOVE it. Huge, quick recovery of temp, and the kids don’t have to stand with the door open for hours while they look for snacks and get drinks. My friend ended up getting 2 fridges – not huge ones though – one was for cooking stuff /produce and the other for drinks, snacks etc for the kids to delve into. Worked great for them. Hope you can find just the one that will work for you. Can’t wait to see :)

    • sarah says:

      oh wow thanks Tiff – I have been looking at a glass fridge and wondered how it would go for me…can you give me anymore feedback, is it a nightmare to keep tidy?????

      • Tiff says:

        I don’t have a problem with keeping it tidy – I store things like produce in bigger containers (you can get stainless tubs from catering supply places, or use the larger Decore containers) and just having it visible means I’m more likely to keep it tidy.
        I did some research before getting one and most people said that they were a bit noisier than a standard residential fridge. I decided I didn’t mind that because the other benefits were worth it. I have found that it is noisy, although I would like to re-do my kitchen and create a more sound-proof area for it . . . where it is now is not a good position. If your kitchen is away from living areas I don’t think it’s a problem.
        I got mine from a catering supply auction house in Brisbane. It was new, but they had some amazing second hand ones there too. Seems like lots of people open cafes and then quickly go out of business . . . so you’re getting nearly new.
        I have a separate freezer. Decided not to get a glass door freezer due to space issues and thought it may be too noisy with both running.
        I also love the internal light and light on top. In mine they can be switched on separately and I can use them as ambient lighting in the kitchen.
        I would get one again, so I suppose that speaks to how much I love it!

        • sarah says:

          oooh thanks so much!

          I have been looking at them a lot – I had thought I would use tubs inside to keep stuff tidy :-)

          I’ve also seen a lot for sale at good prices and second-hand ones from cafes virtually brand new…I have wanted one for a long time but was unsure whether to take the plunge (I didn’t know the noise thing though)…the cost of one compared to the fridge I lust after is very different so now that I am having different thoughts on the kitchen I think I will go for it with the glass fronted…

          THANK YOU so much

          I’m really cheeky but could you snap me a shot and email me???

          Sarah :-) xx

  17. Amanda says:

    How lovely a new kitchen…our kitchen is so tiny it drives me mad at times!x

  18. mico santos says:

    What a wonder design and the colours are relaxing

  19. Be a bit careful of the glass ones, they can use a huge amount of power so check that out before you jump in. I had to buy a whole set of new freezers and fridges about 3 years ago and I went for the stainless steel electrolux side by sides, they use a lot less power than the equal white westinghouse side by sides- all made by the same group. I have 2 fridges and one freezer in my kitchen and another freezer in my laundry- so 4 all up, plus a big drinks fridge and another meat freezer on the back verandah. we kill and butcher our own beasts so need them, plus freezers are just an absolute necessity out here in the bush- our fresh produce isn’t all that great. I have to tell you that the new ones do not hold anywhere near as much as the old ones (what used to fit in one I now need an extra half a freezer for)- and the silly drawers in freezers mean even less! If you can find the right glass one go for it! just remember that stainless steel tubs will make lettuce and the like turn to slime, so go for pretty white containers for them. woolies has some sensational white plastic baskets at the moment.xx

  20. ps – there’s nothing like a great big kitchen- I absolutely adore mine and wouldn’t swap it for anything!