129. Cottage Move-in Day

It’s been a long time coming.

We dated our first day of work on the cottage: August 12, 2011.

1,310 days.

Sometimes there were days weeks months when nothing happened except, you know, Life. And death. And taxes.

There was is so much work to do on this small humble cottage. New windows. New roof. The bathroom still isn’t done. Each room we do needs to be rewired. The back porch and the garage and the driveway need some TLC. And Mr. H.C.’s workshop is still a disaster area. But…

…there is so much that Has. Been. Done. And last month I promised you pictures. So here are some Befores, Durings, and Afters:

Mud Room/Entry
We left the mudroom a few posts ago with the floor finished and hardiebacker board under the window awaiting tile of some sort. After a few days of waffling, we bit the bullet and went to a tile store. We had in mind black slate, but we ended up with black travertine subway tile. It looks gorgeous, but it doesn’t photograph well, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. We got the wood stove hooked up just in time for Frigid February, and Henry the cat found a new favorite spot to snooze the month away. We, on the other hand, worked the month away, delighted to have the house warmed by a toasty wood stove. All three of us fought over the rocking chair in the evening.

Living/Dining Room floor

Mr. H.C. spent the better part of two weeks taking up boards from the old floor, trimming the ends, and replacing them like a jig saw puzzle. In the end we only had to buy four new boards to put against the far wall. They stained a tiny bit differently — but only we would notice.

For three days we had to go outside to get to the bedroom, and this was during the nationwide frigid temperatures of February. Henry the cat was most unhappy as he was imprisoned in the basement. Here he is tiptoeing against the wall on his first foray upstairs:


Sixth Wall in the Living Room

The wall going into the bathroom had to be ripped out. We wanted a pocket door to make more space in the bathroom, so the doorway had to be moved to the center of the wall. A heating vent also had to be moved. The last wall is still in progress, and the door is awaiting painting. We reused the same door and Mr. H.C. bought the pocket door kit at a Habitat for Humanity Restore for about half-price.

Living Room Bookshelves:

We knew we wanted bookshelves along the back wall and over the door; we just weren’t sure how they would take shape. But with an inspiration picture, Mr. H. C. pulled it off again. If you ask me, these are the highlight of the room.

Moving Day
Saturday March 7th dawned cold and sunny. We had been chipping away ice and snow for the last day and a half. The truck was picked up, our friends were cheerful, and the heavy leather couch got moved without any damage (to the couch or human backs). The city mice were finally moving to the country…

And we were so excited to get here, that we didn’t get a single photo of Pedro and Pete, our moving helpers on the country end.

And finally…

In decorator speak, it’s called the final reveal… But I look at it and think, “Wow, is this really the cottage living room? Where there were once dead mice in the walls? And a terrible smell in the floor?”


Life is Good.

24 thoughts on “129. Cottage Move-in Day

  1. Oh my! This is all just so beautiful! You guys have done a fantastic job! I know it’s a lot of work, and it can get so discouraging at times (often!) but, you hung in there, and look at your reward! A beautiful, cozy home to enjoy! I love the colors, the floor is AMAZING and I really like the beadboard ceiling too! Nice! Oh and that wood burning stove is stunning! I’m so happy for you guys! I hope you take a few minutes to relax and enjoy all that you have accomplished to date! :) Great work…both of you!


    • We have been sitting in the living room a lot! :-)
      We will both feel more relaxed after the closing actually happens, but it’s been great lately to see the changes and smile.
      Thank you so much for your encouraging words!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! What a great comment to read first thing in the morning! It was/is a marriage-testing venture. Right now we’re enjoying figuring out what art to hang where. Much more fun than discussing where the heater vent should go.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I love so many bits I’ll bore you listing them! Love the fire and the blanket on the rocking chair, love the dresser in the hall and the box for boots, love the new floor, love the bookshelves and the sitting room furniture and window, love the dining table and chairs (etc., etc.) Well done on getting it finished and moving in. Wishing you many years of happiness in your new home.


  3. WOW!!! I remember having pizza with you guys one night when you were – I don’t know – half way done??? I thought, man this is going to be rough – even when they are done. But the place is stunningly beautiful from the pictures. Remarkable. You would think Mr. HC did this for a living or something. You two definitely have a future in home remodeling – as consultants now. Really looks great. jrd.


  4. Oh my goodness! How tremendous! It all looks picture perfect with your special touches everywhere. Let me just add that I can’t believe how much you’ve unpacked in such a short while. The bookshelf looks like it’s been there forever. How on earth? Do you ever sleep? LOL Easy to see why the fireplace is Henry’s adopted spot, that’s very cozy. He looks so cute all curled up there. Henry that is, although I’m sure your hubby is too, ha. Enjoy your little nest, you’ve worked so hard. Congratulations!


    • Oh, your comments always make me laugh! The room was an empty canvas just waiting for furniture, so that part was easy. And unpacking boxes of books was easy too — only took one night. Unfortunately, now the trouble begins as the boxes pile up in the other rooms… and we realize we haven’t downsized quite enough! Yes, what does one do with all that craft stuff? :-)

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