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Long weekend at the cottage

This is a long weekend here in Canada, to celebrate the Queen's birthday. It's the biggest party weekend of the year, as it's the first long weekend of summer and everyone attends cottage parties and BBQ's, as we Canadians love to enjoy what little summer we have! Yesterday was the first day the whole family got to spend time at my little sister's cottage together. Jen and her husband Dave bought their cottage this past fall and have had a TON of work done to it and the major work was finally completed a few days ago. We spent most of the day getting beds set up, hanging curtains and artwork, stocking the kitchen and all that fun stuff. There are a bunch of little things that still need to be done but it is AMAZING how much work we did (while watching 3 small children), while still being able to enjoy a bit of the gorgeous weather we had and go for a couple of pontoon boat rides. So instead of my typical blog favs post, I thought I'd share some before and after photos of the cottage (there are more, particularly before photos in a Flickr set here).

Here is the cute facade (the porch stairs have since been rebuilt).

Now the interior was SO dark and dingy, with nasty industrial carpeting everywhere and icky varathaned round board all over the walls. I begged and pleaded with them to have all the walls painted white and they listened thank gawd. Here are a couple before shots of the kitchen area:

...here is the kitchen removed and carpeting torn out, and the adjacent living room...

You'll have to see the transformation after the jump. :-)

Here is the living room and kitchen now. Everything is white and bright, and a new laminate floor makes a HUGE difference. The living room is furnished with an old Ikea sofa from my parent's house, a floor lamp from me, on old coffee table my parent's bought at Ikea 30 years ago and other hand me downs. The kitchen is all Ikea. The cabinets still need the hardware installed, some bar stools, a new ceiling fan, hopefully a framed pegboard on the wall to hang utensils etc.

Here are before and afters of one side of the veranda (the 2 wicker chairs in the second photo are the only pieces of furniture my sister kept from the original owners, having bought it fully furnished) :

Before and afters of the main bedroom:

Before and afters of one side of the sleeping loft:

And a little shot of a corner of the bathroom (formerly painted lilac) and some cool light fixtures they bought at Home Depot for $9:

And a couple random photos taken yesterday...

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Reader Comments (48)

I'm amazed at the transformation....

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngie D in Ohio

This is perfect! What a fabulous transformation!

The painted pine walls look amazing! What an adorable little place, it looks fresh, clean and super cozy and it's everything a cottage should be.

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Vintage Cabin

That looks FANTASTIC! What a difference the white makes. What kind of paint finish did you guys use on the walls? flat? semi-gloss? satin?

22 May 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjenn

Oh wow. It looks fabulous!

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRelatable Style

wow.. the magic that white paint can do!

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGraes

Ok, I want a cabin now!

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYUYA

What an amazing cottage!!! Jealous doesn't even begin to describe what I'm feeling right now... The only thing I would love to see is the stone fireplace painted red. crazy? maybe... but I think that adorable fireplace alcove could use a huge pop of color and it would be a nice tie-in to the red trim on the exterior...

22 May 2011 | Unregistered Commenteria2sf

lemme get this straight... You painted over all the natural wood in the entire place, didn't putty or caulk the gaps that used to be hidden in shadow so now the place looks like it was knocked together by a carpenter that was all thumbs then installed faux wood looking laminate?

I would have left one original wood wall and the railings/ladder as accents and used utility grade real hardwood flooring (the cost difference from laminate is minimal) finished the flooring in a light finish and let the sand and feet do their work to age and add character.

It is not too late to go back and caulk, it will improve the finish look dramatically. Caulk is cheap and just takes patience to get looking right.

22 May 2011 | Unregistered Commentergf

gf, I don't get your suggestion of caulking gaps. There are no gaps between the round boards. And it was much easier to have everything white because the entire space was sprayed (not rolled/brushed). And hardwood could not be used because the house is very shifty and needs to be leveled underneath at some point.

ia2sf, I have suggested they paint the fireplace surround white - my sister is all about neutrals so I guarantee something like red isn't going to fly with her.

22 May 2011 | Registered CommenterKiM

Kim... not a deal-breaker for me... still love it! :)

22 May 2011 | Unregistered Commenteria2sf

AWESOME transformation! Painting the walls in the interior was a great idea! Everything looks fo fresh and clean, and the furniture selections are perfect! Thanks for the great photos!!!

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

I love it.. do not paint the fireplace it looks great against the white. Gosh the inside looks so much larger than the outside! Did they remove part of the ceiling? I think it looks like a great low maintenance place for summer fun!

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

I think my wide angle lens makes this place look alot bigger (and taller) than it is.

My sister just texted me - she says the paint is Behr's Decorator White in eggshell finish.

22 May 2011 | Registered CommenterKiM

Oh it's amazing. I'm so jealous!!

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Super makeover job! Great Before&After photos, too. I appreciate all the hard work that went into making the vision come true, having recently completed a makeover of my own!!!

See my little piece of work here:

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSparky

Love that makeover! Beautiful!

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

sooo amazing!! I am in love with the place. I wish it was mine!

22 May 2011 | Unregistered Commenterangelica

I'm not a cottage person at all but I love love your sister's! Fabulous transformation. My what a
talented family!!!!!! Deborah, Green Light District Design, Ottawa

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Peets

Fantastic job! It looks SO much better. We have a barn room that was stained (badly up to a crooked line below the ceiling) red and I have been wondering what to do with it. NOW I KNOW! Thanks for sharing. Looks like an awesome place to have a weekend away.

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgia

This is what I vision a cottage to be, a fun place to relax and enjoy the outdoors, a relaxed place not to precious unlike the many 3000 square foot so called cottages portrayed in design magazines of late. Great job.


22 May 2011 | Unregistered Commentermargo

perfect transformation! open, beautifully filled with light and cosy!

22 May 2011 | Unregistered Commentercallie grayson

Wowee! Gorgeous transformation. It looks like the perfect summer retreat!

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSheri

really beautiful and totally cottag-y. the porch is gorgeous. but she got rid of that amazing antique metal bed!?

22 May 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjenn@theinteriorist

Bravo!!!! My gut instinct would have been to work with the dark wood, but it looks so fantastic white. It is a truly contemporary twist on classic lake cottage. The Floor lamp is great, and definitely keep the fireplace as it is. My only question is, why the new kitchen cabinets? Judging by the pictures they could have been painted.

Keep up the good work!

22 May 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreg in Illinois

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