Welcome to our cottage home tour!
My husband and I live with our cat, The Little One, in a small (1129 sq. feet) 1929 cottage home. Our cottage is located in Northern IL. A large, old neighborhood established in 1882. Our Charmer is located in the “old” part of town.
After a divorce, I purchased my cottage home in 1987. Over the course of many years the previous owners sadly neglected basic maintenance and normal upgrades. Being single, and on a very tight budget, the improvements were limited to what was needed the most. Within the first year a new roof and water heater was installed.
The Charmer was built with a fuse box and was upgraded to circuit breakers. It was difficult to find time to do the repairs, I was working full time, and carried 9 credit hours at college. Through the years I painted, replaced broken windows, upgraded electrical boxes, window screens were made and much more.
In 1998 I married my husband, Chaz (Charles) and we had our wedding in our backyard garden area. Right after we began many renovating projects and home improvements and continue to this day. Our cottage is a work in progress, and there were times it seemed like we never stopped, day or night, working to bring her back to her original cottage charm.
Let’s begin our home tour as we approach our front porch.
This is our porch last fall (2014) which was recently painted a lovely grey and white color. The porch is being featured on BHG Fall porches September 2015.
We enter through our beautiful solid oak wood arched door…
Sweeping your eyes, as we turn left of the vestibule is our dining/living area. The area is an open rectangular room. Back in the day there was an arch that separated the two rooms.
Looking to the left is our dinning room…and the first thing you would see is our buffet...
Our buffet decorated for Spring 2015. I just finished the two cross-stitched geese and thought they were perfect in our Spring buffet vignette.
Directly across from the buffet is an arched mantel/fireplace
The entire fireplace was painted brown with heavy enamel paint. My brother, who is the masonry business, re-bricked it for me.
When I saw this vintage farmhouse drop leaf table, I knew it was prefect for our space.
This is how it looked for our Easter tablescape, 2015.
The cabinet in the corner was a freebie street find that we painted and provides much needed storage which typically older homes do not have.
In the opposite corner is a lighted curio cabinet found at GW for less than $10.
The burlap curtains were made from “landscaping” burlap ($10 for 30 feet) and hung on the curtain rod with clips.
Right of the buffet is a vintage door I found walking down the old part of town alley’s and it came home with me.
Moving across the room, to the right, we enter the main living area. A GW find, $39.00, Thomasville armorie is perfect to hold our TV and many of my vintage linens..
After the armoire is a large bank of original windows..and where our living area is.
The area is really the dining room of our cottage. There is no family room in the Charmer, and being the largest room, we converted it into a main living space. It’s hard to get good photos of the room since there are so many windows of lovely sun shining through.
I found the lamp thrifting for $5, and wanted a cottagey lampshade cover. So I made one using a designer blouse to cover the shade. The straps were used to create a tie where a rhinestone brooch was hung.
The stairway leads to upstairs where our master bedroom, bath, and two other bedrooms area located. We’ll head upstairs a little later.
Across from the sitting area is a rather too big hutch (so need to find a smaller one)…
Our home is long and narrow…
Standing in the nook to the working area, you can see the living room outside the door (before paint color change). Our kitchen remodeled 7 years ago, and once it was done it didn’t take me long to realized the back-splash was to dark.
above the window, where my main workspace area is a ladder hanging above the cabinets. Decorated for Christmas, 2014
In the nook area…
Using a Ralph Lauren skirt found at Goodwill I was able to make cottage chair covers. When the wind blows in it reminds me of ballerina’s dancing.
vintage windows were hung inside the windows to give more charm to the ugly vinyl ones.
I couldn’t find any cottage shades that I liked and covered the existing shades with sleeves from a Coldwater Creek blouse. Each sleeve end had lace around the bottom and it was used at the top. To see how I made them click here.
Outside our kitchen is our back porch..but lets head up the staircase to our master bedroom.
In another corner, a cozy place to read…