let's build a home

while i'm without camera i thought i'd go through my files looking for posts i had written but never pushed the publish button for one reason or another.  here is one of those.
there are lots more where this one came from so you can take that as a warning.

this is little video of the renovation of our cottage.  it's not great or anything but it was kinda fun to put   together.  looking back at it cracks me up.  i didn't have a blog when we started this project so the before pictures are not that great and really the afters aren't much better.  but it does bring back good memories of 16 hour days full of back breaking work.  we (and when i say we you all know i really mean larry) with the help of a couple of craftsmen finished it in 8 weeks.  and while we did not actually build this home we did save it from certain demolition.  and why not bore you with the thinking that went behind our choices that we made in materials when renovating it.  we knew this cottage was built for the gardening staff of the adjoining estate.  we also know that it was built using all the leftover building materials of the main house.  so every time we were faced with a decision on materials we would think what would they have used in the main house.  i copied the kitchen as best i could of kimberly crest mansion, which is next door.  also, this house inherited a lot of hand-me-downs from the estate in the way of lighting fixtures, hardware, roses, etc.  sorting through the basement and underneath the house unearthed all kinds of treasures that we put to use.  so the house is a mix of castoffs which i think suits the place perfectly..



you may want to turn down the volume because it is set to the white stripes, whom i love but you may not. 
 i personally turn the volume up but suit yourself.

you can watch it...


i'll be back in a day or so with another reject post!


xo
janet




 

61 comments

  1. I had no idea you had renovated it. I thought you had just done the garden and decorated (painted, some tile). You guys did a fantastic job. I look forward to more of your "reject" posts. I'm sure they'll be great (like this one!).

    Julie

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  2. What a great idea. I loved the video. It shows how you loved your cottage into a home that is beautiful. Have you considered doing a newer version of the "after"? I love to see it now.

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  3. That's very cool! Wish I could pick a different soundtrack though.

    Teasing.

    S.

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  4. Oh, what was that huge thing hanging from the ceiling? Was it a light?

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  5. How wonderful, Janet! I had no idea you had done so much work to your cottage. You had a vision and it sure worked out beautifully. (Loved the soundtrack too.)

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  6. Dear Janet,
    I know I am probably much older than your kids, but for a moment can we pretend that I'm still in my 20's? Then maybe you could adopt me???? I love renovating, The White Stripes (and Raconteurs too for that fact) and we generally have similar tastes. I come with two ready made grandkids, both polite and well mannered....well?????
    Love,
    Eleanor xoxo

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  7. And the THRIFTING....how could I have forgotten to mention the thrifting....????

    ;)

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  8. Whoa..........seriously, whoa! I knew you put in some renovating but I had no idea of the extent of it. Great job!!

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  9. steve those are wires for lighting i think. that big hole is the crawl space for the attic. i think. hahha.

    eleanor i just got rid of my kids so i'm still recuperating from parenthood, if i ever recover i'll think about it.:)

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  10. I love the whole renovation. But most of all I love the fact that you have given a gorgeous old cottage another lease on life... It is now a stunning and cosy home.

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  11. Oh, baby! We have VERY similar pictures, Janet. So much work but worth every minute.

    Actually, we are still not finished!

    S
    xo

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  12. Ah I see that you and Larry have done pretty much the same thing that we have done here in our bungalow. You just did it faster!

    We bought the cheapest house in the best neighbourhood that we could afford so naturally it had to be a fixer upper.

    Seeing what you have done makes me wish that we had a video camera to record our improvements. We did take photos and we have been here for 30 years and are still working on the house!

    Looking forward to other unpublished posts from the vault!

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  13. Now THAT is a makeover! Did you cry when you first saw the house?

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  14. Impressive work! I knew you had renovated the house, but I had no idea it was is such a state prior to your efforts. This video was really fun to watch for a reno junkie like me. Thanks for sharing, Janet!
    xo,
    Anne

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  15. Thanks, that was fun to see all your hard work (and it only took 4 minutes!)

    kinda miss that fixture hanging in the back hall. :)

    Was there originally a fireplace in the living room?

    ~skye

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  16. JANET!!! That was crazy. Crazy good.

    What an eye (and ear) you have. Oh,
    and who rocks more that Larry?

    No one. That was fun.

    xo Jane

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  17. skye, that was a plastic fireplace you see in the video. uh huh. thanks for the camera link but i think i'll wait for my camera!

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  18. LOVE LOVE LOVE! Awesome.
    -Suzanne in Illinois

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  19. well, that was more fun than a barrel of monkeys!! I loved seeing that video (though had to put it on mute;);) a plastic fireplace?? too funny. y'all did an amazing job and should be SOOOO proud of all your hard work. love your home xxj.

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  20. A few words come to mind. Love and vision! Ibuprofen! Rockin' soundtrack (can you believe I've never heard the white stripes before)! As a wanna-be renovator I adore what you and Larry (and friends I'm sure) did! You took that little shack and gave it a new life. So beautiful!

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  21. I want to find me a gardener's cottage! no joke.

    I never realized the transformation was so big...you two are an awesome team.

    You watch, my next kitchen will have those beautiful tiles too!
    Beautiful job you guys. :)

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  22. Oh my!
    I just watched that twice!
    You give me hope that someday my hovel can become beautiful.
    Amazing.

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  23. This is amazing!! Loved the transformations and seeing them on the video and the music too!! You are so clever and Larry is very talented! X

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  24. You really turned an unloved home into a masterpiece! I think the result is beautiful and can imagine what hard work it all was.

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  25. WOW ! You loved that house back to life !

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  26. Hi Janet,

    And I thought our house/yard was bad when we bought it! There were many times I would think "God, what have we done". We took before pictures and every time I get frustrated because we STILL aren't done I pull out the photo album to remind myself just how far we have come.

    You and Larry have done an incredible job of restoring this home and it's also great that you were able to salvage some things as well. And to think you accomplished all this is 8 weeks. You should be very proud!

    Linda
    xo

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  27. It is amazing and so fun to watch the transition take place (especially with this music turned up loud;) Your hubby must feel so much pride (and of course, you in him) for having done this with his own hands. And then there's the yard, the beautiful gardens and the simple and gorgeous decorating choices--done by you and your own hands. You must both feel so much pride in what you have created together.

    I know you are content as I read your blog and your words come from someone that is "right with the world". I adore you and your blog; you are witty, creative and live a simple life. Thanks for inspiring me to do better, and be better:)

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  28. Janet,
    I always love a great before, during and after project...this one is the best because you (and when I say you, I mean you and Larry of course) really brought life back to your little cottage and its gardens without losing its integrity. You really had a vision and to see it all coming together along the way as we see it now on your blog is just amazing. I love a house with history. Can't wait to see more.
    xo
    annie

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  29. An amazing transformation, you and Larry had so much vision to see the potential in your adorable cottage. It was cute before but absolutely gorgeous now.
    Love the White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather but mostly I just love Jack. xxx

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  30. Charming...inspirational!

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  31. Janet, every decision you and Larry made in your remo is perfect!!! Your taste is so classic and yet fresh. I'd love to see a close up pic of your front porch entry area. I have one of those too and it's my favorite room of the house. Thanks, Allegra

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  32. That was awesome! It reminded me a little of our first house - a 1940's cottage style house in Denver we "cleaned up."

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  33. I am amazed, I had no idea your house was so transformed, what a load of work. Of course your finishes and clean style really bring out the beauty of the place... thanks for sharing this and I loved the music too.

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  34. This has nothing to do with your current post. I just have no other way to reach you. I saw a picture and thought of you immediately. It's from today's post at: http://littleaugury.blogspot.com/. Not so much the look, more the attitude, and I loved it. You will find it as the sixth picture down as you scroll. Black dress, green sash, Pekinese dogs.

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  35. gail, just went and looked. wow, what a compliment. esp if you think i have that attitude!

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  36. A tiny bit more demure but the attitude is there in the first picture you posted February 1st, and there have been others, especially when you're wearing those black heels.

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  37. hmmm, i'll have to see if there is a connection between my attitude and my kitten heels. how funny!

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  38. How about a post on packing for a trip? like a ski trip ? as in I have to be packed by Thursday!

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  39. anon, what kind of ski trip? will you be at a fancy resort or will you be in a private condo? will you be going out in the evening or staying in and cooking. how long will you be gone for? do you have your own equipment or do you rent?

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  40. This looks nothing like the finished product. You guys are the bomb....or should I say Larry!! Actually, every house you have fixed up is pretty amazing so I think you are the bomb as well.

    Love you,

    me.....among the missing

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  41. Oh Janet,
    I have been reading your blog for some time, but I had no idea you started from scratch with your cottage! What a transformation!
    And, I am one of those readers who turned the volume UP!

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  42. dang it, I only watched the first part of the video before I wrote my comment....

    ahhh, I think my daughter came by her ADD honestly.

    Still love you,

    missing margot

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  43. Hi Janet,

    Anon here. We will be in a lovely resort (Beaver Creek) and staying with relatives in a very lovely house on the mountain, so mostly meals at home and the ability to wash clothes easily. Going for a solid week. We are trying to keep our costs down so I am bringing skis/boots/helmet. And I want to bring as little else as needed (but at the same time be clothed). Your style is not dissimilar to mine and you just mentioned a ski trip so you may have good thoughts on what you brought/wish you had brought/wish you had left behind> Thank you. And of course you can just comment--no post needed.

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  44. atlantic, i would wear a pair of skinny jeans tucked into my apres ski boots for traveling there. while i was there i would wear comfortable loungewear type clothing for the evenings. after skiing all day i love to put on soft, comfy clothes. yoga pants with a cute, soft sweater type things. if we go into town for dinner then i'd wear the skinny jeans again with a sweater and my ski jacket. i also bring american apparel long sleeve thermals that i layer with everything. my makeup is always minimal, mascara and lipstick. lots of warm socks and you should be set. i'll try to do a post later in the day on this. i'll try!

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  45. Happily ever after.
    I felt as though I was watching a dream take place.
    pve

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  46. Love the post and your blog! Congratultions on a wonderful renovation. I am embarking on a similar project and am overwhelmed. Did you work with the existing floor plan or add/subtract walls?

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  47. debby, we worked with the existing floorplan. we did add a wall in the powder room/laundry room. and we did drywall over a few existing doors but we did not add any sq footage to the house.

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  48. Always love looking at your house.! What a project you took on amazing.

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  49. I don't know which I love more, your style of decor, or listening to Jack White. And I love Jack White a lot. I am a big fan of his. So I really enjoyed this post.

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  50. Janet, wow, what a great job you did, it is amazing! I enjoyed the video a lot. We renovated our house too but I did not take as many pictures, which I regret now.

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  51. That was sooo much fun! We are Recovering House renovators, but all our old stuff from various flea markets fits in to our new house by the sea. Love the old fixtures. You are one talented visual person and we are lucky to witness!

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  52. It looks SO fun! I renovated a 1906 Capitol Townhome - Federal style in D.C. about 15 years ago. I sure wish I were doing that again! It's really so gratifying.

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  53. Love your cottage! Your choices in decor and style are just perfect - you have a refined, restrained eye with regards to interior design. I visited the Kimberly Crest Mansion years ago with a group of docents that I worked with - very interesting place. Great post.

    Cathleen from Kentucky

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  54. I linked over from a Country Farmhouse and what a treat to see your home makeover!!!! It is classic! We live in a farmhouse and have started an all white decor and we are crazy about gardening too! I'll be back to visit again!

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  55. What a great record to have of all your work, and what a transformation! Terrific.

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  56. I have just found your blog and am really enjoying seeing how you have put together a lovely home - I have just watched the video and have been really impressed at the end result of your kitchen. I am considering purchasing a home and as I live alone I want the smallest one that I can comfortably live in. Like you I have been trying to declutter and live only with what is necessary, although I keep being caught up in consumerism and then have to decide what to do with the purchase. I try and remember my mantra - do I need it, where am I going to store/display it, and how am I going to use it -but I am frequently caught out. I have stuff I have purchased and stored and never used but find really difficult to discard!
    You home does not appear to have a large floorplan - can you share a basic outline of the layout so I can envision how the rooms flow please? I live in Western Australia and the current housing obsession is bigger is better and that is not what I want.
    PS did not want to open an regular URL so have chosen Anonymous - cheers Helen

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    1. hello helen,

      i will try to figure out a way to present the floorplan of my house. i've tried before but it hasn't worked. i will tell you that the house is 1000 sq ft. it is not the most ideal layout but we make it work. maybe i can just do a basic drawing? hmmm. let me think about this.

      thanks for your comment.

      oh and one of the most powerful detriments to not purchase something is for me to think about where it is going to go in my house as we have barely any storage. if the purchase isn't replacing something that i can give away or sell then i don't buy it. period.!!!

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kindness is never out of style.

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