Our Cottage


"There is room in the smallest cottage
for a happy loving pair." 
~ Friederich Schiller


The story of our cottage begins in July 2013 when we sold our Colorado cabin and moved to Northeast Oregon. Our goal was to simplify our lives and live as debt free as possible. We knew we'd need to live in a small home, but that wasn't a concern as the house we had just sold was only 640 sq ft and we had enjoyed its diminutive size.

Dennis, my artist husband, is a retired architect. In April 2014 we purchased a lot in a very small town and together began designing our new cottage. 





By the end of the year we had completed the design and hired a contractor. Construction of our 670 sq ft cottage and 190 sq ft artist's studio began on February 9, 2015.





On February 19th I posted Our New Cottage - Progress Report #1 and went on to journal the entire project on this blog. 

Cottage and artist studio (on the right) joined by breezeway.

Fourteen project reports later construction was complete. On August 10th I cooked my first meal in our new kitchen.




See more of our cottage kitchen here.

Our cottage living space is completely open. The kitchen is on one end, the sitting area on the other.





The fireplace sits between the two spaces.




My studio is at the front of the cottage.




See more of my studio here.


Just a little peek at our bedroom. Still working on this.




A very teeny peek into our bath.



I'm still in the interior decorating stage. I'll post more photos as the rooms are completed.


The artist in his studio.






Our first Christmas 2015











Dennis and I continue to work on landscaping, storage needs and other odds and ends. I guess home owners are never really done with home improvement projects are they?


If you're interested in seeing the entire journal of our cottage build from start to finish, you can click here to go to the final report and scroll down to the bottom of the page where you'll find a link to the first report. From there you can follow through all the other progress reports in order.

23 comments:

  1. Oh My!! I have been behind on some of your posts, but you must be over the moon happy to be settling into this amazing lil space!! I love it!! Your kitchen is wonderful, I love all the finishings you have chosen and seeing all your wonderful posts on cottages makes me miss the BnB industry!! I would love to have another wee guest house on this property and you have filled my mind with so much inspiration!! The flowerbed by your front porch are beautiful,,,cant wait to see how you landscape the rest!! Happy Fall Nancy,,,,and such a great job!!

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  2. Hi Nancy,
    I just found you the other day whilst looking for small home inspiration (like I read that you have also had done) and you have done that, inspire. I have loved houses all my life, I just have a fascination for them, have always wanted a house with a front porch and a back and I always visualize it in white. I look at floor plans and have even drawn my own, I have gone from big to smaller and then smaller still trying to find the right floor plan for mine and my husband's needs. I had a plan for 1475 sf then after reading your blog it inspired me to look for something even smaller. The lot I am interested in the house requirement size is 1200 so I started there and I have now found the little house with 1275 sf and a front porch and a back porch and you can guarantee it will be white with black shutters and a red front door. LOL! It is not as small as all I read on here but I think it is perfect for us. Ironically it is called Simple Living. I kept looking at houses with big kitchens and this one is only 10.5 x 11 sf but I think it will work with a little tweaking and I am definitely going to have the double windows over my farmhouse sink. Almost all the houses I look at have either the sink facing the wall or the living room I personally want to look out to see all that God has given us. I now live in a 2050 sf house and it's the biggest one I have ever lived in, my husband was in the military and we have lived all over the world and never any place more than 5 yrs. and I have lived here for 10, we have 2.5 acres and the upkeep on that the house and a pool is overwhelming at times. As I read the quote from C S Lewis "You are never too old to set another goal, or dream a new dream" it was as though you put that there for me to see. I have printed it and the floor plan of my new goal and dream.
    I can't wait to see your final results for all your hard work and due diligence. I will keep watching for the next post.
    Cindy

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    1. Hello Cindy!

      Thank you so much for this lovely comment. It's such a joy for me to read it and know that my story could be an encouragement to you. Since I can't reply to your comment via email (you're a no-reply commenter) I hope you come back here so you'll know how much your words mean to me. This is one of the main reasons I blog. I deeply appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts. I hope you'll stay in touch and share the progress on your own goal and dream. All the best ~ Nancy

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  3. Good Morning Nancy,
    I am new to this game and very seldom ever comment but I had to let you know how you had inspired me. What do I do to receive your comments via email?
    Thank you,
    Cindy

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    1. Hi Cindy. You'll need to go into your Blogger profile and add your email address and then check the box next to "show my email address." That should do it. All the best ~ Nancy

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  4. I found your blog via La Vie Est Belle-- Merry Christmas from an exiled Oregonian in SoCal.

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    1. Thank you so much. It's always fun to make a new friend through blogs. So glad you stopped by. I hope you enjoyed a peaceful, beautiful Christmas.

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  5. Nancy you did the fireplace just like I would have! It is perfect. Such a cozy and charming little home! Congrats!

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    1. Thank you. The fireplace is the focal point of the cottage. I'm so glad Dennis placed it in the center of the room so we can enjoy it from the kitchen, as well as from the sitting room.

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  6. It's really lovely, Nancy! I love the fireplace, too.
    You've done a great job.
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

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    1. Thank you so much, Linda. We are really enjoying our new home.

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  7. I don't know if I have ever seen your kitchen completed. It's adorable. xoxo Su

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    1. Thank you, Su. We gave a lot of attention to the kitchen since it's really the whole living space of the cottage. I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

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  8. Can you share the approximate floor plan without sharing the blueprint?
    Evelyn Sandefur
    500 E Mt Pleasant Rd
    Evansville IN 47711
    evelynsandefur@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Evelyn. I appreciate your interest. At this time we have chosen not to share any plans of our cottage.

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  9. Nancy, I enjoyed reading your 2nd life, as it were! What ad adorable cottage and bigger than your last place, no less! I myself live in Northern Colorado but imagine Oregon would be a great place to retire to in terms of beauty and what not...and you still have snow!

    I hope you remain happy there and with your artist husband too. Best wishes to you. (BTW, I found you through a good comment you left on writing letters on Mary's "A Breath of Fresh Air" blog.)

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    1. Thank you, Michael, for these kind words. I love Mary. She's a remarkable woman. All the best you.

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  10. I didn't realize this was your first Christmas in your new home too! Love the tour here...your farmhouse sink is wonderful! Love it! Xoxoaimee

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  11. Nancy, you and your very talented husband have designed a perfectly charming home that really makes the most of every square foot. I hope it will inspired many others to consider the benefits of downsizing.

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    1. Thank you, Jean. We are so glad we built a small home. With less to maintain we find we have more time to really "live".

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  12. I was reading a post on Art and Sand and found you through a comment you made. I love your little cottage

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Your comments bring me joy! Thanks for stopping by.