Thursday, April 30, 2015

Our New Cottage - Progress Report #5

Hi Cottage Friends, 

I've got another construction update for you. Unfortunately, right in the middle of writing this post my laptop decided to flip out. It's now in the repair shop, along with all the photos I had loaded of the construction progress. 

Consequently, I only got as far as April 16 in this report.  I'm now using Dennis' Mac to finish this post, and as soon as I get my computer back with all the pictures I'll publish another update to fill in the blanks. 

(Have I mentioned I have a love/hate relationship with technology?)

April 13, 2015

Ryan works on the electrical outlet rough-in.

Scott  and Will get the back porch ceiling completed, including the attic access.

April 14, 2015

The guys install small trim around soffit.

Ryan installs the lighting boxes.

Halo lights will spotlight artwork

Bathroom vanity lights

Meanwhile Dennis and I discover old windows outside a neighbor's 1912 farmhouse and after a little purchasing negotiation they're loaded up in the Suburban and we take them to the job site.

What are we going to do with these?

The same thing we're going to do with this free door Dennis scored.

They're all going to be repurposed into a garden shed that we're going to build ourselves.

This will be a fun, super budget-friendly project, using as much reclaimed and left-over construction material, as possible.

April 15, 2015

Ryan finished up the electrical rough-in and the inspector signed off on the work.

Our flat screen TV will hang on the wall.
We'll design and build a wall cabinet to disguise it.

April 16, 2015

The guys pull off to work on another job and we work on staining the decking before its installed.

My job is to sand the redwood.

Then Dennis applies the stain.

And sets up the decking to dry.

And this is where my computer stopped computing.  

I hate to leave you hanging, so we'll fast forward to last night (April 29). Here's a photo I snapped on my iPhone.

You can see from the photo that Dennis and I painted some of the exterior while the guys were off working on another construction project. We wanted to get the porch walls and ceilings painted before they started installing the decking.

We also have been working on re-sculpting the landscape.

I'm pretty bummed that I can't show you more photos of the progress, but at least you can see that the studio windows are now in, as well as the front door. The other two doors (cottage side door and studio) are in as well; all single french doors, which I adore.

And now I want to put a plug in for my weekly Living Large In Small Spaces series.  I hope you'll join me this Saturday, and my very special guest from San Diego, California. I can't wait for you to meet her and see the charming cottage she shares with her family.

Warmest regards and thanks to all of you for your amazing support and the joy you give me in this journey.

If you missed previous progress reports, you can find them here:

Progress Report #1
Progress Report #2
Progress Report #3
Progress Report #4

You can find our awesome builder at their website:
BLH Construction.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Living Large In Small Spaces - Frugal Little Bungalow

Twenty-ninth post in the series 
"Living Large in Small Spaces"

Welcome Cottage Friends.  Thank you for joining me for another edition of Living Large In Small Spaces.

My special guest today is Debra from the blog Frugal Little Bungalow. About her blog Deb writes, "This blog is dedicated to small space living and small budget spending, basic simple pleasures in life, with a bit of coping in general thrown in there as well."

This is a woman after my own heart. I'm very happy to have her share her charming home and gorgeous gardens of 15 years, and large life here at A Joyful Cottage. Enjoy!

I have enjoyed Nancy's "Living Large in Small Spaces" series, so it is quite the honor to be able to participate in it! : ) Rather than re-shoot pictures of my house I have chosen a variety of existing ones. The place is too small to move furniture around, so nothing much changes here aside from changing out curtains or pillow covers or decorations. So you might see a few seasons in this post. :)

My neighborhood in Southwestern Pa. is comprised of many similar homes built in the early 1900's. Many of them were kit homes, as I imagine that mine was. According to real estate records, my home was originally built in 1917. A few blocks down from here, there is what is known to be a Sears Kit Home. I do not believe my home to be a Sears home though it is very close to one of their models. When I moved here there was no landscaping whatsoever. Each year I added more and more as time and money permitted.

My bungalow is a small one : 1110 square feet. ( First floor 648 / second floor 462 =1100 net living area ) The unfinished basement is 648 square feet. It is quite sufficient for me, and has often been full over the years with family picnics, dinners, holiday celebrations and grandchildren over for the day or evening. The hardest thing for me to get used to was the galley kitchen.

It measures about 8 x 12.


Basic prep and cooking can be accomplished in the small kitchen area. For anything more extensive such as rolling out dough or other activities, the dining room table is used. There is a small cupboard off to the right when you head down to the basement, and items such as the blender, crockpot, and cleaning tools are stored there. There's more storage space in the basement, of course, and then for every day things such as cereal, pasta, canned goods, garbage bags, etc. a tall cabinet in the dining room is used. I bought a very cheap one in the beginning and replaced it with this one later on.

The dining room is the heart of this home.


Food prep, paperwork, crafting, sewing, eating...everything is done in the dining room. In the above photo you can see a dry sink over to the right. Various baskets are stacked there holding sewing supplies. A view of the other side :


The house has a boiler and steam heat radiators. No whole house air. So while a serious home decor enthusiast might shudder at the paddle fans in each room and prefer a 'chandy' or something else, these fans are a lifesaver in the hot summer when the window air conditioners are straining to cool the house. Because the upstairs does not have an attic, the rooms up there are stifling on hot summer days. Looking in to the living room from the dining room:

The living room is long and narrow and hard to photograph. It's divided into two sections...what you see above is one area with a piano off to the right and a seating area to the left. There is no foyer; you enter directly into the living room.

Upstairs is a very small bathroom, a small bedroom that is used as a toy room, with some books and fabrics stored there as well, and my bedroom. Two long narrow closets with deeply sloped ceilings run the length of that bedroom.


There are two porches. One is in the back, accessed from the kitchen, and it's used for a bit of storage, depending on the season. Underneath that porch is a little door, and the lawnmower and rakes and shovels etc. are stored there. The front porch is another room in three seasons of the year. Unless it's unbearably hot, in the spring, summer and fall, I'll just pass right through the living room and take a book or a quilting project out to the front porch.

The grandchildren drag their blocks and toy cars and dolls out here in the warm months...they don't want to be inside either.

I will usually plant some vines in early summer such as morning glory or thunbergia or hyacinth bean vine and by late summer and into fall the porch has a nice enclosed feel to it. And the squirrels are frequent visitors as well.

The back porch :

Some views of the back and sides of the house later in the summer last year.

It might be small but every inch of space is utilized here :) 

Deb, thank you for sharing your cozy bungalow and beautiful gardens with us. I love your classic home, and the sense of community you have in your neighborhood.

Visit Deb's blog for more home decor, garden, sewing/quilting and simple living inspiration:
Frugal Little Bungalow

Deb sells her vintage and handmade goods in her Etsy shop:
Frugal Little Bungalow

Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series

 Living Large in Small Spaces

See more home tours in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.

From the comments I've received, many
people have been encouraged by the homes and lives shared here.
If you live in a small space I'd 
love to feature your story, too.
Send me an email and let's collaborate.
(See the "Contact Me" page for my email address.)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Living Large In Small Spaces - Bailey Cottage

Twenty-eighth post in the series 
"Living Large in Small Spaces"

Hello Cottage Friends and welcome to another edition of Living Large In Small Spaces.

Two months ago I featured the fabulous Mountain Cottage designed by TKP Architects of Golden, Colorado. Karen Keating, President of TKP, told me about another small home they had designed called Bailey Cottage. I'm pleased to share it with you today.

Karen says the 1,037 sf cottage "
was designed to be a temporary house while the Owners designed and built their 'big' house, but they like it so much that they have never built the 'big' one."

A two car garage comprises most of the first floor, along with the powder room -- which is also conveniently accessed from the patio -- the mechanical room, a storage closet, and interior stairs to the second floor living space.

Palladian windows in the home's gables allow natural light to flow into the rooms.

Glass front kitchen cabinets maintain the open feel of the great room. The vaulted ceiling affords space for a second row of upper cabinets, providing extra storage.

Built-in wood cabinetry and hardwood floors contrast beautifully with the white planked ceiling, and walls

The bedroom is tucked under the eaves. The window offers great architectural detail, not to mention a beautiful view of the grounds. The bathroom (not shown) is adjacent to the bedroom and backs up to the kitchen wall.

This home has a basement which houses the music room.

And a wine room.

The property is stunning.

Small homes live larger with outdoor "rooms" and Bailey Cottage has plenty of those.

Gathering places abound.

The result is a tranquil retreat.

Classic architecture in a park-like setting. It's so easy to imagine living large in this small space.

I received no compensation from TKP Architects for featuring Bailey cottage. I'm sharing it because it's a wonderful example of a small home that lives large.

All photos are the property of TKP Architects and were used with their permission.

Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series

 Living Large in Small Spaces

See more home tours in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.

From the comments I've received, many
people have been encouraged by the homes and lives 
shared in this series.
If you live in a small space (approx. 1200 square feet or less),
 I'd love to feature your story, too.
Send me an email and let's collaborate.
(See the "Contact Me" page for my email address.)