Saturday, February 27, 2016

Living Large In Small Spaces - Paradise Cove Mobile Home

A mobile home redo that's smart and chic is this week's featured small home. The owner, who had down-sized from a large home to live full-time in her vacation mobile home, purchased the mobile next door when it came up for sale. Remodeled, and decorated in global boho style, it's now used as a guest house for her adult children and friends.

Welcome to the seventy-first post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces".

Located in Paradise Cove of Malibu, California, this 600 sq ft beauty began life as a fairly common mobile home. Just to put things in perspective though, the NY Times calls Paradise Cove "America's Most Glamorous Trailer Park". First developed in the 50's and then expanded in the 70's the park's mobile homes today range from $400k to over $4m and space rents run from $1500 to $3000 per month. 

I say let's put real estate prices aside for the next few minutes and allow ourselves to be inspired by the interior transformation of this 1 bedroom, 1 bath mobile home. 

Before the remodel the home seemed dreary and cluttered.

The after photos reveal a breathtaking makeover. Old sliding doors were removed and replaced with larger doors that allow for more natural light, not to mention fabulous views.  Bar stools were placed outside near the deck rail to take advantage of the top rail's 14" depth -- great for holding plates and drinks.

The floors are white wash oak laminate. Walls are covered in wallpaper called "Peacock Feather".

A sectional really makes sense in a room this small. It allows for better traffic flow and helps the space seem larger.

The custom floating cabinet under the TV houses media equipment and provides storage to keep things tidy. 

The new streamlined kitchen is bright and nicely appointed.

Floating shelves instead of upper cabinets open up the kitchen. Counter to ceiling tile gives the wall a clean, sleek look.

The floor to ceiling cabinetry on the right side of the kitchen conceals a pantry and refrigerator.

While the bedroom is minimalist in content, the layered textiles and warm wallpaper keep it from feeling stark.

Bedroom built-ins have double rods, drawers and a washer-dryer.

The bathroom is stunning with dark blue custom vanity, Caesarstone vanity top, and brass fixtures, and hardware.

Much of this particular remodel specified custom materials and work, but I can see how a project like this could be done in a budget-friendly way. Can you?

Interested in seeing more mobile home transformations? Here are some previous Living Large In Small Spaces featured mobile homes:
Whisper Cottage -  Geneva and Buzz's single wide mobile home remodel

Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series

 Living Large in Small Spaces

See more home tours and small living ideas in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Living Large In Small Spaces - Ford Caretaker's Cottage

This week's featured cottage is a historical renovation near Savannah, Georgia.

Welcome to the seventieth post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces".

Originally built in the late 1920's as a caretaker's home on Henry Ford's winter retreat, the cottage was in dilapidated condition. Determined to save the cottage from demolition and preserve Ford's legacy, the new owners called in Historical Concepts of Atlanta to act as consultants on its restoration. 

We begin our tour by entering the cottage from the inviting front porch.

The peeling wall paint on the original poplar tongue and groove walls was partially stripped, scraped and sealed by the owner to create a mottled finish. 

Heart pine flooring and the fireplace -- all restored -- are original to the cottage.
The chandeliers and and ceiling lights in the cottage were handcrafted by Eloise Pickard of Adairsville, Georgia, who uses salvaged parts and pieces from old fixtures to create new light fixtures. 

Three windows and an old wood stove were replaced with French doors that lead to a new screened porch and beautiful water views.

The kitchen's gorgeous vaulted ceiling was created during the renovation. A vintage sink, found by the owner, pairs well with the custom cabinets and island for a charming period look. 

Reclaimed heart pine counters replaced old laminate countertops. I love the contrast of the natural wood with the white walls and pastel green cabinets.

Extended by three feet, the master bathroom is now bright and cheerful thanks to the white paint and newly vaulted ceiling. 

Traditional Bathroom by Atlanta Architects & Building Designers Historical Concepts

Another fabulous cottage rescued from demolition. 

What do you find in this cottage that inspires you?

Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series

 Living Large in Small Spaces

See more home tours and small living ideas in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Living Large In Small Spaces - Montlake Bungalow

This Seattle bungalow is a heartbreaker. She's a classy little house and I know you're going to love her as much as I do.

Welcome to the sixty-ninth post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces".

Built in 1926, the bungalow has recently been remodeled with an eye toward maintaining the architectural integrity of the original home. Throughout the space you will see "architectural pop outs [that] serve as window seats or garden windows."

The dining and living rooms were opened up, and the ceiling in the central vestibule was lifted up through the roof and topped with a skylight that provides daylight to the middle of the house.

Open shelving instead of upper cabinets give the stream-lined kitchen a more spacious feeling. The back door is stunning.

A generous display shelf follows the kitchen perimeter, offering a place to showcase collectibles.

I'm captivated by this hallway. 

Window seats get me every time, and this one in the bedroom is stunning. Jewelry as wall art is a brilliant idea.

The outdoor space is as charming as the interior. Love the shake shingle siding and brick pavers.

A "broken-down garage" was converted to a studio for the architect owner. The roof was raised three feet, and triple french doors were installed. 

Now the light and bright space relates beautifully to the bungalow and courtyard.

Who wouldn't want to work in this gorgeous space?

Was I right? Do you love Montlake Bungalow?

Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series

 Living Large in Small Spaces

See more home tours and small living ideas in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Embracing the Green Chair

This is the week leading up to Valentine's Day and Dennis' and my sixth wedding anniversary. 

The theme of our wedding was JOY. 

Joy in the Lord.

Joy in each other.

Joy in every day we're given.

I think that's why this photo from our wedding is my favorite. When I look at the two of us dancing I relive the pure joy of beginning life as a couple.

February 14, 2010 - Fawnbrook Inn, Allenspark, Colorado

There have been days when that joy has been threatened. Remarrying at our age comes with a whole different set of challenges than did the marriages of our youth. 

I've found that there is great benefit to having history as a couple. Thirty-six years of marriage made for a lot of history with my late husband, which translated into greater understanding 

of him

of me

of us.

Six years into my marriage to Dennis I'm still learning how to appreciate our differences, to accept them as an opportunity to grow as a person; to become more of the woman God designed me to be. 

Embracing the green chair has been part of my education.

What in the world is she talking about?

That's probably what you're thinking right now, so let me explain.

Last summer, just before we moved into our new cottage, we spent a day in Pendleton, Oregon browsing through antique and vintage shops. Dennis discovered a green wing back chair without a price tag and asked the shopkeeper about it. She had just received it on consignment and planned to list it for sale once it was "cleaned up". However, if we were interested, she'd make us a deal.  Dennis sat in the chair and immediately decided he wanted it if the price was right. It was. The shopkeeper offered to sell it "as is" for $35, and we bought the chair.

It was a great buy; a very good quality chair, made in North Carolina and sold in high-end retail shops. A professional woman in Portland (a friend of the shopkeeper) had owned the chair and it was in exceptional condition.

I wasn't crazy about the outdated upholstery, but reasoned I could always have it reupholstered, or use a slipcover.

Except that's not what happened. Dennis liked the upholstery. He liked the emerald green color. He liked the variegated gold trellis pattern. And he wasn't at all anxious to change it. He never told me I couldn't change it, but a wife knows when her husband really isn't onboard. It's part of that history thing.

One day my friend Mary stopped by for coffee. I showed her the chair and shared my feelings about the upholstery.

She smiled sweetly and said, "I think you should embrace the chair. It's pretty and you can work it into your decor."

And so I did.

This photo was taken in the fall.

I'm thinking about making some changes for spring. New fabrics for the stool, sofa cushion and pillow covers. Something softer. Pastels maybe.

Whatever I choose I'll make it work with the emerald green chair and its variegated gold trellis. Because that's my husband's chair and he's happy with it. And because I love my husband I'm embracing the green chair.

Honestly, it's grown on me. The chair is now part of our history as a couple. It represents to me the acceptance and appreciation of the differences between my husband and myself. It represents honoring my husband, showing him respect and feathering our nest in a way that pleases both of us. . .

not just me.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not

easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

Love never fails. . ." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (Read at our marriage ceremony by a dear friend.)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Living Large In Small Spaces - Lake Cottage, The Rest of the Story

Welcome to the sixty-eighth post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces".

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of featuring Lake Cottage, the vacation home of Erin, author of the blog Just Grand, and her husband. Today Erin is my guest at A Joyful Cottage. I invited her to come and share the story behind her charming cottage with all of you, my wonderful readers. It's a glorious tale of a cottage rebirth. Please  join me in welcoming Erin to today's edition of Living Large in Small Spaces.


Hello, Joyful Cottage Readers!
My name is Erin and I write a blog called Just*Grand. 
It's a blog about ideas, designs, crafts, renovations, recipes 
and anything else that I think is - Just Grand!

I was thrilled when Nancy at a A Joyful Cottage 
asked me to share the story of our Little Cottage by the Lake.
I am always happy to talk about our little cottage.  
It's been a true labor of love!

Lets start at the very beginning.
I have always, always wanted a cottage by a lake.
A little cottage.  By a big lake.  Like Lake Michigan.
I wanted big sky and sunsets and sandy beaches and crystal clear water.
I wanted to be able to see weather fronts approaching.
I am awed by the wind and the clouds and the power of the lake.

We found one such cottage on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, 
only an hour and a half drive from our home.
It was a sad little cottage, shabby and much neglected-
Which was perfect for me.  
I love a good project and this one promised to be huge! 
We took a leap and have never looked back.

Ours is the second one in from the left.
These cottages were built about 80 years ago, as housekeeping cottages 
where families came to enjoy the cool breezes by the lake.

We share the lawn with the other cottages
and we play games and host parties and one family even had a wedding there.
Here's a view from across the lawn.

Our cottage actually looks charming, from a distance!

This picture below shows what truly awful condition it was in.

But the setting was great and the bones were good. 

We had to replace virtually everything, inside and out.
Here's how it looks after our renovations.
This will make your eyes feel better....

New roof, siding, windows, doors, deck, landscaping 

We had the power lines that were attached to the front of the cottage buried
and what a difference that made!

Here's how the back of the cottage looked when we bought it.

So shabby!

Here's how it looks after the renovations.

We added an outdoor shower that is just heavenly.

And last summer, we added this little railing by the back steps...

Those before pictures hurt my eyes.
Look at this instead.

That's better. 
That's why we're here!
The Lake.
Remember this, because there are more ugly Before pictures coming.

On the inside, we replaced everything too.
All new electric, plumbing, hardwood floors, drywall, molding, 
vaulted ceilings, skylights, a loft, 
a new kitchen and a new bathroom.

Here's a picture from the main living room, Before.

And that same view now...

Believe it or not, the burnt orange fireplace was salvaged by a friend of the builder!
And I do not miss it. 

Here's the front porch room, before.

And here's how it looks now.
And a link to a post I wrote about it.

This is another photo by Gridley and Graves. 
They made it look so dreamy.

Let's look at the kitchen.
Warning- Not pretty.

The hot water heater was taking up precious space in the kitchen.
We moved it to the attic. 
And saved that one cute little window.
My husband spent an entire weekend stripping and refinishing it 
and then decided we needed all new windows.

I was able to find someone who wanted to salvage the old windows.  
They were really cute, but very dilapidated and not insulated.  
and what they do with salvaged wood.

Here's how the kitchen looks now.

Another view

On to the bathroom.  
Keeping the pictures small because they are so ugly.

Here's the bathroom now...

The tub was scooped up by a neighbor who longed for a vintage claw foot tub. 
We were happy to help!

Here's a detail of the tile in the shower.

And the watery blue floor


We made some changes in the master bedroom, too.
Here's a picture of the room before it was redone.

This photo by Gridley and Graves shows how the same bedroom wall looks now.

We tore out the closet in the corner 
and added two small closets on the opposite wall, on either side of the window, below.

We also removed the plywood ceiling and paneling from the walls 
and had the ceiling in the room vaulted. 

We put the little salvaged window from the kitchen 
up into the new gable wall 

and had a skylight installed over the bed.  
It's lovely to lay in bed and see the stars or watch it snow.

Here's a peek into the tiny second bedroom. 
My son calls it the closet with some shelves you can sleep on!

It's tiny but it works!

The colors I used in the cottage were inspired by the colors at the beach
and by the beach glass that constantly washes up in the sand.

So, I got my wish...

Big sky, sandy beach, clear blue water...
You can see the weather coming when it's hours (or minutes away)!

And the sunsets!

It's all Just*Grand!


Thank you so much, Erin, for sharing your inspiring story with us. What a fabulous restoration!

Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series

 Living Large in Small Spaces

See more home tours and small living ideas in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.