Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Cottage: A small modest single story dwelling, typically in a rural or semi-rural setting

Nook: A small corner, alcove, or recess, as in a room
The ringing in of the new year here at Quill Cottage was signaled with the sounds of hammer and saw as we tore down a wall in our house. This past weekend we began what is looking like a series of remodeling projects that have been put off for far too long. The removal of the wall being one of them.

As stated many times before, I live in a small cottage with odd angles and nooks and crannies. The sum total of dining space in my little dwelling was a 7 1/2 by 7 1/2 foot nook. If you only had a table to seat four it was fine but as our family grew, so did the size of our table and maximum capacity in that little nook, if you packed in like sardines, is eight, leaving some guests at an overflow table in the living area. Once seated NO ONE could get out unless everyone filed out. The dining rule was that those who don't eat seconds went in first so that those that do could get up without having to play musical chairs.After we went through this whole routine once again at Christmas I decided enough was enough and the wall between the dining nook and living area had to come down. This wall also served as sort of a hall wall. The wall and I have a long history of a love and hate relationship. When we first moved here the wall had a huge pass through opening that was off center, which drove me crazy and was a decorating nightmare. After trying to decorate around it or disguise it, we closed it off. The living area side served as sort of a hall wall and I turned the other side into a display area. It still bugged me that it was off center but not as much.While this solved one problem it created another. By walling off the pass through it cut off a lot of light. Our house faces north with the living area being and interior room with no windows so even during the day I had to keep lamps on in all four corners of the room to keep the cave-like atmosphere at bay. Handy Hubby kept trying to convince me to just take the wall down but I was not so sure about it. After spending so much time sick or incapacitated this past year I did a lot of decorating in my head as I recovered and I envisioned whacking out that wall.

I also envisioned solving another thing that has always bugged me, the fact that these two walls intersected without a proper dividing wall...I kept a tall cabinet on the dining side to disguise the transition and decided to treat the areas as separate rooms. Problem solved, I had Handy Hubby frame up a little side wall here and leave an equal amount of the old wall on the other side. We are turning the new opening into a case opening that will be standard door height and trimmed out on both sides.This, the only outlet in the nook, will be relocated too...I am assuming the previous owners plugged a clock or something in there, not sure, I can't reach it and have never used it, just hung something over it to cover it up.

I was slightly freaked out the first day after we took the wall down. I have never lived in a home with an open concept floor plan so it felt awkward until the sun rose. The entire cave-like living area was flooded with morning light and I marveled all day that I did not have to turn on one lamp. I really think I am going to love it after it is complete.
But, there is always one of those isn't there? Now, the last of the old teak-wood parquet flooring is glaringly obvious, so, guess what we get to do next? And, now that the two rooms open up to one another there is a clash of color and decor, so, I will need to do some painting and since the nook and kitchen flow together...well you get the idea. Thank heavens the kitchen has been fully remodeled and it will only be paint!Darling Daughter and I have chosen a paint color, Valspar's Buckskin Pony, that will blend with the living area colors for the upper walls and I am going to paint the cladding on the lower walls the same color as the trim in the living area, Valspar's Creamy White, to lighten and freshen it up. I am really limited on color choices since I have very distinct color cabinetry in the kitchen...All of the cottage florals will be going away, although, I am going to miss my light fixtures. The table Handy Hubby built will be cut down slightly and moved to the farm, and I will be scouring flea markets for possibly a round or oval table with a removable leaf. I'd love your opinion on this idea, we have two options, to get a table that extends for when we have gatherings (extra chair storage is a problem with that) or get one that seats four and fits the space better and invest in a long folding table and chairs for large gatherings. I do have storage for cushions and chair covers as well as the folding set. I am torn.I found a light fixture for the dining area at a flea market for $7.00 and it just needs a little spray paint and new wiring. I would show you a photo but Handy Hubby thought it was for the farm and when he ran up to check on things he took it along with some stuff that was for up there. Next trip up I will bring it back home, revamp it, and get him to install it. I will need a new one for the kitchen too so that is on my " to find" list.

Sorry that there is no pretty to look at here today, construction is messy!

I am off for a fun day with my friend, Pam, we are heading out to some small town flea markets and a most wonderful bakery for lunch. I hope your day is filled with joy and laughter!


Lorrie said...

A little (lot of) mess is worth the open feeling and light you'll be enjoying. We're in the midst of renovations around here, too - as you've said, one thing leads to another, and another, and another....

Enjoy the process!

Tina said...

Looks like a great project Sandy. I´m sure it´ll be wonderful when everything is finished.
xo Tina

Sonya Badgley said...

You really have been busy. But you are going to love the light. Which I think is SO greatly needed in the winter months for all of us. I can't wait to see the final pictures. I know you, you will make it beautiful as always.
In the meantime, enjoy your day with your friend!

Vintage Market Place said...

well it is already looking spacious with the wall gone. Choices choices choices, at least paint colors and light fixtures are the fun part of it all. Have fun at the flea, sounds like a heavenly day.

Terri said...

clever title for this post...I think you will really enjoy the space much better. What a great project and a sense of accomplishment! said...

Taking a wall out in our old house was the best thing we ever did here. You will LOVE it.

kathy said...

Sandy how lovely this will be -- YOu so deserve it -- sorry you have been ill this winter season --
so glad to see you are improved -- can't wait to see how it all flows -- so enjoyed when I requested several yrs ago to show your wonderful kitchen -- Can't wait to see it all finished -- HUgz KAthy - ga ♥

Anonymous said...

Sandy, it seems like after the holidays it's demolition time! LOL!'s our bathroom and then because the floor connects to the hall that connects to the kitchen that connects to the laundry room...all of those areas are now getting matching flooring! I see you have the same problem now...mix and match floors! IS fun, isn't it! In spite of plaster dust, sore muscles, etc!

BTW...I love your stove!!!!!

Hugs, Diane

Shopgirl said...

It is already lovely, change can be so good...have loads of fun. I painted my bathroom and changed somethings, I love it. hugs, Mary

Susan deGeneres said...

Looks like it's going to be a fantastic transformation. I can't wait to see the end result.


Tammy said...

Ohh so exciting. I love demo. To me it indicates that fresh change and happiness is around the corner. You demo because something has bothered you so significantly that you want change and well demo gives you change. Sometimes it takes a winding trail to get you to the destination but it is the journey that is fun afterall. The destination provides the long term happiness. the journey provides the spurts of creative fun that keep you going.
I can not wait to see the destination and thanks for sharing the journey.

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin