Thank you for your kind messages after my last post! I’m feeling so much better today and, as promised, I have a very pretty before & after story. Pictures of this cute cottage have been in my tear-up files since 2008 but they still look great. I mean REALLY, REALLY great!
Before I show you the interiors, let me tell you that there are some great design lessons in this project. Good design has got to be smart design. Every inch of this home is well thought-out and carefully planned. The right curb appeal upgrades and an intelligent color scheme visually expand the cramped rooms. The right architectural tweaks in the interiors add charm to an otherwise humble looking home. For that, the credit goes to designer John Bjornen who made this house unrecognizable.
Homeowners Tim and Susan Davis purchased a tiny 930-square-foot cottage with a fabulous location. With two small bedrooms, two baths and wraparound water views, the house lacked character but had immense potential.
The exterior before…
Let’s start with the exterior – new shingle siding, new windows and new shutters painted a deep, rich, beautiful blue have morphed the original abode into a fairytale cottage. Symmetric plantings and a curving brick pathway adds to the home’s appeal. Blue hydrangeas match the shutters. To keep the costs low, they reused original bricks in a reconfigured pattern and separated and replanted the original boxwood. So, so good! Two charming square windows flank the front door and have the added benefit of bringing in more natural light. How smart is that?
…and the exterior after! Wow!
To increase the perceived square-footage of the home without add-ons, Bjornen vaulted the ceilings and removed a separating wall between the kitchen and the living room and replaced it with an open breakfast bar. The color palette is kept pretty neutral throughout, with soft touches of blue that match the exterior colors. Patterns are kept simple too -solids, plaids and stripes.
The master bedroom before…
Beautiful wainscoting and bead board in every room lend the home a traditional feel. The master bedroom takes advantage of the views with a charming window seat closet!! Love!
The guest bedroom
The outdoors were cleverly reconfigured as well. Bjornen expanded the existing deck, which became an outdoor dining area. He also added a brick and blue stone patio and by doing so, created two extra living spaces. How smart is that? 🙂
The patio before…
…and the patio after!
I feel so inspired by this project. It is not only stunning but it also gives hope to every homeowner with a passion for making a beautiful living. Luckily, I managed to track down the floor plans so we can see the evolution of the interiors in terms of room redesign. The footprint has not been increased, yet by reconfiguring the walls, the house gained a second bathroom, a laundry room and a dining area! Now that is smart!
Also, if you’d like to know about that gorgeous blue on the shutters, I couldn’t find the exact source but Google matched it with Benjamin Moore’s Blue Symphony. It looks pretty close to me! 🙂
Have a great week!
Photography by Tria Giovan.