Cottage Kitchen Tweak

When Sug and I looked at the upper cabinets in the Cottage kitchen they didn’t look finished.

Cottage kitchen cabinets.

Part of the issue is that the cabinets had about a 3-inch margin from the edge of the wall.

The frost glass tile backsplash runs from wall to wall.

The tile backsplash goes all the way to the end of the wall so we tried to think of a way to balance the bare space.

The space above the cabinets looks a little bare.

I suggested adding baskets above the cabinets both for storage and a decorative element.

Custom cabinet fronts were built above stock cabinets.

Sug’s carpenter had a better vision.

The new cabinets go all the way to the ceiling.

He framed up two openings and covered them with doors that open upward.

The small side shelves filled the unfinished margin of wall above the backsplash.

And to finish off the margin on the side of the cabinets the carpenter added 3 narrow curved shelves for a nod to the 1940’s vintage of the Cottage.

Do you prefer closed or open storage?

Quick Before and After

It was little more than a year ago when Sug started working on the Cottage.

October 2016 the Cottage was still cluttered with much of my stuff.

She actually moved in on the last day of October, 2016.

In winter the bed has a comforter with a tiny print duvet cover from Ikea.

The area that is designated as the “bedroom” has come a long way.

The same bed in summer has a French print quilt and sham from Cottage Curtains.

And is still being tweaked.

What are you tweaking?

Replacing the Sunflowers

The sunflowers on the west side of the house started so well.

A wall of sunflowers attracts bees and gold finches.
Most of the sunflowers fell onto the ground.

Then they succumbed to totally soggy ground from major rainstorms.

Some of the sunflowers grew to 8 feet.

Charlie dug them up.

I wanted to put some low shrubs along the house to hide some of the foundation and leave a space behind that can be planted with annuals.

Then he graded the area so any wetness would run away from the foundation. The exposed foundation is about 8 inches tall.

I ordered 7 “Brass Buckles” holly when I purchased the chaste tree.

I had purchased 7 “Brass Buckles” ilex plants when I bought the Chaste Tree for the back yard.

I carefully measured the spacing.

I wasn’t sure if I needed more but I was ready to plant the ones I have 3 feet away from the foundation and 18 inches apart.  They grow to a height of 12 to 18 inches with about the same spread.

The chairs hide newly planted dwarf evergreen holly shrubs.

As this area get hot sun in the afternoon I covered the newly planted shrubs with lounge chairs as a sunshield.

The boxwood fills in a small empty space near the kitchen bump out.

While I was planting I transplanted an English boxwood that I have been nursing along for a few years.

Do you have experience with heather?

Rehabbing the Children’s Garden

Back in 2013 Charlie and I created a garden in the woods near the Wee Little House.

The Children’s Garden in 2013.

We called it the “Children’s Garden“.

In 2015 we neatened this area up a bit but it was very needy.

In 2015 it was starting to fill in.

The overgrown Children’s Garden in 2017.

This year it was a mess of wild raspberry brambles, weed trees, and grape vines. The stump that had been in the center of the space had disintegrated.


Since the lady from the Cottage enjoys working in the year, when she realized this had been a cultivated area she was all over it.

Now the shed is visible from the upper part of the yard.

In 3 days the weeds and vines were under control again.

I suggested the periwinkle groundcover under the trees could be mowed. It will come back.

Since this area is visible from the master suite deck I’m really happy with its manicured appearance.

Do you like pulling weeds or painting?

Another Small Paint Project

I have been waiting for over a year to paint the oil tank at the back of the house because I wanted to use my paint sprayer.

I brushed on a little house paint a while ago to see how it would look.

I had brushed on some color a while ago and decided a sprayed on finish would ultimately look and wear better.

A patch of shingles behind the tank also had been difficult to reach with a paintbrush so remained unpainted.

So last Saturday morning, bright and early, I started the project.  First I washed and scrubbed the tank itself with enzyme cleaner.

The first few passes of the paint sprayer left some bare splotches.

While it was drying I trudged upstairs and downstairs more than once for the supplies.  As with every project it took me 2 hours to assemble all the various parts of the paint sprayer, the paint, and other items necessary to paint the tank.

The shingles behind the tank were also spray painted.

Thankfully the paint sprayer worked on the first try.  I gave the metal oil tank lots of light coats including the unpainted, hard-to-reach shingles behind the tank.


While the tank is still visible it does blend in better with the back of the house.

Late afternoon in the back yard at The Glade.

What’s your camouflage challenge?


Neither the original house nor Cottage has any detail on the exterior corners.

All corners in the new part of the house have corner boards.

When the additions to the house were added the architect had designed exterior corner boards to the new building.

The corner shingles have chips and gaps.

I suggested the Cottage might like to have the same detail to disguise some of the chipped shingles on the front façade corners.

The corner board really neatens up the Cottage appearance.

Our carpenter added them yesterday.

Corner boards were added to both front corners.

Every detail has added to the quaintness of the Cottage.

Glade Cottage — Before

The tenant liked the corner boards so much she has decided to finish the look with corner boards on the 2 rear (mostly unseen) corners as well.

Do you have a favorite detail that says “house” to you?

Independence Day Clean-up

Five years ago Charlie and I cleared out the woodland garden by the shed.

The garden to the left of the Wee Little House looked great in 2012.

It was a lovely beginning.

The clutter on the down side of the shed has created an ugly mess.

Unfortunately it has become a jungle once again over the years while we concentrated on the house renovation.

We save some used plastic sheeting and got rid of an equal amount.

On the 4th of July my friend from the Cottage and I started to pull out some of the clutter and debris that had taken over the space.

Old plastic plant pots are taking over the area.

We hung up the 24-foot ladder on the back of the shed and threw out some old, unused plastic pots.

A small portion of this area has been cleared out.

Hopefully we can consistently continue to clear this area and reclaim the yard.

What are you saving that has become a clutter problem?