Curio Cabinet Upgrade

In the Cottage on the front wall between the front door and big window is a tall narrow curio cabinet.

The curio in the front of the Cottage.

Sug decided it was time to lighten it up.

The doors are still drying.

First she primed it then gave two coats of semi-gloss paint in 2 evenings of work.

White seems to be more in line with the Cottage vibe.

Before and after.

Before and after

Filled with curiosities.

Everybody has a little collection that needs to be displayed.

Are you afraid to paint your good wood furniture?


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?

Clearing Up

The new retaining wall on the side of the Cottage made it clear that we still have some work to do.

The pile of wood can be stored in the woodshed.

Charlie had been storing his cut firewood there because we were using the woodshed for the John Deere mower.

Mice had a nest among this wood.

The mower has been moved to the Wee Little House  at the  rear of the yard.  Charlie got busy moving this pile of wood.

A little surprise was hiding under the last two pieces of wood.

When he got near the bottom he said get ready to take a picture.

This snake was about 2 feet long and very beautiful with a bright red tongue.

A picture of a garter snake.

The woodshed has plenty of room for more firewood.

We He encouraged the snake back into the woods with a garden rake.

2 types of variegated caladium.

I had stopped by Home Depot earlier in the day and purchased 6 pots of white-leaf caladium.

Caladium are non-hardy bulbs that can grow is the shade.

I placed them under the tree.

We’re considering azaleas to line the area where the metal posts are positioned.

Sug planted them in the shade under the tall oak tree to give some life and light until we get a better plan for the area.

For the most part this area is hidden from view due to low-hanging foliage.

The caladium should leaf out and cover the space until it freezes here.

What are you sentiments toward snakes?

No More Moss

The Cottage roof is growing moss.

The Cottage roof is situated under lots of trees causing moss.

I thought we would have to clean it but more research gave a different idea.

The pale line just under the top row of shingles is a zinc strip.

Instead of making application of a moss remover Sug’s contractor added a zinc strip on both sides of the roof.

This side has a zinc strip also which is barely visible.

As rainwater washes over the zinc it both deters new growth and removes old moss.

Some of the moss on our property is rare and interesting but we don’t want it on the roof.

Chemistry. Hmm.

Do you have a favorite chemical reaction?

Meet the Cottage Tenant

As most people know last Halloween my friend moved into Glade Cottage as a permanent tenant.


During the 10 months prior to her taking up permanent residence in the Cottage she cleaned and painted the inside.


After moving in she has made many improvements on the exterior as well. She loves working outside especially yardwork.

My friend has been a huge help to me.

D’Arcy at Our Bungalow’s 2nd Century suggested my readers may like to know the cottage dweller’s name or at least an alias so I don’t have to continue calling her “the tenant”.

She painted the outside of the Cottage almost single-handedly.

After talking it over we decided she should be known as the nickname her family in North Carolina call her: “Sug”. Sug is short for sugar and is pronounced shoog where the double-o is like the “oo” in book.  (In NC people say shoogah for the sweet stuff we put in our coffee.)

Welcome home, Sug.

Sug no longer calls this place “The Cottage”; she calls it home.

Do you have a nickname?

Not Moving the Tree

The oak tree (on the left in the spotlight) near the Cottage can be easily seen in this photo taken last fall.

Just to the left of the Cottage (facing it) is a large oak tree.

The oak tree near the Cottage.

We’ve had trouble with other oaks in the yard but this one seems to be growing straight and healthy.

Each autumn the entire area is covered with fallen leaves.
We’ll get rid of the rotten wood that was holding the dirt back.

The area underneath had been stabilized with railroad ties which over the decades have rotted out.

Putting sides at right angles helps stabilize the wall as does inserting rebar.

Instead of removing the tree and leveling the dirt, my Cottage friend decided to have the small retaining wall rebuilt with new pressure-treated lumber.

The area in front of the new wall had been built up with bricks which might be a future project.

The contractor cleared up the area on the side of the Cottage to reveal a paved walkway and indications that water is directed around the Cottage via this sloping passage.

The view from the back of the Cottage. The wall tapers toward the back.

The new wall looks neat and practical.

Plants will help maintain the unrestrained dirt.

I’m wondering if there are any planting plans for this heavily-shaded area.

The wall is tall at the front.

We have azaleas, box, hostas, iris, and ferns available on the property to plant.

Do you have a go-to shade plant?