Needs a little work

Needs a little work - the before - the before photo

The location was perfect…on a lake with its own little beach, in a picturesque small town in the Lakes Region of Maine only two hours from our New Hampshire home. You know what everyone says, “location, location, location”. It was perfect for the two of us…it just needed a little work . After three years of restoration work on our New Hampshire home, a few cosmetic changes would be a piece of cake. We could turn it into a comfortable place to enjoy summers and we were lucky enough to make the purchase.

Of course, there are always a few surprises in any remodel. We found out the reason the family room floor was buckled (a rotted particle board subfloor and carpenter ants) and had to tear all the flooring out. Instead of a sisal rug to cover the buckle, we ended up with wide pine floors that we really like.

Family room with washer-dryer

We had to have a plumber move the washer/dryer out of the family room (it was next to the front door). He also took the water heater out of the kitchen and we made a pantry in its place.  We made a long empty hallway into a little laundry space and a small walk in closet for all our storage needs.

Kitchen extends into living room

And then came the kitchen. It was unique in that it ran into the family room. It was not an open concept kitchen…the stove was literally in the family room. We took the former dining room and created a proper place for the stove. Now came the big decision…countertops. My husband suggested formica. You see, all he wanted was an easy keeper; a small camp with a boat on the lake. I was thinking more along the lines of a cozy cottage.

I have never been camping (although I’m sure I might like it under the right circumstances) and I didn’t want something too simple. My husband always jokes that my idea of roughing it is having a room without an ocean view. We compromised as we always do. He got a beautiful new pontoon boat for the lake and I got granite countertops for the kitchen and we were both happy with the decisions.

We redid the little bathroom as it is the only one in the house and were able to make some storage for towels in space under the stairs that backed up to the bathroom wall. What a difference it made bringing it up to date.

Work complete - the after photo

The rest was really easy… just a little paint and new lighting. We are really happy with our renovations and enjoy our summers in Maine. I am so glad that my husband wanted a place on the water again.

Please come back to visit our little cottage on the lake and I will show the before and after photos of the interior. I think you will enjoy the changes we have made.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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12 Responses to Needs a little work

  1. An inspiring post! We live in my husbands old family home, that I call our cottage as it is an small house that was built for the veterans after the war. The last work done on the house was more than 30 years ago! From what I see so far you have done a magnificent job on your little cottage and makes me feel that there is hope for our place after all.

  2. Vickie says:

    What a fabulous cottage! I can’t wait to see the updates – I ADORE before and after photos! I’m a fixer-upper myself and love to make things nice again.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for visiting and your nice comment. My husband and I love our cottage. It will always be a work in progress. Whether adding to our gardens or finding a little treasure on one of the back roads to put in the house, we have good times here. The before and after photos will be posted soon.

  3. Stunning – we built our house in Spain and I am also documenting the “journey”! Looking forward to seeing more of the photos. What a beautiful home, hope you spend many happy times in it.

  4. Bonnie says:

    Having done a 3 year renovation on an 1865 stone house I appreciate any renovation.
    I am coming to New Hampshire and Vermont next week so I am enjoying reading up on NH on your blog.

  5. Beth donofrio says:

    I love your Maine house, it is perfect and relaxing. The house is soooo beautiful. The lake is amazing and very different from the lakes in Florida. You have a great knack for decorating.

  6. Iain says:

    Lovely cottage, nice work. Looks like a great place to chill-out. Never been further North than NY State. Love Oregon, NC, WV, TN, OH and parts of PA. Hope to make it out to NH next time in the States, as I have a musician friend there. We bought an 1851 wooden house in northern Sweden which needed a fair bit of renovation. We did it over about 4 years or so. Still not finished but we’ve left Sweden and now live in an old village house (again renovated – this time by a builder) in Andalucia.

  7. Pingback: Maine, Where Memories Are Made | Back Road Journal

  8. libraryselkie says:

    Only in Maine would you find the laundry next to the front door! LOL! When my hubby bought our cottage, the “chandelier” in the kitchen was a wagon wheel with vodka bottles for globes! It’s since been replaced by a white ceiling fan!

    • Karen says:

      You made me laugh Mary. Why in the world would anyone ever think of putting a stacked washer and dryer in the living room or creating a “chandelier” with vodka bottles. But seeing photos of your cottage in Maine, I can say that your husband had vision like we did. :D

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