Monday, April 25, 2011

The renovation of the Cottage Beach House down the shore.

One thing I haven't shared and have been meaning to is

Our  Cottage Beach House at the New Jersey Shore

 We purchased our home at the shore because it had a view of the ocean. It was dark and dreary inside. We did all the work ourselves with the help of family. Tearing out the pot belly stove (our only source of heat) was difficult . See all the brick around it? There in the back left corner?...
( Ignore those crazy ladies in costumes... One of our theme parties.)
The Kitchen Before
The kitchen floor got torn out completely down to the sand underneath. Funny thing is we found that it was all built with scrap wood and old doors! My brother, sister in law, son and cuz, rebuilt that floor.

That back wall you see where the door is...My sister in law went to lean on it, and her arm went right through it!!!
 We didnt know it was that rotted!! So we had to replace that entire back wall. My son did all the demolition and my brother did the rebuilding of the walls.
We got our cabinets from Home Depot and my brother and sister in law helped put them in.
This is how it looks now.
The After
The back wall rebuilt, a nice new double french door, and some soft blue paint

On the right side wall, I used an old door to create an access door to the new heat system we had installed. I sanded it and painted it white with a little bit of distressed blue running through it.

 My brother made me a door out of beadboard ( to match my cabinets) to cover the electric panel which is to the right because there is no where else it could go. It's a tiny house. He also made the woodwork you see around the old door.
This area that is now a closet for our heater was where the refrigerator once stood.
To the left of the above area was a horrible orange countertop, very dark smelly brown cabinets and a washing machine!

I could not find a picture but here is a diagram of the  Kitchen Before
I am talking about the area on the right of the diagram.

That area now

And the refrig is now where the washer was when we bought the house

The washer is in the same closet as the heatrer is now.
The sink  which was under the little window you see here is on the other side of the room, on an angle facing in to the dining area.

 Sink in this corner.
And it is a little bar area here too. Which once was a big ugly orange counter.

The entire house had brown indoor outdoor carpeting, which my daughter and I ripped out, and lenolium under that which we also tore out.  Then we had someone install  a whitewashed wood.
This is a picture from the little living room, as you can see it's not much more than a shotgun shack.
That's what they call them when you can look right through them.
But that is what sold me. When I looked at the house, I could see right through to the beach grass swaying in the wind, the minute I walked in. But I do remember standing at that fence with the realtor and not being sure. Because of the work it needed.
To me now this thought seems unbelievable. That I even considered NOT buying it, seems crazy. The view is great, I mean the ocean is right there. A lot more than I ever thought our measly pockets could buy. And fixing her up has been so much fun.
 A true labor of love.
Here is a flash from the past.

My area in the 1930's         ( more info about this pic later)
My area now
I was not happy when they topped these rocks with concrete 
( it obstructed my view from the kitchen of the waves) 
but now, this is a favorite place of mine to walk .

When we finally finished the kitchen reno i picked a laminate floor that looked like slate, because the rocks that lined the beach behind me are all a slate color. 
 The rocks
And the counter that I picked reflects that same slate color with splashes of aqua in it.

Here is a closer look at the cabinets I chose, and I still really love them, now which is 6 years later. My counter is formica, not granite because at the time we really could not afford the granite. But I still absolutely love that counter top.
 The reno took about 7 months, with the help of my son, a friend of his, and my brother and sis in law. It was a lot of walls being rebuilt and floors, and beams.
 All so very worth it in the end. 
I hope you enjoyed my little tour of the Cottage down the shore.

Thanks so much for stopping in!

Joining these parties


  1. What a beautiful cottage you have created! I love all the personal touches. We have also spent the last many months working on a beach house remodel, and seeing your beautiful space is really encouraging!

  2. GASP!! What a SPECTACULAR retreat...beautiful work!!

  3. What a great job! And really, the counters are beautiful. Why spend all that money on granite if you're going to play at the beach all day? ;)

  4. Beautiful redo! Your cottage is wonderful.

    We have a condo at the lake and spend about 1/2 the year there, but we would love to have one of the cottages. There are a couple in our cove that are amazing.

  5. Gorgeous job... I keep looking to see if I can figure out what beach town! hehehe.. I am inStone Harbor now...but was a Squan girl and LBI for years!!
    You did a fantastic job!
    It is so much fun going coastal!!!
    Cricket @ Gypsea nurse

  6. Lucky you could paint your walls it..Mine are vintage pineboard and am a renter so I cannot paint them!

  7. AHHHH! I love it! Heading out to SH in the am. then Wed. to St Pete's Beach Florida! WOO HOO!!
    Well neighbor...for a short while atleast... are you going to the Sea Glass Festival in October? You must!! Up in long Branch this year.. I am so flying in for it!

  8. WoW!!! Eileen - your post and photos left me totally speechless! What a gem of a beach house you have!!!! The history behind that little treasure must be fascinating! You all did a fabulous job on the redo. Thank you for sharing - I really enjoyed it!!! :) Happy WW to you!

    xoxo laurie

  9. What a fabulous blog you have that I discovered tonight!!! It inspired me to pull out some of those treasures I've found along the way that never received the tlc I once promised them. This is my favorite beach house blog by far. Hope it goes on forever...

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