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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cottage Projects Timeline

painting wood paneling white

Last night we wrote up a list of everything we'd like to do to the cottage. We can't afford to do everything all at once, so we broke it down into phases. The plan is to tackle a few projects each year, as we save up the money, starting with the things that we can do ourselves, such as paint.

Here's the plan.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

We Make an Offer on a Beach Cottage

Our only hesitation about buying Old Orchard Cottage? We weren't sure if this bay on the Northfork would have the white sand and waves as the ocean beaches of the Southfork we had grown to love. 

We shared this qualm with Diane Dunbar, the real estate agent who had shown us the cottage last weekend, and asked if we might test out the beach one weekend to see how we liked it. She and her husband George live year round in their home and are active in the home association and she thought that would be just fine. So we went to check it out.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Old Orchard Cottage (Love!)

northfork 1929 fisherman's cottage

Mary and I had been summering on Long Island for almost 20 years, first on the Southfork. We'd had a sweet deal in the Hamptons as renters: An extended season for a low, low price - plus, more importantly, zero maintenance as the owners lived in the "big house" and took care of everything. Every summer had been devoted to the three B's: books, beach, and BBQ. We'd never even touched a blade of grass, except to spread a blanket to look at the stars. 

But there'd been this opportunity we'd missed a few years back to buy a little clapboard beach cottage in a community going co-op on the Northfork, amid the vineyards and potato fields. Right outside Greenport - a sweet little collection of 1930s cottages stood that had once housed brick workers from nearby brick cove foundry during hot summer months. Mary's sister Margaret, who did buy at Breezy Shores, ended up with a sweet deal, indeed. We'd visit her to catch up - and view her and Scott's latest renovations, as crappy panels were removed to reveal gorgeous original beadboard - and gaze out at the glittering water views from Adirondack chairs set on long, low porches, and mentally kick ourselves. 

So, maybe it was in the backs of our minds all along to look for a cottage of our own, I don't remember. What I do recall is that we saw it on a Sunday - a rainy Sunday in what had been a season of rainy Sundays. We'd exhausted our supply of fun rainy day things to do and as we were checking email we came upon a link from Margaret about a nearby cottage for sale. A small 1925 fisherman's cottage, it had been owned by only two families, the first owner a Baptist minister, who had it built. We went to take a look.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Brooklyn Garden Apartment: Before & After

Credit: All Photos, Blue Barn
I'll never forget the first time I laid eyes on this apartment. The salvaged french doors leading out to the garden instantly won me over. I could already see it looking like this in my mind's eye. But that took some imagination, because the apartment back then was raw. Check out the before and afters.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Brooklyn Garden Apartment: House Tour

View from the Bedroom down the hall

This apartment is beautiful today, and I love living here. But it was in fixer-upper condition when I found it. There was no kitchen to speak of, just an ancient stove, a foul-smelling dishwasher that didn't drain, and a fridge circa 1970 that didn't get cool enough to make ice. And the bathroom had a four-foot tub, with no tiled surround. Just peeling wallboard.

This renovation marked the first time that I laid out both the kitchen and bath designs myself. Though the home is small, that almost made designing it all the more enjoyable. I had to take full advantage of the vertical space the 10 foot ceilings offered.

Let's take a look.