A Face-lift for our Cottage!

 Hello friends,

I just realized that I recently had passed my four year blog-i-versary!
I thought it would fun to re-post this since it seems to have become my most popular post.  And although some of you may have seen it, many of you have not.   Blogging has been a great adventure and so rewarding, not to mention all the wonderful friends I have made. 
Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for your continued friendship and support.

I though it might be fun to combine some of my previous posts and show you the transformation of our humble little cottage.  We did all the work ourselves and with hubbies great carpentry skills and  vision we are able to save a lot of moola!  Above is a before pic when we were looking to buy.  I wish I had more before pics but I think some may have been accidentally deleted.

A little side view.   We loved the stone, the front porch, the big windows and the 2 acres surrounded by woods but our vision was a lot more color and a little more character .

This picture was taken the first winter we lived here .   We had more snow than I can remember and it seemed like Spring would never arrive.

Finally spring is here!   It's April, and we have 2 months to get things spruced up and ready for our two graduating seniors.  This is probably the ugliest time of year, when things haven't really started to grow and bloom .   The first thing on our agenda are shutters.  I have always wanted board-n-batten shutters.  Hubby goes to work making us some and we decide to paint them an Apple Red. 

I think one of the neatest things he made was this sign.   He has a computer cad system at school with some new programs he wanted to try out.  The sign is not just painted,  the letters are also three dimensional.   Dan designed and built it in between finishing up a home his students were building.  I love the idea he had with the apples.  

A view from the road.

Our home originally started out as a cabin and was added onto at various stages.  This side has river rock hauled in by the original owner who also happened to be a mason.

Old ladders work well for climbing clematis.

The shutters are going up and things are finally starting to bloom and green up. 

All the doors receive a couple coats of Apple Red Paint.   The front and back porch railings are scraped, primed and painted a Spiced Sugar. I love the name of that!  More shutters are going up and things are starting to look a lot more like our vision.  The hardest part for hubby wasn't making the shutters but figuring a way to mount them on stone.  He finally found a good way using drywall screws.   Even the old bench from Wal-Mart gets a new coat of red paint!  In fact nearly everything that doesn't move gets a fresh coat of Apple Red paint.  Graduation comes and goes, we are exhausted but happy with the results.  There is still one little thing that just doesn't quite click........
Too brown, too boring and not very cottage. We both love the look of wooden carriage doors so we scan the Internet for ideas and prices.  We are a little taken back by the big price tag and figure something else will have to do until my talented Hubby declares he has a plan .  He will build and install them right over the steel doors.  He studies and plans his design and after a little R and R  he's off and running.

He designs and builds the frame to go right over the steel doors. 

A view of both doors framed and ready for the next step. 

This was without a doubt the most time consuming and tedious part of the project.  Dan cut, primed, painted and screwed on more than 220 separate pieces of white pine. 

The Work Zone.   He even cut and designed pieces to resemble wrought iron out of wood.   How clever is that!

 Another look at the wood he designed and cut to look like wrought iron.

He spent over 80 hours on this project!  It didn't help that most days 
were in the upper 80's to low 90's with a high amount of humidity. Total cost about $200. 

The ugly gold lights are removed and spray painted black.

A side view.  What a difference it makes!  We get a lot of comments from friends and family who love our new look.

A close-up of the gold lights spray painted black.  They look ok but I want something with a little more substance. 

We found these new lights for the amazing price of $6.00 a piece.   It was one of those lucky finds that make bargain shopping a joy!

When our phlox are in bloom...I love this time of year!

This view just makes me happy!

Our kitty Cocoa likes the new view.

A few little decorative touches.....

Thanks for coming by, I hope you enjoyed the making of our cottage.    


  1. Wow Cindy,
    What a difference. You can tell how much love was put into this place...it's gorgeous, a lovely place to come home to.

    Thanks for sharing and...how did he attach the shutters to the stone?

  2. Oh, Cindy! Your home is so chariming. I'm so impressed with your hubby's skills. He's done amazing upgrades to your lovely home. I love your perfect little shutters and the garage doors are fabulous! Love that color of red too. What a beautiful home you have. I know you're so proud of it.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  3. Wow Cindy that was a great remake on your home. I love the new look of the garage doors. Tell your hubby it looks marvelous. He is a true craftsman. I also love the shutters and the metal piece in the peak on the front of the house. (tell hubby he's a keeper)

  4. Cindy, I just love your cottage. I think all of the touches you've done are just perfect. I think the garage doors really are the crowning glory. Kudos to your husband for coming up with that idea! ~ Robyn

  5. Oh Cindy! You and your hubby really made your home look so nice and warm. That hubby of yours sure is a keeper, what a talented guy!...Christine

  6. Hi Cindy...ow lucky are you to have such a talented hubby....Mine would have tried to staple the garage doors together....the house looks so cheery...so much nicer then when you started,..the red really gives it punch...Very nice job!! Have a great week.

  7. Your home looks great! You and your husband did a fantastic job!

  8. I just love your cottage. It is simply adoreable. You have done so much and it really shows. Such a beautiful home. Hugs, Marty

  9. CIndy!
    Well, I've always loved your home, all the way down to the name of the street! But, the picture with all of the snow is just awesome! OH MY GOSH!!!!!
    But - well - OK - it is Karen here after all.
    Dan is just one talented guy! What a great job he has done - all the details!!!
    I remember the garage door makeover!n What a great job!

    Ok, I'm still drooling over the name of your street . . .
    :) Hugs. Me.

  10. Oh Cindy!
    I so love your charming little cottage. I love the work your DH did on the garage doors. They are absolutely beautiful. Gave the cottage a total make over. So charming and warm feeling. The happiness just smiles from the windows. I love it Cindy. I just love it. Thank you for sharing.

    I am counting days until you get to Phoenix. I can hardly wait. It is so exciting to be able to meet you at last. Did you figure out a day that would work for your schedule to meet with the Arizona bloggers, as tomorrow I will need to send out a message to them. I will be leaving at 3am on Wednesday, so I am running out of time. Hopefully we will be able to get a least a group of us together.

    Talk to you soon my precious friend. Country hugs and love, Sherry

  11. Wow..wow...wow...Way to go you guys! Your home is very beautiful..and what a lot of work! It's so wonderful that your husband can do all those things, what a talent! I know how totally satisfying it is to "do it yourselves"..my son and his wife just built their house, all by themselves. It even made their marriage stonger!
    You need to be proud of yourselves for sure..great job! :D

  12. Wow, what a wonderful transformation! Everything looks great, but my absolute favorite thing you did was changing the garage doors. That was a genius idea and your husband should be commended for a job well done!

  13. I love the red shutters and door. You have a very pretty place.

  14. What a wonderful transformation Cindy. I remember this post. In fact tit was the one that got me hooked on your blog!!! The garage doors did it for me! What patience you sweetie has, and talent too! The board n batten shutters are gorgeous in red! I'm having some trouble seeing the whole picture. I know there's a way to change to the highest resolution to see it but I have no idea how to do that. However the last picture was a great shot of the whole house. Just beautiful! What a fantastic home!
    Hugs, Loretta

  15. I enjoyed this post so much Cindy! Your house looked perfectly fine to me in the first picture, but when you added the red touches, you made your home look like a million bucks! And those garage doors are absolutely stunning! Your hubby must feel so proud every time he looks at them! You've now got curb appeal galore!

  16. great pictures, it sure is beautiful. I love the idea of that sign.

  17. Cindy, It is just incredible all the work and changes you have done to your home to make it a picture of charm and so welcoming. I just love it! The carriage doors are the "icing on the cake". I am going to show my handy hubby what your hubby did - I know he'll be amazed! I so enjoyed this post! Linda

  18. I LOVE the transformation Cindy!! The garage doors are stunning. We are blessed to have handy husbands aren't we!
    Sure wish I could have seen your lovely home while I was back there. But we will come again and I can't wait to stop by and see your home up close & personal :)

  19. Cindy, I'm back....Hubby came up while I was on the computer and I said, "Look, you'll enjoy this post." As we were waiting for it to load he saw your roof and said "this is up north". "Yeah, Wisconsin, why?" "There's an ice shield." Is that what y'all call it on the roof? Anyway, I said, I'll bet you'd love to hang around and talk shop with Mr. Applestone!
    He loved those carriage doors! Linda

  20. GM Cindy...WOW!! Girl how beautiful is this...it doesn't even look the same...what a great vision you both had...Outstanding my friend...BRAVO!! thanks for sharing this is great...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  21. Hi Cindy! I am always amazed when I see what you and your hubby accomplish on your own! You are two very talented and creative people! The amount of work and love that went into your beautiful cottage certainly show! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

  22. Your cottage is beautiful. I would have fallen in love with it too... I even like the before pic's... but the after's are even more pretty. Your husband rocks!! Love the garage doors.

  23. Wow!!! You have done a beautiful job!!! Your home looks amazing!!!


  24. I love stone cottages. The red accents you added to yours make it extra special!!

  25. Yep, I love it. I know I have said that before. Is that your darling hubby on the phone in the window?

  26. WOW, what a fabulous transformation! Your husband is quite talented! You have both made a wonderful home. His idea for the garage doors is amazing! I love it! I also love the pop of red! Your home presents a very warm welcome!

    ~ Tracy

  27. I am just amazed at the transformation of the garage doors. Your hubby is incredible! My mind is whirling. We have 2 huge sliding doors about, each about 8 x 20, covered in sheet metal. I've always wanted the carriage house look. It will have to be paint only since they slide but it just might work! Another project for my list.

  28. I just stopped by to see what you have been up to and I can see it has been alot. I am overwhelmed about the garage door; what a great idea. If I thought it would help, I would copy that idea! [ we are missing a topping - a roof...lol]

  29. Hi Cindi, Thanks so much for showing the pics again. I have never seen them. You have given me some ideas for next year. We are hoping to fix the outside of our house up if the economy gets better that is.


  30. What a lovely and inviting home you have! And it looks like a quiet place to live. I'm so tired of construction all aroune me. Beautiful transformations here!

  31. You have done a great job on your home. It is cozy and inviting. Wonderful your dh can do all the work. Mine used to...I miss that...You sure saved a lot of money doing the work yourselves..It is beautiful!

  32. Cindy, your cottage is lovely....it feels so welcoming and full of love. I think it is totally charming. You all have done a wonderful job.

    Barb ♥

  33. Cindy, your husband is amazing! I've always loved your cottage sign, but I don't think I knew that he had created that. I think I remember he did those fabulous garage doors. I'm tellin' ya, you could rent that man out to bloggers around the country, and you'd make a fortune! laurie

  34. Your cottage transformation is just wonderful!!
    It looks like you live in an enchanted forest too with all the gorgeous trees in the background!

    I am totally in awe of your hubby's genius idea on the garage doors! I'll be sure to show my hubby!!

    Great post!!

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by to visit and offering your painting advise!:)

  35. Your home looks great!! I love the red touches.

    I have a linky party going on come on over and link up! http://theshadesofpink.blogspot.com/2009/09/room-month-shade-tutorial.html

  36. Cindy.
    What a beautiful job you did on your house.
    I love the stone work in the front and the garage doors that your Husband did were really a smart ideal. Thanks for stopping by.

  37. Your cottage is fabulous. I love all you've done. The Garage Doors are absolutely amazing!!

  38. Love your cottage, Cindy...I want to live there! What a wonderful transformation...amazing what a little paint and a little labor of love will do for the home, and for the spirit! Beautiful!!!


  39. Hi, dear one... I just think you all did an amazing job with the doors and the colors! Wow, please send Dan to help me!!! You wouldn't believe what I'm doing, and I don't have a computer to blog about it. I'm on Adelaide's lap top right now.

    Sending you much love. I hope to be blogging again next week. Hope springs eternal...


    Sheila :-)

  40. I love the carriage doors and the view of your cottage from the road. Such a charming house and you have been good to her! :) Thanks for becoming a follower and I've done the same.

  41. OH WOW! This is spectacular! Your home is lovely and so much fun!

  42. Adorable cottage!! Wow what a ton of snow you get over in Wisconsin!!! We don't get that much in the pac nw! Great blog!


  43. You have a very beautiful cottage home, and you did a wonderful job of sprucing it up! If your home was a B&B, I'd definitely stay for a spell!

  44. Gorgeous! I loved seeing the transformation!

  45. Hi Cindy !
    Goodness, it takes me two or three or four days to visit everyone - so many posts....Wow wee.
    I love your cottage - love all your upgrades - those are killer (aka super duper great) garage doors - your hubby is talented that is a big for sure ! I still love that red door !

  46. I love Applestone Cottage - - - and my FAVORITE is that photo in all the wonderful Wisconsin snow!!!

  47. What an amazing journey! You have a beautiful home :)

  48. Wow it all looks so cute! I love red so I love all the red accents and those garage doors....well all I can say is wow! I all looks great and I think it's so charming that you have a sign!


  49. I love your wonderful cottage. The garage door transformation is amazing! My favorite photo is the cottage surrounded by snow. So lovely and homey looking!

  50. Love the pop of red with the neutrals. Hubby did an amazing job on the garage, I mean carriage, doors.!

  51. Beautiful! Those garage doors stopped me dead in my tracks. I was thinking oh please please show us how you accomplished that! And then you did and then I withered when I saw how much work it was. LOL

    That pic of your red door with the flowers and cozy curtains peeking through the window looks so inviting! Makes me want to come on over for a coffee! :)

    Gorgeous home, Cindy! Thanks for sharing at SNS!

    FJ Donna

  52. Great transformation,

    The garage doors are my favorite part.

  53. It looks so inviting now. Those garage doors are fab.

  54. That was a lovely visit! I'll have to come back again. The garage doors are genius.

  55. Great chronicle! Your cottage is lovely! You have done much and it shows the loving care you give it!


  56. OH MY GOSH!! I just love your little cottage. It is so darn cute. You guys did such a great job. I love the garage doors and all the little details that you have add just make it perfect! I added you to my drawing and I'm so glad that you are following now. :) Thanks for stopping by!


  57. I missed this post, Cindy! I am in awe of the gorgeous job your husband did on your home and those garage doors! Amazing!

  58. Cindy - it all looks great but those garage doors are the best!! Perfect for a cottage!

  59. Cindy, I love the transformation! Truly looks like a sweet cottage now! I especially love the garage doors....unbelievable!

    Hugs, Carolyn ~ Cottage Sunshine

  60. You both need a standing ovation. I know this is an old post but I had to say something. I have to say you are truly blessed to have found this piece of heaven on 2 acres with apple trees and the quaint cozy abode where you can live your dream. The to have a vision and act upon it, turning it into a masterpiece. I know I am taken back when I see the transformation, Why the garage doors... a total work of art. You are blessed to have a talented visionary hubby who can not only design but create... with his 2 hands. Not in a million would I have ever thought you could decorate the garage doors in this fashion. I thought maybe faux painting but "OH MY STARS" cutting all that wood and the faux hinges. I say I am speechless... I am... My eyes are larger than cast iron pans. I love working with wood and I see a garage door makeover on our doors.

    You both work well together and compliment each others vision.

  61. It must be everybody's dream a cottage. I want mine by the water. I lived in IL and I understand your winters. Now I live in paradise (so. FL) and love every minute of every day. . . even after almost 25 years. Retired helps too. Blessings, Janet

  62. That garage is BRILLIANT! Your husband is very talented and so are you. I just found your blog and am enjoying every post. You have inspired me to do more "thrifty" shopping. Your results are awesome.

  63. WOW...this is just a beautiful cottage. You and hubs have done a fabulous job and those garage doors....FANTASTIC..they just MADE your house. Really pretty.

  64. Yeah This is amazing cottage i love it thanks for this great post.

    garage doors

  65. Wow, what a transformation - your home and the land around it are just beautiful. Your husband is amazing, I can't believe what he did to the garage doors, they look fabulous! What a beautiful cottage, thanks for sharing. Hugs ~ Mary

  66. Cindy, I just stumbled across you blog tonight and all I can say is, "Wowee-wow-wow!" Your husband did an amazing job on the garage doors. Your cottage is stunning. Love it. A great transformation and very inspiring. I'm following you because I have to see what else you've done and will do. Congratulations. Nancy@www.ajoyfulcottage.com


I would love to hear from you. Come back and visit anytime. Warmest Wishes, Cindy