Friday, September 28, 2012

Tybee Island, GA…..Cottage Bliss

In my last post I told you I would tell you how we knew Jensen Cottage was the place we were supposed to stay.

We walked in the back door and turned the corner, and this is the first thing I saw….
A PINK Kitchen Aid mixer! Now how many places are going to have a pink mixer?! If you all know me, you know I <3 pink!

pink Kitchen Aid

My hubby came in behind me and this is what he saw…

early grey

Timothy’s Earl Grey Tea. (Timothy is my hubbies name, and his favorite tea in the whole world is Earl Grey)
Now how funny is that?! I’ve never seen Timothy’s teas before, so we just knew we were supposed to be right there, at that very moment.

After we had our “Aha” moment about being there, we went on in and were amazed at the quaintness of our cottage! I felt like I was stepping back in time, but with wonderful modern amenities.

I just loved this…

clawfoot tub

The original cast iron tub, and those tiles….oh how I love those tiles!

Each door still has the old glass door knobs….don’t you wish houses came with these now?…

glass door knobs

I love all the wood planked walls and ceilings…it’s given me some inspiration for a room in my house…just trying to get up the nerve to tackle it. :0) 
Oh..I have to tell you a funny story that happened while we were there. See the sofa in the picture below? (you can only see the arm of it) The first night we were there, my two boys slept in the same bed….well my oldest woke up to his brother’s head on his stomach, so he decided he’d just sleep on the sofa the rest of the week.  The last day we were there, I was cleaning up a little before we left, and looked under the sofa to see if we’d left anything, and discovered it was a sleeper sofa! My poor son had been sleeping on a sofa when he could have turned it into a bed! LOL  We got a serious giggle out of that one.  He said the sofa was so comfy he didn’t even care. :0)

where to stay in Tybee Island

I wanted to bring this piece home with me….I love the bin pulls, the chippy paint and just the overall feel of this beauty.

old chippy hutch

I know one thing….this house may have been built in the 20’s, but it sure had wonderful amenities!  High end appliances, pottery barn dishes, and any kind of pots and pans you would need to cook a gourmet meal!  We did cook there too!  We would eat out at a nice restaurant for lunch, while the prices were cheaper, then cook a meal at night while we relaxed in the cottage. 

pottery barn dishes

My son thought the picket fence gate was cute…it opened up into the dining room…………he kept closing it the whole time we were there. :0)  (my hubby was checking out the artwork above the fireplace in the living room) lol

how to divide rooms

While my son was lovin’ the picket fence gate, I was lovin’ the lantern light fixture in the dining room. (and there’s those planked ceilings again…swoon!)

Mermaid cottages

Here’s where we spent a LOT of our time………….

Tybee Island, GA

Yep, the beach!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mermaid Cottage Vacation, Tybee Island

I HAVE to tell you what an amazing vacation we just had!  First I have to thank Layla Palmer, from The Lettered Cottage, for pointing us to the most wonderful little cottages on earth!  I love you Layla! I’d also like to give a shout out to Diane and Denise from Mermaid Cottages, two of the nicest ladies you’ll ever have the pleasure to speak to…thanks gals for such a wonderful week!

Our family has been wanting to get away on a vacation for quite some time, but we haven’t been able to make it happen.  Thanks to some great friends and a long car trip, this year we got to go!  We left on August 11th and used some of my hubbies Hilton points to stay in Asheville, NC…which was the halfway point to Tybee Island.  We had our free continental breakfast the next day and his the road to this fabulous destination!…

Tybee Island

Don’t ya’ just love that sign?! 

We drove a little bit farther into Tybee and were greeted with our wonderful little cottage!  Here she is….

tybee island, GA

We stayed in the Jensen Cottage….she was built in 1920 for the Jensen's when they were married. The current owner is only the 2nd owner of this little gem, and she is precious!

Jensen Cottage

There were so many wonderful things to see before we even went in the door…….

The side yard, complete with a koi pond!

mermaid cottages

Koi fountain…

koi pond

Beautiful Adirondack chair…so welcoming!

Tybee Island

and my, oh my…check out the HUGE screened in back porch! I spent a LOT of time out there!…………..

mermaid cottages

Here are some more shots of the back yard…

Be still my heart…hydrangeas!


There’s just something about old signs…..just look at that aged wood!…

vintage sign

Doesn’t this just say welcome home….

welcoming curb appeal

and this just made me giggle…..who wouldn’t love riding a purple bike to the ocean!! ……

purple bike

Here’s that wonderful screened in porch…see how huge it is! I lit those candles and laid on that sofa more times than I wanna confess!……Oh, and they had all kinds of magazines to choose from too!

screened in porch

This little sign on the porch summed it all up for me…..

mermaid cottages


I’ll show you the inside of the house on my next post, so stay tuned!  You have to see why, the minute we walked into the house, we knew we were supposed to stay there!  I’ll show you next time!


Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Build A Window Seat

Hey ya’ll!  Today is the day I show you how I built my dining room window seat! Yay!  It seems like I’ve been working on this project forever!

OK…we started with these old drawers I got out of an old 1916 house that was being demolished.  Not much to look at in this state…but just wait!  Oh JOY!

what to do with old drawers

They now look like this……………drumroll please!!!! (can you tell I’m just a wee bit excited to share this with you?!!)


window seat

I still have some roman shades to make, and a valance that will go under the archway, but I’m in love with what I have so far!

As I showed you in THIS post, this is where I started, a VERY formal dining room……

formal dining room

I bought a set of Billy bookcases from IKEA and assembled them, and centered everything on the wall with three windows, like this……(see the bookcases on each end?)

how to build a window seat

I cut a piece of MDF (medium density fiberboard) for the top of the window seat, but it had to have something to rest it on at the back, so I installed a ledger board. 

I took some 2 x 4’s and screwed them into the studs in the walls with some REALLY long screws….because of the lip of the window sill that happened to be the depth of the first 2 x 4 that I installed, I ended up layering a 2 x 4 on top of the first one…screwing it into the first one. I put the double 2 x 4’s the length of where the window seat would be.
This is where the wood, that I’ll be making the top of the window seat out of, will be screwed into.

how to install a ledger board

See how the top of the MDF will sit on the ledger board… (that’s the old set of drawers you see with the beadboard on the back of them, the ledger board is the one under the window sill)

how to build a window seat

Once I put the MDF top on the window seat it left it looking like this………..

buiding a window seat

Don’t worry, we’ll fix that hole and sharp edge, but first we have to fill in the spaces on the left side of the china cabinets.  (note..nothing has been nailed into place at this point…the MDF top is just sitting there, because we’ll need to make some more cuts)

I fixed the hole on the side of the china cabinet by building a spacer.  I used a 2 x 4 to fill in the gap….(note:  the baseboard had to be removed so the spacer would fit snug against the wall…I just cut it off to fit the new space later)

how to put in a spacer

Since you’ll never see the back of the 2 x 4 I decided to use L-brackets to attach it the wall. I was very lucky and hit a stud, if I hadn’t hit a stud, I would’ve had to use some drywall anchors. I used 4 L-brackets up and down the piece of wood….it needed to be super sturdy! I used a level to make sure it was nice and straight too!


I put the cabinet back in it’s place and screwed it from the inside of the cabinet into the side of the 2 x 4. I’ll eventually show you why I put the 2 x 4 all the way to the ceiling…there’s a method to my madness! lol


Now to fix the hole and sharp corner on the top…..

how to build a window seat

To get rid of the sharp corner on the top, I drew a line on the MDF top from the front of the drawers, to the front of the cabinet, then cut that off with my circular saw. (if you look closely at the picture above, you can see the line I drew) I had to cover that huge hole in the front with a piece of MDF too, so I did this…

building a spacer

This is a  aerial picture of the side of the white cabinet with the glass doors. I attached a piece of wood to the side from the inside of the cabinet and the side of the drawers, so I’d have something to nail the front piece of wood to, then installed the front piece like this…

how to build a window seat

No more hole!  :0)
Then I attached the top seat piece of MDF to the top of the frame  and it looked like this…(I did put a little half round trim molding on the front edges of the top and gave it a coat of primer in this pic)…

how to build a window seat

So here’s the hole all covered up…and I cut some foam rubber to fit the top for the long cushion I’d be making later…..(oh..did you know you can cut foam rubber with an electric carving cuts like butter!)

covering pillows

I also gave it a good coat of paint and put the old drawer handles back on.

farmhouse window seate

The shelf in the above picture is just a long board that’s 12" wide...I laid it across the top of the two end cabinets, and put L-brackets along the back edge on top, into the studs in the wall. I put the L-brackets on the top, so you wouldn't be able to see them, then I'll paint them out with the wall color once the room is painted. I'll be installing some wainscoting 2/3rd of the way up before I do any painting though.
The arch was just a very long, wide board that I cut an arch into and put a piece of very flexible screen molding on the bottom, to cover the raw edge. I put it up with L-brackets under the shelf it sits in front of. . I also put a piece of trim at the top of the arch that extends over onto the cabinets for a more finished look.

In the picture below you can see I built two little boxes to set on top of each of the cabinets to take up the space between the cabinets and bulkhead. (I installed them with some construction adhesive and a couple of nails) I'll be putting up crown molding there so it'll have a nice transition from the cabinet to the bulkhead.

window seat

Here you can see where I installed the crown molding on the little boxes.  I just did a short return on the end, it doesn’t go all the way back the wall on the sides.

installing crown molding

I installed bead board on the side of the IKEA bookcases, facing the window seat.  I also put paintable wallpaper on the bottom of the long shelf.  I trimmed out and caulked anything that had a gap. (it hadn’t been painted yet here) :0)

installing bead board

Okay…here’s a part I LOVE!  I got these light fixtures from a gal on Facebook that was selling some stuff here locally and I installed them on the bead board on the inside walls of the bookcases.  They were $10 BUCKS! Woo hoo! (I just put screws in the holes, directly into the side of the bookcase/china cabinet, then glued on the little covers)

edison light bulb

I found the old Edison light bulbs at Lowes….don’t you just love how you can see the filament when they’re all lit up?!  I also bought a cord cover from Lowes and covered the cord up on the wall.  These sconces were plug in types, but if you have some that aren’t you can buy kits to add a’s not hard and it comes with directions.

edison bulbs

Here’s the finished..well almost finished, window seat! You can see the bead board, and light fixtures on the china cabinets.

how to build a window seat

Here are some of the pillows close up…..I used drop cloths for the long window seat cover, floral fabric that was left over from my kitchen chair re-do (you can find that HERE), and some striped tan and cream ticking.

drop cloth pillows

I used a drop cloth on this pillow.  The drop cloth had a seam, so instead of getting upset that it had a seam, I decided to use it as a design element and I love it!  I used a covered button kit to cover buttons in the floral fabric and made piping for the edge of the pillow in the stripe.  Yes, it did take forever, but I think anything worth anything, takes time. (and patience!)  Sorry it’s a little wrinkled…guess I need to break out my steamer. :0)

window seat pillows

I used my floral fabric on the large feather stuff pillow, and again trimmed it out in piping covered in the stripe.  I adore the little bolster pillows I made on the ends…. you can buy bolster inserts, so it makes the job much easier.

I actually didn’t make the little brown pillows, I found them at a yard sale for .50 cents each. I bought them for my patio, and just happened to lay them on the window seat when I came in, and I loved them there, so there they stayed! :0-)

how to build a window seat

So, in a quick re-cap, we went from this:

formal dining room

to this:

what to do with old drawers

to this:

what to do with old drawers


how to build a window seat

how to build a window seat

Here’s how I decorated the top…..ironstone, old books, wooden crates, bubble glass silhouette picture, and of course old platters……




I’m working on a couple of other projects for the dining room, but it’ll be a little while before I can show you those….. I’m about tuckered out from this one! I still have some roman shades I’ll be making for the window seat window, and maybe a valance for under the arch…still debating that one, but this is what I have thus far. :0)  SO glad to be almost finished, but it was SO worth the hard work and effort!

Blessings and Hugs
Missy :0)

I’m linking up to
My Repurposed Life Catch as Catch Can
Before and After Party at Thrifty D├ęcor Chick
Also entering:

250 depot

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