How Is It Going? Spectacular!

I leave tomorrow for the TRIBE Conference in Franklin, Tennessee. I’m staying at a super-cool Airbnb – a cottage called Gimpy’s which is apparently modeled after the owner/writer’s book. I’m excited to meet a fellow author, and to be surrounded by other creatives.

But before I make the loooonnnggg drive to Tennessee, I wanted to update everyone on our progress. Because wowza, has there been plenty of it!

Take a look…

Front porch – currently cluttered

I’m going to show it as it is right this moment – warts and all. Well, no warts, but still a ways to go.

The living room.

We still have to do something about the fireplace wall. Thanks so much drywall guys, you really did a bang-up job here. They left it uneven and just…stopped…mid-wall! The gas logs are vent-free and mean that we don’t need to worry about lining the chimney. We are waiting for the contractor to find the remaining part needed to hook it up.

From the other side of the living room

It was wonderful to get the wood off of the beautiful beveled glass door. Once we strip the paint off of it, we will refinish it back to its original wood glory, then add window hardware and a curtain to give our guests privacy. Although it is a little cluttered at the moment, we have an entry table and a corner desk for those who need a little bit of writing space.

The former dining room, now new kitchen.

The original kitchen was far too small and we knew we could create a reasonable eat-in kitchen out of the dining room. I love how it turned out, especially now that we refinished the wood floors!

I still have some painting to do before I can re-attach all of the drawer hardware. I also need to hem the curtains and find the third sconce for the light. Eventually I will also repaint all of these chairs. They were at Habitat for Humanity – old Five Guys metal chairs for just $5 each!

I’m currently sorting and labeling door keys. I also bought a photo album and will be posting pictures of the renovations so that guests can see how much work went into creating the warm, comfortable home they are now staying in!

I have found so many amazing deals on Facebook Marketplace. I imagine I have saved thousands! This little table was just $40.

It took a lot of scrubbing, but I finally got the sink clean.

While we couldn’t realistically fit a dishwasher in, the kitchen has everything else. I’ve found a microwave, toaster oven, electric kettle, and so much more!

Built-ins on the pantry side

I have managed to lose the bottom right cabinet door, and the two top doors are glass and need work. For now, I plan on taking off the bottom left door and just hanging a curtain there. The top part will be left open until I can find someone to install replacement glass in one of the doors, then we will put it back in.

The original kitchen, now utility room

We replaced our washer and dryer set earlier this year and will install the older ones into Cottage West. For now, we have a bunch of tools in it. I plan on leaving the brick exposed, but I’ll probably put some kind of clear coat over it.

The back porch – messy, but pretty much done

We will be clearing out the construction debris and then I’ll stencil the floor. It will be a lovely, peaceful place to sit and drink coffee, practice yoga, or just nap in a hammock!

I have been listening to a ton of podcasts and reading articles on best practices for short-term rentals. Guaranteed, this wall-mounted wine bottle opener will be a huge hit!
The built-ins on the hallway side.

I still need to get the little metal brackets in place and figure out where everything should go. I’m labeling everything – light switches, drawers, doors, you name it. This will make it far easier on my guests to find necessary items.

I’m also making a point of including everything from over-the-counter analgesics (Excedrin, Ibuprofen) to cough drops, q-tips, first aid, and even eye wash.

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 1 has a queen size bed. Originally, this room had another door, one that led to the living room. We took it out and that allowed us to put a queen size bed in without having to block any doors.

I need some artwork in here, but I love the quilt and wall color!

Bedroom 1 – view from where the other door used to be

There was a tiny, truly unusable closet here where the IKEA cabinet is. I plan to put a small chair there on the left.

I love this sign. When I saw it, I just had to have it!
We have water flowing in the bathtub and the toilet!

We have just a little ways to go here. My husband still needs to hook up the sink and we need to finish hooking up the shower component of the bathtub and hang the shower curtains. I love how the floor turned out!

Bedroom 2 with a full-size bed

Imagine my dismay when I went into the basement to retrieve the bed frame for this bed, only to discover it was a twin-size daybed!

So I found, and bought, an antique wrought iron frame for $50 from Facebook Marketplace that night. It is fantastic! No creaking, and just as solid as can be.

Bedroom 2’s closet (this is the same exposed brick as in the utility room).

We still need to finish out this closet with a pole.

Another great find on Facebook Marketplace.

I found the matching lamps in both bedrooms at Cargo Largo for $15 each. The bedside clock has two charging ports and it also tells you the local temp and humidity!

I bought luggage racks for both rooms (another good podcast suggestion) and we have some molding, wall art and mirrors to hang.
I had this old box in my library, sitting on one end and serving as a side table.

I love how this old box turned out. I asked my husband to install the light into it. It hangs between the two original metal cabinets, serving as additional storage, a light, and decoration!

Our lending library in the living room

The library will include books that stay with Cottage West (I’ll label them accordingly and put them on the top shelf) and also has a tip jar for folks to add money to if they want to take one of the books.

Wall art in the living room
I have a bit of hemming to do on the curtains! This little coffee table from IKEA was the perfect size and price. Just $12!
This window film looks fantastic and blocks the view of our neighbor’s decrepit house.
The glider looks gorgeous in dark green, don’t you think?!
I can’t wait to get this up on the outside wall!
I plan to add a small pond with solar fountain here in the middle of this tiny front yard.
The althea bush in bloom.

Here’s hoping we can officially open for business in mid-September. It’s been a long haul, folks, but it is so worth it. We have created a HOME. One that, come what may, is 100% paid for.

I can’t say that about my main house, or my rental house in Belton, so I’m pretty damned proud.

This has been an incredibly productive year – first with the front fence and now with Cottage West on the cusp of being complete. We have done well!

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