{Our Charming Lake Cottage}

Oh goodness. The before. Look around. She’s a beauty and we couldn’t be happier.  Really.  We know this is a work in progress and a labor of love, but we are ready and so, so happy.  We do love it. It is really a dream come true. With all the dark paneling. Almond bath fixtures. It’s hard to believe, but this little lake place has potential.



{Your Questions Answered…}

Hello!  I hope you all are doing well.  As some of you have noticed, I have not been posting as regularly as I have in the past.  There are a few reasons for this, but I think we are back.  We are excited to share with our readers our lake cottage renovations and projects, along with other things that we’ve done around our home.

As I look through all the comments, I do notice there are a lot of questions that I just haven’t gotten to!

1. What is the name of your hardwood floors?
We have Bruce Dundee Strip in Saddle hardwood floors (solid, not engineered).  They are the CB217. We chose the solid hardwood because we have “The Kid” and “The Dog” and they are good at scratching the floors.  The solid hardwoods can  be refinished if needed in the future.

2.  What did you paint the cabinetry from IKEA?
We used regular latex trim paint from Sherwin Williams in Extra White in satin finish.  We did not prime the pieces, just used regular old latex paint with FloTrol as an extender to keep the brush marks at bay.

3. What is the beige paint color in your home?
Sherwin Williams Nomadic Desert – This was the builder grade paint color in almost all of the rooms.  We have changed most of the paint in our house, and we will share in future posts.

4.  What happened to your blog?
The original blog was bought up by a company that does that kind of thing.  Companies actually auction off website domains that receive traffic.  I’m not sure I understand it all, but I had to do a quick change.  I moved back to a Blogger domain because my regular domain was no longer.  I never knew that this could happen and unfortunately it has hurt my readership.

5. Why are you coming back?
Well…IKEA opens in our area in about a week and we are pretty excited.  Some of our ideas will be easier to complete.  We also have done so much in our lake house that we wanted to share.  We have a lot more plans, but we are pretty stoked about the transformation.  It’s a fun place and we are proud of all the DIY projects we were able to accomplish this past year.  I have a lot to do with the new domain, like updating all of my Pinterest links and the blog links. We’ll get there!

6. What’s been going on?
A lot!  Some (most) has been really good.  Unfortunately, some has been really bad.  More to come on our life in the future.  But life isn’t perfect, is it?  I’ll be honest and open about our successes and our hardships. 

Thanks for stopping by {A Charming Nest} and cheers to a new beginning!



Part 1 – The Plan for the Laundry and Bath

Here is the plan for some of the room of the lake cottage.

Laundry/Entry Room – This is the entry room, but also houses the furnace, water heater, and our washer and dryer set.  This room is small and pretty tight.  It is hard to have a bag and not hit the wall as you walk through.  Our family and friends will have bags, and other summer necessities, so we want to be careful with our wall treatments.  Here’s our plan:


  1. Add a horizontal board and trim piece (stained to match) all around the perimeter of the room at about the 55 inch height
  2. Keep the wood on the lower section of wall
  3. Paint the upper section of wall – Benjamin Moore Imperial Gray
  4. New flooring – wood
  5. Base boards (stained to match)
  6. Paint the door – Benjamin Moore Hale Navy
  7. Remove the lace curtains and add privacy film to window of door
  8. Hooks on the opposite wall (for towels, coats, bags, etc)
  9. Art – Looking for some creative art for the walls

**This room needs some re-configuring, but it just isn’t in the budget.  The washer and dryer are HUGE.

***The wall treatment in this room will be extended to the hall.

Bathroom – The bathroom is across the hall from the entry/laundry room.  This room really needs to be gutted.  But…who has the money for that?  It has almond color bath fixtures (tub surround, toilet, and vanity top) and an old oak cabinet.  Tearing out the shower surround is definitely not in the budget, so we will embrace the light creamish color that I absolutely hate dislike.  We will use paint to embrace the color.  I’m using this picture as my inspiration:img_4283

Here’s the bathroom plan:img_4724-1

  1. Install a horizontal board and trim piece all around the perimeter of the bathroom at the same height as the laundry.  This will not be stained.
  2. Install baseboards.
  3. Paint the lower section of wall – Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan
  4. Paint the upper section of the wall – Benjamin Moore Imperial Gray
  5. New vanity (found on consignment)
  6. New vanity sink/top (IKEA Rattviken) and faucet
  7. New shower curtain, rugs, and towels
  8. New medicine cabinet and lighting fixture
  9. New flooring – wood
  10. Hooks on the horizontal board for towels, swim suits, etc.




Well that’s it for now.  We’ll put together our plans for the bedrooms, sleeping loft, living room, and kitchen.  Whew!



The before…

Oh goodness. The before. What I really mean is the current. Look around. She’s a beauty and we couldn’t be happier.  Really.  We know this is a work in progress and a labor of love, but we are ready and so, so happy.  We do love it. It is really a dream come true. With all the dark paneling. Almond bath fixtures. This little lake place has potential.



Dreams do come true…


Sunset on our lake.
We did it.  We really did it.  We purchased a lake house.  A small little lake house.  It is actually on a lake and has a dock.  I like to amuse myself and call it “charming.”  Let me assure you, it is not.  The rooms are full on floor to ceiling wood paneling in every room.  Yes, every room.  It has almond colored bathroom fixtures.  It has linoleum floors.  Broken window shades.  Vertical blinds on the sliders.  Laminated cabinets, with no knobs. Very, very, very old appliances.

But it is ours.  After years of dreaming.  Talking.  Looking.  And looking.  And looking some more, we finally found one that we liked  thought had potential.

Well…Justin likes it just the way it is.  He says it’s like a lodge cabin with all the wood and a vaulted living room ceiling.  Like the cabins you rent in Tennessee and he is happier than a pig in slop.  But I want a more cottage feel.  You know…I need to channel my Layla Palmer and Miss Mustard Seed on this one.  I’m thinking of chippy paint, slip covered furniture, muted colors, ticking stripe, open shelving, and wood counters…

We do have one problem challenge opportunity.  We have a very tight budget.  So…here I come Goodwill, flea markets, Ikea, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. I’ve got no shame in my consignment game and with time and patience we’ll see what we can do.

So, join us if you want!  We’re about to get busy.  We’ve got a few short month until boating season, when the work will stop.  Because who wants to paint when you’ve got boating, swimming, kayaking, and skiing to do?



{I’m back…}

I’m back and I don’t have a lot to share.  We haven’t done much around our boring beige house.  In fact, it is still pretty boring and still pretty beige.  We haven’t painted a room, or a piece of furniture, and we haven’t added trim to the walls.  I haven’t bought supplies for a craft and I haven’t made a wreath in over a year.  I haven’t been to Ikea in two years and I haven’t done an Ikea hack.  But we’ve been busy with soccer, swim lessons, a new job, travel, and just life in general.  It’s all been good, but decorating this house hasn’t been my focus, so blog topics may expand a bit as I learn to “balance” my interests.

Last year, for 2014 my word for the year was optimism.  I tried to be optimistic in all my thinking.  I really felt a change in my outlook on life in general.

This year, for 2015, my word will be gratitude.  I am so grateful for my blessings.  The “kid” will be seven next week.  He’s happy, healthy, and doing well in school.  My husband is supportive and loving, and quite honestly I wouldn’t know what to do without him.  I have a wonderful new job, where I am challenged in all the right ways and hopefully helping to make a difference in the lives of kids.  We’re pretty happy with our little lot in life.  And I’m optimistically grateful for our future together.

So, I’m back and I’m ready to share.  I’m not sure what will be on the docket…I guess we’ll see what 2015 brings.

Happy New Year!


{Dining Room Make Over}

We’ve just finished our dining room make over!  And we’re really liking the changes we’ve made!


Dining Room

We added molding to the entire room.  Painted the walls Sherwin Williams Retreat with one drop of green removed.  The trim is painted Sherwin Williams Extra White to match the existing trim.  I sewed drop cloth curtains using a 9×6 paints drop cloth (about $11 from Lowes).







Here are more before pictures: