My Family Cottage & A Dining Plan

I hope you all had as fun of a 4th as we did! We spent the whole weekend with family and friends at my family's cottage - just a short walk from the beach on Lake Michigan - swimming in the lake, playing in the sand, eating ice cream, and of course watching fireworks over the channel.

My parents bought our cottage when I was 4 & we practically lived out there during the summers. Between the trolley rides, walks to get ice cream, spending countless hours at the beach, and climbing sand dunes, my childhood was filled with adventure. I'm so excited that my boys are now at the ages where they can enjoy these activities as much as I did.

About 5 years ago major water damage all but ruined this wonderful place. During the winter there was an electrical surge that shut off the boiler, causing the pipes to freeze and burst leaving the floors covered in inches of water, frost on every window, and drywall bubbling. There wasn't much we could do to fix it other than gut the inside and remodel, keeping the shell of the house.

I wish I had before photos to share, because we were able to move rooms around creating a more open space that functions better for our family. We lost a bedroom upstairs, but gained one in the basement by removing the second kitchen that was original to the house. We kept the bathroom upstairs, but added in a stackable washer and dryer opposite of the custom vanity to conserve space.

The kitchen and a bedroom swapped spots allowing the kitchen to be up front by the deck. Now we're able to see the channel from the new dining room. When I stand in the "new bedroom" I can't believe a kitchen and dining room used to fit in that space.

Speaking of the dining room, it is in major need of a new table and chairs. Currently the table out there is... old. It's been there since I was a kid, and it's seen better days. We're down to 5 chairs, and more often than not there are more than 5 people at the cottage. Most of the time we eat dinner outside on the deck, but when it's raining or we just need a space to hang out at night, it's nice to have seating for everyone.

My mom has been hesitant, because she didn't want to buy an expensive wood dining set and have it get ruined. Understandable. I mean, we all want the Pottery Barn table, but we don't want anyone to eat at it. Am I right?!

Insert Ana White's DIY Farmhouse Table.

Husky Farmhouse Table

So lovely, and so similar to this table from Pottery Barn, but built at a fraction of the price.
Keaton Extending Dining Table - French White 
 After having made the vanity for our half-bathroom, I really think this is something I can handle. I shared my design idea and plans with my mom, then ordered the legs from Osborne Wood right away. They'll be here this afternoon -- super fast shipping if you ever need some legs. ;)

I'm planning to paint the legs and apron Linen White by Benjamin Moore to coordinate with the cabinets. They'll be distressed and sealed with a clear wax. The top will also be distressed to hide any abuse it may be put through, but I promised my mom we would lacquer the heck out of it in an attempt to protect it. I'm thinking a darker gray driftwood stain would look nice. The floors are natural hickory and have subtle gray tones in them, and the ceiling is a pine tongue and groove, so I'm not looking to match that.

As for the chairs, I picked up a set of 2 wicker parsons chairs that I'm planning to paint. I'm looking for 4 or 6 more chairs on Craig's List and in thrift shops that I can paint as well. There isn't much color in this space, so my plan is to paint 2 chairs one color, 2 chairs another color, etc. to liven up the room. Something like this:
 We have the cutest built in bench in the entry that's painted Caliente by Benjamin Moore, so that will be the red I use for 2 of the chairs to keep a bit of consistency throughout the cottage.

That's also the same color we used on the vanity in the basement bathroom, so it only makes sense to continue it. 

Speaking of that entry bench, did you notice the fantastic paisley fabric on the cushion? I'll be pulling the rest of the colors from that fabric. I'm thinking two red chairs, two yellow chairs, two blue chairs, and possibly two green (if we have room). Or maybe I'll paint each chair a different color; 1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 blue and... maybe 2 blue? I really depends on the chairs I find, and how big the table ends up being.

I'm excited to get started, and I can't wait until it's all done! I know it will really add character to the dining room and help with color flow throughout the whole cottage.

And in case you think I forgot, I don't have any major updates on my mom's kitchen renovation. The coffee bar is almost complete, and the cup pulls have been installed, but the knobs I ordered look a lot more minty in person than the aqua we are going for. I'm working on returning those now, and either exchanging for a new color, or looking at an entirely different knob.  I also received the fabric for the window valance late last week. I hope to get started on that soon, with a tutorial on how to make a simple and modern valance. Stay tuned! ;)

Linking Up To:
Everyday Enchanting - Enchanting Inspiration Link Party No. 6


  1. I'm sure it's going to look great, love that table too (thanks for the link to the legs)!!

  2. I have this kitchen full of fabulous cabinets but they are all in dark wood. I am so wanting to paint them a grey/olive color .. I was told to use chalk paint. I think I have to do some tests .. I would be so happy with a look like this one .
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