Saturday, March 31, 2012

Our Renovation ~ Interior Befores ~ Good.Bad & Ugly.

Good.Bad. & Ugly
& REeally Ugly!

Fair Warning....Full Disclosure.

These photos are NOT for the faint of heart DIY Renovators!
This is the real deal!
The down & dirty of renovating.
If you are looking to see the pretty pictures, (no offense of course) please leave now.
Feel free to come back to see our before & afters, please!
If I still haven't scared you away & this gets your spirit going!
Here goes...

We purchased a cottage home originally built in the 1880's.
It had been updated maybe in the 70's & added on to one to many times.
It was a foreclosure property that we got for a steal.

Renovations are currently underway.
We are doing it all on a budget!

Welcome to our dream home!
(HA!  We must be insane!) maybe not just yet...but wait for it!

Living Room

Potential: Opening up the layout to an open concept Living/Kitchen/Dining

It's not a huge home by any means.
But opening the space to an open concept & replacing the existing addition with a new larger one,
It will turn out to be about 1536 square feet.
Not bad for a 3 bedroom 2 bath cottage home.

Living Room
#1 Say goodbye to the drop ceiling!
Potential: Say hello to 10 foot ceilings & loads of natural light.


Potential: Open Concept & Dream Island

Potential: Access to the back patio we plan to add.


Well really this was bedroom/laundry & seriously the stinkiest room EVER!
Potential: Brand New Addition!  Master Bedroom/Bath/Walk-in Closet

Bedroom 2
Potential: Bedroom 2 / Guest Bedroom

Bedroom 3

Potential: Bedroom / Home Office


Seriously we could win that show about the WORST bathroom!
This is absolutely disgusting!
Potential: New Addition!  Brand New Bathroom

Okay, so did you make it until the end of the post?
Wow, you must be serious about DIY!
Hope you'll stick around to watch our progress as our dream unfolds!
Click here to follow our progress.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dwellings ~ Spring 2012

Spring has Sprung at Dwellings!

Dwellings has a fresh new look for Spring!
Vibrant color to add to your home for the new season.
Dwellings is also on Facebook you can check out more looks here.

If you are in the neighborhood, visit Dwellings
located in historic downtown LeClaire, Iowa.
Just 2 1/2 hours west of Chicago.

If you follow along on The Corson Cottage, you may remember Dwellings.
My older brother is the shopkeeper & owner.
He is so very talented, it is amazing to see what each new season brings to the store.

Your's truly took the photos, & I must admit I am fairly pleased with how they turned out.
I plan to continue to help out working on the Facebook updates & website (coming soon.)

Hope you'll stop by if you visit LeClaire, Iowa someday!


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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Our Renovation Begins! ~ Exterior Befores

{Our Renovation}

We are heading into a new chapter of our lives. 
We have moved back to LeClaire, Iowa our hometown.
Nestled near the downtown of our favorite little country rivertown
we found this little beauty nearly 10 months ago.
Well, we sold our first home this month & we have moved back home.
Now our story really begins.

Our plan is to completely renovate this home from top to bottom, inside & out.
One of the older homes in the town, we estimate it was originally built in the 1880's.
We have yet to really dig into this home's history.
Though I am quite sure it has a story or two to tell.

While this little light blue shabby ranch nestled on the hillside may
appear fairly plain & simple, I am absolutely positive it has a character
all its own just waiting to be uncovered and dusted off underneath the surface.

A renovation like this has been a dream for both my husband & myself
since before we even knew one another.
You see, Travis is a carpenter & own's his own small construction
business.  I on the other hand have not done much construction (like none;)
But, I have a passion for design & interior aesthetics that gets stronger every day.
We are confident that between the two of us we will make a great renovation team.

Go Team Corson!!!
(That one's for my husband, Love you honey!)

I plan to document our renovation journey through every step.
As you can see I have taken tons of photos, so I thought I would
split the before photos into two posts, one on the exteriors & one on interior.
Fair warning....
while this home may appear to be in say, not too bad of shape on the outside.
Well, the inside is a whole different story!
So, be prepared to get a little dirty.
Oh a little dirt doesn't hurt now & then (at least that is what I'm telling myself:)

I am sure the reward in the end will be priceless.
We are making memories to last a lifetime.
We are leaving behind a little piece of our legacy on this one.

We are so excited to really get going on this!

Well, this is it for the exterior before photos.
We hope that you will enjoy following along on our renovation journey.
We have so much in store for this little quaint cottage home.

Here is a quick run down of our plans.

1. Repair foundation & install new foundation
2. Remove existing addition.
3. Demo entire interior down to studs.
4. Remove all floors & sub floor inside.
5. Build new larger addition.
6. Remove old roof.
7. Install new roof.
8. Remove walls to open space.
9. Move existing walls.
10. New Windows, Siding, Doors
11. Plumbing
12. Electrical
13. Drywall
14. New Flooring
15. New Kitchen
16. New Bathrooms
17. Interior Design
18. New Lighting
19. Replace front porch
20. Add new back patio

And I am sure a million more things will get added to this list along the way,
but you get the idea in the end we will have a brand new home on a budget.

2 car detached garage with a work shop above for the hubs.

So, what do you think???
Are we crazy???


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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Decor Options

I thought I would share a few Spring decor options with you.
Before we left our first home behind I had added a few Spring touches.
I added Spring in our home a bit early this year because we were leaving.
 In my opinion it's never too early to add those touches that simply make you feel at home.
These elements & textures are some of the ones I love & could keep up year round.

Here are some of the touches I added to our dining room cabinet.
I love to use this piece to change out my decor.
The shelving gives me the perfect place to display a few seasonal accents.

As you can see I love the addition of green moss.
I always like to use moss balls throughout different seasons to bring the outside in.
They are a fairly inexpensive way to add natural hints to any space.

If you follow along on our blog you know I absolutely adore fresh Hydrangeas.
I couldn't resist adding these Nikko Blue Hydrangeas for a classic nod to Spring & Summer.

The Nikko Blue Hydrangea is one of my favorite varieties of Hydrangeas.
I plan to incoporate them into our landscaping at the new house.
That way I have an endless supply to bring indoors from time to time.

As you can see I added a touch of fresh green to each shelf.
Here I added a simple succulent to the small white vase.
Dwellings carries some fabulous succulents.
They look so real!
Then I added a simple filler to the glass apothecary jar.

~ Tip ~
Try using a bag of chick peas as vase filler.
The avacado green is the perfect Spring color.
It's a great affordable option for a vase filler & it looks great too.

I hope you enjoyed some of our Spring decor.
To see more of our Spring Cottage dining room check it our here.

Have a great week!


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~ Welcome Spring ~

Let's all give a warm welcome to Spring!
She certainly has arrived in great style this year.
Record high temps abound.
We are actually probably 3-4 weeks ahead of season here in Iowa.
How are things where you are?

I just wanted to fill you all in on my blogging absence.
Since we have moved back to my Mother's during our renovation, life has been
That is putting it mildly!
Let me catch you up to speed...

1. Sold our House
2. Moved back to Mom's
3. Started Demo on New House
4. Closed on our old house
5. Full Time Job is Crazy Right Now
6. Planning Wedding Shower for my soon to be Sister-In-Law
7. Ordered invitations
8. Working on Shower Decor
9. Making plans on new house
10. Helping out at Dwellings a little bit
11. Helping my first client with some interior design
12. Oh yeah, & internet connection issues at Mom's.  To be fixed soon!
Making blogging daily about all of this difficult.

Well....that about sums it up!
And that has all been in the last two weeks!!!

So, as I have promised previously, I will be posting some pics of the new home soon.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bidding Farewell Part 3 ~ Our Dining Room

It's official we have left behind our first home.
We are saying goodbye to our first cottage bungalow.
So to continue on with our tribute to our first home & all the projects we did,
we are bidding farewell room by room.
If you missed Part 1 & Part 2 you can see them here & here.

Part 3
 ~ Our Dining Room~

We updated the dining room in stages to save on our budget.
In time it came together just as I hoped.
If you would like to see the before (or somewhere in the middle) you can go here.
If you was in my early blogging days & those photos are not the best!

Come on into the dining room & enjoy good food, family & friends with us.
The dining room & kitchen for me are the heart of the home.
In this house our kitchen was a little tiny, but the dining room was the saving grace.
This is the view from the quaint cottage kitchen into our dining room.

Directly off the kitchen & dining room is our 4 season back porch, this is the view from there.
You can also sneak back into the living room through the door in the corner.

The dining room turned out to be one of my favorite rooms in our first home.
I will always remember the first time we had our family over after all the updates.
It will be one of those cherished memories that will last forever.
I finally had a dining room that reminded me of home.

Growing up the dining table was where it all went down.
My family always had Sunday dinners at my Mom & Dad's.
Anyone & everyone was always welcome...the more the merrier.
We shared so many memories at my Mom & Dad's dining table.
Boy, I bet that table could tell some stories.
My Mom LOVED to entertain!
The table was ever changing with the season.
We shared good food family & friends.
We laughed & sometime cried & sometimes laughed so hard we hard cried.
Had family game nights.
The dining table was where I can remember planning our futures.
And ultimately bringing home the perfect guy to meet the family.
Then one day soon after, knowing that guy was the perfect fit at the dining table.

So, for me the dining room & dining table really are the heart of the home you see.
Where would all my memories have occured if it weren't for that dining room?
I think those memories helped to mold the person I am.

I hope one day my dining table has that effect on someone.

What is your favorite room in your home?
Is it the dining room?
What do you like most about your dining room?
Do you have a room that speaks to your soul the way my dining room does for me?

Hope you all are having a great week!

I promise, soon I will be posting the first progress pics of our new home
& our next major renovation journey.
I hope you will join us this year as we take on our biggest renovation yet!


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