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March 17, 2011 / Linda Hartong


We shopped for furniture in a Kansas City store and for accessories in our own basement. Then we loaded a truck and off we went.

The paint, hardwood floors and wooden blinds we had installed made a huge difference.

With the help of two men hired from an ad in The Pine Cone ( the local newspaper) we began moving in.











The living room went from this:


to this:

and from this:

to this:


Note this corner with the easy chair and bookshelves. This is clearly marked on the original floor plans as THE FORMAL DINING ROOM. We have yet to figure out where to put the chandelier and banquet table.


The kitchen started to take shape.

Going over time from this:


To this:


Note: do not expect those huge gold Pottery Barn plates you love so much to fit in cupboards built in 1947.


Eventually we bought a stacked washer and dryer, and gained some space with an apartment size fridge and dishwasher.

Note: Even though your kids say they will do the dishes, they won’t. Get a dishwasher.


I found a wonderful blue and white shelf at a local shop and brought out some of my blue ware on the next trip


We had to remove a window to get the desk into Bill’s study. And the hide abed trapped us in the hallway as we brought it in and later took it out.

Note: Nobody likes to sleep on a hide abed.

Now the office is the guest room-office and looks like this:


Over time, the master bath went from this :


to this:


And our bedroom became a cheerful spot, going from this:


to this:


I am a bit of a minimalist but my husband kept finding “one more wonderful thing” which he did indeed manage to fit into this space. One guest mentioned that I had more lamps in my living room than she had in her whole house. Was this a compliment?

Our “entry “went from this:


to this:




Now you  must know that my husband has lots of energy and is an Eagle Scout . No project was  impossible. While I napped in the afternoon, he hammered , sawed, and painted in the little garage.

And, of course, the changes you see here took place gradually .


We began our work outside by adding an arbor over the front gate and encouraging the neighbors ivy to “have at it”.

Going from this:


to this:


and eventually this:


Yup. We are no longer visible from the street.


It has been fun finding these old photos and posting here for you. I did not really remember how much this cottage has changed over the last 15 years.

And the garden:

That is still another story.


“Home is the heart of life…Home is where we feel at ease, where we belong, where we can create surroundings that reflect our tastes and pleasures…Making a home is a form of creativity open to everyone.”  Terence Conran




Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are copyright (c) Linda Hartong. All rights reserved.

You may not use any image on this site without my written consent. If you are interested in using a photo from my website for any purpose, please send me a quick message and let me know which photo(s) you are interested in.




Leave a Comment
  1. Marta Shamblin / Mar 17 2011 12:42 pm

    You’ve done a beautiful job! My husband and I were in Carmel two weekends ago, and I fell in love. Then I found out about you through “My Romantic Home” What a coincidence . . .now I can continue to visit your adorable village! Thanks for sharing
    Fondly, Marta

  2. jeanette sclar / Mar 17 2011 2:37 pm

    So totally charming! And the “notes” are priceless!

  3. Nita@ModVintageLife / Mar 17 2011 6:25 pm

    What a charming cottage. I love the arbor over the fence. Love the tall kitchen cabinets.

  4. dawg803 / Mar 17 2011 8:58 pm

    I love these pictures! Thanks so much for sharing. I have been looking into remodeling my home… I found some pictures on this home remodeling charlotte website that gave some ideas for what I would like to do… they remind me of some of your pictures.

  5. Miss Bloomers / Mar 18 2011 2:07 am

    I love all your pictures and the changes you made…your house is adorable, cozy and warm. I think with a smaller home it is important to choose your pieces well and you did a fantastic job. So fun to look at before and afters!!

  6. Sandy Mansfield / Mar 20 2011 2:07 am

    How warm and cozy. I am so impressed by all the wonderful work you and your husband have done to make this little cottage a home!

    The living room/dining room? 😉 is my favorite! I love all the windows and their placement throughout the house – this little cottage definitely had good bones.

    I smiled when I read your note about having so many lamps. I have lots of lamps, too – I hate overhead lighting!


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