A Tale of Two Tiny Houses

After years of living in the suburbs, we finally sold our house.  We had hoped to move full time to our beloved beach house but it is too far to commute.  We looked for options closer to work but nothing made sense until we found a tiny 672 square foot 1926 cottage in a small historical town – we had found a city house that seemed like our beach house.  So we have begun yet another renovation and I hope to share our journey of 2 tiny houses as we make them our homes. 

Before we bought our tiny cottage…


Painted the craftsman door and starting on trim…



Beach “Vacation”

We are just returning from a 9 day trip to our beloved beach house.  The quotes in the title is not an accident.  Having a 100 year old house near the beach is fabulous but an incredible amount of work.  I read a great article on a home site called ” What I wish I had known before I purchased my old house” which was spot on- windows crack, floors warp and insects nest- but you love the house as if it is a living member of your family.  

The work necessary to care for an older home is intense but worth the effort.  We have lived in a newer home and an older one for the past 10 years.  I will take the older one.  There is just something hard to put your finger on about loving an old house.  Part history, part charm, the older house has the je ne sais quoi that a newer home does not possess.  Even with the backbreaking amount of work necessary to maintain and restore our home, I would not trade it for any tropical vacation. 


The Next Chapter

We have been so busy preparing our house to sell that I have neglected the blog.  I’m thrilled to write we are purchasing a 1926 cottage on the banks of the Columbia River near Portland, Oregon.  This will be an exciting journey as we restore and bring back to life this adorable tiny home.  Please watch for posts as we begin! 


The Beach Bathroom Reveal

The demolition of the bathroom started on July 7, 2014 and began as a simple project to replace the old cast iron bath tub with a shower and tile.  What it became was a complete removal of walls and the subfloor.  Such is the case with a 100 year old beach house.

Rebuilding everything became the smart move as we now have a spa-like bathroom with all new electrical, lights, plumbing, fixtures, walls and floor.  The thing I am most proud of in this project is that we did EVERYTHING ourselves.  No contractors or handyman.  It tooks us 9 months to the day as we hammered in the last piece of hardwood flooring on April 8, 2015.  

I am also pleased that we salvaged or up cycled the tub, tile, lights, flooring, vanity, mirror, sink & faucet.  The toilet, shower pan, tub & shower faucet and bead board were all new.  With our labor and salvaged materials, the total budget was right under $2,500 for finished project.

The goal of the remodel was to upgrade the quality of the bathroom as well as create a space that could have existed in 1915 when the house was built.  We used a salvaged clawfoot tub from the tear down of a 1920s house, subway tile, Douglas fir for the ceiling & vanity top, bead board walls to create the era or reference existing details in the house.  We used a salvaged map of nearby Willapa Bay that was pinned to the wall when we bought the house as art work.  

Here is a photo journey of our beach bathroom remodel with a before, during and final product.  Thanks for sharing this journey with us- it’s been one of the most satisfying projects we have ever done and the first from design, to complete tear down to rebuild.



The design 

The Demoliation



The Final Bathroom Reveal








Free Salvage

We have a saying- free is a very good price- especially when it comes to DIY projects.  We were driving home from the beach house last week and I spotted a chair on the side of the road in a free pile ( there was an actual free sign!) so I jumped out of the truck and threw it in the back.  It was very solid but had very ugly worn wood with a black pleather seat cover.  Here is what I did with my free chair…and $7.99 shower curtain fabric from thrift store. 


9 Months to the day

On July 7, 2014 we started the demolition of our beach bathroom.  On April 8, 2015, my husband installed the final piece of Hickory hardwood on the floor, completing our 9 month journey to completely transform our bathroom and utility room into a gorgeous spa like bathroom.  We need to reinstall the clawfoot tub and put things back to take the ultimate before and after pictures but we are so happy to be finished and proud we did every bit of the work ourselves including construction of floor and walls, plumbing and electric.  Big reveal coming soon! 


Salvage + IKEA = Perfect Bar Cart

My favorite decor is a mix of salvaged vintage items mixed with a dash of modern to bring them to life.  I made this little bar cart out of a table I got at a rummage sale for $5.  It was purple and brown so I painted it black and added an IKEA butcher block cutting board as a topper.  Added new casters for wheelability and we had a bar cart.  This weekend I found & fixed up a vintage Z sign found at a thrift store for $4.  Mix in a salvaged Nate Berkus for Target lamp and I got just the mix of salvaged vintage + IKEA for the perfect modem bar cart.  Who wouldn’t love the real vintage 8 ball for .99? Had to add it for luck.