Smoked Oysters- menu of the week

With all the salvaging and remodeling, we like to treat ourselves to some of the wonderful seafood from The Pacific Ocean and nearby Willapa Bay. Our house is situated on the Long Beach peninsula which is a long strip of land surrounded by salt and fresh water similar to Long Island, NY. Last night we made smoked oysters by cooking them on direct heat then popping open the shells with one side placed on the indirect heat for several hours of smoke. The combination of Alder and mesquite wood was fabulous as was the combination of Louisiana hot sauce and melted butter for dip! Great recovery from a long day of DIY.


Phase 2- Upgrades/The Fireplace and mantle

Once we cleaned and painted all interior and exterior surfaces white, we decided to tackle the fireplace. The exterior chimney shows a lovely red brick on top of the house but the interior was another story. The main floor hearth and fireplace had been covered up with a hideous pink and grey fake granite block from the 70’s. The fireplace had no mantle but it did work with wood. The second story had exposed brick but no fireplace. Someone had painted the exposed brick lime green. It had watered damage so it looked a pink and green sponge painting. The situation was bad all around.

First off, we stopped the leaking by capping the top of the chimney with a metal cover. Next came the tear down of the “granite” blocks. This proved to be very important as we discovered they were listing into the room and not properly anchored to anything. We wanted to create a rustic yet classic fireplace so we attempted to recreate a real stone fireplace in the bar at the Skamania Lodge in the Columbia River gorge.

We decided the fireplace would not take the weight of real stone so opted for imitation. This allowed for the weight of a real fir mantle my husband hand crafted out of a salvaged rafter beam. This was our 1st salvage project. We loved the results and think we did pretty well with our 1st major renovation.






Phase 1- Clean and make it livable

The house had been abandoned for more than an decade when we took ownership so we had our work cut out for us just to clean it up. From the green and blue turquoise shag rug upstairs to the cactus room filled with overgrown plants, we started by simply throwing things out the doors and windows into the yard. Phase one began with our decision to paint all surfaces bright white.








From the beginning

A story is usually best told from the beginning. So I have found the 1st photos we ever took of our beach house. For background, the house was built in 1915. We know of 2 prior owners to us but have recently learned a 3rd owner/builder may exist. Someone who had a moose head above the fireplace! Wish I had a photo of that. The photos show the house as it was in 2004 and it had not been occupied since 1994.








Salvage by the Sea

When we purchased our beach house in 2004, we had no idea what we were taking on. 10 years later, we are still restoring and salvaging our True Love cottage. We want to share some of the challenges and results in this blog because we have done all the work ourselves including building some of the furniture. Restoration of a 100 year old home is challenging itself but also faced with a fir home in a very wet environment presents greater problems. With that said, our determination to rebuild her to her 1915 glory continues here…