Meet Cara of casaCARA who, aside from being a successful writer, just so happens to "collect" old houses.
She owns an 1830s brick row house and a 1850s mews house in Brooklyn, several Philadelphia properties including a 1810 former parsonage and an 1840s double trinity, a 1930s cottage on 20 acres in northern Dutchess County and a cottage in Springs, Long Island. Wow! As someone who gets quite excited when I met someone who owns just one old home, you can imagine how inspired I am by her collection. I think its safe to say she is an authority on all things related to old homes.
Cara kindly volunteered to guest post about her lovely cottage updates. Let's take a peek inside...
WHAT'S THE BIGGEST COLOR CLICHE IN THE BEACH COTTAGE BOOK? That's right: blue and white. Sorry, but that's what I wanted for my first house at the beach, a fixer-upper in Springs, N.Y. (a hamlet five miles north of East Hampton waaaaaay out at the end of Long Island) that I bought in May 2009.
As a longtime city person and Brooklyn resident, I'd never done the beachy blue-and-white thing. It's not as easy as it seems when you're an inveterate yard-sale shopper like myself. I keep bringing in things in red, orange, green, and every color of the rainbow. But with a can of Benjamin Moore's Sailor Sea Blue and a bit of ruthless editing, I've managed to give my kitchen a healthy dose of the color, with more to come. I'm planning to paint the rest of the under-cabinets blue and the floor white.
As you can see from the 'before' picture, I didn't need to do anything major in the kitchen besides replace the grotty old refrigerator with a stainless steel Frigidaire that I love for its smooth lines and utter lack of detail, and the nasty existing electric stove with a sleek glass cooktop.
For the screened porch, I spent three days hand-painting a 1930s stick rattan sofa left by the previous owners white (I'm not a fan of aerosol sprays). Then, from the Restoration Hardware catalogue, I ordered a set of navy and cornflower blue sofa cushions that happen to fit perfectly.
Thank you so much Cara! To read more about Casacara's city slicker's adventures in cottage living, go pay her a visit.
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