Welcome to Simply Southern Cottage!
Have you ever been unequivocally smitten in a great love story? What about a love story with a house? For 22 months I wooed and pursued this beautifully broken 1926 Louisiana cottage. Simply Southern Cottage is the journey of rehabbing this classic piece of history, all the while reclaiming and restoring my life.
02 | 04 | 17
Without any further adieu, I present to you the floor plan I selected for my Simply Southern Cottage! If I'm being literal, the correct answer is none of the above. HOWEVER, after pouring over all 5 options, I ultimately choose Plan Option 4 with modifications. In all reality, this is a totally new plan from the 5 I originally shared with you. Here are a few thoughts that went into my decision making process: A smaller office allowed additional square footage for a master closet. The entire living area, dining and kitchen areas are open. So when you guys come over, we can cook, eat and fellowship all at the same time! A newly added fireplace flanks the south end of the living area. Perfect for those cozy, cold winter evenings. In this plan the HVAC is upstairs. I KNOW many of you advised against this, but it's a risk I'm willing to take. In my previous homes, the HVAC has mostly been upstairs and I haven't had any problems. There IS a possibility … Read More
11 | 26 | 16
One of the toughest decisions I'm currently making resides around the new floor plan. If you watched my Facebook tour, you noticed there are currently LOTS of walls and LOTS of space that could be better utilized. The kitchen is REALLY small and not very functional. There are three existing bedrooms and 1 and a half baths downstairs. In addition, there's a living area and dining room. The current laundry room sits right off the kitchen on a part of the cottage that is showing a LOT of wear. Plus there's a pretty long hallway that could better be utilized as actual living space. I got to work with Red River Remodelers to reconfigure the existing floor plan. I shared a wish list, but asked them to use their expertise and present me with several floor plan options. My wish list included: A master suite with room for a clawfoot tub A fireplace An office An open kitchen/dining area with a sink underneath the window A small area for a library Finish out the … Read More
11 | 13 | 16
In Parts 1 and 2 of First Things First, you learned how I managed to get rid of the pests and overgrowth that threatened to take over my cottage. Once those things were taken care of, it was time to move on to what would hold the house firmly in place…the foundation. Honestly, I was a WEE bit worried about this. Because the cottage is 90 years old, and a LOT of the exterior displayed rot, I was certain the foundation would also have serious issues. When walking through the cottage you could feel the “ebbs and flows” from room to room. It was especially evident near the center and back of the home. The house rests on a series of piers and beams. Worse case, they would ALL need to be replaced, and best case only a few would need to be shored up. Lucky for me, the resolution to firming up the foundation of the cottage fell right in the middle of each scenario. I rebuilt my life by removing pests and tearing away the overgrowth. It was also essential my foundation be … Read More
11 | 05 | 16
If you read First Things First Part 1, you learned there were three essential issues that needed to be addressed right off the bat before any other pieces of the renovation could begin: pests, overgrown vegetation and the foundation. Here’s a view of the cottage BEFORE the vegetation was tamed: Red Tip Photinias had completely taken over the front of the home and its true beauty could barely be seen. The cottage was also flanked by towering oak trees on both the south and west sides. The limbs threatened the integrity of the roof. They hung over and in some cases, even laid across the roof. On the west and south sides of the cottage, overgrown bushes also encompassed the house. Goodness, I don’t know about you, but I have to (QUITE OFTEN) cut away the overgrowth in my life. Sometimes it’s an intentional choice. Other times, the Lord has cut and pruned in THE MOST painful ways. And at the time, I questioned Him. Why did He have to remove THAT limb? Why did THAT … Read More
10 | 28 | 16
As eager as I am to get into the cottage and begin demo (a.k.a. removing the paneling to reveal the shiplap!!), there were three crucial elements that needed to be addressed right off the bat before any other work could begin: pest control, the overgrown vegetation and the rotting foundation. When I walked through the greatest trial of my life and was completely broken down (much like this little cottage), it was crucial I take initial actions for my restoration process to begin. I removed facets of my life that could cause further damage. Pieces of my life were pruned and cut away so new growth could occur. And the foundation of my life was set as new. Because my cottage is 90 years old, damage from pests is almost inevitable and honestly, I was terrified what would be found once the exterminator ventured underneath my home. After I had the house under contract, I researched pest control companies in the Minden area and ultimately contacted Thomas with Belly Up Bugs to do … Read More
10 | 13 | 16
(Cross-posted from SimplySara.com) Honestly, in my entire life, I don’t think I’ve ever been as drawn to anything…much less a house that would capture my affection and undivided attention. I KNEW the Lord was calling me home. Every time I visited my family, I soaked in the tall pine trees, azaleas and slower pace of life in north Louisiana. I could feel it drawing me in. … Read More
10 | 13 | 16
(Cross-posted from SimplySara.com) Famous. Last. Words. In 1995, when I graduated high school and went to college at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR, I was SO ready to get out of Louisiana. “I will NEVER move back here!” I exclaimed. … Read More