Okay shiplap lovers, get ready for some major eye candy!
My friend Caroline has been remodeling her lake house and she is giving us the grand tour.
I’m pretty sure her cottage hopped right out of a magazine and it’s so swoonworthy that even Mrs. Gaines herself is going to be a little envious.
So pack your imaginary bags, grab your imaginary sunglasses, and put on your imaginary bug spray.
Because we’re headed to the lake!
For nearly two decades, Caroline and her husband dreamed of owning a cottage of their own.
When their kids were younger, they had a semi-detached vacation home in Quebec City, and although it was a great skiing getaway in the winter, there wasn’t much to do in the warmer months.
As their children began to grow up, their busy schedules kept them from visiting their vacation house as much as they had before.
They knew it was time to find something a little closer to home, and preferably on a lakeside property.
While watching HGTV’s Vacation Home show, Caroline’s hubby convinced her to do some digging online to see if anything was available on his favorite lake spot.
And there it was.
An old brown cottage that was in desperate need of some tlc.
They jumped on the opportunity to check it out and instantly saw the potential.
They got it for a great price, too, because it was owned by siblings who weren’t in agreement on what to do with it.
“What I immediately liked was the light coming though all those big windows. Also the living space was pretty large and it had a lot of potential. There were three little bedrooms, a family room, and a lilliputian bathroom downstairs. Every wall and ceiling was covered in pine and it felt a little claustrophobic. But I knew that a fresh coat of paint would take care of that, so that’s what we did all summer long. We primed and painted the entire house.”
“Then we sat on it and enjoyed it for a couple of years, trying to figure out what our dream cottage would be like. The insulation was poor and even with all that paint the cottage was kind of smelly. The kitchen didn’t work, the windows were leaking and there was nothing to do outside because the land was too steep. And on top of that, there was no entry at all. When opening the door, you would be already in the stairs.”
They knew they had a lot of work to do, but they just didn’t know where to start.
They did, however, know that they wanted to keep it as original as possible to hang onto the home’s character they fell for in the first place.
They began their series of renovations by opening up the ceiling.
Then they extended the entry and added a closet and powder room.
The windows and doors were all updated and a screened in porch was built.
The exterior got a facelift as well.
“We also changed the cabinets and built ourselves a cute ensuite by dividing the old laundry room/main bathroom in two. We kept the downstairs as it was except for expanding the windows in the kids rooms. I also kept the lilliputian bathroom as is. I could have enlarged it but I think it’s the cutest space of the whole cottage. I just made it work (with a little help from Ikea).”
“We also built this little bunkie just aside the cottage. It serves as a extra bedroom when we have company.”
The cozy outdoor living area and the low maintenance landscaping make it the perfect getaway for any season.
I can just see myself sitting there on that front porch with a glass of sweet tea watching the fireflies dart over the lawn.
I think I’ll vacation with Caroline from now on.
Yep. I’ve officially invited myself.
Canada’s not that far from Tennessee, right? 🙂
I asked Caroline what she plans on tackling next…
“Next on the drawing boards is a garage. I can’t wait to put my hands on another project!”
To see more of Caroline’s cottage, and her city home too, follow her on Instagram @carolavallee.
So are you drooling yet?
I warned you…
Look out JoJo, there’s a new designer on the loose.
And she makes shiplap look amazing. 🙂
Special thanks to my super sweet friend Caroline who is allowing me to share these gorgeous photos of her crazy-talented decorating skills with the world. **Disclosure: These photos are shared by ITNHD with the permission and partnership of Caroline. The pictures in this post are all original and are property of Caroline. They may not be used without her permission. Pinning, however, is totally fine, and greatly appreciated!