Guest Cottage

The Shack came with a barn which houses two-horse stalls (currently  filled with holiday decorations and gardening tools), the shop (previously shown, as my yet to be tackled, New Year’s resolution) and a guest cottage (formerly known as the tack room).  Any horse lovers are surely cringing at our abject disregard for the true nature of the structure.  The boys once each had a pony at our Ojai house and let’s just say that horse rode off into the sunset.   They were fun while we had them , but our children always preferred sports to horses and all the requisite care they entail.  Enough about horses, let’s look at that guest cottage.

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Three hundred square foot apartments in New York City have been making the news lately and our cottage is probably even a bit smaller than that.  Somehow when we moved in I neglected to photograph our tiny space.  The Shack was owned and built by the same family we purchased it from.  The youngest son was living in the cottage and acted as the caretaker of the property when we took possession.  He was a bachelor and surfer dude, so the space was ready for a much needed overhaul.  We all did sleep out there in the beginning for at least a few weeks until the house was semi-habitable, all lined up in sleeping bags on the dank carpet.

The cottage has a small bathroom, miniscule kitchen and closet.  It had cute tongue and groove paneling which needed to be painted.  We also added simple trim to match the inside of the house.  All the walls were painted in a Linen satin finish.  Trim went semi-gloss in a true white.

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There once was a big metal slider that we changed out to a door with a glass panel to make more wall space.  This was a reStore purchase that was taken to Capitol Hardware and pre-hung before being installed.  Inexpensive waffle blinds, cut to our measurements from Home Depot were put on all the windows for privacy.

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We painted the louvered closet doors a crisp white and added new pulls. We also took out the smelly old shag carpeting and put down a wood grain laminate, lighter than the kitchen cabinets for contrast.  In the corner is a beautiful sink Spencer found at the reStore for the boys bathroom.  Just one more project to get to.

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We decided to rip out the kitchen and start from scratch as it had all seen better days and wasn’t really functional.   Stock cabinets, laminate counter tops, natural stone back splash, stainless sink and appliances helped to freshen it up.

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The bathroom got a minimal facelift with new toilet and fixtures.

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The outside had a concrete cut block patio which we chose to leave.  We did however take down the rotted, six-foot fence surrounding it. In its place we had a more open, redwood, lattice-type fence built with a small arbor at the entrance.

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Another arbor will be added over the door.  We ran out of the lumber and then I bought and stained some that was too small.  Oh well.  Honestly, it will get done, just as soon as that carpenter shows up again.

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Simple, low maintenance plantings were added to the courtyard.  A palm tree will grow to add nice character.  Just outside of the fence are two plum trees for a bit of screening from the area to become the orchard.

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We added  a flagstone path through the grass out front.  That process eliminated much of the grass so seed will be sown shortly.  See Bam photo-bombing?

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The last thing to go in was a set of concrete steps in the slope from the driveway.  The steps had been leading from the backyard to the shop, but we are going to have something a little nicer done with flagstone and rock on that side as they are viewed from the house and were off-balance with the shop door.

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There you have it, one mostly complete guest cottage.  Now all we need is a guest.


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