This cottage-style house in Mariette, Georgia, is more than 100 years old. But with all the original doors, windows, and wood siding, it hasn't lost any of its charm. When the owners decided it needed an update, they asked their parents to help. Together they found easy ways to improve the home without taking away its unique character or changing the square footage.
In the entry hallway, antique chandeliers replaced three ceiling fans. The old church pew, originally red, now matches the color of the ceiling. The ladder leads to the attic, which is welcome extra space in the 1,323-square-foot cottage.
As a tribute to the past, a weathered shadow box hangs by the front door. Ribbon used as a hanger adds to the picture's rustic elegance. The shadow box is filled with photos and other memorabilia collected from the previous owner of the cottage -- a fitting piece of art in a house that appeals to generations past and future.
A wooden chandelier in the center of the cozy living room provides a strong focal point. This is an important element in a room, which previously lacked any distinctive architectural elements. Two tall mirrors propped on both sides of the window also add dimension. The dark brown walls equally show off antiques and new home store purchases.
Instead of a more modern fireplace mantel, this antique one maintains the authentic feel of the space. To keep the feeling casual instead of stuffy, the couple chose burlap curtains and eclectic furniture for the dining room. The chairs were repainted to match the ceiling.
Although newly remodeled, the kitchen in the house looks vintage, thanks to wise choices such as a glass-front upper cabinets open shelves, beaded-board paneling, and butcher-block countertops. The sink was salvaged from the former kitchen.
An antique-look upper cabinet is right at home in the century-old cottage. Glass doors and sides keep the piece from appearing heavy in the tiny room.
Opposite the sink wall, a butcher-block countertop offers uninterrupted work space. When needed, the spot also works for casual dining. Shapely shelving keeps colorful dishes and serving pieces within easy reach. Bulky items stow easily in base cabinets.
Open shelves created with planks of wood trimmed in curvy moldings and perched atop scalloped brackets offer a space-saving alternative to bulky overhead cabinets.
The previous owner had remodeled the house's sole bathroom with a claw-foot tub and double vanities. A few extra touches, such as plenty of wall hooks for towels and a small bench, add convenience to the charming bathroom.
The cottage's ceilings are high, so the tall bathroom cabinet works wonders to make the most of vertical space. The crackle paint on the cabinet provides a nice contrast to the flat white sink and is a trademark cottage patina.
A walk-in closet to the left of the master bedroom fireplace was added by stealing space from the living room. Thanks to its depth, symmetrical placement, and antique doors, it looks original to the house.
The front porch of this house offers a relaxing place to lounge at the end of a day. The swing with comfy pillows creates an inviting environment. Upgrading the ceiling fan and trading in lime-green siding for a classic buttery-cream rendition boosts curb appeal.
In the backyard, a converted tool shed painted the same color as the house serves as a home office and guest quarters to supplement the small home.
To make the most of the former tool shed, it was wired for electricity and treated to upgrades, such as black-and-white linoleum floors and horizontal plank walls, to make the once dim shed feel more like a living space. The result is a home office that can also accommodate guests.
The old tool shed in the backyard doubles as a guest room. Floral prints and warm colors give the detached room a homey feel.