A Comfy Cottage Makeover with Vintage Style

Guest bedroom with pink floral bedding
Underneath a dilapidated surface, this country cottage has plenty of potential. With a little bit of do-it-yourself know-how and a creative vision, a pair of young homeowners transform a petite cottage into a welcoming home.

Home Sweet Home

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.

Come In

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.

Living Space

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.

Diverse Decor

An eclectic mix of patterns, textures, and colors in furniture and accessories keeps a room interesting. Here, the array of furnishings doesn't compete for attention but adds to the overall mix-and-match feel of the room.

Fine Dining

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.

Retro-Chic Redo

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.

Lighten Up

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.

A Spot for Everything

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.

Space Saver

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.

Bathroom Elegance

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.

Vertical Space

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.

Master Suite

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.

Restful Retreat

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.

Garden Getaway

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.

Office Space

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.

Extra Bed

The old tool shed in the backyard doubles as a guest room. Floral prints and warm colors give the detached room a homey feel.

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