Drab Fixer to Charming Cottage | Season 5

Written by Jenny Marrs on . Posted in .

Dave and I were so excited to work on this project for Sophia! We’ve known her since she was a kid. We even taught her Sunday school class when she was four years old! One of the things Dave and I have in common with Sophia is our love for this town. As a little girl, she used to sneak her toes into the fountain on the square where nowadays our family loves to linger with an ice cream cone. As Sophia grew up, that same town square became the place where she worked as a teenager and where she took her prom and graduation photos. Every corner of Bentonville holds a memory for her.

After spending some time studying abroad in England’s countryside, Sophia can’t wait to come back home and live in her beloved town. This is her first official home, so we thought we would make it truly hers by tying in her love for Northwest Arkansas with a little English cottage nostalgia.

Exterior

BEFORE

This house was the perfect size for Sophia, and it’s near Bentonville’s town square, but it completely lacked curb appeal. We were able to create a huge transformation by replacing the old roof, changing out the siding for an inviting green, painting the brick a creamy white and adding stuck on stone. I love how the stone brings that cottage feel to the house. Originally, the front door was in an awkward spot off to the side. We moved the front entrance to the center, and then flanked it with large windows on both sides. To make the front entrance more inviting, we added brick steps leading to the new front door. We also beefed up the columns and added gas lanterns for that warm, old-world charm. Those gas lanterns were a must-have for this transformation. Now, the house is so cute, and it has loads of curb appeal.

AFTER

SOURCES

Flag | Allegiance Flag Supply

Gas Lanterns | Flambeaux Lighting

Stone Siding | Diamond Petra Stone

Mastic Siding | Ply Gem, Scottish Thistle

Exterior Trim & Brick Border Paint Color | Farrow & Ball Drop Cloth

Living Room

BEFORE

We knew Sophia really wanted to have an open floor plan with plenty of space for inviting her family over. She had told us she wanted the interior to have a traditional style with some English-countryside elements, yet still feel young and fun. 

Before we moved the front door, it was an awkward entrance to a hallway. Now, the front door leads directly into an open floor plan with easy access to the new kitchen and living room. To create better flow, we removed the old fireplace wall between the kitchen and the living room and installed new flooring throughout. We also added a little more space to the living room by bumping out two feet into the garage. That made it possible to add a gorgeous fireplace and a built-in bar to that side of the room. I found the fireplace at one of my favorite local antique shops and, as we started to restore it, we realized the wood was damaged and could not be salvaged. I hated to paint it but I had to in order to make it work in the space.  Right next to it, we installed a small hidden cocktail nook. It’s a fun, secret bar for when Sophia wants to hang out and relax at home.

AFTER

SOURCES

Furniture | Howse

Art | Juniper Prints

Living Room Fan | Kichler

Flooring | 1st Choice Flooring

Wall Paint Color | Farrow & Ball Drop Cloth

Mantel Paint Color | Farrow & Ball Drop Cloth 90% Darker

Bar Cabinet Paint Color | Sherwin Williams Sage Light Green

Kitchen

BEFORE

The original kitchen was a U-shape of outdated cabinets and countertops that closed the kitchen off from the rest of the house. By changing its layout to an L-shape, we were able to bring in the cheery sunshine from the back windows into the living room. I just love how the English cottage charm showed up in this new kitchen! It’s all in the details: the tiny curtain rod in the window holding a dainty curtain, the wooden knobs on the cabinets, the small copper lanterns on the sides of the stove and the wood paneling on the walls… The yellow paint for the kitchen had to be just right; I tried several shades before landing on the one that worked. And the butcher block island Dave made! It brings warmth to the space and breaks up the yellow. Now, she can open it up to create a larger island and seating area for when she has people over.

AFTER

SOURCES

Appliances | Metro Appliances & More

Sconces | Lighting New York

Countertops | Verona Marble

Countertop Fabricator | Gunn Granite

Kitchen Faucet | Gerber

Kitchen Sink | Overstock

Flooring | 1st Choice Flooring

Cabinets, Shiplap & Hood Vent Paint Color | Farrow & Ball Hay

Island & Pantry Paint Color | Farrow & Ball Drop Cloth

Master Bedroom Suite

BEFORE

What this house had before was a plain bedroom with some dirty carpet – not at all comfy or inviting for a person like Sophia who loves to stay in and cozy-up with a good book. We decided to make this room into a book-lover’s retreat by building her a large, focal bookcase around a built-in custom headboard with reading lights. Dead salmon is currently one of my favorite colors for bedrooms. The name is fun, and it lends a soft blush color that is serene and beautiful. We also added new flooring and a ceiling fan.

AFTER

SOURCES

Furniture | Howse

Bedroom Fan | Visual Comfort & Co.

Sconce | Kichler

Flooring | 1st Choice Flooring

Wall Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Dead Salmon

Ceiling & Closet Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Slipper Satin

Bathroom

BEFORE

We reconfigured the existing closet to turn it into a small hallway with a closet on each side leading to the bathroom. By changing the layout of the bathroom, we were able to add a lot more storage and give Sophia a double vanity and a new stand up shower. The wood paneling elevates the look of the bathroom and, of course, I had to add this beautiful wallpaper from my friend’s line. Everything is new in here – new flooring, tile, paint and lighting

AFTER

SOURCES

Wallpaper | Kelly Ventura

Sconce | Kichler

Mirrors | Overstock

Toilet, Sink, Faucet, & Shower Head | Gerber

Shower Tile | Lowes

Shower Floor Tile | Floor & Decor

Brick Floor | Wayfair

Vanity Paint Color | Farrow & Ball Jitney

Wall Paint Color | Sherwin Williams Sage Green Light

Ceiling Paint Color | Farrow & Ball Slipper Satin

Back Patio

BEFORE

This area started off as a dirty, nasty spider-infested porch – not somewhere anyone would like to hang out. We took down the screen and, just like the front of the house, we added new siding and painted the brick a creamy white. That made a huge difference in freshening things up. We also added two new posts to the end of the patio. With a new ceiling fan and new outdoor furniture, this is a perfect outdoor living space for entertaining or just taking a good book outside to lounge.

AFTER

SOURCES

Outdoor Dining Table | DJM Collection

Outdoor Dining Chairs | DJM Collection

Mastic Siding | Ply Gem, Scottish Thistle