Our New House: Magnolia Cottage

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Today I am taking a much-needed break from moving and painting to show you guys a few “before” photos of our new(est) house; Magnolia Cottage. If you’re not caught up on the details, we are leaving the cute little MCC House and moving a scant two blocks east. My husband has orders to come back here in a few weeks so we need a little more space, but because our son is away at college most of the time we opted to go just a little bit bigger.

Side note: living apart for two years was not our original plan, but a surprise deployment meant that it didn’t make much sense to move our high school age daughter to Kansas when her dad would be overseas anyway. Now that we know that he’s coming right back here anyway, it really justifies our decision. But seriously, thank God that it’s almost over!The MCC House is around 1400 sf and Magnolia Cottage is around 2000sf. I know–it’s still a huge downsize from the 3000-4000 sf homes we’ve lived in previously, but I’m willing to sacrifice square footage for the charm and convenience of living downtown. It also turns out that I really like older houses, with creaky floors and tons of character.

The first thing I did after I got the keys was hang my fourth of July pull-down banners and move my plants over. The wreath was on our front door at the old house but seemed perfect for the front gate of the white picket fence.

Harley hates moving despite the fact that we haven’t left him behind yet, so he makes almost every trip back and forth with me. I think it’s understandable given his history as a rescue, so he’s my velcro dog this week and you’ll see him in many of the pictures.

Because this is a local move, it’s easier for me to just load up the car a few (hundred) times and move things that way. It seems so wasteful to have packers come and pack us in a hundred boxes and waste all that cardboard and paper. Plus, after our last terrible move, I feel much more comfortable moving my things myself and putting them away right where I want them. The only drawback to that is that the rest of my family is gone right now, so it takes a lot longer as a one-woman show. And yes, I have wonderful friends who have offered to help, but I’m kind of enjoying putting everything away right where I want it.

I have a highly-recommended local mover coming on Tuesday for the heavy pieces, so don’t worry–I’m not moving the piano by myself!

Here’s a quick walk-through of the house. The owner and I worked together on a plan for updating quite a few of the rooms and we’re both excited about all the changes that will be happening over the next few months!

The front porch is nice and big, and has a porch swing on the right that I forgot to take picture of. The porch floor is going to be painted later this month; we’re partnering with HomeRight on that project.

Magnolia Cottage-front porch

The kitchen of the new house is updated; the upper cabinets are salvaged from another old building but the countertops and lower cabinets are new.

Magnolia Cottage-kitchen


Magnolia Cottage-kitchen


Magnolia Cottage-kitchen

The laundry room also has plenty of storage. I’d like to paint these two rooms a lighter color but they are pretty far down on my to-do list, because as you’ll see in the rest of the house, there’s A LOT of painting to do!

Magnolia Cottage-laundry room

The living room and dining room are on the front of the house and are both currently a sunny yellow.  Actually, they were a sunny yellow last week but not any more–they’re the first two rooms that I painted.

Magnolia Cottage-living room

The light exposure of the photos makes the yellow seem creamier; it’s much brighter than this in person. And yes, the front door is purple, for now!

Magnolia Cottage-living room


Magnolia Cottage-living room

The dining room had cornice boards that were painted by a local artist who once lived in the house; I took them down with the owner’s permission.

Magnolia Cottage-dining room

The stairs were painted, also, and I will be working on those as well, but figured I’d wait until after the movers come through since there are inevitably a few minor dings in the stairwell when the heavy furniture goes upstairs.

Magnolia Cottage-stairs

They are a bold statement, though, aren’t they?

Magnolia Cottage-stairs

My plan is to do a black tread with a white riser, and possibly add a seagrass runner. Honestly, it depends on how Harley can handle the stairs without a runner. The things we do for our pets!

The sunroom (or den) is on the right back of the house, through French doors off the living room. It also opens onto the back deck.

Magnolia Cottage-sunroom

There are two full baths in the house; the downstairs one has the original sink and cast iron tub. The sink will get a skirt at some point (you can hide things underneath that way!), paint, and a new light fixture and mirror.

Magnolia Cottage-bathroom

Upstairs there are three bedrooms, and they all need to be painted. (I’ve actually painted the master and Annabelle’s room already, but don’t have any “after” photos yet).

The master was pink:

Magnolia Cottage-master

The kids’ bedrooms were green. It’s almost exactly the same shade that was in the MCC house’s dining room before I painted it.

The upstairs hallway is fine as-is, which is great because I hate painting stairwells.

Magnolia Cottage-stairwell and upstairs hall

And I saved the best for last…of course, everyone has their own personal taste but the upstairs bathroom works best if you have a piña colada in hand when you view it!

Magnolia Cottage-upstairs bath

I do love the clawfoot tub, though…

Magnolia Cottage-upstairs bath


Magnolia Cottage-upstairs bath

So, obviously this room is going to be painted in the next week or so. The owner’s long term plan is to add another bathroom and a large master closet upstairs…right now the closet space is somewhat lacking in this house so I am really getting my Marie Kondo on.

Things I forgot to photograph this time around: the back deck, screened porch, and patio, and the side entrance that goes into the kitchen. I also opted not to photograph the basement because it’s the typical dungeon/serial killer workshop that you see in most older houses.

Here’s what the living room looks like after its new paint (Sherwin-Williams Rock Candy):

Magnolia Cottage-living room

And here’s the dining room (Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray):

Magnolia Cottage-living room

We’re looking forward to putting our touch on this quaint little house over the next year or two and I think it will be a cozy space for a family of three (and sometimes four). I’m a little tired of painting after doing four rooms during the past week, but then I look at the huge difference a can of paint can make and it gets me motivated for the next project on the list!

Thanks for stopping by~

Final New Christy headshot 2015
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  1. Adorable house! I gotta say I do love all the color and especially the stairs and bathroom. Not surprising as my husband dubbed our house the crayola house. Cant wait to see how you give it your style.

  2. Monica Cooney says

    I tried painting a flight of stairs the way you propose painting yours. From the bottom they were great, from the top all I saw was a black hole. The white isn’t visible from the top. I ended up painting the risers black and the treads gray. your runner may be a good solution. In the end I know the place will be beautiful and can’t wait to see it.

    • That’s a good point, Monica. The last thing I want is to send one of our parents down the steps in a nose dive! I think that makes the runner a top priority, though. Thanks for the input!

  3. This is going to be a fabulous house for you to work your magic in. I can’t wait to see what all you do. Love the afters already.

    • Thanks so much, Marty. I have to say that I love the size of the rooms and the light in them, even more so now that I’ve painted. Can’t wait to show it off during your fall home tour!

  4. Christy, as I said when first seeing this house I LOVE IT! and now seeing inside CUTE CUTE CUTE! I love the painted staircase and would keep this and yet I know it’s your house. =) As your readers share, standing by to see you do your touches!! Have fun!

    • Well, I’ll be keeping it for awhile at least because I’m doing the rooms first. 🙂 It’s really charming and I’m excited to share the transformation with you guys. Thanks for the kind words!

  5. I love the painted stairs! Going to be a great house for you. Can’t wait to see it decorated!

  6. Liz randal says

    Thanks for sharing the photos! A wonderful house.! My own was built in 1924, with all the trim, charm, and need for fix ups.. We’ve got a dungeon-like laundry room, but you’ve got that covered. I love the painted stairs, although they could use some touching up.

    • The MCC House has a dungeon/basement/laundry room, too, so I feel you on that one! I call it the serial killer workshop. Old houses are fun because of all of their quirks, aren’t they?

  7. What a beautiful home! Harley is my favorite part of the post…although I do admire the commitment made in that master bathroom to creating an island escape lol

    • Too funny! Maybe I’ll pour a rum drink for myself while I’m painting it a nice neutral color. 🙂
      Harley is at the kennel today since the movers are here and he would have a stroke watching the furniture leave the house. We haven’t left him behind during our four previous moves but he is still very, very worried that this might be the time we do!

  8. Wow!! Looking forward to following along….

  9. Heidi Colton says

    What an adorable house! I love the stairs but can understand you wanting to redo them. I do hope Harley makes a good adjustment. Good luck Christy!

    • Thanks, Heidi! Harley is at the kennel today while the movers are here doing the furniture; hopefully this is the end of his stressful week.

  10. I knew the minute I saw the outside it would be adorable inside. Just needs your TLC. I know it will be fantastic once you work your magic.

    • Thanks, Lauren. It’s coming along with four rooms painted (and I’m not even counting how many there are still to go!!).

  11. I love that house!

  12. the house is awesome. It has amazing charm. Hope you will be very happy there.

  13. what a sweet cozy cottage. best of luck as you transition into your new home.

  14. It will be beautiful went you are done. Cute house, great porch and you will love the
    extra room. Harley will love his backyard with a fence. Play date soon for our puppies.

  15. I love the charm of an old house and yours is going to be lovely when you finished all the painting and decorating. We all look forward to seeing it. That bathroom is a trip! Lol But I know you’ll tone it down.

  16. It looks fabulous christy!!! I know you will be working your magic on it!….Need to get together after you are settled! I know what you mean about the hundreds of trips back and forth but worth it! Love the new paint colors!

  17. Put a podcast on and the work will fly by! You’re the hardest worker I know! Keep going! Keep going!

    • I have listened to audiobooks while painting and it makes such a difference, doesn’t it? I should be listening to podcasts about blogging but just needed to escape for a bit!

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