cottage makeover: before + after

Our new summer issue features the cottage makeover of our very own publisher, Karen J. Covey. Once cloaked in shag carpet and covered from top to bottom with wallpaper, this quaint coastal cottage received a fresh makeover and is now a cook’s dream.

Located along Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts, Karen fell in love with the house from the very first moment. She could see the structure of the house was solid and had tons of potential. Looking past the dated kitchen, outdated fixtures, and small rooms, Karen saw a house waiting for a new, fresh look.

Renovating a house isn’t easy, and the smaller the house, the more difficult it can be. To maximize every inch of space possible, Karen hired a local architect, Will Saltonstall, to help with the design, a step that was well worth the investment. Hiring an architect can seem like unnecessary money in a renovation project but in fact, it’s some of the best money you can spend, especially if your renovating an entire house. Working with a trained professional allows you to look past your own wish list of wants and desires and opens you up to what can really be done. And a good architect helps you create the home of your dreams.

Saltonstall and his team knew that they could relocate the heating unit to the attic and the water system to the basement, allowing that current floor space off the kitchen to now become part of a bigger kitchen with a floor-to-ceiling pantry. Those decisions alone opened up the entire floor plan and allowed Karen and her husband, David, a big open kitchen for entertaining.


To make the space of the small two-bedroom cottage feel larger, they took down the wall at the entrance (seen here) and the wall leading into the kitchen. 


Old-fashioned, build-in A/C units were outdated and not very functional. With all the dampness that comes from living by the beach, the couple opted for central air throughout.


Linoleum floors and vintage wallpaper were quickly replaced with bright white cabinets and dark wood floors. Having the same flooring throughout the cottage helps make the space feel connected.

styling by Abby Capalbo | photos by Erin McGinn


Simple white walls and counters, and open shelving in the kitchen keeps this newly renovated cottage light and bright.


To see more photos of the renovation, grab a copy of our summer ’17 issue.

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