Welcome to my new blog series, “Celebrating Our 100-Year-Old Beach House”. Here in my first post, you can find out more about what first attracted us to this sweet, old home, and why we call it our “forever” home.
Since starting my blog a year ago, I really haven’t shared much about how we found our home, or how incredibly different it looks from the day we bought it. I’ve done my fair share of seasonal house tours and tablescapes, and a DIY here and there. Now I’m ready to share our many, many renovations and the “before” pictures we’ve gathered over the years.
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We were planning a 100-year celebration for last July, but then the pandemic happened. And this summer doesn’t look very promising either. So, I am going to celebrate our PNW beach house’s 100th birthday with all of you. I’ll be sharing all kinds of fun things with you for months to come.
The Day We First Saw Our Forever Home
I remember the day my husband, our 2 dogs Charlie and Lucy, and I first saw our “forever home”. It was a beautiful day in May, almost 9 years ago.
I can still visualize driving down the road to the house and seeing the Puget Sound to our right. The water was so blue! After witnessing this gorgeous view, I was already excited about living here, and we hadn’t even seen the house yet.
We pulled into the driveway. And there it was!
Potential Inside and Out
The Front Yard
I saw potential. A LOT OF POTENTIAL! The exterior was cute enough, but the yard was seriously overgrown. If we were going to live here, we were going to need to cut back the plants that were blocking the front windows for more light and to enjoy the Puget Sound view.
One of the very first things we did after moving in was to add a deck onto the front of the house to better enjoy the water views from the Puget Sound.
We didn’t know it at the time, but this would be the perfect spot to build my greenhouse.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t picture a greenhouse and picket fence flower garden in this area when I saw this view pictured above.
It almost looks like this greenhouse and cottage garden has been here all along.
Many people ask me why we chose to build our greenhouse and garden beds in the front yard. Mainly because we only had these features available in the front, and not the backyard.
- Full sun
- More level ground
- Quality soil
- A view of the Puget Sound
- Abundant gardening space
Inside the Beach House
Here’s the the first thing we saw when we opened the door for the first time.
I knew we could add some character back to this house with cosmetic renovations. I was more concerned about how terrible the house smelt. It was very musty and the wood burning stove had definitely contributed to the odor. But my husband assured me that we could get rid of the smell.
And he was right. After taking the carpet out, adding shiplap to the walls, painting the ceiling and taking out the wood burning stove, it was as if we had moved into a completely different house, with a clean and fresh scent.
In addition to those renovations, we put in hardwood flooring, new windows, crown molding and faux wood ceiling beams. We even removed a door in order to gain more wall space, and more privacy in our bedroom.
Taking the wall out between the kitchen and living room was one of the biggest changes made to not only the appearance of the home, but how we actually live. The open concept makes entertaining so much easier and the space feels much bigger than it really is.
Here’s a fun fact! The cabinet you see above was built at the same time the house was, in 1920. Each previous owners left the cabinet with the house when selling it. Lucky for us! We really didn’t have much room for the cabinet but I loved the history behind it.
And then the light bulb went off! When we were adding a tub to the bathroom, on the other side of the wall, we thought the cabinet would make a perfect built-in for our bedroom. This room is so small, so having a built-in solved so many of our storage issues. Doesn’t it look amazing there?
Location, Location, Location
I’ll have to admit, we were more smitten with the location of our home than the actual house itself. Don’t get me wrong. My husband and I both wanted an older home with character and charm. but older houses are significantly smaller, and almost always have significant work needing to be done.
And this house was no different. It most certainly would have been easier to buy something newer, with more space. But we would have never found a place that was on the water (technically across the road, but we do own the water rights) at the price we paid for it. Not only that, but the timing was right, We were empty nesters and didn’t need the same sized home we once did.
Kayaking, Boating and Swimming in the Bay
There is so much to do on the beach and in the bay. You’ll find us kayaking on many summer afternoons and evenings.
The water in the bay is quite warm, especially when the tide is coming back in, so swimming is always a fun treat on a hot day. And the dogs get their daily swim and time to run on the beach as well.
The dogs like their kayak rides with their mom.
Enjoying the View
A deck addition was one of the first projects we took on.
When we first looked at the house, and there wasn’t a place where we could enjoy the stunning water view, we pictured a deck off the front of the house where we would eat our summer meals, entertain and relax.
The deck gave us an additional living space that we are able to use from May through October, weather permitting. When you have a house as small as ours, this is REALLY a big deal!
Sense of Community
We had heard from some of our soon-to-be neighbors that the community we would be moving into was right out of a Hallmark movie. Here are some of the events we enjoy every year (when we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic)…
- 4th of July Parade, literally coming down the road in front of our house, followed by a pancake breakfast at the end of the street.
- Opening Day at the marina
- Neighborhood Apple Cider Press
- Trunk or Treat for the elementary school students
- Neighborhood Wreath Making Party and Bonfire
- Community Lighted Boat parade and Chili Cook-off
- Lighted Car Parade down our road
- Christmas caroling
- Community Outdoor Concerts
- Bands marching down our road every so often
We host a 4th of July brunch every year where we can enjoy the parade from our deck. Say hello to my husband and my sweet friend Rebecca.
These are just a few of the reasons why we knew this would be the home of our dreams. It only took 8 years to make this 100- year-old beach home our forever home. And we’ve never been happier.
Don’t miss the next post in my series CELEBRATING OUR 100-YEAR-OLD BEACH HOUSE.
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