Welcome to my new blog series, “Celebrating Our 100-Year-Old Beach House”. Here is 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 two years 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.
Affiliate links are used for your convenience. Read my full disclosure here.
The Day We First Saw Our 100 Year Old 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 10 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 into our 100-year-old home 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 100-Year-Old Beach House
Here’s the first thing we saw when we opened the door to the 100-year-old beach house 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 owner 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 100-year-old 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 ride 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 9 years to make this 100-year-old beach house our forever home. And we’ve never been happier.
Thank you so much for being here. Don’t forget to leave a comment below.
Until next time,
PIN AND SAVE ON PINTEREST
If you’ve enjoyed this blog post, please pin and share this on Pinterest.
Let’s Connect on Social Media
- Follow me @shiplapandshells on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook
- Join my Facebook Gardening Tips & Tricks Group.
Hi Kim! I am just a few miles away from you In Longbranch. I loved reading about how you transformed your charming old house into an even more charming and welcoming place. I bought my 90 year old house on the water a few years ago and took on similar projects. I must come to some of the annual Home events and meet you! Cathy
Just love your flower garden and greenhouse. You have done a terrific job. It looks beautiful. I wish my garden were half as nice as yours.
Do you order all of your seeds from Floret or do you use other companies?
Thanks for your help.
Hi Jan. Thank you so much for the sweet words. I do use Floret Flowers but may go to Johnny’s and Renee’s if I need more flower seeds.
Being a real estate agent AND an avid mountain gardener allows me intimate insight into both worlds. The home and location were beautiful before your purchase, but your love of gardening has made the property absolutely stunning. And the interior transformation…well it, too, is amazing. You have great talent & a true obvious love for the space! What a blessing it must be to wake up there everyday ~ Wow!
Thank you for the kind words, Sharon. Your compliment made my day. I didn’t know anything about gardening before moving here. Our home was a true inspiration for me. Thank you for being here. Hugs.
What bay is this? I can’t figure it out and it’s driving me batty! I want to drop anchor and stay there for a weekend!!!! 🙂
It’s Van Geldern Cove.
OH, I so love the story of your beautiful home. You’ve done such a lovely job making it a showstopper! I’ll be featuring it tomorrow on Sundays on Silverado!
Niky @ The House on Silverado
Rachel Harper says
This is a favorite of mine. Love all the before pictures. I’m going to share a link on Sunday Dirt road Adventures.
jeanne cummings says
ohhhh… I so love your home… makes me long to be back in the PNW… ENjoy your many blessings… ?
Thank you so much for reaching out and commenting. There’s something very special about the PNW!
Your 100 year old beach houe, garden and view are fabulous!
Thank you for that! I really appreciate it!
Wow! What a transformation and that beautiful view from your now beautiful home is the cherry on top!
Thank you! Yes, that view is the cherry on top for sure! There are so many more pictures to share. I can’t wait!
Lisa M McCarthy says
You are SUCH an Inspiration to me!!
Thank you for all the Delightful pictures as well…
Blessings Kim from your Friend in Texas!
Lisa M McCarthy
Thank you Lisa! That is such a sweet thing for you to say, and definitely put a smile on my face.
Hi Kim! Loved seeing the before photos! What a special home you have created!
Thank you so much Molly!
Pam Kamerer says
Kim, I so enjoyed reading about your house. You and Jeff have done an amazing transformation. But knowing you, I wouldn’t expect anything but amazing!
Thank you Pam! It’s been a lot of work, but so worth it. We are so happy here. And so excited for our garden to be featured in a magazine in March and another in May! Truly a dream!
Your home looks like such a special place and I love how you have it decorated!!!!
Thanks for sharing:)
Thank you for the kind words Maria. I really appreciate it.
I love your home and stories! Where did you re locate from? I am always dreaming up where to move next…
We lived in Gig Harbor for years before this and then in Bellevue and Issaquah WA.
It’s so amazing how much your gardens have grown!!! Love this look back!
I know. I especially love how much the garden has changed. It’s been a lot of hard work but so rewarding!
Hi Kim, Enjoyed reading this. I’m your neighbor down the street. My wife and I own the small cottage on the corner of A street and 9th. It’s been fun watching what you and your husband have been doing to your house! You are right Home is a wonderful magical place… we always say “there is no place like home”. Keep up all the great work and writing
Just catching up on responding to my comments and so sorry I didn’t get over here sooner. I love that you found my blog and live just down the street. Are you the white cottage? I do love living here in this amazing community. Especially in the summer. Hopefully we’ll talk in person soon.