Sunday, May 8, 2011

Make Room for Mom

For my Mother's Day post, I'm finally going to share some before and afters of my Mom's new place.  We decided to call it "Grandma's Cottage".  It just happens to be located right in our own backyard so it's pretty easy for the kids to visit Grandma whenever they want, hence the name.

Like many of you, our family has been affected by the struggling economy.  A couple of years ago we moved our drywall business home after our office and shop lease expired.  We still had our little office out back so it worked out fine until work just kept getting slower and the insurance costs, etc. weren't worth it anymore.  That's when we had to make some difficult choices.  We closed our business which unfortunately put family members out of work.  It's not easy to tell your sister-in-law (who also happens to be my best friend of over 30 years) and your own Mom that they no longer have a job.  It's been a difficult road but the Lord is good.

Eventually, my "hobby" of painting furniture and having fun creating things turned into a needed additional income for my family.  I was going to turn that little office into my studio.  But the Lord had other plans.  One day my Mom faced her own reality and knew she didn't have many choices.  So the plans for my little studio were put on hold while new ones were made for Grandma's Cottage.  Come with me as I take you on a little tour...

Here's our little office behind our home.  I'm sure I have a picture somewhere without the pergola started but that was probably before I had a digital camera so I'm not hunting for it.  ;).

The entrance has always had french doors and sidelights.  Well, except for when it was really orginally built, it had a roll up garage door prior to transforming it into our home office when we first started our business.

That's what it looked like right before we took out the custom built-in cabinetry.

You can see that my Husband had to do a ton of patching after removing it all!

Aaaaaah, much better! With a little drywall, mud, new paint and carpet - it's all new again!
Mind you, we only had about 2 weeks to get all of this completed.  In the middle of it, my 3 kids and I came down with that awful flu.  We did ALL of the furniture moving and decorating the same night she was coming to stay so you may notice a few things that aren't quite perfect. (Like wires and a leaning mantle.)  While she was tirelessy trying to finish cleaning her rental {with a sprained ankle :(. } my Husband and I were cleaning windows, moving in furniture and hanging pictures, plates and chandeliers.

My Mom obviously knew we were fixing up the old office for her but she had no idea I had been sneaking things out here and there as we were packing for the storage unit.  She had no idea how much we were actually doing to make it really special for her ~ especially for her first night here.
And did I mention that my Mom also has 3 adorable miniature schnauzers (Spencer, Sophie and Bella) that were coming with her? We also had to build a picket fence and gate just for them. I'll share those photos in a minute.

We were on a super-tight budget so we saved every where we could.  I was so excited when I went through our moulding pile we salvaged from job left-overs and found we had exactly enough baseboard for the room!  The carpet was the end of the roll at Lowe's so we got a big discount, less than $50. for the entire room.  Sure we had cut and patch but it worked.  The room already had can lights, window casing, crown moulding and french doors so we started off a little ahead of the game.

We had the satellite company run a cable to the cottage and my daughter spent the whole day programming all her shows to record on the DVR.

 Here is the view from my back porch.

This is the first view my Mom was going to see as she entered the side gate to her new home, Grandma's Cottage.

This is where my Mom was crying.  ;).

We painted the walls the same color I had used when I surprised her by painting her living room at her old house.  It's Taupe by Dunn-Edwards.  I just LOVE their paint.

Now for my disclaimer...
you may notice the little heater next to the sofa, the dark rug with tulips (not the light pink and green Rachel Ashwell area rug with roses), the air conditioner in the window, the mini-kitchenette in the mirror's reflection, and what may seem to some people as a bit of nick-nacky clutter.  This tiny cottage is an actual living space, my Mom's home, not just a pretty place to take a nap or sip some tea.  She has to spend most of her time here and I knew she would want some specific, special sentimental things set out that warm her heart. 
She is living with her 3 dogs, getting dressed, putting make-up on, watching tv, sleeping, paying bills and cooking her frozen dinners in her tiny microwave.  Not that we don't let her in our house, but you get the idea.  After all, the only thing she doesn't have is her own bathroom.  We could only squeeze so much in there and not to mention that all that plumbing did not fit in the budget.

So here's a re-cap...









I think I'll save the picket fence before and afters for next time.  This is getting to be a lot of work.  Ha-ha!

Thanks for taking the tour with me.  It was actually nice to go back and look at all the photos of all the work we (mostly my Husband) did.  But believe me, I can work an electric sander that nobody's business.  Sixty-something rough and splintery pickets don't scare this girl!

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day, whether as a Mom, with your Mom, or someone that serves as your Mom.  Happy Mother's Day to you all! 
And most of all, Happy Mother's Day to YOU Mom.  I love you and it's been nice having you around.




  1. Oh Missy!
    You pretty much just summed up my life for the past 2 years to a T my friend. I tell ya life is crazy and yet I still can say that God is GOOD! I hope you had a great Mothers day weekend...I will see you in June for a show visit and I will be selling in the Sept. show.


  2. Missy
    What an incredible makeover that you did for your mom. I can see all of the love you both put into it. Its gorgeous all of your perfect touches on it. I'm sure she will enjoy it so very much. We are blessed aren't we and God is so very faithful always. Thank you again for giving me the link to that clothing website Im excited to see what they have. Happy Mother's day Hoping I will see you next month at the Oaks xoxo love to you Kate

  3. Missy this is incredible. You guys did such an amazing job. Your Mamma is going to love it and make it her own. SWEET. Have a great week Ciao Rita mammabellarte

  4. Missy you all did a wonderful job!
    It looks like a beautiful haven for your Mom!

  5. You did a remarkable job....what a good daughter you are to your Mom!

  6. Your family came together and pooled their talents to create a nest for your mother - I'm crying! Thanks for sharing an inspirational story. Happy Mother's Day!

  7. I love it! What a blessing the way things fell into place. :) The space is lovely :)

  8. Oh Missy, you are an amazing daughter and you have a beautiful family. I love what you did to that sweet cottage and I know your mom will be so happy to be so close to her family. I could not stop the tears as I read your post.
    Thank you for sharing a true Mother's Day story. Can't wait for the picket fence post...I hope you are out there sanding away!!
    See you very soon!

  9. Missy,
    I LOVE the make-over! Girlfriend, we have LOTS in common! You are absolutely right in there are alot of peeps in the same boat.
    We'll talk soon!
    xo, Amber

  10. Wow, what a great job you and Wayne did. Its just lovely and fit for a queen!

  11. Love it, love it, love it! Diane


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