Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Garage to Tiny Beach Cottage Part 2

Last week I introduced my family's tiny seaside cottage located in WA state.  My parents converted a family garage built in the 1940s into a beautiful tiny home suitable for guests.  My girls and I adore the little cottage and look forward to visits out there all year!  Of course I will add that visiting grandparents, the beach and the temperate climate is also a HUGE draw. :)

We're staying at the cottage right now and had a wonderful 4th of July. We especially enjoyed the cold temperatures although the wind made fireworks a bit of a challenge.  The girls and I ended up watching most of them from the inside of the cottage.

The cottage is set just a few yards from the main house: a family home that started as a small cabin in 1907 (possibly older, but that's when my family arrived.)  It was remodeled (expanded) into a family home in the 1940s, modernized in the 1960s and then updated again (just a few things here and there) in the last 5-10 years.  We refer to it as the house that jack built. :)  But in whatever form it has been, the house has been in our family for over 100 years now!  

In Part 1 I showed the living and sleeping areas as well as the outside.  Today I'd like to finish showing you the kitchen and bathroom.

First up the kitchen.  This beautiful area of the house is a labor of love entrenched with memories and meaning.  The cabinets and counter were the workbench from the original garage!  They were removed, refinished and repainted. My mother left the iron vise behind to be used as a towel holder.

The kitchen has a small refrigerator (pictured on the left) and a microwave.  For any big cooking you'll need to come to the big house. :)  I find it just perfect for my morning coffee (red coffee maker or coffee press) and in the afternoon I can take iced tea out of the refrigerator.  We also keep it stocked with cookies, fruit and snacks.  I tend to feed my girls cereal here in the tiny cottage for breakfast before joining the rest of the family in the big house.

I also have sweet memories of my dad meandering up to the cottage and sitting with me and the girls drinking coffee and eating cookies.  My father has Alzheimer's and so every. single. time. he saw the cottage it was a new experience and he wondered over how his dad's garage had been transformed into such a beautiful space.

The kitchen has a small eat in area with a table that seats up to four.  This particular table has been in the family for many years.  It started as a kitchen table in the 1940s kitchen (my dad's) and I even used it as a desk in one of my college apartments.  So many memories!

The shelves in the kitchen have goodies such as a 1938 (working) electric toaster, vintage hand crank coffee grinder, Pyrex bowls, Pyrex red rimmed dishes, a blue pitcher that my dad made in college and a few other family odds and ends.  I particularly love the red 4 cup coffee maker and use it every morning.  I especially enjoy having a cup of coffee while looking at the Puget Sound view.

The back splash in the kitchen was handmade by my mom.  It is made of beach glass that my mom collected as a hobby.  She carefully selected the colors and did it herself.  It is one of my favorite parts of the cottage!  She also filled large vases with glass that is displayed on the living room floor.

The frame over the sink is made out of one of the old garage windows.  My mother placed a vintage poster of Norway inside.

And this view!  Lovely from sunrise to sunset.  During our summer visits we try to be there during the 4th of July and out this very window we can watch fireworks exploding over the water and neighboring houses. 

This is the entry, the door and new window placed where there used to be a garage door.  The cottage door was re purposed from the original house's 1940 remodel.  It was removed in the 1960s remodel and lay under the house for decades.

The small wooden table, a gift to my grandmother, is from an old Lutheran parsonage nearby.  It is at least 100 years old. My parents replaced the top with glass (it may have originally been marble or wood, they're not sure).

Next to the front door are coat hooks made of vintage glass door knobs.  The four door knobs on this wall (and more in the bathroom) were re purposed from the old house.  My mother had the best ideas!

On the left of the entry is the bathroom.  It is a 3/4 bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet.  It is spacious, large and bright.  The window overlooks the quince tree and one can see the back of the main house.

Naturally the bathroom includes many vintage and family pieces/knick knacks.  There is a door knob next to the sink (also on the opposite wall/next to the shower) to hold a towel and vintage medicine bottles and band aid boxes on the shelves.

Whimsical and beautiful.

And last but not least this lovely lady is the inspiration behind the cottage.  Her ideas, dreams and hard work became this beautiful little house that we love to visit.

Thanks for coming along on my house tour.  To see Part 1 of the Tiny Beach Cottage go here.

Random Facts:

  • The cottage is approximately 20x20 with 400 square feet of usable space.
  • It is heated with an electric space heater that resembles a stove.  The bathroom also has a small space heater.  Word to the wise don't leave those on and also try to use a blow dryer or you will need to find the fuse box. ;) 
  • It is cooled through cross ventilation with windows, an overhead fan and sometimes a standing oscillating fan.


  1. Looks like a lovely cottage and part of the world! You've done really well keeping it maintained and up to date too, the interior design looks really fresh!

    1. Thank you, yes my mother has done a wonderful job!!