Monday, March 11, 2013

Updates: Barton Cottage and the Real House

Hey blog buddies!

How are you all doing?  Thank you for your encouraging and lovely comments. It's absolutely wonderful and heartwarming to meet you all.  I feel like I've just made a whole new group of friends.  Yay!

Wow.  It's been a busy couple of weeks. Life is over flowing these days.

Teaching and singing have been going gang busters and...drum roll please...I've decided to put my real life house on the market. I now have a million construction and painting projects going on around me. Ach! As I sit here huddle in my office, I'm surrounded by packing boxes and dust from all the work going on.  Here's a brief summary...I won't try and bore you...well, at least not that much.

I bought a 1903 folk Victorian back in 2007.  It was a good house--good bones, solid, and had most of its original woodwork.  But OMG did it need work!  I had big dreams and so I dove in.  I put in a new kitchen and bathroom, and had all the wood floors refinished.  Since then I have been slowly (key word slooooooowly) restoring a lot of the walls and woodwork in the other rooms. It's been a GINORMOUS labor of love for sure. But now it's time to fast forward and get all the remaining projects on my "To Do" list done as fast as possible.  Zoinks! For an anxiety ridden perfectionist control freak like me--this is a nightmare come true. But deep breath, here I go.

I have managed to get a little time for miniatures here and there.  Not as much as I would like of course, but life needs attending to.

I've almost completed the cardboard mock-up of Barton Cottage.  I have been playing around with different sizes for rooms and several perspectives.

The cardboard mock-up of Barton Cottage.

I've tried to achieve a design plan that looks realistic in some regard and yet is open enough so that points of interest can be seen. For starters, the fireplace placement.

I originally had the fireplaces located on the far back wall, but decided to move them to the center wall of the cottage. I think it adds a little interest to the middle of the structure and provides a bit of division between the various rooms. I played around quite a bit with the proportions of the chimney walls and mantle surrounds, etc. Here are my first two attempts at the parlour fireplace. This is just a mock-up to explore size and shape. The final versions will be much more detailed of course. Fingers crossed.

First (left) and second (right) attempts at the parlour fireplace.

After my first attempt, I found this lovely limestone fireplace example. So I think this is what the parlour fireplace will look like when all finished.  Again, fingers crossed.

A lovely limestone fireplace. Sweet!

And here it is in the cardboard mock-up.  This view is looking in from the front door.

The parlour fireplace. Come on in. Hot chocolate anyone?

Here's the bed chamber fireplace. A bit more simple in size, but cozy. What do you think?  I'm trying to decided what to do for the bed chamber fireplace surround.  Stone or wood?  Rustic or more refined?  Ideas?

What to do with the bed chamber's fireplace surround? Hmm...stone, wood, plaster, mirrors and disco ball?

The floor plans for the cottage are a hot mess right now.  I've been moving walls around, shifting windows, and expanding and contracting things like mad with the cardboard model.  So, excuse the messy drawings.  Here's the first draft of the first floor, second floor, and a side elevation.

The first floor plan.

The second floor plan.

Front door side elevation.

Here are a few sketches I've doodled. I really like the idea of a cute window seat on the back wall.  Since I move the fireplaces, I thought the parlour needed another point of interest. Although I know it won't be quite historically accurate, I incorporated a long set of flowing stairs that turn in an L shape. I quickly sketched some ideas for the bathroom, kitchen, and front door porch. I'm thinking 1930's shabby chic, maybe?

Sketches of the exterior and  parlour window seat.

Doodles of ideas for the kitchen, bathroom tub, fireplace, and stairs.

So friends, that is it from here. I must get back to work on my real life house and see how fast I can get it  completed. It will be a journey of patience for sure. In the meantime, I will try to post some more pictures of Barton Cottage along the way. I hope to find some time between work and the house crunch to update my blog.

Again, I thank you all very much for your comments and interest.  I have been marveling at all your terrific creations too. There has been a flurry of blogging lately. It's wonderful. I hope you are doing well and having fun creating. Let me know what you think of the above. I wish you the best and look forward to hearing from you!


  1. Hello Brad,
    I am already in love with Barton Cottage. I think the size of the rooms and the floorplan are very realistic and I love...LOVE the bench idea. The L staircase is great. This is really exciting!
    I cannot wait to see the cottage come to life, not to mention more of your great sketches.
    Good luck with the move, that is one thing I hope to never have to go through again!
    Big hug,

  2. I live the cardboard mock up of the cottage. Great idea to get a true feel of the finished project and much easier to make changes to. I can hardly wait to see you start real construction on it.

    Good luck with the renovations and move. I'm currently renovating a mid-century ranch and moving into it. I know the pain. :-)


  3. Its a great idea to do a cardboard mock-up. Great sketches and drawings too! I too am in the process of moving and am torn between wanting to do some mini projects and needing to do real-life ones. Keep up the good work.

  4. I like the idea to do a mock-up, had to find out what this word means, but okay ;)! I'll follow your progress, Brad.
    I wrote 3 days ago a comment on your blog and after I pushed the publish knob, my blog was deleted, I hope it doesn't disappears this time again ;(!!
    Greetings, Ilona

  5. Es una gran idea, voy a seguir de cerca tu proyecto.
    besitos ascension

  6. Hi Brad,

    Nice to meet you! I really love the look of your cottage. You have already put a lot of work into the planning and if your mock ups are a good example of your work we are all in for a treat!

    I will be happily following your progress!

    ML Fi x

  7. Hi,I see you make also a barton cottage, great job,I love the idea of you window seat, come and see my blog,I also make a barton cottage, greetings.