Since the remodeling upstairs and adding the three dormers last fall, I’ve been wanting to do a before & after post of the outside of the Cottage, just to show the hard work that my husband has done!

This spring, with the fresh, bright-green growth of the trees:

cottage exterior

The dormers aren’t too visible in this picture, but I like that it shows the fence that we added soon after we moved here (after our one-year old gave us a terrible scare on the road), and the arbor Ben built that mirrors that design of the front porch.

But this is the house when we first bought it. Um, yes. It was sad. Very very sad.

Before: Winter, 2010

cottage exterior before

cottage side before

Having a husband who not only can do anything with wood and construction and is so gifted with working with his hands, but who enjoys it as well, is so wonderful. He has transformed this place into a beautiful cozy home.

After: Spring, 2015

cottage exterior  front view

cottage exterior and white picket fence


Changes we’ve made:

-Painted the entire exterior of the house
-Painted the metal roof
-Added wooden shutters
-Added three dormers (which look as thought they’ve always belonged here in the first place)
-Painted the front porch, pillars, and columns
-Added the picket fence and arbor
-Added landscape

cottage with the morning light

This little cottage has been a beautiful haven for us the past 5 years that we’ve lived here. It’s seen our daughter take her first steps, it’s seen us bring our son home from the hospital, it’s been filled with tears and laughter and memories and sentimental things we’ll remember forever. We’ve learned to know some of our neighbors, and some of them feel like family and I love them dearly! We’ve lived in the city, and I’ve absolutely loved it – we can walk to the coffee shop/ice cream shop, I’ve probably run a rut down the streets where I do my running loops, we are right across the street from the park and the pool… It’s been such a beautiful season, and a beautiful gift to live here.

I’ve alluded to it sometimes, but it really is true: we are moving from our beloved little Cottage at 341 South. The house sold quickly – the first people to look at it bought it – but I feel jealous over it, like no one else will ever be able to love it like we do. :) But the Lord is directing us to a different place, and so we’re following, with both sadness and anticipation. Sadness for what we’re leaving behind (the cottage, yes, but more importantly, relationships, which are far more valuable than a house), and also anticipation for what the Lord has ahead for us.

It’s been a time of much emotion for us as we do the “lasts” – last beach day, last ladies’ get together, last pool day, last….. We will be entering a different season for our family, and we ask for prayers as we transition. It’s been busy for the kids, and anyone with children knows that they do best on a very normal schedule. Ours have been anything but normal the past few months, so we’ve had some challenges with that and helping our kids walk through this time, while processing ourselves. I hope to pop in here a few more times in the next week or two, just so that I can document a few more things for ourselves, but we’ll see. :)

Happy Tuesday, Lovelies!


47 thoughts on “The Cottage {Exterior, Before & After}

  1. Susan

    Clarita, hope all is well with you and that we can phone chat on occasion. I will keep you and your family in prayer. Best of luck and hope to hear from you soon.

  2. Anne

    Oh my. I’m sure it’s a whirlwind of emotions you’re dealing with on a daily basis. I’m excited about possibly bumping into you a bit more, although the sentimentality of your beautiful cottage makes me a bit sad for what you have to go through. But aren’t memories just a sweet gift?!

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      It is a whirlwind of emotions! Such bittersweetness these days, and a saying goodbye to what has been life for our little family! But I also hope to see more of you – maybe we’ll have to do brunch with our moms! I’d love that. ♥

  3. gardensatserenity

    Oh my………I have never met you or your beautiful family but I am kind of sad about you leaving that beautiful cottage. I am sure your next home will be just as beautiful . May God bless you all and keep you each step of the way.

  4. Kassie

    Aww…I’m sort of sad, too, that I won’t see anymore of your beautiful touches on this adorable cottage! But, I hope you will continue to blog about what you do to your next place. Prayers your way for an “easy as possible” transition for you and your family. God’s plans always exceed our biggest hopes and dreams (but you don’t need me to tell you that). :)

  5. Gail McNeeley

    WOW! You’ve transformed the place to be so eye-catching cute and pretty…and oh, all those memories! I truly hope the change is great and you’ll see blessings for following God’s heart. I’ll keep in touch!

  6. Kim

    Well, I am oh so curious as to where you are headed, but I am going to stand by for news!!!! What wonderful things you have done to the cottage during these past 5 years. Can’t wait to see your new house and what you do to it.
    Oh the blessings of sweet people left behind…………….and the blessing of friendships yet to come.
    I pray that the Lord will bless each aspect of this move.

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Kim! Yes, so much mixture of feelings is true! We are so sad to leave behind the people we love so dearly, but also anticipating what is ahead of us. ♥

  7. Breana

    I gasped out loud when I read this….the Cottage has always been my most favorite virtual place to visit!! May our Jesus bless your family’s move and guide you in this season of transition!

  8. mraxiak

    I’ve been kind of sad today thinking that I won’t be able to visit your beautiful cottage anymore. :( Hopefully you are moving on to bigger and better things. Please keep blogging on your future endeavors!

  9. Jenn

    Aw, Clarita! I can imagine this is a time of mixed emotions! You’ve got me curious about your next season in life. Whatever it is, may God be close to you and continue to guide and challenge you.

  10. Rhonda

    I don’t know you personally, but honestly, I come look at your beautiful cottage just for inspiration on home decor sometimes! :) It’s so adorable I can only imagine how hard it must be to leave… We too, recently left our home of seven years and are still adjusting, so I totally understand the upheaval moving can be for children. ( I have four ages 9 – 3. I’ll breath a prayer for peace over your home as you make the changes!

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Oh, you are so kind! :) Yes, moving with small children is a lot of work! Things have been going very smoothly, and I’m so thankful, but it IS busy for sure. Blessings on your family as well! xo

  11. Heidi S

    I dare say it would be so sad to leave this cozy cottage. I love what y’all have done to it. Its so beautiful. God’s blessings as you make the change.

  12. Jill

    Wow, this caught me by surprise! How blessed the buyers are to reap the benefits of your hard work! You’ve created such a beautiful little cottage but I can’t wait to see what’s next for you (and I do hope you share). We plan to move to the country sometime from our little house in town but I know it would be an adjustment for us and our children. God’s blessings as you transition!

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, Jill! I know adjustments are ahead for us as well, and we are moving into even more of a city setting than what we have now. :) But God will be faithful, I know! Blessings to you as well!

  13. Lauren

    Wow! Your home is absolutely beautiful! God’s gifts are good, and even in the midst of change He continues to be good, upholds us as we walk through transition, and guides our every step. Looking forward to continuing to hear about the journey He has for you and your family.

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Your words are so true, Lauren, and so encouraging! The faithfulness of God at every step is just so precious, and gives such strength! I’m so thankful for that. Blessings to you and your dear beautiful family as well! xo

  14. Jenny

    It makes me sad that you are leaving your adorable cottage. But when you said God is leading you to something new, then I knew it was right. Blessings on you all as you go forward.

  15. Aimee Weaver

    This is a seriously inspiring transformation! I’m sure your next place will be just as beautiful! Blessings to you and your family as your transition into a new home!

  16. Zebe Schmitt

    I am saddened to think that I can’t look forward to dropping in to see you and the kids or call Ben to check on something at the farmhouse. You are a beautiful soul dear Clarita and I wish for you and your family a sky filled with shooting stars, a moon filled with light and days filled with sunshine and happy people. You will always have a special place in my heart.

  17. Ervina

    I always loved driving down the street and pulling into this lovely place after a long twelve hour trip, knowing a yummy meal and my favorite little family would be waiting. Even if it wasn’t more than a few times a year, it felt like my second home. You’ve poured so much creativity and love into this cottage and I’m going to miss it so much!

  18. Michelle

    Your before and after is one of my favorites! I’m so delighted it sold so quickly and you didn’t have to stress through multiple showings; but my heart is also kind of shivering for you. It is so hard to say goodbye to something you have invested so much! Thinking of you and your family during this stage of transition. I’m glad children adapt quickly, but the transition stage feels so LONG while you are in it!

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Ahhh, you have gone through so much of the same! Putting so much heart and soul and hard work into your home, only to leave it just as it’s completed! It IS hard to say goodbye to something that holds so many memories!Thanks for your kind, understanding words! xo

  19. Lori

    You got a lot done to that home in those 5 years! It is absolutely a beautiful place and I love visiting your blog, because your heart is beautiful and so is your home. :) Blessings as God moves you on to more of what He has for you!

  20. RachelRachel

    It’s a bittersweet thing to move from a place filled with memories and surrounded by souls you love….but surely in time you will fill the next home, the next place, with the same. I think of you Often and hope things go well as you start out on this next chapter in your families story. Xo

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  22. Maureen

    Was inspired by Better After’s feature on your home so I followed the link over. Was BLESSED to see your heart to glorify God in all you are and do. On the practical side, we are downsizing to a little log cabin with a green roof (in great condition). I would like ours painted a light gray. Do you have a DIY on how you painted your roof (steps, products, etc?). We are going to hire that out, but don’t have much confidence in the experience of the painters as they have already purchased the wrong kind of paint for the porch! Any help would be much appreciated. All the best to you and your family.

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