Originally built in 1976 by Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, this bungalow benefitted from a more recent new home program, giving it new doors, windows, roof and insulation. That was all before Wayne, Kathy and their daughter Lauren bought the house two years ago.
It wasn’t the house they were originally looking for, but they’ve made it work with a combination of creativity, ingenuity and hard work.
After spending some time on the Southern Shore, the family knew this is where they wanted a cabin. They loved the charm and look of old two-storey houses, but weren’t able to find one. Instead of giving up on their cabin dream, they considered alternatives, and, well, here we are standing in the living room of their cabin, a couple of years after they bought it.
“It’s not the style we wanted,” says Kathy, “but we made it work. And I think it’s interesting you can make a modern bungalow work as sort of a farmhouse look.”
Transforming this standard bungalow into what they wanted consumed nearly every weekend, but now the last major project is done and they have a farmhouse-inspired, nautical-themed cabin by the sea to enjoy.
A contractor took care of the major work after they gutted the main floor, then the family came together to work on the many smaller projects, like installing wainscoting on most of the walls.
The local carpenter and contractor put in the new ceiling, installed the new floors, and put up the new drywall throughout the house. He also did the rewiring and plumbing, and installed the new kitchen cabinets.
But there was still a lot of work to be done, and all of it was done it blocks of one-and-a-half-days on the weekends.
The family would spend each week preparing for the next weekend’s project, gathering materials, looking for inspiration on Pinterest, and figuring out a plan of attack. Sunday afternoons, they would head back home, an hour and a half away, feeling the satisfaction of another completed project.
Among the many tasks was finding a name for the cabin. They went with something that evoked the visit of a famous ship to this area that has been settled since the 1600s, a place where pirates plied the waters and New World settlers stopped in for a bit of fresh water on their way to the New England colonies.
Mayflower Cottage, in Renews, may look familiar. It’s the backdrop and setting for many of the posts of bloggers Lauren and Jessica, who run allyblog.com and the Instagram account @friendandally.
“We wanted that white, breezy cottage look and I think we achieved it,” says Lauren.
Poking away at projects each weekend over two years was the right approach for Kathy, Wayne and Lauren.
“It was really satisfying to do it that way,” says Kathy. “We planned for the week and we did it and when we left said ‘We did pretty good for the weekend’.”