Name: Mike and Angela Barnhill
Location: Kill Devil Hills, NC
Size: 1,124 square feet
Years lived in: weekends since 2007
Three years ago Mike and Angela bought a neglected, but charming beach cottage and knew they had to restore it. They removed the old siding and painted the original dutch lap wood siding a blue-green color they discovered on a telephone at Restoration Hardware. On the inside, they opened up the ceiling in the living room, and moved the kitchen to what had been a ramshackle porch...
The white paint on the walls, ceilings, and original wood floors gives the cottage a much larger feel than its 1,000 square feet. The original house was built in 1966, so Mike and Angela call their unique style "hip grandma's attic." IKEA, DWR, and lots of flea market finds form an eclectic, comfortable feel (the well-worn tulip table is a good example). They used original artwork when possible, including an oversized Calder print (in the 2nd bedroom) and a '60s surf poster, as well as a combination of Fiesta and Heller dinnerware.
Mike and Angela's Survey
Our Style: Juxtaposing modern and antique and smiling when it works
Inspiration: Mike grew up going to the Outer Banks and always loved the simple, but unforgiving nature of the Roanoke sound, Jockey's Ridge, and the ocean, as well as the beauty of the historic, oceanfront Nags Head cottages. This was a response to watching so many tiny cottages being torn down for "bigger, newer, better," with little consideration for the size of the lot. The book Hamptons Havens - The best of Hamptons Cottages and Gardens was a major source of inspiration.
Favorite Element: The outdoor shower (Mike); The kitchen and daybed (Angela)
Biggest Challenge: Making the toilet/bathroom/shower/laundry layout work properly
What Friends Say: The all-white interior and bright color accents create a cheery, bright, and "feels bigger than it is" atmosphere
Biggest Embarrassment: Still trying to get the stereo speaker system to work properly.
Proudest DIY: Removing the ceiling in the Living Room to expose the rafters; it changed the whole character of the cottage as the ceiling heights are less than 8'.
Biggest Indulgence: Tossup between the Milk bottle chandelier and the Kravet fabric we used for the daybed.
Best Advice: Be creative with a negative and turn it into a positive — we removed a section of fence to expose a beautiful live oak and installed accent lights. An awful looking side porch has become our kitchen/dining room, and an unsightly back yard is now a joy to look out upon.
Dream Source: DWR; The antiques store (now) at the Raleigh farmers' market; IKEA at Potomac Mills; Cherry Modern furniture in Raleigh; Dwell, and Apartment Therapy (of course!)
(Images: Michael Barnhill)
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