Big Cottage Reno: Stripping Down and Painting

Big Cottage Reno: Stripping Down and Painting

Maxwell Ryan
Jun 12, 2012

In 1966, the year I was born, my father bought a house for forty-five thousand dollars (15k down and 30k mortgage). Built in 1897 as a one season "summer cottage" in East Hampton, NY, it had no insulation, no basement and was huge, with three floors, eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms and an internal phone system for talking to the kitchen from the upper floors.

After forty seven years my father and step-mother just moved out to a smaller, easier to maintain house nearby, leaving this one to my brother and I to sell or rent or live in. At first I was overwhelmed and daunted by the job, and we put it up for sale (but we've had no serious interest yet). Turning our minds to renting it out, we've found a lovely family with kids that wants to love it and we're slowly fixing it up for them. It's sort of like going back to the beginning, back in 1966, when my father and mother moved in as new parents.

Now it's becoming really fun again.

After removing all of the furniture, I'm applying industrial strength Apartment Therapy and bringing it up to date with simple, careful moves. It's not a full renovation since our budget is tight, but it going to be a facelift and an energy lift. Over the next few months I want to share the progress with you.

This is the first chapter. Enjoy!


The Living Room

The Living Room starting to empty out and the wear and tear becoming visible

The Dining Room

The Kitchen

The Guest Room

My old bathroom

The Master Bedroom

The Master Bathroom

Yet another room


The Living Room getting painted and with wallpaper removed


Paint: Benjamin Moore

  • Decorator's White on ceiling

  • China White on walls

  • White Dove on molding

Up in the attic

More to come!

(Images: Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan)

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