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One month in the cottage... Home projects & more.

It's been a lovely couple of weeks in the cottage and I can't even express how much more at peace I feel here. Not only is it quieter, but I feel like I can exhale for the first time in four years. I feel myself returning to well, myself... definitely happier and healthier. I'm so grateful for my tiny cottage and this new chapter where I can finally breathe.

Aside from the emotions, I am physically LOVING my cottage too. It's about half the size of my last apartment and it's technically a studio (with a bit bookshelf to separate the "rooms"), but I love it. I feel so at peace here. But let's talk decor. The living room area has been coming along quite nicely. I thrifted almost everything in that room except for a bit of decor that I brought with me (which was also probably all thrifted haha) and I bought the rug on Etsy!

The couch was one of the first things I found and I'm so glad it was! Once I had a couch in there I really felt myself relax into the space a little bit more. I found it at a thrift store only a few blocks away and the owner said he would deliver it for an extra $20! The couch was already half off at $60, so a whole new (to me) couch plus delivery for $80? Yes please. It's not totally my style, but when I was at the thrift store I started chatting with a few gals and we all ended up sitting on the couch and it was super comfy and we all agreed it was a sign I needed to get it. I had remembered seeing a few people showing how to cover couches with a drop cloth and thought I'd give that a go, which I did, and it didn't really work out the way I was hoping. I returned the drop cloths and ended up using a few linen sheets and some blankets I already owned and it turned out much more like the vibe I was hoping for! This also makes cleaning it super easy! I know some people online really wanted me to keep the red florals, and I'm all for it if thats your vibe, but it just wasn't the look I'm going for and thats ok! The next person who owns this couch will have the floral pattern waiting for them.

Next up is my side table. This piece was a total find at another local thrift store. I actually walked around the store and left empty handed, then as I was leaving I walked past the window and saw this piece on display. I took a photo and left, ran my errands, and on my way back decided it would be silly to pass it up and went back in for it. It was less than $60 and they were so kind to help load it into my car! I think its so cute where I have it now, kinda like this space was made for it, but it would also be really nice as a bedside nightstand. We love a versatile piece!

The last piece I'm gonna chat about today is the coffee table. This find was quite a rollercoaster. When I got to the thrift store I turned a corner and saw it sitting there, it was almost exactly what I was looking for. My jaw kinda dropped. However it had a HEAVY orange varnish over the wood that almost made me pass it up. I decided to get it anyway because I liked the bones and decided I'd have my hand at restoring the piece. After multiple trips to Home Depot, lots of swearing, minimal tears, I finally got it to a place I'm happy with. I still may sand it down a bit more in the future, but I needed a major break from this project.

Incase you have a table that you'd like to restore as well, these are the steps I took, they might not be the best, but they worked for me (eventually lol). I learned first hand that restoration isn't as easy as people make it look online and you need lots of patience (which is something I lack when it comes to DIY projects).

What I used:

  • Citrus Strip

  • Seran Wrap

  • After Wash (similar to Mineral Strip)

  • Plastic bag/dish (something you can throw away)

  • Steel wool

  • Hand sponge sanders

  • Metal scrapper

  • Skewer (toothpick also works)

  • Chemical resistant gloves

  • Chemical/dust resistant mask

  • Mini dish/bucket (you could also use an old soup can or jar)

  • Rags (use ones you're ok with throwing away)

  • Sponges (use ones you're ok with throwing away)

  • Metal sponge with bristles

  • Paint brush

  • Household cleaner

Here are the steps I would recommend taking, I'm not going to list exactly what I did because that was a hot mess, and this revised step list will save you from a bit of head ache:

  1. Apply Citrus Strip all over and cover with Seran Wrap, leave overnight.

  2. The next morning remove the Seran Wrap from the top of the table and use the metal scrapper to remove the citrus strip from the top of the table only.

  3. Pour After Wash into a dish and apply using a paint brush, use a sponge/rag to remove all the left over gunk. If there are crevices in in the table, use a toothpick or skewer to get the gunk out of there.

  4. Breath! Pause! That was easy, but the legs are more difficult. Go make yourself a coffee or choose to return to this next step tomorrow.

  5. Ok, time for the legs. Let's start with ONE. Remove the seran wrap from ONE leg. Use a sponge, metal bristle sponge, or rag to remove the citrus strip from the legs. If it's not coming off thats ok! Pour some of the After Wash or Mineral Strip into a dish and apply it to the legs with a paint brush. While its still wet, scrub it off. It should come off a lot easier now. This will take some time, be patient. You may need to do serval rounds of this step.

  6. Repeat step five on all legs.

  7. Once all the gunk it off and the table is dry, go in with the hand sander. If you have a mechanical one you can deffo use that, but I didn't so I hand sadnded.

  8. After sanding give it a once down wipe with household cleaner and/or hot water to really make sure everything (dust and gunk) is removed.

  9. Voila! Easy as pie... lol... But really, be proud! That was a lot of work! You did it! After this you can choose to leave as is (thats what I did), add a protective coat on top, or some people bleach it and repeat the cleaning steps to give it a lighter tone (I didn't do that so I cannot give personal recs on how to do that, but I'm sure tiktok will have many).

That's it for now, I'm sure I'll have more updates for you soon, xx.


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