Join me on my epic adventure of renovating a 1920s beach cottage in Delaware


Photograph by Slim Aarons

It all started with this image.

Well, the design inspiration did, anyway. But my desire to buy a classic cottage in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware was sparked at the age of two and grew into a full-fledged dream over the several decades I spent vacationing in this charming, all-American, Atlantic seaside town with my parents.

And last summer, the dream came true, when I bought a 1700-square-foot, circa early 1900s “bungalow” less than a mile from the beach, complete with screened-in front porch, oddball add-ons and teeny tiny everything.

I initially thought I would make some basic upgrades — updated kitchen and bathrooms, fresh coats of paint and fabulous furnishings. But a year later my living room is gutted to the studs, the old fireplace (re: fire hazard) has been ripped out, replaced and relocated, all windows are being replaced (some are being moved), and I am teetering on the edge of a complete and massive overhaul (including reinforcing the structure and insulating the entire house).

So begins my epic renovation adventure of what will one day be crowned THE ANCHOR HOUSE (with a hand carved, Cape Cod sign to prove it — truth!!), and thus the launch of The Cottage Diaries, right here on Anchors & Sirens.

In the coming months (er, years), I will be sharing my design inspiration, before-and-after pix and celebrating the small victories. I’m so excited to share this chronicle with all of you, and I hope you enjoy the journey and find some inspiration, helpful hints and sunny smiles along the way.

(Just wait till you see the tiles I found for the new fireplace surround (!!!), coming up on the next installation of The Cottage Diaries!)

P.S. My husband and I have already purchased the 40 x 60″ 1978 Slim Aarons “Yacht Holiday” photograph (above), which will find its forever-home above the sofa in the living room — just as soon as we have a sofa…and walls.


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