Garden Cottage Refurbishment

Discussion in 'Choosing Colors' started by felixjak, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. felixjak

    felixjak New Seed

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    Hi there. I'm asking for help from Johannesburg, South Africa. I'm moving into a small cottage that could use some attention. Here, many houses have in their gardens small cottages. Mine is 2 bedrooms (about 9x9), a kitchen and bathroom. I know you all want pics but I, typically, left my camera at home today. I'll send them on later.

    Basically, the problems are such: most of the floors are smoothed cement and the walls are plaster and have a lot of imperfections. At the moment, its kind of a concrete box. I'm planning on solving most of these problems with painting and rugs. My question is, what kind of color scheme is going to make my small place look not so small, as well as less pockmarked. I know light colors are typical, but they also make for the imperfections more obvious. What kind of trim/border should I use on the walls?

    I've also got a window, about 3x3, into the bathroom that opens into the rest of the cottage. I suspect its there for ventilation however its also, as you can imagine, an imposition on privacy. Have any of you thoughts on what to do with? I thought a curtain was the obvious solution.

    thanks all
     
  2. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Hi there felix and welcome to GardenStew from Scotland. :stew1:

    I live in an old (17th century) cottage myself with irregularities everywhere, uneven floors and three foot thick stone walls.
    If you paint your walls in a fairly neutral colour and with matt paint then the imperfections are not nearly as noticeable. Either that or skim the walls before painting them which will smooth them out.
    As for trim I would suggest a narrow-ish dado rail as it fools the eye into believing the room is actually bigger than it is. Your bathroom window problem could be solved by replacing the clear glass with frosted, patterned glass for more privacy - it's what we did and it works well. Remember that old cottages are meant to look much 'rougher' than newly built houses and I think their quirkiness is what makes them interesting. Good luck!!! :-D
     
  3. kuntrygal

    kuntrygal Texas Rose

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    Welcome to the Stew from east Texas!

    I think Eileen's suggestions are right on. As far as the concrete floor, there is a stain for concrete that might help add some color. You could replace the clear window with a frosted type glass, but there is a spray that frosts the glass. Or a pretty curtain on either side of the window.

    I would love to have a cottage to refurbish. It sounds like fun, although I know it will be work. We would love some pictures before and after, if you can.
     
  4. felixjak

    felixjak New Seed

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    Thanks for your help so far. The window is actually an opening, no glass. And since I think its there for ventilation (steam from the shower) I don't think it'll be wise to close it off.

    I feel I should add. A cottage means something different in South Africa, basically they're a small building which were servant quarters. Basically, a concrete box that's more functional than aethestically pleasing. Think unfinished basement. Sorry, I'll have pics tomorrow.
     



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  5. kuntrygal

    kuntrygal Texas Rose

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    It still sounds great to me. For the window, could you put some type of shutters? Will you be the only one living there? Will you have lots of company? If the answers are yes and no, then shutters should be OK.
    I can't wait to see the pictures!
     
  6. felixjak

    felixjak New Seed

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    I'm afraid that I won't be able to send pics after all. Because of bandwith and some pretty archaic firewalls here at my university in Johannesburg, I can't upload pics unto photobucket. If any of you know any way around this, then please let me know. Otherwise, if you're very keen then I'll send you pics via e-mail.
     
  7. Mmepaulita

    Mmepaulita New Seed

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    In order to stain the concrete you would need to be able to sand it and and smooth it so the stain would take. If money is tight, even painting the floors with a garage floor type paint would give it an easy shine. What color depends on you but I would think an ebony or mocha would be the best to start off from
     

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