The Simple Farmhouse Cabin that Exposed my Hidden Courage

Late Fall of 2000, I bought my first house in Gunnison, CO. Palisades rock formation in the far right background.
More of a farmhouse cabin, really. It had Yellow painted log siding, cinder block and brick exterior base walls, screened in porch, mud room, 3 bed 1 bath.
Dreary looking when I first got my hands on it. But it had some good potential and I was aching to fix it up!
The house sat on 2 lots, giving me some out buildings, stables and corral, a detached garage, a large garden area and tons of extra space.
Corral and stables beyond the yard.
The detached garage had a couple small windows, which I later enlarged and turned the garage into a studio. I rented out all the rooms in the house and moved myself into the studio.
Next door is a historic old school house.
The interior had Oak floors. My 2 cats Dutch (Tabby) and Camille (calico), were given to me by Susie as a house warming gift.
Pine tongue and groove paneling throughout, a wood burning fireplace.
Original built in cabinets. The ceiling was some kind of paneling without the standard aluminum grid.
Living area near the front door.
Largest bedroom
The kitchen and bathroom were outdated, so my then-boyfriend, Kurt helped me do a very basic remodel on a very limited budget.
Apparently, I had enough wine corks to do a back splash behind the original farmhouse sink.
I tiled the counter top, painted over the residual adhesive on the bottom half of the back splash, added some shelves, painted the original cabinets and added Black hardware to make this old kitchen feel brighter and cleaner.
Super rustic and super inexpensive to do!
I painted the foundation rustic Red, added a rooster weather vane, took down old metal fencing around the house, cut down weeds and took the screen off the porch to open it up.
1 year after moving in, I got a new puppy, Foxy Girl. My roommate got one of Foxy’s sister’s at the same time and named her Mariposa. This is THAT day and we are both so happy!
Spring time in Gunnison is potentially more exciting than in other places. When you live in an area that gets as cold as 30 below zero and snows crazy amounts that sticks around until June, a reprieve is so very welcome! The city turns on a water ditch that flow through the town, but until it’s turned on late May or June, we hand water.
Green begins to show up. This deck was already there and gets used through out the whole year.
Mature trees and gardens appear.
A simple sitting area against the house, protected from wind and out of view from the street.
Colorado summers are the best!
I set up some seating spots in the yard for entertaining friends when they stop by.
Beautiful old Aspen tree with flowers in the garden below.
With the city ditch turned on, Poppies bloom in a cluster. I also added some trees for privacy and shade. The rock to the right of the pic is a piece of petrified wood.
Foxy Girl enjoying the beautiful summer day on the grass
After taking the screen off the upper part of the porch, its seems breezy and welcoming. A perfect place to park your bicycle.
A Progressive Bicycle Party, ending at my house. All my girlfriends gathered to celebrate another summer in Colorado!

See This Stucco Cottage Gain Confidence As Blissful Retreat!

This small stucco cottage lacks interest and novelty.
I added flagstone to the dirt yard to clean it up and make it more usable.
An original coal shed is now in the center of the yard and not so pretty to look at.
The front door of the coal shed, positioned in the center of the yard.
Back door of the cottage looked out into an evergreen covered space.
These 2 pine trees, surrounded by piles of rocks, were old and eventually died.
The flat roof was the culprit to a water leak in the ceiling of the living room.
I also tore out the carpet in the house and replaced it with tile throughout.
This is the bathroom where a washer and dryer were located.
I added tile to the floor and shower, but the space is still boring!
Small kitchen with apartment sized appliances.
When I bought this house, there were no lower cabinets here, only uppers. I found some reclaimed cabinets to create a better kitchen workspace in 2007.
The back door was very old, but I like having a back door overlooking the garden.
At some point, this part of the house was added onto the original house. The slope of the ceiling is interesting and mostly affects the bathroom, and the laundry room. Window A/C units are used throughout. Nice extension cord!
After I had the huge evergreen trees removed, I needed to do something with this space in the yard.
So, I decided to have a deck with arbor built instead. It was alot of work to dig out roots and clear the space for a new deck. Huge pile of rocks in the distance will have to be moved out of here.
The little wood boxes are for footers which will hold up the arbor over the deck. And of course, the huge pile of rocks that I had to remove along the back fence.
Coming along.
This is now a usable space outside the kitchen door.
Providing some shade and a sitting area.
I added garden boxes with perennials around the borders of the flagstone courtyard.
And a sitting area in the courtyard.
This shed is cool, but needed some TLC to make it blend better with the rest of the yard.
And I made this cute little garden near the front door and under the kitchen window.
Now when you walk into the yard, you see this welcoming space.
A grill and sitting area make this space fun and private.
I also added an arbor inside the gate to the alley. It can be seen from the alley and designates the gate from the rest of the fence.
Colorado offers year round sun, allowing us to spend time outside even during the winter.
Lilac shrubs are in the distance and soften the yard with fragrant flowers in the spring.
The interior is brighter and fresh after updating the kitchen, tiled floors, paint and adding solid wood doors inside the house.
New cabinets and tile change the kitchen into a cheery space.
Still a small stove, but I had a guest actually cook Thanksgiving dinner in this kitchen!
Spa like bathroom with bamboo shelving units, tiled floor and shower. I moved the washer and dryer into the laundry closet.
Cute little vintage dining table near the front door, in the main living area.
A sectional sofa adds comfort and plenty of seating to this small cottage.
Bedroom with adjoining room.
The adjoining room is really small, but I have a twin daybed and TV in here for extra room and privacy. Rocco taking a quick nap on the sheepskin.
I installed central A/C and got rid of the window units. Fresh paint, new furniture and fun furnishings make this place an urban retreat. This refurbished cottage is now avaible to rent on VRBO, listing #793349.

Thoughtful renovation makes this private cottage charming!

I bought this place in 2007. The carriage house is made of cinderblock. At some point, a half fence was put in, I guess to hide the trash cans.
Oh, and there is some siding also. Old windows are a little bit sad in this pic.
There was one big yard for both houses. It felt like being in a fish bowl, anyone driving through the alley could, and did, look right at the backyard of the big house and into the yard of the carriage house. Nice to have a parking space off the alley for the carriage house.
It had good bones, but needed some style and updating.
Original coutertops complete with chrome legs holding the cabinets up and mirrored light switch covers! And don’t miss the vinyl parquet flooring.
The cabiets are solid wood and built in.
It seems like all the houses had a mircowave cubbie above the oven. It must be vintage!
The galley kitchen is big enough for a full sized refrigerator and stove/oven.
Small bathroom with formica “butcher block” vanity top.
A transition seam where the vinyl parquet meets the carpeting. It runs through the room, creating a strange dining area which straddles the seam.
This house has no venting and relys on window A/C and baseboard heat.
One of the first things I did when I bought this property was add a fence between both houses. The Orange paint shows where the new flagstone courtyard will be.
This poor little house had no privacy, but I’m getting ready to change that!
I took down the half fence, laid flagstone and you can see the fence posts going in.
The area around the house is not big, but with this fun courtyard and a small grassy area to sit in, I think it’ll be charming.
I like that the entry has a covered porch, with a iron pole holding it up! However, I’ll make it better than this is now.
Oh my goodness! The new fence really adds to this house. Now there is a fun yard that someone can actually enjoy with privacy!
I added a couple garden boxes with perennial plants to soften the sitting area.
What a difference the fence makes. It’s rustic and private.
Next is the new siding and Cedar scallopped accents. No more cinderblock visible!
With the new siding, cedar and roof, some perennial gardens will make this space inviting.
This is an entry I want to see when I arrive at this house!
My gardens mature and the house slowly feels vintage again with some upgrades.
I kept the original cabinets, but lost the Chrome legs holding the upper cabinets up. The coutertops and bathroom got new tile, new vinyl flooring, new appliances and fresh paint.
I used this house for a guest house for a couple years for my visiting family, but eventually decided to try short term rental. It’s the first house I converted to STR and it’s been a favorite for my guests since 2015.
Now, the dining area is welcoming and sits on top of new flooring running throughout the whole house.
I painted all the trim White and changed the interior doors to be more modern.
The house is only about 500 square feet, but is well laid out to feel open.
I made this headboard from cedar fence pickets and some stain. I love rustic and it works well in Colorado for visiting guests.
The yard is now inviting and fresh with sod, cedar and perennial gardens.
This house is for rent on VRBO, listing #749810.

Culture Baby, Strange and Wonderful!

Christian Dior exhibit at Denver Art Museum with my sister, Susie. So stylish!
Dior gown. The pattern is actually beaded onto the gown, making it look see through.
The hand beading on both these gowns is A-MA-ZING!
And look at this confection. It’s hard to see how this is a dress.
Another stunning gown.

Today I live in the city, but I grew up in the mountains. I get back to my hometown, Gunnison pretty regularly. I still have family there and always enjoy getting away.

Arriving at Garlic Mike’s restaurant with friend, Janice Welborn.
A fundraiser for Six Points in Gunnison at Garlic Mike’s restaurant. Among other prizes, we bid on and won a stay at the Treadway Cabin in historic Tincup, CO. Here, we’re making arrangements for our trip.
Scenic drive by Taylor Reservoir with the Collegiate peaks in the distance on the way to Tincup.
The Treadway cabin where we stayed for 2 nights in Tincup, CO.
We had family come visit one afternoon, enjoying the fall colors and afternoon sun.
Happy hour at the Firepit behind the cabin.
A daytrip to Tincup Cemetary. Separated by religion, 4 knolls make up the cemetery; Catholic Knoll, Protestant Knoll, Jewish knoll and Boot hill, where the businesswoman and well loved cook, Kate Fisher is buried.
Cumberland Pass between Tincup and Pitkin. It’s windy up there!
The porch swing was my favorite seat.

My first consideration is clean up!

I had my landscaper scrape away all the weeds and debris in the walkways.
They lined the walkways with weed barrier fabric.
I used a decomposed granite material called Breeze. I love this product! It comes in several colors, I used natural. Once it’s spread out over the weed barrier, you water it down and it forms a crust. It’s clean and super low maintenance.

So much cleaner with the breeze down!
Moving from 2000 sf to 893 sf is tricky! And with no garage, everything lands on the back porch.
With the new garden shed, I have a place for all my stuff!
All my stuff landed and then gets sorted out between storage and my new smaller bungalow.
The tiny kitchen was remodeled in 2012. I plan to replace the back door with a patio slider.

Now, to make the exterior interesting!

The first thing I had to do was to take out the concrete porch and walkway from the city sidewalk to the front of the house.
Where the concrete walkway used to be.
My awesome neighbor split the cost of a new cedar fence with me. We both are happy to see the chain link fence gone!
The new fence looks clean and tidy.
I also had the walkway made wider, 4′.
Garden boxes are removed and a stubborn tree stump dug out.
This whole landing, where the concrete porch was, sat higher than the rest of the yard.
This is just ugly and beat up. I can’t wait to turn this space into a feature instead of an eyesore outside my kitchen window!

The old slab where the garage once stood is badly cracked. I used about half the slab (on the right) as a base for a garden shed with an added concrete ramp for my wheel barrow! The rest of the concrete will come out and be replaced with Breeze, my wonder material!

These guys work hard! Landscaping and construction is physical work and I appreciate the help getting these projects knocked out!

The jackhammer was super loud, so I took this pic through the window (and screen). These are the guy’s at Spartan Landscaping breaking up the concrete. Perfect way to start my morning…

Then weed barrier and Breeze.
The yard is a rubik’s cube right now until I get everything done and can start the fun part of decorating and setting up!

Temporarily using this space for all my big planter pots and fire pit until the siding is up on the house. Then, I’ll place the pots around the front and side yard of the house under the arbor.

I took an opportunity to get away from all the construction to go look for flagstone. I bought this 1/2 pallet of flagstone steppers.
And a 5′ x 18″ x 6″ step for the front door. The step was $275, but worth it to make the front door look more welcoming. It turns out, I’ll need a 2nd step for the front.
Once the concrete was removed, we discovered there was no foundation under the entry. That’s not what you want to find!
The excavation shows things previously unknown. I like to say ” Everything takes longer and costs more than expected” And this project reinforces my theory.

David poured concrete with wood footers to support the front entry. Once it cured, he added wood supports between the entry and the concrete footer, then wrapped it with moisture barrier. In the 2 days the entry had no support, my wood floors inside were falling through the bottom of the porch inside. Geez!

Reinforced entry with moisture barrier. You can see the original wood siding at the side and bottom of the entry.

They got the breeze laid down and I didn’t like how the area where the concrete was taken out was higher than the rest of the space. Kinda like a bubble outside the front door. So the landscaper had to scrape the Breeze off of the weed barrier and take out a lot more dirt to make it level in front of the door. Then they put the barrier and Breeze back down. I used pieces of flagstone to make a walkway around the front and sides of the house. All the upside down recycling bins are covering big holes where the arbor posts will go.

After they removed more dirt, the whole front and side are level. The 2nd flagstone step is on order.

Because we removed so much dirt from in front of the door, I had to buy another Flagstone step, which I had to order and wait for delivery. This shows the landing where the 2nd step will sit, just outside the front door to the house on top of the first flagstone step.

Placing 6×6 cedar posts for the arbor.

David had a great trick to pour dry concrete mix and water into a tarp. 2 guys would stand on both sides of the tarp and “mix” the powder and water by swishing it around in the tarp then pour it into the holes. Pretty smart!

Once the posts were in, they built supports to keep them straight until the concrete cured- overnight.
It already looks so much cleaner!
When the siding is removed you can see the back of the lathe and plaster interior walls. Very cool to see the way houses were built in the 1930’s.

Headers for the arbor will be attached directly to the support studs of the house. When they removed the old siding we discovered very old and limited insulation in the walls. Another unexpected expense!

Once the headers where up, David began installing the rafters on the arbor.
All the hardware and brackets had to be sprayed Black as they were galvanized originally.
Finally, the space is fresh! It feels like a place to hang out. No more concrete pad, just breeze and cedar. Love it!
The arbor and landscaping are done in the front! Can’t wait for new siding!