What a little bit of ingenuity and hard work can accomplish: Our cottage kitchen renovation story
Our vintage 1940's cottage kitchen at Summer Pines Cottage with an antique farmhouse cast iron sink was charming but it wasn't very functional for cooking so we decided to renovate the kitchen over this past winter. We were working with a tight budget and knew that we would need to do some of the work ourselves and try to source the materials in creative ways. We started by taking down the cabinets ourselves with a crowbar - an easy and strangely satisfying task. We found another happy home for the farmhouse sink and decided to tackle taking up the tile flooring next. After many long hours with hammers and not much progress, we realized that we had to turn the tile removal and refinishing the nice old wood floors to professionals who had the expertise and the right equipment for the job. That done, we set about looking for cabinets. We were lucky to find a Boston couple on CL selling their beautiful, fairly new kitchen as they were tearing down their house and rebuilding. Their only requirement (besides cash) was that we helped them take down their cabinets and appliances, so off we went to their house with hammers in hand. It was a long and hard process but we did learn how to use a crowbar and reverse electric screwdriver. We also learned that granite countertops are VERY heavy! That done, we shuttled each cabinet and appliance down to the Cape and drew up the plan of our new kitchen using the measurements of the cabinets and the space. We enlisted the help of a very talented carpenter to creatively build around the cabinets we had so that it all looked built in. He created a large island on wheels with some extra cabinets and added cabinets above the stove, fridge and washer and dryer for a "built in" look. We found matching paint and painted all the new pieces to match the cabinets. Due to the tight space, I had to forgo a sliding barn door to hide the washer and dryer but found that a curtain did the trick and added to the cottage feel. Wanting a clean look, we found the deep sink, smaller profile european faucet and white quartz countertops at IKEA. Add some rush stools and cottage decor and we were done - only took from October to March!
Planning a romantic getaway this spring to enjoy the Cape without the crowds? Here are some great spring events that couples might enjoy in April and May on the Cape. Come stay at Summer Pines Cottage and enjoy - we still have availabilities both these weekends~
Toast of Harwich on April 27th is a fun night of casual elegance with terrific food and wine and an auction at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club. http://harwichcc.com/cape-cod-vacation/2018-toast-of-harwich
April 28th is The Festival of Museums, a free one-day celebration of Cape Cod’s museums and galleries offering a fun packed day of surprising and exciting events and activities. http://capecodmuseumtrail.com/current-promotions
May 4th-6th is Brewster Blooms, a free 3-day festival with a 2-day juried fine arts and crafts show, a Cape Cod 5 Bloom Run, an antiques and arts excursion to many fine galleries and a Friday night band concert followed by a town parade on Sunday. http://www.Brewsterblooms.com
One of the most iconic pieces made on Cape Cod is The Cape Cod Bracelet or sometimes called The Cape Cod Screwball ® Bracelet. This simple silver bracelet with either a silver or gold ball are seen all over the world and most recently on The Batchelorette. The story behind the original bracelet is a panacea for this day and age of internet shopping. Each bracelet is made lovingly by hand by Dennis-based Eden Hand Works. The original bracelet was designed and crafted by former teacher turned silversmith John Carey in the 1970's. At first, it was bought by a few people in the Dennis area but its popularity took off around 2000 when a Dennis native actress wore it on a TV show. Carey died in 2012 and now Eden is run by his daughter and his son-in-law creates the bracelets. The little one room store, formally a garage, on Route 6A in Dennis only does direct sales with cash and checks - no credit cards, no mail orders and no internet. Demand is such that the store offers tickets for a time to come to the store to purchase your bracelet and the line is often around the block during the summer. There have been many knock offs so recently Eden has added a silver tag with the Eden logo to each piece they sell. If you have an original Eden bracelet, you can bring your bracelet to the store and once confirmed that it is authentic, you can purchase the tag to add to your bracelet. They are open starting in June and as a big supporter of local Cape Cod businesses, I plan to be there with my daughter to purchase our own Eden Cape Cod bracelets~
“Life should be a search for Truth and Beauty, all else is mere existence.” —John Carey, 1984
Some people immediately think of the pilgrims as the first people to settle on Cape Cod but as many of the Cape's village and place names remind us, it was the Native Americans who first lived here. At least 5,000 years ago, The Nauset people sometimes referred to as the Cape Cod Indians, lived in what is present-day Cape Cod, living east of Bass River and lands occupied by their closely related neighbors, the Wampanoag. Although no longer distinct as a tribe, most of the Mashpee Wampanoag band are descended from Nauset people, who currently number 1,100 people and are federally recognized as Wampganoag meaning "Easterners" or "People of the Dawn. It was the Native American who taught the colonists who ventured back to settle on the Cape after establishing themselves at Plymouth, how to strip the blubber of whales who stranded on the beaches. Although the last native speakers of their Massachusett language, Wôpanâak,died more than 100 years ago, since 1993 Wampanoag people have been working on a language revival project and have produced new native speakers. Before the pilgrims arrived, the Native Americans had already named many areas, which encompassed the Cape's piney woods, rolling dunes and sandy shores. The original name of Hyannis is of Indian derivation as are many of the Cape towns. This original Indian name was Iyannough, in honor of the young sachem who first received and welcomed the colonists. The name has since gone through modifications of Janno, lanno, Hyanno, and finally Hyannis which still has the flavor of Indian syllables. So as you go over the Sagamore bridge to visit places like Hyannis, Poponesset, Mashpee, Sippewissett, Pocasset, or Nauset Beach or take a drive on 6A, once a Native American trail, stop a moment to appreciate that long ago the special Cape beauty and natural surroundings inspired others to name and choose it as their own.
My December post usually has holiday events that take place on the Cape but this year I simply want to wish all of you peace, well-being and hope that wherever your holiday plans take you ~ that you spend them with those you love.
Cape Cod has lots of events in November to kick off the holiday season and one of the nicest ones is the Heritage Gardens Aglow event at the Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich. Carousel rides, Santa visits, reindeer scavenger hunts and marshmallow-roasting all take place within the 12 miles of the gardens and grounds strewn with twinkling holiday lights.
The Cape is a very well-known destination for visitors during the summer months but locals and those in-the-know have a favorite season on the Cape ~ Fall. September and October are widely considered the most beautiful time to be on the Cape. The summer crowds are gone and those lucky enough to be here have the Cape to themselves. Birds sing in trees without the noise of cars to drown them out, coyotes walk down the middle of the street unhindered, couples walk hand in hand on wide expanses of open beaches and gather at the bar or around the fireplace of uncrowded restaurants. The days are glorious and warm, the nights cool and if you are lucky - the fog rolls in just around cocktail hour...
As photos of the massive damage Hurricane Harvey left in Texas stream in and we wait with baited breath for the now Cat 4 Hurricane Irma's arrival in Southern Florida this weekend, some of you might wonder about Cape Cod's vulnerability to hurricanes. A Cat 4 or 5 hurricane has never had a direct hit on the Cape but since 1851, ten Cat 1, 2 and 3 hurricanes have touched Massachusett's shores. One of the most famous ones was The Great Hurricane of 1938 (sometimes called The Long Island Express because it landed on Long Island, RI and CT first) which made landfall on Cape Cod on September 21, 1938. It is estimated that the hurricane killed over 600 people, damaged more than 57,000 homes, and caused property losses estimated at $306 million throughout New England. The surge from that hurricane also left the town of Falmouth on the upper cape under eight feet of water. All attention, hurricane warning and preparation is (rightly) focused on Florida and the Southern states as Hurricane Irma arrives there, but it is possible that the tail end of Irma could reach Cape Cod as some rain by Thursday of next week. Stay dry~
I am a designer and Cape native who loves cottage style, simple, small house living and guiding people to the hidden treasures