Doug and I started taking pictures of our beach cottage before we even bought it, and we knew that once we were finished we wanted to create a photo book on Picaboo.
We had a lot of good photos--scattered everywhere from our phones to our computers and my iPad--but we didn't have a good set of "after" photos that were truly after--a lot of them were transitional shots taken before we bought that sign we couldn't resist at a yard sale, hung that last picture over a doorway, or added that last throw pillow to the bed.
I also couldn't get past the idea of how houses always look so perfect in the after shots in magazines. The befores are always dingy, dirty, and depressing, while the afters are perfection--no trash cans, kitty scratching posts, or dog-eared magazines in sight.
So this weekend, since my talented husband is not only a hardcore DIYer but also a skilled professional photographer, I booked him for a professional shoot.
We moved all those unsightly things from one room to another and carefully "styled" everything, including a beautiful deep-red watermelon cut and carefully placed on the counter. Here's the finished kitchen:
And screened porch:
We bought most of the furnishings and accessories at yard sales and thrift stores, got donations from friends, and even picked things up along the road.
Doug made our headboard and kitchen shelves from old doors and our kitchen countertops from a discarded laboratory bench. I made the quilts folded on the backs of the couches and covering our bed, and I sewed the curtains in our bedroom and the one across the opening below the sink from thrifted fabric. We splurged on a few things, including LED under-counter lighting for the kitchen, LL Bean lamps for the porch, and the LL Bean futon in the dining room. The rugs are new, but they came at bargain prices from overstock.com. We also bought new appliances, except for the stove, which came with the cottage.
As for the photo book, I'm afraid I'm getting a little carried away--I'm up to 54 pages already and haven't finished yet. In addition to the new photos Doug took, we have sunrises and sunsets, beaches and marshes, the dog and the cat, and of course all of those horrible before pictures that I didn't include here because I've already showed them too many times.
And this one is a must:
For the first time in our lives, we were filling a Dumpster instead of diving in one.