Monday, June 17, 2013

Beachaven in Bloom- Another Tale of Before and After

Mr. Grand and I just returned from a few nice days 
We had some serious fun with friends on the beach 
and at dinner outside on their deck. 
Good times.  

And Mr. Grand was busy planting the new little garden patch in front of our cottage.
We've never had a sunny garden space before, so we're learning as we go. 

This little sunny garden patch was made possible 
by the recent replacement of the awful, old sidewalks at Beachaven.

I am pretty sure that I drove all of our neighbors insane for the last several years 
trying to convince them that the location and condition of the old sidewalk 
was in desperate need of change.

Ok, maybe it was just me that was desperate for the change, but you be the judge!
See how the old sidewalk was jammed up against the decks of the cottages? 

And the condition of the old sidewalk... uneven, unsafe and incredibly ugly.

(That first lovely deck on the left was ours, before Mr. Grand built us a new one.)

Here's how I talked our neighbors into the new sidewalk.
I used my limited photoshopping skills to turn this picture-

Into this one

in order to demonstrate how nice a curvy new sidewalk could look.

Thanks to my brother Paul for the idea...
I think the picture of my sweet dog, Burly, really helped sell the plan.

Well, I guess I finally wore everyone down 
and they all agreed to spring for new concrete!


In truth, there were several owners that also really wanted to do this
and we all worked together to get it done.

Here is the new sidewalk just after it was completed in the fall of 2011.

It had to get uglier before it got better.
It was a big, messy job.
But worth it, I think.

Each cottage now has an area between the decks and the sidewalk to plant as they please.
And we all have a little more space and privacy.
Not to mention a much nicer sidealk.

I'm throwing this picture in so you can see the cottage, Before.
Before everything.

To this day, I cannot believe that I talked Mr. Grand into buying this place!!!

But look at it now...
Here's the side view of the new deck and the flowers we planted there in 2010.
They've had a few summers to get established.

The grass around the new sidewalk has been repaired
and we've planted lots of perennials in the front now, too.

Lots more blue Rose of Sharon, Quick Fire Hydrangeas, Heuchera and Coneflowers.
Our fingers are crossed that they love it at Beachaven as much as we do....

So much prettier now...

(Remember the Before???)

Still makes me shudder...

We also replaced the concrete patios and the sidewalks between the cottages.

Here's the Before of the back entrance to our cottage,
complete with the previous owner's lovely shed on the left.

Fast forward a few years
and, Voila!

The shed is gone, the cottage is remodeled, the concrete is replaced
and the outside shower is now in a much nicer neighborhood!
You can read about the outside shower that Mr. Grand built here.
I think it's one of our favorite projects, EVER.

This year, we are finally looking forward to a summer at the lake 
with no major projects to do!
That'll be a first!

Linking to:
The Scoop at Cedar Hill Ranch
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Fabulously Creative Link Party at Jennifer Rizzo
Oh The Places I've Been at The Tablescaper

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  1. I am so happy for you that you wore your neighbors The sidewalk and the lovely flowers make you cottage a dream come true! What a beautiful place you have created!

  2. Bring on the sun and warmth so you can enjoy some Michigan lake time! Happy your sidewalk replacement vision was one the other cottage owners agreed upon . . . Charming indeed and love the garden areas you have created!

    Curious, do you have lake access in front of the cottage with sandy beach . . . The view is enough, believe me! Looking out through the trees, a comfy lounge chair, perfect weather day, a good book . . . you have turned the shabby into stunning . . .

  3. Oh, what a lovely little cottage!!! You were indeed persuasive to convince Mr. Grand to buy something that looked like that. But I bet he's as tickled to have it now as you.

  4. What they said! Your little cottage is the dreamiest. And the new sidewalks and flowerbeds are the frosting on the cupcake.

  5. What a beautiful place! I love all your improvements. I'm a new follower. Come over for a visit. :) Off to look at older posts.

  6. Great what can be accomplished when folks get together...looks amazing!

  7. I'm over from Kim's party....your cottage is simply adorable....but what does the inside look like????.....Would love to see what you have done inside...I bet it's as cute as the outside!!

  8. How beautiful! I'd love to see the inside too. Please post it!!

    Visiting from Wow us Wednesdays

  9. Such a darling cottage! I too would love to see the inside! ~Delores

  10. Your cottage is absolutely adorable, and curves are always better! Loving your blog! I am your newest follower. I found you through Savvy Southern Style. Hope you can hop over to my blog sometime.
    Thanks, Patty

  11. I'm very impressed. You had the foresight to see the potential in changing that ugly sidewalk AND you got it done! Gorgeous gardens, too.Following along now!
    Cindy @

  12. beautiful. Night and day difference. Enjoy the summer

  13. Wow, how special to have a cottage on the lake and such gorgeous views. I know it must be so much fun to spend time there and such a great outdoor shower.

  14. Wow, just beautiful! You have done yourself proud with your little cottage. I am from Mi and live very close to Lake MI. It is a beautiful place to summer. We do a great deal of traveling along the shores during the summer months. Enjoy your lovely cottage. Thanks for sharing it with us. Love,Wanda

  15. Burley totally helped to sell the plan!! I am so jealous of your beach house ... and am packing my bags now. I should be there in about an hour-and-a-half or so. And my friend Kim @Serendipity Refined wants to come too!!!

    :) Linda

  16. What a transformation-it looks fabulous!

  17. I love the curvy sidewalks - it certainly is a vast improvement and the flowers add such a peaceful scene.

  18. the sidewalk looks great and you have done a wonderful job transforming your cottage.

  19. Your cottage is wonderful, looks like a movie set. The sidewalks looks great, a fantastic transformation. The water looks so inviting--a very picturesque place to be.

  20. Erin, I adore your cottage!! I don't think I've seen the front before, just the back with the fabulous outdoor shower. The flowers look pretty and you were wise to convince everyone else on the new sidewalk. Huge improvement. Looks like a wonderful place to vacation! Your cottage is just adorable!!

  21. This is adorable and the view so nice. Love all the trees. The sidewalk really added a lot. Love it. Susan @

  22. Erin, your home is just beautiful! I love, love the side walk !!


  23. Erin just discovered your site...magical..I have always wanted to live on a lake. It will never happen but looking at yours gets me day dreaming. You are right new path SO much better. I have gone back to older post and love how you have transformed' that " into aa adorable get a away, what am I saying I would stay ......

  24. Erin, that looks so much better. Good for you driving them nuts till they caved!

  25. Oh my gosh!!! I love this!!! I don't even know where to begin. First of all, I grew up in St. Joseph Michigan and Lake Michigan is one of my most favorite places on earth. My dream is to have a little lake cottage of my own... doesn't have to be huge just a lovely little cottage that can be my family's getaway. Looking at these pictures makes me miss home a bit {I recently move to North Carolina}, and inspires me even more for my own little cottage on the beach. What you did here is amazing. Keep us posted on your summer and any more progress.. and most importantly ENJOY it! Thanks so much for sharing... your newest follower.

  26. Oh, you must be so excited! It is a beautiful spot! and you have accomplished so much....beautiful! Lovely flowers, paths, patios, painting...I am so happy for you.

  27. What a lovely sidewalk! It's amazing how much charm a curved walkway adds to your property. I replaced our 1921 curved sidewalk with a brick sidewalk in the same footprint against everybody's advice and I'm not sorry in the least! You've done an amazing job with your lakeside cottage.

  28. Beautiful place. I live Michigan. Can I come visit you!!!!!

  29. I love the new walkway leading to the paradise of the lake Michigan shores! It looks great - everything does! I was wondering if I can add your link for your outdoor shower on a post I am doing on them for Piers and Chandeliers. Please let me know - I would really appreciate it.
    Best Regards,
    Erin (Piers and Chandeliers)

  30. Hi Erin!
    Hope you had a great 4th of July! Here is the post from Piers and Chandeliers. Thanks again!
    Best Regards,

  31. Super cozy!!! Pinned:)

  32. Wow! Really awesome before and after. That new sidewalk evokes thoughts of a nice stroll on a beautiful summer night. Great job.

  33. Wow! Really awesome before and after. That new sidewalk evokes thoughts of a nice stroll on a beautiful summer night. Great job.


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