Labor Of Love

It’s hard to believe our remodeling rollercoaster started with a DIY fireplace remodel!  And although the cottage is small the project ride never seems to end. The great room was one of the reason why we bought this cottage.  It’s open space and vaulted ceiling gives the illusion that the space is so much larger than it is.  Come on inside and see what we started with. 

Adding rustic and family friendly charm to the Itsy Bitsy Lakeside Cottage

Adding rustic and family friendly charm to the Itsy Bitsy Lakeside CottageDrinks On The Dock

Weekends are not complete without our cocktails! Carried throughout the cottage are the wood tones. The Gray Street Server was the perfect storage solution. It has a durable concrete inlay top that can take a beating and any kind of spill washes right up. The weathered gray wood adds to that rustic charm we love.  Not only does it store our bar, entertaining items and large serving platters, it houses all our games and fishing tackle. After all we, have no Wi-Fi, no cable and virtually no TV or radio reception… And that’s OK. It’s good to unplug every once in a while. The fireplace DIY makeover at the Itsy Bitsy Cottage

A DIY Fireplace Remodel

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the pot belly cast iron stove sat in the middle of room and was not up to code. I knew that I did not want anything to protrude into the room taking up all the valuable real estate so we decided on a gas fireplace insert. Here’s the progression of the fireplace remodel:

After we removed the massive pot belly stove this was left to demo.
The fireplace DIY makeover at the Itsy Bitsy Cottage
Adding plywood base and wooden corbel shelves to hold the mantel.

Fabulous Finds

I found these great shelves at HomeGoods for $29.99 over the winter.   My carpenter mentioned that if I was to go to a mill shop they would be over $100 each. They were black originally and were too heavy looking so I gave them a whitewash with a coat of white paint. Making sure that the black showed through a bit. They would serves as the fireplace corbels. We would use the reclaimed floorboards as the mantle and I purchased pebble stones sheets from Home Depot for the fireplace surround.

The fireplace DIY makeover at the Itsy Bitsy Cottage
Using Carrera marble pebble stone sheets for fireplace surround. Easy to cut the sheets and fill in holes with single stones.

The pebble tile around the fireplace along with the kitchen tile were to be my first stab at any sort of tile work.  Continuing to accent with wooden elements I found a gorgeous mirror also HomeGoods to add above the mantle and bounce light back into the room. Although the fireplace is rarely turned on, just in the Spring and the Fall to cut the cold chill it still seems to be a focal point of the cottage. Next up the kitchen! Thanks so much for following along! xoxo Amie


The before picture. No place to put any furniture with the stove in the center.
The before picture. No place to put any furniture with the stove in the center.


  1. Reply


    October 17, 2016

    Can you tell me where you found that beautiful sofa fabric? It would be perfect in my lake home!

    • Reply


      October 17, 2016

      Hello Terri- The fabric in the sleeper sofa is a tan duct twill. It came with the sofa from Raymour and Flanigan. I just looked on their site and they do not carry that style sofa but the fabric is very simple and I would think widely available. It perfect for wet bathing suits and sandy feet! Hides everything.

  2. Reply

    Kate Torres

    April 21, 2017

    What is the color on your walls in the living room?

    • Reply


      April 22, 2017

      Hi Kate The walls were painted Offshore Mist by Behr Paints. Its a great color.

  3. Reply


    February 5, 2023

    Where did you buy your pebble stone sheets? What did you use for adhesive? What did you use for grout? It looks great!

    • Reply


      February 7, 2023

      We purchased them from Home Depot and used an ordinary tile adhesive and used white grout… It was our first time and jsut bought materials from Home Depot off the shelf

Leave a comment

Related Posts

Amie Freling

"Life's too short for white walls .." Amie Freling-Brown, a Rochester, NY-based designer and artist who transforms ho-hum spaces into works of art. Her creative designs can be found in many fine homes, restaurants and businesses. Her work has been featured in national magazines, on HGTV and has been sold through retailers nationwide from True Value Hardware to Nordstroms. She proudly offers such professional services as design, staging, color consultations and fine art.

Amie Ferling Real Estate

Never Miss A Post

Sign up for new post notifications

Web Stories
HOME SELLING TIPS Historic Hotel Utica 10 Basement remodeling TIPS Staged to SELL Lake Cottage Renovation Plans Light & bright LAKE HOME Painting Kitchen Cabinets Cayuga Lake Renovation Modern Farmhouse KITCHEN Choosing PAINT COLORS METAL ROOF Inspiration OUR BITTERSWEET MOVE Mid Century Modern FLIP OUTDOOR FURNITURE finds ZIP CODE pillows PRINCESS PLAYHOUSE Confessions of a SERIAL DECORATOR Summer DIY PROJECTS COASTAL INSPIRED HOME design OPEN FLOOR PLAN Great Room