Design by: Debbie Mathews

It has been almost two years since I wrote Linville Living Part II and much has happened during that time. Since being asked by so many about the progress on my mountain cottage, I am pleased to report that it is now complete and very much embodies the vision I created in early 2020. However, that progress did not come easy and was full of roadblocks and hurdles like so many others faced during the crazy time of COVID.

Our initial renovation was nearing completion in early May of 2021 after almost nine months of work.  Several Spring weekend trips allowed us to unpack most of our belongings and settle in. While we were still waiting on a number of back ordered items as well as a new refrigerator we were thrilled with the results and planning for the season ahead.  Our next trip to Linville was to celebrate the Memorial Weekend holiday and much to my husband’s surprise  he quickly discovered upon arrival that our refrigerator hose had burst. Water was everywhere and our Living Room (which is sunken) was acting as a reservoir / swimming pool! Water had likely been running in our kitchen for close to two weeks which necessitated us bringing in a disaster relief company to help us cope with the aftermath. Sadly, our beautiful cottage had suffered greatly and needed to have the drywall, cabinetry, and hardwood floors removed in all rooms with the exception of the bedrooms. We were devastated and could not believe our misfortune – we essentially needed to renovate the entire home for a second time!

This is our living room once the hardwood floors and baseboards were removed.

After the pity party ended and my tears had dried, it was time to get back to the business of counting our blessings and jump into action. We first had to move all of our furniture into a storage unit in Boone, North Carolina, as well as create a makeshift kitchen so that we could prepare meals during the winter months when many restaurants are closed.  As far as blessings, there were many including  our insurance company  agreeing to cover the entire cost of putting our home back together. This second renovation included all new kitchen cabinetry which we didn’t have before and I was finally going to get a real range hood instead of the faux cabinets that were above the range when we moved in. We now have all new hardwood floors that actually match as opposed to differing oak species that blended but were not perfect. The bottom line is that we lost almost an entire year of enjoying our mountain cottage but we have ended up with a much better end product to enjoy for the long haul and special memories of our makeshift kitchen. 

Our kitchen before the flood
Our final kitchen

I always tell my clients not to rush the design process because great things take time, and this certainly proved true in my own life as well. The additional year of renovations gave me more time to focus on the design details that might have otherwise been overlooked. In life, like a home renovation project, if you look hard enough there is almost always a silver lining!

While there have definitely been highs and lows with our cottage renovation project, I am now able to enjoy the fruits of those labors and trevails. I love enjoying cocktails on the screened porch, experimenting with the gardens in the backyard, hiking in the woods with friends, and most of all listening to the sounds of nature.  

I look forward to sharing with you my personal cottage designs and inspiration next and hope you will continue to follow along as we explore Linville Living!

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