Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lake Sunapee Cabin-Cottage-Cabin-Cottage

Before I continue reminiscing about my old log cabin.....
Let me first point out a
I host a Q&A on the FIRST TUESDAY of each month.

This past Tuesday, I put up the form to ask questions.
NOBODY pointed out to me that
it was the middle of the month!!!!!
Now I figure that you guys were either being
too scared of me to say anything.....
or you didn't notice either, 'cuz you're as brain dead as I am!!!!!

So don't expect any answers next Tuesday...
it is the 
(so I will be taking questions.....
because that is what the FIRST TUESDAY is for!!!!!)

Now back to my cabin.....
Back in 1985,
 I thought it would be a good idea to buy a home on water.
So first I looked along the ocean on the north shore of Massachusetts,
only to find that anything in my price range
 was next to some hovel with a car up on cinder blocks in the side yard.

That's not a look I'm crazy about.....,
so I decided to go farther afield into the neighboring state of New Hampshire.
I heard of Lake Sunapee through some friends,
so thought it would be interesting to look up there.
(Going for an "On Golden Pond vibe")
I checked out the newspaper for properties for sale,
saw something and called the real estate agent.
And he said.....
"The property in the ad wouldn't appeal to me,
but to....
I walked in and went straight for the screened in porch....
And bought the damn place.
Knowing nothing about the area, the lake, the mountain, the people, the activities, the flora or the fauna......,
I still buy property the same way.....
When I see something I like, I'm so afraid someone else will snatch it from under my nose, that I don't take the time to really research it.
Doesn't matter that this house had been on the market 
It just takes one other person to want it, and ruin all my fantasies.

I didn't have to do much to get it to what I wanted it to be.
reroof it
varnish the outside
redo the kitchen and the bath
put in an artisian well
refinish the floors
put in skylights, cuz it was so dark inside
winterize it 
add another floor downstairs with a bedroom, bath and study
put in new windows
add a laundry area
repoint the fireplace
replace the floor on the screened porch
add storm panels for the screened porch
put in a new driveway by regrading the hill, so a car could actually get down to the cabin.....
add a deck
redo the stairs to the lake
add Adirondacks railings to the deck and stairs 
put in a stone terrace 

You may have not noticed, but I like to collect 
themes of stuff!!!!!
So I started acquiring Black Forest bears.

From the European Alps to the American Rockies, Black Forest carvings are timeless works of art that celebrate nature and mountain living.
Their name causes abit of geographic confusion—they are often mistakenly associated with the BlackForest of Germany but are in fact from Brienz, Switzerland. 

And according to Wikipedia
Wood-carving is a traditional cottage industry in the region and carved ornaments now are produced in substantial numbers as souvenirs for tourists. Cuckoo clocks are a popular example; they have been made in the region since the early eighteenth century and much of their development occurred there.

All I know is I bough a whole $%& load of them.....
I had to blow up pictures of my magazine article, so they are

Notice the big bear outside the window......
I got it in Rutland Vermont, on the way back from visiting my parents up in the Adirondacks.
It's a wonderful example of chain saw art, 
a truly
American type of folk art....

But lets go back to the screened porch, because that is definitely the most wonderful space in the cabin.
In the evening.....
with the sun setting over the lake.....
sitting on the little wicker loveseat.....
with a good lowbrow paperback and
a bag of Chexmix
(shesh, look at how young I was.....OY!!!)

As I mentioned.....
the living room was so dark, that I put in two skylights to add much needed sunlight.
That's one of the biggest disadvantages about having a porch off a room, it cuts down on daylight getting in the windows.
I struggled with the idea of painting the wood white,
which would have really lightened up the room.
But the thought of covering that wonderful honey color was something I couldn't face.....

The kitchen was another black pit.
One of the reasons I don't have a before shot, is because the room was so dark, my Polaroid....
 (yes, that's how long ago this was!!!!)
couldn't get an image.
So on Tuesday, I will pick up at this point,
and tell you all about the kitchen,
and other good $%&.

Latah Gatah
Partying at
mop it up mondaysSunday's Best Button{nifty button}DIY Show OffBoogieboard CottageUndertheTableandDreamingBetween Naps On the PorchButton copyMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaButtonNo Minimalist Here
shabby creek cottagePhotobucketSABlink-partyFrench Country Cottage2805vif187good oneNatasha In Oz


Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Okay, so I remember this article and LOVED it. I'm sure it's in my archives somewhere. I'm absolutely sure I still have the issue itself. But my magazines have become unruly--a bit like my recent life. Of course I didn't know then how funny you are. I don't remember $%& in the article!

Honey at 2805 said...

What a gorgeous place! It's fun watching this story unfold and can't wait to see the rest of this project.

Don't worry about the brain freeze thing, it we are really honest, it happens to all of us!

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, I'm know for sure I saw this article on your cabin! I remember all the bears! You're so cute sitting on your little sofa. Now will you tell us if you sold the cabin and if you sold it with all the little cabiny furnishings?
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Linda in AZ * said...

*** Betsy,I recently "found" you & was laughing, I think, before I even finished the first sentence... SOOOO naturally I signed up to receive a notice whenever you posted something new... & I'm SOOOOO glad I did!!!

I R*E*M*E*M*B*E*R all of this, your "cabin w/ the bears", sooooo wellllllll!!! I had LOVED your place then, & seeing the pics just now made me smile & feel all good n' warm inside~~~ (and OLLLLLD, too, dang it all!!!)...

We had a dream come true about 7 years ago when we built (well, "HAD" built!) a small ski place in Park City, UT for a lil' winter skiing & to get away from the desert heat of our new "retirement" home in St. George. When we moved to Tucson (Yep, Jim last only 14 months in "retirement"!), we sold both places, and I've always missed our fab get-away-place... BIG TIME!!! (I had just reeeeally "finished" the place & was soooo pleased w the way it had turned out!)...

Now FF to LAST WEEKEND~~~ we found a GREAT LOT, IN the mountains & "on" the golf course... Haven't worked out all the details yet, but I get to design the place & I'm SOOOOO EXCITED about that!!!... I want to keep it smaller, under 2000 sq. ft. or so~~~ we WILL need "ENOUGH" room tho, as we'll want to have friends come visit for golf and/or "snow"... I simply cannot WAIT, but have NO IDEA "WHERE" to start! I KNOW we want no/or as FEW as possible stairs, LOTS of big windows for lots of light, a rustic but not overly-so FEEL (like we had in Park City) & will concentrate mainly on an open floor plan, but with a few "comfy lil' spots for one", for reading, resting, dreaming, etc...

Since your place was one of THE first cabins I ever fell madly in love with, can/might you suggest WHERE to start, besides reading everything I can about designing this get-away? (I became hooked on rustic "bear things" for the PC place, JUST because of you, & they've been mostly in boxes in storage for the last 7 1/2 years!!!)..

Love, love LOVE coming her~~~ THANK YOU for what you write, and the incredibly DELIGHTFUL HUMOROUS way you do it!

Linda in AZ *

laney said...

...i just keep finding things about you to love...first you make me laugh...second you love cabbage roses (and are brave enough to say so in this present age)... third you love lakes and mountains and cabins...and find out you love those black forest bears...of which i have only two...that my granddaddy brought back from germany after ww2...more more more...blessings laney

Anonymous said...

Love the breakfast area of your kitchen-please post more photos of your cabin!

Ramblings of a Southern Girl ~ Rhonda G said...

I'm new to your blog, so the cabin and bears are new to me! :) But I can say, your investment and hardwork certainly paid off! The lake home is gorgeous!!! Can't wait to see more!

Anonymous said...


At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Love that trim on the left side of the picture of the kitchen. Could you show it close up in one of your pictures? Seems from reading your blog you are a contrary ole gal like me, so I don't think I will get my wish, but here's hoping! Your blog reads like a good conversation with an old friend, truly enjoyable.

Sandy said...

Love all the black bears. Every time I see one I whine about it to my Hubby but they are so large we have had no way of getting them home. Well, on one trip I found a black bear that Hubby couldn't say no to and bought it home. I should blog about it and link back to this posting. Your cabin is delicious - you are one of my most favorite designers up there with Sarah Richardson. Adore both of you.

Tuesday Questions: Hubby has given me the ok to redo our family furniture and storage units. I want to go with light colors like blue, white with pops of red here and there. I'm keeping the carpet - getting it cleaned - it's a light beige/cream color berber. Kitchen floor is laminate light gray/blue. Kitchen is open to familyroom. Walls are Benjamin Moore Oriental Silk (light cream/yellow color). We have lots of DVDs (over 500!), magazines, some books to store in the room. Our room is only 15 by 16 with a fireplace between two windows and another window kitty corner to fireplace window. Placement of furniture isn't easy and I am a TV watcher so there will be a big screen HD 52 inch TV in this room. Gosh, what is my question? How do I start? Furniture first and then select colors/fabric? I'm one of those people who buys furniture once every 20 plus years so I have basically no experience. I want a room that is cosy, comfortable but is functional too. Hubby gets to pick his lounge chair for comfort - he won't care about the fabric or color. I'm thinking of not having a sofa but rather four chairs so we can get to our storage units. It's just the two of us and we very seldom have company. Currently we have two danish wall units buried behind a very heavy sleeper/chair unit. I don't even know where to start. I'm open to all suggestions. Good luck with this one. I know you won't pick me. But just in case you would, I can email you photos of our current family room if necessary. Have a great July 4th week. Love, love, love your blog!!!!

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

I remember going to Lk Sunapee as a child (I grew up in MA) - lovely area and your summer house looks so welcoming, comfy and relaxing!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

I loved this article of your lake house....Now, for some reason if my memory serves me right (which has not lately) did you have a four poster bed with bears as finials...?...Great brought it wonderfully back to life!

suzieQ said...

Oh, what a lovely place! Do you still have it or did you sell it? Can you send me a good, old fashioned kick in the patoody and tell me to just choose a paint color for my bedroom and get going? I am the Queen of indecision and procrastination and you seem to be the girl who could give the kick I need. LOVE your style!

Anonymous said...

hey your humor and your style. my son graduated from dartmouth in 2003. i'm a long island girl who loves nh and the hanover area. forgive my brain freeze, but isn't your lake close by. hope to visit amy's shop this summer.

anne kelly
long island, ny

Susan said...

I've followed your work for years. I carried around the page from the yellow kitchen for years, never copied it but always wanted it in my wpb area home. Always loved the house tours in Flamingo Park. Was your house ever on a tour? Now I am in central Florida in a house on a golf course that is screaming for a porch similar to the one in this post, little less rustic and with a fireplace. I need to post to Oy Vey Tuesday. Love your blog, Susan VH

Rita's Recipes said...

It's nice to know that someone buys property the same way I do.
Love the cabin. I'm your newest follower. See you soon!

Anita at Cedar Hill said...

You totally crack me up, but seriously we are selling our house in a few years, and you are just the person we are looking for to buy it!! Ha, ha, what you don't want a house in Texas? Are you sure????

Pondside said...

I buy houses the same way - saw this one on Saturday, signed and sealed on Monday. Of course there have been one or two duds.....
After reading two posts I know that I have to follow.

Anonymous said...

I still have the cabin pictures in my "current" file because they make the cut every time I purge the files. Love your blog! A breath of funny fresh air. Free expert ideas. Keep it up, please.

Years ago when I read in AD where Marc Appleton said his dream house would be a group of old nursery (plant) buildings I knew that if I ever won the lottery I would ask him to take the wandering buildings of a nursery I visited in the North Carolina mountains and make it into a house for us and that I'd choose Betsy Speert to do her magic on it. Got to go buy more lottery tickets!


Unknown said...

I kept the tear sheets from that magazine article for years! I finally had to start letting go of some of my magazines and collected articles before the floors of the house caved in. HA! Have enjoyed your style for sooo many years.

Unknown said...

Such a beautiful Cottage, Love it!

Honey at 2805 said...

Thank you for sharing your creativity at Potpourri Friday!

Judy Biggerstaff said...

I do love your cabin and you have taken a lot of pain and purpose to get it just perfect. Anyway it looks perfect to me.

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

It's just magnificent!

Be Colorful Coastal said...

What a terrific get away - a little slice of Heaven. I love screened in porches too. Bugs I'm not so fond of. :D I had to laugh reading the list of things that you had to tackle here. Sounds like us. Impulsive to the extreme. :D Thanks for sharing this week on BeColorful.

The Charm of Home said...

Love your cabin! It is a great get away! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique said...

Lovely post Betsy,
Thanks for sharing it at Shabbilicous Friday :)

Katie Mansfield said...

Oh Betsy, Such a cute place. I spent a week in a 130's cabin that was screaming, crying, wailing for attention. (Waking up to a dead mouse in a trap, not my cup of tea!)
Enjoyed your post.
Let's Add Sprinkles

Anonymous said...

My log cabin is nearly finished. Used logs off the place for everything. I knew about the darkness problem so I put in a glass curtain wall in one end, 12' tall and 24' wide. I've got light!. Even though I didn't buy any lumber or stone for the fireplace and foundation I have spent $500,000 and it is going to cost me another $20,000 at least to finish.

The cabin is 1760 square feet. As soon as the carpenters get done I am going to buy furniture, rugs curtains, beds and cozy up by the fire. My place is in Charlottesville, Virginia. I know all about the remodeling you did on your place, I've been there myself. But it is always a labor of love. The best part is standing back and looking at what you did with pride. Nothing can beat that! Enjoyed your blog.


Unknown said...

I remember this cabin...think i may have pictures somewhere. I also remember other rooms by you in Traditional Home. Glad i found your blog as i always liked your work. Do you find it hard to be retired? I used to work for Ethan Allen, and now that i am retired i feel like an artist without a can only redecorate your home so many least, that's what my husband tells me!

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