Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's Time to Pay the Piper!

Water is an expensive commodity at the beach but it is a necessity if you have a grassy lawn--and we wanted a grassy lawn.  Bill Griffin, our landscape architect, strongly urged us to install a sprinkler system.  I didn't want to but everyone I spoke with backed him up--if you want turf to stay alive in the hot sun, you have to water it.  So Bill's crew put the pipes in...

Source for photos:  Bill Griffin
Bill's crew laid out the pipe according to the grid on the plan and dug trenches to bury the pipes.

It required quite a network in order to water all areas of the lawn and the beds.  Once it was covered up it was time for the turf.  I'll show you in my next post!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Getting a Good Grade!

The Coral Cottage is all gorgeous-ed up but it is like a shiny jewel that needs a beautiful setting.  I hired a landscape architect from Griffin Landscape Design and Contracting.  He just happens to be my brother, Bill Griffin.

This is the yard (and the house) BEFORE anything was done.

Front yard--the sand is very deep and the front walkway is cracked-up cement.

There was a shed with a tin roof to the left.  The yard comprises a lot and a half--actually
fairly large for a lot at the beach.

Backyard with cement pad 
After measuring and evaluating the property, Bill gave me a plan showing the beds, walkways, and plant material he recommended.  You can see the three palms we planted in the front yard drawn in on the left side of the paper.

Source for this and following photos:  Bill Griffin

One thing Bill noted was that the lot sloped so that water ran off in the  direction of the house--not a good thing.  He planned to correct this problem so drainage would flow away from the house.  I'm so grateful for his expertise--this is something I would not have realized until there was a problem.  Here are photos of the yard after grading was done.

Front yard

As you can see, we opted to take down the shed.

Back yard
Good beginning--check back for how it all turns out!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Landscaping--I've Got It in the Palm of my Hand!

What kind of plants and trees do you think of when you think of the beach?  For me nothing says "Beach" better than a Palm tree.  We were super-excited when we had the chance to get three palm trees for FREE!  They were needing to be moved from our other lot to make room for the house we were relocating (more on that here and here).

It was amazing to watch--let me show you!

Tom is shown digging a huge hole for the tree.  A pipe was placed in the hole for watering the tree.  During the first week the water ran slowly and continually to keep the tree hydrated.

Tom, using equipment with a pincer-like claw, lifted a tree from the flat bed and brought it down the street to the Coral Cottage.  His assistant, Bobby, helped to give directions.

With great expertise, Tom and Bobby worked together to swing the tree into the hole which had been marked previously by our landscape architect, Bill Griffin.

 Bobby gave directions to enable Tom to straighten the tree--then my husband Henry gave the final okay to place the tree.  While water rushed into the hole, Bobby and Tom filled the hole back in with dirt.  Tom packed it tightly with the claw of the equipment.  Tom's supervisor, Duke, kept a watchful eye on things.

And that's how it was done!  Cool, huh?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

The Coral Cottage interior is beautiful and ready for guests but  the yard is in desperate need of some love--and expert attention.  Cue the landscape architect:
None other than my baby brother, Bill Griffin!

Of course, he's not a baby anymore--I hope Bill will forgive this blast from the past.  Can you tell from these that he had three adoring sisters?  You can't hold me responsible--he was totally irresistible!

As you can see, I am a good bit older than Bill (12 years) so I missed living at home during many of his growing up years since I went to college about the time he started first grade!  He grew up in Savannah, graduated from Calvary Baptist Day School (where I can't help adding that he was a standout athlete in football, basketball and golf).

He went to the University of Georgia and graduated from the School of Landscape Architecture Then he decided to return to Savannah where he started his business,
Griffin Landscape Design and Contracting....

...Which brings us to now.  Recently I asked Bill to come out to the Coral Cottage to measure and make some plans for the yard.  He was happy to oblige. 
Source:  Kristen Sagar
I know what you're thinking--that as a sister I'm a freebie but that is not so--I am a client and gladly so.  If you're going to spend lots of money installing a yard, why not spend a bit more and get it right?  I did ask Bill to hold the cost down as much as possible and he gave me an excellent plan and installation for a good price.

Here's the preliminary plan that Bill worked on that day.

Source:  Kristen Sagar

It's amazing what a difference a beautiful setting can make for a home!  Can't wait to show you the process from start to finish!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Final Inspection? Check!

Big Day!  This was the day we had our final inspection and passed!

John Horton, owner of Horton Remodeling--the company that worked on The Coral Cottage--came by to deliver the good news and 

We're all finished now, right?  Wrong.

This photo was taken on the same day to document what was accomplished.  Notice anything that  seems to be missing?  Like a pretty yard?

Time to call in my brother, Bill Griffin, a landscape architect whose business, Griffin Landscape Design and Contracting, is in nearby Savannah.

On we go...I have lots to show you!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Without Further Ado!!!

Four months ago, on a whim, I decided to write a blog to document the progress being made on our cottage, The Coral Cottage.  I've been amazed at the interest so many have shown in following along.  Thank you so much for reading!

Today I'd like to take you through the last room--it's actually the first room when you walk in the front without further ado, here's the living room!

Looking straight ahead as you walk in the front door


I kept the end tables--just painted them with Sherwin Williams' Raindrop.
This window behind the sofa used to look out to a screened porch but the room was enclosed and now is a sun porch where there is a dining space and another seating space.
Because this is a small space I found this lucite coffee table on eBay--it takes up no space visually and it is small so people can walk past easily on their way to the bedrooms and bath.

Dressed up for the Jane Coslick Holiday Tour of Homes

The chevron-striped dresser was a DIY project.  For a tutorial click here.  There you have it--The Coral Cottage BEFORE and AFTER.

A great space to sit down with a good book and a glass of iced tea!  Come on over!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Making the Living Room Liveable!

Are you ready?  It's time to put things in good order with the living room at The Coral Cottage.  You can view the BEFORE photos here.  The room was rewired and then drywall was hung over the concrete walls.

Next came paint...

Then came trim and flooring...

We decided to paint the fireplace and Horton Remodeling added a mantel.

We painted the inside of the fireplace black.  I will put candles or something inside because the chimney doesn't work.  Don't ya love seeing the toilet in the hall?  We were working in the bathroom too!
Once we had the room ready it was time to furnish it!  See you with those pictures next time!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Last But Not Least!

It is time to tell the story of the last room at the Coral Cottage--last but not least.  The living room is the first room you see when you walk into the house.

Henry caught my first glimpse of The Coral Cottage as I walked into the living room.
Take it all in with me as we see the room from all angles.

View straight ahead as you walk in the front door
Panning to the right to look across the room
Standing in the hall between the two bedrooms and looking back toward the room.
So there you have it--the Coral Cottage BEFORE!  What would you do?  What would you keep and what would you dispose of?  These were all questions that crossed my mind.  This week I will show you what we did.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happy, Sunshiny Room!

It has been interesting to furnish and fluff the rooms at the Coral Cottage.  Many times the things I had planned for a room just didn't seem quite right and we rearranged until everything was to our liking.  There were a million details--little things like locating the right size lamp harp so the lamp shade would look right--and they all took time.

Here's where I left you hanging last post

The blue-striped side table was moved to the twin bedroom to use as a nightstand.  The coral lamp was added and the wicker lamp was moved to the other side of the sofa (still no shade) and some of the curtains were hung.

Jane Coslick and I kept tweaking--we swapped the tables on the ends of the sofa, got a lamp shade for the wicker lamp, and got the drapes hung.

A couple weeks later on my next trip to Tybee I brought some fun ottomans that had arrived from one of my online shopping adventures.

Three weeks later, here is the room ready for the Jane Coslick Holiday Tour of Homes.  We had gotten the draperies hemmed, purchased and installed the TV and DVD and a phone.  We also added some accessories.

This is such a wonderful spot in which to sit--it is possibly my favorite room.  I can just imagine myself enjoying a glass of iced tea and looking out on the back yard with the beautiful light shining in.  It makes me smile and feel all sun-shiny inside.  Relaxing.  Love it.

If you'd like to have a relaxing time at the Coral Cottage contact Jim Heflin at  and he will be glad to set things up for you!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Not Too Bad For A Day's Work

Moving Day--fun, exciting, exhausting!  But it is fun to pull out all of the goodies that I've collected from Craig's List, eBay, flea markets, online stores, and Ikea and see them in the house.
Here are some possibilities for the sun porch--some made the cut and others were used elsewhere.
Once the Ikea sofa was set up, my sister-in-law Eleanor and I put on the slipcover.

At the end of the day, this is how things looked.  It would change--for example the blue-striped table was moved to the twin bedroom.
Not too bad for a day's work.  There have been many more days of work on this space and next time I will show you how we finished it up!

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Ton of Fun Turning One!

I love beautiful party decorations--it just feels so festive!  Last week our little grand-daughter Josey had her first birthday and her mama Meghan outdid herself making sure it was a special occasion--she has even more photos on her blog.  Let me show you!

The theme was "You Are My Sunshine"--quite appropriate because Josey is a little ray of sunshine with her joyful personality.  Meghan made the garland on the stairs by stringing cupcake papers together!
Guests were asked to sign a remembrance book Meghan made using Shutterfly.  It had pictures that highlighted each month of Josey's first year.  Don't you love the pom-pom?  We did a tutorial on how to make your own pom-poms--just click here.
Meghan used her cricut to make this banner.
This was an afternoon party so light snacks were served along with birthday cake.
There was a scrumptious and beautiful cake with buttercream icing and a lemon curd filling made by our local bakery.  Meghan added the little banner.
We used mason jars rimmed with yellow sanding sugar and yellow striped straws which had name tags added.
Josey seemed excited to get her smash cake.  It was her first taste of refined sugar and at first she approached it very daintily.
Let's just say she enjoyed it!
She remembered her manners and offered to share :)
All the families were presented with favor boxes containing treats and a CD with a mix of songs selected to celebrate the party theme!
You are such a blessing--we love you Josey!  Happy Birthday!