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Chocolate Creek Cottage

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We are in our new home as of 2 weeks ago. It’s all been a blur of moving out, closing on our little stone cottage and our new home, and moving in. Remember, this all happened in a short span of 6 weeks!

Ok, so before we get to the photos, let’s get the particulars out of the way.

Our new cottage is a 1965 brick ranch on 1 acre of land. We are further out in the country so there are lots of fields and farm animals all around us. A far cry from the city sounds that we moved from.

The new house, which we named after Chocolate Creek, which runs behind our property, is around 1700 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 very small bathrooms.

front yard view of brick ranch house

The house hasn’t seen a lot of updates in it’s 56 years so it’s retained many of the original features, like old tile in the bathrooms and original hardwood floors.

The kitchen looks like it was the only room remodeled. It seems that it was updated in the 80’s with oak cabinets and solid surface countertops.

It’s livable for right now but because the cabinets have seen better days, it will eventually get a total DIY remodel.

Now that that’s taken care of, let’s take a look at the house before we moved our stuff in.

Family Room

This room is typical of the time period. It’s open to the dining area and kitchen (complete with railing) and is a step down (typically called a sunken living room).

It does have a nice fireplace with propane logs that has come in handy with all of the cold weather we’ve been having.

family room view of fireplace wall

My immediate plans for this space are to rip out the old rug and install new hardwood flooring. I’ll also paint the textured wood paneling that is stained black.

view of oak cabinets in kitchen from family room

A new window treatment will be installed on the window to complete this space, and give us some privacy.

Eat-in Kitchen

This is the one space in the house that needs the most work.

The kitchen itself is a nice, large space but it’s poorly laid out and the cabinets need to be replaced.

I was going to paint them just to hold me over but once we moved in I realized that they were in worse shape than I thought.

view of kitchen with oak cabinets and white countertops

The little attached dining area has several issues.

One issue is the size of the space. Right now it’s a bit tight but once we reconfigure the kitchen, it will work well.

There’s nothing to be done about the off-center window but the unsightly breaker box can be camouflaged with artwork.

small dining area with pendant light and beadboard on wall

The off-center light can also be fixed. (Sigh…I’m spotting a trend here)

One other issue in the kitchen/dining area, and it’s a massive one, is the ceiling.

It has a popcorn ceiling that was badly patched when they did the kitchen remodel.

Unfortunately, in order to fix it we will have to redo the ceiling in the hallway, laundry area, kitchen, dining area and family room, since they are all attached.


This space is in the front of the house, next to the entryway. I’m not sure how the previous owner used this space, but we will be using it as a den.

empty living room space with gray walls

Roger and I went round and round with this room, trying to decide if we should use it as a dining area instead.

If we did that I would have had to get rid of our sectional, that I plan to use in here, and I had no idea what I would do with the little dining nook (we don’t need two places to eat).

For right now it will be our den. Maybe, once we redo the kitchen, we may rethink this space and make it a dining room.

Master Bedroom

At the end of the hallway is our master bedroom. I was hoping to get a bigger space this go-around but it wasn’t meant to be.

This room is almost the same exact size as our bedroom in our little stone cottage.

empty master bedroom with window and gray painted walls

We also have a window to contend with behind the bed.

It’s a bit better than the last house in that it isn’t directly behind the bed but it is on the same wall, and very off-center.

empty master bedroom with natural wood door and closet doors

I don’t have a solid plan for this room but I do know that I want to redo the ceiling and put some kind of wall treatment behind the bed.

I’ll also treat the bedroom, bathroom and closet doors to a little facelift as well.

Guest Bedroom

The guest bedroom is in the front of the house. Like the master it is similar in size to our last guest bedroom.

This one has a nice sized closet for storage though. Always a welcome addition.

empty bedroom space with window and gray walls

I have no idea what I will do in this room, besides setting up our DIY platform bed and thrift store dresser.

It will need paint and something done with the ceiling but I’m not sure what that will be yet.


As I did in the last house, our second guest bedroom will become my studio. It has 2 windows, that look out the front and side of the house, and gets great light.

This room isn’t a priority to redo so I have no idea what it will look like.

I do know that at some point it will get new paint and a ceiling treatment. Oh, and I will fix the blind.

guest bedroom with broken blinds and two garbage bags


This space seems like it was a carport at one time. It now has screened-in windows all around and a propane heater for the colder months.

sunroom with green carpeting and boxes in it and

I’m not sure what we’ll do with this space but it has been a lifesaver since we moved in.

We used it as a staging area for all of our moving boxes so that we could work around the house and place our furniture without boxes all over.

Hallway Bathroom

Although we have two full bathrooms (yay!) this space is really tight.

It does have a nice size shower, which is a huge plus, but no natural light.

hallway bathroom with brown tile floor and white vanity

Eventually this space will get a gut job.

We’ll do new tile, a new vanity, new paint and ceiling. For now it works and the old tile is still in great shape.

Master Bathroom

We haven’t had a master bathroom since we lived in Florida, 4 houses and 12 years ago.

It’s an L shaped space with powder blue tile everywhere but like the hallway bath, it’s in excellent shape.

Like the other bathroom it will eventually get a complete makeover with new tile, a bigger vanity and new paint.

master bedroom with blue tile shower and small vanity

The best part of our house isn’t inside, it’s actually the land.

It’s the whole reason we bought our house.

We loved the fact that it was a flat, 1 acre lot with a two car garage and a carport for my truck.

backyard view of fields at sunset

We also have a long, paved driveway with enough room for Minnie, our cargo trailer conversion, and our new trailer.

mailbox in front yard and driveway to house

It’s really perfect for our needs and we’re looking forward to spring so we can get out there and really use it.

So that’s a complete tour of Chocolate Creek Cottage. As you can see we have a lot to do so I’ll be sharing my projects for quite some time.

Actually I’ve already started my first project, painting the living room textured paneling. It was stained black and although I love me a dark and moody painted wall, it just didn’t fit.

Let the projects begin!


  1. Constance Colvin says:

    Congrats! That big space around you has great “emotional” value!

  2. So exciting! I’m looking forward to watching you transform Chocolate Creek, and in honor I just popped a few m&M’s in my mouth. It’s so worth having to do new projects to have the outdoor space.

    1. It is exciting and a bit daunting. Looking forward to to spring when we can get outside and enjoy our new space. 🙂

  3. Debbie Halcomb says:

    That popcorn ceiling was the first thing I noticed in the kitchen. Can’t believe we paid extra for that stuff back in the day. What color are you painting the black wood wall?

    1. I know, it was very popular back in the day. I’m painting it a light greige, BM Halo. I used it in my studio in the stone cottage. The wood has been stained black so it’s been a rough going.

  4. Well I think it’s just lovely and knowing you, it will be a showplace in no time. You have a fabulous eye and the DIY skills to make your vision come to life. I can’t wait to see what you do with all those really cool spaces. Congratulations my friend!!

    1. Thanks so much sweet friend! Looking forward to making our new home ours, both inside and out.

  5. Hi Kristi, love your new home and beautiful property. I can’t wait to see it after it gets the Kristi touch!

  6. Kristie,

    I’m so looking forward to the DIY projects you’ll be doing in your new home.It’s such a beautiful setting.

    1. Thanks so much, Kathleen! There will be plenty of DIY going on around here. It’s going to take us a long while to do everything we want to do. 🙂

  7. Melanie Mixon says:

    Congratulations on this lovely home and I am looking forward to following along.

    1. Thanks so much, Melanie! I appreciate you following along on our journey.

  8. Marlene Stephenson says:

    It is a beautiful and peaceful place. Congratulations, just make sure you have a good time changing your new cottage.

    1. Thanks so much, Marlene! Making a house our home with all kinds of DIY is always a good time for me. 😉 I just need to remember to not get overwhelmed with all that needs to be done.

  9. Annette Walsh says:

    So exciting! I can’t wait to see what you do with the spaces. I will miss the lighted Christmas balls!

  10. Wow!!! Love the new place! Most the land and the peaceful sound!
    I can’t wait to see all the changes you have in mind, I got a little tired to read how much you are planning to do 🙂
    Thank you for sharing and again: Congratulations guys!! For you new house!!!

    1. Thanks so much sweet friend! We certainly have our work cut out for us on this one, that’s for sure. Looking forward to making it our own. Hugs!

  11. Can NOT wait to see you work your magic on your new home! After looking at your pictures I see lots and lost of room for added “Kristi appeal” it’s going to be such fun! Deb 🤖❤️

    1. Thanks so much, Deb! Yes, there are a lot of opportunities for improvement. Looking forward to turning this into our own. Thanks, as always, for following along!

  12. Looking forward to seeing what you do but since most things are in good shape, you can take your time with this one! Enjoy the process!

    1. Thanks Jane! Yes, we don’t really need to rush so hopefully I’ll be able to take it slow and enjoy it. Hopefully. 😉

  13. Thank you for sharing! I imagine it is a bit daunting and inspiring at the same time! Look forward to the updates.

    1. Thanks so much, Tracey! Yes, it’s very daunting but I’m just trying to focus on one project at a time. Most days I’m successful at that, other days I’m just overwhelmed. 😉

  14. Sounds like you have a solid plan and I look forward to seeing your changes. I noticed you had what looks like a heat duct on the ceiling yet also had one on the molding. Do both get used?

    1. Thanks Deb! We’ve found out pretty quickly that the house gets cold when it’s really cold out (because the house is on a crawlspace). Apparently the floor heat came first and then they installed a heat pump (the ceiling vents). We have only been using the heat pump and propane logs in the fireplace. If we can get through the winter without using the floor heat we may remove them. We’ll have to see what happens.

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