Rescued from Ruin
The tiny farm manager's cottage, one of only four original structures from Henry Ford's 1930s plantation, sat in a low, wet area and was used for storage before the Morgans saved it.
Cottage Exterior After
Charmed by the home's history, cozy size, and unusual combination of board-and-batten siding plus tiled roof, the Morgans renovated the house after relocating it to higher ground (atop brick piers) with expansive marsh views.
Living Room Before
Rotten window frames and peeling paint made the house look sad and gloomy.
Living Room After
The stripped original poplar tongue-and-groove boards, heart pine flooring sealed with a clear polyurethane, and beeswax-polished pine mantel lend a warm, welcoming glow. The off-white trim is a crisp touch.
The kitchen was dated and dingy, with Formica countertops, low ceilings, and mouse-infested cabinetry.
Reclaimed heart pine counters, open shelves, and a vaulted ceiling exude vintage charm. Vanita found the 1952 double drainboard sink at a Georgia roadside antiques stand.
In the dining room, French doors open to a new screened porch with water views, replacing three small windows and a wood stove that heated the cottage before central heat was installed.
The cramped master bath was full of rotten and dilapidated fixtures.
Vaulting the ceilings and lengthening the room by three feet gives a light, airy feel; the claw-foot tub lends old-school appeal.
The Morgans swapped out a window to create a doorway leading to the new 6- by 8-foot guest bath.
The new 264-square-foot screened porch added extra dining space (read: the kids' table!) and a sitting area that helps the cottage live larger when extended family visits.