Mini Changes at the Lake House

My brother took this photo, of Lake Tahoe, on May 24th.  If you haven’t seen it in person, Lake Tahoe is a national treasure and I hope you’ll add it to your “bucket list”!   Half of the lake is in the state of Nevada and the other half is in California.  

I’ve spent summers att the lake, since 1970, when my parents bought a cottage built in the 40’s, on the quiet west side of the lake.  I was the “nanny” for my younger brother and sister.  I’d care for the kids, one week at the cottage and one week in town, throughout the summer.  Mom and dad would come up on weekends.  

Since then, a lot of water has passed under the bridge!  Fast forward more than forty years, to when Bob and I are renovating The Fixer, which hasn’t been updated in nearly that long.  Structurally sound, with a great floor plan, we started our renovation upstairs, where there are three bedrooms, two baths and a large landing area. 

This is the largest of the bedrooms upstairs.  It’s huge, with a fireplace and window seat that looks out at the lake.  

This wallpaper was everywhere, in this space! By the way, the fireplace was white washed with Miss Mustard Seed’s Grain Sack milk paint.  


Mr. Wonderful painted the walls and paneling and removed the carpeting.  The reclaimed oak flooring is our favorite change, so far!  
Window coverings are going to be installed next week.  The neighbors will be sad that I will no longer be “mooning” them!  We have some great area rugs to lay down, but I’m afraid to do that before the kitchen and bath are finished, downstairs.  Dust overload!

This pine table, up in the “apartment”, had the legs painted with chalk based paint.  The table top was painted in a custom color of Trophy and Typewriter (Black) mixed together.  When I return, I’ll finish the top off with Furniture Wax.  This will be a great space,to play board games, puzzles, crafts, etc!  All, with a view of the lake!

Downstairs, the kitchen plans have gone off to the cabinet man,   The bathroom has been gutted and wood work is in progress.  

 This is the middle bedroom upstairs.  Even though it isn’t quite finished, I’m trying to move in!

That’s all for now.  Thanks for stopping by!



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  1. Donnamae says

    Looks like it’s coming along nicely! That’s chalk paint on the fireplace? Looks fantastic! 😉

    • Barbara Bussey says

      Hi dear Donnamae,
      I used milk paint on the fireplace. The brick had never been painted and so the milk paint will stick like glue! Hope your having a nice summer!

  2. Barbara, can you please tell us more about whitewashing the fireplace. Was It difficult with milk paint bubbles? Can we see a finished photo. I never thought of milk paint on a fireplace, and certainly must do something with the yucky one at this house.
    I can’t wait to see the end results of your Tahoe house.
    Thank you 🙂

    • Barbara Bussey says

      Hi Jodie,
      I didn’t have a bubble problem. The new brick and never been painted or sealed, so it sucked up the milk paint. I thinned the milk paint, two parts water to 1 part paint powder. Used about a half a bag on the whole project. I put a poly acrylic on the hearth, so I’ll be able to wipe off any ashes that fall on the brick. Hope this helps. I used Grain Sack (mms), by the way.

      • Thank you Barbara. Grain sack is perfect. I would love to see what it looks like now. You must have removed that gaudy brass screen, and perhaps changed the mantle.

  3. Love the changes, the floors, and that gorgeous view!

  4. I love love love the flooring!! Did you have it stained that way or were you immeasurably blessed? Lol 😉

    • Barbara Bussey says

      Hi Julie,
      Yes, the flooring is probably our most favorite update. It’s reclaimed barn wood, that we ordered from Town and Country Flooring, in Truckee. It was sealed with tung oil. Our hope is that it gets even better with wear. Cheers!, Barbara

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