My Sister’s 1940’s Cottage


Fifteen years ago when my sister and her husband drove by this house she felt a strange (and quite strong) connection to it’s charm, turned to her husband and said, “If that house ever goes on the market I want to buy it.” 


The very next day it went on the market and they did exactly that.


It was in desperate need of some updating and some serious TLC.


And those touches of cuteness that make a house a home.


It took some planning and some time, but eventually they got phase one done, peeling back carpet and exposing the hardwoods, knocking out walls, updating bathrooms, gutting the kitchen, etc.  (Now they are saving their pennies for phase two.)


They refinished the hidden wood floors, replaced trim, knocked out the wall between the family room and dining room, repainted walls and trim, repaired and replaced windows.


The fireplace in the family room is a “faux” fireplace. They contemplated having it ripped out when they remodeled, but decided against it.  Instead they updated the tile, the mantel and the fireplace surround and worked it into the design scheme.


She had these logs cut and placed inside. They have little holes drilled in the top so flowers can be added when she wants. She had them dressed up with Christmas flowers during the holidays.  Cute, huh?


In the dining room she turned this inherited piece of furniture into a functional wine bar – a great use of an old hutch.


How cute is that?  She’s in the process of working with someone to refinish this in a distressed black along with the dining table.  This will update it immensely and make it even cooler. 


The kitchen was gutted and completely re-done.  Originally she had a washer and dryer sitting right in the middle of the kitchen.  She moved them entirely, re-did the cabinets, the floor, the countertops, the backsplash, the appliances, the hardware… get the picture.  She opened up the wall to the dining room and created a small pass thru bar.


This cute, little island on rollers is the perfect size and shape and can be moved anywhere.  It offers a little extra surface for getting things done, for serving, and as you can see a pot rack.  Great style with the wrought iron and the butcher block top.  (By the way – notice the pattern change on the floor?)


All new appliances…..


Here she has my Christmas gift to her for recipes…..(check out how to make it here)


A little coffee bar set up…..


A little corner for her cook books and handy cooking oils…..


(Take note of the cool tile backsplash with the messy mortar look and the cool finish on the wall)


A quaint little eating area (our sweet dad made the built in bench in the bay window area).


Oh, how I miss my dad and all the sweet things he loved to do for his kids and grandkids! 


Down the hall and throughout the house is her great collection of crosses.  (This is where she moved the washer and dryer, too.  They’re behind some doors not seen in the picture.)


The hallway leads to the small bathroom where she has this adorable shelf above her toilet.  Perfect for housing bath crystals and oils, a mirror and a vase of flowers to freshen up the space with color.

bathroom window

Adorable little café sheers on the small window….


In her bedroom is this incredibly gorgeous faux finish.  Ultra distressed – it reminds one of an old Italian villa creating an ambiance that is unique, charming, and romantic.


Love her jewelry organizer.  Very fitting in the space and creates both a functional and visually attractive jewelry display.



Isn’t it cozy?


Love these walls and the Tuscan vibe they create.


Their children were wee little ones when they moved into the house.  My niece, Paige, was only three years old at the time and this was actually her big sister’s room.   But, when her sister moved out for college she moved into the “cooler” room with it’s own bathroom and the re-do began. 


She’s now almost eighteen, a senior in high school, and looking at colleges herself. So, of course, her room reflects her age, her taste, her personality and her interests.


An avid dancer, singer and actress who has been in numerous musicals in their home town (you can check one of them out I blogged about last year by clicking here) her room was transformed to reflect her style.  Love this gray paint with the punch of red and black. 


Great sign!!


The teeny little bathroom was completely gutted and redesigned with these great tiles.



And, of course, the hardware was updated and the countertop was replaced with granite. (Notice the plaque?  My daughter made that for her cousin for Christmas – like the one I made my sister.  Like mother like daughter!)

I can’t help but wonder if my sister’s immediate sentimental attachment to the house when she first drove by it wasn’t some spiritual connection, drawing her in like a cosmic magnet, because it would, in fact, actually end up being where she would be raising her children and spending most of her life.  I like to think that anyway.

Happy Decorating!!

The Cozy Charm of English Cottages


I’ve always loved the look of an English cottage.  There is an irrefutable charm about them that just makes me smile and want to step inside for a peek. 


Take this cozy cottage for instance.  Is this adorable or what!?  I mean… doesn’t even look real!!!!  Don’t you just want to peek inside?  Maybe curl up by the fire or have a cup of hot tea?


Mmmmmm……love these flowers surrounding the doorway.  If I could do that at my own house I most definitely would! So warm and inviting.


This one actually reminds me of a German bed and breakfast.  Love all the colorful flowers, the vine growing up on the house, the cobblestone walkway and the cute little gate.








What an unbelievably adorable neighborhood!





405 East Seventh

Okay, well this isn’t necessarily a cottage, but whenever I see ivy growing up on the wall like this it gives me that “cottagey feel” and makes me think of England.  I’ve always loved this look.

Mercy me, I do believe if all neighborhoods were as cozy, charming and inviting as these pictured above the world would just be a happier place!  Don’t you agree?!

Happy Decorating! 

Define Your Style: Could It Be Cottage Cozy?

One of the most appealing styles – one that most people find warm, inviting and cozy, cozy, cozy is Cottage Style.  There is something about the colors, the combination of fabrics and patterns, the wood tones and just the overall vibe of the space that conjures up feelings of warmth and welcomes us like a great big hug from grandma. Cottage Style just makes us feels “good”.

I recently designed a kitchen and family room space plan for a client who loves all things 1920’s Cottage Style.  It’s in the remodeling stages right now, but since it’s fresh on my mind I thought I’d share some wonderful cottage idea’s with you.


See how inviting this space is above?  Wouldn’t you just love to curl up with a great book and a cup of tea?  The creams and whites with floral pillows, the ruffled skirt and wood tones…..all of it….so inviting and welcoming.


This cottage space welcomes us with color.


This cozy cottage space tends to slant towards the French.   Cozy cottage patterns and textures…..but notice the French curves on the table and chairs.  French Cottage – a bit more formal than traditional American cottage, but welcoming and warm none-the-less.


Here they play up bright lime green to give it a current, modern edge.


And, I like these rustic walls.


All creamy white above and below, with ruffles and limited color.



Creative, cozy little cottage style kitchen.


This cottage style is a bit more tailored and masculine, but full of color and life.


Patriotic theme – full of charm.


Love the florals and the yellow with the rattan and different colored adirondacks.  So happy and cozy!


Fun look with the rattan, the shades of teal and the floral, ruffled slip covers against the wood floor.  Notice the stripe back and the floral front on the chairs.  Cute!  And, it’s all topped off with that fabulous chandelier.

Good old rockers.  Always great for Cottage Style.


Tailored, clean look above; Feminine pastels and floral fabrics below.



Cottage Style just sort of speaks to our hearts and warms our insides. 

Think a moment and define your own style.  Is Cottage Style for you?  Maybe this is a look you’d like to see in your home.   Not just when you hit the beach or your favorite bed and breakfast.  If you love it, why not live with it year round?  Why not bring this coziness to your own space so that it welcomes you home each day with a great big grandma hug.  Especially after a long, stressful day at work.

Remember lots of wallowy furniture, comfy fabrics, a touch of rattan, a mix of patterns and wood.  Throw in great rug and some fresh flowers and your good to go. 

Happy Hugs To You and Happy Decorating!


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