Nooks

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A stair landing that otherwise would be used for nothing other than a pass through becomes a place to get away.

When you build out every square inch of an old home, parts of the structure become architectural features.  The space under a stair way or the pitch of a roof become central to the design and the aesthetic.

My cottage is case and point.  Every space is somehow made cozier by having to work within the structure that creates these small, lovely nooks.  Or corners of respite as I like to call them.  Somewhere to tuck away and relax.

Every room in my home is small.  It is by no means palatial. Throughout the house, I have managed to squeeze in some place for one to tuck away.  To cozy up with a good book or a cup of tea  and just relax.

Fall will be here soon.  I look forward to curling up and contemplating.

I hope you find some inspiration.

 

Always,

Cindy

xoxo

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The corner of a room is a great place to tuck a Victorian wicker chair recovered in painters drop cloth.

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The pitch of a roof makes a great place to add a pair of sitting chairs and a comfy ottoman to put your feet on.

 

Country Living Feature

Living Room

Happy and blessed to check this bucket list item off.  Here is the link to the feature article that is in the current issue of Country Living.

I hope you find some inspiration.

All the best~

Cindy

 

Greatest Felicity in the Smallest of Things…

I am not sure if I have a low threshold for impression or take great appreciation in the smallest of things.  Hmmm….I’ll go with the latter.

It occurred to me one day as I was mindlessly closing a door that there is a certain solid and substantial click of old cast iron surface mounted door locks as it is being latched.  Something you just can’t find or replicate with modern door knobs.

Then I started to notice all the old latches, knobs and hardware throughout my house and I realized that I don’t have a single new piece of hardware.

I scoured eBay, craigslist, salvage shops and antique stores to find all the hardware for my home during the renovation.  Not in sets, mind you, but piece by piece.  It’s all mismatched, but more importantly it’s all old.  And I love it.

I grew up in an old town in the Northeast by the name of Doylestown, PA.  There was a rather well known poster that was a collection of old doors from many of the old houses in the area.  It was called the Doors of Doylestown.  I always loved that poster.

Here is my homage to that poster.

I hope you find some inspiration.

All the best~

Cindy

xoxo

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You can see the original green paint through the old glass knob.

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Found on eBay, hardware from an old chicken coop.

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Old brass.

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Layers of paint on the latch from this circa 1750’s hutch

Lovely large glass knobs.

Lovely large glass knobs.

Original to the house, both door and knob are as lovely (and useful) as they were on their first day.

Original to the house, both door and knob are as lovely (and useful) as they were on their first day.

An old pie safe with a glass knob. I keep this pie safe in my kitchen and it holds baking items, such as extract. I keep them in vintage apothecary jars that you barely get a hint of behind the screening.

An old pie safe with a glass knob. I keep this pie safe in my kitchen and it holds baking items, such as extract. I keep them in vintage apothecary jars that you barely get a hint of behind the screening.

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An old jelly cupboard with layers and layers of paint on the hardware.

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An old side table with a lovely, worn and patina’d brass knob.

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A surface mounted lock with a mis-sized rim keeper, installed upside down so as to take advantage of the previous hardware holes installed decades ago on this century old farmhouse door.

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Original paint finish and hardware on an old step back cupboard.

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An English armoire with a very simple, traditional knob and latch.

 

The Un-Umbrella Stand

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For once, I am ahead of schedule.  Not even out of April and my front flower beds are planted, the back yard is tidied up from the winter season and the outdoor furniture is out and I am ready to coast for the summer.

The one piece of engineering I had to do was to create a cover for my outdoor market umbrella stand.  The umbrella is necessary not just for keeping the hot sun at bay, but also to keep the birds from leaving gifts on the seats of my outdoor furniture. :)

I looked on the internet for tables that also doubled as umbrella stand covers, but the ones I liked were $150 – $300. (of course)

So I had to get creative.  It turned out well and I am happy with the end result.  You can decide if you agree.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

Two cedar planters, one smaller and one larger were used. Purchased from Lowe's, a hole was drilled in both of them to allow them to slide down the center pole. The larger was turned upside down, the smaller was filled with some plastic at the bottom, potting soil and flowers. A simple pressure fit (with the help of a rubber mallet) was all that was needed to create one unit.

Two cedar planters, one smaller and one larger were used. Purchased from Lowe’s, a hole was drilled in both of them to allow them to slide down the center pole. The larger was turned upside down, the smaller was filled with some plastic at the bottom, potting soil and flowers. A simple pressure fit (with the help of a rubber mallet) was all that was needed to create one unit.

(Holiday) Guest Amenities

The holiday bed.

The holiday bed.

I am always looking for simple ways to make guest feel special, but simplicity is a must.  In my holiday guest room this year, I have a quilt fold that yields a special surprise and an amenities kit using a simple lunch sack.  Both can be easily done on the fly, without too much effort.

I hope you find inspiration.

All the best,

Cindy

Holiday greens, dressed bed and some special surprises...

Holiday greens, dressed bed and some special surprises…

A gift on the bed side table.

A gift on the bed side table.

A simple lunch sack folded over, left plain or using holiday stamps and embellishments as I have done.

A simple lunch sack folded over, left plain or using holiday stamps and embellishments as I have done.

Bottled water, simple snacks and personal care items.

Bottled water, simple snacks and personal care items.

Travel sizes all wrapped in a muslin bag decorated with simple holiday stamps.

Travel sizes all wrapped in a muslin bag decorated with simple holiday stamps.

Simple folds create a place to tuck in a little gift.

Simple folds create a place to tuck in a little gift.

A special gift for guests. Nothing fancy. It could be a favorite candy bar, event tickets or even a lottery scratcher. Anything to bring a smile to the face of visitors.

A special gift for guests. Nothing fancy. It could be a favorite candy bar, event tickets or even a lottery scratcher. Anything to bring a smile to the face of visitors.

The holiday bed.

The holiday bed.

Because Christmas is here again…

Sprigs of fresh greens, vintage glass ornaments in a simple ironstone bowl.

Sprigs of fresh greens, vintage glass ornaments in a simple ironstone bowl.

All my decorating is done.  I started earlier than normal this year and now that I am done, it mostly means I can coast for the rest of the year and devote my weekends to baking.  Indeed.

Here are a few snippets of the inside of the house.  You may notice there aren’t a lot of long shots.  It’s mostly because I am holding back on wide shots so when the feature in Country Living comes out, you won’t already be bored with it. 😉

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

A simple fresh green wreath flanked by antique mercury glass beaded garland.  The bed is simply dressed with vintage linens and ruby red washed velvet pillows and a quilted velvet blanket at the end of the bed in a subdued neutral color.  It all makes for a cozy place to be.

A simple fresh green wreath flanked by antique mercury glass beaded garland. The bed is simply dressed with vintage linens and ruby red washed velvet pillows and a quilted velvet blanket at the end of the bed in a subdued neutral color. It all makes for a cozy place to be.

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An old sap bucket is a terrific alternative to more expensive vessels to house a holiday arrangement.

An old sap bucket is a terrific alternative to more expensive vessels to house a holiday arrangement.

A papier mache Santa boot that I painted then adorned with German Glitter Glass and a holiday embellishment, topped off with a fresh sprig of greens.

A papier mache Santa boot that I painted then adorned with German Glitter Glass and a holiday embellishment, topped off with a fresh sprig of greens.

A stair landing arrangement.

A stair landing arrangement.

Trying to tuck in a little Christmas in each room, both great and small.

Trying to tuck in a little Christmas in each room, both great and small.

A simple Home Goods pom pom wreath hung with sweet cotton red and white striped ribbon.

A simple Home Goods pom pom wreath hung with sweet cotton red and white striped ribbon.

Who says wreaths are only for doors?

Who says wreaths are only for doors?

Another Sulphur Springs, Texas find. This lovely blue antique cupboard is a great way to store and display my vintage textile collection and ironstone pitcher collection.

Another Sulphur Springs, Texas find. This lovely blue antique cupboard is a great way to store and display my vintage textile collection and ironstone pitcher collection.

My antique chandelier with a crown of fresh Christmas greens.

My antique chandelier with a crown of fresh Christmas greens.

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An old print befitting of such attention.

An old print befitting of such attention.

Sprigs of fresh greens, vintage glass ornaments in a simple ironstone bowl.

Sprigs of fresh greens, vintage glass ornaments in a simple ironstone bowl.

Etched footed bowls found on walmart.com

Etched footed bowls found on walmart.com

Simple fresh greens, footed mercury glass bowls and my vintage, hand blown ornaments.

Simple fresh greens, footed mercury glass bowls and my vintage, hand blown ornaments.

The use of NOEL is apropos of the French farmhouse window above the kitchen sink.

The use of NOEL is apropos of the French farmhouse window above the kitchen sink.

Beautiful old silver footed bowl I found I an antique shop in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

Beautiful old silver footed bowl I found in an antique shop in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

 

The Pumpkin Conundrum…

 

Out with Halloween naturals and in with Christmas décor.   The leftover green pumpkins were too pretty not to find a way to use for the Christmas Holiday, so I created this transitional arrangement to greet friends and family.  It could easily adorn a kitchen island or fireplace mantle, too.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

Fall pumpkins, stacked and tucked with moss, followed by a Christmas garland presented in an old cast iron urn. It's one way to transition from fall to Christmas, using what you already have.

Fall pumpkins, stacked and tucked with moss, followed by a Christmas garland presented in an old cast iron urn. It’s one way to transition from fall to Christmas, using what you already have.

The Autumnal Porch

It’s been a while since I have posted anything not related to the renovation.  I am still settling into the house and figuring out how I want to live within my walls.  I have a ton of pictures, but I have to show some restraint in sharing them because there has been some interest in featuring the house in national publications and/or books, so I don’t want to flood the market with more pictures.

In the mean time, I have been trying to get back in the groove of design, crafting and creating projects to publish on the blog.  For the first time in a while, I have actually completed a project: my fall porch.  Trying to create a hybrid between all out Halloween décor and something more subtle, my mandate was to work with what I had on hand with the exception of purchasing pumpkins.

Forgive the graininess of the pictures.  I misplaced my battery charger for my good camera and the battery ran out.  I have a new one coming so that I can offer you better quality pictures. (Thank God for Amazon Prime :))

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

xoxo

An arrangement of silk hydrangeas, bittersweet berries and ethereal looking paper wisps compliment the Halloween picks found at the local hobby store.

An arrangement of silk hydrangeas, bittersweet berries and ethereal looking paper wisps compliment the Halloween picks found at the local hobby store.

Gauze and lights give a nice, eerie affect.

Gauze and lights give a nice, eerie affect.

A pile of pumpkins and gourds round out the overall design.

A pile of pumpkins and gourds round out the overall design.

Inexpensive tea lights provide a sweet, nightly glow.

Inexpensive tea lights provide a sweet, nightly glow.

Vintage light globes with Halloween embellishments.

Vintage light globes with Halloween embellishments.

Not too much, just enough to make me feel that fall is in the air.

Not too much, just enough to make me feel that fall is in the air.

A fall arrangement in a galvanized tub that I purchased at Round Top.

A fall arrangement in a galvanized tub that I purchased at Round Top.

Drop cloths provide a nice treatment for the windows.

Drop cloths provide a nice treatment for the windows.

A House into a Home…

This has been a busy two months.  Moving into an unfinished house with construction dust was not what I envisioned at the end of the renovation, even though it’s still not done yet.

To say it has been stressful would be an understatement.  Slowly but surely, I am digging out of it.  Sometimes with the help of family and friends and sometimes going it alone, each weekend I accomplish something that helps me feel better about all the trouble.  Washing and vacuuming every surface, setting up proper bedrooms so sleep can be peaceful, editing collections, figuring what I can do without, working hard not to fill every square inch of storage so there is room to grow, cleaning the outside of the house, removing construction debris that wasn’t removed, having a pop up antique sale, arranging furniture, hanging pictures and just generally setting up house that will be the place I call home.

This weekend, I had the help of one of my most special friends, Vince Maggio.  He is the truly undiscovered master of arrangement.  He worked on my living/dining area and what a great job he did.

These are iphone pictures, not using  my Canon camera, so take that into consideration.  These two pictures are just snippets, I’ll do a more comprehensive article when I am closer to finishing with setting up the house.

I hope you find some inspiration.

All the Best,

Cindy

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A $65 Craigslist table that was partially stripped. I like it just the way it is. $25 One King’s Lane bamboo directors chairs that match the tone of the table and the linen press. A grouping of vintage nautical print from The Round Top Antique Show placed in floating frames and a variety of other collected pieces.

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Antique linen press full of curated items, a comfy couch across from the fireplace (pics of that later, it isn’t finished) and inexpensive IKEA pillow, along with a French ticking stripe pillow from Home Goods all come together to make a beautiful, comfortable place to set a spell and take a load off.

 

The One Minute Mile

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The perfect contrast of light and dark

 

Big things happen in little minutes and that just about describes what will happen in the next 5 days.  Floors, cabinets, tiling, plumbing finishing, electrical finishing and painting.  And that’s just the inside.  The rain has hampered working on the outside but it makes  no difference to me.  I just want to sleep in my own bed and fall asleep staring at my own ceiling.

Here are the lastest pictures.  Everything is in a state of being completed.  And then, with a wing, a prayer and a good tail wind, it will all come together.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

Stained new wood (left) against sanded old wood on the right.

Stained new wood (left) against sanded old wood on the right.

Windows that were in another part of the house, reset in the upstairs sitting area

Windows that were in another part of the house, reset in the upstairs sitting area

Simple silk shade lamps throughout the house

Simple silk shade lamps throughout the house

Kitchen cabinets built around an original feature of the house, the brick chimney

Kitchen cabinets built around an original feature of the house, the brick chimney

Kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cabinets

Newly built kitchen cabinets are lovely.  We have used an antique piece as the base for the kitchen sink.

Newly built kitchen cabinets are lovely. We have used an antique piece as the base for the kitchen sink.

More kitchen cabinets.  Note the bun feet instead of a toe kick.

More kitchen cabinets. Note the bun feet instead of a toe kick.

Exterior lighting used for interior lighting.

Exterior lighting used for interior lighting.

Barn door hardware to close off my very small office/work space

Barn door hardware to close off my very small office/work space

Stylish and budget friendly, these stock zinc light fixtures picked up at Home Depot

Stylish and budget friendly, these stock zinc light fixtures picked up at Home Depot

More kitchen cabinets

More kitchen cabinets

This wall/door didn't exist before the renovation, but you would never know that.  It looks like it is original to the house.

This wall/door didn’t exist before the renovation, but you would never know that. It looks like it is original to the house.

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The interesting angles, windows and walls of an old house