simple is beautiful

Cottage Lovin'

Friday, April 30, 2010

I thought that the month of April would be a good time to share pictures of houses with significant curb appeal so every Friday I have been doing just that.  I will continue to share charming houses with you, but from now on it will be a little more sporadic and not limited to Fridays...unless of course you like to see a cute little house every Friday.  

So here is the final drive least for now.

Every time I go for a run, I pass by this house.  I have watched it evolve with landscape, a brick drive way, and a new garage around back.  Those are all fabulous improvements and I am sure that they serve the purposes of every day life, but I am drawn to the simple charm that I see here.

These flower pots filled with geraniums by the upstairs windows are perfectly charming. 

I am sharing this with The Inspired Room where you will find lots of inspiration.  Have a great weekend!

Bathroom Before and After

Thursday, April 29, 2010

     Knowing how everyone loves to see a great makeover, I wanted to share this transformation that my husband's company recently completed.   The wonderful before and after photos are compliments of the  professional photographer, Nancy Sidelinger.  Thanks to Nancy for allowing me to use her photos.



    Shower Before



     I really don't need to say the anything as the photos speak for themselves.  This bathroom is gorgeous isn't it?  Thanks so much to the home owner for allowing me to share the photos with you.

    The Bus Full of Jars

    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    The last time we were in the mountains, Mom and I wandered into this little hole in the wall.  We drive by the place every time we are in town, but had never stopped. It doesn't look like much from the road which is probably why we had never checked it out, but Mom and I were in a serious hunting mood that day and felt like exploring.

    For all you ball jar lovers, you would have loved it.  There were shelves and shelves of old bottles and jars ranging in price from $3-5.  They guy watching shop that day,who happened to be sitting in a lawn chair outside, told us to go around to the back and to look inside the school buses.

    Inside the school buses were more jars and junk.  The buses were without wheels and were just sitting there in the yard.  Maybe I'm weird, but I love places like this.

    It was on this day that my jar collection began. 

    Drive By

    Friday, April 23, 2010

       Not exactly a cottage, but I could make it work.

      After this weekend, my life should be moving at a slower pace.  There are a couple of projects that I have been working on to share with you as soon as I can be home for a while....hint: paint and fabric.  No big surprise right?

      Have a great weekend!

      Stretching the Dollar in the Garden

      Tuesday, April 20, 2010

      This is by far my favorite time of the year!  I love to see the new leaves emerge, the flowers bloom, and the birds nest.  Over the years my husband and I have tried to plan our landscape so that it has a good balance of plants that include trees, shrubs (both evergreen and deciduous), and ground covers.

      Ground covers are a great way to fill in the gaps between trees and shrubs and they add a lot of interest to a garden.  Most of them can be divided to cut down on the cost especially if you have several areas that need that extra touch.  Here is what I do.

      First I look for pots of plants that have multiple plants in them.  
      Here you can see about three or four separate plants.

      Next I shake most of the soil off of the roots which makes it easier to see what you are working with.

      Divide the plants by using a shovel or trowel.

      See, now I have three plants.

      I shopped around to find the best price.  One garden shop charged $5.59 and the other charged $3.50, so needless to say, we went with the latter.  $10.50 for 10 plants, 3 pots,  is a very economical solution if you don't mind waiting a couple of months for results.  In a couple of months, the liriope will fill in nicely.

      To keep grasses such as liriope neat looking, they need to be trimmed back in January/ February before the new growth appears.

      Other favorite ground covers include:
      creeping jenny
      mondo grass

      I am sharing this with Finding Fabulous and The Inspired Room.

      Market Perks - Thom Filicia

      Monday, April 19, 2010

      Working at the furniture market has its perks.  Yesterday I met Thom Filicia.

      He arrived by limo, noticed us standing there smiling.  Thom knew what we were up to...he's seen the likes of us before.  He gladly dropped his bag, threw his arms around us and smiled for the picture...a kiss on the cheek , then off to his show room next door.  What a gracious man, the only way I could be more impressed is if he appears at my door and offers to redecorate my house.  Thom, what do you say?

      To Market, To Market

      Thursday, April 15, 2010

      I love it when men look like men....

      and women look like women...

      The furniture market begins tomorrow.  Am I ready?  Yes and no.  For the next several days I will be working in a beautiful showroom with fabulous people...and wishing that I had one of these to wear on my jacket.  Isn't it lovely?

      If you have questions for me and don't hear from me for a while, please don't give up.  I will eventually respond.  That is after I do 20 loads of laundry, scrape leftover sandwiches and pizza off of the sofa, re-stock the pantry, scour the bathrooms, and try to re-store general order in my little frat house, ahem, I mean cottage. 

      By the way, you might want to follow me on twitter because there's a chance you will see some twitpics from me at market....lot's of pretty things there....

      All images: Emerson Made

      Thank You PVE Design!

      Wednesday, April 14, 2010

      I don't normally post twice in one day, but this is an emergency.  If you don't already know about the artist Patricia, otherwise known as pve, then you are missing out.  She does amazing illustrations of lifestyles, pets, places, parties, and people.  Patricia contacted me recently and offered to illustrate our cottage.  Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful talent with others Patricia.

      You might recognize some of the blogs that have also been graced with the her talents.  Mrs. Blandings, All the Best, High-Heeled Foot in the Door to name a few.  Please visit her blog and let Patricia know how beautiful her work is and while you are it, visit her on etsy.

      Lonny Mag Affirmation

      It's always entertaining when a new issue of Lonny Mag comes out.  In a matter of seconds, or so it seems, the design blogs light up with thoughts on Lonny.  Some like this issue for the inspiring colors and others for the "green" decorating, but me, I'm digging the bathroom.

      Yup, that's right, the bathroom.  Oh yeah, when I saw it I gave it a yes and a fist pump just like my husband does when his team scores a three pointer.  What's so great about the bathroom you ask?  The 1940's yellow and black tile is what's great.  This tells me that we are not the only ones on the planet with this tile and someone has figured out what to do with it.  This gives me hope.

      Over the years, I have done a faux finish on the walls, thought of painting them black, and just recently decided to go white. Brown, white, and gold...sounds like a plan to me.  To see the most recent issue of Lonny go here.

        Moss Covered Topiary

        Monday, April 12, 2010

           I love to see topiaries on a mantel.  I really love the preserved boxwood topiaries and plan to make them as soon as the summer color sets on the boxwood in our garden.  In the mean time, I found some containers on deep discount at Joanns and decided to make moss covered topiaries to get us through.

          I won't bore you with all of the step by step details because we have all seen a bazillion tutorials on how to do this, but I will hit the highlights.

           Materials:  assorted mosses, dowel rod, container, green Styrofoam ball, plaster of Paris, hot glue gun, stain
          1. Cut dowel rods to desired length and stain.    I used walnut stain.
          2. Mix plaster of Paris according to directions and fill your container.  This to me, is the most important step.
          3. Place dowel into center of container and hold until plaster begins to harden.
          4. Place Styrofoam ball onto dowel to desired depth then remove.  Apply hot glue to hole in ball and replace onto dowel rod.
          5. Begin covering Styrofoam balls with moss until they are well covered.
          6. Fill container with moss.
           I recently cleaned the ashes out of the fireplace from the winter.  During the summer, I like to store all of the fireplace equipment.  The screen and tools go away and magnolia leaves take their place.  They need to be replaced about once every 3-4 weeks.  The leaves add a fresh summer touch to the living room.

          Drive By

          Friday, April 9, 2010

          Hey everybody and happy Friday!

          Now that the temperatures are warming up and we are beginning to get outside, many of us are thinking about curb appeal and what we can do to make our homes more charming.   So many charming houses catch my eye each day as I make my rounds and I plan to start sharing them with you on Fridays.  Everybody likes a drive by, right?
          (click to enlarge)

          What gives this home curb appeal?  Let's see ...  Painted brick.  Dormers. Scrolled exterior light.  Gas lamp post.  White picket fence.  The landscape.  Dental molding.  Copper flashing.  Clay chimney shrouds. Paneled shutters with functional hardware.  Stacked stone. Architectural shingles.

          I love a corner lot with a privacy fence.  Oh and that sweet little window above the garage didn't go unnoticed.  What did I miss?
           There are so many ways to add curb appeal to your home.  It doesn't have to be a huge house, but by adding little touches here and there, it can be a charming house.  How do you add curb appeal?

          Have a great weekend!

          I am linking with The Inspired Room.

            I'm Smitten

            Wednesday, April 7, 2010

                I am a very happy girl today!  The giveaway that I won from The White Flower Farmhouse over at The Lettered Cottage arrived today.  Layla has a beautiful blog and I just love reading about all of her decorating projects.  Thank you so much Layla for hosting this wonderful giveaway!  The White Flower Farmhouse sponsored the giveaway and they specialize in everything I love, vintage linens, ironstone, galvanized metal pails, just to name a few.  Everything in their online shop is special because they scour flea markets and estate sales to find their goodies.  Thank you so much Lori and Megan!

               This linen towel from France was part of the giveaway.  Isn't it gorgeous?  I love it!  

              Also in the giveaway was this antique cutlery tote which I plan to use for outdoor dining this summer.  The color is perfect!

              Last but not least is the beautiful starfish.  I am so happy with my new goodies and the timing is perfect!  Once this crazy pollen goes away we will be eating outside most nights of the week.  

              Thanks again Layla, Lori, and Megan!!!  You made my day!

              If you like houses and I'm pretty sure that you do, duh, then be sure to come back here each Friday.  My hometown is full of charm and I want everyone to see it!  Each Friday, I plan to share a drive-by with you.  We have so many gorgeous old homes here and I just know that you will love seeing them.  Local followers, you never know, yours could be one of them.  Hopefully I won't be arrested for house stalking.  I hear the inmates are pretty tough on ladies serving that sentence, ha ha.

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