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countrydesignhome

Country style, country love, country life. Sharing my inspired, vintage, rustic DIY designs and decor on my blog.



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I often get my blog inspiration while walking the lake, listening to Pandora. Today’s genre? Musicals! Sure to get your feet tapping and your heart thumping. The first song of the morning was Under The Sea from The Little Mermaid. Who doesn’t love a Disney flick with drama, music, a heroine and a her little side-kick? Ooo, lala! So that got me day-dreaming about nautical decor. Soft blues, creamy whites, seashells, ocean vistas.

On Houzz.com I discovered Anthony Baratta from NYC. Oh, my! His ocean-inspired interiors give you that sun and surf vibe without being too literal. Can you imagine dining here? The ocean vista mural combined with the rug that gives the illusion of circles in the sand, plus the white furniture that evokes images of outdoor living is perfect for a beach-side home.  Bring on the soft shell crab! (oops, sorry Sebastian!)

This kitchen. Wow. Watery Blue. Serenity. 

The living room, with the aqua walls and soffits and flowing waves of draperies that give an illusion of lagoon living.

This interior, with its all-white concept, showcases the crystal ship hanging from the bead board rafters.

I recently visited the Harmon House Decorator’s Showhouse in York Maine. Entering through the front door, the living-dining-kitchen space, designed by Boston-based Gerald Pomeroy Design Group is monotone Farrow and Ball blue-walls and trim-with a spectacular sparkling stone fireplace wall. This is my favorite nautical pallette: blues and creamy whites, linen and sisal, natural stone and dark woods for contrast. You have an immediate sense of calm, the soft hues creating an uninterrupted visual frame that leads your eye to the water views outside.

Whenever I am searching for online inspiration and photos, I turn to my Pinterest boards. This one, Seashells by the Seashore, has some of my all time favorite nautical interiors. White interior, dark blue stripes, sisal rug, grasscloth ceiling. Clean and natural. Coastal Living.

The focal point of this pic is the stunning stairway backdrop of water on canvas, creating the illusion of ocean.

How can I talk about nautical decor without showing at least one ship replica? This one, with its blonde wood and billowing white sails, contrasts nicely with the blue walls and white wainscotting. The view from this space alone is enough to garner your attention, but the white furniture with the striated wavy pattern on the rugs, along with the amazing solar system light fixture from American Lighting Association brings the outside in.  This bedroom is a bit more literal, but stunning still. Gives new meaning to “sleeping with the fishes” Here are a few accessorizing ideas…(we all know how much I adore whales : )

and vintage vignettes

to inspire you create your own space “under the sea”.

Which is a good place to be with this on going heat wave! Have a cool weekend everyone! Susan

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…due to heavy rains. Since I spent the early part of the day carb-loading (no, I am not training for a marathon, just snacking on almond shortbread cake, chili-lime crackers and mini-butterfingers), I decided to take a quick walk/jog around Lake Quannapowitt before we went out for dinner. What do you call a walk/jog anyway? Wog? Jalk? In this case, it could have been a swim. Started out fine, but got half-way around the lake’s 3 mile circumference when I noticed a dark menacing grey cloud in the distance. Damn. Just as I turned the corner, the skies opened up and the rain poured down on me and the dozen or so other woggers that were getting in their afternoon exercise. In a matter of seconds, I was soaked to the bone, and managed to hide under a tree long enough to snap this photo-attractive, eh?

With the car parked 1.5 miles away, I started back, hoping the Coach would come to my rescue. Alas, that was not the case. All those cars driving by with headlights on? No search and rescue looking for me.

Soooo, I jumped some puddles,

snapped a couple of pics (neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this writer from the swift completion of her blog)

until my camera started to blur from all the moisture!

Safely back in the car, I made my way home, the wipers working overtime to clear the ribbons of water cascading down the windshield.

Back on the porch-oh hey, my raincoat! I had hung it on the porch to clean off the bird poop I somehow managed to sit in while at SOWA on

Sunday

That would have come in handy. A few moments later, the sun peeked through the clouds.

Wanderlust Wednesday returns next week…and remember, when you walk through a storm, hold your head up high- unless you don’t have an umbrella. Susan 

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Coach and I spent the better part of Sunday afternoon at the SOWA Vintage Market and Open Market in Boston’s South End. What fun!

The indoor market vintage shops are crammed with various and curious items for sale like art

and style

…and just plain sexy. This loveseat and chair were heart-stoppers for me!!

The artist, Holly Czapski, from Re-Furnish of West Concord, transforms pieces of old furniture into works of art. Using vintage photographs that she transfers onto fabric, she creates one-of-a-kind, stunning functional art pieces that could be the focal point of any room. AMAZING. You can reach her at holly@re-furnish.com

The larger part of SOWA is the outdoor farmer’s market and arts and crafts show. With pop-up tents filled with hand-crafted and vintage goods surrounded by food trucks of all shapes and sizes (kickass gourmet grilled cheese at Roxy’s, the line was 20 deep at all times!) this weekly event is not to be missed. If you are traveling to Boston, or just looking for an entertaining Sunday afternoon, SOWA is a must see. There is not room enough on this blog to note every item I deamed awesome and noteworthy. But I will highlight a few of my favs- for the rest, you’ll just have to go and shop for yourself. I am always searching for unique, quirky, fun items. I found a few here:

Love On The Blocks Your favorite photographs printed on to handcrafted birch blocks. The images are soft but true.

Nonsense Institute Whimsical creations by Anisa Asakawa. Handmade. Screen Printed. Recycled. Adorable.

Darn Good Barn Wood unique furniture made from reclaimed antique barn wood. Gorgeous finishes. Perfect for a country kitchen!

Oh How Cute Coasters! Started when a small, piggy-tailed kid was constantly over the coals for not having a coaster under her drink. Morphing the fear of water rings on furniture and a love of photography, Oh how cute! Coaster Co began. Handmade in New Bedford, MA.

Marcart Graphic art by Marc Roulstone. A must-have, since we had Bartlet the French Bulldog tagging along with us (with his mommy, who was stopped approximately every ten feet by Frenchie fans wanting to pat him and play with him. We must have heard “Oh, he’s sooooo cute!” at least 100 times! Being the celebrity that he apparently is, he took it all in stride. He was more interested in eating food droppings off the ground than acknowledging his admirers.

Those of you who know me and my blog, know how much I appreciate recycling in any form or fashion.

So here was a very fashionable recycling booth!

Manswap, sponsered by SOWA,

where you could bring your clean, gently used items and swap them. “Swap is the New Shop”. LOVE.

And finally, another unique shop, this time a converted school bus filled with vintage clothing. Great way to set up shop: drive up, park, sell your stuff, drive home. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Sunday Drive”. Susan

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Here’s the story, about a Whale named Wally (well, it’s actually Wallace, but his “fins” and family call him Wally)  Back on the 4th of July, I started the D.I.M. project- Do. It. Myself. (Because If I Don’t, Who The Hell Else Will?!?)- I referred to as refurbishing Mr. Whale. Today, the reveal! That beat-up, barnacle-covered, down-in-the-spout old pine coffee table I picked up for $5.00 at a yard sale has a whole new look!!

After the whale -washing

the sanding 

then re-glueing and painting the base

taping  and striping

adding the stars

then re-sanding the edges and top and adding the antique glazing (this stuff is typically used for kitchen cabinets but when a whale needs a new coat, anything goes!) You paint it on…

then wipe it off-the more you leave, the darker the finished product.

Final step- polyurethaning  (I used water-based polyacrylic so it will remain clear and not yellow). I wanted to use a rub-on wax for a less shiny finish, but since Wally will be spending the majority of his time outdoors on the porch, he needed a strong, clear coat for protection. 

Wallace the Whale has a whole new life!

Pierce Brosnan (yup, 007 himself) once said: “We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? – a world without whales. It’s too terrible to imagine.” Along with tips from my recent “Saving Mother Earth” blog post, I’d like to think that I am doing my small part with my Three “R” principle: Re-Cycle, Re-Furbish, Re-Love. Most of the items on this porch wall were also re-claimed!Wally is a perfect example of what you can do with a little elbow grease and some imagination to re-love an object that might otherwise be headed for extinction. 

Now it’s a smooth sail for Mr. Whale! Time to tackle the couch…Susan

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One of my very first posts, “Taking the Leap“, was about 2012, the year of the weddings. With five unique weddings on our calendar this year, we were looking forward to a season of food, fun & family. Last night’s nuptials were held at the Smith Barn at Brooksby FarmThe invitation had read: “Please come and enjoy a celebration of love, friendship, laughter and friends”, and the evening did not disappoint. A tranquil country setting, surrounded by orchards and vineyards, where 200+ family and friends spent the night dining and dancing under the stars in this sooo romantic setting. 

The bride and groom braved the elements and decided to hold the ceremony outdoors in the garden, under threats of torrential downpours and high 80’s temps in the forecast. Just as the guests were taking their seats, the cloudy sky cleared to blue, a sure sign of a bright future for the newlyweds, yes?

The reception was held inside the Smith Barn, an antique two-story structure built in 1904. Simply rustic, with a balcony looking over the dance floor, where we were able to get a bird’s eye view of the bride and groom’s  first dance as husband and wife. 

A few of my favorite unique touches for the affair:

Mason jar centerpieces, decorated with burlap and designed by Parker Florist  of Wakefield, added splashes of color in hues of purple, yellow and green. Perfectly casual country alongside the table markers, empty wine bottles with a stenciled number, the corks having served as the place cards. With 24 tables, that was a lot of wine to drink…gotta take one for the team, as they say. Cute!

The aisle markers, hung on shepherd’s hooks in the garden. Burlap cones filled with summer flowers. So country pretty!

The Wedding Tree. Upon entering the venue, we grabbed our place markers, but then were asked to add our thumb prints and signatures to a lovely hand-painted poster to create a lasting “wedding tree” momento for the bride and groom. (wipes were provided to remove the ink from our thumbs : )

Hanging pots of flowers from the beams. Since the venue is constructed of unvarnished, unpainted beams, walls and floor, it was up to the wedding planners to add a splash of color wherever possible. The rows of hanging flower baskets added a softer touch to the beams surrounding the dance floor.

Twinkle lights. No matter what the venue, these little lights always cast a warm glow, especially after the sun set and the moon emerged over the vineyards. And it got me to thinking, I have a barn…and twinkle lights. And I like to dance. Perhaps a new business venture?

Ice Cream Bar!! In lieu of the tradional wedding cake, an ice cream bar was offered as dessert. Vanilla ice cream with a choice of toppings including oreos, hot fudge, sprinkles, strawberries, whipped cream and a cherry on top : ) A very cool way to end the evening.

School Bus Rock. The night at Smith Barn ending, the bridal party and their guests who were staying at a local hotel were treated to the ultimate mode of transportation- the big yellow school bus! Packed to capacity, we overheard the cheering and chanting as they rode off into the night.

Congrats to the newlyweds!! May you have a long life of love, happiness and sunshine. Now I could use some coffee and an Advil…. Susan

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Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style.

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Welcome To Country Design Home!

Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style...in the suburbs. Because you don't have to live on a farm to create a warm and inviting country-styled home. Follow my DIY junkin' journey as I give tips of the trades and inspired fresh country design ideas to create your own Country Design Home.
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