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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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No need to cross the pond this week! In New England, we have so many lovely coastal cities and towns on the Atlantic, so we decided to head Down Maine, as the saying goes (yes, it doesn’t make sense, since we were heading north, but click the link for the history). This past Saturday, husband (we call him Coach around here) and I drove to Portland, primarily to visit some shops we had seen at Brimfield a couple of months back. Just an hour+ ride away, Portland has loads to offer for a fun day-trip from Boston: a lovely seaport district, antique shops and restaurants, The Portland SeaDogs AA Baseball Team and of course, lobstah. First stop-My Sister’s Garage, an antique farmhouse on the side of Rte 302, filled with stunning displays, all sorts of antiques, textiles and

vintage, re-purposed furniture, restored and re-designed on the premises. How “country pretty” is this white lacy bedroom and dining room?!! Dreamy!!  Vintage vignettes throughout the shop… kitchy kitchen and wondrous wedding dress. 

Made my first purchase of the day, this cute throw pillow created from vintage tea towels, which now sits proudly on the porch.

Headed back down 302, stopping at The Ruby Slipper, an antiques co-op. Spotted this charming painted china hutch filled with pretty pink china.

After that came a yard sale or two, then on to Pendexters. Funky little building…no website…loving this sign…furniture and bric-a-brac stacked to the ceiling.

Next stop, Portland Architectural Salvage Company. Anything you could possibly need or want to refurbish an old home is stuffed into this 4 story warehouse.

Whether you’re searching for doors or windows, bathroom fixtures or just miscellaneous junk, you will find it here. Hmmm, this sign might be perfect for me…

Around the corner we stumbled upon an indoor flea market, where we purchased this giant pottery crock. Coach seems to think it will be a fine fire-wood holder for the long winter months.

On to Portland’s Seaport District, once a major commercial and shipping port, that is now home to dozens of shops and boutiques lining the cobblestone streets. 

Ranging from the funky t-shirt genre of Cool as a Moose to high end pottery and jewelry from

Edgecomb Potters, and stunning interiors from Simply Home and

Nicolas Homes, by Nicola Manganello, there is literally something for everyone, including a piece of the Berlin Wall! Of course, after all that driving and shopping, we needed a treat, so off we went to find Two Fat Cats Bakery, serving up scrumptious “made-from-scratch” sweets.

Had to try a chocolate/raspberry whoopie pie, and this Bourbon Pecan Pie was so beautiful, we couldn’t leave it on the shelf- and at $22.00- it was worth every sticky, crunchy, yummy bite!

So if you happen to live in the Boston area, and are looking for a fun way to spend a warm spring day, take a ride on Rte 1 North down to Portland.

Hope your Wednesday is full of wander…Susan

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I love a beautiful, sleek, contemporary kitchen with sparkling Italian cabinets and state of the art appliances as much as the next cook. But having a “Country Pretty” point of view, nothing sets my heart aflutter and my taste buds dancing more than an eclectic, rustic, country kitchen. While searching for design concepts and ideas for my own kitchen reno, my eye was always drawn to pretty pastel colors, hand-hewn finishes and just a touch of bling. A few of my favorites…

this one is from Apartment Therapy… simple yet sophisticated

I love the overall feel of this kitchen from another era, especially the use of the mahogany buffet as an island!

A perfect style for a cottage down by the shore

kitchen from Elle Decor…that table!!!

stainless steel and hand hewn beams makes a perfect island

Country Living…charming and colorful

One perfect appliance for a country kitchen- the Aga Cooker

My kitchen reno…when we moved in 30+ years ago, there were pink formica countertops, utensil and soy sauce wallpaper (no, not splashed on it, actually printed on it!), knotty pine cottage cabinets. Many years of painting, re-painting, changing the formica and the stick-down linoleum taught me one thing: you can only put lipstick on a pig so many times before you finally give in and go for the full-on gut and remodel.

My kitchen after many attempts to “spruce it up”…

my kitchen gutted to the rafters… we discovered the roof was being supported by hand-hewn 2 x 4’s!!

My kitchen today…LOVE. Every day when I walk in my back door and turn the corner, it makes me smile. It truly is the life of our home. Modern functioning Kitchenaid appliances, my fabulous chandelier from Lt. Willard Moses, accessories primarily from HomeGoods (where else?). My favorite area is the alcove over the stove. Tucked behind the beams, it is the perfect spot for seasonal decorating : ) I found a little cupboard at Todd Farm in Rowley that is perfect for displaying our collection of pewter and silver. And of course, no country kitchen would be complete without a rustic sign…All you new kitchen wanna-be’s be forwarned!!!. It is always best to read the owner’s manual prior to using your new-fangled appliances. Apparently the people who designed my “warmer drawer”, did not do so with the intent of my storing vintage towels and aprons…suffice to say that the Wakefield’s finest had a bit of a chuckle once they discovered the source of the smoke billowing from the oven…hubby not so amused when he discovered the three things I grabbed on the way out the door…Daisy the dog, my Ipad and my Iphone. What else does a girl need?!?

Hope you’re cookin’ up a great Tuesday!

Susan

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that we would live in France.” With a haunting melody and lyrics describing a life of longing, Judy Collins composed this song in 1969, as a loving tribute to her father, who taught her to dream. He died shortly thereafter, never having heard her perform it. I hope you enjoy this musical montage (click here for the music) and Happy Father’s Day!

                

               “My father always promised us, that we would live in France

We’d go boating on the Seine

And I would learn to dance.

                            We lived in Ohio then, he worked in the mines

                    On his dreams like boats, We knew we would sail in time

                                    All my sisters soon were gone

                                         To Denver and Cheyenne

                               Marrying their grownup dreams

                                            The lilacs and the man

       I stayed behind the youngest still,  Only danced alone,  The colors of my father’s dreams, Faded without a sound

And I live in Paris now My children dance and dream

             Hearing the ways of a miner’s life, In words they’ve never seen…

                    I sail my memories of home, Like boats across the Seine

            And watch the Paris sun,  As it sets in my father’s eyes again…”

Have a lovely father’s day… Susan

 

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Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world…give me a plane ticket and rolling suitcase and I am off!!

Springtime each year I get a serious case of “itchy feet”. Having worked very hard since our last trip (August, 2011!!), we are looking forward to some vacation time this summer, but where to go?! Over the years, we have had the opportunity to visit some amazing places, both in the US and abroad. Still have a lot of the earth left to cover, but would like to share some of my favorite pics with you…so introducing…Wanderlust Wednesdays! (I realize today is Thursday, but I didn’t get to finish this post until this morning : ) Inspired by my daughter’s upcoming trip to Sweden, today’s travel pics will be about one of my favorite places, Stockholm.

Entering the Harbor by Ship

Downtown Shopping and Pubs…cobblestone streets, outdoor cafes, loads of “tourist” shopping

Searching for a place to enjoy the local pub culture, instead found this place! O’Leary’s Pub- completely decked out in Boston Sports Collectibles, while the Celtics were playing on the telly.

Colorful Architecture..even on the dreariest day the downtown is alive with people!

Phone Booth…don’t see these in the States

Hot Air Balloon…floating overhead between the buildings…breathtaking!

Ice Hotel…The Ice Bar in Stockholm. Everyone said “don’t bother, it’s just a tourist trap”…and it was. But it was very cool.

Where else could you get Vodka in the rocks?!?! And I got to wear this awesome fur cape. Pretty stylish, huh?

Fishing boats lined the harbor

This is our Princess Cruise Ship from the Alleyway

The Vasa Museum– the building was constructed around the Vasa ship that sank on its maiden voyage! The master boat builder thought it would be fun to add an upper deck, not factoring in that whole side to side balance thing. The ship was launched with much fanfare, two gusts of wind knocked it over and it sank to the bottom of the harbor! Early 1900’s, they figured out how to bring it back up, and with most of the ship’s carvings intact, they built the museum around it.

Vasa Ship Cherubs

Nightime Along the Docks…time to sail away to our next port! Hope you enjoyed my pics (taken with my Iphone : ) Happy Sailing… Susan

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The Launch

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Would have preferred to be blogging about “The Lunch” at a lovely little Italian bistro in Tuscany. But The Kayaks have been in dry dock for over a year now, and it was time to take them for their maiden voyage. These kayaks were a birthday gift for my husband, presented to him with grand fanfare a year ago May-yes 2011!  Amazing how an adult could be so excited about a big blue plastic boat : )  Since that time, there were many reasons (ah, excuses) why the kayaks had not been launched. Poor weather, wrist surgery (on my part), lack of PFD’s (for those of you not boating saavy, that stands for Personal Flotation Device, previously known as, and more accurately described as a LIFE JACKET), lack of roof racks and a cruise to the Baltics-my preferred style of boating-someone steers the boat while I relax on the deck with a bucket of beers : )Fast forward to this past Sunday, a glorious spring day, the peace and tranquility of my morning coffee on the porch rudely interrupted by a text from my daughter saying “get ready, we are going kayaking today!”. Great. Good. It’s time. We had recently purchased a new car with roof racks, which up until now, had been utilized for carrying home furniture and stuff from antique shops. No more excuses, or pretty soon, those Kayaks were going to be utilized in a much more artistic form if we didn’t get them water-borne.

Being a reluctant participant, I hung back and took pics while the J-hook racks, and then the kayaks were secured to the roof, and the PFD secured to Bartlet the dog.

Off we go to our local Lake Quannapowitt, which is very pretty in pictures from afar, but not so much up close-a fierce algae bloom has turned the shoreline a bright shade of green. Ok to boat on, but wouldn’t want to fall in!

Since the kayaks were my husband’s gift, it was only fair that he have the first go-round (and yes, I was stalling).  My daughter Kate and her dog Bartlet were right behind him, at least for a moment, until the dog decided to test his PFD and his swimming abilities! Frenchies are great little dogs, but we had read that because their heads are quite large, they have a tendency to sink when submerged in water. I am happy to report that his ability to keep afloat with his head above water was masterful, and his PFD worked beautifully! Kate paddled quickly to his side and scooped him out of the water by the handle on the top of the jacket. Of course, I don’t have any pictures of that, because I was doubled-over laughing at the sequence of events. Suffice to say I could never make a living as an official photographer. And with that, the kayaks were launched.

Remember that old Nike tagline “Just Do It?”. With that thought in mind, I finally took my turn around the lake in the periwinkle blue LL Bean Perception kayak. In all the time thinking about and worrying about tipping over and going in the drink, that never was an issue. I did have a few run-ins with some bushes along the shore, but for the most part, it was an uneventful event. Until we packed up and returned home. Now I would like to tell the story that my sore back and neck was from a large wave crashing and tossing me into the lake. Sadly, not true. Safely back home after our maiden voyage, having removed the kayaks from the roof of the car, I had jumped up along the side of the car to unscrew the J-hook racks. Stepping back down, I tripped and fell backwards into the kayaks on the ground! Thankfully, no cameras handy to record that moment in the kayak annals. So my take on the whole experience? Lots of work to secure J-hooks, strap the kayaks to the roof, drive to location, unstrap and carry kayak to water’s edge, PFD’s are not all that comfortable, paddling is quite a good upper body workout, being on the lake is fun, but I would just as soon walk around the lake for my exercise. Will I go again? Perhaps. In the meantime, anyone wanna borrow some kayaks???

Peaceful sailing…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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