A Log On A Blog

I have a dilemma. Once Coach and I decided to go ahead and find the summer home of my dreams…a log cabin in the woods…I started decorating (in my head and on Pinterest ) One thing that I knew for sure…I was going to do a “log cabin” bedroom, complete with birch trees and a log bed. Like this one:

Log Room

So I searched on FB Marketplace and CL until I found the perfect log bed! Not too rustic, sans bark, easy to assemble and not that heavy and clunky like some I had seen.

Log Bed CloseupAnd the price, well, it was sooooo inexpensive! The perfect anchor for my log cabin bedroom. EXCEPT…now that our log cabin is no longer a log cabin but a charming, light -filled condo cottage, well…the idea of a dark, heavy cabin scheme just doesn’t fit the bill. BUT, I still have my log bed and am going to use it…only in a lighter, brighter color scheme. But the one thing about this “au natural” bed- is that is actually kind of yellow. So, my question to you, dear readers, is this: should I paint it, stain it or leave it alone? I attempted a bit of gray stain on one of the frame supports, but it looked so dark that I abandoned that and set up the bed as is.

Log Bed in WindowThe walls are Reflection (a very pale gray) by Sherwin Williams and the bedding is primarily gray with touches of lavender and white. Every time I glance into the doorway of this room, I fall in love with the space all over again.

Log Bed with American Flag

But I’m still not sure about that log color. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! And if you’d like to have a look at my Log Cabin Pinterest Page, click Here. Have a great Wednesday, everyone! Logging off for now…xoxo Susan

Our Awesome Junk Can Be Your Awesome Junk!

Have you seen this cartoon that showed up on my FB feed a few weeks back?

Well, my kids have, and they were not amused, fearing that they will be stuck with so much stuff upon our ultimate demise. So, the time has come to start clearing out the barn, the shed, the porch, the basement and the house. As we have been slowly acquiring furnishings and necessities for our new cottage, and deciding what to bring up from our home, we are feeling a bit overrun and filled to the brim with WAY too much stuff that needs to be purged. The general rule of thumb now: if we can’t use it here, and we don’t want it in the Maine cottage, it goes. So, tomorrow, Saturday, June 15th is your lucky day!! Because all of the awesomeness that we (well, mainly Coach) have collected over the years is now yours for the purchasing. I have a few signs ready to go, and Coach has these great roll-down maps of the US and Alaska. And maps, loads of maps. And books…

Mill Shop Wall

No reasonable offers refused, I promise! Here is the yard sale listing that Coach has posted with lots of pics- but I assure you there is PLENTY more where that came from!! If you need it, we probably have one- or more.

https://www.yardsalesearch.com/yss-garage-sale.jsp?id=192013209

Except for the whale coffee table- he is one of a kind : )

Whale Table Tail CloseupStarts at 8 and goes until…if there’s a customer, Coach will stay!  See you tomorrow, bring lots of $$$ : )

xoxo Susan



 

How Many Whales Can One Cottage Hold?

It all started with this sweet little pillow…

Whale PillowWay back when Coach and first made the decision to purchase our cottage, I started looking around our own home and our shop for inspiration…thinking that we could bring a lot of our present décor to Maine-save some $$$, decorate with the things we love. We tend towards the nautical, as you can see by the photos. But, what else did I see? WHALES. Pods of them scattered throughout the house.

Nantucket Brand Whale PaintingOn our porch, in the family room, in the bathroom, in the shop.

Tin Whales Country Design HomeSome hand-crafted by me, some by local artisans, different styles, shapes and colors.

Hail to the Whale Wall Grouping Logo 1Whale, its a full-on WHALE invasion!

Whale Table Tail CloseupNow, anyone that follows my blog knows that Coach and I love those majestic denizens of the deep blue sea. In taking a quick inventory in our home, I came across this beautiful hand-crafted whale cutting board

Granite Whale Cutting Boardwe recently purchased at the Vintage Bazaar…and this whale rocking toy…

Whale Rocking Toy…and these little guys in our kitchen…

Whale Vignette…and of course, we cannot forget about our patriotic whale coffee table on the porch!

Whale Porch TableOK, so maybe we whale-y have a problem…and this is only in a few rooms in our house!  I recently read an article about the 30 worst decorating trends that hopefully will never return: Over-Done Coastal was listed as decorating no-no…too much of a good thing will drown out your style, apparently. So, how many whales can a little Maine cottage hold? Whale, we’ll have to wait and see : ) So, for now, I am scaling back on the whales and looking to simplify some of the spaces I have designed (all in my head and on Pinterest Country Design Homefor now, thankfully : ). But this guy, hand-crafted by the very talented Jess Wrobel

Whale Pillowwhale, he’s coming with us because he makes me whale-y happy : ) Have a whale of a Wednesday, everyone! xoxoxo Susan

The Maine Name Game

For many years, Coach and I have dreamed of purchasing a summer cottage… somewhere we could go with our family and friends and just chill. Somewhere we could sip margaritas while watching the sun set over the horizon,

Sunsetnot too far from home, but far enough to be “away” from our daily hectic lives. But first we had to narrow our geographical location-within driving distance-north or south? We started south-Martha’s Vineyard, truly one of our favorite places on the planet-we vacationed there for many years, and our son was married there in 2016.

Chris and Ashley Lets DanceBut it would have been a logistical nightmare with the traffic and the ferry rides to take on a weekly basis, so we ruled it out. Moving north to Cape Cod, the same held true-between Boston and Cape traffic, the weekend traveling would have been prohibitive. Looking northbound, we finally landed on Maine-the Kennebunk area, to be exact, where our daughter was married in 2015.

IMG_8097 (1)At first we looked inland-our initial plan was to find a log cabin on a lake or river. A fixer-upper, something with character, age and charm…with a water view. So, we started the search last spring, hoping to discover that charming log cabin deep in the woods, right on the water. We viewed cabins and cottages and little old houses-primarily fixer-uppers-like this one in Kennebunk- that was over 200K!!

Cottage Maine Some were on the water…rivers and ponds and lakes. But, as much as I enjoyed the looks of those bodies of water, they just didn’t have the feel of the ocean-is there anything else like the sound of pounding waves crashing the shoreline?

Cottage Crashing Waves

AND, having lived in and worked on an old house-mid 1800’s…

Red Home Ice

for the past three decades-it eventually dawned on me that I no longer had that fixer-upper spirit in me! The thought of tearing down walls and repairing old roofs and replacing leaking plumbing and knocking down giant icicles sent shudders down my spine-what could be less restful and peaceful than that?!  So, shifting gears, we searched nearer to the ocean, but lets just say that with each bedroom you add and each 1/4 mile you move closer to those pounding waves, the price increases $100K! And then finally, we found it by chance…a drive-by of sorts. A charming “Cape Cod” style cottage-brand spankin’ newCottage Exterior in Springnot on the water, but in a nature preserve overlooking towering pines and birch trees…this is the view from our back kitchen door : )

Cottage Back View

This seasonal home is unlike anything else we had seen-it is part of a condo development called the “Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve”

Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve Model Homessituated on close to a hundred acres of pristine Maine forest bordering The Eastern Trail…10 minutes from Dock Square in Kennebunkport, 10 minutes to Goose Rocks Beach, 15 minutes to Wells and Ogunquit and 20 minutes to Portland. Easy enough to enjoy all that coastal Maine has to offer, but tranquil enough to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Maine countryside. Oh, and if you’re in the antiques biz, there’s the Arundel Flea Market just down the road (and you know who is chomping at the bit to get in on the action there!) Since we purchased the unfinished cottage back in January, we have eagerly watched the progression- slowly at first with the never-ending snowfallCottage Exterior in Snow

but now at almost warp speed towards completion. Yesterday, we checked in, only to discover that where there used to be piles of lumber, we now have a kitchen

Cottage Kitchenand bathrooms and floors and the walls have been painted and I didn’t have to do any of it : ) And, most importantly, a matching SHED. What’s the big deal about a shed, you ask?Cottage ShedWell, that’s a story for another day…but for now, I’ve created Pinterest pages for every single space and have been buying “essentials”-

Cottage Beddingthere’s a lot required in outfitting a 3 bedroom cottage!! Thank goodness for HomeGoods and Target! So, over the next few weeks while we await our completion and move-in date, I will be sharing the spaces and hoping to get some ideas from you-we will be using hand-me-downs and refurbished pieces for now until we settle into our new digs. But first up, we need a name for our new summer home-apparently that’s a thing. Something catchy, not too beachy-since we’re not right on the water. We came up with a few on our drive home last night, but we are looking for suggestions (since ours were pretty lame-not much rhymes with Arundel : ). So if you have an idea, send it my way! And if you happen to be in the Kennebunkport area and want to take a look for yourself at these gorgeous new cottages…there are so many styles and sizes to choose from…the address is 1976 Portland Road in Arundel…and if you do, tell them Sue from Country Design Home sent you! Have a memorable Memorial Day Weekend everyone! xoxoxo Susan

 

Moving On…

For the past few years, Coach and I have been part of a co-op shop in the Barn at Todd Farm. It’s been a lot of work and loads of fun, but with time comes inevitable change. When we were told last fall that the barn was going to be converted into some type of event venue, we decided that it was a sign to close up our shop and move on-no more early Sunday mornings-yay!

Mill Shop Aqua CupboardBUT, what to do with all of the stuff we still have to sell?!? Well, some of it will be going to our new place in Maine (more on that later : ) but the rest of it came home bit by bit- thanks primarily to Coach- and literally filled our porch, shed, basement and living room. Until now. We are happy to announce that we have moved into our new digs at The Mills at Pulaski Antiques Street in Peabody!

Mill Shop ShelvingThis rustic, turn-of-the century mill building has been converted into multiple co-ops and shops scattered throughout 4 floors of antique architecture-if you love exposed brick, huge windows, old planking and vintage charm- this is your place-well, this is OUR place- but we’d love for you to come visit : )

Mill Shop Blank WallLuckily for us, we are on the first floor in the center! And, the shop will be open from 10-6 from Thursday through Monday weekly. We’re joining the Timely Treasures Co who specialize in home cleanouts and sales,  Serendipity Vintage Goods (also formerly of Todd Farm) and various other antiques and furniture vendors. No matter what your design style or furniture era, you will surely find some treasures here! Coach is bringing in his maps-so many maps- and I will be working on new pieces for sale, like this little antique beauty.

Mill Shop Console TableSo, if you happen to be on the north shore of Boston, come on by and take a peek at our new space. We’ve been working hard to make it pretty and you can’t miss the signs…have a hopefully not too wet Wednesday everyone!!! xoxo SusanMill Shop Wall

It’s A Sign…

Coach and I have been very, very busy- while he’s been cleaning out his stall in the Barn at Todd Farm and finding new homes for his “junque”, (more about that later) I have been working on my block-printed signs.

Holiday Signs Country Design Home

I have shared them on my Facebook Country Design Home and Instagram pages (NOT the actual DIY instructions, because that’s my secret : ) The signs are completely hand-crafted, by me, and are built using the reclaimed wood from antique crates used by a c.1800’s Boston shoe company.

Allen Shoe Co Boston Crate

Coach pulls them apart, then I get to work painting, sanding, cutting and framing each sign. Last week, I even shared my first nail-gun misadventure, which resulted in a slight, but painful puncture wound : 0  I do have a sampling of them at our shop in the Barn at Todd Farm, but if you are interested in one of my signs, just don’t happen to fancy shopping in an unheated barn, I have some great news! My signs are now being offered in three local shops on the North Shore!

The first is a pop-up holiday shop in Ipswich, Ma. The 4 Elm Street Holiday Market opened on November 17th and features local and imported gifts and home décor by Hutton Home Design. It is open now through Christmas.

4 Elm Holiday Market

The second shop is The Brass Monkey in Gloucester, MA. An expansive, beautiful gift shop filled with unique gifts, jewelry, clothing and home décor, both antique and new. And of course, now bursting with Christmas JOY!

The Brass Monkey.jpgFinally, The Tin Bucket in Reading is a warm and cozy shop that offers lots of sweet, unique, one-of-a kind gifts and fresh home décor items. But, they are not just a retail shop-they also offer classes and craft parties for adults and children! They are carrying a selection of Coach’s antique maps as well-a perfect gift for someone special!

The Tin Bucket ReadingSo, if skipping the mall is your thing and you’d like to find the perfect gift for under your Christmas tree (like a rustic, hand-painted sign, perhaps!?!?), take a ride and check out these lovely shops. And tell them that Sue from Country Design Home sent you!! Hope you have a shop-a-rific Saturday everyone!! Susan xoxo

 

Sunshine In A Jar

My latest Fun Friday Find! A new version of the iconic mason jar light: introducing the Sonnenglass (sunshine in a jar)  Solar Powered Mason Jar Lamp.

Sonnenglass PicsNow, I have seen mason jar lanterns in the past, and I’ve Pinned thousands of them- and I’ve even made some- but none provide the bright glowing light that the Sonnenglass lamp does. Created and manufactured by hand in South Africa, these fair trade, environmentally friendly mason jar lights were originally developed for areas that had no electricity, but plenty of sunshine. Sunshine Jar DetailsThe technology is pretty simple- LED solar panels on the top soak up the sun’s rays during the day,

Sonnenglass Solar Lidallowing you ample lighting for the sunless hours…up to 12 hours of continuous use! (and with the daylight hours growing shorter, a welcome addition : ) You simply lift up the handle, engaging the magnetic button and it activates the lights. The jar top opens (as with any mason jar), so the possibilities are endless when it comes to decorating them in your own style.

Sonnenglass FrontSeashells and sand

Sonnenglass Seashells and Sand

pretty autumn leaves, holly and berries, or just straight up lighting for a magical Halloween mantel display.

Sonnenglass Halloween Mantel PMPerfect for camping (or glamping : ), as a centerpiece for your holiday table,  or just for romantic ambiance on your porch or patio. To view more pics, check out Sonnenglass on Instagram or Facebook Sonnenglass. To order, click Sonnenglass. Have a Fun Friday, everyone! xoxo Susan

Compensation Banner 500

 

 

 

What Is This Worth?

For those of you who subscribe to Country Living Magazine (and, I mean, who doesn’t ?!?), you are aware of their monthly feature entitled “What Is It Worth?”. For those of you who do not, this is where folks send photos of interesting old and antique items to find out what they are and how much they might be worth. If you are a picker like Coach, you are always hoping to find that one amazing item that you rescue from a throw-away box for a couple of bucks, only to discover that its worth thousands…or perhaps millions!! Well, that probably never happens, but he has managed to find a few gems along the way…like this thing…Gould & Cook Pencil Sharpener

He had picked it up at a yard sale, and it was hanging around the barn in a box for awhile when I finally asked him what it was-he had no idea, thinking it was an antique portable sander of some sort. So I said “well, we should bring this to the barn, someone will like it.” And so we did. Long story short, a customer informed us of its true origins and usage-and we were astonished-not only at its intended use, but its value! Do you know have an inkling as what to this contraption really is and what it is used for???

Click on our Ebay link below to get the story behind the story.

EbayHere’s hoping you find your one in a million treasure! And for all of you out there in peril’s way, please be safe…you are all in our thoughts and prayers. xoxo Susan

 

 

Lights, Camera, Wayfair.com!

Howdy, everyone- happy almost fall! A few weeks ago I received an email from the good folks at Wayfair.com (yup, that Wayfair.com, the one that has just what you need : ). They had seen my giant bedspring marquee light board that I had built ( the one that ended up on a Times Square billboard)

Rusty Bedspring Marquee Signand were asking permission to use it in an article they were featuring on their website! Well, that’s pretty exciting, but what do you suppose Wayfair would want with my old rusty bedspring light? Turns out that the content director was writing a piece on recycling old used mattresses and thought my rusty bedsprings would be a fun addition to the story- oh, JOY!!

Joy Rusted Bedspring Marquee SignDid you know that mattresses are completely recyclable-well, I had no idea!! According to the Wayfair article, over 20 million mattresses are sent to trash dumps every year, where they will essentially sit and rot for eternity because they are not bio-degradable. Sadly, the reality is that the padding, cotton fabric coverings, metal and wood components are all recyclable materials, if only folks knew how or where to dispose of them. Click on the link below to read the story and get ideas on what to do with your old used mattresses, doing your little part to save our planet : )

Wayfair.com Recycle Mattress

Wayfair.com

Make sure you check out their few other photos of old, re-used bedsprings that you can use as inspiration! Have a great Labor Day, everyone! Susan xoxo

#Glamping

=#Glamping, according to Wikipedia: Glamping is a portmanteau of glamour and camping and describes a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with “traditional” camping. In other words, glamorous camping.

This past week, Coach and I spent a few days “glamping” in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Our glampground, Huttopia,

Huttopia Front Pageis a concept that originated in Europe, and has now spread to Canada and the US, offering luxury camp accommodations for folks who want all of the outdoor natural ambiance and fun but none of the dirty work (like me!). There are several styles of accommodations, from tent pitches to log cabins, but Coach and I chose the Trappeur Tent

Trappeur Tent Huttopiawith a lake view- and oh! What a view!

Huttopia Clouds for daysYou literally bring your clothes and food and bug spray- that’s it! Everything else is on site to provide you with an effortless camping experience- from full-size beds with linens

Huttopia tent Bedroomto fully stocked kitchens

Huttopia Full Kitchenand…wait for it…a bathroom IN YOUR TENT!

Huttopia BathroomWith warm running water, a flushing toilet and a shower…IN YOUR TENT!! When I was a kid, we spent two weeks every summer in the White Mountains camping with our family and friends. It was an idyllic time with many fond memories, none of which involve “Old Stinky”, the gross communal bathhouse. Having tried camping once with our children, I do now appreciate so much more what my mom went through trying to feed and clean up after 4 kids with the most rudimentary of cooking and cleaning equipment with no running (never mind hot) water.

Day one: we arrived at 4PM, check-in time and were instructed to leave our car in the designated parking areas and grab a little green transport cart

Huttopia Wagonto tote our belongings to our site; they have left as much natural landscape as possible- no pavement, no sidewalks, so no cars are allowed into the camp site grounds. The Plus: there is no auto noise in the actual camping areas, which makes for a much quieter, peaceful stay. The Minus: you have to lug your stuff to your site, which was no big deal for myself and Coach, but could be a bit of a challenge with a large group and kids. But hey, you are there to rough it and get some exercise, right?!

After checking in, we found our Trappeur Tent- oh my!

Huttopia Front Tent DoorThis is a large, 3 room tent on a raised pine platform sitting directly on the water’s edge. These tents are log-like structures with canvas sides and tops with a solid beam frame construction. This is the view from our front door…sigh…

Huttopia View From the Tent DoorUpon entering, you are in a living/dining area, complete with table and chairs and the kitchen area, with a sink and mini-fridge, stocked with all sorts of cooking and dining equipment, down to the bottle openers. Straight ahead, the bathroom is flanked by two bedrooms, each with double beds (one is a bunk). The Plus: everything is in place and ready for your stay, just put your stuff away. The Minus: Now, I am not going to complain about the fact that THERE IS A FREAKING BATHROOM IN OUR TENT, but as a PSA, I will say that if you are taller than 5’7, it would be a challenge to sit on the toilet without hitting the wall with your knees : ) That being said, I AM NOT COMPLAINING, trust me!

Outside is a roomy deck with some butterfly chairs, a great cook stove,

Huttopia Cook Stovea fire pit, wood picnic table and most importantly, a spectacular view of the lake and surroundings.

Huttopia Ripples in the waterOnce we put our belongings in place and our food in the mini fridge (and by food I mean the beer and spiked seltzer, brandy and marshmallows-the important elements of camping), we toured the grounds, which were previously the site of a former scout camp on the banks of Lake Iona. Surrounded by pine trees, the lake views were nothing short of spectacular,

Huttopia Morning Mistas those of you who follow me on social media know by the obnoxious amount of pics I posted. Sunrise, sunset…

Huttopia Sunrise Lake IonaIn the center of the campground is the reception tent, a tidy general store stocked with snacks, firewood and water, a beautiful pool,

Huttopia Pool Sidechildren’s playground, basketball court and a vintage airstream trailer that provides nourishment from dusk to dawn. There is a small beach with Adirondack chairs for sitting and relaxing

Huttopia Beach Front with Adirondack Chairand there are canoes and paddle boards for hire. And for all of you folks that cannot be unplugged no matter what, there’s WIFI. The Plus: They have literally thought of everything you could want or need for your glamping stay. The Minus: there was no minus. It’s simply amazing.

Being late August, we had assumed that the nights would be chilly, but didn’t realize just how cold it would get inside our tent once the sun set. But we bundled up with the provided blankets and comforters; once we were tucked away in our bedroom, it was fine. In the morning, Coach noticed a fixture hanging over our heads in the living area- turns out it was a heater! Turning it on for 15 minutes warmed up the entire inside of the tent, creating a warm and comfortable temp for showering and dressing. Oh, did I mention that there was a BATHROOM IN OUR TENT!?!? Note to the Huttopia folks: might be helpful to have a small notebook or info regarding the operations of the overhead heater and the camp stove (some of us are novices at this kind of stuff!) So, what else is there to do but relax and unwindCoach Chillin on the porch Huttopiasip some brandy

Huttopia Brandy by the Fireand roast marshmallows by your campfire?

Huttopia Roasting MarshmallowsWell, you are just moments away from the North Conway outlets to shop to your heart’s content. You are also very close to the National Parks (where Coach and I purchased our $10 senior citizen lifetime passes- perhaps the ONLY benefit of finally being a senior citizen : (). We day-tripped up to the Mt. Washington Hotel

Mt. Washington Hotel Cloudy Skyto take in the scenic vistas,

Mt. Washington Hotel Porchfilling up our car with treasures from various yard sales and flea shops along the way and back. Next time we come I’m hanging one of these signs on our tent! Welcome to all!

Rustic Welcome SignsWe ended our day at Cafe Noche in Conway Village, sipping frozen margaritas

Mango and Raspberry Margaritasand watching the Pats and Sox. The Plus: since we didn’t have to pack up our car with all of the typical camping gear like tents, stoves, sleeping bags, etc., we had plenty of room for shopping! The Minus: Nope. None. Nada.

Was glamping everything we had hoped it would be? You bet! Would we highly recommend it to anyone wanting to get away from it all and enjoy nature, without all of the typical work? Absolutely! We are already planning a return trip for next summer, and hopefully bringing along friends and family for some sing-alongs by the campfire.

5 shooting stars, Huttopia! Have a #glamporous Tuesday, everyone! xoxo Susan

 

 

 

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