Meet Hudson the Polar Bear

This is the story of Cuddle and Kind…and Hudson the Polar Bear.  Recently, while searching endlessly online for black and white “babystuff”- toys, clothing, decorations for the woodland nursery- this image kept popping up of these irresistibly adorable hand-crafted toys.

Cuddle and Kind Doll Per Meal

Something about their sweetness caught my eye, so I clicked on the link and discovered this cuddly world of wonder…with a twist. These beautifully hand-knit dolls were created for one reason…to eradicate childhood hunger around the world.

Cuddle and Kind Our Goal

The dolls are lovingly hand crafted in Peru by local artisans-and the effects of the sales of these adorable dolls are far reaching.

Cuddle and Kind Fair TradeThe mission?

Cuddle and Kind Mission Statement

For every doll sold, ten meals are provided for children around the world who would otherwise go hungry. Where do those meals go, you ask??

Cuddle and Kind MapSuch an amazing goal!

Cuddle and Kind GoalAfter browsing through page after page of cuddly cuteness, I chose this particular doll-Hudson the Polar Bear-because he is black and white (naturally) and has a woodland feel to him. And he is super cute and super soft. Check out the fineness of the stitching!

Hudson The Polar Bear Closeup DollSo Hudson the Polar Bear is now resting comfortably in his new home-perched on the crib in the Black & White Woodland Nursery. And he’s happy knowing that he is spreading the word, and the kindness, of the folks at Cuddle and Kind. Who, at this writing, have provided over 10 MILLION meals for hungry children.

10 Million CelebrationTo honor that remarkable achievement, the family of Cuddle and Kind is having a contest…enter for a chance to win an elephant or two! This is a win-win…you win a pair of elephants, more hungry children are fed. The message of kindness is spread.

Hudson the Polar Bear on CribAlong with Hudson the Polar Bear doll, I purchased a whimsical print that pairs beautifully with the theme of the baby nursery…and also provides an additional 5 meals to the Cuddle and Kind mission! Simple and sweet…You Can Move Mountains…for our new little bear.

Hudson the Polar Bear Print

Whom, by the way, has finally entered the world! Our new infant grandson is quite camera-shy so I’m not posting any pics of him. But I will tell you that his name is Torin (which translates to chief in Gaelic…the perfect name for a child who will be moving mountains someday.) So, if you head over to Cuddle and Kind …to browse or hopefully purchase one of these amazing dolls…be sure to tell them that Torin sent you! Have a kind and cuddly day, everyone.

xoxo Susan

 

 

The Art of the Nursery

As we continued to work on the nursery, my daughter and I looked at several black and white animal prints to use as artwork. She wanted something simple and graphic vs. “cutesy”, yet suitable for a nursery. A quick search online revealed these geometric, yet whimsical designs on Etsy. The company, Paint X Print designs all sorts of graphic prints for downloads-meaning they send you the file to print yourself-in whatever size and medium you choose. The mom-to-be chose three geometric designs in the shape of a pudgy bear,

Bear Esty Pic.jpga maple leaf

Maple Leaf Etsy and a wolf– to complement our Black & White Woodland Theme.

Nursery Wolf PrintSince the designs were sent to me in digital form, it was easy enough to copy them onto my Cricut Design Space to cut out. As you can see, the originals on the Etsy website were printed in black on a white background. We could have printed and framed them as is, but these natural wood slices (that were used a few years back for wedding shower décor blackboards and I hung on to for whatever reason…)

Life is Sweet Chalkboardwere the perfect “woodsy” theme frame- and a perfect graphic backdrop when re-painted black.
I think I have mentioned in the past that my Cricut machine is so much fun!

Cricut GoldFor the average DIY-er it is incredibly versatile-cutting anything from paper to poster board to vinyl-even thin layers of wood! whatever your imagination can dream up, it can cut. In this case, I used a white glossy vinyl, cutting each design to fit the wood slices, then transferring them to the wood. Look how intricate these cuts are-that would have taken me hours by hand! (No, actually, I never would have attempted this by hand…) The wood piece for the bear was an odd shape and didn’t seem complete until we had added an extra star from the moon and the stars decals (on hand from the wall mural).

Bear Graphic on Wood.JPGOnce completed, I sealed them all with a satin poly coating.

Animal Graphics on Wood.jpg
They are now hanging on the wall over the rocking chair in the nursery. Another project down, a few more to go (hopefully) before baby Arbra makes his entrance into the world. I’ll be back with more DIY nursery projects shortly! xoxoxo Susan

Woodland Nursery Dresser

Another DIY nursery project to share! This time, its a dresser/armoire for the baby’s clothing and other essentials.

Full Dresser ViewI’d forgotten how teeny tiny newborn babies are until my daughter showed me a sweet little onesie from H & M-this dresser should be adequate for quite awhile! It was one that I had refurbished a few years ago for my own “nana-nursery” when our first grandson was born.

Nana Nursery Diaries DresserI’ve really not had much use for it, since I have a bookcase and a changing table with loads of storage. So I offered it up to her for the black and white nursery. Originally, the entire dresser was stained brown. For my room, I had repainted it with teal accents

Dresser in Aquaand used a vintage map for the door inset. (and yes, the map is upside down-I never noticed it, even after I hung the door and placed the dresser in the nursery : O )

Map Front PanelBut, that old map print wasn’t going to work for the black and white woodland nursery! As it just so happened, I did have some pieces of Birch Tree Peel-and-Stick wallpaper from Roommates left over from our log cabin room in the Maine cottage. I didn’t have one long continuous length left, but it was simple to cut and piece it together since the design has pretty soft edges on the trees and branches.

 

Log Room WallpaperUsing that, I replaced the map with the birch trees, instantly transforming the dresser from nautical to natural!

Woodland Dresser Birch Peel and Stick PanelAlong with the map, the handles-which were teal blocks of wood-needed a change as well.

Dresser Drawers BeforeYou know, the thing about Amazon is that if you can dream it-they sell it! A quick search of “twig handles” revealed these silver beauties that could be used as replacements.

Amazon Zinc Twig Knobs

One problem: there would only be one hole for the twigs where there were two for the wood block handles. Simple fix: I filled the holes with some wood plugs that I glued into place.

Plugged Drawer HolesThen I sanded down the drawers, restained and then polyurethaned them, as well as the dresser top and the door frame surrounding the birch paper. Although the little wood plugs didn’t take the stain as well as the rest of the wood, the contrast was barely noticeable once the twig knobs were added.

Twig KnobsThe rest of the dresser was painted in Behr’s Tin White Chalk Paint for a bright contrast for the wood.  So now we have a beautiful dresser that holds loads of tiny baby stuff while looking quite adorable and adding a touch of natural warmth to the otherwise simply black and white décor.

Woodland DresserAnother project done, more to go! And baby still hasn’t made his appearance, much to his mommy’s chagrin. Next up, the art of the nursery.  xoxo Susan

Soft and Sweet Nursery Furnishings

Decorating is all about layering-doesn’t matter if its a castle or a nursery. You start with a blank canvas, then slowly add colors and textures until you have achieved your desired effect. Along with paint and wallpaper and furniture, the baby nursery décor wouldn’t be complete without soft goods- draperies, sheets and pillows and a blanket or two.

Mural and QuiltI put together this flannel quilt with fabrics I chose from the vast selection at Joanns. Who knew that black and white nursery prints were a thing?!

Black and white quilt fabric.JPGThere were so many to choose from, I had a difficult time deciding.

Arrow quilt fabricBut, in keeping with the overall woodland theme, I went for the same types of fabrics-

Dream Big little one fabrictrees and mountains and leaves and baby animals-along with a few inspirational quotes for the baby-to-be.

Follow your dreams quilt fabricAll in black and white and framed in graphic black and gray buffalo check.

Black and white quilt frontThis soft flannel quilt is not hand stitched-at this point in my life I have neither the patience nor the inclination to produce that type of quilting masterpiece. Instead, it is machine stitched and machine washable-perfect for a typical messy baby : )

When I create these types of quilts, I just lay all the pieces out in whatever pleasing pattern seems to work. I often utilize the very scientific “squint test”: place everything, then stand back and squint- this blurs the prints but gives you an overall sense of the balance of colors. Then I cut. The stitching is fairly simple: the squares are first stitched to the borders, then filling and backing is added. If you can sew a straight line, you can create a quilt like this in just a few short hours.  Along with the mountain mural, it adds another layer of interest to the room.

Along with the quilt, I crafted one of these fleece blankets- you see them everywhere, and they are absolutely the simplest thing in the world to make!

Black and white fleece throwTwo pieces of fleece, any size, back to back. Cut squares into the corners, cut along the edge in 1-2 inch increments all the way around. The wider the cut, the fatter the fringe. The deeper the cut, the longer the fringe. Then you just tie knots to attach front to back. Warm and soft and very cute-and also machine washable!

My daughter chose these sweet pin-dot black out panels from Target.

Mural and CribEven though they are white, they do a nice job of blocking out the late afternoon sun that beams into the nursery. Pillows-the graphic one from Ikea, the Arbra pillow from some quilt fabric scraps I had left over.

Arbra Pillow

That one’s from me (I’ll explain later : ) Moving on to the next project! Still waiting for baby to arrive : ) xoxo Susan

Gonna Build a Mountain…

For the past few weeks, we have been converting a small study/office at my expectant daughter’s home into a nursery for our newest (soon to be born) grandson. When she first mentioned that her chosen color scheme was simply black and white, I have to admit I was a wee bit skeptical. However, as the nursery has taken shape, it has proven to be the perfect choice for a baby boy’s room! All of the walls were painted in Benjamin Moore “Wedding Veil White” eggshell finish.

Wedding Veil White Benjamin Moore

This color is a smoky white that is a neutral backdrop for all of the black and gray accents. First up-the mountains. We created the expansive mountain mural on the largest wall, essentially the length of the entire room, using different shades of Behr and Benjamin Moore paints. This isn’t really difficult, just time-consuming. AND, your taping and measuring needs to be pretty exact to create the crisp, clean lines of the mountain range-the key is to work in layers. Here is the before (well, not exactly-we had pretty much cleaned it out-we just had to remove the dog : )

Baby nursery dogThe first step was to decide on the scope and scale of the mountains, then tape them off. There is no right or wrong here-the only thing I did measure was the angle of the mountain tops to keep them in some sort of symmetry.

Once I finished taping them, I marked the lines with pencil, then peeled the tape back so that I could paint the sky above the peaks to match the rest of the walls. Everything required two coats, so there was a lot of watching paint dry-literally.

Mountain Mural Pulling Tape BackOnce the sky was dry, we started with the light colored mountains, then layered the darker ones on top as we built the range. There was quite a bit of taping and re-taping as we went along. Just remember that the paint needs to dry and cure before you re-tape over it-otherwise it will peel right off with the tape!

Mountain Mural Progress.JPGOnce the range was in place, we added a couple of snow-caps for contrast using zig-zag Frog painting tape.

Mountain Snow Caps.JPGThere are loads of DIY mountain range tutorials on Pinterest that have simple instructions to follow-once we got started, we just sort of winged it until the range was completed to our liking. And then finally, we added the sky. My intention was to cut out stencils of the moon and the stars to paint onto the sky, but my daughter had other (simpler) ideas. A quick search on Amazon revealed the perfect inexpensive cutouts- a quick click of the button and they were on her doorstep the next day! As we added them one by one, it literally just came to life and completed the look of the mountain range under a dreamy night sky.Mountains and Stars.jpg

Full Mountain RangeOnce that was completed, we re-assembled the gray Pottery Barn Kids crib that was once my grandson’s-now a 3-year-old who sleeps in his “big boy” bed!

Mural and CribThis lucky little baby will be “sleeping under the stars” every night in his new nursery. We can’t wait to meet him! In the meantime, more DIY Black and White Nursery ideas to follow. Have a (hopefully where you are) sunny Sunday everyone! xoxo Susan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Block Painting

‘When does a block of old wood become a painting tool?

img_0202When you’re searching for a simple technique that creates a worn, chippy finish on a piece of wood or furniture! Recently, Coach presented me with a reclaimed primitive pine bench that he thought would “look great with a whale on it!” It had most definitely seen better days…the top was scratched and gouged and the finish was non-existent, but it was solid and had no musty odors, which is always a plus. (Sorry, I hadn’t planned on writing about this project until I tried the brilliant block painting trial, so no before pics) Wanting to hurry along the transformation process, he sanded it down for me and painted the base black. Typically, his next line will be “OK, I’ll paint a whale on it”…which he knows will then trigger my response “Don’t touch it, I’ll do it.” OK, so I stained, then painted the bench, first with blue, then white chalk paint, then sanded it for a distressed look.

img_0201Usually, when I do that, the top coat will sand down and expose the under color- but this time it didn’t work very well and the bench was primarily white and black. So, I thought, hmmm, what can I use to create the multi-layer effect I want…wait for it…a block of wood?! Recently, I had been binge-watching old episodes of Flea Market Flip-I have seen them all so many times, but each one is full of fun transformational tips! I recalled seeing their DIY geniuses use the wood block-painting technique successfully…why not give it a try?! So, at 4:45 AM this morning, BEFORE I even had my morning jolt of caffeine…I was grabbing a block of wood and dipping it into paint and scraping it across the bench and voila! Chippy, distressed look in about 5 minutes time! (OK, well that noise is pretty annoying and grating, but the results are worth it, I promise!) The reason this technique works so well is that, unlike a paint brush, which smooths paint into the contours and ridges, the wood block scrapes over those and only leaves paint on the textured areas.

There are a couple of tips to share- the block of wood works better if it is a little rough. And make sure you blot the wood on paper after you dip it in the paint, otherwise it will leave globs of paint behind.

Other than that, its pretty simple and fun…and the results are pretty much exactly what I had tried to achieve!

img_3738Now its time for the whale : ) Stay tuned… Susan

 

We’ve Been Ship-Lapped!

Sigh…Chip and Joanna, you made it look soooo easy. Joanna would say “Chip, I would like this room to be covered in shiplap”, and then the next thing you know, it was done! Ever since I saw the very first episode of Fixer-Upper, shiplap has been on my radar. If only I could find someone to install it…but I don’t have a Chip at the ready to fulfill my shiplap dreams.  So I waited and debated and thought about it a lot, then procrastinated some more, then finally decided that if Chip can do it, then so can I!

Thus began my ship-lapping journey, searching through countless samples and designs from many different companies. Many were too heavy and difficult to install, many were just too darn expensive…so I was beginning to abandon the idea altogether. Until I discovered this shiplap brand at Lowes!

A1E938B7-6E98-4A3A-9810-BA1D297AF00C

Real reclaimed, pre-finished wood planking from GPS Design Innovations, quite light and easy to work with, a fraction of the cost of many self-sticking brands…a no-brainer. What would have normally taken Chip (or any seasoned carpenter, for that matter) a day or two, ended up taking me about 3 weeks to install in my farmhouse family room. Now, this is not a tutorial on how to install shiplap…I will leave that to the pros. This is just my own personal observations about the process and the finished product.

  1. Buy the product that matches your skill level. If you’ve never used power tools (or any tools), stick to the pre-cut planks with the self-sticking tape.
  2. Use a level. CAE80420-4BDB-48E5-A6B2-297198A5A30AThis is important! Visually, shiplap is long lengths of boards attached to the wall in a straight row. Leveling as you go will ensure a clean, unwavy (is that a word??) sight line.
  3. For my particular brand of shiplap, I utilized a miter saw, a jigsaw, a utility knife and my Ryobi Airstrike Brad NailerF0BFCB6C-086D-418D-A03A-4796DDF3D867 (I would not have attempted to do this installation without one.)
  4. Choose the correct glue and use PLENTY of it. I started out trying to use small dabs and ended up with some planks with edges that curled up because I hadn’t glued down them down. Fortunately, this ship-lap, even glued and nailed, is pretty easy to pull off to start over. 0F58323A-224A-49FC-BC68-066D6AB1392EI used Loc-Tite Power Grab adhesive in a tube that required a caulking gun. The planking instructions stated that I could have chosen double-sided mounting tape, but I found that the plank edges tended to curl and warp if they were not glued down.
  5. Figure out the design configuration before you begin. 8780D22A-B590-46C5-B5EE-36FB299919FDThis particular brand of shiplap had an assortment of lengths in each box, so it was important for me to decided which pieces would go in which order for each row. I was working around a fireplace and ceiling and baseboard moldings, so I had to figure those into the equation. It would have been so much easier if I was working on a simple blank wall, but that wasn’t the case. I taped these on to the wall to visualize how it was going to work before I started the actual nailing and gluing.
  6. This shaping contour gauge tool saves a lot of time- C2B93AB7-E058-402C-BD35-5F3BEC203456you push it into an area and it forms into the shape that you need to cut around. C502B4C3-7D8E-413D-851D-2542F87A4140Otherwise you’ll need some paper and tape to create a pattern to cut around. 94872423-F8D8-4968-B1A8-DC266ED187A5
  7. Work stacking up or down in rows but do not try to work sideways and slide pieces into place in between 2 glued and nailed pieces. 7B747A1B-A20C-461D-9B5E-90C4CA64CEBBIt just doesn’t end up well. Fortunately for me, this particular brand is pretty rustic, so a few cracks and holes blends in quite well!
  8. Don’t try to skimp and use leftover pieces. Well, I did, but don’t you do that. BD6F4FCF-DCD9-4176-A4EB-F189BA338355It made it so much more tedious than if I had just kept using the larger pieces instead of trying to save them…for what, I have no idea….but I’ll figure something out.
  9. My ship-lap was already finished with a white wash called Sun Bleached- but I am debating whether to add another coat of white paint to it. What do you think?!?6F42FDB2-6853-4E99-9176-90A0DE95CFA1For now, I am leaving it as is and enjoying the fruits of my labor.
  10. If Coach wanders in and says “how much is this costing?” after you’re already 1/2 way done, just grit your teeth and keep plodding along. For the record, the total cost for this one wall was a little over $300 for the planks and the adhesive (and free sweat equity from moi, don’t forget). Again, a fraction of the cost of some of the pre-stick brands, which can run upwards of $1400 for a 10 x 12 space!
  11. Make sure you have all the materials you need for the entire project. I had to stop twice because I had underestimated the amount of shiplap I would need. 79F41971-A60A-4BA4-938F-4670250A4AA0Each time I returned to the store to purchase more, it had to be seasoned in the house for 36 hours before I could install it. Which meant more messy days in our family room.
  12. When I put the final board into place, I honestly wanted to cry…from sheer exhaustion, but also because it makes me soooo happy to finally have the shiplap feature I have wanted for such a long time. The room isn’t finished or styled yet, but I will share the final pics once its done. BA734292-C559-469A-BAA5-92C5086479D4As an aside, I have a much deeper appreciation and newfound admiration for carpenters and contractors-actually, anyone who labors for a living-especially older folks, like me. The work is fulfilling, but it is not easy-the difference is, I did this for fun, they do it for a living. So my work here is done…for now…and I am shiplapped out… until my next project comes along. Have a terrific Thursday, everyone! And if you decide you need some shiplap in your life, I know the name of a great contractor I can share with you…and its not me : ) xoxo Susan

A Sweet Pause…

…from my daily routine of decorating and painting and furniture re-doing to bring you this heartwarming story. I follow (and donate and sometimes volunteer when I can) to this amazing organization, Sweet Paws Rescue.

Sweet Paws Rescue Logo

Based in Groveland, Mass., it is the brainchild of founder Cynthia Sweet, who witnessed first-hand during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina just how many puppies, dogs and strays are uncared for and lost, not just after a natural disaster, but on a daily basis. They continually post pics of adorable, but often abused and abandoned canines (and felines!) that are transported from southern states and are then in turn, fostered and eventually adopted into permanent, loving homes by this incredible organization. Today’s story, however, has a bit of a sad and different twist. This beautiful elderly lab, Sunny,

Sunnywas owned by a local man who had fallen on hard times and was homeless and living in his car near the Sweet Paws facility. Suffering through yet another freezing winter, the man decided it would be safer and more comfortable for the aging dog to live out her final years in a warm, loving home. So, he surrendered her to Cynthia and her Sweet Paws family so that they could find her a home. Can you even imagine the heartbreak of not only being homeless, but also having to give up your one constant-a loyal and loving companion? But he did, and Sweet Paws has been assisting Sunny with medical care and finding a new home…but they also have been working with Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley to assist his owner, who is now safe in a local shelter and awaiting some permanent housing options. Now, Sweet Paws Rescue has turned to their loyal following, requesting donations, not only for the medical care of Sunny, but also to help this man get back on his feet. If you have a chance, head over to the Sweet Paws FB page and read the story, share it with your friends and family and donate if you can. And when you think of Sunny, remember how blessed you truly are if you have a roof over your head, plenty of food and loved ones to care for you in your darkest hour.

Have a Sunny Sunday, everyone! xoxo Susan

 

 

In This Moment

Last weekend, Coach and I were sitting in a quaint sandwich shop, Bessie’s, in downtown Ogunquit, Maine, enjoying a quick lunch. We needed a break after having spent the morning loading the cars, driving north and then setting up our new shop space inside Hutchin’s Antiques Etc.

Hutchins Antiques Signwhich was around the corner from where we sat. Chatting about our new space and how best to stock and decorate it, I had a moment of…I’m not sure of the word…wonderment perhaps? Thinking about all that had transpired in the past year that brought us to this place in this moment left me a bit overwhelmed. A year ago at this time, our new Maine cottage plan was slowly coming to fruition but still a dream away. At that time, we had no thoughts of setting up shop in Maine…after all, Coach had the Arundel Flea Market that he frequents quite often. Its a great outdoor flea market right near our cottage, BUT, its not so great when there’s a foot of snow and its 20 degrees outside! We had visited Hutchins’ during our frequent Maine visits and loved the quaint vintage vibe of the family-owned Village Blacksmith shop (c.1840) turned antiques co-op. So when Coach noticed a “this space for rent” sign on one of our recent visits, we jumped at the chance to set up shop, once again…hopefully for the last time! Our junking journey began so many years ago at Vintage Thymes in Norwood…

Vintage Thymes Market Shopthen to The Barn at Todd Farm in Rowley (remember that giant rusty bedspring marquee sign? I miss that thing!)

Country Design Home in the Barn At Todd Farmand then on to the Mills at Pulaski Street in Peabody.

Pulaski Street Map WallEach venue has had its own unique charm, and along the way, Coach and I have realized how much we enjoy doing what we do…reuse, restore, refurbish and sell…and we just weren’t ready to throw in the vintage towel quite yet!

Last weekend was the preliminary setup for the new space-ladders, doors, furniture and signs…of course, the signs : )

Hutchins Wall With SignsAnything we could stuff into our two SUVs-items that I had been working on for the past month-now fill the sunlight-splashed space.

Hutchins Setting Up ShopThis weekend we’ll be adding some finishing touches…painted furniture and vintage accessories and lights for the tree…did I mention we have a tree in our space!?!

Hutchins Empty SpaceI’ll be adding more pics as we keep adding to and editing our shop-presently its decorated for the LOVE holiday that is fast approaching.

Hutchins Red CornerIf you have a chance to visit- they’re open every day except Wednesdays during the winter (and they’re having a huge store-wide sale!) we’re in the shop on the right in the second room-just look for the sparkling tree : ) For now, it will be enough to say that I am so grateful for everything that has transpired over the past year to bring us home to Maine. Have a Maine-ly wonderful weekend, everyone! xoxo Susan

Lookin’ Back & Forward

This past year, Coach and I decided to fulfill a long-time dream to purchase a vacation place. Somewhere other than home…to call home. We discovered our dream cottage by happenstance…one of those “I think I saw these online…lets just go take a look” moments that turned into a reality. We packed up a truck and moved into new our digs this past June…

moving day cacpand began implementing a design plan that I had been “Pinning” for months on end. The cottage was a blank slate, painted throughout in a pale gray color called “Reflection”…soft and serene and inspired by the colors of the natural beauty that surrounds us in Maine.

rainbows and hydrangeas cacpOver the past 6 months, I have done my best to transform that blank slate into a warm and welcoming landing spot for family and friends, using the stunning coastline as my color inspiration.

biddeford pool coastlineI recall that when we were in our initial discussions about how to decorate, Coach lamented that we would have to spend $50K to furnish a three bedroom home. But, I am here to tell you that it is simply not the case! Yes, we have purchased a few brand new things, ie: a super comfy sofa…

view from the study cacpprivacy window blinds, the mattresses and all of the bedding (because, yuck : ) and a couple of accent pieces. But the majority of the decorating has been accomplished using cast-offs, inherited treasures…and LOTS of flea market finds that I have reused, repaired and refurbished…for thousands less than if we had gone to a furniture store and purchased everything off of a show room floor! Although it is still a work in progress, we are closed up for the winter now…so its time to reflect back and see what has been accomplished and what is left to be done. I don’t really have a lot of dramatic “before” pics, although this was the living/dining/kitchen area during construction…not much to see here, folks!

cottage kitchenSo I will just show you a few of my favorite “afters”. This vintage cupboard was recently transported north, tethered and roped onto the roof of our SUV…it has been in our dining room at home for many years, rather hidden in the corner. Now it is taking center stage…and decorated for the seasons! The blue buffalo check wool blanket is from LL Bean ,but it was on sale at the outlet in Freeport, so I splurged a bit. That overstuffed chair and ottoman we’ve had for years, more recently re-upholstered in pale blue and used in our family room. The ship pillow was discovered in a mark down bin at Target.

living room hutch cacpThe fireplace wall faces the front door, and welcomes our guests into our home. The electric fireplace, purchased almost a decade ago at the Christmas Tree Shops, was in our living room at home-which is now Coach’s work room. Hidden behind stacks of maps and books, it served no real purpose. But now…decorated with more flea market, thrift store, inherited and hand-crafted finds…(check out this sweet little whale pillow from the workshop of the very talented Jess Wrobel)...it sets the tone for the rest of the open concept space.

fireplace wall cacp

This ROYAL GUEST ROOM…well, every time I catch a glimpse or wander in, it kind of takes my breath away. I can’t explain my affection for buffalo check, but man, it sure does captivate my attention. This royal blue duvet cover was from Amazon. That charming little white wicker chair in the corner? That was my moms- it was in her guest room for years-when she passed, I hung onto it with the intent of possibly selling it at Todd Farm. But when I actually saw someone sitting in it and contemplating buying it at the shop, I grabbed it and put it back in my car! Now its repainted, cushioned and paired with the exact matching Pier One mirror that Coach amazingly found on CL. The blue cabinet was a Wayfair find, the accessories inherited and the artwork from HomeGoods.

downstairs guest room cacpThe LOG CABIN room. Well, what can I say? When Coach and I first started the process of finding our vacation home, my dream was to discover a pretty little log cabin tucked remotely away in the woods on a lake or stream. After looking at said houses, we realized that 1. We really didn’t want to live isolated in the woods 2. We are not lake or stream people, but are drawn to the sounds and sights of waves crashing on the shore.

nubble light house wavesWhich brings me to the LOG ROOM- I figured if I couldn’t have an entire log cabin…at least I could create the feel in one room! The log bed was a CL find, the side tables and log bench were flea market and thrift shop finds, as was the art work and accessories. The buffalo check (hmmm, there is a common thread here) drapery panels were markdowns from the Christmas Tree Shops. American flag pillow from Bed, Bath & Beyond. The Pendleton throw from Home Goods, the bedding from Ikea. I have more touches that I am planning on adding in the spring which should cozy it up, so stay tuned.

log cabin room decorated cacp

The GUEST BATH came together pretty quickly. You know, when you don’t have to tape and putty and paint and repair stuff before you start…decorating is quite a bit simpler. You just put the pieces in place, roll up the towels, hang the pics and you’re done!  The oval mirror had been hanging in my bedroom at home, the little side table next to the vanity was in my front hall. The “family is everything” sign was from HomeGoods, as were the bath accessories and towels, with a few pieces from mom’s collection.

downstairs bath cacp

That’s it for now. The rest of the rooms are a work in progress. Decorating any space is simply about creating interesting layers, and does not have to be hard nor complicated nor prohibitively expensive. You start with bare walls, choose your color palette, using whatever or wherever your imagination takes you…in our case, the sea. But it could just as easily be one special memento, a painting, a treasured heirloom or even a flea market find that is the spark that ignites your personal style. There is something to be said about painting one color on all the walls and trim throughout your space. It unifies everything, and your décor becomes the standout feature of each room rather than the room itself.

cottage crashing waves

Cottage FinishesOnce you decide on your larger furniture pieces, start adding the accents, then dress it up as you go with accessories and artwork. For me, this is a fluid process…nothing stays in one place for too long…that little whale pillow has migrated from couch to chair to bench and back : ) and the fireplace has already graced two different spaces. I imagine I inherited that trait from my mom…coming home from school I would often find her re-painting a wall or a bookcase or single-handedly pushing a baby grand piano across the living room.  What I have discovered on this journey is that no matter how you decorate your space, as long as it brings you…

christmas vignettethen you are on the right track. Have a great Sunday everyone, and GO PATS! xoxo Susan

 

 

 

 

 

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