Pretty As A Picture Magnolia

Just before the holidays (yup, that’s how long it has taken me to write this post…all too often, life simply gets in the way) Coach informed me that he was attending a conference in Austin, Texas.

ATX SignAfter a quick google map search, I determined that Waco, Texas-the home of all things Chip & Joanna Gaines-was only a stones-throw away, so I asked if I could tag along, see the sights of Austin and maybe I could rent a car and head out to Waco on one of the days? And so, I did. First stop, the silos, not as huge as they appear on TV or in social media, but nevertheless impressive.

img_5011To see those rusty old silos that sit on a street corner alongside some railroad tracks and imagine them as the anchor to your empire…well, you’ve got to give Chip major credit for that! The silos, the bakery and the Magnolia Market are on this block, along with some food trucks and the most gorgeous public bathrooms I have ever seen. I mean…

img_5022If you are a Fixer-Upper addict, as I am, you will recognize every style,

img_5010décor and design choice-even the old Jeep parked by the garden center…

img_5021that is absolutely on brand and pretty as the pictures you have seen a thousand times.

593e348b-6b1b-4650-a454-311bb64fe8c1Shiplap, subway tiles, vintage tile floors, vintage wood doors, metal signage-walking into any of the many Magnolia establishments

img_5028feels like wandering into one of their many transformed homes-and it just makes you feel like you’re home.

img_5027The Silos Baking Company

img_5006is sweet…again, much smaller than it appeared on the show…the magic of television…

img_5008and filled with delectable treats.

img_5013The outside enclosed “compound” has places to sit a spell,

img_5012take pics

img_5019and wander around the field at the silos where they hold their concerts and “Silobrations“.

img_5023The Magnolia Market at the Silos

f2492795-c013-4539-a36f-2fdbf8115faehad been decked out for the holidays,

img_5030all vintage country style.

img_5029Once I did a bit of shopping and checked out

img_5037“Chip’s Corner”,

img_5038I headed over to the newer Magnolia Press and took a peek, but didn’t stay for a bite because I was off to find Magnolia Table

Magnolia Table Signtheir full-serve restaurant on the other side of town. Tasting yummy, hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare while being surrounded by more of the Fixer-Upper signature style made for an enjoyable afternoon. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to take a drive through Waco to check out some of the many homes they have renovated (there are actually maps online to follow their reno path), so that will have to wait for another trip to Texas! Have a great Wednesday, everyone, and remember…

img_5025xoxoxo 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

 

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