10 days until Christmas

It is hard to believe that Christmas is just ten days away.  Quite frankly, I can’t even believe we have approached the end of 2016.  It has been a strange year for sure and I’m ready to move onto 2017.  How about you?

Every year after Thanksgiving, I get excited to make the leap into the holiday season by putting up a live tree.  This year I found myself not wanting as many traditional adornments but to create more of a seasonal feel with wool blankets and candlelight.  I gravitated toward natural ornaments as well.


I know it is hard to believe that this is a restrained Christmas, but it is!  Especially on the tree…


I felt like having the Christmas tree right in the center of the room. It is not totally practical but I love how it lights up the space and sits among the other plants.  Do I dare say almost like a conservatory?  I decorated the tree organically with plants too!  Live air plants, succulent terrarium ornaments, cotton stems and vintage arrows are the stars.  You can find the live ornaments for sale at the West End Garage.  Obviously these “ornaments” don’t have to be packed up next month which is fantastic!


I did pull out a few favorite vintage glass balls to create this vignette.  All month, there has been a cozy, warm glow from every corner which feels very seasonal.


Have you jumped on the ceramic tree trend of the 70s and 80s?  These nostalgic trees have been very hot here.  Mine was made by my great-grandmother originally for my grandmother.  She made one for everyone in my family back then.  The tree strikes a chord with me as it is reminiscent of my childhood Christmases.  Anytime we went to a relative’s house during the holidays, they always displayed Nana’s tree…and usually still do.  Who knew it would be so trendy 30 years later?


Wishing you and yours a merry and bright holiday season!


falling for October

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the first frost is still looming.  We had a few unseasonably warm days this month that had me believing fall would never come.  That quite literally changed overnight though and the vibrant leaf colors have peaked.

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I’ve cut and enjoyed the last of the bold zinnias as doomsday is near and they’ll all be history once that frost does set in.  Any day now…

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Our potted plants have all been moved inside and continue to get shuffled around until we settle on just the right place for their winter habitat.  The Christmas cacti are showing buds and will be blooming before we know it…Thanksgiving actually.

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We’ve started pulling out our favorite wool blankets for cozying up by the fire.  We’ve only lit a few so far but soon the wood stove will be blazing.

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I’ve embraced my knack for using orange in my decor even outside of October.  I’ve never thought of myself as an orange person but as you can see, I apparently am.  It definitely adds some punch.  That’s for sure.

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You might also remember my pledge just a few posts ago that I wouldn’t be changing a thing about my living room.  Well, certainly that wouldn’t last.  And it didn’t.  We found this cool, handmade coffee table on a trip to New York in August.  The table top is reclaimed hardwood floor cut on a bias and married to an iron base that was once supported a soapstone utility sink.  Needless to say, it is sturdy. It could easily be a bench in another space or lifetime.

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I also came across a great wicker trunk recently and decided to keep it for myself.  This is a vintage European piece that is ideal for hoarding my throw pillow stash.  I was previously at capacity on seasonal pillows but apparently I have room for a few more now so I recently picked up that handmade pumpkin pillow cover.  The wicker trunk is sturdy enough to double as an end table topped with a tray and more plants, of course.

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In addition, I’ve been stockpiling furniture projects for the the slower winter months.  It’s always hard to find fresh finds when it’s freezing out and let’s face it, I can’t merely shuffle pillows, plants and throw blankets around my house all season.  There are a number of recent projects completed that I’ve yet to share here.  You may have caught them on instagram or facebook.  If not, here’s a glimpse…


There are a pair of these boxwood green nightstands with chippy insets…still available.  That lamp is made from a recycled corbel salvaged from a Victorian Cape May house that was in a fire years ago.  We made a pair which sold very quickly so we made another pair which are currently available.  Those are all of the Cape May corbels we have left though.


Another pair of fantastic nightstands are available.  These gray “schloss” beauties are not so chippy.  I like the soft finish achieved with white wax.


This coffee table is taking it back to summertime.  It is extremely chippy, on the other hand.  People who get the distressed chippy look, get it.  This table sold in a day.  Not for the faint of heart.


Just a sweet little stool and a stencil.  There will be more news to share on this stencil and others very soon.  I can’t wait!


That’s what I’ve managed to document here over the past few months.  What’s new as the seasons change in your world?











twinning on a budget

Remember the beach cottage that we’ve slowly but surely been putting our mark on?

twin beach bedroom on a budget

Today I’m sharing the kids space.  It is a very simple white box that we filled in with a loose red & blue color scheme.  I have to admit that this isn’t one of those spaces that is going to knock your socks off with ingenuity or a great before and after.  However, it is totally functional and well received by its little guests.

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I can assure that there is not a new piece in sight aside from the bedding, some of it anyway.  Everything else was found, free or flea.  Very easy on the pockets.  The matching quilts are vintage and possibly my favorite find in the entire space.  I always pick favorites.  I found these at a Navajo estate last summer and just knew they were right for the space.

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Who remembers This End Up from the ’80s and ’90s?  These beds were bunked in my brothers’ childhood room and fortunately I come from a long line of hoarders so these solid wood beds are still going strong over 25 years later, ready for the next generation.  The simple twin beds have classic lines that remind me of summer camp.

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The dresser was another shabby vintage piece which I intended to paint but once we moved it into the space, the rusty-red color just worked with the quilts and the warm wood.  Easy peasy.

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The mirror brings a bit of beach cottage flavor to the space along with the adjacent oar wall.  We originally planned for a standing closet here, specifically vintage blue lockers.  As the space evolved and we saw how it was being utilized we found that we didn’t need to take up square footage with a closet.  No one is staying in there long-term so oar hooks do the trick for the wanderluster.

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Across the room, our little visitors can pull up a chair and page through a book or do a craft while they’re here.  Our bigger visitors can use the small table between the beds as a nightstand.  We’re versatile like that.

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The cedar storage chest at the end of the bed is not permanent in this space. In fact, it sold shortly after I took these pictures.  It was painted MMSMP farmhouse white and was just the right storage piece for toys or bedding at the foot of a twin bed.  I think we’ll need to duplicate this look in the future because it worked well here.

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We hung some simple thrifted, waffle texture curtains although I’m really on the fence with the length.  I don’t want floor length in this room because of the little ones but this particular length feels like a bad tea length dress.  It is just cutting the room’s height mid-calf.  You know what I mean?  I’ll let that evolve though, as I’m sure I’ll know the right textile when I see it, along with the art as I have a vision of more beachy/nautical pieces above the length of the beds.

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That’s it! Welcome to the kids room at the cottage.

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