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.

collected fall living room 16-637

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…

vintage collected jungalow living room-16-644

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.

macrame jungalow plants-16-623

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.

vintage locker and woodstove fall-16-624

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.

vintage mohair and wool pumpkin collection fall-16-677

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.

vintage collected fall living room-16-650

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.

vintage european wicker trunk plants-16-656

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.

beachy twin bedroom-8336

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.

beachy twin bedroom-8355

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.

beachy twin bedroom-8330

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.

beachy twin bedroom-8333

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.

beachy twin bedroom-8339




makeover: sunny days

It’s been awhile.  But for good reason.  Just last weekend I wrapped up a makeover project with a great friend.  I am excited to share the results today.  I can pretty much guarantee fewer posts in 2016 but when I do post, I hope to knock your socks off with reveals like this one.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow, navy, gray chesterfield

Let’s start from the beginning.  The beige, boring before. This room wasn’t given much attention nor was it used frequently.  It was where all of the random pieces of furniture ended up.  Some with great bones, others not so great and a few left behind by previous owners.  The one thing all of these pieces seemed to have in common was that they were a shade of brown.  The walls too!  Beige and brown are almost always the default “safety” color when arranging a room.  Am I right?  We needed to inject color and personality into this space immediately!

Living Room before

When consulting with the couple, we discussed how they wanted to use the room and the feeling they wanted it to evoke.  This space is going to be used, as intended, as a living room for hosting friends and family.  No television, just conversation.  We also determined that the adjacent space beyond the pocket doors needed to be defined.  This would become the library anchored by wall-to-wall built in bookcases.

Library Built In Bookcase

In our initial consultation the couple described their style as “minimalist modern” although I might argue that it’s “contemporary traditional” but who’s keeping track.  In fact, let’s go with “organic modern”.  I think that sums up the outcome.  The project was a healthy dose of DIY, vintage, home store finds and shopping the house, my favorite.  A full source list can be found at the end.

Organic Modern Living Room

One specific influence kept surfacing when flushing out their style and it was Kimpton Hotels which is known for bold interiors.  Specifically their use of contemporary patterns, intense color and often natural elements juxtaposed with metallic & reflective finishes.  The most important element being “pops of color” as described by my friend.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow, navy, gray chesterfield, vintage botanicals


We started with a relatively neutral color scheme by painting the walls a soft gray and then worked in the “pops of color” and texture.  The sofa is gorgeous and so comfortable.  It is a classic gray velvet Chesterfield accessorized with bold throw pillows that can always be changed out down the road or seasonally for a new look.  Crown molding and windows were updated before we got to the fun stuff.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow, navy, gray chesterfield

Nature is an important element to the couple since they are avid gardeners and Renee is a floral designer.  The vintage botanical print above the sofa was a find that I’d been hoarding for just the right project.  The set of wing chairs initially started out as a bird motif but after that pattern was discontinued we came across these butterflies which were a great consolation. The birds landed on the twiggy side table.

Organic Modern Living Room - butterfly chairs

It was a no-brainer that the rug needed to be yellow, Renee’s favorite color.  We cycled through a few choices, even sending one back, until we found this one with a simple over-sized pattern.  I stumbled upon the perfect mirrored, coffee table with geometric cut outs mimicking the pattern on the area rug.  We debated over pattern vs. solid panels for the windows but ultimately settled on navy and pulled that deep color onto the walls in the library.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow, navy, gray chesterfield

Can we talk about the lamps and end tables?  Two of my favorite elements in this room perhaps because each set is totally unique – a vintage treasure and a DIY.  Would you believe those end tables were sourced on Craigslist in mint condition?  When first reviewing the listing, we anticipated painting them white but lucked out.  The natural wood is very pretty and didn’t need any updating.  Check out the lattice-work on the bottom.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow ginger jar lamp

The lamps were hideously dated but the perfect shape, scale and a matching pair.  At 5 bucks they were a steal.  They even came complete with pleated shades which we ditched for ruched drum shades.  A simple DIY with high gloss spray paint gave us the ginger jar shape lamps we were looking for and a fun pop of color.

DIY ginger jar lamp before & after


Turn your attention to the newly minted library.  The couple took the momentum from the living room and ran with it in a series of DIY projects in the library.  We flipped the color scheme just a bit with navy taking center stage on the walls and gray taking a backseat.

DIY Ikea hack - Billy Built In Bookcases

Bye bye beige!  The bookcase is an Ikea hack.  A set of five Billy bookcases were framed and painted to create a wall-to-wall bookcase.  Signature pops of color, of course, are found stenciled across the back.  The displaced books and mementos from the living room all found a new home organized on the shelves.

DIY Built In Bookcase Library - Ikea Hack

Vintage and contemporary pieces are right at home in this new space.  The fantastic natural light doesn’t hurt to showcase all of their finds. Navy & Yellow Home Library

Dining Room

It wouldn’t be a home project without a little project creep, naturally.  In this case the dining room is adjacent to the living room which means the crown molding needed continuity as well as gray owl paint on the walls.

Updated Gray Dining Room Before & After

Changes in the dining room included updating the light fixture to reflect the organic modern direction as well as the bird art.  I convinced them to anchor the dining table and chairs with an area rug which Renee did a great job of selecting.  I enjoy the quiet simplicity of the dark stained Windsor chairs, trestle table and humble bench but I do think the room feels a bit warmer with the bold rug.  Do I dare say that it adds a “pop of color”?

Simple Organic Gray Dining Room

Well that sums up the entire makeover which is Olive approved…

Butterfly Wing Chair

Source List

Living Room

  • Sofa – Macy’s Saybridge
  • Paint – Behr Dolphin Fin
  • End Tables – Vintage Craigslist
  • Lamps – DIY via Craigslist
  • Lamp Shades – Target
  • Throw Pillows – Homegoods (patterned) & Vintage (solid)
  • Area Rug – Wayfair
  • Coffee Table – Homegoods
  • Wing Chairs – Macy’s
  • Pouf – Wayfair
  • Twig Side Table – Pier 1
  • Mirror – Vintage
  • Botanical Print – Vintage
  • Curtains – Boscov’s
  • Top Down Cellular Window Shades – JCPenney
  • Magazine Rack – Vintage


  • Bookcase – Ikea Billy Hack
  • Paint – Behr Very Navy
  • Chair – Ikea Poang
  • Throw Pillows – Ikea (patterned) & Vintage (solid)
  • Rocking Chair – Vintage
  • Curtains – Wayfair

Dining Room

  • Furniture – Vintage
  • Rug – Ikea Vidstrup
  • Bird Print – Ikea
  • Light Fixture – Overstock

Organic Modern Living Room no wm