My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

Cottage Makeover

Most of you already know that for the past 3 1/2 years my husband, Mr.Bill, myself and our dog Otis blue have been residing in our 425sq. ft. guest cottage while our home undergoes a MAJOR renovation.

For the most part this has been a great experience. I have come to realize(really) that I don't need all the "stuff" that I have been gathering my whole life, That life is so...short we should spend it with the ones we love and care for and what better place than our cozy little cottage tucked just inside our backyard.

This still holds true...for the most part. When one of the kids come home from college for the weekend or we have friends drop by we truly miss our other home and the larger gathering spaces. When a Holiday rolls around and we all try to pack ourselves inside this little efficiency/studio apartment of sorts both myself and Mr. Bill have realized the parties over and it's time to move home. Right after Christmas last year is when the urgency began to get wrapped up in the house and move home. we have worked very hard this past year trying to accomplish just that. But reality hit about a week ago. I'm not willing to compromise the look and feel of the renovation project just to move back before the holidays.

What to do...well, If we gave the cottage a quick little makeover, maybe we could stick it out for one more winter....Nods all around (including Otis)
and so we begin a little cosmetic procedure on our living space before I have to kick it up to full throttle on preparing for the holidays at thethestore.

I'm starting with this cool color for the walls. It's either grey or taupe depending on the lighting. In my opinion...Its like wet concrete.

Next I decided I wanted to bring french blue back into my life. About 15 years ago I thought that it was too predictable. I guess because EVERYONE I knew was using country blue and I just didn't want them to compare french blue to country blue(no comparison)This denim color is actually a clothing grade fabric so that I can wash it real easily and I liked the softness . Then I decided the slipcovers for our existing furniture needed to be low maintenance, neutral and timeless. After raising the 3 boys and April in a home filled with white slipcovers and bath towels,I knew the only way to keep everything clean and fresh was to go back to all whites and creams.Backwards soundingI know , but I assure you,It totally works. You can wash everything in bleach and it comes out sparkling (I especially like it in the warmer months because they can go outside on my clothesline and come in smelling divine!)

I wanted it to be elegant in a laid back kind of way. This matelasse' and putty colored ticking will be great to create that feeling.

I found Burlap/twine rick-rack! Gotta love anything made from 2 of my favorite materials! And this gray wash on baskets is so.. amazing. I was looking for a kind of pop fabric and stumbled upon this quilt looking piece that I like the back of as well as the front.(Pillows I think, will be charming in this)

When we got this mirror in at the Tipton store, I knew I wanted to use it somewhere. It's so unique and reminded me of Grisaille.It's a french word that means 'grayness'. I've seen it alot in Swedish interior books and really like the use of just the 2 colors to create a 3-d effect. I've decided that it will be part of my makeover as well.

I found this great area rug on a trip to Blooomington to see one of my sons. This divine little shop LolaRue and Company. Lisa is the owner of this fantastic little spot and she always has the cutest things. I always look forward to stopping in to see what's new. This rug is bamboo with a non-skid backing.

This is a pillow I recently bought from Ballard designs.(LOVE IT!) It has a burlap backing and a down filled insert.

So... for now that's kind of where I'm going for my little cottage makeover. I've begun sewing my new slipcovers this past weekend for the little sofa and chair.(just a little tip: when you are making slipcovers,make sure you wash the fabrics first so that they won't shrink when you wash them again in a few weeks from wear.)

Let me know what you think.I'd love to hear from you!

I will post more photos later as we progress thru this little project.
Bless you all!---Donna

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~Donna Reyné