My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

Christmas at the Cottage

First of All...

Happy Thanskgiving to everyone!

I hope everyone has a blessed day filled with friends and family!

Me...well, I am spending this day alone...

but it has been such a blessing to me.

I haven't been cooking for 2 days or getting up at 4 in the morning to start the da!

I have taken this opportunity to recoup from a very sore throat and fever....

Decorate the cottage for Christmas!

After the last 7 weeks of total go, go, go...I am loving this!
Mr. Bill is in Texas taking care of my mom...she had a mild heart attack on Monday...and needs to take it VERY easy...less stress...more rest.

My kids are allover ...some here...some in Texas with their "other " families.

And me and Otis Blue...we are watching Miracle on 34th street, It's a wonderful life and decorating for Christmas!

Upon my return from last weeks ordeal...I needed to do something productive...not work related.
I painted the walls in the cottage!

And....the mantle that Mr. Bill built!

I had this color mixed that reminds me of concrete after it rains.

Kind of a muddy grey-taupe color.

I gave the walls 3 coats and then...
saved a little for touchups... and divided the remainder into 2 containers.

Next, I added white to 1 half....and black to the other.

This is what I used to paint the mantle/bookcase piece my husband built.

I then seriously distressed it so that the black underneath and some of the natural wood peeked thru...
then...I stained it with a warm, rich pecan.... and then finally used a finishing paste that was buffed off ...ta da!

I love it! don't you?

After it dried this weekend...I covered all of my books in white anaglypta wallpaper...
I loved the texture!

I then got out all of my Christmas and made a decision not to put up the bigger tree....instead this is one I found in our basement that we sometimes put outside in an urn by the door.

I just wanted everything to be more relaxed, a little elegant.

These photos are closeups of the mantle top.

I took this photo standing in the can see the mantle in the Murphy bed mirror!

This is the new rug I ordered back in August from Ballards...I love it!

It's a French poem about an ant and a cricket.

This is my new French settee and leaning mirror...also purchased before my schedule got nuts. All of this was being stored in the basement...until I painted...I didn't want to set it out until then.

I also decided to get all new matchstick blinds in a grey-wash finish for all the windows...I am still considering White panels on iron rods made form the same quilted fabric currently on my parsons chair. Not sure yet.

The dining nook
As you can see...I left things quite simple.

My little French chest...aka nightstand. and a new mirror!

I decoupaged book pages on my little lampshade.

I ordered this fabric to make cushion covers on the settee...I will show them to you when they are done.

I am going to get started on the Kitchen now...and then go upstairs in the big house and of course...
I will show you that as well!

This little cottage redo took me 3 days and I am so Thankful that I did it.

I feel so much better about spending the Winter out here again.

I can also get back to focusing on things that need to be done at the clients homes...
and my new Etsy store!

one last look...before I go!

Have a blessed week!

love you all ...donna


  1. Donna,
    I am sorry to hear about your Mom, I will have her in my prayers.

    I am loving the mantel, I am loving the black accents in the home. LOVELY, just LOVELY... I love down time, it allows me to get caught up on my ADD :) I hope your day is wonderful.


  2. Welcome back! I am continuing to keep you and your family in my prayers, sweet friend.
    I took a peek at your etsy shop, way to go!!!
    Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Your re-do is (like everything else you do) amazing.

    Your attention to detail is evident everywhere!

    I don't blame you for wanting a "quiet" Thanksgiving.
    Sometimes we just need to catch our breath with no apologies.

    Great to hear from you again! :)


  4. Donna your cottage is gorgeous. You did this in three are my newest super hero!!!
    Everything is perfect. I'm really crushing on that settee and that breakfast nook is so lovely. You do everything so beautifully, and so does Mr. Bill.
    I hope you are getting over that sore throat. If you can do this sick, I would love to know everything you can do when you are at 100 percent.

  5. Hi there! Everything looks just stunning! I love the greyish color you used - so elegant and classy. Looks great with the black also. It is just a lovely, lovely home.

    I will lift up your mother in prayer, as well as you and your husband, asking for strength and safety on the road, and wisdom.

    I spent way too much time going back over many previous posts - it was wonderful and convinced me to sign up as your follower...

    Cynthia K. (Beauty and Blessings)

  6. You never stop and take a break do you Donna?! You're just amazing, where do you find the energy? Your home is breathtakingly beautfiul!! I love every little detail!!!!!!

    :) T

  7. Good Morning
    Sounds great I so hope you can make it, I would love to see you!
    Blessings for a great week

  8. Donna - You've been a very busy girl!!! Everything looks lovely...the french chest and sweet. I still have you in my prayers and I'm sending many blessings your way! - Denise

  9. Your cottage is so cozy! I love it!


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I love reading them~they truly make my day!
~Donna Reyné