My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

Cottage Updates

When I first began thinking of using the entire cottage as my studio, I reached to my bookshelves and pulled out several books and magazines in hopes of inspiration.
I found so many wonderful and amazing things that I became a little overwhelmed!

So, I decided to just see how it unfolded.

Those who know me will tell you...
This is TOTALLY NOT MY USUAL approach to projects!

I am a planner!
I like to know where every little thing will go and even draw to scale floor plans! I did this...but set them aside. I wanted my new cottage studio... to just evolve.

So, I got busy.

I touched up places on the walls... primed and caulked...

And then headed down to the basement of our home to see what I had to work with.
I decided to spend very little  in fact, nothing, if possible on this project.

Any money I spend on the cottage takes away from what is spent on our home renovation.
I just don't want to do that.
Besides, I am so much more creative when I have to think outside the box. Using what we already own is just the sort of thing to make me use my noggin!

The basement adventure was quite enlightening. I discovered many treasures...Things that I really didn't have plans for but still I carried them out to the cottage.

I had about a quart of the paint  I used on the kitchen cabinets in the cottage so I mixed it with a gallon of plain white paint in a matte finish. This would be my wall color throughout the entire space.

I gave all the walls 2 coats. Both the upper part and the lower which had been wallpapered in August in this faux beaded board paper.

I love this stuff!
It really surprised me at how realistic it is!  So easy to hang and about a fourth of the cost of using actual wood was a bargain to boot! All that we had to do was add a chair rail to the top and
 A cottage classic.
The crown moulding, baseboards and windows had been painted in August but I still touched them up in a few places.

Then, I located the paint we used on the walls in our utility room and added about a half a cup of grey to it.
This new chalky color will be used to paint the fireplace and bookshelves.( I haven't taken any pictures yet!) Soon though!

We purchased an old cast iron fireplace surround some time ago to use in our homes new master bedroom. I decided it needed to be used in the cottage  instead.
In doing so I had to remove the little electric fireplace insert  and some of the millwork but that's okay...I plan to use it in our bedroom now! Woo Who!

The last time I went to Texas to see my mom...I picked up a pair of vintage chandelier pieces at a great antique mall in Round Rock. I just loved them but really had no real place to use them...

Until now, I plan to make them into sconces that will flank an old sofa table I have had for years! I was going to put it in the upstairs hall but, I think it can stay  here in the cottage!

As you can see, things are moving right along. I have piles everywhere as my sewing stuff is moved into this room!
I love the direction that it has taken.
So unexpected. I had thought I would use a lot of color but it just didn't work out that way!

The cottage is now reminding me of a movie I watched late Saturday afternoon.

The Ghost and Mrs Muir.

I haven't seen it in ages!
Sweet Hubby was at his "real job" and well, I decided to see what was on the old movie channel!

I am so glad I did!
The movie is set in the year 1900 and the little seaside cottage...made me swoon!
So timeless and classic!

I was completely smitten all over again!
Soooo much so...
That I have decided to do a window treatment that I haven't thought about in years!

 (I couldn't even remember what they were called...Rebecca had to come up with the name of this wonderful old classic!)

Last year for my birthday, Rebecca gave me an entire bolt of vintage flocked dotted of my favorite fabrics! Well, I love almost anything polka-dot!
I plan to use it to make a more modern take on this classic window treatment inspired by this wonderful old movie!

Tomorrow I am painting the walls in the kitchen and finishing my ceiling project.

I will return soon with more updates.
Have a blessed week!


  1. Oh, Donna! It is going to be gorgeous, just gorgeous. It's funny but I was thinking about Pricilla curtains the other day. Our first little house had a tiny nursery just off the master bedroom and it was painted the softest sweetest pale buttery cream color with white voile Pricillas. It felt like the sun was shining in that room all the time even though it was on the dark side of the house.

    Your studio is going to look AMAZING! xo Diana

  2. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post Donna! I was right there with you walking around while you showed me all of your plans~I love it all, and I think you are right that the best projects are the ones that cost very little. Having to be creative is what makes a place rise above the rest.

  3. I love to see everything you do in your home/cottage. always so inspiring and just perfect! Looking forward to following your cottage [progress. Also, I just Love the ghost and Mrs Muir. It is a most romantic movie.

  4. oh my! i just love to visit your bloggy and become soooo inspired by all of your creative pursuits and your unending energy!! i just love everything you do...please share that faux beaded board wallpaper?? where can i find that?
    p.s. i believe your "snow effect" seems to slow down your site...

  5. I had priscillas cross over for years when I was first married...they were beautiful and honestly, I still miss them!

  6. Donna,
    It is so fun to watch your creative process at play!

    The cottage is looking wonderful!

    My Mom made white dotted Swiss crisscross Priscilla curtains for my periwinkle bedroom when I was a little girl!

    You always inspire!

  7. Donna, You seem to be a mastermind of inventing. Mixing paints, remodeling. I just can't wait to see the studio when you are finished. Smiles, Susie

  8. Wowwww Donna...i can't wait to see more from your beautiful from your ribbon !!

  9. I admire your thought process on this one even when it goes against what you are used to. Sometimes breaking the rules works out. Love the sconces mirror and wallpaper.


  10. Always enjoy reading your reno posts. The cottage will make a fabulous studio space.

  11. What a charming little cottage this is going to be... and a wonderful creative space too!


    PS love the idea of dotted curtains in such a vintage style!

  12. It's going to look great I just know it! The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is one of my all time favs!

  13. It's going to be so beautiful! You know, you are the 2nd person this week to mention the movie 'The Ghost and Mrs Muir'. I really must check it out!
    Have a great week Donna!

  14. is looking gorgeous. Love the paint color, and isn't it interesting how some of the best projects cost the least...happily following!!

  15. It sound gorgeous - can not wait to see all the finished pictures.


  16. It's looking so GREAT - can't wait to see more!!

  17. Beautiful post! I love your inspiration and I love what you're doing with it. Great Job!

  18. Oh my gosh, I LOVE "The Ghost and Mrs Muir!" I rambled about it on my blog just a few days ago. I'm finally able to watch the tv series, thanks to YouTube. The series is good, although modernized, and the movie is far superior. I wish Hollywood would wake up and make more movies like the classics. The GAMM has got to be the most beautiful love story ever told.


  19. Hi Donna,

    Oh you are just sooo talented in many more ways than one!!! I love what you've done so far to your cottage and is that really beadboard wall paper? It looks so...real!!! lol I have to show my hubby that! :) And I love that movie - it's been awhile since I've seen it, but you have just inspired me to dig into my old movies and watch them!!! And, I wish I could sew "for real!" One day I'll learn! :) Have a great weekend!



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~Donna Reyné