At heart I'm a cottage girl. By that I mean I am drawn to quaint little cottages. By the sea. Tucked amongst stately homes. Who wouldn't want to live above the garage like Sabrina and her father on the Larrabee estate? So much more cozy.
Larrabee Cottage over the Garage in "Sabrina"
But another part of me is drawn to grand European estates and country houses. I love soaring ceilings, wainscoting and wide open vistas. My husband and I had no intention of upsizing but we both fell for this fixer upper on the other side of town. We bought the house for a song and have been steadily investing in the upgrades it inarguably needed. New roof? Check. Collapsed portico? Now fixed. 7 chimneys crumbling? We got that. Believe me I have no regrets. Although on occasion I find myself staring lustfully at a charming cape with a tidy little picket fence.
Our House vs. Simple Cottage found on Pinterest
When I first climbed the tall staircase 30 or so steps to the top, I was in awe. Sparkly chandeliers and pocket doors abound. Single pane original windows with arched headers. Pressed tin ceilings in the conservatory and crown molding throughout. This was no country cottage. After all the repairs were made and I was soon to be facing the decorating, my daily climb began to feel more like a giant mountain. And I wasn't equipped.
As I've learned, the best decorating happens over time. I hired a wonderful designer to help with some of the decision making. I've said it before but this was a great investment. Mistakes were made but fewer than had I been bumbling around all by myself. The progress was swift because I was forced to make decisions. Curtain treatments were the mainstay of how my designer helped me but her thoughts on questions like color and furniture placement was invaluable.
High ceilings call for sumptuous silks and velvets. I can do that. An empty corner needed something pretty grand. I bought a clock. Slowly adding touches that seemed both right for the room and for me was a good strategy. After all, creating fetching scenes in which to place my products is my day job.
Dana Gibson Cabana Table Cloth in Green
Dana Gibson Newport in White Table Lamp
I outfitted a small passage way with this cottagey design below. Casual cafe curtains in the upstairs bedrooms let in a hell of a lot of daily sunshine which I like. Guests might not.
My nod to my cottage heritage abounds in homespun touches that ground the house somewhat. A simple chair in a corner adds just the right amount of charm.
Flavia in Red Side Chair, Single
Cozy Cottage Chair in Bunny Mellon Estate
Bunny Mellon was famous for adding mundane objects like baskets and terracotta pots to her interiors. Living in a grand home should never be taken too seriously. After all, your home should never feel or look like you just walked on to a movie set. Its your place and should always reflect that .