Saturday, July 22, 2017

Living Large In Small Spaces - Minnesota Guesthouse

This week's feature is a 1,200 sq ft guest house in Wannaska Minnesota.

Welcome to the 111th post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces".

This 2 bedroom, 1 bath guesthouse began life as a shed, 130 feet behind the primary residence. The same architect who helped with the remodel of the owner's home was called in for the shed remodel. To keep the costs down -- which was important to the owners - the architect specified off-the-shelf materials, such as corrugated siding and standard-size windows, although he did use windows in varying sizes to give the building an "eclectic look".

The front door opens into an open plan living/kitchen/dining space. A chimney pipe was installed for a future woodstove. The island is on wheels, which makes it possible to move it out of the way to open up the space.

Furniture and accessories came from estate sales.

On the ground level the floors are stained concrete. 

Tall tree trunks harvested from the contractor's own woods act as support beams.

Boards for the stair treads and bookshelves were milled to leave their bark edges intact.

Rustic branches were pieced together for the uppermost balusters. The stair rails and newel post are peeled poles.

There's no shortage of natural light in this home, thanks to the many windows.

The ceiling, and hardwood floors on the second level, add warmth to the space.

The bathroom's steeply pitched pine ceiling is a stunning contrast to the white shiplap walls. A 4-foot-long vintage tub is perfect for this small space.

Whitewashed ceilings on the second floor allow the wood grain of the knotty pine to show through. The quilt pieced with vintage ties was a thrift store find.

Looking down from the upstairs landing gives a clear perspective of the size and layout of the ground floor. At the top of the photo you can see a door leading to the screened porch.

The porch has a beautiful view of the river.

Out in the yard a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle -- driven from Boston to Minnesota in 1972 by the husband to join the woman who would become his wife -- has remained a nostalgic member of the family. Once it wore out it became a play car for the couple's sons. Today their grandkids play in it.

This may be a guesthouse, but I could live in this woodsy-inspired home full time.

Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series

 Living Large in Small Spaces

See more home tours in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cottage Life - Mon Petit Jardin

Hello Cottage Friends,

I'm sorry I haven't been around much. It seems like last week everything hit at once. Just one of those weird weeks that I'm sure all of us experience in one form or another from time to time. I helped out a disabled friend by planting some plants for her. Another friend went out of town for three days and asked me to water her gardens. It's been excessively hot here for days and days, so watering is a big deal if we want anything green to live, and it all has to be done in the morning before ten o'clock while the temperature is still tolerable. Then I got stung on my left leg by something I couldn't identify and I had an allergic reaction. It hurt and itched like crazy. My ankle swelled, even though the sting spot -- which turned out to look like a major bruise -- was just below my knee. It was just weird. I took Benadryl and it knocked me out. Yada, yada, yada. Sorry, to bore you with the details. It wasn't fun. But it's much better now. . .almost healed. 

"Give all your worries and cares to God, 
for He cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7

For those of you who would be comfortable doing so, I'd like to ask you to pray for a family in our church whose daughter was killed in a one-car accident a week ago Sunday. Her two year-old son was in the back seat. He's fine, no injuries. His mommy's death is so tragic, so sad. It is a reminder to me that each day is a precious gift from God and to remember not to take loved ones for granted. Hug them while you have them.

About a month ago I revealed my backyard garden project .

I told you I planned to do something with my enclosed garden to add more charm. This is how it looked then.

Little by little I've been working on it, and this is how it looks now.

I finally found a use for all the things I've been hoarding in my garden shed. I've had the hanging planters for several years.

This old mailbox -- picked up at a junk shop for $1 -- had been sitting on a shelf, waiting to be repurposed.

I had always planned to turn it into a flower box, but needed the right place for it. Mon Petit Jardin garden gate cried out for it.

But it still needed something to hang from the newspaper holder, so I painted a little 25 cent metal tray I found at the thrift store, punched holes in it and hung it with twine. The fleur-de-lis on the flower box set the tone for the signage.

A couple of years ago I picked up this chair at the thrift store for $2 thinking that I might actually try to restyle it with a new back, paint and upholstery. It has such great bones.

But after researching how to put on a new back I decided to scratch that idea. I mean, come on, I only have so many waking hours in a day and I've got better things to do with my time than take on a project of that magnitude. I knew, though, that I'd come up with something to help this discarded chair live up to its potential.

So I painted it, and stapled chicken wire (which I just happened to have on hand) to the back and seat. 

I molded the chicken wire in the seat opening to hold a coco liner.

Voilà! My chair has new life as a planter.

It holds a geranium, and two vines that will, I hope, eventually cover the back.

Ten days ago our garden group toured two gardens. The first one was full of cottage charm. I took photos of the garden and the home which I'll share with you in an upcoming post, but for now I want to show you one photo I took of this adorable wagon.

I've been seeing plates used in gardens all over blogland and have thought about how to incorporate some in my cottage garden. It seemed like I needed a focused spot to do this, and my little garden seemed like the perfect place.

I found these little plates at my favorite thrift store, Soroptomist, yesterday. They were only 10 cents each.

I also discovered this little cottage candle holder, which I thought would look pretty cute repurposed as garden art in mon petit garden.

I painted a wooden tray I had and "planted" that, too.

I may do a little tweaking as the summer progresses, but overall I think my little garden is happy with its new look. It was easily accomplished and cost only a few dollars. That makes me smile.

I apologize for not visiting and keeping up with all of you. I will be making the rounds now that things have settled down a bit. Thanks for hanging in with me. Hugs.