Saturday, January 14, 2017

Living Large In Small Spaces - Norwegian Cottage

A traditional cottage in Norway is this week's feature on Living Large In Small Spaces.

Welcome to the eighty-eighth post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces".

This vacation home began life as a humble 409 sq ft cabin built in the 70's. In 2007 the cabin was sold to the current owners, and three years later they built a 721 sq ft addition bringing the total square footage to 1,130.

Decorating the interior was accomplished over a three year period as the owners scoured magazines, books and museums for ideas that matched their vision for a cottage that would reflect their love of tradition and nature. 

A bench purchased at a local auction is located at the front entrance.

Here contemporary furniture mixes with traditional Norwegian pieces and accessories to create a comfortable as well as stylish space. The coffee table came from the basement of the cottage owner's grandparents, where it was used to cut fish. Its legs were shortened to better suit the new use. The floor lamp's base is made from stacked stones.

The antique cabinet was purchased by the cottage owner's father at an auction when she was 13 years old. Before the remodel the wall behind the cabinet was an outside wall. The owners chose to leave the little window in the wall as it was. A gorgeous 40 year-old carpet covers the floor. 

Two wingback chairs face the windows to capture the views. Everywhere you look you'll see candles in stunning holders.

Green plants and tulips brighten the interior.

The new fireplace, inspired by those found on old farms, was designed by the cottage owner.

There is space for four overnight guests in the loft.

The French country kitchen was designed so that views of the mountains could be enjoyed while preparing meals.

The long dining table was purchased in an antique shop, the sofa has been with the family through three homes. Pin chairs were bought from a demolished company cabin. Every morning the working wood stove is fired up to warm the kitchen.

Cushions hung from an old ski make a simple, unusual headboard.

There are many things I love about this cottage, but the one decor take-away for me that I can implement in my own cottage immediately, at very little cost, is the candles. Not only to have them, but to actually burn them. They really are a beautiful addition to a room.

What's your take-away from this Norwegian cottage?


Photos: Erik Jaeger

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, January 11, 2017

Cottage Life - Thriving in a Very Real Winter

When we moved into our Oregon cottage 18 months ago the locals asked us if we would be able to stand the winters. Coming from the Rocky Mountains where we lived at 7,500 feet and experienced snow storms that dropped four feet of snow at a time in April and May, we were pretty certain that the winters they talked about would seem mild in comparison.

Outdoor Seating - Allenspark, Colorado

After all, average snowfall in these parts never amounted to more than a few inches at a time, and daytime temps hovered in the mid to high 20's. And, in fact, when we broke ground for our cottage in February 2015 there had been no snowfall and there wouldn't be for the rest of the winter. The construction team often worked in their shirt sleeves.

Holy cow, is our cottage really that small?

Last year we experienced more ice than snow, and I invested in a pair of grippers to wear over my shoes so I could walk without fear of slipping

Very stylish, don't you think?

Which brings us to this year's weather. Yesterday I took these photos of our town's maintenance crew removing snow from the neighborhood and transporting it out of the area.

We've received several feet of snow over the past month and more is expected. When it finally warms up enough to melt it could be problematic. Consequently, the relocation of 5' - 7' mounds from concentrated areas to help ease the runoff.

Temperatures have been in the single digits during the day and below zero at night, and that's on good days. I hear some griping and complaining, when I go out, but really, what good does that do? It is what it is, and I believe in making the best of it. This, too, shall pass.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

In the meantime, I appreciate the pristine beauty of fresh snow. It's so much prettier than brown lawns and bare trees. I'm blessed to live in a warm, cozy cottage and so thankful for my husband who designed it.

Photo taken before the "real" snow came.

And then there's comfort food. Homemade stews and hearty soups are my favorite dishes and this is the best time of year to make them. Last night we dined on Vegetable Beef soup. Over the weekend I made Chili with Black Beans, only this time I added a chopped sweet potato. Oh my, was it delicious. I don't think I'll ever make it any other way from now on.

My Chili with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes. Yum!

Hot drinks, warm quilts and the promise of spring keep my spirits up.

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. 
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, 
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 
Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Believe it or not, spring will be here before we know it.