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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Living Large In Small Spaces - The Owl's Nest

Thirty-fourth post in the series 
"Living Large in Small Spaces"


Hello Cottage Friends,

Welcome to another edition of Living Large In Small Spaces.


Today's small home is a little converted stone barn near the Forest of Dean in Wales. I'd like to thank Blaentrothy Holiday Cottages for the privilege of sharing this enchanting place.


There's an abundance of outdoor living space to show you, but first we'll tour the interior, entering through the loggia into the kitchen.



This is a clean, streamlined space. A modern home with subtle nods to its humble barn beginnings.



A rustic wood door opens to the bathroom.



The row of raised mirrors make the bathroom appear larger and brighter. I like this idea.



The barn wood siding has a lovely washed out appearance. Dark wood would have overwhelmed this space.




The kitchen is quasi-open to the living space. 


Tucking the table and chairs under the loft creates an intimate dining nook. Painting the wall charcoal defines the space. Charcoal accents are repeated throughout the cottage and tie everything together.



Not only is this cottage an architectural delight, it's decorated beautifully in an eclectic style: contemporary, industrial, with a touch of farmhouse and a smattering of romance.













Natural stone floors and chunky pegged beams that came from the owner's own oak trees lend character to the home.





The overall effect is warm and welcoming.




French doors open to a little patio on the lawn.



With spectacular views.



This just might be my favorite bedroom of all time.



A sanctuary of stone, wood and lots of natural light.



An exterior door takes us to a private raised deck




Stairs lead to additional  outdoor living space on the ground floor.


I'm in love with this outdoor room.




The Ryland sheep that reside here are very tame and "will come and say hello, if invited by the rattle of the feed bag, and rewarded by a handful of sheep nuts in their tray in the stall by the loggia." 



This is country life at its best.






All photos are the property of  Blaentrothy Holiday Cottages and were used with their permission. I received no compensation for featuring The Owl's Nest.


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.


From the comments I've received, many
people have been encouraged by the homes and lives 
shared in this series.
If you live in a small space (approx. 1200 square feet or less),
 I'd love to feature your story, too.
Send me an email and let's collaborate.
(See the "Contact Me" page for my email address.)


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cottage Decor - Metal Wall Art


Recently I was invited to review a product of my choice from Graham & Brown, a home decor company based in the UK. 

Graham & Brown's website has a plethora of lovely wallpaper, paint, wall art and home accessories for any decorating style.

I've been searching for unusual cottage style decor with a bit of shabby chic flare for our new home. Graham & Brown's Birdhouse Multi-Frame Metal Wall Art certainly has all that. 


Birdhouse Multi Frame
Birdhouse Multi Frame Metal Wall Art by Graham & Brown


Cottage style? Check.

Shabby chic? Check.

Unique? Check.

The wall art arrived in perfect condition. I took some photos to show you the actual product I received. This is straight out of the box. I haven't hung it on the wall yet, as we're still in the middle of construction.




On the website the picture frames hold bird images which I thought were a permanent feature of the wall art.  I'm a little disappointed that the actual product contains typical stock marketing photos of people.





However, it's an easy enough fix by removing the backing and inserting my own images.





Sure family photos could be displayed in the frames, but it would be really fun to get creative and show off nature photos or sketches, mini watercolors, inspirational quotes, fabric or wallpaper remnants.



Something like this Graham & Brown wallpaper would be very sweet in the frames.


Chinoiserie Imperial Yellow
Chinoiserie Imperial Yellow Wallpaper by Graham & Brown


Change the images with the seasons. Do a holiday shout out.

The possibilities are endless.






I love the little birds in the cages.





This metal wall art is well made and I feel it's a good value for the price point of £45.00 (approx $69 US). It's definitely something I'd purchase for myself or as a gift for a cottage friend. 






I can't wait to dress it up and hang it in our cottage. I'll be sure to show it to you when I do.



Except for the photos in the frames, the product as depicted on the website is an accurate representation of the actual piece. I think it would be helpful if Graham & Brown indicated on the product description that the piece is designed to hold personal photographs or artwork of the buyer's choice and that the bird images are not included.


You can see more pretty home decor, paint and wallpaper selections at Graham & Brown's website.

Graham & Brown provided the Birdhouse Multi Frame Wall Art for this review free of charge. All opinions and ideas expressed are my own.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Our New Cottage - Progress Report #8



Hello Cottage Friends,

In my last update I promised to tell you more about the garden shed.


The shed will double as a greenhouse with windows on three sides -- south, east, west -- and room for our lawn mower and garden tools in the northwest corner.
Those little openings above the windows will be covered with siding.


The multi-pane windows were salvaged from the house behind ours. When Dennis saw workers dismantling the house he walked over and asked what they were going to do with the windows. They said he could have them. We'll have to replace one glass pane. The upper corner windows on both sets are designed to open, and they're still operable.





House demolition



We previously scored a free door and bought large windows removed from an old farmhouse. When we were able to get these additional windows for free, Dennis redesigned the shed to accommodate them. Two of the farmhouse windows will be installed on the west side.

He raised the windows to allow for plant shelves with storage underneath.




May 19, 2015


The hardwood flooring is delivered.





Sheathing is installed on the garden shed roof.



I give the bedroom a coat of paint. Here's the color chip - Valspar Alpine Peak - taped to the wall after one coat. It sure doesn't look like the color chip yet, does it? 
Valspar Alpine Peak


I chose Valspar French Urn for the bathroom, but after I painted one coat I discovered it's almost the same color as the bedroom color and I didn't want that. (Yeah, I'm weird that way.) 


Valspar French Urn (color chip from website)
I don't usually have a problem picking the right colors, but for some reason this one just didn't work. On my monitor this color chip looks gray.  On the bathroom wall it looks pale green. 

What to do?  More about this later.

May 20, 2015

The guys start laying the hardwood flooring, beginning with my room (this is my writing/quilting/creating/dreaming space).



I apply the second coat of Alpine Peak to the bedroom walls and ceiling. 
This photo was taken at 6:00 PM. Light here is from the west and north.

The green intensity changes throughout the day and into the evening.  I like it.  A lot.

May 21, 2015

Dennis sculpts the landscape. Soon top soil will be brought in to fill in the lower areas and allow for some intense flower planting.  Can't wait!
This guy is working so hard.


I apply one coat of red paint to the front panel under the porches before the rain moves in.


One of the farmhouse windows is installed in the garden shed. (The door seen in the background will be installed, too.)


May 22, 2015

It's raining. 

Dennis and I run errands. We buy paint for his studio, and another can of paint for the bathroom.  This time I'm going with Sherwin Williams Copen Blue. 
  
There'll be a lot of white and neutral colors in the bathroom and this color will look great.


Mitch the floor installer has been dividing his time between our job and another.  My room is completed.


And the kitchen/dining/living room is progressing.



May 23, 2015

I begin the repainting of the bathroom.  Here's a photo I took just for you, to show the contrast between the French Urn and the Copen Blue.

I actually like the French Urn on the ceiling with the Copen Blue walls, so I left it.

Dennis is on a mission to keep critters from getting under the porches.  His solution is to add landscape timbers and nail screening to cover the gap.  I like this because the screen won't be noticeable when all this is completed. The black plastic will be completely covered with soil, and there'll be plants and shrubs and such planted there.


May 24, 2015

I get some painting done on the north exterior.


Dennis starts painting his studio.  He gets the ceiling completed and begins work on the walls. I step into help and we get 'er done.

I love the colors Dennis chose. The ceiling is Valspar Shrouded Lace.  The walls are Valspar Sage Slate. He selected a carpet in a milk chocolate color (he likes carpet under his feet in his studio. . .easier on the legs and back when standing and painting).

Time for a break!

May 25, 2015

Johnny our gravel guy delivers more gravel to the site.



Dean delivers the interior doors and their hardware.  I love the beadboard and the arch on the door.  Just the cottage look I want.

I didn't get a photo of the door knobs, but they look similar to this one.



I paint the second coat on the bathroom walls.  See how the incoming light changes the shade? The walls are all the same hue.




I paint the hall closet where the stacked laundry will reside. The color is Natural Canvas to match the hallway.


Now that I've completed the interior painting I can get back to painting the exterior. Still lots to do there!

Thanks for your concern about my computer problems. Miraculously, on the morning I was all set to take my laptop to the repair shop, an automatic update to Windows 8.1 took place. It cleared up all my problems.  Thank you, Lord!




If you missed previous progress reports, you can find them here:

Progress Report #1

Progress Report #2
Progress Report #3
Progress Report #4
Progress Report #5
Progress Report #6
Progress Report #7


You can find our awesome builder at their website:
BLH Construction.