Saturday, April 22, 2017

Living Large In Small Spaces - Lavender Cottage

Today is special to me. So special that it was difficult to settle on a feature for this week's Living Large In Small Spaces. There are so many small homes and cottages, bungalows and studios waiting to be discovered and drooled over, but I think Lavender Cottage was meant to be shared today. It's just that charming.

Welcome to the one-hundredth post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces".

Notice that number above? Can you believe I've written 99 LLISS posts -- now 100 -- to inspire my readers on how to live large in small spaces? Me either, but it's true. And that's why today is so important to me. How do I celebrate 100 posts (not to mention the hours of cyber searching and typing) with all of you -- my best friends? 

It starts with finding and sharing an endearing cottage and garden.

Located in a tiny hamlet in Yorkshire, Lavender Cottage is the holiday home of artist and designer Helen Charlton and her husband John.

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but in the email I sent to Helen thanking her for allowing me the privilege of sharing her cottage I actually gushed a bit. You see, Lavender Cottage is pretty close to my dream cottage. A lovely English country cottage with the sort of architectural details that inspired the design of our own cottage.

When the Charltons bought the 18th century stone cottage they waited eight months before making any changes. During that time Helen kept a design journal crammed with inspiration and ideas until the contractor, who had worked on their farmhouse renovation (their primary residence), was available. He actually lived in the cottage for five weeks while he completed the remodel.

Dark ceiling beams were stripped and painted. Local sandstone was used for the new chimney breast, and an aga wood-burning stove was installed to keep the cottage cozy on winter nights. Helen's choice of a pink chandelier is a pleasant surprise. I love the painted grandfather clock and the window seat. The beautiful hardwood floors are solid maple. 

A color palette of sea-side blue greens, sandy creams and pebble greys was used throughout the cottage.

The contemporary kitchen is beautifully appointed with oak countertops, travertine flooring and a Belfast sink. A bank of windows is the icing on the cake.

A bar was installed to provide dining in the small kitchen.

Careful attention was given to every detail in the cottage.

A delightful wall cupboard holds Emma Bridgewater pottery.

The bedroom -- nestled under the eaves -- is decorated in blue fabric and wallpaper by British company Cabbage and Roses. (This fact alone makes me swoon. I love everything Cabbage and Roses does.)

The antique French bed is simply gorgeous.

Really, this bedroom is perfection.

A pretty chandelier hangs over the bed.

In the bathroom the addition of a tube skylight brings in natural light. By the way, have you noticed how many homeowners are installing the tub fixtures on the side wall rather than at the head of the tub these days? Brilliant, right? Who wants to hit their head on the faucet when they're soaking, or try to find a place for their feet if they turn the other way?

The stunning cottage garden is awash with pink old fashioned roses, honeysuckle and clematis. 

And it wouldn't be Lavender Cottage without lavender planted in the garden.

I'm so taken with this precious cottage.

Even though she didn't ask me to, I must give a plug for Helen Charlton and her amazing talents. She is owner of Busy Bee Studio, has taken part in BBC2 TV The Great Interior Design Challenge, and her farmhouse and Lavender Cottage have been featured in some of England's most popular magazines. She's an extraordinary woman and I'm so pleased that I was given the opportunity to introduce you to her and the lovely Lavender Cottage.

Lavender Cottage is available to let on their website: If you go there, be sure to spend some time looking at the panormaic virtual tours of the cottage rooms. You'll see so much more than I can show here.

Also, check out Helen's blog here and her beautiful Busy Bee Studio here.

(Thank you, Helen for making my 100th post anniversary so special.)

And now I have a surprise for all my faithful readers. (You didn't think we were done partying did you?) A Joyful Cottage wouldn't exist without you, nor would 100 posts on Living Large In Small Spaces be possible. So, to show my appreciation for your loyalty I'm giving away a one-year subscription (6 issues) to this magazine.

"Give your home a cozy cottage look with Cottages & Bungalows. Enjoy house tours, expert tips, inspiring stories, and beautiful images that empower you to create a cottage lifestyle in any home. 
Organize, decorate, restore and maintain!"

Six issues of inspiration can be yours. Just leave me a comment that you'd like to be entered in the drawing. If you're not a blogger or you're a no-reply blogger you'll have to leave your email address so I can reach you if you're the winner. That's it. No following rules or Facebook likes required. I'm putting you on the honor system that you're already a follower and regular reader of A Joyful Cottage because you see value in the content presented here.

I'll announce the Cottage and Bungalow Subscription winner right here next Saturday, April 29.

Good luck!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cottage Life - In the Cottage Garden Again

I trust you had a lovely Easter, my friends. After church we drove through the countryside to our favorite little cafe for brunch, and saw newborn lambs with their mothers. So sweet. I would have liked to take photos, but there was no good place to stop and do so. Trust me, they're adorable. 

It was a beautiful day, around 60 degrees. The first warm day we've had this year. After we returned home Dennis worked on his latest home project. (It's a secret for now. I promise to share it when its finished.)

While he painted  the secret I cleaned up the front porch and potted some pansies left over from the Spring Fling

I potted an English Daisy, too, discovered at the nursery where I bought the pansies. This flower is new to me, and since I wasn't sure how it would do if I planted it in the ground so early, I gave it a temporary home on the porch. I'll put it in the ground once the soil is warm.

After I finished prettifying the porch I rewarded myself with a respite, and before long Dennis joined me. We had a very pleasant Easter day.

Yesterday afternoon I slipped into my gardening clothes, pulled on my gloves and headed for the cottage garden. Finally, the weather is cooperating with this anxious gardener. My neighbor called out to me, "It's great to see you in the garden again," and I assured her it was great to be there.

I had a lot of work to do. This is the first time I haven't cut back my perennials in the fall, wanting to add winter interest to my garden. It worked out well in the early weeks, but before long we had so much snow that the plants were entirely covered and not to be seen. 

I wondered if they would survive the cold, brutal winter we experienced, but I needn't have worried. They faithfully have come back to grace my cottage garden once more. I took photos of the blooming ones to share with you.

This is Pulmonaria 'Ms Moon'.  Delicate pink and blue flowers, a great plant for shade and the deer don't touch it.

Cranesbill transplanted from my friend Barbara's garden. I planted this last year and it's really spreading now. It likes rocky places. (Ignore the pine needles. These fall from our neighbor's tree and are quite a nuisance. I try to remove them as I work in the garden, but yesterday was a pruning day and not necessarily a "pick up the pine needles day". I try to stay focused.)

More groundcover -- Vinca Minor -- growing on the back side of the berm.

Grape Hyacinth -- another transplant from Barbara's garden. Such a sweet little flower.

The Primrose bloomed very early, and is winding down now. 

Violas, aka Johnny Jump-Up, Hearts-ease, Love-lies-waiting, among many other labels. I read a comment in an article recently where a gardener lamented these "weeds" and went after them with a vengeance. Weeds? I think not. Their sweet faces make me smile, and I consider them my forever cottage garden friends.

Not planned, most of the blooms are in the purple hues --Spirea being the exception.

The photos were taken from all around the cottage. I had hoped to have daffodils to share with you, but apparently those I planted two years ago have decided not to bloom. The bulbs were given to me and are quite stubborn. I may have to start afresh this fall. I do so enjoy daffodils and they are another spring bloom the deer don't like.

It's sunny this morning and predicted to be another day around 60 degrees. 

Care to guess where I'll be?


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Living Large In Small Spaces - The Parisian Cottage

The Parisian Cottage in Colorado Springs is this week's Living Large In Small Spaces featured home.

Welcome to the ninety-ninth post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces".

As a former Colorado resident who has spent time in most parts of the state, Colorado Springs remains one of my favorite places. I only wish I'd known about this charming cottage when I last stayed there.

Dreamy, romantic. . .call it what you will, today's Living Large In Small Spaces featured cottage is a gem.

The cheerful yellow, and white trim cottage has an enticing front porch . Even without the "welcome" on the door, one can feel a gracious invitation to enter.

Originally built in 1909, the fully remodeled cottage has been featured in popular periodicals such as Country Living, Huffington Post and USA Today.

Karen, the owner, chose a cream, white and soft pink color palette to create serene and romantic rooms.

Items brought back from her trips to Europe fill the cottage. Obviously, France had a major influence in her choice of decor. 

Eiffel towers show up in various forms throughout the cottage.

Found in salt and pepper shakers. . .

Adorning the wall. . .

And whimsically decorating the refrigerator.

I love the glass knob on the bathroom door.

And the gorgeous ceiling light. Having the washer and dryer in the bathroom is often necessary in a tiny home. Here the pretty curtain hides them from view when not in use. I like that idea.

The bedroom is very romantic. From the chandelier over the bed. . .

to the fleur-de-lis headboard, plush bedding. . . 

and filmy curtain pulled around the bed. All combine to create an air of romance.

And then there's the outdoor spaces.

The backyard cottage garden is nothing short of amazing.

Charming arches and pathways.

Lush gardens.

A beautiful place to unwind.

How about you -- what do you most like about this sweet cottage?

Thank you, Karen, for allowing me to share your enchanting cottage.

The Parisian Cottage is a vacation home available for rent from Darling Houses LLC, +1 (719)-649-3123
All images are owned by Darling Houses, LLC and were used with their permission.

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.