Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Tour of Monmow Cottage in Wales

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

I feel like a cottage tour today. How about you? If the answer is "yes", then come along with me for a close up look at Monmow Cottage in Wales.

There is so much about this riverside cottage to admire. The fact that it's built with stone definitely pushes my cottage love button.

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales '

The half door (or what we often call a "dutch door" here in the U.S.) overlooks the lush grounds and river.

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales '

In my dreams I walk through a door like that into a Monet garden. Do you dream about gardens? This kitty is probably daydreaming about a garden filled with mice.

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales '

The conservatory is a lovely addition to the cottage.

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

The casual, inviting conservatory was built to maintain an even temperature throughout the year, it's UV-resistant, and has retractable blinds.

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

I love this delightful vignette with its sweet white table and what appears to be an antique pew chair. We have a black desk lamp that looks just like the one in the photo.

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

The Monmow Cottage kitchen has been modernized without sacrificing its traditional welsh cottage elements.

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

Whitewashed stone walls and rustic dark beams recall the cottage's distant roots.

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

Botanicals grace the wall and repeat in the mugs hanging on the welsh cupboard, and the tray.

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

Natural light floods the dining area. Here we find more pew chairs. (Their boxes would be fun to decorate with the seasons.)
Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

The windows bring the outdoors in. Imagine dining here with that idyllic view.
Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

The cozy living room lends itself to curling up with a good book by the fire, or enjoying conversation with friends.
Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

Dark wood furniture, and red upholstery and rug warm the predominantly white room.

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

Red accents show up in the master bedroom, too.
Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

And the second bedroom.
Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

Just like the rest of the cottage, the bathrooms -- though modern -- have stayed true to the original structure.
Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

I will forever be fond of deep window wells.
Photo courtesy of Blaentrothy 'Holiday Cottages Wales'

I hope you enjoyed the tour. Do you feel inspired, as I do?

I'd like to thank Caroline of Blaentrothy Holiday Cottages for allowing me the privilege of featuring Monmow Cottage at A Joyful Cottage. You can learn more about Monmow Cottage on the Blaentrothy Holiday Cottages website.

Joining Let's Get Social Sunday at Memories By The Mile

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vintage Table Makeover

We've been in our rented apartment for about a month now, and I've been happily working on making a nest here. When we sold our Colorado home we gave away 90% of our furnishings, so now I'm bargain hunting, and giving new life to old furniture. My first project was this vintage table turned desk that now graces my home office/studio. Miss V.T. and I met at one of my favorite home shops. She sat forlornly in the bargain shed without a price tag. The shop owner and I settled on a price of $50 and she was delivered the next day. Here she is after I gave her a bath to get rid of all the dirt and cobwebs. Still pretty rough, and some might think I paid too much for her, but she's a sturdy gal with great bones, and exactly what I've been wanting for a desk.

Her veneer was totally shot, so after promising her that she would feel a whole lot better with a peel, I began her facial. I was able to pull off the really loose veneer, and then finished the job with these.

I wet the veneer in small sections with my water spray bottle, placed a moistened old rag over the dampened area and pressed it with my iron. The steam loosened the glue and I could then lift off the remaining veneer. (Although my Rowena looks pretty bad here, the brown scorch gunk did come off with a light scrubbing. In hindsight, I will look for an old iron to use for this kind of work in the future.)

After filling a cardboard box with veneer, Miss V.T was feeling and looking a whole lot better.

She had a few deep gouges that needed wood filler.

Then I gave Miss V.T. a light sanding all over to prepare her for paint.

I knew I wanted her to be white with just a tad of distressing. (This cupboard was my inspiration.)

Photo from RSH a catalog boutique, Fall 2012

It took several coats of semi-gloss white to give her the coverage I wanted.

I tend to paint light, multiple coats. And I'm not particular about the brand/type of paint. For Miss V.T. I used an untinted white exterior semi-gloss found in my local hardware store's mistints. This may not be for everyone, but it works for me and my meager budget.  (The paint guy had just spilled a little of the paint when he opened it to do a custom mix, and that means he couldn't use it. I happened on the scene at the crucial retail moment. A gallon of perfectly good paint for $5? Yes, please.)

It took several days of painting, drying and then a light distressing to get the look I wanted. For me it was worth the wait. I'm pretty patient, and used my work time to listen to great music and pray.

I'm really happy with the results of my vintage table makeover, and love working here with Miss V.T.

Hope you're enjoying the Fall days.

I'll be joining:
Share Your Cup at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Shabbilicious Friday link party at Shabby Art Boutique
Link Party at Redoux
Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits at Stone Gable
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Craft Frenzy Friday at Craft Dictator

Friday, September 20, 2013

Our Apartment is inTherapy

After selling our home in Colorado and spending five weeks on the road in Oregon, we finally landed in a small northeastern Oregon town. In some ways it reminds me of the mountain town we left.

View from our previous Colorado home. . .

View from our current Oregon apartment:

Kind of ironic, don't you think? I never really thought of Oregon looking like this, but it depends on what section of the state you visit. The northeast portion is arid, with lots of sunshine and low humidity.

So now we're here, and after making two offers on homes in the region and neither coming to fruition, we decided to lease an apartment. At least for now. (We've been without internet service for a month, so blogging and social media interaction came to a screeching halt. I'm glad to be back with you.)

In my last post I invited you to join me as I turn our apartment into a home. I snapped the following photos before we moved in and began work on our new place.

After moving from a 640 square foot home, this 1,600 square foot apartment seems huge. With its 11' ceilings, wood structural posts and large windows, the great room has an industrial look.

The room is open to the kitchen (just to the left of the posts in the photo above).

 (The cutesy refrigerator magnets are no longer there.)
I like the cottagey bead board in the bathroom.
The bedrooms are large, but pretty bland.
See what I mean? Shaggy browny/tanny carpet.
But on the plus side I have a nice view from the bedroom that will be my home office/studio. And the deep window well suits me fine.
Notice the funky decrepit wagon outside. It needs a feminine touch. I wonder if I could cover it in roses.
Beyond the plain wagon is a better view.
I've been working on a lot of home decorating projects that I'll share with you in the coming days.
Hope your weekend is filled with joy.
Linking up with Friendship Friday at Create with Joy.