Saturday, September 26, 2015

Living Large In Small Spaces - Ten Petite Bedrooms Big on Style

Fiftieth post in the series 
"Living Large in Small Spaces"

Welcome Friends,

On today's edition of Living Large In Small Spaces we're looking at ten different bedrooms that have maximized their small size through great design. I think you'll like these.


We start with this traditional bedroom. The headboard is recessed into the custom made shelving and cabinetry. French doors open into this serene space.

This stylish bedroom uses animal prints to make a statement. Notice how the delicate legs of the nightstands give an open feeling to the space. The mirror on the wall adds visual depth.


Here's another winning way to create the illusion of depth in a room. In this contemporary Georgetown bedroom photos of columns at the Jefferson Memorial were used to create wallpaper behind the bed. The side tables have pull out shelves for additional space, and wall sconces take the place of table lamps.

This is one of the best bed-in-front-of-the-window scenarios I've ever seen. The open frame headboard allows light to flow into the room, and its style, finish and height compliment the windows instead of fighting them.


Skylights brighten this charming bedroom under the eaves and make it seem larger. Space is preserved with the use of tiny storage cabinets between the studs with room for a book and other night time essentials. Wall sconces stand in for lamps.

Several design elements struck me in this bedroom photo. The beadboard walls and ceiling painted in the same color, the double ceiling molding and the simple window treatment. All of this makes the room appear larger. But what really impressed me is the use of two matching dressers.  One might be tempted to use one big dresser on this wall, but these twins break up the space and visually expand it, as well as provide room for a chair between them. Brilliant.  


Great floor space conserving concept in this small teen's bedroom: dual closets, over-the-bed shelves instead of a headboard, with room for a painting. I could see this basic idea used in a master bedroom with any design style. Imagine this same scene after changing out the door style with a cottage or French country twist. Or how about a rustic approach. So many options.

Here's a very creative solution for placing a double bed in a very small room, while still allowing for access from either side. Place it at an angle and use an adjustable screen for the headboard. See how a nice sized chest still fits here, too, and doubles as a nightstand. Love this!

This bedroom is delightful. Cozy and calm.


And because I couldn't decide which of two views to share, I'm including both photos of this handsome bedroom.  

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed exploring this collection with me. Do you have a favorite?

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 or have designed 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.)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Floral Fascination - Decorating with Flowers

There are always flowers for those who want to see them
~ Henri Matisse

Hello Cottage Friends,

Whether outdoors or indoors, flowers are always visible here at A Joyful Cottage. After all, what would a cottage be without a smattering of floral lovelies?

Although we're officially now in the fall season, my flower garden is still going strong. No signs of fading yet; I have plenty of flowers available for cutting.

We've been collecting cobalt blue glass the last few years and I enjoy displaying it in our cottage. Here I've mixed it in with some of my potted plants and flowers in the garden window. 

Sometimes just a single bloom in a simple vessel can make a bold statement.

Fresh flowers from our cottage garden can be found in our sitting area, too. I especially like to place them near Dennis' sculpture.

In Good Hands sculpture by Dennis Reinke

The photo below, taken in our last home, illustrates how I surrounded Dennis sculpture with potted geraniums, creating a mini botanical garden. This is something I plan to do again.

The Awakening sculpture by Dennis Reinke

My favorite floral arrangements are those that look like they were casually gathered on a summer walk. Like this bouquet of fresh flowers in our bathroom.  The style and size of the cut glass vase is ideal for this space.

Here's another pretty bouquet on my studio windowsill. I used one of the small bottles that resides here to hold a few delicate blooms. The charming pillow was a housewarming gift from my blogging friend Jo of Anne's Attic Design. It's her creation, and I love all the handmade flowers that embellish it. I keep it in this special place, above my desk, where I'm constantly reminded of her kindness and generosity. (Gorgeous pillows like this aren't just for sofas, chairs and beds, you know.) 

Long after my cutting garden has surrendered to Jack Frost, flowers will still brighten the rooms of our cottage via the decorative accessories I use. This rose tea cup is English bone china. Can you believe I found it in the "free" box at a local thrift shop? It's in perfect condition. 

A pretty French box holds my vintage hankies and hand embroidered pillowcases. Loads of flowers here.

My love affair with flowers is evident in the vintage plate and demitasse cup on our decorative stove hood shelf. 

Finally, our bedroom is a flower garden in repose.

Instead of a headboard, my husband's stunning Water Lily oil painting takes center stage above our bed. 

Water Lily oil painting by Dennis Reinke

Mixing and layering floral patterns gives me the quaint cottage charm I love.

I've only just begun. As I continue to decorate our new cottage, you can bet more flowers will show up.

So tell me, do you decorate with flowers? 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Living Large In Small Spaces - Pure Honey

Forty-ninth post in the series 
"Living Large in Small Spaces"

Welcome Friends. Thanks for joining me for another edition of Living Large In Small Spaces.

Today's featured home, located in Columbus, Ohio, was found on Trulia.  It was listed on the market and sold about a year ago. 

Since the little sign on the front porch says "Pure Honey", we'll assume this petite home is a female. 

She's a bit of a tease. On the outside she says "I'm a traditional girl."

But open her front door and you're in for a surprise.

There are no before photos, so we can only surmise how she once appeared. However, since she was born in 1920 it's apparent that this Plain Jane has had quite a makeover.

She's opened herself up to new possibilities, traded in her 648 sq ft ordinary style for something more daring.

She's thrown caution to the wind and exposed her beams and brick.

And though she's kept her classic doors, trim and baseboards, she's exchanged her staid attic for a sassy loft.

She's streamlined her kitchen with a transitional style that works with anything from vintage to contemporary furnishings, choosing new wood cabinets that enhance her old brick.

She's done a great job of maximizing her small features.

Her restyled bathroom hints at her vintage roots.

Willing to embrace modernity, she's added skylights to bring in natural light.

This lady rests on a double lot that offers lots of landscape potential.

I have to tell you that Pure Honey turned my head.

How about you? 

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 or have designed 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, September 17, 2015

Projects Galore!

Greetings Cottage Friends,

Here at A Joyful Cottage we are in the midst of projects. Lots and lots of projects. 

I know what you're thinking. . .didn't they just finish a ma-jor project? Like an entire cottage? Shouldn't they be resting?

Um, yeah. We did and we probably should rest. But you'd have to live with us -- or at least follow us around for a day -- to understand the creative river that flows endlessly here, filling up through torrential brainstorms and threatening to overflow its banks unless we open the flood gates to unleash our ideas. (Wearing galoshes when coming to visit would be a good idea.)

Pink Rain Boots By Kamik
Image found on Galoshes For Women

For example, Saturday morning Dennis got out of bed, looked out the window at the half-finished garden shed and said, "That shed needs to be finished and today I'm going to get to work on it."

And for the next few days we worked together to get it to this point. All buttoned up, door included, with a coat of primer on the exterior. Dennis has more trim to put up and I need to sand the door. Then we'll give it final coats of paint. (I'm not going to tell you the colors we've chosen, but I will tell you the shed won't match the cottage. Nope.)

My tomato plants love it inside their nice, warm home and are kindly rewarding our efforts.

Tomatoes picked yesterday.

The past two days Dennis has been in his studio working on an architectural design project, with another on the back burner and three painting commissions standing in line. 

Architect at work - 4:30 AM yesterday. (Ahem, I thought he was retired.)

Because we're still experiencing moderate temperatures during the day -- and knowing that an early frost is likely -- I've put my interior projects on hold while concentrating on my cottage garden.

Now the east side of the cottage has perennials, too.

The flowers came from my friend Robyn, who invited me to dig up perennials from her beds for transplanting into mine. 

I've just about got the southwest side of the cottage ready for more planting. Big plans are percolating for this area.

And in case you're wondering about my "interior projects", I'll show you some before photos.

These three pieces will be joined in wholly makeovermony.

The dining table will have company after I finish these.

My $15 chest will be updated.

This ugly $2 backless chair is the most challenging of my makeover projects.

I've got a new look and purpose in mind for my $2 mailbox.

This free shelf unit will be painted.

There are other things I'm working on, but they're for a later post. Interior cottage shots are forthcoming. Honestly.

What are you working on, dear friends? Or maybe you're resting. Do tell.