Saturday, January 30, 2016

Living Large In Small Spaces - Sweetpea Cottage

Tucked away in Kestle Mill, Cornwall, United Kingdom, is a charming cottage named Sweetpea.

Welcome to the sixty-seventh post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces".

If you think the white washed stone exterior is charming, wait until you see Sweetpea's interior. This cottage has stolen my heart. 

Deep well windows, an old stone fireplace with a wood burner, and beamed ceilings speak my language.

How could one keep from picking up a book with a reading corner like this one?

The dining area is on the opposite side of the room from the fireplace. 

Wonderful textiles in soft  colors fill the cottage.

Cottages of this age, with small windows and low ceilings can be very dark. The white walls, ceilings and furniture, as well as the light floors, make the rooms brighter and more cheerful.

The kitchen is bright and spacious. I like the plate rack and the open shelves. They give the kitchen a collected look. Very nice.

Nice mix of vintage and modern in the bathroom. Great claw foot bathtub with shower. 

Back to the living room where we find stairs to take us to the bedrooms.

The master bedroom is so pretty. 

This may be a king-size bed, but it's suitable for a princess. 

I wanted you to get a closer look at the nightstands. Do you see the sweet birds?

Such a dreamy bedroom.

The second bedroom is a nursery.

So cute. The alphabet fabric is delightful.

Outside is a lovely enclosed garden with a summer house.

I like the idea of a summer house, and this one is enchanting.

Sweetpea Cottage is 300 years old and has undergone extensive renovation. Originally the owners' first home (she was pregnant with their son during the renovation), it's now a vacation home available for rent from Unique Home Stays, +44(0) 1637 881183.

All images are owned by Unique Home Stays 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 and small living ideas in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Calm, Focus and Beauty

Calm, focus and beauty. 

Those words came right off the side panel of my Peach Mango herbal tea box. 

Did you read the "Tasting Notes"? 

Tropical flavors. . .subtle earthy finish.

I didn't know whether to brew a cup or plant the tea in my garden.

Actually, I do feel calmer and more focused drinking this delicious tea, which I found at our local Safeway. (No one is paying me to say this. Scout's honor.)

So, what about beauty?

Ah, I'm glad you asked.  Beauty is all around us. It's up to us to simply notice its existence. 

Sometimes that means pulling over to the side of the road to photograph the beauty of a peaceful winter scene.

"He has made everything
beautiful in its time."
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Sometimes we create the beauty, and this brings me to the subject of beauty in the home. This month I read two excellent posts from blogging friends about decorating our homes in a fashion that is uniquely ours, without concern for what others may choose to do with their own homes. Kim of Exquisitely Unremarkable wrote Independent Interiors: Decorating on Your Own and Rue of An Old-Fashioned World wrote Both women, who have beautiful homes, share thoughts about creating spaces that reflect who we are, what we love and what's important to us.

As I read the words of my friends I thought about our mantel. I've kept it very simple. It won't win any vignette design awards, and that's okay. It reflects who Dennis and I are, what we love and what's important to us.

I love my husband's art, and I want to enjoy his sculptures and paintings every day; to celebrate his God-given talent and share it with all who enter our cottage. A favored birdhouse, pine cones, and a silver tray (a wedding gift) that I've left to tarnish to a wonderful patina. A few red apples rest in the tray's curves.




A finished rug ready to come off the loom. Not perfect. There are things I will do differently next time. 
But I know it's useful, and I believe it's beautiful.

I enjoy twining immensely, although I have much to learn. To help me master the craft I ordered Bobbie Irwin's book Twined Rag Rugs. It just arrived yesterday with Dr. Marilyn Glenville's book Osteoporosis - How to Prevent Treat and Reverse It.

Did you notice the beauty of these book covers? I think the photo of the woman walking on the sandy beach is especially beautiful. I'm certain my bones have improved just by picturing myself in her place.

Reading, twining, drinking tea, capturing a winter scene with my smart phone, arranging the mantel and sharing it all with you.


It's everywhere my dear Cottage Friends.

I'd love to know what beauty you've noticed today.

"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious." 1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Living Large In Small Spaces - Lake Cottage

If you fancy color, then this lake cottage may suit you just fine. 

Welcome to the sixty-sixth post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces".

From the charming front porch we enter into a bright and cheery sunroom.

Aqua sets the peaceful tone. White trim is classic American cottage.

Green expands the color palette. When I first saw this room I thought "sea glass".  

The raised ceiling and natural light from the skylights make this small room seem larger.

Little touches of white add so much to this color scheme.

Clearly this vintage cottage has been updated, yet its delightful character has been preserved.

If one can't have a kitchen window over the sink, then a charming cabinet with open shelves to display pretty dishware is the next best thing.

The bedroom is a comfortable size. I'm normally not drawn to upholstered headboards, however this one really softens the room.

Pretty tile in the bathroom echoes colors from the rest of the cottage.

No beach cottage would be complete without an outdoor shower.

I think this sweet little cottage lives pretty large. How about you?

Erin of the beautiful blog Just Grand and her husband own this delightful vacation home. You can visit Erin's blog here.

Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series

 Living Large in Small Spaces

See more home tours and small living ideas in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Content In Our Cottage

In This Perfect Moment

At this moment of the day 
sunbeams stream through 
the lace at the studio window 
and hover in a shadowy pattern 
over my loom.

Ginger tea scents the air
Enya serenades me-- 
Peace and Solace join me here
in this perfect moment.

A daily question for me, posed in  prettiness. . .

Printable from Kerryanne at Shabby Art Boutique

"Happiness depends less on our possessions than on our thoughts. When we focus on our blessings instead of on our shortcomings, we make our lives richer. You have the power to obtain that joy. So claim the contentment and joy that can -- and should -- be yours." ~ Hugs, Daily Inspiration for Women

Those words come from this lovely book, a gift from my dear friend Kim of Exquisitely UnremarkableShe is one of my greatest blogging blessings. (Thank you, sweet Kim.)

"for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content."
1 Timothy 6:7-8

I've been busy the past week researching osteoporosis and its treatment. You see, I received the results of my DEXA scan and they weren't good. As my health care provider put it, "You've got osteoporosis. . . no question about it." Then she went on to tell me about the pharmaceuticals I can take to stop and perhaps even reverse it.

And she told me the possible side effects (most of which I was already aware).

No, thank you very much. That will only be a last resort.

I found a blogger in the UK who has reversed her osteoporosis naturally and we've been in contact. I've ordered a book she recommended, and I'm continuing to research my options.

It's what I do.

It's funny, I was wondering how I would top 2015's challenge of building our cottage. Now I've got the challenge of my bones. Much bigger. Much more important.

So, sweet Cottage Friends, I'm off on another adventure, not of my own choosing. But there are no accidents, no God looked away and I got hit with this. 

This was today's devotional from the Hugs book:

"Although we must occasionally struggle to rise above the distractions and disappointments of everyday living, we never need to struggle alone. God is here - eternally and faithfully, with infinite patience and love." 

Today's devotional.

An accident? Happenstance?

I think not.

God's got my back. Literally.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 
Philippians 4:11-13

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Living Large In Small Spaces - Swedish Country Cottage

From the front gate to the back door, this Swedish cottage is loaded with character.

Welcome to the sixty-fifth post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces".

Nearly every week I receive a comment from a reader that goes something like this: "Just when I think I've found my favorite cottage, you come up with another one I love and I have a new favorite.

Believe me, I understand. It's a conundrum for me to decide which small home to feature, there are so many that catch my eye and heart. The delightful cottage in Sweden that I'm featuring today is one of them.

Trust me, you'll want to take in every inch of this cottage. It's just that charming.

I love the contrast of white beadboard walls against the hardwood floor in the entry, the potted flowers on the windows sills and the little touches of black. And those white wellies are so sweet.

A wonderful, whimsical corner keeps the cottage playful.

Although this cottage is entirely painted in white and much of the furnishings are white, it maintains warmth with layers of textiles, woven baskets and materials taken from nature. Little bits of color add interest and give the eyes a place to rest.

This is a casual, unfussy style.

An abundance of windows keeps the 650 sq ft cottage bright and cheerful.

The small eat-in kitchen has maintained its old-fashioned, rustic appeal.

Exposed brick is never a bad idea.

I'm crazy about this bedroom. Perfect imperfection.

We don't have a headboard, so I'm thinking I seriously need to sew up a bunch of pillow covers like these and pile them up.

Tea and conversation in this room?  Yes, please.

A nap in this hammock would be nice.

Outdoor living here is as welcoming as the cottage itself.

Imagine alfresco dining on the lawn. Even the little ones have a shady table.

I have no idea what this crude structure is, but I think it's wonderful, the perfect backdrop to the landscape.

Okay, you've read my commentary on this cottage. Now it's your turn to weigh in. What do you think?

Source: Nicety Live Journal

Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series

 Living Large in Small Spaces

See more home tours and small living ideas in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.