Saturday, March 28, 2009

~ My cottage before & afters ~

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful weekend! I've spent a few days this week getting the house all ready for the Spring/Summer season. I've had things on my to-do list forever and just never got around to getting them all completed, I do little bits here and there when I can... So now was the time to finish! I sat down a few weeks ago and made a list of some things that needed makeovers , oh what fun! And best of all, it just included some paint and some thought. Paint is fabulous that way, it's easy, frugal, and fun ( well most of the time, lol ). The first picture didn't even require any paint, just some inspiration and the time to move things around a bit. I'm sure you've seen many pictures of my Kitchen Hutch already, but the great thing about Hutches are, you can change them up at any whim...As my Mother always said, " The best and cheapest way to decorate, is to shop in your own home " here we go, on a little tour of my seasonal makeovers....

~ Kitchen Hutch Before ~

~ Kitchen Hutch After ~

I just moved some things around and put some books away to make it more Airy and a little more open and simple....
This oil painting below is one of my favorites, I keep it in the kitchen to remind how hard women had to work many years ago, not only did they cook the Family dinner, but they grew it, tended it, and harvested it! Anytime I feel stressed, I look at the picture and I'm reminded how lucky I am.

I got this lamp below from my good friend Rhonda, while I loved it so much, I wanted to make the rooster blend into my decor, so he was treated with a little Robins egg blue paint and a shade I already had...

~ before ~ ( already pretty I must admit )

~ After ~ ( a little color )

~ candlesticks before ~

~ After ~

I've had this coffee table below for so long, and while it was always Robins egg blue, the shabby chic look to it was enhanced by years of use, a little too much, lol..... so it needed a new coat of fresh paint, I used the same color on the re-do. But in my house, with 3 kids, 2 dogs and endless company, I didn't need to distress it to the chippy look, this will happen in my house naturally in about 2 weeks :)

~ Before ~

~ After ~

I just made this Kitchen Island below a few years ago, and again, I do love it, but my good friend Benita sent me a picture of an Island that was seen this week on the blog Southern Hospitality. I had been looking for an unusual island for a client and when I saw the picture I let out a big *GASP*, oh it was so pretty! so I am thinking of painting mine below and giving it that Soft Blue treatment also! That's next month on the list, lol.

I contacted Rhoda at Southern Hospitality to see if I could "borrow" her gorgeous picture of it, and she was as wonderful as her blog title indicates! A real sweetie with wonderful southern charm! She had said that her good friend Layla had blogged about it too, so I contacted Layla at The Lettered Cottage and asked her where this was from. She was so helpful too! I then contacted the owner of this fabulous market booth at Eastbrook Flea and Antique Mall in Montgomery, Alabama. So now my client will hopefully have the Island of her dreams! And I have an inspiration to re-create another one for myself ! :) That's the wonderful thing about Blogging too, everyone is so helpful ! Thank you girls! Isn't is beautiful ?!

~ My dream After ~

If you love that Island above, or would love to inquire about her many other gorgeous Islands and finds, contact Gayle Cowan at She was so wonderful to talk to and as you can see, she has so many unique items to grace your home with beauty!

I had been thinking over this next project for some time, I wanted to lighten up the foyer, but yet I loved the English tongue and groove paneling too. I like my home to be cozy and warm , but every Spring and Summer I would look at this and just get this feeling I'd love it light too, so now was the time :)

~ Before ~

~ After ~

I was actually inspired by the Cottage sign to pick a soft cream as the color, so Thank you Elyse! Now your fabulous sign has a new place in my home :) Elyse's creations are so gorgeous, and what a wonderful girl she is! Thank you Elyse for being so talented!! I love all your creations!

Now I can really see my lamp shades that I love so much, they were an afternoon project a couple years ago. A glue gun and I have been best friends ever since :)

Some people ask me what I am inspired by as a Designer. That list is so long when it comes to clients, I am Inspired by so much! I have worked in Cottage Design ,Traditional Design and also Modern Design. But for me personally, it's basically Cottage. That's what comforts me and makes me happy. Simple, yet colorful, and it has to have that element of whimsy and fun too! I love farm chic, vintage inspired rooms, and as you'll see below I also love bits of nautical design here and there too! I am sure it's from my love affair with Nantucket and Marthe's Vineyard. If I could live anywhere else but here, that's where I'd be!

I don't have too many nautical things, but I have a few that I love. My steps have a vintage Nantucket design wallpapered on them and they are finished off with hand painted details. I also get shell crazy in the Summer and spread them around too. Wicker baskets, dried flowers, and other little details bring in a little of that feel for me also. I do love living on LI, the beach is minutes away and then we have the LI Sound on the other side dotted with sweet Seaside villages, so I try and bring a little something home each day out at the waters edge..

The 2 books above can be found at, I love the easy simple style that they evoke, and the fabulous ideas I get from them too!

~ A little Nautical here and there , perfect for my Cottage ~

And last, but not least, the up close detail....

"We carry our homes within us, which enables us to fly" ....John Cage

Oh Decorating is so much fun!! I hope you enjoyed my little before and after tour, Thanks so much for coming by! Happy Decorating !

Till next time, Much love and hugs to all who visit!

~ Cynthia ~

Sunday, March 22, 2009

~ Spring days bring forth Inspiration ~

Hello sweet friends! I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful weekend! I have finally been able to catch my breath a bit. It was a busy weekend as always, but do you ever feel you just need to find some time to do what you love despite how busy things seem to be? Silly question I suppose, of course you do :) well I carved out a few hours to get Inspired this weekend. I gave in to the few moments of Spring weather and set up a picnic with Mel. Picnics are one of my favorite things to do to relax. It's really so much easier when you keep things really ( and I mean really! ) simple! Just some sandwiches,fresh fruit, a salad and a few cozy things to spruce it up and you are done.

In this weather it might only last an hour, but what an hour it is! The Sun took all day to finally come out on Sunday, so I grabbed it like a long lost friend!

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade." ~Charles Dickens

And Thanks to my sweet friend Penny at Lavender hill Studio, I was able to use the basket I bought last fall to put us in the Picnic mood. She is so talented and this basket means so much to me because she picked out my favorite style plates to use as the mosaic on top!

I also spent some of the weekend adding new things to the website. Spring is surely a favorite of mine, I love planting seeds and getting things all spruced up so that as Summer comes I am ready to relax and enjoy it all. I have always loved the scent you get when you walk into the garden department a little early in Spring, and another favorite part is seeing all the pretty seed packets! Oh I just love that! I wanted to carry some Signs on the website that evoked that kind of feeling. I tend to love the vintage ones best. Some of the images on the signs date back to 1930. I always think of the person who did the planting way back then , or at least I imagine her. Did she do it like me?, in a bunch of little egg holders, or was she planting a whole fields worth? Opps, lol, it could be a "he" too, but I always invent a "she" in my mind :) lol

Some of the Signs have a more Kitchen-y feel, because next to being outside that's another favorite place of mine :)

And of course , I can't add anything to the site without including something with the word Vintage ....

~ vintage garden look ~

The color on this one below is so pretty in person, it's this soft Robins egg Blue I just love!

This one is filled with images from Vintage magazine Ads from the 40's and 50's ....and a drop of glass glitter too! :) Its on a very Vintage pink background and has sweet words decoupaged on to complete the feeling of nostalgia...

~ you can click on any image to see the details up close ~

I hope all of you are finding your Inspiration this Spring! I am so happy to get caught up with work around here, now I can settle down a bit, wait for the warm days and enjoy visiting you all and checking in and seeing what everyone else is up to!

I Hope you have a wonderful week and many blessings and lovely days ahead!

Hugs and Thankfulness for your warm Friendship!

~ Cynthia ~

Friday, March 20, 2009

~ Happy first day of Spring ! ~

I just wanted to stop in today and do a quick post , for 2 reasons.... First, I hope you all have a wonderful first Day of Spring!! Oh we have waited so long for this day!! I'm sure we'll get bouts of cool weather still, but at least we can say: It's Spring! Yippee!

And second, I just wanted to say a big Thank you here to everyone !! When I first started blogging, I enjoyed visiting every ones blog so much, even more than posting something on my own. Now that I enjoy posting too, it's such a wonderful creative outlet for me and I love coming up with new ideas and things to post about. But sometimes between Designing for clients, the kiddos, and all the rest of life, I get too busy to visit like I want to! I love that part of blogging just as much as posting !!, to me, it's like opening a wonderful magazine but yet so personal too! Lately, I stop in and see a blog updated and get so excited, lol, only to get a phone call or something with the kids, and I didn't get to say how wonderful your post was, so I'm so looking forward to getting more time to visit everyone and comment about all your pretties !! But in the meantime, Thank you!! I hope this Spring brings you many days of Sunshine and love!!

Big Hugs and Thanks !

~ Cynthia ~

Sunday, March 15, 2009

~ Random things ~

Hello Ladies! I'm just posting about Random things today, things that make me smile! Above is a little gift from my friend Rhonda. I love little things! and you can never have too many note pads when you're a list maker like me :). Thank you Rhonda, you are so sweet!

Below is a favorite book of mine, Vintage Vavoom, It's such a beautiful read and filled with fabulous ideas too! Perfect for a Sunday like today...

~ Such pretty Random things inside ~

Filled with beautiful images like these!

~ I adore this Bench ~

The images are all so pretty and cozy! I love collecting vintage milk bottles too!

This one makes me want to reorganize all my kitchen shelves!

If you don't already have this book, go get a copy, you will be so happy you did :)! Now for some more Random things in my own Cottage. Sweet little demitasse cups , perfect for espresso!

~ Little Milk Pitchers ~

~ My favorite Sugar holder ~

~ Little Dutch shoes ~

~ Vintage Tupperware ~

This little cut out from a Susan Branch calender helps me know how much to use when I'm hosting a big party. If the party is a 1/4 of this amount, I just 1/4 it all.... It lives on my Fridge !

Well Ladies, it's time to go cook up some Dinner now. An early St. Patty's Day with relatives! Oh I just love Corned Beef!!

And, I love cooking! I'll save you all some! { Smiles }

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead and enjoy a beautiful St. Patty's Day too!!

I had a little Random act of Irish Luck Today! My Snow drops appeared , Oh that makes me so happy!
Happy St. Patricks Day !! May yours be filled with much love and good luck!
Warm wishes and many Thanks for all your comments and visits! I am looking forward to visiting you all this week too!!


~ Cynthia ~