Wednesday, January 27, 2010

~ Coastal Cottage touches ~

Hello sweet friends! I hope the week is finding you healthy and happy! Today it's finally sunny out and a bit warmer on Long Island, thankfully! Is Spring around the corner? Oh I so hope so! Whether it is or isn't , lol, that's where my thoughts are going for sure! If your new to my blog or been a follower for some time, you must know how much I love the Coastal Cottage look. While I adore an eclectic mix of Traditional Cottage decor, splashed with some Farmhouse details, I'm a huge fan of mixing it with coastal touches too! The pictures in this post are from the fabulous online shop Home at Sea. I've also included photos from my own home and Coastal Living Magazine to show you how I love to mix it all together.
As most of you know I love signs in my house, the one above just makes me feel like even if it's 30 degrees out, if its on my wall, then it's officially warmer out! :) Coastal decor doesn't have to be for just those that live on the water or even close.... It's a state of mind..... It's casual, comforting and completely Cottage! I can just picture myself in this bath below. I'd probably make my ceiling pale blue instead, but, the tub and floors just blow me away!

Grab a cup of tea or coffee or whatever your fancy, and come relax with me and lets pretend we are away at that perfect spot!

This bedroom just makes me melt, It's as sweet as sugar and yet simple and relaxing too... I love the small touches of sea-side decor, simple shells around a mirror, how easy! And the natural texture mixed in with cottage white is what gives it that coastal flavor. ( love the ruffles on the curtains too! )

This would be my Coastal kitchen , soft sage green, white paneling, and a flow of sun... I'm feeling my sandy feet on the floor already! and I'm probably making a bowl full of fresh fruit to bring right out onto the deck for picking :) I love how they put the fish plates on the back wall above the stove too... Home at Sea has such pretty ones just like these, and again, it's just the hint of Coastal decor that makes everything blend so nicely and give it that simple casual touch it needs...

As most of you know, every once in awhile when I find a site I love , I share :) the picture collage below is just a hint of what Home at Sea has, I left a link on my side bar to them too, I think you'll love the casual feel and the sea-side items! You can also click the picture below to be brought right there.

This living room below is so tranquil and pretty to me! It has everything I love, Soft blues, lots of natural elements, and oh my when I saw the shutters? A brainstorm of ideas went through me... My living room in my own home is painted a deep Merlot and while I do like it, I think I see a new project for Spring :) Pale blue walls and shutters are going to be involved... Stay tuned :) I would probably change the furniture to a soft sage gingham, and florals though. I already found my inspiration chair, so that's where it will all begin :)

I think the coffee table in the living room picture needs this gorgeous piece below. I have always been a fan of bubble glass like this, It's so pretty! Plus the visual texture gives a glass bowl more strength to the eye and doesn't let it get lost. It's always just a few great pieces that complete a room, and the best thing about accessories is you can put different ones out for different seasons..... Love that :)
I sooooooo heart these tiles below too! I mix lots of black and white photos into my decor and even in a kitchen filled with color, I can see these mixed in with florals , maybe framed? Or to stand alone as a piece of art too!
And, love this platter below too.... I guess at this point, you can tell I'm really wishing for the new seasons! :)

I set out my nautical touches the minute that snow isn't forcasted, lol ! I think it comes from always dreaming about living on Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket Island! Hey, A girl can dream, right? :)

My own house has it's few touches that bring me closer to the dream of owning a Sea-side Cottage. Or at least , they give it that "feel" for me. These steps ( below )used to be plain white, and once I knew I was painting the paneling in the foyer a creamy white, I decided to add some color and appeal to the steps. This was so easy, all I did was find the perfect wallpaper and then had someone add a few hand painted details to it. So now there's no question when you come in my house that I love the Cape Cod look. :) A few people have emailed me and asked what definition I give to my style. I can easily answer " Cottage"..... But in each room I mix a little Nautical feel , a little farmhouse feel, and a little Traditional Decor... Then mix in every kind of fabric possible, soft tones mixed with stronger colors , and there you have it :)

I plan on doing a post soon to show the steps in which I came to my look , that way it will be easier to do in your own home if that's the look your going for. If you have questions about it, just ask them in the comment section and I'll include some in my next post!

I bring the most of my Coastal elements into the bathroom and foyer. And then add splashes in other rooms as the season changes. But I think painted paneling and bead board are two of the strongest statements for Coastal decor, and they act as the perfect backdrop for the accessories too! You can click on the pic below to make it bigger and see the details of what I did in the bathroom and foyer.

Well I hope you enjoyed my little tour of the Coastal look! All the signs are from Home at Sea .... I think I will try and do what the one below says .... :) But then again, lol, I'm also inspired to get my living room re-painted and find me some shutters too! So off I go, into the paint store for the perfect color! Gotta love paint, so inexpensive and yet changes everything! :)
I hope you all have a wonderful ... pretty.... inspiring ....week!

Much love and Friendship!

~ Cynthia ~

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

~ Stocking the shelves ~

Well I finally got my Etsy store started, and what a fun place it is in Etsy land! I was inspired by so many people who have such beautiful little shops , to finally start my own. Mind you , it's pretty small right now, but I plan on stocking the shelves with more Vintage pretties and handcrafted items this month. I had so much fun making things for people in the past and I think I've come up with a few ideas I hope you'll enjoy. I have access to so many vintage fabrics and antique finds, that I figured the best items for me to stock are the ones that combine them both :) I hope you enjoy! With the holidays behind us and Spring on it's way ( ok it's taking it's sweet time, lol ) I can focus on finding some craft time with much more ease.

The frame above is featured in the shop and has Vintage fabric and embellishments taken from vintage goods. It's white washed over a pretty silver colored frame. And it's perfectly happy sitting on a shelf reminding us each day to live life to the fullest. ( update: The items in this post are all sold , but more coming soon!)

The Frame below is covered in vintage 1950 inspired pink gingham. Then inside is a recipe from the 1950's Pillsbury Cookbook, complete with ingredients and the cooking method is featured on the back of the frame. I've also embellished it with vintage inspired decals and hand painted cherries. I plan on making these some of my featured items in the Etsy shop :) I picture a collection of them for someones kitchen shelves or they can be displayed alone too!

I have access to a lot of fabric and I've been collecting vintage cookbooks for a long time, so if you're looking for me these pre-Spring days, lol, I'm sitting in my studio pouring over cookbooks and getting inspired for new designs in-between doing Design consultations too! My head is over flowing with ideas ! :)

I've listed this 1920's Home Keeping manual too ( By Good Housekeeping ), it's a rare find, and once you sit down to read it, you'll feel a connection with the women of a long ago era, and what amazed me, is we really are not that much different today. Most of the ideas in the book still hold true today! But reading the authors thoughts and tips and daily schedules in the 1920's was a pure treat!

Here's a little peek inside :)

I have always adored Vintage Pyrex, so that will be something I'll keep on the lookout for too, I'd love to stock the shelves with the Vintage pinks, reds, and blues and creamy yellows. For now I have a few Pyrex items, and I'm hoping to find many more for anyone who has the same obsession as me :) The refrigerator containers below are in perfect like new condition and such a pretty color too! It's been so much fun starting the shop, properly named : Cynthia's Cottage Shop ( very original, lol, don't cha think? )and I hope it'll be a place you'll stop into often and find things you've been looking for! I've also put an Etsy widget on my side bar so you can find it easily too and see updates when they come in...

I want to Thank everyone who has stopped by here ( new friends and old! ) who have given me encouragement and such wonderful comments and thoughts! You all mean so much to me and I'm grateful for such a fantastic group of ladies and friends!

Wishing you a great week ahead and many blessings!

Love you all!

~ Cynthia ~ XO

Sunday, January 10, 2010

~ Cottage style inspirations ~

Hello sweet friends! Oh it feels like so long since I've done a post, 10 days, but it feels like much longer. The holidays kept me so busy and I'm relieved to be in a New Year! The decorations and tree's are up in the attic and it's time to long for a new season... It's been bitter cold here in NY , as much of the country has experienced also! Can I say I wish I lived in the Spring and Summer zones all year round? well I just did :) I look around my house and outside there's still snow on the ground, piles of dirty snow might I say :) So my heart longs for Spring! It's beautiful out when the snow just touches the ground , but after the holidays, I'm over it :) ....So on to new things...I cannot wait to have the scent of the earth coming through the back door of my kitchen, that first taste and feel and scent of budding warmth! If I can't have it exactly now as my reality, it's got to come from being inside... Thanks goodness for the little things that make me happy :)

Pretty white lace, pastels colors on the walls, mixed with warmth, and a great tiny find :) Can a "bowl" make you happy? lol, maybe not in the grand scheme of things, but seeing that powder blue bowl made my winter a tad bit brighter :) Or maybe it was the sticker price at Home Goods for $3.25, now that's a "good thing" as Martha would say :)

The Rose dotted wash basin above was an old find of mine years ago, but when I'm looking to find anything that gives me a sense of Spring around the corner, I put it front and center on the table, that way I can admire it's little buds :)

I have a few things in my kitchen that always remind me of Spring, First it's my wallpaper covered in Roses, that helps :) then it's the accessories... If I am stuck in 2 feet of snow and doing what I love , cooking and being with my children, surrounding myself with Spring colors, I feel so much better about the bitter 10's on the thermometer!

Good thing too, no matter how cold it is outside, being a Designer I am always thinking "forward". When someone hires me to do a space it is never for the time of year we just left, it's always: "I would love to be done by and for this season", which thankfully is a season I'm always longing for ;) So designing for clients in the winter always means a touch of Spring and Summer ahead! It makes it easy to fall into a "season to come" trance :)

With the example kitchen below, I took a warm Autumnal space ( which I loved ) and brought it into a Seaside Vintage Cottage feel. That made working over the weekend Joyous! It gave me hope too for my own touch of Spring to come :).... (You can click on the pics below to see them full size and see the description of the finishes ).

I love doing Design Consultations, it gives me so much pleasure to be able to help clients take a room from a wish list to finished space that they can enjoy for years to come. I never forget how blessed I feel to do this! Follow your passions in 2010! I can promise you, you might have some ups and downs, but when you do something you love and care about, somehow things work out!

I get inspiration from everywhere! Blogland is wonderful for that too, all of you talented ladies out there inspire me! So do magazines, colors in nature, daydreaming about cottages from another time, even right down to a simple plate or an antique rug. It's just overwhelming sometimes, the world is full of beautiful things when we take the time to see it!

I'm trying to see it all now, get that "fresh" outlook again, that new earth feeling! I have to admit, after the festive holidays were over, I was getting a bit of that " oh no more dirty snow!" feeling... But my creative endeavors were what saved me :) Designing, crafting, and creating... Or just trying to see the positive! I so enjoyed doing this little project for my friend Debbie ( below ). She had seen my post about wanting to try my hand at collages using my Moms recipes, so she asked if I'd do one for her, it was so much fun! I hope she loves it because it certainly brought me joy knowing it would hang in her kitchen for years to come! Thanks Debbie!

I've also been working on my very first Etsy store too! Now if winter is bringing you the blues, that is the most inspiring place to browse and buy! I could spend hours looking at everyones creative talents and seeing the gorgeous Vintage collectibles too. Everything is either handmade or a Vintage find! ....How fun!

I'm trying to get mine up and running by the end of the month. I'm really excited and hope to join the other fabulously talented crafters and vintage collectors out there. I'm not the best techie out there, lol, as a matter of fact , it took me forever just to get started as other things in life kept pushing themselves in front of my plan :) But I can't wait to search for all those special things I'm asked to find for people and have them all in one place... You'll all be the first to know when it's ready!

Ok, ...I think I talked your ear off by now :) I've missed everyone so much and cannot wait to come and visit you all and see what you've been up to! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a new , bright, and beautiful new year!

Much love and gratitude!

~ Cynthia ~ xo