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 ~


Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Everything you touch ends up with a wonderful whimsical cottage style to it. I love all of your changes, big and small. You have inspired me to change up my decorating a little too! I am weaning out the yellow in my French country and adding some more blue....

Have a great week!

Stacey said...

You have been a busy girl! I'm guessing that painting that paneling was no small task! Your island is gorgeous. I just love to visit you. :)

Kristens Creations said...

Hi Cynthia, What amazing before and afters! I love everything you did, especially the rooster lamp makeover. It turned out soooooo cute!! Kristen

The sewing room said...

Hi Cynthia i agree wiyh Penny but i love your stairs with the nautical theme,i wish i was as creative as you. You are one clever lady enjoy your weekend best wishes Pat.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I always learn something new when I visit your blog. You really have a gift for making your home look special. I wanted to spend a little time blog hopping this afternoon and came to your blog list to explore some 'new' blogs. Thanks for your inspiration. I can remember years ago having dark paneling in a kitchen and painting it yellow. People couldn't believe I would paint my wood paneling! heehee! But what a difference!

suzeeez said...

Wow,what a beautiful job you did on everything. Everything does look clean and airy. You make me want to get out the paintbrush here in this old house !
:o) Sue

Benita said...

Thanks Cyn for mentioning me! I luv your foyer painted that beautiful creamy white ~ and the hutch looks so cute the way you re~arranged things ~ I always look forward to seeing your new ideas !!
luv ~ Benita

imjacobsmom said...

So cute - the before's and the after's! So fresh and bright. I know it's hard to paint over wood, but it really brightened the area. Now if I can just convince myself to do it in my sunporch....I love your island - so super cute! ~ Robyn

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

You have done an amazing job with your cottage!!! I love the re-do of the hutch!!! Gorgeous!!! The stairs are beautiful as well!!! You have an amazing sense of style. What an inspiration. Stop by and visit me sometime I have a new blog due to some technical difficulties. Can't wait to see what you do next!!!

Unknown said...

Great redos, love that yellow gingham lampshade. Is that Nautical on the stairs, wallpaper or scrapbook paper or painting? mishelle

Blondie's Journal said...


It is great to see you posting more these days. I liked the flow of this post, from the redo's to your inspirations (I wrote down the name of the cottage book~it looks good!).

Love what you did with the coffee table~is that a new glass inlay?

Anyway, great to hear from you again!! :-)


Heather said...

everything looks gorgeous! i think my favorite is the kitchen looked pretty "before" and now it looks gorgeous!

Kathleen Grace said...

I love your soft whimsical style! Everything you do looks so beautiful, I love coming and seeing what you are doing:>) There is so much inspiration here!

Tea Time With Melody said...

WOW Cynthia this was great! I just love Love LOVE the paneling paint job. So much brighter and airier if that is a word...just beautiful what you can do.

Painter's Place said...

Everything is so pretty and Springy. It's amazing what a little coat of paint will do. I keep going back and looking again just in case I've missed something the first time...It's lovely!

cottage farm villa said...

Cynthia, all your "afters" are great! I think the hutch looks so much better! Amazing what moving a few things around and taking a few things out will do! I also like the paneling painted....good job girl! What a busy little spring bee!

jen said...

That island is gorgeous!!

Your home is so very charming!


Nicole ~ said...

I really enjoyed the before & after pictures. Everything looks amazing, and let me say, you are very talented. Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us.

tam said...

Hello Cynthia! What a lovely job you did with your home! I always enjoy visiting your blog-I leave feeling refreshed and inspired girlfriend~Thank You for that! Your risers of your stairs reminded me of some crafty stencil work I did on a house we custom built, that I helped to design and decorated(in Utah). Gosh I miss it sooo much!Now we are just renters in Washington state-I can hardly wait to own again and get to have some fun! I think I am going to look for some photos of my stairs to share, even though they are a little outdated now. Hope your weekend is a good one~Hugs&Smiles~Tam!

Lisa said...

Loved all your before and afters. Such great motivation for me on my own projects. Thanks for sharing!

Mimi Sue said...

You've been busy. Everything looks so great. Love the painted paneling. I want to do something like that in my foyer but need to put up the tongue and groove paneling and then paint it. At least your paneling was already there. Mimi

Jeanne Oliver said...

Oh my goodness you have been busy. Your changes are lovely!

Pink Princess said...

Love ALL your changes. Your nautical staircase has me thinking about mine. It is now covered with awful carpet (previous tenants legacy yuck) I will see if I can tear the carpet off, paint it a pale PINK (stairs I mean) and add a lovely Angel border. HHHMMM thanks for the ideas!!

azah said...

Very nice makeover..i love to visit your home if i could..goshhh you're a very talented lady..


Hi Cyn,
Thanks so much for the tour, I loved seeing the stairs and didn't know you had them, the cream color looks so pretty on the walls too, I really think that was a good choice! I love the island, yours is so pretty already, but we tend to get bored with things so I completly understand wanting to change it, it has such a pretty color on it and of course one of my fav colors robins egg. I can't wait to see it done (; Hope you have a good rest of your weekend!

Judy said...

Cynthia: My first time visiting your blog and I was so happy to see the island you loved from Rhoda's post (Rhoda and I are great friends)! I had a booth at Eastbrook Flea Market until a year or so ago when other obligations made it impossible for me to continue that for now. However, I just wanted to comment on Gayle's wonderful furniture in her booth. She has some of the most unusual and beautiful pieces, as you can see from the island. I saw that one a few weeks ago but unfortunately don't have room for it in my galley kitchen! Since you love cottage so much, please check out my post back last October (not sure of the date) that features my friend Linda's cottage home. Linda also has a booth at Eastbrook and her things are marvelous too!


P.S. Please stop by my blog for a visit. If you have any questions in the future about Eastbrook, feel free to e-mail me. I go there quite a bit!

Chanda said...

Cynthia, your home is so nicely put together. I wish I could bring you here for about a week and have you do your magic to my home. Hugs and blessings to you and your family, Shanda

Anonymous said...

I just loved your makeover tour! It gives me inspiration to do some makeovers of my own!

Anonymous said...

Cynthia, I loved your before and afters so much. Paint - isn't it wonderful to play with!

We also painted our dark paneling and I am not one bit sorry! We've also spackled in the grooves in our living/dining room paneling and I textured over it. You'd never know it started out as 70s decor. So easy!
Some people gasp when they hear we painted wood paneling! LOL! Mostly men. They seem to have a thing about not painting over wood. I wonder why? The ladies "get it". ;-)


Melinda said...

I am in awe...and in love with your house!! Beautiful!
How did you make the island? I am dying to know! I love, love, love it!!
PS: Your profile pic is also beautiful!

Amy said...

I totally love this post. Your before and after photos really prove that it doesn't take a lot of money to change things or re-decorate your home. Simple things like moving things around or painting a wall or two really make things feel fresh and new. In this economy, this is something we all can easily do. I'm off to "fluff." Thanks for the inspiration. Amy :)

Barb said...

Hi Cynthia!

Everything looks wonderful.....ooooo, you have inspired me!!!!!!

Hugs, Barb

Sue said...

What a wonderful time I have had visiting this morning! You were SOOoooo right to paint the paneling. It looks perfect now! The rooster lamp redo makes a HUGE difference, I LOVE it! Everything looks just beautiful!
Blessings- LillySue

One Shabby Old House said...

Girl your before's and after's are wonderful. So what are you doing this week? Would you come over and help me...wish it was that simple. I love your colors and your style.

Reneé DeLano said...

love all your before & afters! page looks great!
xo Renee

Anonymous said...

I love your decorating. I am ready to get out of my Winter funk and make some changes in my home. I was wondering if you could tell me the brand of Robins Egg Blue paint you used? We have a Menards, Farm n Fleet, Sherwin Williams, Walmart, but so far I have not like the colors of the swatches I see there. I would love it if you would post the brand you used. Thanks! Sandy

The Painted Garden said...

Hi Cynthia,

Thank you for sharing your Spring freshening up ideas - everything is adorable, as usual. This is the time of year to lighten up and "repurpose". I love the saying that designer Kitty B. always says - "it's not what you don't have, but what you do with what you do have".
Have a lovely week.

Anonymous said...

I am greatly encouraged and inspired when visiting your pages. Not only are the photos and displays lovely, but you make me believe that I can do it all, too. Thank you for loving women everywhere! We are blessed to have you.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hi Cynthia,
Love your before and after pictures. I really like the wood painted out and how everything shows so fresh. I so enjoy the cottage look too. Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring us all! Enjoy your week.


Elyse said...

dearest cynthia,

if i GASP one more time, i will faint -- LOL!

seriously -- amazing makeovers!!! your wonderful attitude and humor make anything appear possible, and how connected i feel seeing some of my "tinkered treasures" in your home.

i have said it before and i'll say it again, you and your blog are a real resource of cottage style and living.

i love how you look at the painting of the women working to keep everything in balance. another inspiring idea!

awestruck as always!


debi said...

I love your pretty spring redos!! The robin's egg blue on the rooster is soooo pretty! I have a rooster that needs a facelift...I think that's just the ticket! And your tongue and groove looks amazing! Isn't it wonderful what a coat of paint can do? I love paint!
Have a lovely Sunday,

Unknown said...

Cynthia, Love the before and afters.
My fav is the little rooster lamp. Painting it blue and putting a yellow checked shade on it was inspired!


P.S. Thanks for introducing me to scrapblog! I am totally addicted! :)

My Galveston Cottage said...

I like all your touches. And painting the walls crisp white seems right . . . more light and contemporary!
And love that dream island (altho, yours is pretty terffici; so impressed you made it!) cheers, -susan

My Galveston Cottage said...

I like all your touches. And painting the walls crisp white seems right . . . more light and contemporary!
And love that dream island (altho, yours is pretty terffici; so impressed you made it!) cheers, -susan

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Hello Dear Cynthia!

Another breath-taking post of darling ideas and make-overs throughout your beautiful home! Love what you did to the panel wall, such pretty, soft look! You always inspire me to no end! Just adore your kitchen!

Have a wonderful week sweetie pie!

Love ya,
Maryjane xox

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

What a beautiful post!! I'd love to visit Eastbrook, if I only lived nearer!! I liked the reclaimed wood tables, Rhoda wrote about and would love to have one here at the condo!

Splashes of Pink and Mint said...

I've discovered your blog recently and omg it's beautiful!!! Love all your little (and bigger!) changes, especially your foyer. It's great with these light walls. I've add you to my favs!
I hope my english is readable!
Greetings from the Netherlands!

Anonymous said...

Oh Cyn, I LUV everything! Like I always say, u r the best Cottage Gal around ;0) I can sit an look at your blog for hours! THANKS so much for helping me transform my home from shabby to COTTAGE! Its such a HAPPY fun style and I am so HAPPY! xoxo, Bekah... Now I need an up to date blog, hehe!

Just a little something from Judy said...

Whenever I need to visit a place where I know I will come away feeling encouraged, relaxed, inspired and full of ideas...I just visit your blog, my dear friend. Today waa not any different. This posting provided all of the above. What a gift you have!! And the 48 comments that you received confirm my observations. Thank you Cynthia, for all that you do for each of us on a weekly basis. Also, I like your mother's comment on decorating, and the way you did just that in such a perfect way.

Unknown said...

I love all of your cottage before and after ideas. I love your kitchen hutch. The stairs really are amazing, and the colors are so perfect. Your blog is just gorgeous.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Everything looks so wonderful! That island would not be too hard, a can of oil paint and a chain!
I love painted paneling - how refreshing for spring.
PS - Want to enter my laundry room contest? It doesn't have to be ugly to enter.

Michelle said...

Cynthia I enjoyed your before and afters! Your cottage is so warm and inviting. Hope you're enjoying the Spring when it pops in every now and then! :)


Sue said...

Love all the transformations. Your yellow lamp shade with the ruffled edge is so cute, candle sticks look beautiful, love the coffee table....I love everything you do. Thanks for stopping by earlier, I always enjoy hearing from you.

Ribbonwood Cottage said...

HI Cynthia, I for one enjoyed all of the tour and think I need to revisit a couple more times! I love spring, moving things around....and ok even cleaning...ok spring cleaning! I find things and think oh that is where that has been! hahaha. Everything looks lovely and yes I love that kitchen island! Oh my! Too cute! Hope you have a lovely week!

Michelle, All Home and Love said...

Hi Cynthia,
Everything is looking wonderful. It's just amazing how a little paint can transform something perfectly. I think my favorite makeover is the little rooster lamp, so sweet!
I hope you are having a wonderful week so far.

Rhondi said...

Hi Cynthia
I love all that you did. I have list of things I want to get done too , but so far haven;t tackled any of it. You've encouraged me to get going on it.
Hugs, Rhondi

Maisy said...

wow is all i can come up with. the paneling...what a difference. youre a amazing!!

Donna said...

What a great post, Cynthia! Oh my gosh, so many ideas and so much inspiration! I have to say my absolute favorite was the last photos of your paneling painted light - what a HUGE difference!!!! Love it!... Donna @ An Enchanted Cottage

Anonymous said...

Morning Cynthia! While checkin my e-mail I noticed you had a new post and just couldn't stay away!!!! I just love your home; even though I said vintage wasn't my thing I meant shabby pinks!!lol Cottage Farmhouse is what I think of when viewing your blog and I adore it!!!! Love ALL the changes you've made. I may be on a break but I'm not giving up my favorite blog fix!! (yes I still lurk on your site!shhh) Have a great week dear and thanks for today's inspiration!!! - Jeannette

Sandy~Romantique Inspirations~ said...

Hi Cynthia, Wow, It all looks fantastic. What a nice change in the foyer, I love the white. With all the little changes you have made with the accessories and furniture can really make a difference for a room.
GREAT JOB with everything!

Orchardviewcottage said...

What a wondreful post!! I love all of the before and afters!! I have knitty pine paneling in my living room and I love how yours turned out when painted... I just may take the leap and paint my own!!

Unknown said...

Oh my gosh I love this post Cynthia!!!!!! Your home is so beautiful and I LOVE your new changes!!!! The lightened up foyer looks beautiful and I would LOVE to have that island too!! You are so talented and have such an eye for beauty, right down to thesmallest detail! Gorgeous!!


RuthAnn said...

Oh Cyn! How I love to come here and get mesmerized by the charm and beauty of your home! I absolutely love the before and after photos! You are so right...all we have to do is change some things around and we can get a whole new look...dreamy fresh! You are such a dear friend, thank you for all of your encouraging words about my new site! They mean the world to me! And thank you for offering to mention it on your blog! Feel free to grab any pictures! There is such excitement in the air as spring brings us new life, warm sunshine and colorful flowers...when I think of you, I think of are like a breath of fresh air!

Rue said...

Good morning Cynthia :)

Everything you touch turns beautiful and even if it was before, it's even more so now. All your before and afters are wonderful and so inspiring!

Now I think I'm going to go rearrange and paint something....

Thank you for your sweet words on my post :)

Big hugs right back,

Betty Jo said...

Cynthia everything is just beautiful. What an incredible change the new paint made to the dark paneling. I just went to Amazon and ordered Easy Cottage Style per your recommendation. I know from the cover I'll love it! I adore your style. ♥

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

This is FAB! I love cheery and happy. And, homey! Perfect, just perfect.


PS.....I'm adding you to my favorite girlies.... :-)

Miss Janice said...

Everything is just precious and I love it all!

Monica said...

Hi Cynthia! I felt honored and so glad for what you said- many thanks! You are such a sweetie!:)
Your befores and afters are simply stunning, and you made me dream with that nautical style and Nantucket book (the other is already on my wish list!): I have a thing for Nantucket, loooove it!

Anne Marie said...

As I was perusing through your pictures, I definitely could see so much of my decorating style peeking through!
It's so nice to have found you- I think your ideas are great!

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Cynthia~ ~ What a wonderful job you did on your make-overs. Love that little coffee table of yours. I guess what we have been thinking about is what catches our eye. I've been scouting around for one and can't seem to find just the right design, and of course it has to be second hand so I can work my own type of magic! It's funny but new furniture has no appeal to me at all. The old stuff gets my creative juices flowing. How about you? Thanks for sharing.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Oh, how I adore your style! The little touches of whimsy really do it for me, too! You've inspired me to do something a little different to a rooster lamp of mine!

Angelic Accents

Nancy Yoakum said...

WOW! You've done a FANTASTIC job in your home! I always love coming to visit you blog because you have the best ideas and are so sweet. Thank you for taking the time to share your photos with us all!

Smiles, Nancy

Catherine Holman said...

I love the painted wood walls! I have this same wood (knotty pine) on my kitchen cabinets. Did you do anything special to keep the knots from bleeding through the paint? I would love to paint my cabinets!

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your style!!! Fresh, pretty and whimsical! I need to whip out the paint can and spruce up our family room. Soooo much to do here!

LOVE that island!! Yours is so pretty already, however I see your vision. The blue is amazing.

I am looking for a good farm table. I have a vision for my dining room and now all I need is some money to make it all happen!!


Erin said...

what a fun post! I need to take more "before" photos. Pop on over for my 100th post give-away!

sylvia said...

o help...I think you never managed to do so many things!! Wonderful!!

Historically Vintage said...

Wow! You have really been busy! I think your painted wood paneling looks fabulous. I'm sure I would have struggled with the decision to paint myself but, I think it came out phenomenal. I also love the idea of putting wallpaper on your stairs. Now that got my mind reeling. Hmmmm, what type of wallpaper/border can I find??? Thanks for all your inspiration. Annie

Catherine (Alecat Music) said...

Oh .. I'm speechless!!!

What a beautiful blog, and I just love your inspiring ideas.

I've only just discovered you're here after a few bunnytrails, but I'll definitely be back! :)

homes for sale philippines said...

Amazing!! Love the colors you have made to your staircase and wall. Your house was beautiful!

Deirdre G

Lisa said...

Great Redesigns. I love the Kitchen Island. I wish I had room in my kitchen for one.

Diamond Pinx said...

You have just officially become my all time fav blog on the web :)
Thanks for sharing your beautiful home :)

arrielle_p said...

Beautiful cottage you have in there. So much lighter and brighter. Amazing difference. Love it.

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