Monday, March 25, 2013

Inspiration for a Cottage-Style Bedroom

Photo: Thinkstock

The quest for shelter is one of the strongest human drives. When we imagine a place to keep the rain out and the warmth in, most of us picture the quintessential cottage, a small abode lit with a crackling fire, a soft place to sit and, at the end of the day, a comforting place to lay our heads down in easy slumber.

Cottages are scattered about in our collective consciousness, filled with memories of summer twilights, simmering soups on the old stove, cats curled on the window-seat and perhaps a tiny bedroom in the attic. Whether it was Grandma's house every Fourth of July or that memorable weekend house in the Hamptons, the cottages in our memories provide a benchmark for how we want our own everyday lives to feel.

Over the centuries, painters have been captivated by the unsung nobility of peasants and their way of life. Using their amazing talent to convey color and light, the masters, particularly the Dutch and the Flemish, depicted a highly idealized vision of the country life, showing thatched cottages with small windows and an entryway brimming with flowers and animals. Even today, modern painters attempt to capture the allure of a cottage in pastoral settings at various times of the day, with the ancient peasant-dwelling as their inspiration. And in these shared images and memories, you too can find inspiration for cottage style decor in your bedroom.

By Erika Kotite

Source: Well Styled Home Magazine

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How To Create a Comfortable Cottage Full of Personal Style

From his tiny beach cottage to his clients’ expansive ocean-side estates, designer Randy Boyd knows how to build a comfortable home full of personal style. Follow his tips to get his signature look:

home cottages

Pick what pleases your eye
Regardless of the trends or expectations, only things that appeal to your aesthetic will help you create the perfect home.

Always be aware of scale
Don’t force a purchase if it’s not the right size and scale. Even if you love a piece in the store, if it’s not the right fit, chances are you won’t love it at home.

Invest in antiques when you can
Buy antique items when you can and when it’s practical for you. Not only will they last longer than most new furniture, but they will add an unmatched element of warmth and style.

If you can splurge on something, splurge on upholstery
Cutting corners on fabric often leads to having to redo the project sooner. Buy the best upholstery you can afford because it will save you money in the end.

Don’t rely on matching
For fabrics and accessories, blending is much more interesting than matching. Consider a palette to stick with, but don’t get too hung up on matching colors and patterns precisely, which can be boring and predictable.

By Jickie Torres
Photography by Mark Tanner
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel

Source: Cottages and Bungalows

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Finished Masterpiece - Home Decoration

Le moulinsur la Couleuvre à Pontoise(1881) by Paul Cézanne
“It’s so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas.” –Paul Cézanne

Like artists, homeowners often experience the terror of the blank canvas. What furniture is appropriate? What wallpaper should we hang? What tile should we install? There are so many choices—sometimes even the best of us freeze up. Instead of moving forward, we stop, as if waiting for divine revelation.

Or inspiration.

While it may not solve every design dilemma, I’ve always believed that having the right color palette in hand is the best first step. Once you’ve chosen your primary, secondary and tertiary colors, the rest of the battle (and yes, sometimes renovation feels like winning a war) is just so much easier. Surprisingly, these colors often coexist in one item—like they were best friends all along—and this item can provide inspiration throughout the rest of the project. Whether it’s a rug, a vase or a swatch of wallpaper, this one piece acts as a trustworthy guide, a la Lewis and Clark, as you venture forward through uncharted territory.

Fortunately, I think this is where the Victorian enthusiast draws more comfort than other homeowners. We have an abundance of reference material available, from period-inspired wallpapers to historically accurate paint palettes to professional color experts. There are historical societies and other experienced homeowners. There are a plethora of books and, if you live in the right neighborhood, a bounty of local turn-of-the-century homes that have already been lovingly restored.

And, of course, there is our magazine—Victorian Homes.

For the Victorian homeowner, a blank canvas doesn’t have to be feared. It can—and should—be the onset of an exciting adventure. Brushstroke after brushstroke should exhilarate and stimulate and motivate you on to the next.

Because the bottom line is, more than any other homeowner, color, paint and wallpaper truly are our friends.

By MerrieDestefano

Friday, March 15, 2013

Keys to Crafting the Perfect Home

Cynthia Tuverson shares her experience with home redecorating, remodeling and discovering the keys to crafting a perfect cottage or bungalow.

home collectible
home collectibles

  • Follow your heart. Evaluate what is just another trend or expectation and what is something that you truly love.
  • Experiment with different styles until you find one that makes sense for you. With this house I just looked around, and the moment I knew I could grow old in this environment I knew this was the right setting for me. 
  • You don’t have to do anything in an overly expensive way. Spend on the things that really matter to you.
  • Have the right people helping you. Everyone from Tumbleweed & Dandelion really understood my style and ideas, and they helped me with all the things I couldn’t do myself, like painting my dining room wall, executing vintage treatment and French glazes, and all the touches that make the design work.

home renovation
Home Renovation
By Jickie Torres
Photography by Mark Tanner
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel

Posted by Cottages and Bungalows

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fresh Ideas for Vintage Linens

flea market decor
Flea Market Collection

Has your spring cleaning left you with a load of old fabric you don’t know what do with? Expert collector of international textiles Pandora de Balthazar has shared with us her top tips for decorating with linens:

FMD: What are some of your favorite unexpected ways to decorate with vintage linens?

Pandora: I love to create a white background and apply textiles of color to recreate my favorite moods or seasons. Another is to take antique shams and make slipcovers—instant gratification! Napkins make wonderful TV-tray covers. I use hand towels to make slipcovers, bed skirts, window treatments, and as floor cloths next to my bed and as hand towels. Now, that’s recycling!

FMD: Care to offer inspirations for using textiles in a home?

Pandora: There aren’t any “wrongs” when it comes to making your home beautiful. But it is terribly wrong in my opinion to neglect the comfort and rejuvenation of body needs. Vintage textiles provide the texture, color, beauty and art you need to create a restful sanctuary in your home; they can also absorb noise, create comfortable surfaces and provide tactile beauty that a rested body can enjoy. Make sure the beauty within matches the beauty on the outside.

What are you doing with your vintage linens this spring? Share with us in the comments below!

By Jickie Torres

Post Shared By Flea Market 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Decorating with Flea Market Finds

Tour these stylish rooms, filled with flea market finds, for great ideas on how to display your own vintage treasures.

Changing lampshades is an easy way to update a favorite lamp. And in long rooms, old doors can be used to divide living areas to create nooks.

An 1870s weathervane takes folk art to high style on an antique table still sporting its original paint. Don’t be afraid to mix high- and low-style items. Mixing things up will keep your rooms interesting.

To add character to the dining room, Susan simply propped two vintage doors against the wall. Their rustic charm provides texture and interest. When working with architectural salvage pieces, take a cue from Susan and think outside of the box.

home collectibles
Create vignettes with your favorite finds to infuse spaces with warmth and style.

Stacking this collection of 1800s-1920s blankets helps keep clutter at bay and makes a colorful display.

The weathered texture on this country table mixes well with modern chairs made from reclaimed wood.

If you prefer uncluttered spaces, keep your collections organized behind doors. This 1870s cupboard holds antique stoneware and glassware.

Timeworn pieces like the stool and oars mix beautifully with new linens. Make thoughtful choices when blending old and new, keeping in mind the overall look of the room you wish to create.

The blue hue of this vintage mirror is the result of natural copper aging. To age a new metal-framed mirror, use a patina gel, available at craft stores.

By Hillary Black
Photography by Mark Tanner
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel

Shared by - Flea Market

Friday, March 8, 2013

Art and Architecture: America’s Gothic Revival

Descending from medieval Gothic cathedrals and England’s Gothic Revival, “Carpenter Gothic” is a visually playful American architectural style. In her book Storybook Cottages, Gladys Montgomery explores the history, people and technology behind this picturesque style still beloved today.

home cottages
{Credit in caption: Photograph by Brian Vanden Brink, from Storybook Cottages by Gladys Montgomery, © Rizzoli 2011.}

In beautiful photographs, architectural renderings and illustrations from pattern books of the time, Montgomery showcases the style’s hallmarks: steep gables, pointed arches, windows and doors, and elaborate gingerbread trim. From the tiny cottages at Oak Bluff, Massachusetts, that began as a Methodist retreat to the lavish Lyndhurst high-style Gothic Revival residence in Tarrytown, New York, Montgomery offers a lot both to readers who know and love Carpenter Gothic and to those who are learning of it for the first time.

Montgomery includes a section on the Carpenter Gothic garden as well as a few ideas on incorporating the style into your home, such as imitating its architectural elements—for example, make a headboard, door frame, or window with a pointed wooden arch. For more ideas, check out Montgomery’s book: Storybook Cottages: America’s Carpenter Gothic Style, published by Rizzoli New York, © 2011. Visit

By Hillary Black

Source: Victorian Home

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bathroom Textiles and Linens

You may have spotted our Q&A on with Pandora de Balthazar, a master collector and textile expert who’s been sharing with us her expert tips for creating a luxurious bedroom. Curious about her advice for a lavish bathroom? Read on!

B&B: In the bathroom, where people don’t often think of textiles and linens, what are some of your favorite ways to use fabric?

Pandora: Hand towels are in residence daily. They are softer [than paper towels], have many uses and are much more genteel.

B&B: Also much more practical and healthful for the environment.

Pandora: Yes. And in my home, café curtains are de riguer; I can recycle those for use in the bedrooms and as door treatments when necessary. I also make shower curtains or drapes from antique sheets or bedcovers that are too small for today’s large beds. It’s a beautiful and simple look.

By Jickie Torres

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

We Love: Flour Power

Reuse what you have in romantic ways. Pick up home decorating ideas from items you may already have around the house. Today, we shine a little light on vintage flour sifters for many purposes they fulfill. 

Not only do we love vintage flour sifters for their nostalgic and practical appeal, but they also make colorful utensil holders.

You can find them in an array of designs at antique shops and flea markets.

Display them on your kitchen counter or atop the cabinets and fridge for instant country charm. Then place your cooking utensils inside for a look that will serve you a smile as you reach for the spatula.

Photography by Jacqueline deMontravel

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tips to Take a Look from Work to Home

As a shopkeeper for an antiques store, Sally McNellis employs a few tricks of the trade in her own home. Here are a few of her tried-and-true secrets:


• Start with the simplicity of white furniture and build from there.

• Use lots of fabric with basic white as the background, then bring in
floral prints to add pop to a room.

• Artwork adds personality to a space. Sally pulls anything from originals to antiques to fill her store.

• Be reasonable about how the item fits in with your lifestyle. Your
furniture and accessories should work for you, not against you.

home collectibles

flea market

By Regan-Elyse Elder
Photography by Jaimee Itagaki
Styled by Jacqueline de Montravel

Shared by Cottages and Bunglaows

Friday, March 1, 2013

How to Enhance a Historic Home

The right architect and contractor will enhance a historic home’s aesthetic integrity.

The true value of the renovation of an old house is not being able to tell that any alterations were made. Architect Carol Tink-Fox chose to put the addition on Kara Kosinski’s garage instead of on the main house to maintain what she calls the “cute cottage character” of the historic home. “By making a separate small building, we kept the new space historically in context,” she says.

home cottages
Home Cottages

Here is what she did to link the past and the present:

  • A steep-pitched roof and attic were added to the flat-roofed garage, which also has a historic designation.
  • The home’s exterior color scheme was repeated on the addition and garage.
  • Heavy-timber beams along the breezeway with diagonal braces evoke the feel of those of the main house.
  • Windows and French doors open the guest room to the beautifully landscaped backyard. Because the garage is on a slab, unlike the house, there are no steps to go down to enter the garden.
  • The old swing-style garage doors, which looked like barn doors, were replicated. Contractor Scot Lewis custom built the fully weather-proofed doors using tongue and grove pine with solid brass oil-rubbed bronze hinges.
By Nancy A. Ruhling
Photography by Jaimee Itagaki
Styled by Molly Kosinski and Hillary Black

Shared By Cottages And Bungalows