Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Old Painted Cottage

She purchased her first antique, an old "Big Ben" clock, when she was 11 years old. It didn't keep time, but something about the way it looked completely captivated her...

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My friend, Jennifer, has loved decorating as long as she can remember. As a young girl, she would use her determined little legs and feet to re-arrange her bedroom furniture, in the middle of the night, because she couldn't bear to wait until morning to bring her latest design vision to life.

Currently, Jennifer has successfully finished pushing all of her "grown-up" furniture into place at her home she calls, "Cottage8".
Thankfully, (especially for her legs and feet) nowadays, she's got a sweet, helpful hubby to help her push around the heavy stuff. :-)
The happy couple (married 12 years this October) closed on the house during the second week of July in 2008, and started priming and painting the walls the very next day. Twelve months later, you would never know the two of them had little (to no) experience in home renovation, or that they had done it all on an extremely limited budget.



She describes her style as "cottage, with a modern, romantic, French flair".
When asked where she draws her inspiration from, she says, "From the set design of a great, period movie. From booths at antique stores, design blogs and window displays".
(Even her answers are inspiring!)


I had the pleasure of collaborating with Jennifer on both her Living and Dining rooms, and feel so honored to have had the opportunity to be a part of the design process in these oh-so-inspiring spaces! If you haven't already taken the tour on her blog, be prepared to fall head over heels for the home you're about to see. If I could only choose one word to describe it, I would choose dreamy. A fresh palette and time worn elements brought their kitchen, living and dining rooms to life in most breathtaking of ways. Her attention to detail is impeccable.

Just inside the front door of Cottage8, you're greeted by the living room.
It's a delightfully welcoming space that is filled with an array of mostly vintage furniture and accessories.
In the evening, as the sun slowly slips below the horizon, Jennifer often sits on the white slipcovered sofa, by the window, and admires what she describes as a "glorious view"...






At the left end of the slipcovered sofa sits an old, tufted love seat. Jennifer purchased it at an antique store. It's graceful lines, sweet floral fabric, and button tufting make this little lovely Jennifer's favorite piece in the entire room...



Her enchanting tabletop vignettes are perfectly orchestrated. It would be impossible for me not to stop and gaze at them each time I walked by.



Regarding the accessories she creates these picture-perfect scenes with, she says that other than the occasional trip to Anthropologie, she usually steers clear of "cookie cutter design" retail shops. Instead, she prefers perusing antique stores and flea markets for unique treasures that have character, and that "have a story to tell".


One such treasure, located in the kitchen, is an antique brush and comb display...



...she uses it to show off her favorite, old Ironstone plates...



The rest of the room is equally as charming. Take a look...






Each morning Jennifer and her husband meet in the sun-drenched dining room for breakfast and conversation...





Custom-built shelves display Jennifer's ever-growing collection of Ironstone plates, platters and pitchers...




Vintage silver pieces, sprinkled across the bottom shelf, add subdued sparkle and elegance to the room...



I can't wait to see what kind of magic she works in the rest of the house. If these rooms are any indication of what's to come, I just know the bedrooms are going be spectacular!

It will never cease to amaze me how a sweet, little old house can actually change you, as much as you can change it.

:-)
Layla

PS...Visit Jennifer's blog to see more of her lovely home here: The Old Painted Cottage



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26 comments:

The Old Painted Cottage said...

Layla, you paint such a beautiful palette with your words. From begining to end, you really know how to captivate your readers. Thank you for featuring our home. And our little Cottage8 thanks you from the very bottom of its thankful little heart.

oxox
Jennifer

Kim said...

I saw Jennifer's gorgeous home on her website & I should have known that there was a bit of you in the style!

geri said...

Now I know why I cn't wait to go to my computer, take my nice hot cup of tea and click on The Letter Cottage.
There is something new and fun and interesting everytime.
There is a huge part of me that is just like Layla and all her friends that blog about loving your home.It is the constant joy and getting excited about each detail and new piece you bring into a room to make it smile and be comfy to all those you share it with. Also loving the idea of doing it all for way less and having a space that looks amazing in the end.
This is a beautful home.
I loved seeing the details that give this cottage it's uniqueness.
Can't wait to see more.geri.

Melissa Miller said...

Layla I recently took a tour by way of blogging of Jennifer's lovely home and was simply blown away! It' just stunning and amazing in every detail. LOVE it!

Have a blessed Labor Day.
~Warmly, Melissa :)

The DIY Show Off said...

I think Jennifer wins the transformation of the year award with her beautiful home makeover and all of her hard work. I bet her site is bookmarked for inspiration all over the world. It's stunning. :)
Thanks for your "interview". I enjoy your posts!

Roeshel

Ruby Moon Designs said...

A truly beautiful home! What an inspiration! Thanks for sharing!

Sue @ Laundry for Six said...

That is an absolutely breathtaking home! (And a beautifully written post.) I can't wait to go read the Old Painted Cottage for more inspiration, because that is EXACTLY the feel I want for my home. Thanks for sharing this!!

Cheryl said...

I love Jennifer's house. My favorite room is the kitchen. I love that Bakery wording on that one wall.
There is something so serene and clean about white paired with wood tones that is so alluring. I love this look.

Scrapping Life and more said...

Layla, I stumbled across The Old Painted Cottage last week and dreamy is right. I think I've looked at those before/after photos at least 100 times. And yes, I'm even dreaming about it! So your description of dreamy is quite accurate. Such a wonderful and inspiring transformation!

Tabitha said...

Thank you for sharing her site with us!!! Absolutely breath taking work!

Tiffany said...

Wow! Gorgeous, just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! So much inspiration in those rooms! I am in awe.

Anna See said...

I couldn't quit staring at these pics on Jennifer's blog yesterday and now on yours. They are lovely!

Eileen @ Star's Fault said...

Thank you for sharing your friend's cottage, it is, as you say, "dreamy". I love it too!

Blessings ~ Eileen @ Star's Fault

Restyled Home said...

I am such a fan of Jennifer and her amazing sense of style. She personifies the word PRETTY!! Jennifer deserves to be honoured in such a wonderful way and you did so beautifully!

Thanks Layla!!
Cheers,
Linda

What Antique Furniture said...

Thanks a lot for sharing that

Heidi said...

Lovely and charming! Thanks for sharing!

Rosemary said...

Hi there,
I am a friend of Jennifer's, and I have been to her home to see the befores and afters!! It's so fun to see it first hand, as well as reading about it and seeing the photos on Jen's blog and yours.
Glad I found your blog through Jen.
Rosemary

Alison Gibbs said...

Hi Layla I have come over from Jennifers blog. What a great team you and Jennifer made to create the way the dining/living rooms look. Jennifers home is gorgeous
Alison

diana said...

I am such a huge fan of both you and Jennifer's and
together you make the DREAM TEAM... and the dream renovation absolutely fabulous job! BTW... you could
have knocked the socks off of the finalists on design star...seriously!

Haute Decor Gal said...

Hi Layla, beautiful home of Jennifer's!. Curious, could you let me know the paint color in her kitchen? Gorgeous with the white cabinets!

Carmen said...

That's exactly how I would describe it...dreamy. I love everything.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Jennifer and Adam did an incredible job on recreating that house. It was a beautiful makeover.

Jocelyn
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

Judy said...

Oh, yeah, I love Jennifer's home. She was kind enough to send me pics to post on my blog. I, too, am anxiously awaiting the rest of her updates.

Judy

Katie said...

Beautiful! So inspiring!

Katherine said...

I have fallen "head over heels" for Jennifer's home! It's a true "Cinderella Story"--I absolutely love every detail. I'm crazy about her living room--wow!

I love your blog, Layla. What a delightful treasure trove!

dcmgraphix said...

Well, I've just dropped into a "hole" . . I mean this quite positively in that I came across your blog by accident (new to reading blogs) and am in love with what I'm reading and seeing!!! I spent most of last evening and all this morning going over every picture of yours and Jennifer's posts! You are AMAZING . . .both of you! Your homes are a treasure to look at and I'm so inspired! I have always had folks tell me they love my traditional, slighty country feel to my home but of late I've been wanting to go more towards the cottage feel. You've given me HOPE!! We're in a new home we built (3 years now) and still no paint on the walls and drapes in only one room. I'm still trying to find places for all my treasures! Old photographs, vignettes of family memorabilia and such! I think, I think, I think I'm going to have to hire you for a few (or all rooms) for your perspective! Again, thank you for making yourself available in this capacity! What an incredible avenue for you to use your gifts and talents that you've been given.
"To whom much is given, much is required" . . . Thank you!
Debra