Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pink Living Room

Thanks for coming by. I'm really feeling like a bad blogger these day. So many of you put so much thought and time into your blogging. I love being the beneficiary of all your effort and want to thank you for being so inspiring and such faithful readers. I also want to thank you for the awards and requests for meme's and to apologize for not passing them along or responding.

Friday, January 16, 2009

La Dolci Vita

How is every body? Seems like I've been away for ever. We are having a real cold snap here in the Midwest. I'm grateful to be able to stay inside. All the schools around here are closed because of the cold. I don't remember schools being closed when it was cold when I was in school do you? The weather reports really seem to vary with some reporting the temperature to be 7 degrees and another reporting 12 below at the airport, not wind chill but temp. Hum very strange.....
Any way, I've been fluffing things up around here after being up north for the better part of last week helping the kids. I've been clearing out the clutter and enjoying the clear surfaces and open spaces. My inspiration for the fluff up has been my husbands Italian heritage. I dug out all my decorating books that referenced Italian design and set about making a few changes using what we already had.
Thanks for coming by! I promise to get around to visiting soon.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

2008 Project

This is where I'll start the tale of the Guest House Project, in this little nook where my laptop sits on this rickety table.
What joy this little house has brought our family this past year.
When Dad first purchased this cottage in late 2007, that was located behind he and Mom's house, Dana, my daughter, and I were pretty excited about the prospect of transforming it for them.
Dana layed out the cottage floor plan on here computer and her and I decided on the design for the renovation over the phone for the most part. The construction took most of the first part of '08. In April the builders were finally done enough for us to get in and start to decorate.

This picture shows the finished product of the construction where the wall that seperated the sun porch from the main cottage had been removed. That wall went the whole length of the south side of the house. We had the support posts covered with wood and moldings and arranged as interior pillars. The wood floors were all refinished in a dark walnut stain to anchor the interior.
Here you can see the custom cabinets being installed. With the removal of the wall from the sun room we gained more space for the kitchen which now extends out into the old sun room space. The cupboard on the back wall was custom built by the local cabinet maker that made all the cupboards for us. It was designed to disguise a brick chimney that comes through the wall right where the center cupboard is.
The beams on the ceiling add more texture and interest to the all white space.
Here is the kitchen on the other side of the room. This space used to be a bedroom but the wall was taken down to open it up to the rest of the kitchen. Here you can begin to see the beadboard that covers most of the interior of the cottage adding texture to the all white space. The light that streams throughout adds much to the charm the radiates from every corner.
The two chairs are part of a set of six that we bough up north and have turned out to be some of our most favorite pieces.
Here we have added the old cupboard that we found at a local junktique shop that has proved to be invaluable for the space it provides for dish and food storage. We added the old painted buckets to the top. During the instalation of the decor we stored all of our propps here. To the right in the corner you can see the last minute addition of the old flour sifting cupboard that came out of Mom's house in the 1970's when they first moved into their house. It had been in their basement all these years. We had planned to have a cupboard built for the area but we decided this piece from the past helped connect the guest house to the main house in a sweet humble way.
Going around the corner you come to the bar area that houses the kitchen sink. We had planned on doing subway and glass tiles in the kitchen and bath when we first started designing the interior but decided that we really didn't need them because there was already enough texture from the beadboard and wood trim, and enough sparkle with the natural light reflecting everywhere.
Here you can see the white stove. I have always loved white appliances because they look so clean.
Things in the kitchen are starting to take shape. The countertops, that are simply solid core formica in a patten made to resemble a white soap stone, have been installed. The island that is made from old doors that where painted green with white trim inside the panels and on the moldings has arrived. The two little chandiliers over the island came from a little shop down town and cost around $50 each. Inside the false cupboard over the stove we hung a MacKenzie-Childs plate from the Honeymoon collection in green. The other accessories come from Target or Kohls. Over the old looking radio that even includes an ipod docking station is an old wall pocket I had in our Harbor Springs cottage before we sold it. It is a plaster wall pocket Victorian basket with a bow on top that is the same design that I have used as a logo in Chloe's my now closed shop. You can see the same motif in my header on the needlepoint pillow pictured there.
Ah, one of my favorite pictures. You can see the different levels between where the old house and the sunporch met. The person that refinished the floors did an amazing job of getting the stains to match between the two areas where different types of wood were used. We found the bar stools at Target on sale for $39 each. If anybody knows where we can find 3 more we would love to hear about it. We need 3 more to come around the corner......... We had a local seamstress make the chair cushions for us.
Here is a view across the bar into the kitchen.
Well, Dana just called and I need to head up north to help her! I'll finish this later.

The old tea cart behind the Smith-Brother's green and white gingham chair helps define the kitchen space. I always like to have an end table on the right side of a chair to put things on. This little table is from one of our local junktique shops and cost about $25.

This is a picture of the back side of the kitchen island that Dana had the cabinet maker customize with adjustable shelving. He also added a base to raise the height for us. The baskets that hold small utensils like measuring cups and spoons and such come from TJMax.

The left side of the kitchen addition with the rickety computer table, extra couple of chairs and an old lamp that had to be rewired creates a cozy desk area.

On the right side is the flour bin from Mom's that has been dressed up with crown molding to connect it to the rest of the kitchen. We chose to keep the old chippy green paint. To the right of the bin is a cupboard then the refrigerator. This area serves as the bar where you can fix a cup of tea, hot chocolate or a cocktail.

Looking into the great room before we started to decorate.
The first round of furniture is in place. Several textures were used like soft old velvet on the dining room chairs, comfy chenille on the sofa for nap time comfort, pre washed gingham on the chair and a half and matching ottoman and a shaggy white rug from Target. The sleek tables are also from Target and were chosen for practicality. They look clean and crisp and are virtually indestructible. The silver lamps from Target add some sparkle.
Another angle of the great room showing the new windows before they were dressed.
Looking across the serving area space that was created when the sun porch was opened up. Here you can see the stone fireplace with the window seats flanking it.
While we were out gathering items for the GH we found a booth at the junktique shop that had some interesting brackets that we decided to get to use for shelves over the windows.
We found this painting in Mom's attic.
This old table that we found turned out to have leaves stored behind a little trap door on the side of the table apron. It opens up and accommodates eight diners comfortably. The wheels make the table movable. During the Christmas season we rolled it into the sun porch and opened it up to its full length. It created more room in the great room to accommodate holiday guests.

These shelves were a good find for this spot. We had planned on having it painted but we decided the dirty white added a different dimension that worked. The straw Panama hat adds to the cottage feel.
This checked chair is more muted than the rest of the furniture so the dirty shelves work with it.
A few more accessories added.
Close up of the window seat cushion and pillows.

We added dark matchstick blinds for privacy, texture and to bring the walnut color of the wood floors up into the room.
We added the MacKenzie-Childs chandelier when we saw that it had been drastically marked down on the MC website.
This is the hallway off the kitchen that leads to the two bedrooms and the bathroom.
This hall comes off the greatroom to the back hall. We added new doors to the old storage closets.

This rather primative painting of Mom's house was up in the attic so we drug it over and hung it in the hall.

A sweet little depression glass plate reworked by a local artist graces another wall in the back hall.

Seating area in the sunporch with a view of the back yard.

Faux Violets!

The back door.
View from the back hall.
The back porch and driveway to Mom's.

We used old porch furniture from Mom's to furnish the back porch. We like the funky old chair covers.
This is the garage behind the GH. With a coat of white paint the old doors look pretty cute.

We used a simple mosiac floor in the bathroom. We had planned on doing more extensive tile work but felt like we really didn't need it.
This bathroom is really tiny so we hung lots of towel bars.

Little chandelier.

A shelf with pretty things.

Lots of hooks.

The master bedroom with fresh paint, shinney wood floors and an old white dresser.

Chunky gold mirror to go over the dresser.

Old pink lamp added to the scene.

A little reading corner.

A cozy bed.

An old Eastlake comode in the guest bedroom.

Bedding ready to be put to use.
Guest bed all made up.

We used Target's Shabby Chic bedding in both the bedrooms.
As most of you know last year was challenging for our family. This little guest house helped bring us out of the trauma that we had experienced.