Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Canadian Coastal Chic

For those of you who may have missed Canadian designer Sarah Richardson's personal cottage reno on HGTV last year, here is a run down of her project.

She took a dark, dreary rustic cottage to new heights by adding an extension on one end, which became the new living room, and installing large windows throughout, painting all the interiors white, painting floors, buying old furniture and re-painting it, recycling old painted wood in parts of the kitchen, and embellishing it all with wonderfully bright, fresh fabrics, old quilts, lots of pillows, candles and fresh flowers.......a winning combination!

All photos courtesy of Country Living

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shabby Chic Cottage

I wanted you to see the interior of this cottage that I posted about last week.......hand built by a woman as her private getaway in upstate New York.

It is a perfect example of a shabby chic cottage......recycled materials, everything painted white and feminine details such as the chandeliers, gauzy curtains, slipcovers, old bottles used as vases, pink roses, fresh flowers, silver teapot, red rubber boots, books recovered in white to match the decor......what fun she must have had putting this whole look together with found windows, corbels, window boxes and all.

A pure delight and very inventive!  What woman would not love such a getaway?

Click on photos for greater detail

Photos via New York Times

Monday, July 18, 2011

American Coastal Retreat

In keeping with our international cottage and country decorating theme, I am today featuring the summer home of Galen and Hilary Weston, who are the owners of Canada's Loblaws Grocers, Atlantic Superstores, Holt Renfew in Toronto and Selfridge's in London, to name a few of their retail establishments.  Galen was named by Forbes magazine this year as the second wealthiest person in Canada with an estimated fortune of $7.1 billion.  Understandably, this is not a 'typical' coastal retreat......this is something only the very, very wealthy would have access to, so it is definitely worth a peek!

Galen began his career as a bag boy in his family's bakery business and through hard work, education and determination salvaged the floundering company in the 1970s and went on from there.

So, when their latest home appeared in AD this week, I was fascinated.  It was built in their own community in Florida which was developed in the 90s called Windsor 'A Village by the Sea' ....... and the interiors were designed by John Stefanidis, who has worked with them on several of their other homes.


Summer Residence



Living room

Living room
Pizza room (oven to the side)

Master bedroom
Hand painted lace design on walls

Master bath
Love the coral mirror, chandelier and color scheme!
Pink, green and white with a touch of gold and a splash of red!
Guest room

Swedish style guest room
Love this color scheme as well
Red, rose, pink (chintz curtains) and white



All photos via Architectural Digest

Friday, July 15, 2011

French Country Decorating

I have often been asked what the difference is between English country and French country decorating and other than colors, not a whole lot really.

When considering French country decor, think about the colors of the south of France.....the sun drenched lavender fields, sunflower gold, terracottas, deep reds and cerulean blue skies.  And therein lies the French country color palette.

As far as fabrics go, toile is probably the most used in French decor, mixed with ikats, ginghams and opposed to the floral chintzes of English design.  I'm sure the color scheme of yellow, blue and white comes to mind often when thinking about French country, and while it is a popular color scheme, there are many others, as you can see in the rooms below.  French ceramics are very colorful and oftentimes, a home's palette will be taken from a homeowner's collection of ceramics or china.

Also, as in English design, homeowners love their animals, animal art, pastoral scenes and overall animal themes such as dogs, roosters and cattle.

As mentioned yesterday regarding English country design, French country also involves most of the same elements as mixing old with the new, light woods mixed with dark woods, natural materials for floors, wall and timbered ceilings......and surrounding oneself with the collections one loves......whether it's books, ceramics, animal themed pieces, all adds up to comfy, snug rooms that are warm and welcoming.

The foremost French country decorator in North America is a man by the name of Charles Faudree, who is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He is a French country afficionado and is the turn to guy for his expertise.....many of his accessories are authentic vintage items that he picks up on his regular shopping trips to France and he now has his own furniture line of French style bergere chairs and his own fabric line.

All of the rooms below are by Charles Faudree, the first five are from his weekend cottage, called "The Roost", and the rest are from permanent homes he has will notice the difference between the cottage rooms and the traditional house interiors.  He has also published several books on the subject.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Notice the natural wood walls and ceiling, mix of beautiful fabrics - toiles, stripes and gingham, his quilt and his personal collection of books, ceramics - it reads French design in every way.

 Charles' beautiful blue and white ceramic collection and rooster in his cabin kitchen.

Again, beautiful mix of fabrics in blue and white and painted beamed ceiling.

Look how tiny and cosy this bathroom is and he has a vanity, a chest of drawers as well as a perfectly accented room with wall art and bath accessories conveniently placed.  Impeccable taste.

How much more inviting could this bed nook be for a guest?  Or a dog?

Another perfectly accessorized room with a tea table in front of the sofa.

This is the fireplace opposite the sofa above.  Dog art, ceramics, gilt frames.

An animal art filled foyer.

Rustic beamed ceiling and lots of animal art/ceramics.

Impeccable detail again - fabrics, books, collections and cosy furniture arrangements.

The wall opposite above sofa - stone fireplace, flowers, fabrics and animals.

Love this cosy little dining nook.

Love the sofa between the bookcases and again, the tea table instead of a lower coffee table.

All photos via Traditional Home

Thursday, July 14, 2011

English Country Decorating

This house is the epitome of English country the manor born, mind you! 

Imagine returning to this home every day and having these 5 little faces greeting you......or curling up by the fire with a favorite book......or cooking dinner in this kitchen..........surrounded by all the things you love......including a large basket on the kitchen table to place one of your pet chickens in while you putter about.

This is a larger version of the English cottage look of yesterday.......same details, but larger rooms......wonderful colors, chintz fabrics, comfy furniture, lots of wall art, plates, lamps, area rugs......and still cozy despite the size of the rooms.....because the homeowner has surrounded herself with the things she loved!

As a passionate Anglophile, this is my cup of tea!

All photos courtesy of Traditional Home

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

English Cottage Style

Hi Everyone,

I found some more pictures of The Holiday cottage (one of my favorite movies) and a perfect example of English country cottage.  If you haven't seen this movie yet, it's a must to check out.

The original post was published last July, so I am re-publishing it today.


Cottage style is all about comfort, so that's a priority when planning your decor.  Comfortable sofas and chairs, lots of pillows, lots of color, floral fabrics mixed with ginghams and stripes, books, soft lighting, art, tables by each chair and sofa, ottomans, area rugs and anything else you love.  You are there to relax in your cozy environment.

Carefree is another word to remember when thinking cottage style.....often the furniture is slipcovered for easy care, antiques mixed with new, and sometimes, painted furniture is common and offers a low maintenance lifestyle.

If using floral chintz on your draperies, then ensure your large upholstered pieces are a solid color or a co-ordinating small print.

Wall colors are usually soft and in natural shades such a whites, creams, greens, yellows and pinks in the traditional English cottages, but deeper colors are seen more often in the contemporary English home. 

And the finishing touch is fresh plants and flowers.

Cottage foyer - love the old wooden door!
Wood floor, antique bamboo coatstand, 
stuccoed walls and timbered ceiling

Low, timbered ceilings and stone wall in the living room
Paned windows, chintz curtains, soft lighting, flowers, books
Comfortable mix and match furniture
Tables by each chair and sofa

Open shelving, fireplace, eat in kitchen table
Blue and white transferware and gingham plates
Small, warm and cosy

Same elements as above photos
Charming cottage bedroom!
Timbered ceiling, fireplace
Big comfy bed and lots of lamp light!

And lastly, the tiny bathroom with 
a painted floor, antique dresser and 
zinc tub!

Above images from the movie, The Holiday and 
Hooked on Houses