Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pondering the Decor

All righty, folks. Here's the deal:
I am collecting any sort of feedback or ideas on decorating for our move into "the cottage." If your ideas are thrifty and cheap, then PLEASE share your nuggets of knowledge. I will be forever in your debt.
I REALLY need ideas for paint colors. I love lots of colors--I understand using neutrals, but I use so many neutrals in my furniture, that I like the thought of the walls adding subtle color to bring together the bright accents (i.e. My brown couch with small red-violet and lime-green pillows). Anyways ANY paint color ideas, throw them at me :].

"Why is it called the cottage?" you ask.
Well, even if you didn't, I'm going to tell you.
  • It's a little over 1,000 sq. feet. 
  • It's about thirty years old
  • It's near a major road, yet, somehow, on a private dirt road in the woods
  • And, lastly but maybe most importantly, it sounds more romantic than "the little rental house."
Are we on the same page? Yes? Fabulous.
 The hard thing about trying to plan decorating right now? I have to do it all by memory. You see, the current renters are still in the cottage for another month, so I can't exactly barge in with my camera and paint samples right now. The other interesting factor? Our landlords are Chris's parents, who are incredible sweet, generous, and awesome, but I'm afraid some of my ideas might not fly . . . I'm not planning anything wacky, but  words like "green paint" and "May I please possibly remove the wall-paper borders?" can either strike fear or joy into the hearts of landlords, and I'm not sure which it will be.
But you work with what you've got, right?

First, we'll start with what's currently stashed away in our white-walled apartment:

Love the bedspread and the mismatched lamps (though, I suppose they don't go with the color scheme . . . hmmm . . . we'll work on that . . . New decor puzzle! Yay! I love puzzles :]) .
And, no, the gun was something Chris took out to show me and forgot to put away--it is by no means part of the decor. The cottage's master currently has light tan walls, and I'm thinking maybe stick with that color. Maybe? Or is there a color I could use that would blend well with the bedspread? Does it even have to blend?

Behold the mighty dining nook!
Dining space at the cottage is a little bigger with one wall being sliding glass doors and is basically an extension of the sitting room.

Master Bath

Alas, our lone toilet. So excited to have a second at the cottage. We're thinking of keeping this same set-up in the cottage master bath. Maybe pale yellow or tan (transitioning from the bedroom) walls? The current wall color is bamboo green, and if it's anything like the pictures here, then that could work, but I'm afraid it may clash or be overwhelming with our blue. Bathroom set-up and cabinet style in the cottage is pretty much identical. Thoughts?

Living Room
Not much to say here. I love blending earth-tones with bright accents. I'm more partial to blues and greens (hench the painting) BUT I love bringing in complimentary colors (hence the red-velvet bird pillows beside the small yellow-green pillow). Tempted to paint the cottage's current yellow walls a very light, subtle green. Not frog green or anything. I'm afraid to do a rich, vibrant color because:
a. will it all match?
b. Landlord approval
c. It could make the small space seem smaller.
But I am totally open to ideas on any color--bold, muted, neutral, what have you. I just want to give some contemporary life to a mild room.


 I love love LOVE this idea for the dining room! First off, already planning to replace the current hanging light fixture with a Chinese-lantern-like lamp.  Chris and I had found a small bookshelf but weren't sure where we'd put it.  I love the idea of placing it on the wall opposite the kitchen, near the table . . . basically exactly like this picture. Chris's African batik could hang on the wall above it, knick-knacks and/or lamps perched on top, and, finally some books/decorations and square wicker baskets (for quick organizing) inside the shelves. The question is: WILL IT FIT??? Oh please, please, PLEASE fit!

Wall Art
I was already thinking of putting an assortment of some of my paintings on a wall in the sitting area, but I think I actually like this better :]
There's an odd corner in the sitting area seperating it from the hallway leading to the bathroom and back rooms, and I love the idea of covering it in cool art or photographs in different shapes and sizes.

Living Room
Ok, so, yes I know these look like two TOTALLY different ideas, but I like the thought of pulling them both together . . . somehow . . . Or I'll take one or the other. Both are fabulous.
  I love the greens, browns, and earthy feel here. You just feel relaxed and sophisticated looking at, don't you? It's also the same layout as our new living room, but slightly deeper. We'll be putting down a rug on tile, as well, as the cottage is entirely pale tan tiled floors (SO excited about that!).  I'm hoping the rug/carpet we put down is large enough to sort of separate the living room from the entryway and dining area. Maybe not. Price and working with the space will determine that.
We will also have a window above the couch, but I wish we could have some cool art like that. Maybe we'll play with the blinds/curtains? We shall see . . . and check the budget.

  The spunk in this room is irresistible. Oh, and it has color without being horribly overwhelming. Score! I I also like the connection but separation between the living room and dining room, which is also something we will have to consider.

The cottage actually has three extra tiny bedrooms. I was planning on using one for Chris's game room/studio and another as a guest room, but then Chris pointed out that we don't have any overnight guests and wouldn't it be better if I had a study where I could work on grading and things? 
O.O!! What a brilliant idea!
Chris is on his own for decorating his space (though I'm sure I'll get my hands in there, somewhere). But my space?? Oh, I am so happy about that. It will have a desk, bookshelves, and a papasan in a corner. And Books. Oh the books!

I love the color of this room, but it may be overwhelming and crowding in a small space (which is maybe 8'x10' if not smaller). I like that the area is neat, crisp, and I love the dark wood shelves.

Oh, and P.S. The third bedroom? That's next to the Master and staying empty. I've dubbed it "emergency nursery space." You get the idea.
Guest Bathroom
Sadly, couldn't really find a picture for this one. We found a shower that is white with a large mod-art City Skyline in grays and black (love), pewter shower curtain rings, and vintage-style glass and pewter soap dispenser and cotton ball jar. So, we're thinking white towels with very pale blue walls. Or . . . spice it up and give it something bold?
Possible black and white framed photos of London and/or small round mirrors on the walls. It all depends on space.

WHEW! That was a lot! Anyways, if you say anything you like, had any thoughts, or suddenly had a decorator panic attack and wanted to slap me, please do it now before I ruin the new place.

Thank you muchly in advance, loves!


  1. living room--pale sky blue or gray

  2. Doing a blue room could be lovely, as could a brown one. Otherwise, I recommend that you do neutral walls with accents. You'll get more variety that way while still being able to blend.

  3. So excited for you! And to have in-laws as your landlords. How wonderful! I think you should fill it with tons of color. I'm especially fond of clusters, so I love that little wall collage. I have one of our wedding pictures and some other random paintings in our living room and I love how modern it looks. Whatever decor you decide will look amazing, I'm sure! Remember to check thrift stores and garage sales and remember spray paint could become your very best friend!

  4. Love your inspiration! You have great style!

  5. First off, I think your blog is super cute :]

    Secondly, thank you for the sweet things you said. It makes me smile! I am also moving into a much smaller place in August and I will be facing the same troubles as you! Hmm, I do have some advice to give actually! You've completely inspired a new design blog post :]

    Btw, don't be afraid of paint! If it looks bad, repaint it. I will say that it's best to avoid dark colors and bold patterns in small spaces. There are tricks to painting a small room to make it appear bigger though. I'd making statements with artwork and furniture instead of the paint.


Good morning, Starshine! The Earth says, "Hello!"