In Ivy’s Cottage…..

…the smell of freshly brewed coffee permeates the air…
Ivy and Mr. K’s house is nestled in a quiet neighborhood with old growth trees.
Empty nesters, with 4 small grandchildren, who came by to visit regularly, they had out grown their old neighborhood, and enlisted the help of an established realtor friend whom they had known since highschool to help them find a new home that fulfilled their wish list.
Untouched since the 1970’s, this new home was over flowing with potential.  It offered a rustic appeal with old brick fireplace and high pitched ceilings, and a garage with a sizeable workshop.  With large windows looking out to the expansive view in the back yard which boasted fully matured citrus trees, including a Meyer Lemon tree and 2 orange trees, it had an indoor/outdoor feel for the Nature lovers.  When she saw the large eat in kitchen,and  spacious rooms, Ivy knew this was a place where she could make a new home for her and Mr. K.
So, when she called and asked me for some help, I was delighted.
She was making a fresh start, and had a blank slate to work with.  We would start in the living room.
Being a quilter, Ivy loves bright, vibrant color, especially sky blue which she had planned to paint all of the  rooms in.
It was a bold choice, and I knew we could pull it off with the right balance of color and a good mix of pattern and texture.
Since the room is long and narrow, we decided to paint one wall two shades darker to bring it closer, creating an optical illusion that makes the room seem less narrow.
Ivy did her homework and had her inspiration pictures ready for me.  As it turned out, she also favored neutrals, and woods, with some elements from Nature.
The room had to be family friendly to accomodate growing children and the family pet, Roxie, who is also like one of the family.
Roxie is a little shy.
We shopped for furniture, focusing on comfort, with floor plan in hand.
Ivy chose a lively upholstry fabric for the chairs and pillows, that helped decide on the color scheme, and grounded and complimented the new wall color.


Chair fabric with nail head trim.
Roxie’s bed in the background

Once all of this was in place, it was time for the two of us to do a little “power shopping” for some accent pieces and accessories to finish the space.


She already had some artwork that a dear friend had gifted her, and some modern shelves that she had been saving for the right spot.

Artwork on back wall.


A favorite painting.


Some accessories with a nod to Mr. K.

For nine years, working as an interior designer, I had a lot of practice ” power shopping” in our huge store, Aegean Designing Whims.  It was a full design center where I had everything at my finger tips to complete an entire home, from flooring to kitchen and bath remodeling furniture, art work, custom draperies, and accessories.
We even took in some antiques on consignment.
I could walk through the store, using my visual memory of the clients home and pick out everything that we needed for the finishing touches.
We even had a talented lady who would make floral arrangement, and I learned to make my own to suit the style of the room.
Now that I’ve relocated to Sacramento, I often take my client with me to local stores so that we can purchase things on-the-spot.
Ivy took me to a couple of hot spots that she knew of where we found lots of treasure.
I’m somewhat of an intuitive designer, and really try to get a ‘read’ on my clients taste.
So, when Ivy and I went looking for artwork, and came across this bird painting, we hesitated, as we had just started our search, and headed out the door.  As we approached the parking lot, we paused and looked at each other and agreed that we should get that painting NOW.

I think it’s her favorite thing in the room.  Positioned on the far wall, it welcomes visitors as if to say ” friends and family gather here”.

It takes time to put together a home.  Each room is like a block in a quilt.  And when all of the blocks come together , you have a place that comforts, nurtures, and supports you in your daily lives.
More and more people are becoming do-it-your-selfers, with all of the TV shows, blogs, Etc. showing you how.
A competent designer, who is open to working with your vision, can be the catalyst to help you get the job done.
So, if you feel stuck, ask for a consultation.  It could be just what you need to get the ball rolling.
Thank you for visiting Cottage Necessities.  Please sign up with your email so you don’t miss a post.

Published by


How many of us long for our own comfy cottage in the woods? I know I do! We can make our own comfy cottage, right here, right now, no matter where we live. I'm a mother of two, grandmother of two boys, interior designer who thinks out-of-the-box, up cycler, and interested in just about anything related to living comfortably and finding contentment, connecting with the Great Spirit in the natural world and respect for all beings who walk the earth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s