Monday, May 30, 2011


 It seems the older I got, the more I found myself dreaming of one day living in a fairytale cottage. Could it have been all those fairytales books I read growing up? Did I see a few too many Disney movies over the years? Or, could it just be the hectic pace of everyday life that has me fantasizing about life in a storybook house.What little girl wouldn’t love a charming Victorian  abode?  Its peaked roofs and tiny porch evoke the essence of fairy tales.

We bought our home in 1997 for $40,000 dollars.Not much to look at, but I loved the old charm and it had good "bones".It actually was one of the first built in our village.Yes...I said village...I guess that makes me  a "Village People.Ha Ha."

 Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale. I truly am blessed. Me living in a real-life fairytale cottage. I always told myself I would have something blooming in the window boxes and pies baking in the oven. I Would never ever ever run out of lemonade.

The entire house was painted with Pratt and Lambert paint in hues of rich ,warm, fall colors.

Closeup of gingerbread peaks before being installed.Painted in a rich burgundy and gilded in 24 KT. gold leaf!!

Cottages houses have been romanticized since the early fairy tales of Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel and have a way of infinitely reminding us of gingerbread houses, and cookies, and sugar!

  I was always fascinated by the cottages and whimsical buildings and homes in Carmel-California, still am. There's no where else quite like it on earth.Carmel’s cottage living is full of traditional cottage elements, such as the arched Dutch door where the top half can be opened while the bottom half stays closed, the use of decorative, artisan-crafted objects as well as window boxes, shutters, stone walkways and wonderful plantings – I simply love these houses, they are truly adorable.Here are some examples...
beautiful fairy tale cottage inspirations

innovative living space ideas

practical cottage residence d├ęcor

rustic fairy tale lodge design

Even if you can’t buy a fairytale cottage  by the sea, I believe you can create a seaside lifestyle wherever you are. That is what I love about dreaming. It gives you inspiration and ideas to bring back to reality. You imagine a life you want and you make it happen with what you have. You get creative. It isn’t always about buying perfection, it is about LIVING the way you really want to, wherever you are. You can create a seaside cottage in the most humble of houses in any neighborhood. I did, and while it may not be everyone's dream home...I feel like the princess of my castle.

This is a picture of my not so pretty cottage before renovations.



Happy. Warmth. Attitude.

A flamboyant color that's often tied to fun and happiness, orange exudes energy and warmth. It has the power to inspire people both mentally and emotionally to get them thinking and talking. And while associated with change, ambition and attitude, orange is an exciting color that attracts attention.

                                             Installing weather vane and lightning rods

                                                                  painted birdhouse
                                          Succulent window boxes...cause I hate to water!!

 The back deck all made from recycled or curb finds...even the grill and refrigerator!
 The small fence is for my grand daughter who is just crawling. Made from recycled garden edging and old ladders. My version of a playpen and she LOVES it!

 Garden edging is used for my backsplash, and counters are recycled wood painted and epoxycoated for durability.

                                        Window crown
Backyard pond
   Even a mailbox can be the most whimsical appealing structure, even if we don't have a mailman. I keep gardening tools in it.

Life is  always good when we can escape to the comforts of our home, the coziness and serenity that awaits us inside.
There is a secret garden surrounding my storybook house. You will have to know the secret password to get past the guard. Rumor has it she can be bribed with cheese. ;-)
My cottage is full of chandeliers, columns, carvings, chimney pieces, Victorian millwork, porch posts,  ornate railings and doors. There are  unique door knobs, doorbells and other hardware, fireplace mantels, overmantels, mirrors, leaded and stained glass, old style tubs, sinks, sink fixtures, stoves,  and statuary.The icing on this cake is a copper roof with weather vane and glass globe lghtning rods.
                      Gingerbread peaks gilded in 24 KT Gold.


                                   Life is what we make it,
                                         always has been,
                                         always will be. 

                                    ~ Grandma Moses