Southern Cottage

Merry Christmas Eve!

Kevin and I photographed a charming, southern-style guest cottage recently, and I am so excited to share the photos with you today! It’s called the Chapel Hill Loft, and it belongs to our new friends, Dale and Rita. You remember Dale and Rita’s house, right? It’s the one that had the super cute, Fall-themed front steps this year…

Their house is one of my absolute favorites, and it sits in one of the neatest parts of the neighborhood:

The loft is located above their garage, which is attached to their house by a breezeway:

When you walk in the door at the top of those stairs, you’re greeted by the living room, dining room and kitchen:

Here’s a closer look at the kitchen:

And here’s a shot of the dining area:

There are so many fun little touches everywhere you look:

The exterior siding they used on these interior walls adds so much character, don’t you think?

It’s hard to tell from that photo, but that shingle-clad “box” houses the refrigerator and the (stackable) washer and dryer. Pretty clever space planning, eh?

Dale and Rita displayed a collection of vintage Christmas cards above the desk area in the living room:

I love vintage cards. Such a sweet and inexpensive way to add personality and color to a space.

Here’s a closer shot of the living room:

There are lots of little lovelies in there, too:

And just past the living room, sits the bedroom:

That door in the photo above opens to the bathroom:

I love that chest of drawers-turned-vanity Dale put together!

The loft is listed on and, so if you’re looking for a cozy place to crash in south central Alabama- click on those links for more information about it.

The rates are $105/night during the off season, and $120/night from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There’s a 2 night minimum, and it’s already booked from now until April 6, 2013- but I asked Dale if our readers might be able to get a discount during the rest of the year (because they rock, of course!) and he said sure! So if you decide to swing on down, over, or up for a visit next year- just type or mention TLC2013 during the booking process to take advantage of a 10% discount. Ooh- and let us know if you’re coming for a visit, we’d love to say hello! (PS- this isn’t a sponsored post, and we aren’t going to receive any type of compensation from bookings that come from our blog. We just think it’s a really cool place to stay!)

Last but not least, here is a list of some of the room resources:

– Wall color: Benjamin Moore “Crystal Blue”
– Flooring: Engineered laminate by Eternity floors. It has a hand-scraped looking finish, and the color is called Rustic Olive
– Dining chairs: Pier 1 Imports
– Dishes: Ikea
– Church railing over sofa and drop leaf table in the dining area: Trisha’s Treasures. Homewood, Alabama
– Side table, table lamp and settee in living room, and bathroom vanity: Aidan Gray
– Armchair: Pier 1 Imports
– Dale made the coffee table out of parts he bought at Resurrect in Opelika, Alabama.
-Freestanding pantry next to the front door: Hobby Lobby. Dale painted it white and had a friend add the punched leather panel to the top of it.
-Two armoires separating the living room from the bedroom: eBay. Dale bought them as unfinished kits, and put them together/painted them.
-Bed: JCPenney
-Bird bedding: Pottery Barn
-Tan quilt: TJ Maxx
-Striped frames on wall next to bed: The Handmade Home
– Metal desk chair, lamp (on top of the chest of drawers in bedroom), and laundry hamper: World Market

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Word of the Year - 2013
830 Miles From Home

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  1. Beverly says

    Merry Christmas to you and Kevin. You bring such joy to others through your blog. Thanks for that.


    • Layla says

      Thank you, Beverly! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year! 😀

  2. Dawn says

    Hi Layla – could you ask them where the bed (frame/headboard/etc) is from? Thanks!

      • Dawn says

        Thanks for asking! I’ve enjoyed your blog for a couple of years now, love the inspiration you bring, the creativity and your positiveness! Merry Christmas from Southern CA!

    • Layla says

      Oh, fun! Dale told us about all the pieces they worked on, but I didn’t know Ashley had blogged about it. Thanks for the heads up! :)

  3. says

    i love trisha’s treasures but it’s been a few years since i was there….i was in b’ham (and the homewood area) with my daughter twice recently and we went right by the shopping center that used to house trisha’s treasures (it’s around back of the center) and wondered if it was still there…guess i’ll have to check it out next time i’m there visiting my son.

    merry christmas layla and kevin!

  4. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    DREAM HOUSE for sure. I cannot wait to go back and savor each and every photo. Layla, this is a beauty!!!!!!!

    QUESTION…….we are heading out the door to hit our ACE. MY DH is thinking he has to buy several power tools to “plank” our island in the kitchen. I was scanning thru your blog to see what tools Kev used. Can you slip in a quickie answer here????? What do we need to have to hang the planks? I am so excited, as I really dislike my plain ole island! I have brand new barstools – I want to show them off.

    If we are successful with this venture, I would love to plank a wall in our bedroom (yikes tho, we have a huge master bedrm). That, of course, would lead to changing up the master bath too……..and we almost have a bowling alley in there. LOL. (why do 2 older people think they need so much space?)

    You have my juices flowing.
    Merry Christmas to you and Kev – and all your family! You kids are such a light at the end of a tunnel. I cannot wait to see what 2013 brings you! God Bless You Both!!!!!!!!

    • Layla says

      Hi Ter’e!
      Kevin and I used our pneumatic nailer to tack our planks up. That’s the handy-dandiest tool I can think of for that kind of job!
      Merry Christmas and hope you have a happy 2013!

  5. Kelly McDonald says

    I have been in love with this place ever since Ashley blogged about it! I didn’t know it was rentable. Thanks for the post and all the extra info about the furnishings. Merry Christmas!

    • Layla says

      Yep! We’re excited to plan a little getaway there for some family members next year! 😀

  6. Susan from GA says

    Will you ask about the flooring? It looks like it is “engineered” hardwood. We are about to floor 1600 sq ft and I really like the color of the flooring.

    Thanks so much! Merry Christmas to you 2!

    • Layla says

      Hi Susan!
      Dale said they got it here in town at Total Liquidation. I think he said it’s laminate, but he can chime in here if I’m wrong! 😀

      • Dale says

        It’s made by Eternity Floors. It is a hand scraped finish called Rustic Olive.

  7. Sabrina says

    Loved touring that cottage! Thank you for that. Now I HAVE to have that bird Pottery Barn bedding for my bedroom. But it must be from some time ago because I can’t find it anywhere on the Web! Love the turquoise and red combos.

  8. Michelle says

    I agree with Beverly…you do bring such JOY to others! Merry Christmas to you and Kevin!
    Are you sure the owners of the “southern cottage” didn’t go to Layla’s school of design? It sure looks like your work 😉 It’s no wonder you love it SO much!
    Hugs from snowy Iowa,

  9. Shawna Johnson says

    Hi Layla! Merry Christmas! I love this home from the first time you posted pictures of it. Is there anyway I could possibly find out the siding color/material used on this home?? We are building our home(it is completely framed) and I have yet to choose siding! Any info would be greatly appreciated! Have a wonderful Christmas!!

    • Dale says

      It is Hardy Plank siding and painted Benjamon Moores Clarkesville Gray with Simply White Trim and Green Grove skirting

  10. The Mason Jar says

    Haven’t seen your posts as regularly as before you sold your house. I miss seeing your comings & goings and keeping up on the progress made in your home and on your jobs. Do you have photos of the house you’re in now? ♥♥Merry Christmas♥♥ Looking forward to getting to know you better in 2013!

    • Layla says

      Hey there! We’re posting on the same schedule as before, but maybe our posts aren’t coming through to your Google Reader or email for some reason? (I’ve heard of that happening before. Not sure why it stops working all of a sudden though!) If you’re interested, an easy way to get caught up would be to visit our home page ( where you can see everything we’ve blogged about since we’ve moved into the new place. You may have to scroll back a couple pages from there though- we’ve blogged a lot since we’ve been here! :-)

  11. says

    Charming! I haven’t been to Alabama in a LONG time & that visit was in Dothan. This is tempting me to make another trip and really take some time to discover Alabama. :)

  12. says

    Lovely home. I love the fish on the bathroom wall. That looks like such a picturesque town. I could live there I think.

    Happy holidays!

  13. says

    I love it!!!!

    It is my goal in a few years (once our son leaves home!) to downsize from our 2,400sf “cottage” to a much smaller cottage, and this looks like the perfect size, and it’s so beautifully decorated.

    I think I need to pay a visit!

    Thanks for sharing, Layla.

    I hope you and Kevin have a wonderful Christmas, and that 2013 is filled with much joy, and the patter of tiny feet in your own gorgeous home!

  14. says

    That’s such a together space! I love your new house and neighbors. I was born in Birmingham but left at 6 mos…..many years ago :). Merry Christmas to you and Kevin.

  15. Heather says

    Wow…love this! I have always wanted to have a little guest cottage like this. Thanks for sharing this with the beautiful images! Sure wish I had a good reason to go to Alabama all the way from NC! Merry Christmas!

  16. Karen says

    What a beautiful place! I absolutely love your blog. I ordered the herb crates that were in your other kitchen and they are sitting under the tree waiting for me to open them. I had told my husband and children that it would be from them, so when they arrived my children hid the box and then wrapped it up. Thank you for all your inspiration! Merry Christmas!


  17. says

    Oh my goodness! Beautiful space and so many neat storage ideas. Love it all. I hope y’all have a very Merry Christmas!

  18. Bev says

    I would love to stay there. Merry Christmas Layla & Kevin……may all your dreams come true : )

  19. says

    Layla, I wish you, Kevin and your family a Merry Christmas! Thanks for sharing this wonderful place… It’s funny because my husband and I were talking about going back for another roadtrip to the USA next year or so. And I had the Southern States on my mind, so I will definitely bookmark this one and if we are there, we will definitely say hello to you guys! You guys rock!!!
    Much love from Belgium,
    Inge x

  20. LindaKaye says

    I love this cottage. If I’m not too late to ask, what’s the source for the picture above the table in the dining area? I have a thing for pictures of windows. Weird, I know.

    • says

      We bought the picture in Quebec Canada, but I have seen others by the same artist on the gulf coast. If you would like the name, I can go look it up for you.

      • Carolynn F says

        It is called Amber Light by Alice Dalton Brown. I’m a huge fan of her artwork. The cottage is stunning and this print is a perfect fit.

        • LindaKaye says

          Thanks for the info, Carolynn. I agree that the print is a perfect fit for the cottage.

          • Ami P says

            Thanks so much for the question (and to those who answered!) about the painting. That’s what I was scrolling through the comments for. It’s absolutely beautiful.

  21. Amy a. says

    I love this space! Would you share with me where you got the hanging light fixture over the dining table? It looks like it is a galvanized metal finish, is that correct? Thank you!

  22. Claire says

    They’ll love adding your fabulous pictures to those two websites! Your pictures are wonderful.

  23. says

    Thank you for sharing this stunning loft. What a wonderful place to stay. We have used VRBO before with great results. The little beach house hooks are from Room Service Home Catalog. I know because when I got their catalog I spend that weekend making cabin hooks. I loved them but we live in a cabin. You can see the steps I did to make them here.

  24. says

    Great photos! I love a good small space. It’s so cozy and loving. I hope you enjoyed your stay there. I’m so proud of all you two are working on. It’s a blessing to get to follow you along your journey. Merry Christmas! Lisa~

    • Layla says

      Oh, we didn’t stay there- it’s actually just down the street! 😀 Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, Lisa. We appreciate them so much! XO

  25. Lesley says

    Do you know if the armoire kits from ebay are still available? I tried searching for them but with no luck. Do you know if there might be a link to them if they are still available? This is exactly the type of armoire that I have been searching for. Thanks.

  26. says

    I love the little cottage but most of all love that they have a space like that so close to their house. We would love to have an apartment of sorts to rent out someday. Sort of as a ministry to young married students. We are probably still a ways off from that happening but I look forward to it.
    Merry Christmas

  27. says

    Wow! This would be perfect for my visit come January but it’s booked! Rats! I’ll keep it in mind for the future. Thanks for sharing Layla!

  28. Rose Campbell says

    That dining area is P-E-R-F-E-C-T! I must know more about the folding/drop leaf table. I have searched for an antique table like this without breaking the bank, I read about Trisha’s Treasures but any additional info would be appreciated. Thanks and HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!

  29. says

    Layla! You had those same herb boxes in your kitchen! Where did you get them? I know you had it on your blog at one point and I just bought a home in the south and HAVE to have them! Thanks! Monica

  30. says

    THIS is why “small” homes don’t scare me away even though we have a big family. Smart cute planning can make any place livable! (with an extra dose of “outside area” thrown in of course!) Nice pictures!

    And congrats on moving along in the adoption process. We’ve done it once ourselves and it’ll leave you wanting more! Children are a blessing from the Lord! We can’t wait to adopt again! I’ll be looking for your hubby’s song! (Maybe I should throw in another exclamation point? Just for the heck of it!)

  31. Leah says

    Love the back-to-back armoires – a lot of people would think you “couldn’t” do something like that, but why not??!!! Great way to create separation and storage!!
    Love it!!

  32. says

    Oh, what a great place to park yourself for a few days. I think it would be a great writer’s retreat – just sit and write your little heart out in a beautiful, peaceful place!

    We have guest cottages in Fairhope, but they are very strict about renting them out, which is CRAZY. Good for your town to be so forward thinking!

  33. says

    What clever decorating ideas with the faux chimney to house the washer/dryer and refrigerator!! I love the clap board making it an interesting focal point. Clearly the owner’s have a tremendous attention to detail!