The Old Painted Cottage

She purchased her first antique, an old “Big Ben” clock, when she was 11 years old. It didn’t keep time, but something about the way it looked completely captivated her…


My friend, Jennifer, has loved decorating as long as she can remember. As a young girl, she would use her determined little legs and feet to re-arrange her bedroom furniture, in the middle of the night, because she couldn’t bear to wait until morning to bring her latest design vision to life.

Currently, Jennifer has successfully finished pushing all of her “grown-up” furniture into place at her home she calls, “Cottage8”.
Thankfully, (especially for her legs and feet) nowadays, she’s got a sweet, helpful hubby to help her push around the heavy stuff. :-)
The happy couple (married 12 years this October) closed on the house during the second week of July in 2008, and started priming and painting the walls the very next day. Twelve months later, you would never know the two of them had little (to no) experience in home renovation, or that they had done it all on an extremely limited budget.

She describes her style as “cottage, with a modern, romantic, French flair”.
When asked where she draws her inspiration from, she says, “From the set design of a great, period movie. From booths at antique stores, design blogs and window displays”.
(Even her answers are inspiring!)

I had the pleasure of collaborating with Jennifer on both her Living and Dining rooms, and feel so honored to have had the opportunity to be a part of the design process in these oh-so-inspiring spaces! If you haven’t already taken the tour on her blog, be prepared to fall head over heels for the home you’re about to see. If I could only choose one word to describe it, I would choose dreamy. A fresh palette and time worn elements brought their kitchen, living and dining rooms to life in most breathtaking of ways. Her attention to detail is impeccable.

Just inside the front door of Cottage8, you’re greeted by the living room.
It’s a delightfully welcoming space that is filled with an array of mostly vintage furniture and accessories.
In the evening, as the sun slowly slips below the horizon, Jennifer often sits on the white slipcovered sofa, by the window, and admires what she describes as a “glorious view”…

At the left end of the slipcovered sofa sits an old, tufted love seat. Jennifer purchased it at an antique store. It’s graceful lines, sweet floral fabric, and button tufting make this little lovely Jennifer’s favorite piece in the entire room…

Her enchanting tabletop vignettes are perfectly orchestrated. It would be impossible for me not to stop and gaze at them each time I walked by.

Regarding the accessories she creates these picture-perfect scenes with, she says that other than the occasional trip to Anthropologie, she usually steers clear of “cookie cutter design” retail shops. Instead, she prefers perusing antique stores and flea markets for unique treasures that have character, and that “have a story to tell”.

One such treasure, located in the kitchen, is an antique brush and comb display…

…she uses it to show off her favorite, old Ironstone plates…

The rest of the room is equally as charming. Take a look…

Each morning Jennifer and her husband meet in the sun-drenched dining room for breakfast and conversation…

Custom-built shelves display Jennifer’s ever-growing collection of Ironstone plates, platters and pitchers…

Vintage silver pieces, sprinkled across the bottom shelf, add subdued sparkle and elegance to the room…

I can’t wait to see what kind of magic she works in the rest of the house. If these rooms are any indication of what’s to come, I just know the bedrooms are going be spectacular!

It will never cease to amaze me how a sweet, little old house can actually change you, as much as you can change it.


PS…Visit Jennifer’s blog to see more of her lovely home: The Old Painted Cottage

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