Two Story Cottage

Inspiration: When a Bed is in Front of the Window

Dear Friends,

On Tuesday, I mentioned my window dilemma in Reid’s room.  The bed in front of the window just drives me nuts but it inspired me to go looking for solutions.  I love to browse images anyway so this was just an excuse to lose myself in the hunt.

Most of these involve window treatments but it is still interesting to see how designers either incorporate the window or deflect from the window.   In most cases, you’ll find the art of distraction or the beauty of illusion.

I like that a few of them had sconces.  I think that could really work in Reid’s space.  I love anything that adds function!  Right now, I’ll probably just work on the decor and see how it comes along while keeping that window in mind.

Did you have a favorite?  Do you have a bed in front of the window?


Shiplap Goodness

Dear Friends,

If you binge watch HGTV, you are probably familiar with shiplap.  I vaguely knew what it was and that I liked it, but I’ve seen it trending as of late.  Old homes often have it but it is being used in newer homes and remodeling projects as well.  I see it often on my new Tuesday night favorite- Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines.

So, what is it according to Google?

verb: fit boards together by halving so that each overlaps the one below

noun: boards which have been shiplapped, typically used for cladding

Traditionally, they are supposed to overlap.  However, in home decor these days any combination of stacked boards using for decorative moulding are often referred to as shiplap.

Whatever method you prefer, I’ve grouped a few pictures to get your jealousy juices flowing this morning.  Let’s be positive and turn envy into inspiration.



So much goodness and so many uses!  Full walls, accent walls, half walls, islands, backslashes, doors.  There is pine. There is painted.  White or pretty neutrals.  I’m seriously smitten.

My favorite might be the combination in the third photo from the bottom by Clayton & Little Architects.  I love the beauty of the wood with the white backdrop.

I think shiplap might be my love language.  Are you a fan?  Do you have a favorite photo in the above group?


Creative Ways to Get Extra Seating

Dear Friends,

Holidays make me think about entertaining.  Although we don’t host Thanksgiving, I do have other times where there are a lot of people in the house.  A crowd in your home is all about space and logistics.  I thought I’d pull some photos from around the ‘net where people have made great use of their space with hosting in mind.

It is easy to get stuck in a decorating box when it comes to furniture arrangement.  Sometimes to add more seating but you just have to get creative.

Do you have a space that could benefit from extra seating?  Our family room is the spot that needs more places to park the booty.   My wheels are turning for sure.

Happy Almost Thanksgiving!

Pocket Door Picks

Dear Friends,

Choosing a pocket door for the new office space was a no-brainer for me.  I immediately knew that I wanted an old fashioned five panel door. It was perfectly etched in my mind.   Our contractor assumed we were going to order a door that matches the rest of the doors in the house.  I think he was a little surprised that I wasn’t interested in matching our existing doors. However, I figured a pocket door is different anyway, so why not branch out a little?

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Masonite Anniversary Collection Riverside Smooth Door MSRP $107

We are matching the trim in the foyer so it isn’t as if we are going too far off the map.  Also, I expect the door will often be in its pocket so it won’t even be seen.

I did second guess myself a little but a few minutes of browsing Houzz confirmed my heart’s desire.   Also, the door I like is cheaper anyway.   I have already made the decision but thought you might enjoy looking at pocket doors of all varieties.












I’ll admit, I’m pretty smitten with pocket doors and their practicality.  Of course, I love the trendy barn door but they aren’t always as useful.  I find I’m attracted to painted doors so you never know – maybe I’ll paint the pocket door.  Regardless, I’m excited about the office and I think the whole door thing is going to work out.

Beach House Cottage Part I

Dear Friends,

Last week was beach week for us.  We waited all summer to take our vacation but the end result was worth it!  We are usually June beach-goers, but the whole moving thing threw our typical plans out the window.  I’m so glad we planned ahead for August and didn’t skip out on a family week together.   It was nice to anticipate our trip all summer long.

This year we tried out a new beach with our core four.  We went to Fripp Island, SC and stayed in a cute little cottage I found on VRBO.  The decor was too fabulous not to share.  I wish I had taken my fancy pants camera but I forgot.  I guess I’m lucky I have the iPhone, huh? Otherwise, we would have had a photo-less vacation.  Gasp.

Unfortunately, iPhone pictures do not do this place justice.

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I’ve got the other half of the house to show you on Wednesday.  On Friday, I’ll share highlights from our vacation in case you are interested in Fripp.

Last week was beach week in real life.  I’m reliving it this week on the blog as a way to get through my post-beach depression.



More Designer Christmas Spaces

Dear Friends,

Can I get three cheers for Friday?  This week has been a long one and packed to the brim.  I suppose that is the definition of December although I am still working at keeping things simple here.   Speaking of easy,  I have a sweet little mini chair wreath project for  you- just hop over to The Handmade Home.  Check it out – it takes effortless to a another level.


In the meantime, I promised I’d post the remaining designer rooms from The Southern Christmas Show and I haven’t forgotten!  Enjoy the holiday overload.  And forgive the dark iPhone pictures.

Ruth McKinney- McKinney Design

 xmas_show_room purple_xmas_tree

 Meredith Beregovski- Georgia Street Design

rustic_christmas rustic_antler_xmas hunter_xmas

Patrick Hawkins & Team – Decorating Den

traditional_christmas modern_xmas

Sue Gorman Interior Design

glam_xmas sports_xmas

Anne Stowe- Great Design 4 U





I like window shopping Christmas decor!  You can admire and appreciate the efforts of others. It evokes the holiday feeling and brings the warm fuzzies.   I’m fickle because some years I want the full treatment and others I’m happier with less.   Such is life, I guess!

Happy Friday, friends,


Dreams of HomeArama

Dear Friends,

You know it has been a strange week when I’m posting on a Thursday.  I’m been living in an alternate post-food poisoning universe that involves me functioning at minimum capacity. Concentrating to put one foot in front of the other ,in a thick cloud of exhaustion laced with a topsy turvy feeling. Suffice it to say, I may never eat a restaurant hamburger again.

I suppose if I wanted to be thankful, I could be superbly glad that it is this week and not next week.  For real.  I want to want my turkey next week.  Lack of appetite is zero fun for a foodie.

Well, if that wasn’t enough whine, I’m slightly bitter that I’m unable to go to Charlotte’s HomeArama this year.  I’ve shared pictures from past events, and the opportunity to tour six newly built, fully decorated to the hilt, amazing properties is pretty awesome.

This year didn’t work out for me but if you live in Charlotte or the surrounding area, you have until Sunday to go.


Gray kitchens, reclaimed wood, and high-tech homes are all on trend this year.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a home showcase without amazing outdoor living spaces and tons of curb appeal. The laundry room above is enough to make anybody just a little bit lustful.

Slideshows from the homes as well as floor plans and information about the builders can be found here.

You can view my previous HomeArama posts here.

Do you like to tour fancy homes when you have the chance?


Embracing Simple Staircase Garland

Dear Friends,

I haven’t done anything regarding Christmas decorating, but I’ve decided it is okay to think about it.   Small, steady steps are necessary for a slow poke like myself.  My ideal look is simple but with impact.  I’d like to have less decor, but without seeming paltry which is a tough fence to straddle.

Garland on a staircase is a great way to make a statement, especially right at the front of the house.  I browsed many images of outstanding garland that was worthy of the White House. Amazing ,intricate, fabulous garland but I just don’t see it happening here.

I had to search high and low for some images of garland that says “wow” but in a simple manner.


Simple, clean, and beautiful.  So appealing!

The decor fits the home in this case.

An innovative idea: using the bottom of the stairs vs the rail

This one is a little more involved but it doesn’t cover the whole staircase.  Still sweet and simple.

A very natural look.

That floor and that swag in the garland!

Simple but effective.

Simple decor is like makeup.  The goal is for it to look good but not over-the-top.  You might try really hard for the look where you supposedly didn’t try at all.  Just because someone’s decorations are more natural doesn’t mean they threw it together.  Either way it is time consuming, but I’m really embracing the “less is more” theme this year.

Well, I am in theory.  We will see what happens the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Do you like more or less when it comes to Christmas?  There is no right answer in this case! Just because I’m trying to simplify doesn’t mean we won’t have dancing, singing Santas and snowmen.

The Space Above The Kitchen Cabinets

Dear Friends,

Do you decorate above your kitchen cabinets?  That is the question of the day.  I’m Switzerland when it comes to yay or nay.  I love a clean look but my cabinets aren’t tall and a little something could do wonders it seems.  I’m on the fence big-time on this one.

I put stuff up.

I take it down.

I sneeze at the dust and frown at the too-tall lip the moulding creates.

I stand on clean counters in dirty shoes hanging on for dear life trying to arrange so that it looks good from below.  Just because it looks good standing on tiptoes with my nose 3 inches from the basket, does not mean it will look good at ground level.

I think my ideal kitchen would have extra tall cabinets like this:

Problem solved. Can I have the tile too?  And the lights?

I like the simplicity of the larger items in this case.  Maybe I’m just distracted by that sink.

I like the idea of using mostly the same color like above.  I do like white.

The swans kind of scare me though.

Vases are a good choice.  Once again they are tied together by the same color.

Ashley at The Handmade Home did a great job using colorful typography above her cabinets.


I’ve always liked Lindsey’s globe collection from The Pleated Poppy.

In honor of Halloween, I almost included a couple of scary pictures that I saw.  Hello, huge collection of mallard ducks on top of the kitchen cabinets. I’d hate to hurt the feelings of the mallard duck man (it has to be a guy, right?) so I passed on the opportunity.  And I’d hate for you to have to carry that image with you the rest of today so you can thank me later.

Well, do you or don’t you decorate the space above?  Do tell.


Ode to the Silhouette

Dear Friends,

Lacey’s new silhouette pillow has opened my eyes to a concept that I haven’t really considered in my home.  I’m kind of crazy for the silhouette look but I also love the idea.  More ways to embrace our family through art works for me.   I’ve got so many options my brain is spinning. Regardless I know I have a project on the horizon.

These rooms display serious silhouette love.



There are too many good ideas to zero in on just one.  I do love the concept of using a different color or patterned paper.  There in no questions that silhouettes are visually appealing.  They draw the eye in for sure.  The best part?  They are meaningful.

TGIF, friends!  Do you have any silhouettes on display in your home?


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