Inspiration No. 002: Vintage Cottage

Growing up, my parents would always take my sister and I on a weekend get-away before start of the new school year.  Usually they would involve a destination drivable within three to four hours and always included an amusement park.  We always left after mom and dad got off work on Fridays and were back home before dark on Sundays.  They are memories that will stay with me forever.

However, there were a handful of adventures that took us cross country.   When I graduated from high school back in 1985, my graduation present was a family vacation on the East Coast.

I will never forget the day trip we took to Nantucket, an isolated island off of the coast of Cape Code.  Cobblestone streets, dune-backed beaches, and unpainted cedar shake shingles were elements that created a magical place that appeared to be frozen in time.

This week’s design is inspired by a photograph that takes me back to that day when we rented mopeds (my dad and my sister on one and my mom and I on another) and explored the island of Nantucket.

The design utilizes a daybed that is placed parallel to two chairs, separated by a wicker side table.  The layout, grounded by a 9’ by 12’ hemp rug, floats in the center of the space.  The three-drawer chest, placed behind the daybed, ads storage to the space and provides the perfect place for a lamp.  The modern cabinet with smoked glass panels creates height in the room and the crystal bud chandelier, centered over the seating area, provides ambient light.   Although this design was conceived for a small space, such as a sitting room or conservatory, it could easily be expanded.

The palette was taken directly from the photograph.  The structural aspects, both in the upholstery and the case goods, mix mediums and ground it in nature.   The weathered path and overgrown foliage translates to the grey found in our finishes and the variations of browns in the cane and hemp.  The textiles add color and softness.


The chair is a piece of art.  My design calls for the base of the cushion to be upholstered in the blue (1) and welting and buttons in the contrasting stone (2).

The daybed has been designed to incorporate three different fabrics.  The deck and back pillows in the multi-texture (3), the bench seat and bolsters in the floral print (5), and the remaining pillows in blue weave (4).  The layering of the different prints and textures was strategic; my goal was to make the softness of the sofa as interesting as it’s frame.

EOD-Vintage-Cottage-Day-BedThe chest, that is used behind the daybed. has a finish that provides great movement and ties the design to the shoreline whereas the lamp feels “found” or “handed down” and therefore is unexpected.


To add height and weight to the design, I incorporated a modern cabinet made of natural elements. Finished with antique smoky mirrors and a hand applied black patina, this piece blends nicely with the European influence of the upholstery.

The crown jewel to this design is the exquisite oversized nature-inspired chandelier.  Sprays of intertwining wrought iron adorned with crystal buds adds romance to this beach inspired design.

The last component to the room is paint.  I have provided you with three completely different palettes for this board.  Each viable.  Each emotional.  Each extremely different from each other.

In an earlier post entitle Get Inspired, I said that inspiration could be as simple as a piece of art, a favorite piece of clothing, or images from travel.  Today I am going to add one more to the list:  A memory.  Three decades ago my family spent a day on an island thirty miles off the shore of Cape Cod that was magical. We traveled cobblestone streets, took in the local establishments, and explored the wonder of Nantucket.  We lived in the picture.

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