Tuesday, January 26, 2016

cottage updates and our pine plank floors

It's been such a long time since I last blogged. I wanted to jump in and share some updates on our little country cottage and offer some info. on our pine plank floors which I often get asked about. The photos I'm using in this post are the ones I've posted on Instagram. It's just so quick and easy to share on IG so I do a little better over there. Feel free to follow along with me as m.vintagecharm .

Although our home will always be a work in progress... I like how she is coming along. First things first, I purchased the sweetest little tufted sofa. It's the Watkins Sofa from Home Decorators in natural linen. I absolutely love it. It works great in our space.

I wanted to move forward with the sofa and beadboard on the lower level with the money I saved from the two markets I did. It was a good decision. The beadboard is up but still only primed at this point. I can't wait till it's all painted! It will be painted "Westhighland White" like all our doors/trim. I think it's the perfect off white color... not bright white but not cream either. That perfect middle ground. We also decided to go with a different paint color for the main level. I chose "Modern Gray" by Sherwin Williams. I love this color with all the natural light we get in this home. It's beautiful.

Here's a few photos (from warmer days) of our living and dining room...

I love this little french style table that I bought from a local vintage shop, JB Knacker .

Now that we are back to cold winter days... our wood stove is back in use. Brett got the large plank beadboard up on our open staircase wall awhile ago (again only primed at this point). I love how much character and charm it added to our living room space.

For those of you who are wondering about our flooring, here's the info on that. We did pine planks, grade 3 (1x8's) shiplapped. I wanted a whitewash look so we chose Sherwin Williams "Pickled White" oil stain which we brushed on. 

For the finish... here's what we used. A water based formula was important.

We are really happy with how they turned out. They have a great rustic farmhouse feel to them. Pine is a soft wood so the wear and tear is just part of the look and it's really cost effective as far as flooring goes. Hope that helps.

So, I guess we are making some progress over here :) Home sweet home... we are so thankful for this little place. Oh how I wish we could plow ahead with many more projects but life is demanding right now. Here's one more photo... the last one I took of our dining area shortly after Christmas...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Our stay at the Historic Four Mounds Estate

It's been far too long since I shared anything on the blog. I don't have a house or furniture project to share with you today, but I do think many of my readers will appreciate seeing pictures of a beautiful B&B. Brett and I were finally able to get away, just the two of us, on a little vacation and we had no idea how special it would be. Best of all, it's right here in the great state of Iowa... land that we love :)

Have you heard of the Historic Four Mounds Estate in Dubuque, IA? I hadn't until I recently starting searching online for our little get-away. The place captured my attention and I am so glad it did. If you care to read more about it after seeing some of the pictures from our stay, you can click on this link www.fourmounds.org and find out more.

This gentlemen's farm was bequeathed  to the City of Dubuque in 1982. Later a foundation was formed to manage the estate and over time new life has been brought back to this amazing property. It's nestled high along the bluffs of the mighty Mississippi River and the views are spectacular. It felt magical. We booked the Master Suite of the White House for our stay. There is another home with several rooms and a cabin on this property that can be rented as well, but I had a feeling that the White House would be perfect for us. I was right... it was absolutely perfect.

This is the White House and the side that has the view of the Mississippi River. The home was built in 1924 and she is charming in every way.

This is the front door and main entrance to the White House...

Here's the great thing about this B&B... no one lives in the houses or the cabin that you rent. Brett and I went during the week and we had the whole house to our-self. It was so much fun... and a little spooky at night which made it even better :)

This is the living room of the White House...

I loved the white trim and built-ins. The furnishings fit perfectly with this elegant and refined Colonial Revival style home. 

Just off the living room was a porch. I found this to be the perfect setting to enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon.

The formal dining room was also on the main level...

The upstairs of this home has a total of four guest rooms. As mentioned before, we opted for the Master Suite and I have some pictures of our room and bathroom. When you first open the door to the suite you enter into a very large sitting room...

Off of the sitting room is both the bathroom and bedroom. The bedroom was in the sleeping porch and I loved it... so did Brett. These windows were fabulous and so was the king size bed. I think I may have to upgrade to that someday in my home.

Last but certainly not least for the suite is the bathroom. You know me and my love for the simplicity of white along with vintage fixtures... this bathroom has it all in my book.

Each morning we walked over to the Grey House for breakfast. This Craftsman style home was built in 1908 and features seven guest rooms. It has a very masculine feel to it and is a bit rustic as well. We were able to take a peek at the guest rooms and the Majestic River Suite in this home definitely lived up to it's name.

A plate of fresh fruit, hot tea, juice and blueberry bread awaited us. Then shortly after we sat down and started in, a delicious hot breakfast was served. That was a highlight for me. I'm sure all of you young mothers can relate to what a treat that is. Add to that a 20+ week pregnant mama and it's as close to heaven as one can get on this earth. Marie, who cooked the amazing food for us each morning, snapped a picture of us enjoying our feast. Thanks for the wonderful food Marie! We so enjoyed our morning chats with you as well.

The view outside the Grey House was picturesque as well...

We enjoyed exploring the grounds with the hiking trail and all the old buildings. I will leave you with the photos I snapped while out walking around the estate...

A special thanks to then hens who provided the farm fresh eggs each morning...

There were two of these charming yellow cottages on the property. Originally they were the chauffeur's house and the gardener's house, but today the grounds-keeper and the manager call them home. Quaint and charming indeed.

I posted this photo on Instagram while we were there. I was sitting outside the White House enjoying my view of the river. I am so thankful for the time we had there and I can't wait to go back. Our goal was to catch up on some much needed rest, enjoy each others' undivided attention and figure out a name for our baby girl that is due in October. I am happy to say we accomplished all our goals! I hope this gives you a taste of what you can find there. Visit the link I posted earlier if you want to see more of this place. If you've ever wanted to try a B&B but have been hesitant or reluctant... try this one! It is truly a gem.

Thanks for stopping by!
Hopefully soon I will have some house and furniture projects to share again. I'm ready to get back to work and tackle some projects before baby #4 arrives!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Master Bathroom

The new year has started off with lots of cleaning and organizing around here. Since the master bathroom has been freshened up a bit, I thought I should share a few photos here. Hopefully these photos are a little better than the last time I took some of our bathroom :)

Here's my vintage inspired bathroom all fresh, clean and organized...

I bought this little shelf with white baskets years ago at Target. It's been so handy. I love having it in my bathroom now...

The clawfoot tub that my husband refinished is so great. She was a Craigslist find and I just love her. I painted the outside of the tub the same color as the wall which is "Site White" by Sherwin Williams.

I've been sharing photos of our home on Instagram lately... feel free to follow along if you wish. You can find me here at m.vintagecharm .

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

market review & thoughts on a new year

This year is quickly coming to a close. I want to wrap it up by sharing how market went, along with a few of the pictures I was able to snap. After that, just sharing a few thoughts on this past year and the coming year for those of you who like that sort of thing. 

So, first things first... the Lucky Star Holiday Market went well. I was so exhausted after it and then had to hop right into Christmas activities/events, so I never posted a follow-up on it. All said and done, I sold these three pieces of furniture: 

The huge window, both vintage hostess sets, fruit crates and lots of other little housewares sold as well. Here's a few photos I took as I was setting things up. The photos aren't great (borderline terrible) but I always appreciate seeing how things come together so here you go...

A friend let me borrow this cute little cart which I used as a check-out counter. It worked out perfectly.

Since this dresser came home, (and took some unintended distressing on the ride home) I'm planning to keep her and use her in Averi's room. Still one of my favorite pieces I've done to date.

For now, I set all the money aside. I'm taking my time to decide if I will use it for a new sofa (it's time to say goodbye to the pink one) or if I will use it to buy materials for a built-in (floor to ceiling shelving) on one of the walls in our living room and some beadboard paneling as well. Either way it's a great reward for all that hard work!

So, in 2014 I participated in two markets. It was good for me... very challenging to put something like that together twice with my little ones still needing so much of my time and attention. I'm thankful I had the opportunity to do it and that I did. At this point, I have no plans or thoughts for another market. We will have to wait and see as the year unfolds. For now my focus is back on our little country cottage. I'd love to see some projects move forward here... and honestly just hoping that the kids and I will get to spend more time with Brett.

I'm certainly one who likes to reflect and look ahead. I've been doing that quite a bit lately. It's been a good year for our family... not easy by any means... but good. It comes down to one thing which is this: the Lord is indeed faithful. I'm very thankful for His tender love, protection, provision and care for us. If I had to choose a key verse for myself this past year it would be this one, Psalm 73:26 "My flesh and my heart may fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Those words have come to mind often as the Lord continues to chip away at this stubborn and divided heart of mine. He's working on me and working in ways that I don't understand and find to be difficult quite honestly. He has done well to remind me that "His ways are not my ways". He has the perspective of eternity and I do not. But all the same, He calls me to try to see it that way and helps me along the way. Here and there, I get a glimpse of it... a "glimpse of glory" as I've heard it said before. A brief moment in time when my eyes see things as they really are with the sharpness and clarity that can only come from my Creator. A favorite passage comes to mind as I think about this... Hebrews 11... go read it if you want some perspective on this. This year has been one where the Lord has been checking my foundation... making sure that I am building as a wise man is to build... only on the rock which is Jesus Christ. He has pressed upon my heart that it matters greatly. The storms of this life are inevitable and at times it seems that they will never end. I need to be able to stand firm and steadfast... this is only possible with Jesus. So as the Lord has pressed this upon my heart this past year, I pass it along to you... because it matters greatly.