Sometimes there are big projects to do and you expend so much mental energy trying to wrap your mind around those. Meanwhile, there are little projects to do that, the longer you wait, start to weigh on you as much as the big ones. That was our situation until this month when we knocked out not one, not two, but three little things that, when completed, instantly made me feel so good, so satisfied and so happy. (A new mattress will do that!) Sometimes, it’s just the little things.
This past year has been a busy one. We’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit, visiting family and friends around the world and country, collecting ornaments and design inspiration along the way. A lot happened this year, including taking on design clients (a practice I hope to expand in the new year) and a lot didn’t happen this year (something I hope to change in the new year). I’m looking back at the year of successes and failures (frankly, mostly failures) with one big laugh. Want to see what 2017 looked like at The Cozy Cottage? Let’s go!
Multiple choice question: Did I recently paint our back door because a) it was falling apart and ugly AF, b) I was supposed to be working on something else but I was procrastinating that so I painted the back door instead, c) I wanted a pretty backdrop for a Christmas wreath, or d) all of the above? Of course my most recent DIY project was due to all of the above and now look how pretty Christmas is!!
I’m in love. Daniel and I just came back from almost two weeks in the Southwest region of Germany, visiting family who live in such beautiful wine country and forest land. It was a great vacation and so beautiful. I know I already said it was beautiful, but really, it was. And what struck me the most was how just about every home we saw had such beautiful gardening spilling over balconies and covering the properties in the front and back, whether it was plots of vegetables and fruit or patches of colorful flowering plants. We also took trips to the Alsace region of France and Luxembourg and the homes there offered the same levels of gardening beauty. In short, Germany, and our trip overall, gave me some serious gardening goals.
Usually, the recipes I feature here are my grandmother’s, ones that I have translated from her handwritten notes. After a spring and summer of growing vegetables and eating them, I thought it was time to share a simple recipe for how we take vegetables from the ground to our plates. My husband has dictated this recipe to me as he was too busy playing fetch with our dog to type it out himself. Here is his garden vegetable salad recipe.
Our cozy cottage has gone through a lot the past two and a half years yet not enough, in my opinion. There are rooms that we did right away and rooms we haven’t even touched yet. There are rooms that are likely to get redone either through little touch ups and minor changes or through major renovation. And then there are rooms (maybe only just one) that just need one minor fix. So here’s the first house tour that I’ve done on The 256 Project to show befores and afters of what we’ve done so far and show you rooms you’ve never seen before (and for good reason!). Scroll down for the house tour and swipe through for the before and after of each room (or just the before, in some instances).
Ever since starting The 256 Project, one thing that people comment on the most is how we use color in our house. Some people have said that they are impressed by it and wish they had gone bold in their own homes, or wish that they weren’t afraid of color so much so that they could bite the bullet on adding more of their favorite hues at home. Or some people leave our house screaming. But our house is not for them! Clearly, we are not afraid of color here at the cozy cottage. I’ve said before how I really like and admire many different styles of décor, including minimalism and a very white or neutral color palette. If that is what you like and gravitate to, then have fun and enjoy! But if you are interested in adding a little bit of color in some way to your home and aren’t quite sure where to start or how to do it, then I have a few tips for you. I originally wrote about this for Domino and am expanding on this concept below.
This story ends with the problem being fixed but only after one marital dispute, a temper tantrum (mine) and a broken new drill. In short, drilling into concrete sucks. In long, sometimes having an old house sucks* because of all the little things that come with it that are just a pain in the ass. Fair warning, this might turn into just a shit ton of curse words and complaints.
What was that, you say? Something about how dumb it was to get a white couch for the outdoors? Where it rains and where there’s dirt? And, most especially when you have a dog who immediately claimed it as hers even though it was meant for you to fall asleep on next to a raging-yet-calm fire? Admittedly, these are good questions and I can tell you mostly honestly that this couch has remained clean with just a teensy bit of work on my part. Wanna know how we’re keeping our outdoor couch clean? Okay!