Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cottage Charm

Thank you everyone for your kind words of support regarding yesterday's post, it means the world to me!

Recently I had the opportunity to photograph a beautiful waterfront cottage in Maryland.  Everything about this home, including the grounds, was completely charming! (Remember you can click on any photo to enlarge it!)

The homeowners have lived here for years on this family land, and their love for it is evident!  

Nothing has been overlooked, even the sheds are delightful!  

And look at that view from the back deck!!

As soon as I saw this wonderful little turquoise adirondack rocker, I knew this was some place special!

On the day I was there, I was given the grand tour by one of the most hospitable and lovely women I've ever met.  For months, people had told me that I just had to go photograph this darling house, but when I phoned the owners to see if they would be interested I got my favorite reply.  "Oh our house isn't anything special," I was told by the lady of the house, known as Puddin to her friends and family.

Ever gracious, and very modest, Puddin assured me that her home was just a small little cottage that no one would really be interested in seeing.  In my years as a writer covering homes, I'm always happy when a homeowner responds this way.  Believe it or not, these are always the best houses!  The ones where people swear that their home isn't worthy of being featured anywhere, are always the most beautiful!  And the people who occupy these houses are always as wonderful as their homes.

As soon as I drove up I knew I was in for a treat!  But after taking me around the yard, it was when I stepped through the back door and into the kitchen that I knew Puddin's house was something special.  A wonderful mix of old and new made this small kitchen sing with personality!

And the blue and white color scheme, cherished pieces of pottery, and fresh white cabinetry with delft hardware gave this space loads of cottage charm!

The most amazing part for me was how Puddin and her husband had put their heart and soul into this home where they raised 4 children!  Over the years, they have made changes to the interior, adding moldings and trim, but the house has never been enlarged, so it maintains its wonderful cottage character in its small footprint!

The dining room, located just off the kitchen, is another testament to Puddin's great sense of style!  

The blue and white theme continues in this room with a white china cupboard, chairs, and huntboard.  Blue and white toile curtains and striped wallpaper add color to the room without overwhelming the space.

A crystal chandelier, antique wicker chair, beautiful round oak table, and mix matched chairs combine elegance and country charm in the room! 

Glass doors lead to a deck on the water side of the house and allow great flow for entertaining!  Even the covered portion of the deck sports a chandelier!

A collection of flow blue china plates, platters, pitchers and cake stands is beautifully displayed along with a few ironstone and crystal pieces to create a striking focal point in the dining room.

On the painted white huntboard, treasured accessories are paired with two black candlestick buffet lamps topped with seagrass shades for some added warmth and texture.

The living room, located just off the entryway, is another wonderful space with a plethora of design ideas!  

I love the little chairs arranged around the shabby chic coffee table, and the bright lime green end table!  An old chippy pediment and classic Robert Furber prints add interest to the wall above the sofa.

Slipcovered furniture (created by my friend Sheryl Tart, of The Vintage Source) works beautifully in this casual sophisticated room.  

Bright pillows in an array of colors and fabrics were made by Puddin's sister and add the perfect pop of color to the neutral furnishings.  A seagrass rug adds contrast and texture, while a blue rug defines the cozy seating area in front of the fireplace.

Nautical artwork, shore bird carvings, and a collection of seashells pay homage to the home's waterfront location.  While crystal candle scones, crisp white woodwork, and graceful wing chairs maintain the traditional look of the living room.

Not afraid to mix tradition with a little fun and comfort, this comfy wing chair sports a flirty little ruffle and the ottoman, pillows, and floral quilt all say "sit back and relax a while!"

A large armoire and matching bookcases conceal the television and provide space for displaying favorite mementos and family photos.  Wicker baskets, beadboard detailing, and light paint color give these pieces a definite coastal feel.

A glass paneled front door with sidelights and plenty of windows provide the living room with ample natural light.  Hardwood floors, a neutral wall color, and natural woven shades are juxtaposed against the colorful painted furnishings, window treatments, and pillows found throughout.  A coat rack provides the perfect spot to hang Puddin's many gardening hats!

A gorgeous antique pine cabinet allows more space to display the couple's blue and white china collection.  Down the hallway to the right of the cabinet are two bedrooms.

The guest room is a study in feminine beauty, with touches of romance can be found scattered all around the room.  A crystal chandelier, soft pink walls, vintage bed, and delicate netted canopy all add to the romantic feel of this wonderful guest room.

A beautiful matelasse slipcovered chair, antique chest of drawers painted a soft green, and floral curtains and bedding help complete the look.  I love that Puddin shares the same magazine addiction that I do...just look at that wonderful stack there in the corner!  What a wonderful reference library she has!

With the help of family (it's good to have sons who are also carpenters!), Puddin and her husband converted what had once been a small bedroom into a sitting area off of the guest room.  More vintage and antique furniture and a petite crystal chandelier make this space the perfect spot to send an email or sit and write a letter to someone special.

Floral bedding in pinks and greens is accented by blue ticking stripes, giving it a wonderful homespun feel.  Side tables compliment the stunning vintage bed and give guests a sense of being hosted at a marvelous bed and breakfast or country inn.

I hope you've enjoyed this little tour of the wonderful home Puddin shares with her husband, children, and grandchildren.  And just in case you were wondering if Puddin's bathrooms are as charming as the rest of her home, they are!

Every square inch of this home has been lovingly decorated by one of the most sweet, generous, and humble women I've ever come across.  And to think she didn't think anyone would want to see it!!


  1. Such a charming home, Kat. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  2. When can I move in. This is a charming , delightful home. Thank you for sharing. Pass my compliments on to Puddin.

  3. oh i so enjoyed the tour what a charming home

  4. I am in love!! This is so my style. I love everything, but since I am mostly an outdoor, water loving sort of person, I have to say the outside of the house and the stunning views really make it special to me. Puddin sounds like a lovely person!


  5. Thank you so much for this wonderful post! Absolutely charming cottage and I can just feel the love and happiness that lives and thrives there!!

    Susan and Bentley

  6. Lovely little cottage and so comfortable feeling My fav was the seagrass lampshades Never saw any before Pass our love of this place on to Puddin

  7. Kat thank you for sharing this wonderful little jewel. I can see that anyone would feel welcomed in such a lovely enviroment. It has charm and a coziness that one would expect for such a darling cottage. I prefer small and wonderful over big any day, this is truly wonderful, loved it and tell Puddin thankyou for letting us in her wonderful family home, Kathysue

  8. Kat this little cottage is just adoreable! Thank you so much for sharing this with us :) Loved it!

  9. Everything looks so fresh and clean...and the view, wouldn't that be wonderful. It is a charming place and your presented it very well.

  10. I am in love! I want one! This is just the most delightful place...right up my alley! So much beauty and charm!

    I am going back for another peek! Have a wonderful day!


  11. This is just so fantabulous--I love it. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  12. It is a special cottage. Please tell them we love it. I think the quest bedroom is my favorite room. ♦olive

  13. I am so happy you shared this with us! Please let her know that her decorating style is lovely! Her home is beautiful!

  14. My husband is retired and I'm gearing up (or is it down) to do the same. We live in Northern Virginia and our daughter is in school in southern Maryland, so we've gotten to know the area a bit. If Puddin's selling, I'm interested!!!!!!!!!! Just gorgeous.

  15. And Puddin thinks her house is nothing special ??
    Oh my is VERY special.
    You did an awesome job with the pictures!!
    And...who knew ? We are decorating our home and have been looking for window treatment ideas...and NOW..I have one! Thanks to these pictures!
    Thank you for your post...I very much enjoyed it! Have a great rest of the week!

  16. This house is so fresh, warm and personal - love it, and so pleased you tracked it down!

  17. This little home is a treasure. Another inspiring post! Thank you. Ciao, bella!

  18. You have outdone yourself (again), my dear Kat. Your photos are fabulous and your narrative reads like a chat with an old friend. My favorite is your photo of the entry with the yummy yellow walls, the flowered drapes, the braided rug, and the yellow cabinet. What a sweet, sweet house!!

  19. Lovely home. The exterior took my breath away. What a charming place to live...oh the view! It's gorgeous.

  20. Oh Kat what a GORGEOUS home....Your pictures as ALWAYS helped showcase this Cottage Treasure to PERFECTION....!!

    As ALWAYS, THANK YOU for the eye candy....!!

    Cheers from Oz,
    Tamarah :o)

  21. AWESOME!!!
    please thank Puddin', and thank you Kat for such a charming home tour. Everything in it's place and a place for everything special..
    We could all learn some valuable home keeping tips and how to spread love perfectly throughout a home.
    Thank you again !!! :)

  22. Oh wow! I love love love the kitchen and dining room. When I lived in my Victorian, I decorated with the blue and white like that.

    ~ Tracy

  23. Kat, This home is definitely magazine worthy...lovely! The blue and white theme is perfect for this cottage. The!. Kat, your photographs are always amazing.
    xo, Sherry

  24. Love this post! What a fabulous home.

  25. That house is really a dream....can it be real? I love the mantle of the art hanging about it! Very beautiful...everything about it! Thanks for sharing! ♥ You are a wonderful photographer! It's hard for me to get good photos inside! lol

  26. Hi Kat,
    Puddin's home is so lovely, warm and inviting.
    I love how everything mixes together and creates such lovely timeworn style. Her color choices and furnishings are just amazing.

    Thanks for the lovely photos and story.


  27. What a pretty house. Every detail seems to focus on comfort - I like that.

  28. A beautiful and charming home. I especially love the blue and white. The view is breathtaking. Thanks for sharing.

  29. What a charming home, and right on the water, a dream come true. You can tell the owner is a warm and charming person too... thanks for the tour.

  30. What an incredibly charming home. A real lived in .. not just for show for a magazine. Compliments to the owners!!!

  31. I love this house, Kat! It's bright and cheery, so full of personality and unexpected accents and colors! And what a view...Thanks for sharing it with us!

  32. Kat, I found myself
    saving A LOT of these
    images in my decorating
    file....So much beauty
    and good taste! You
    must have been thrilled;
    from the outside to the
    inside, this is a gem
    of a home! Just love
    that you got us all "in"
    to have a peek!!!
    xx Suzanne

  33. It's so cute!!! I wish I lived there:)

  34. So super charming! And I love, love the adirondack rocker!!

  35. Wonderful. Your photos completely captured the beauty, spirit and loveliness of this home.

  36. Oh my word, this house is VERY special!

  37. Looks like a little piece of Heaven. I LOVE it!
    ~ Jo :)

  38. What an absolute treat to get a peek inside of this lovely lovely cottage! The outside was heaven too and I fell hard for that aqua rocker right away. Puddin has such an "eye" for beauty and I would imagine just being there in person would make you just plain feel all that wonderful energy of this delightful cottage! Your images were so perfectly captured and I love the way you showed all those yummy details for us to dream over! ~Lili

  39. Beautiful... I've fallen in love with this cozy home.. Puddin your house is lovely!


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