Decorating for myself: Nook Cottage

So, progress is being made selling my parent’s house. Things are moving fast! Since my Mom passed away, I’ve been scouring real estate listings for properties to rent or to buy. I felt more like renting at this stage in my life versus all the issues associated with owning, but then renting isn’t always a bed of roses either. A big issue with renting of course is the inability to make big decorative changes to the space. Plus, bringing RoyRoy into my life cut out at least 50% of the rental market. I was beginning to have a little panic, but I tried very hard to believe that when the need presented itself, the right place would come along.

And it did. Within twenty four hours of getting an offer on my parents place, this cute little {dog friendly!} was listed on Craigslist.

Cute, well maintained, perfect location, and size of about 950 sq. ft. Plus, working fireplace, water views, washer/dryer and ac. Yay! I’ve dubbed it “Nook Cottage” due to its location.


This is the front door. The fireplace works, though is narrow so there’s no chance of putting a sofa or chairs there.

So, I’ve decided to keep it as an entry that moves right into the dining space.  Naturally, I have the whole place decorated already. I wanted to do complete design plans before I move in next month so I could be assured that everything I bring to the house will fit and have a place. The owner (my new landlord) is fine with me painting and said he’s excited to see what I will do with it. Not sure what he’ll think about the pink walls! I’m going to keep most of the open spaces the existing beige, but add in some pink accent walls. The cabinet by the door across from the fireplace is the stereo cabinet that I’m turing into a bar cabinet – discussed here. I am pretty sure that the armoire will fit next to the fireplace (was my parents) which will hold my china and silver.

I already have two slipcovered parsons chairs in a cotton velvet and have ordered two more with casters for my office, and use in the dining room when I have guests. The pedestal table will have a leaf for dinners with guests. The settee will be this one I recovered a few years ago seen in the photo below.

Linda Merrill design custom lumbar pillow bench seat floral fabric french cane settee

The house is a little oddly configured inside, but I really like that about it – it’s not cookie cutter.  The dining space opens up to this middle space from which the kitchen goes off to the left, between the two walls (center of the image) is a small living room and the bathroom is back there as well. The closet on the right is substantial and will probably make a great pantry closet. There is a hall leading to the back of the house with a laundry closet and out to a deck.
I am hoping I can lay a custom cut sisal in the middle section of this space because it will get cold in the winter!We’ll see about that. The green blob on the left is meant to be my antique desk that my Dad refinished for me when I was young. I’ll be able to use it for keeping my bills, stationary and maybe linens in the drawers. And it’s so pretty.
The kitchen is basic, but has all the important things and I can pretty it up.
The bedrooms are fairly small. This one will be my bedroom and is in the front of the house. It’s the larger of the two and I still won’t be able to fit a dresser. Oh well. The closet is quite large so I will trick something out in there. Meanwhile…
This is my plan. A big repaint job to green. Custom upholstered headboard covered in Aerin for Lee Jofa’s Watersedge velvet. I’ve been drooling over it since I first saw it. All white bedding, artwork on the walls. The side tables are from my parent’s living room. I have new crystal lamps ready to go.

The arm chair on the left is from my parents. It’s currently covered in a green striped velvet but  I will recover it to match the headboard. The oriental rug is antique from my grandparents.

And, of course, there’s got to be a little place for RoyRoy!

The second bedroom is a bright blue and is very pretty, but not me. It’s also very small – 8×11 and a few inches. It will be my office.
The planning is still a work in progress.  I think I’m going to paint it beige (I know, the other room is beige why not just use that, but this room is better for an office). The armoire is coming from a friend and has beautiful wood on the outside and is painted pink on the inside. While it’s probably too big for the room, it’s so beautiful I have to have it!! And, it will provide a lot of storage. My desk will be in front of the window which has a water view.
I’m going to take the doors off the closet and put in shelving to hold samples and whatever else I need to be holding. I’ll bring in the pink by painting the closet.
The living room is teeny tiny. I’ll be putting a sofa in the nook in the back facing my green upholstered settee and a small cocktail table. Still figuring out where the tv will go. The saving grace of this space is that the ceiling is vaulted.
This is another approximate view. You can see the back hall, which has a large closet and the stacking washer/dryer. Out the door is a small deck and cute back yard.
And, did I mention the water views? This is the picture window in the front room/entry/dining space. It’s the Jones River that empties out into the ocean.

And a closeup.

So, that’s my intro to Nook Cottage. More to come!
If you’d like to see the “after” photos, click here!
Meanwhile, I have a house to sell and a book deadline. Yes, that’s right. I have a book deal. It’s not a true author deal, I’m doing the 6th edition revision of a business of design business book while working from home. More to come on that. Meanwhile, I have a strict July 15th deadline!!!

xoxo Linda

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