Creating cottage charm in This New Cottage involved loads of fun upcycling all kinds of furniture and décor!
When I started to shop in traditional stores for furnishings, I quickly realized that current designs and styles would not fit in the retro cottage we were building. Neither would they “fit” in the new cottage. For example, today’s fabrics and styles of living room furniture are large, overstuffed sofas and chairs in subtle patterns and colors. Our small living room would accommodate a sofa no larger than a loveseat, two small chairs and understated side tables for lamps. In addition, our color palette had evolved into the bold, bright colors of turquoise, orange, red, yellow and green – not so subtle colors! After my initial shopping visit to a furniture store, I concluded we needed to shop at consignment and thrift stores for pieces of furniture that would be more in-keeping with our retro, cottage look – pieces that would “fit” in style, size and color. Never did I expect that my husband would become so “on-board” with this manner of shopping that he would search online for thrift stores that might have what we were looking for! During the months that This New Cottage was under construction, we became passionate educating ourselves on vintage furniture and décor, and about finding the “perfect” pieces.
Transforming second-hand furniture required creativity and a vision. The phrase “good bones” applied to our furniture selection. We learned to check construction of wooden-framed chairs and side tables. The smell of the old pieces was the ultimate test – anything with a musty odor was immediately disqualified! We discovered truth to the phrase “they don’t make ‘em like they used to!” Lots of old furniture was very well constructed showing pride in craftsmanship. One wooden-framed rocker we purchased had original heavy-duty springs that were still in perfect working condition!
Choosing fabric and paint to recover and spruce up these vintage pieces proved to be as much fun as selecting the pieces themselves. In the book This New Cottage, I describe these fabric store outings in detail. Suffice it to say that I was amused at the revelations my husband experienced at stores he never knew existed! Updating old, scratched wooden side tables with a few coats of paint transformed pieces we were delighted to place in our new beach cottage for our enjoyment and for the stories they told!
Trust me! Upcycling is fun!
~ Peggy Linsey, homeowner of This New Cottage
This New Cottage, written by its homeowner and its builder, is a tale of color, nostalgia and the challenges of rebuilding a Cape Cod cottage. Watch for it in bookstores soon!