Thursday, August 23, 2007


After a morning spent chatting with Dan (he’d been out-of-town all week) and ordering hydrangeas for next week’s photo shoot at Nikki’s Florida home (not an easy task when it’s not hydrangea season in Florida), I called Nikki to talk about her cottage.

(photo of Nikki's house, above courtesy of The Cat's Meow,

Located on Casey Key, one of Sarasota’s barrier islands, the house is serene (in shades of white and blue), playful (a surfboard hangs above a flat screen TV in the family room) and family friendly (Nikki and Jeff have 4 kids, the youngest only 12 weeks old.)

I remember when my son was that young and Nikki gets my “what a brave lady” award for agreeing to having a photo crew around for two whole days.

Since you will have to wait until next week to see photos, the photos that I’ve posted today are from Gwen and Paul’s Louisiana lakeside cottage.

Although the ten-room house they built is larger than some older cottages nearby, the interior spaces feel no less warm and inviting, thanks to Paul’s preference for angled ceilings and walls, small connecting rooms and materials associated with boat building.

The front of the cottage faces the garden.

The rear of the cottage faces the lake.

The pine wall and floor planks were specially milled in random widths to resemble those in older homes.

When a few were discovered to have cracks in them, the couple asked that the damaged boards be used instead of thrown away. Their contractor was amazed when they explained that they thought imperfections added character to a cottage.

In the dining room, the angled ceiling mimics the interior of a lighthouse. Bark cloth draperies in a Caribbean floral print add a hint of tropical color to the ten-foot high windows. An island-style fan with paddle blades circulates the breeze and textured cream chair covers add a hint of bayou elegance.

*** BLOG DU JOUR ***

I know it’s cheating but today instead of an existing blog, I’m offering you a chance to dream along with me about a blog that doesn’t exist. New Orleans designer Angele Parlange doesn’t have a blog but, if she did, I know it would be fabulous.

We’ve never met in person but we have spoken on the phone several times. Angele’s recent book Creole Thrift is based on the premise that you can live first-class without spending a fortune, simply by being resourceful.
Angele Parlange grew up on Parlange Plantation, an 18th century national historical landmark in Louisiana, yet she’s faked most of the “antiques” in her home.

Like a modern day Scarlett O’Hara, who turns velvet draperies into a gown, Angele takes great pleasure in making do.

Since her book is part family (and what a family!) memoir, part off-beat home décor how-to and part adventures of a Southern girl, I know her blog would be fascinating.


Penny Carlson said...

I am in awe of these beautiful cottages. Such serene rooms. I love the dining room with the tall ceiling and bark cloth drapes!

Vintage Rose Collection said...

Barbara, You are teasing us with all these fabulous photo's; I cant wait until the book comes out!!!
What an inviting home... It makes you want to curl up by the fireplace in the middle of all those fluffy pale blue pillows.
Soo serene...
Jo-Anne Coletti

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I love that blue and white room! It's stunning!

Catherine said...

That blue and white room is to die for...that is my perfect room, the one in your head, your dream room, that is the perfect color of blue and white...of course I love blue and all blues are the perfect color of blue, but that blue ~simply breath taking, serene, all at the same time, I am so excited by the beauty I am not going to be able to sleep!! BEAUTIFUL!!

Mélanie said...

I love this cottage .
And I'm going to find this book , it seems so interesting

lucinda said...

I really enjoyed the book Creole Thrift great southern spirit.

FrenchGardenHouse said...

sigh, Hydrangea Home! What a heavenly home, Nikki has created a haven, you just want to sit down and maybe take a little nap there, it's that comforting.

The book is going to be just stunning, can't wait for it to come out.