cot·tage /ˈkädij/ noun
- a small simple house, typically one near a lake or beach.
- a dwelling forming part of a farm establishment, used by a worker. “farm cottages”
||cabin, lodge, bungalow, country house, shack, chantey
“Cottage decorating is an unpretentious approach of displaying collected treasures and keepsakes that have been accumulated over the years, or that have been passed down through the generations. Each objet d’art in our home is reminiscent of our family’s lives together and reflects cherished memories. Tucked away in kitchen cupboards, displayed on bookshelves, or in free standing vignettes, I love and display these memories in what I call … “the Cottage style.”
Periodically, I am going to be writing posts about “the Cottage Style” with pictures of cottage decor … simple cottage recipes … how to fill cottage shelves, cache’s, and cupboards with collections and keepsakes … that I am calling “The Cottage Series.” Let me know how you enjoy this new series!
To display my collection of dishes and other keepsakes, Richard removed some of the doors from our kitchen cabinets. I have a passion for cubby’s and shelves and just hearing the word “cupboard” my mind conjures up delightful visions of stacked plates, old creamers in the shape of cows or thatched roofed cottages, and folded piles of embroidered tablecloths, cup towels, and napkins edged in carefully stitched crochet! I painted the interior of these cabinets a deep mulberry color and instantly loved the charm it added and how it made the cabinets look like a built-in hutch.
I topped my shelves with a grape swag that reminds me of the picturesque vineyards we saw on the hills of Germany, France, Italy, and Spain (a surreal “thrill” from our years of living in Germany!) Among the thatch roof cottage dishes and under the grape clusters seemed the perfect setting for Beau and Belle with their bare feet, wide brimmed hats and a basket of “just picked grapes” in Belle’s hands.
The whole cupboard is filled with crystal stemware and different sets of dishes and cookware “at-the-ready” to be used or placed on the table. Villeroy and Boch dishes are are a special keepsake and gift from Richard when we visited the little town of Bacharach, Germany located on the Rhine River. The dishes and cookware shown here are in the “Naif” collection and are designed by Gerard Leplau from Corsica, France. His paintings feature charming family and village scenes and occasionally biblical motifs, like “Noah’s Ark” pictured on the top shelf.
Intermingled among the dishes and adding some whimsy to the cupboard are sweet little gifts given or made for me by our children. A cherished collection of Boyd’s Bears collectibles, “Words of Wisdom for Mothers” complete with a tiny easel for display, a beloved birdhouse painted by dear little hands, and a miniature tea service.
A mixed collection of antique thatch-house sugar bowls and creamers look right at home with my village scene dishes. This cottage creamer is filled with a treasured collection of silver baby spoons, some still bearing sweet indentations of little teeth … and this exciting find at an antique store, one little fork embossed with the word Baby.
On the bottom shelf are stacks of Kaiser Romantica (I even love the name!) porcelain china in the Marseilles pattern. Pink and blue flowers rim delicate scalloped plates and are sprinkled with tiny pink rosebuds. Richard and I hand selected each piece of this china from the German Kaiser Porcelain factory, near the Czech border. I was 9 months pregnant, with our daughter and we didn’t realize so much effort was going to be required, picking out our china. The porcelain pieces were displayed in stacks on shelves of planked wood which were propped up on cinder blocks. We both began the treasure hunt, but after much bending and the stooping required to find the perfect pieces, I had to finally sit down. I “passed the baton” on to Richard who finished the selection with precision and zeal! He finished choosing all of our dishes, a service for 12 complete with all the serving pieces, a coffee and tea service with warming cache’s, a soup tureen with 12 darling soup bowls, a pedestal cake plate, a covered vegetable bowl, platters, serving trays, porcelain napkin rings, and decorative roses to place upon the table. Every time I set the table with these dishes, I remember his endearing effort and patience while performing the task. ❤
An elegant coffee server with a clock is standing in “good company” with some cabbage-leafed teapots, just the right size for tea parties. Also, tucked under the cloche is a cherished souvenir glass in a brass stand with an emblem saying “San Francisco Cable Car.” My father gave this keepsake to me when he came back from a business trip to California, many years ago. ❤
Displayed in a vignette under the glow of lamplight and basking beneath the golden gleam from the picture frame is a recent “find” at a flea market that was unbelievably priced at only $1.50!!! … a set of silver antique bread and butter knives from England! I “fell in love” with the little clasped case they came in before I even saw the price!
From Richard’s and my research, the silver markings on these knives and their deep blue Bakelite handles helped us conclude that they were made around the 1930’s. However, the age and silk lining of the case and silk “hinges” indicate, they may be even older.
Hope you enjoyed seeing how I display some of my collections. Have fun looking over your collections and thinking where you can “showcase” them to enjoy every day in the “Cottage Style” – and yes, I do have folded piles of embroidered tablecloths, cup towels, and napkins edged in carefully stitched crochet … perhaps they’ll be featured in the next “Cottage Series!” (:
From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda
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This week I’ll be joining Kelly from The Essence of Home
and Courtney with French Country Cottage