Patsy’s Vintage Modern Paris Kitchen

When Patsy asked for help with creating a French Flavor kitchen, I was thrilled.

TV Nook

I’ve always included French touches in so many of the rooms I’ve done. Venetian glass frames, Mercury glass, love birds, vintage style clock, French sign and script, all add to the French feel of the room. Red Hydrangeas add just enough of Patsy’s favorite color.

Patsy’s a single woman in her sixties, well-to-do, with an established circle of friends.

I had been working with her best friend, Phyllis.

Phyllis, a Sagittarius with a bright red pixie cut and slender figure, had been such a pleasure to work with.  Phyllis and I had an on-going friendship as we completed her master bedroom, den, two bathrooms, and kitchen over the course of five years.

Patsy is always by her side.  Patsy, an Aries, along with Phyllis, created fireworks wherever they went.  It was always fun and full of laughter.

work in progress

One thing I like to do when creating a room, is to add architectural detail.

Since Patsy collects Flow-Bleu transferware, I felt a few Victorian touches were in order.

We added the tall beadboard in the eating area.


The “tin ceiling” , another architectural detail opened up the room and made it feel larger. Can lighting on dimmer switch adds a modern touch.


Wanting to spare the expense of new cabinets, we added glass knobs and new wavy glass inserts to add to the vintage feel and give the room some sparkle.


Patsy wanted the look of granite, but after exploring the slab yards, she realized that she wanted a more uniform look, so we used a granite which is sealed and has anti-microbial properties built in.


The backsplash was a splurge, keeping it all white to compliment the vintage ceiling.

A balance of old and new, black and white, with red accents

I chose a dark grey paint for the walls to give it a modern edge, and black and white accents, with an awning style valance in black and white stripes, with bead fringe.


a table for two that creates a beautiful profile against the white bead board, and upholstered seats with a French script reminding us that the most important thing in life is “to love and be loved”.



Some of Patsy’s favorite things.



How to create an eating area that rivals your favorite restaurant.

  1.  Add architectural detail using beadboard, shiplap, wallpaper, hardware
  2. Add window treatments to control the light and privacy
  3. Comfortable seating is a must
  4. Make it pretty
  5. Interesting lighting
  6. Easy clean up – washable surfaces
  7. Bring in some plants or flowers
  8. Add some of your favorite things
  9. Eat at home more often spending time with family and friends.

30 Days of Gratitude…Day 4…..

Lately, I’ve been missing “home”, my little cottage abode in Sacramento.


I feel it calling me, with it’s comforting, soft colors, relaxed easy feel, and comfortable furniture.


Dining room

Home is where I have my collection of crystals, needlepoints, and wooden pieces waiting to be decoupaged.


Decoupage table using napkins


miniature fireplace using faux marbling and napkin decoupage


Mixed medium birdhouses

It’s like an old familiar friend calling me.


Old world tapestry over bed

I’m in my second year of living part-time in Hawaii, part-time in Sacramento.

Even though I’m not retired, nor am I employed by any company, I’ve had the opportunity to explore my options, make enough money to survive, and I only have my family to thank for that.


Galley Kitchen

While I’m in Hawaii my family keeps the home fires burning in Sacramento.

Wherever I am, I find ways to generate income by helping others, and selling things I’ve collected.


Radio cabinet found on road and decoupaged

Today the thought occurred to me that I would love to have a home in both places, continue to go back and forth.  Why not?  I’m already doing it.

View of living room from kitchen

I’ve not been able to make a decision, or choose between the two places, picking one over the other as my destination of choice.

And for now, I’m okay with that.

I feel so much gratitude for the family members who have allowed me to come and go.


Heart ornament on bookcase

I call in blessings to them for their generosity of Spirit, as I have been truly blessed.


Plumeria Offering

Thank you, Thank you Thank you! And So It Is!

Cottage Mavens, maybe you have family or friends that you would like to thank today.  You can offer a blessing to them on a mini-altar, give them a call, or send them a note.

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30 Days of Gratitude…Day 5….

Yes! But does it flow?

Sometimes, when you first move into a place you just want to get the furniture in  place, unpack the boxes, and start living your life.

Too many times to count, I’ve left pictures along the wall on the floor, thinking that if I hang them, something disastrous will happen, and I’ll have to move again.  I guess the act of leaving them on the floor keeps things in a temporary state, leaving me impermanent in case I need to fly the coop.

Maybe boxes get shoved into a closet to be dealt with later ( NOT).

When I finally overcame these fears (there must be some deep-seated psychological meaning to all of this) my life started to flow better, my mind became more clear, and I was able to recognize when something just didn’t feel right.


Grandson’s room in Hawaii


As I walk around a room, I can sense the awkward flow of movement when something is blocking the flow of energy.

Now the pictures get hung, or stored, or donated.

The boxes, too.

The clutter is cleared.


Bookcase was in this corner

In this room, the bookcase was sitting next to the closet, disabling the use of the large drawers near the floor.

It’s funny that now I go into other people’s houses and move the furniture.


Bookcase now sits in this corner creating better flow

At home, I had a French arm chair sitting at my personal desk.  It was pretty, but it stuck out too far and obstructed the flow of traffic when one entered through the front door.


Please excuse the mess!  Before picture with French chair.

So, I changed it. ( you can see the post where I redid my desk area here.)



Enter Happy Chair that slides under the desk easily.

Take a look around your space.

Do a walk-through.

Is there anything blocking your path?

Are there any unfinished projects sitting around?  Is there a clear path from room to room?

If not, there could be something blocking your life path.

Lay the bagua over your room to see if any area that’s blocked or cluttered coincides with the area of your life on the Bagua.


Lay the Bagua ( see photo above) over each room with the door to the room at the bottom of the page. The door of the room will fall into either the Knowledge, Career, or Helpful People area.

When I moved my chair from the desk and put an armless chair in it’s place (which fell in my Helpful People and Travel area of the Bagua) I was offered this trip to Hawaii.

When I moved the bookcase in this bedroom so that it wasn’t blocking the drawers, (also in the Helpful People and Travel area) he was offered a chance to go to boys’ camp for the Summer.

Coincidence, you may think?

I think not….

Try it, and let me know how it works for you.

Life can be so much easier when we are in the flow.

I express gratitude for the ability and understanding to keep my life flowing.

And so it is!





30 Days of Gratitude…Day 6….

How to create a loveable, livable Cottage


When creating a room to have a cottage look and feel, there are some basic elements that say “cottage”.

The home I’m staying in for the summer is a rental, that sits near the ocean.  It definitely has lots of designer touches, so I decided to shop- the- house, and give this room that everyone seems to love so much, a bit of personality.

It has the “bones” of a cottage, but not the layering to give it that homey feel.

Before picture

The walls are painted a soft gray. The white slip covered sofa is already in place, with the sisal rug, driftwood mirror, metal lamps, natural wood end tables, and a blue and white theme.

Even though this is a Beach Cottage, you can use these basic elements for your cottage no matter where you live.  Just use natural elements from your landscape and natural environment.

My daughter added the bookcase and the white desk and chair.  She calls this room the library.  The sofa, even though it’s slipcovered, makes out to a double bed to accommodate guests.

Since my sister and mom will be visiting, I wanted to take it up a notch to make them feel more comfortable, and give the room a more “inviting presence”.

Cottage Basics

1. a slipcovered sofa – preferably white, but can also be ticking fabric, or floral, even velvet will do.  Natural fabrics are a must.


2. Pillows with mixed prints and scale ( too many pillows in the same size can look over crowded). See before picture.  I love floral pillows in a cottage, too.


3. Details from Nature – blown glass, rocks, shells, metal sculptures, horns, antlers, plants.


4. Soft lighting – lamps, salt lamps, candles, and lots of flowers.


5. Bright colors ( since the room was already blue and white, I decided to introduce some pinks and turquoise). Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit with some unexpected colors!


Something personal – one of my paintings from a trip a few years ago.

6. Interesting wall art ie. vintage prints, words, wall decals


7. Simple accessories


Something hand made

8. A laid back look and feel with a place to put your feet up.


9. Natural fragrance – herbs, moss, fresh flowers.


Vintage surfer print


10. A space that says you!


A way to express Gratitude to your self, or your guests, is to make your rooms as beautiful as you would like them to feel.

Each one of us is the King or Queen of our castles, and we can live in a special happy space, and feel gratitude every day.

You’re worth it!

A few words from Sonia Choquette “The Answer is Simple” oracle card deck:

“The Spirit is a sensitive light body and is influenced by the environment it finds itself in.  Dreary, dark, messy, cluttered, un-clean surroundings send the Spirit out the door and invite the goblins and trolls of negativity to move in and camp out in the corners.

It’s time to set this right:  Open the blinds, clear the decks, paint the walls, change the lightbulbs, and decorate the atmosphere where you live. Make your environment a proper home for your Spirit. Your Spirit must dwell in  a cheerful and festive place, filled with color and live plants, fresh flowers, clean windows, and bright light.

Your Spirit is a holy guest in your body and must be treated as royalty. You wouldn’t disrespect visitors with an unwelcoming environment or expect them to dwell in your mess, and you shouldn’t disrespect your Spirit by giving it less than the tranquil setting it deserves, either.  Take the time to create a festive and bright atmosphere for your Spirit.  Be happy to welcome it home. Give it the proper surroundings, and put out the best you have to receive it.


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30 Days of Gratitude….Day 13….

What do we really have control of in our lives?


In writing about ” what is a Cottage Necessity”, I’ve emphasized being in control or being the Boss of what comes into your home.

We have a certain amount of control over what we put into our  bodies.

Unless, we grow our own food, we don’t have control over how it’s grown or how it’s packaged or transported and handled.

We do have the ability to research, read labels, and choose what chemicals go into our bodies.

We only have control in our choosing.

We can choose our friends,

how we clean our homes

what to wear

the furniture we sit on

the food we eat

the water we drink

what to watch on TV

how we spend our day

We can choose our thoughts and our words

We can choose our perception of a situation

When making a choice are we basing our choices on wisdom, reason, feeling?

How many decisions do we make out of fear?

To fight or flight?

Is that the only question, because most of our choices are based on our survival instincts pressing us to act?

Only through finding our inner stillness and developing it and nurturing it through daily practices, meditation, prayer and rituals that connect us, ground us in our presence and to our earth mother, will we be able to connect with our higher truths, and make our choosing based on centered intuitive guidance.

We can listen to our bodies when after we’ve eaten something how it makes us feel.

After we’ve cleaned the floors, is my head stuffed up and a sick feeling in my stomach?

Animals naturally avoid things that are harmful to them because they’ve developed their instincts.

Praying over food and water helps to raise the vibration.

As a child, we prayed at every meal without understanding that.

That’s why this gratitude journey is so important as we practice prayers of gratitude for 30 days so that we can form a new habit and raise the vibration of our lives and our planet.

The more we act like we have control, the less we really have.

Today I choose to become wiser by realizing that I have control over nothing but my own perception.

I am a creator and choose inner stillness as my guiding light.

In gratitude, that there is a Divine plan greater than I could ever imagine, I release all of my misperceptions of a less than beautiful life.


Today, find a corner in your home that needs brightening.

Bring in some fresh flowers.

Burn a salt lamp with some essential oils.

Add a pretty pillow or an uplifting picture.

Tell your home ” Thank you”.


Every word you speak, every thought you think, is like a prayer that you call to the Universe.

Are you calling in what you want, or what you don’t want?

Today, when a negative thought enters my mind, I will replace it with a positive affirmative thought.

I can control my thoughts and what I ask for.

30 Days of Gratitude…Day 17….

How to Simplify Home Decor


I’m no minimalist, but there are ways to simplify one’s décor through the use of a classic color scheme.


By using blue and white with neutrals, as your grounding color, your shopping will be easier, and you can easily move your items from room to room when you need to change things up a bit.


The Basics

First start with a neutral palette, choosing natural woods, neutral flooring like natural fiber rugs, or cow hide as shown above,  white walls ( look here for help in choosing white paint The low-down on choosing white paint) , white flowers or greenery.

Your fabric choices for large surfaces ie. the sofa, chairs, etc.  can be greys, camels, whites.


( Brown can work as long as your wood furniture is not brown, as too much brown can become stagnant and heavy. )



Ikat accent fabrics



Key Fabrics

When shopping for accessories blue and white abounds.

For fabrics, you can mix ombres, ikats, toiles, checks, and stripes together like a pro.


Your blue and white palette joined with warm neutrals will always look fresh and clean.


Don’t forget the metals

Be sure to bring in some metal elements with your lamps, knobs, and accessories.


Whenever you shop it will always be easy to find items that work in your color scheme.



Bring in some Natural elements

A few natural elements can add warmth and that design flair of the unexpected.


Even if you don’t have a “blue and white” thumb for decorating you can simplify your choices.


By choosing a classic color scheme like blue and white for your home, everyone will ask you who your decorator is!


I am grateful for simplicity as it allows my life to flow and leaves room for what I consider most important in my life.


And that my friends, is a Cottage Necessity!

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30 Days of Gratitude…Day 21…..


Nature’s color schemes have always fascinated me.

In Hawaii there’s certainly no lack of color.

Though I’m drawn to the softer contrasts, the blues, the greens, the neutral grays, tans, the colors of moss, and bark.



One can experience most all of the colors of the rainbow.

A woman who lives in Hawaii, who is quite intuitive, was riding her bike one day, and as she passed a large bush all abloom with big tropical flowers, she heard the flowers speak to her.

They called out to her ” Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate! 


Wherever we are, we can Celebrate natural creation in all of it’s beauty.


We can practice listening with our heart to hear the messages of our earth mother.


We can offer up prayers of gratitude to our beautiful planet, and bring her colors in to our personal environments to uplift us.

That is a Cottage Necessity.

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