Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Taking a timeout...

On summer break with the family.
Will return to blogging, later in August.
Until then, you can find me on Facebook and Instagram.
Thanks so much for stopping by.

Much Love,

Friday, May 31, 2013

Dream Big

Happy Friday!  I can hardly believe tomorrow is the first day of June and that Summer break from school is upon us!  I've been busy trying to get the house in order for summer, rearranging the furniture (again!)  My home sometimes reminds me of my childhood dollhouse, only on a full size scale!  A favorite pastime was constantly rearranging that little house.

Back in February, I had the pleasure of working with the talented Janet Coon
on a photo shoot of my home, Oak Tree Cottage.  It has always been a big dream, to have my home featured in a publication and I welcomed the opportunity to learn some tricks of the trade!  It is also quite something to see your home through someone else's eye, or in this case camera lens! 8 hours, several dozen roses and countless photo's later, I can fully appreciate the work that goes into creating a magazine spread. I promised to share the photo's with you, so here they are!

I want to thank Lotus Publishing for featuring my home in two of their beautiful magazines, Shabby Style (France) and Vivere Country (Italy).  
Unfortunately, these magazines are only available in Europe but if you can get your hands on a copy, I highly recommend it.  They truly are inspiring, beautiful publications.

Also, a big thank you to Janet Coon for her talent & friendship.  Inspiring me to stay true to my personal style.  

And to my family and friends, for flowers, flea market trips and support of my undying love of all things shabby and decorating quirks.

Oh how I wish my tv (framed above the fireplace) was white!

My Shanty Jack, a gift from Sherry Hicks, as a tablecloth

Among my many flea market/estate sale finds, my shabby, tattered, $1.00 hat that I adore

Little treasures and my dining room

Our wild, Southern garden and yes, our chickens!  Moxie loved her 5 minutes of fame, too

Our beloved front porch.  Love sitting here, watching the world go by.
And some of my handmade pieces, including my original art.

 I had to put my school girl French into practice to read the article!


Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend and happy hunting at the markets, estate sales and shops.

Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo Drena

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New York Inspiration

I recently had the treat of sneaking away, with a dear friend, to New York City for the weekend.  Enjoyed lots of delicious food and drink and tried to fit in visits to some of my favorite spots.  Needless to say, my Shabby Chic TOMS got a good work out, running all over the city.  There is just so much to see and take in Sensory overload!  Yet, the individual sense of style, expressed by so many in this amazing city, is probably what inspired me the most. I have included a couple of my favorite things below.  I hope you enjoy and find some inspiration!  
Thank you for stopping by.
xoxo Drena

Blessed Mother at Trinity Church

Warmer colours and a beautiful Laurence Amelie painting, downstairs at Shabby Chic Couture in SoHo

Shabby Chic Couture in Soho.  There were a lot more natural, rustic tones than in previous years.

Waterford Crystal Chandeliers at The St. Regis New York, the ultimate in opulence.

Best Champagne Truffles, hands down.  If you are ever in Rockefeller Plaza, you must stop in!

Window at Shabby Chic Couture in SoHo.  Love the purple velvet!

Glitzy window at Tiffany & Co.

Amazing mixture of art!  The ultimate faux painting

Still my favorite thing about Shabby Chic, the ability to create marshmallow beds.  I am in LOVE with the oversized pillow!

Waterford Crystal Chandeliers line the hallways at The St. Regis New York.  You can never have too many chandys!

Still a lot of squishy and white at Shabby Chic Couture SoHo. And LOTS of Florentine!

I adore Shabby Chic Fabrics.  So versatile to mix and match.

The St. Regis New York (as seen from the rooftop of The Pennisula Hotel) Love old New York Architecture

My living room on a gray afternoon

Pretty Little Things

Shabby Chic Couture SoHo, Spring '13

Simple blues, greens and whites for dinner table setting

St. Paul's Chapel, across from Ground Zero.  Pastels and chandeliers...

Some more Gatsby glamour in the windows at Tiffany & Co.

I feel so honored to have my home featured in these two beautiful magazines.  Really a dream come true <3

Such excitement when approaching this amazing city...

A gorgeous Italian Chandelier in Sophia's, Little Italy.

My mother-in-law made this pendant for me from 2 vintage beads (1920's art deco, Italian glass) I found in my garden.  Love wearing a little piece of history from my home. x

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Creating a Romantic Home ~ some before & after's

Growing up, I moved around quite a bit.  I have lived in homes of all shapes and sizes, here in the States and in Australia.  This allowed me to create and decorate many spaces over the years, before I finally purchased my dream home in 2011.  I was also raised in a family that frequented flea markets and garage sales.  I learned early on, how to make my money stretch, to create a home based on the styles that inspired me.  Decorating books/magazines, friends/family, movies, television and the web were full of beautiful ideas that I longed to aspire to.  I recently had a dream come true, when my home was photographed by the talented Janet Coon, for the French magazine "Shabby Style".  You can see some of the beautiful shots here on Janet's amazing blog

In light of this recent, proud achievement, I wanted to share with you some early pictures of our home, Oak Tree Cottage.  Most of you know what it looks like now, but this wasn't accomplished over night or with an unlimited budget.  Even now, 2 years later, our home is a constant work in progress, with paint and new pieces coming and going.  My amazing, online friends continue to inspire me with their talent and beautiful homes (as seen in the blogs I follow) And my family continues to make frequent trips to flea markets and estate sales with me. I really enjoy the hunt for new treasures and hope to sell some of my finds and creations on etsy in the near future. I hope by seeing these "before" pictures, I can inspire others to have fun with their homes and hit those markets, thrift stores and sales!
No matter what your home or budget is like, you can create a cozy and inviting space to share with your family and friends. Your home doesn't have to be perfect and I always encourage originality and individuality in design.  Home should be that safe place you long to spend time in and create lasting memories.  The time and effort are well worth the reward of hearing that you have a cozy home.  Thank you for stopping by.  I know I don't post as regularly as I should but I will try to get better!  Have a beautiful week! Enjoy!
xoxo Drena

The living room before lots of white paint! I tried to live with all the dark wood but gave in a few months ago.  Craftsman bungalow and dark wood lovers are silently cursing me, lol

The kitchen sold me on this house (farm sink & pink granite!) and is the one room I haven't changed.

Of course, I may still paint the walls white...

The original 1925 wood floors, molding, doors & windows were a HUGE bonus

The dining room, one of the last rooms I completed, and one of my favorites

My workspace/prop room/storage space, now a soothing sea green instead of mustard yellow, lol

My son's room (it's the largest!) Had to pull carpet, to reveal wood floors. I allow him some tween privacy and design, so you won't see any after pics of this room. (It's olive green & looks like a Young Indiana Jones lives in there!)

Our master bedroom.  The back of the room was added in the 1950's, hence the crazy shape but I fell in love with those windows.  On the wishlist, a new ceiling & refinishing the "orange" floor.

The only full bath.  It is functional (for now) but we hope to remodel it someday

It was a jungle out there!! And the carport is now our "barn", another work in progress.

The oak tree offers too much shade for grass, hence we added lots of rock paths, flowerbeds and the stone fire pit patio.  Not to mention 2 chicken coops and a flock of chickens. Still working on a veggie garden.

Oak Tree Cottage est. 1925.  It took nine months to buy this house but it was so worth the wait!
Photos courtesy & property of Janet Coon

Photos courtesy & property of Janet Coon