Patricia's Whimsical Cottage

House Tour

Name: Ray and Patricia Hamm
Location: Llano, Texas
Size: 2,100 square feet
Years lived in: 12 years

Money is no object when it comes to decorating Patricia’s house. That’s because it doesn’t matter if she has money or not, she will find a way to make her home fantastic. Living in the small town of Llano does not afford the luxury of big city shopping, but it does inspire creativity. Patricia has a knack for sniffing out bargains, hunting down treasures throughout central Texas and transforming junk into jewels.

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We first noticed her charming green house when it was painted pink, or was it yellow? The exterior has changed several times over the years, but it is always thoughtfully adorned with a smidge of whimsy. The front door of Patricia’s house is painted bright pink with a giant set of clock hands attached to it (for no reason but fun). The outdoor sitting area is decked out with polka dotted cushions, a black chandelier, and a painted mirror.

Patricia is fearless when it comes to DIY decorating and is likely to act on an idea the minute it grabs her (hence, the pink living room walls). One day she got so tired of her grass cloth walls that she painted one room bright pink and the other in monochromatic gray stripes. She taped off horizontal lines without bothering to measure and mixed various shades of gray with leftover paint. Another time, she ran into Marshall’s to use the restroom and came out five minutes later with a mirrored dresser found marked down. Did we mention that her husband Ray is very understanding?

Patricia, the owner of Whimseys antique boutique, shops estate sales almost every weekend to find goodies, keeping some of the best for herself. Because she is always discovering new materials and pieces, the ideas never stop coming and her home is a constantly changing work in progress. We were amazed at her ingenuity and resourcefulness in the way she arranges her found objects into artful displays. She garners collections of ordinary things like toy shovels, doll heads, tarnished trophies, and croquet balls into extraordinary centerpieces. The end result is a home that is vibrant, full of personality, and just a little bit cheeky.

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AT Survey:

My style: Fun. Work with what you have. Don't get caught up in a style. Just because it doesn't work for someone else, doesn't mean it won't work for you.

Inspiration: Magazines and my friends homes.

Favorite Element: Windows. Each room has at least two. All the bedrooms have three or more. Many windows are double or triple.

Biggest Challenge: There is not a lot of wall space because of the windows.

Biggest Embarrassment: I haven't touched the second bathroom.

Proudest DIY: Doing the den walls. They were wood paneling. I just bought a box of mud, went to the garage and found a trowel, and started filling the seams and giving the wall some texture. I then faux finished the walls.

Biggest Indulgence: Granite countertops in the kitchen.

Best advice: I do a little decorating on the side and most of the people want it to look great all at once. Don't wait until you can afford the expensive sofa, chair, rug, etc. Work with what you have. Start today. Don't be afraid to do the work yourself if you can't afford to have it done. You might surprise yourself.

Resources:

Appliances: Frigidaire Professional Series Stainless

Hardware: Target, on clearance!

Furniture & Accessories:
Living room - Grey chairs and mirrored side tables from Target (on sale), large picture frames from the trash with art pallets from garage sales, mirrored chest from Marshalls ($299), black concrete urns from Whimseys (my shop), china cabinet from my grandmother, all white porcelain collection from garage sales over time, trophy collection from garage sales and Whimseys.

Dining room - Glass top table from the White Settlement Sale held in Austin once a year ($125), hot pink chairs from Marshall‘s ($165), silver plate collection bought at various garage sales, mid-century buffet ($10) from estate sale and painted black, vintage wheeled table base from Warrenton antique market ($60). The glass table top was free from somebody at an antique sale. They said “take it” and I did!

Master bedroom - Black leather chairs from Target on clearance ($100 each), night stands from Hobby Lobby ($13 each 80% off), chest of drawers from a garage sale and painted black ($20). I don't like a lot of stuff in the bedroom and prefer it to be spacious.

Guest Bedroom - Antique chest inherited from my great grandmother, antique leather trunk ($25) from garage sale, architectural piece from Warrenton antique market ($75). I collected the old metal beach shovels at various garage sales because I love a collection of anything!

Second Guest Bedroom - I love the antique armoire ($400) and so does everyone else. People keep asking to buy it when I get tired of it. The child’s Sunday school bench at the foot of the bed was $2 at a church rummage sale and the old glass sign I bought at a local shop ($25).

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Lighting: Living and dining room chandeliers from estate sales (one is spray painted hot pink), living room lamps from Marshall’s ($29 each).

Flooring: Original hardwoods.

Rugs and Carpets: Living room rug on clearance at Target, zebra rug from Round Top antique market (yeah, it’s real and cost $1200), brown shag rug from Target on clearance 75% off.

Window Treatments: Grey linen drapes from Pottery Barn Outlet ($5 each).

Beds: Black platform bed from Rooms To Go($399), iron bed in guest room from a garage sale ($125). I bought the other antique bed at an auction and had to bring it home in the back of a Cadillac. Always take a pickup when antique shopping.

Artwork: Paintings in kitchen and den are done by my good friend, Linda Wallace. I love her artwork. The nudes in the bathroom were bought at a church rummage sale (love the irony).

(Thanks, Patricia!)

Photos by Misty Adair

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