Rochelle & Rob's Country Cottage

House Tour

Name: Rochelle & Rob - Meredith (8), Isaac (5), Chuck & Lyle (cats) plus 8 chickens (Bones, Glinda, Precious, Chloe, Daphne, Mutmee, Scoob and Dooby) and 2 turkeys (Chrissy and Tank)
Location: Harvard, Massachusetts
Size: 2200 square feet on 6 acres
Years lived in: Owned for 6 and a half years

Over six years ago when we arrived here from England this place was interesting, but dark and dated. Every wall in the house was painted 'England Skies Grey' (my term) and having come off 4 years of that dreariness, we needed to open it up and brighten a bit.

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We started with the kitchen, spending weeks ripping off disgusting tile counter tops bit by bit (there were literally 3 layers of tile and concrete backer board each applied separately with adhesive and screws every 4 inches!). When we finished the mini kitchen makeover we lead on to ripping out carpets, replacing and refinishing flooring where needed, painting and decorating. And though we have not structurally changed anything (yet), now, every corner of this place has been touched (but as with all older houses, we are by no means done).

Then there is the outside. The grounds were in an extreme state of neglect and as a landscape designer, it was unbearable and embarrassing to drive up the driveway. It has taken 6 years of moving and re-moving (including a major set back in 2009 with the ice storm that killed about 40 trees and made it looked like we were in a war zone). In total nearly 80 trees have been removed but we finally have a house that doesn't get roof damage (falling limbs) every time it rains. And things have opened up enough so that our house isn't constantly covered in mold, and we have a flourishing garden which we are finally (this year) able to starting plant things in (rather than removing them). It is still a major work in progress, but at least now I can have some fun at the nursery. Yeah!!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

OUR Style: Cheap, Cozy, Eclectic, Funky Travel-inspired

Inspiration: The house was built in 1940 -- and it seems to cry out for furnishings that reflect that general period, so we do our best to go with that.

Favorite Element: Our house hugs the land and the few interior steps that we have represent the way the rock formations lie beneath. It makes the house feel just right for the place.

Biggest Challenge: The living room is odd shaped (long and narrow) with entries that make furniture placement tricky. Also, the kitchen is essentially a hallway - that doubles as the funnel from one side of the house to the other. We hope to 'fix' that someday.

What Friends Say: They like how unique and cozy it is.

Biggest Embarrassment: The constant piles of folded and unfolded laundry (that are just outside of nearly every picture).

Proudest DIY: The coffee table (though it is not done) - we re-worked our son's crib to create it (the mattress below has been recovered and is our cat's favorite sleep spot). It still needs a finish on the top and a complete stain or paint job (we are still undecided what color/ stain and top finish we should create), but it is very useable and perfect for our house. (And it put to good use the impossible to ditch baby mattress).

Biggest Indulgence: Our Bed (which is a lovely pile of comfort, but sorry, I just didn't want to share it).

Best Advice: Figure it out as you go -- don't try and do everything at once.

Dream Sources: The long list of local consignment stores that we regularly peruse. And craigslist.

Resources of Note:
Rugs and Carpets: Various travels and Mohr and McPherson
Window Treatments: All Handmade (by me). Fabric from Artee and Calico Corner.
Beds: Vintage - except for ours which is from Mohr and McPherson.
Paint: Benjamin Moore
Furniture: Mitchell Gold, Ikea, Craigslist, Ebay, Antiques, Homemade
Accessories: Found vintage pieces and hand me downs.
Lighting: Original to house, Ikea and Antiques.

LIVING ROOM

    • Sofa - Both from Mitchell Gold
    • Shelves from Ikea
    • Curtain Fabric From Calico Corner

DINING ROOM

    • Table - Ikea

KITCHEN

    • Spice Canisters at The Container Store

BATHROOMS

    • Yellow bathroom - Wall decals from Velocity Art and Design
    • Grey Bathroom - Pictures from Ikea.

GARDEN

    • Pavers reclaimed from Worcester, MA City Square Project.
    • Fireplace - custom design collaboration by myself (Rochelle) and Justin Morine of Minute Man Ironworks in Ayer, MA

It's been fun to put this together for you! -- Rochelle (aka - The Gardenist)

Images: Rochelle Greayer

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