Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Enchanted Tale of the French Country Cottage

French Country Cottage
Its a brand new book detailing what is a most romantic fixer upper fairy tale . 
 A real life fairy tale that took place in today's world...
One that happened slowly over a handful of years as a young mother and wife bought a 
run down abandoned home with her husband in a small California town.   
I've watched much of it first hand as I became friends with Courtney Allison
 in the blogging world when we both began in 2010.  
She with her French Country Cottage blog and I with Maison Decor.
  We shared a love for romantic French decor
 and for creating spaces with our own hands, sharing on our blogs what
was born out of visions of what could be, instead of what was there.

Courtney's cottage was rundown and tiny, but bit by bit she renovated rooms such 
to the delight of her blog followers.  All of us French Country Cottage readers swooned over
 her choices, like when she put a huge French armoire in a small bathroom 
and filled it with towels, and then swooned some more when she added wallpaper in
 a pretty floral design and then hung an old gilded chandelier to put it over the top. 
 Her choices are always inspired and unique, as Courtney is truly an original.
 We found inspiration from each remodeling project as she created her dream home.  
In her new book, you will see how she added to what was there, 
and the changes they made.  The enormous fireplace is original 
and was flanked by small windows, which now have been replaced
with glamorous French doors, adding to the romance of the space and 
allowing access to the garden spaces she created for outdoor living.
The dining room is an area that is actually part of the living room, 
and in her book, Courtney shows how she made defined spaces. 
 It was fascinating to see more of her cottage
 than we get to see on her blog, also "French Country Cottage".
Now I could finally see that she did indeed live in a cottage,
 and these various "rooms" were actually located in one large space in the old cottage.  
Tips on how to combine living spaces are just some of what you will find in the book. 
The book is divided neatly into categories with the interior and exterior spaces
laid out, and her out buildings such as the  extra cottage and a new greenhouse.
But lets talk about the outdoor spaces, shall we?
This English feeling sitting area by an enormous Lion fountain is 
so incredible!  Talk about creating a memorable space!!
Courtney always finds such fantastic pieces to make a statement, 
that you cannot help to start hunting on Craigslist to search for your very own 
Lion fountain, or huge gilded mirror, or marble topped tables or fancy chandeliers.
Her outdoor spaces are truly magical, and there is one I aspire to create for myself. 
 The pergola building has an incredible stone fireplace Courtney and her husband 
made themselves.  I recall many years ago emailing with her about her Pergola 
after a storm destroyed the first one she had standing.  I was devastated for her.  
But of course she got it rebuilt and carried on with her can-do spirit.
 I was in love with the outdoor spaces she created, as they are full of the 
rustic romantic style I am attracted to. 
 My own yard has several "outdoor rooms",  but none quite as glorious as hers.  
Building an outdoor fireplace and then a room around it, is on my list for sure!
I have been bugging hubs for two years now to build me one with our big granite blocks,
and now that I have this book in my lap, I may just need one made from these 
rounded river rocks instead. Courtney tells how they built it from scratch.
Her home is loaded with romantic details, from the daybed in the attic
 to the pretty bedrooms and amazing kitchen spaces!
 Decorating ideas abound in this pretty book.
They were lucky to have another tiny home on the property that was also rehabbed.
This cottage is left in a more rustic and original state, but none the less, Courtney 
remodeled it with the same romantic French style using old painted furniture 
and gilded mirrors and of course, old crystal chandeliers.

 Courtney shares her journey and how she became braver with each step she took finding
her own unique style as she remodeled her rundown cottage.  It is a tale I could relate to, and 
a remarkable journey I have so enjoyed watching on her blog.  You can keep up with Courtney
 on her blog located right here on my blogroll (in the right hand sidebar area).

 I am quite sure after you read this book,
you will feel there is nothing you can't do with your own home, 
no matter its condition or size.
Just stick to your vision and bring it to life, one chandelier at a time.
Lastly, this book has easily just become one of my top favorite decor books.
When I heard she was writing a book, I couldn't have been more excited to get a copy.
It arrived a few days ago, and I couldn't put it down! I have already started reading it again
and pouring through those beautiful photographs of Courtney's home.
Simply put, its beauty and inspiration and attainable house goals all rolled into one.

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  1. Amy!! What an absolutely kind and sweet post!! Thank you so much!! You are one of the first bloggers I met here in blogland and I absolutely fell in love with your style and home and you- and felt a kindred connection on so many of the things that we love. I am so thrilled that you enjoyed the book and thankful for your friendship! xo

  2. I so love Courtney's stories of her French Country Cottage. Her home is truly a labor of love and she brought the soul of the house back to a vibrant, living and breathing work of art. So happy that she fulfilled her dream and shares her talents and the results of her dreams into this fabulous book!

  3. I couldn't agree more together with your takeaway.

  4. I too have been following Courtney and am actually going to stock her book here in Australia in my store once I get my hands on it in October. I've actually looked through the book and it is absolutely divine. Thanks for sharing!


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