I just adore this cottage and admire the woman who created it on her own.
Story courtesy of New York Times - Home and Garden
Sandra Foster turned a Catskills hunting cabin into the romantic Victorian cottage she had always wanted, using vintage columns, flooring and wavy glass windows, and doing the carpentry herself.
The cottage fulfills a dream for Ms. Foster, whose middle-class family lost their home when she was a teenager on Long Island.
The shabby-chic retreat doesn't have a bathroom or a kitchen, but it is a dream of Victoriana: stacks of Limoges china with tiny rosebud patterns; chandeliers dripping crystal; billows of tissue-paper garlands. Many of the furnishings, like the $15 chandelier hanging over the sitting area, were flea market finds.
The china closet is a study of woodworking improvisation: Ms. Foster built the shelves, then added arched French doors that she found at a yard sale for $15 each. She has been collecting Limoges china for years.
The mirror was "a strange Band-Aid color — sort of pinky orange," Ms. Foster said, when she found it at a yard sale. She bought it for $22 and painted it with Ralph Lauren's Cove Point in flat white, the same color she used on the cottage walls. For the floors, she used Benjamin Moore's China White paint.
The pantry door, hung with a sachet made by a local artist, is from the garage of Ms. Foster's previous home.
A stream runs between Ms. Foster's cottage and the trailer that she and her husband, Todd, live in. Furnishings must be lightweight enough to carry across.
Mr. Foster calls their 1971 trailer "the Groove Tube," because of its gold and avocado-green décor.
The Fosters at the trailer they share. Mr. Foster also has a retreat on the 14-acre property: a truck-size shed covered by an enormous tarp, furnished with a big-screen TV, videotapes and cooking equipment.
The sleeping loft is accessible only by ladder — which has kept Ms. Foster's husband, Todd, who has back troubles, from joining her there.
The chandelier over the bed is from Target, as is the Simply Shabby Chic by Rachel Ashwell bedding.
Ms. Foster makes flowerlike paper garlands for the cottage out of tissue paper.
Before the renovation, the cabin was originally a 9-by-10-foot box, with a porch roof supported by white willow tree trunks.
Ms. Foster extended the porch, replaced the tree trunks with vintage columns (which cost $60 each) and painted the house green and white.
The porch: a triumph of salvage. The vintage door has its original paint, plus gingerbread trim. Ms. Foster made the window box from salvaged wood, then glued on garlands from doityourselfchic.com. The step (also a tool drawer) is topped with wood from a bench pulled from the creek. Flooring was salvaged from partly rotting boards in a previous house. The chair: $5 at a flea market.
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