Archive | July, 2011

Building on inspiration

31 Jul

If you’re a regular reader, you may remember my niece, Meghan’s wall of embroidery hoops — I saw this the other day and thought it was a brilliant “build” on the idea to use them as bulletin boards.

Creating drama with curtains

30 Jul

The color blue keeps pulling me in lately — I fear that my entire house may end of being some shade of blue if I’m not careful. Combined with the ceiling-hung approach, these slate blue curtains really add a lot of drama and visual interest to the room and I love the way the color is also picked up in the coffee-table ottoman and sofa pillows.

Wordy double-seater

29 Jul

I love all the typographic elements that are coming into play in interior design. This settee is the first time I’ve seen it brought into furniture in this way. Fun − and wouldn’t this be a great way to contemporize a flea market find??



We can make this!

28 Jul

I love seeing cute craft projects which inspire me to make something.  This little wreath is so cute and would be so easy to make.  I think it could even be done with photos — either as the paper or behind each of the little hearts. So sweet. 

Italian design

27 Jul

I snapped a couple of pics walking past this Italian furniture shop and I just have to say that the Italians really know what they’re doing when it comes to design innovation.  It may not be everyone’s style but if you’re looking for something fresh and new, a good place to start is Italian design. 

Writing a letter of interest

26 Jul

I’ve written before about the fact that Tilly’s Cottage was not on the market when I bought it.  I was unsuccessful in a bid for the house two-doors down.  I first put a letter through the mail slot in the door of the abandoned house which I now call home but don’t live in way back on February 21st, 2010. Because the house hadn’t been lived in for more than 10 years, the owners didn’t stop by to pick up random post from strangers wanting to buy their home that often so it wasn’t until June that the handshake happened.

While not for everyone, I think there’s no harm in putting in a letter of interest (or working with your Realtor to do so) on a house that’s not on the market.  I thought it might be helpful to include the body of my letter in a post.  I decided that a handwritten note would get more attention but I typed it out first to make sure I selected my words carefully.  I was also pretty sensitive to the fact that my last name screams that I’m not Irish so I was conscious that I didn’t want to come off as disrespectful. One last thing that I was told by Irish friends and that is that the down market creates a lot of investment buyers so it would be important to tell the current owners that it was a home for me to live in — versus simply an investment purchase. I guess this did the trick…

“Dear Sir / Madam:

I hope this doesn’t seem inappropriate but I am writing because I am interested in buying a home in this area to live in.  I recently viewed a home in your area but it had already been sold to another party. 

If you’re considering selling your home, please contact me as I’m in a financial position to buy.

Best wishes and thanks for your consideration. “

Happy 1st Anniversary to Tilly’s Cottage!

25 Jul

Today is the one-year anniversary of this blog – yay! The site started out as a means of capturing all my design loves in one place (just for me to help keep me organized and to be my digital brain) and also to share my house renovations with family & friends in the States.  (Here’s a link to my first POST!)

I never imagined that the site would ever attract any visitors beyond me and my mother so thanks to all of you for reading, posting comments, sharing ideas and giving your constant moral support on my very challenging renovation project.  Even if I ever “finish” the house, I hope to keep writing and sharing because you all have made it so much fun.  xo, Amy (& Tilly)

A new twist on a futon

22 Jul

Karup Sofa Beds offer some trendy space-saving futon sofa-sleeper solutions with a fresh new look.  These versatile little numbers would be great for a college apartment, vacation home, guest room or teenager’s room. 



An easy bathroom shelf solution

21 Jul

Here’s one that looks fairly simple and easy to do — add a shelf to the back of an old picture frame.  Use your best distressed paint technique and voilà − great shelf for the bathroom.  Also, a quick hello to my sister, Brandee, to wish her a very happy birthday.

From charity shop to your home

20 Jul

I saw this sneak peek on Design Sponge and it reminded me of a great sideboard I saw at Oxfam Home charity shop. 

There are so many great finds out there and it’s very environmentally friendly to upcycle versus buy new — so make sure you check out your local charity shops!  I know my mom and I used to love going to the Goodwill on Burnside in Northwest Portland when she was living out in Oregon.  It always had lots of fun little trinkets and furniture just looking for a bit of love.