About 6 months ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Kim from Savvy Southern Style, asked me to participate in her weekly series "My Favorite Room." I was thrilled to be featured and I'm sharing the post on the blog today just in case you missed it or perhaps you are new here. So here it is.....my favorite room!
My husband and I live in a small, country cottage in South Carolina that is about 100 years old. It was built by his grandfather, after whom he is named, and he grew up in this house. Five years ago, the house stood empty, and we decided to move into it as we were downsizing and simplifying our lives. My favorite room in this house is the living room which you step right into when you enter our home. It's my favorite room because it's filled with memories, sentimental gifts, and things we've collected over the years. And it was in this room that I first met Leo's big, boisterous family when they had all gathered to celebrate his father's 80th birthday 21 years ago. This room has a story to tell about our family and has been a haven for so many people, including us. So there's a real sense of history in this room and that's why I love it so.
The first thing that you see when you enter this room is this corner piece that holds a collection of sweetgrass baskets. The baskets are indigenous to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and are a reminder of the many wonderful years when Leo and I lived there. We found the iron and pine piece at an antique store in Charleston. All of the baskets were handmade and some of them were given to me by parents of students that I taught in Mt. Pleasant. They are real treasures.
On the wall beside the sweetgrass baskets is a print by one of my favorite Low country artists of a cottage on a marsh. I guess I've always been drawn to cottages.
On the left is a red music cabinet that I painted last year and our sofa. When we first moved here, we pulled up the carpet and discovered these wonderful old pine floors. We had them refinished and painted the walls, ceiling, and fireplace white to better serve as a canvas for our colorful furnishings.
The acoustical tile ceiling has been up in this room as long as Leo remembers and it absorbed 6 coats of paint! He thinks that there may be a beadboard ceiling above it, and we hope to one day pull down the tiles to expose it.
Along one wall, there is a pine chest surrounded by our comfortable chairs and ottomans which is where you'll find us sitting most of the time. Leo remembers sitting in about this same spot when he watched the Beatles' first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show as well as witnessing Jack Ruby shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald on live TV. If you're old enough to remember, that happened just a couple days after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
Here's a little closeup of one of my new pillows in my chair. Like Kim, I love pillows and ticking!
This room contains a lot of art, and this one above the media cabinet is one that Leo's mother colored over 50 years ago. We found it in the storage building and moved it inside as a reminder of her.
When you see it from a distance, it appears to be a tapestry but it was done with colored pencils and the colors have not faded over time. Leo remembers his mother completing it while she was recuperating from cancer treatments when he was a child. She did it all while sitting at the dining room table.
On the loveseat, there are more pillows in some of my favorite fabrics of ticking, toile, and grain sacks.
And speaking of pillows, this one on the sofa has vegetables on it and was my birthday gift from Leo last year because I love to garden.
And the lamp on this round table was a gift from Leo years ago. I had seen it in an antique shop and he surprised me with it. I love the intricate detail on it.
Above the chest is another favorite piece of art that we found in Georgetown, SC. I guess I've always been an admirer of English cottage gardens!
Behind the loveseat is a sofa table holding an antique dough bowl and some lanterns.
The bowl was given to me by an elderly gentleman many years ago. He said that no one in his family wanted it but that he knew that I would keep it and treasure it. Each season I change out the display, and right now, it has a summer look.
Some wooden dividers separate this part of the room from the dining room. We had some very similarly looking ones in the farm house I grew up in!
It a perfect place to display a variety of family photos, books, and collectibles.
Above one divider is a photo of the old log cabin at Windhams Crossroads that dates back to the Civil War. On the left is Leo's grandfather who built this house along with his great-grandfather and other family members. I feel a real connection to the past by thinking about how many family members have sat in this very room over the years.
Well, I might as well show you the dining room too because it's really all one room which is so unusual for homes built long ago.
On top of the corner cabinet is a collection of jugs and old pottery. The table is set simply for a supper composed of mostly vegetables. That's what we've been eating all summer.
All of the vegetables in the basket were grown in our garden. One of the first things that we did after retiring and moving here was to start a vegetable garden.
And we've become known as the People with the Vegetable Garden around here and in Blogland! It is in this chair that I sit and communicate with so many of you with Rascal perched on the back. Can you imagine how many stories could be told if only these walls could talk!
You are such an inspiration to me as I have hit that point in my life where I am single and looking to change things up a bit in my home. I just finished my deck, exactly as you and Leo did yours! Thank you! Lots more to do but it is so fun! You encourage me... it works too!!! I am also putting in stone pathways in my backyard, a fireplace with outdoor living room, arbor, gardens, more decks.....it's great! Keep up the great work and fun with your blog. I love it. I'm a southern girl too, so you have some great history in your home. Keep doing beautiful things!!!! Blessings! Anna
What a LOVELY room! 🙂 Found your blog looking for inspiration for my living room. 🙂
Thanks for your visit and your sweet comment, Sybil!
You have a lovely home - so warm, comfortable & inviting. I love how you have incorporated all the things that are truly meaningful to you & your family. You've done a great job of decorating your cottage. Thanks for sharing,
I just found your blog and toured your lovely home with you! Thank you so much for the stories and the hospitality! You truly have a treasure in such a deep family history and also in leaving even more wonderful memories for the generations which follow!
Your home is wonderful -- and all the places you mention! I used to know them all well. It has been several years since we have been over in that area. A couple of dear friends live in Mt. Pleasant (when they are not in Surfside). I wonder if you know each other!
I just love your home, Jane. The colors and style are so welcoming and pretty!
ooooh! I can see why it's your favorite room. It's beautiful and I love how subtle the décor is but how bright and airy it is too. Love to hear that there is meaning behind pieces, makes it so much more special!
Jane, I loved seeing this again! What a wonderful history and heritage of your cottage ♥
Thanks so much, Mary! The house holds so many memories for the whole family.
Love your room, it means so much when its things you have collected. I love to travel and bring home new things. I'm on the hunt for anew living room picture, we just ordered a new chair, the recliner is just about wore out. It's been years since we have up dated. Were retired now so no big budget for decorating.
We would like to see more rooms.
I feel so blest to have known and loved some of the people that have lived in that cottage and so happy to know that you and Leo are now making it your home. It has always been a special place but you have exerted your vast talent and energy to make it truly enchanting.
That is a wonderful room and such wonderful history,thank you so much for sharing all you have with us it is great to hear about your extended family.
It's amazing how many people this small house can hold when we all get together, Marlene!
Love the room and learning about the history of your home. I have to say that I am addicted to your radio stream, it plays constantly on my iPad when I'm at home!!!!!
So glad to hear that you're enjoying the radio station, Anita! It's all we listen to! LOL!
Hey, this is right up my alley! I love this room and it makes your lovely things extra special to know the history behind them. Love the ticking/toile pillows too~~I think I need to drag out my sewing machine and get busy...heehee. Oh, I thought those baskets were pine needle baskets like what we have in my neck of the woods, they're wonderful!
Denise, I think some pine needles are used in making the sweetgrass baskets, too. How wonderful to have a sewing machine to sew up your own pillows. A good friend of mine makes mine.
Its like coming home, especially for Leo. I love your blog. Reminds me of my mom when she lived in Colorado. The colorful house, veggie & flower gardens. Kathleen in Az p.s. Rascal is like our Tiger too, sitting over you. Even our little dog.
Sometimes late at night I have a kitty on my lap and one on the back of the chair with our dog on the floor beside me while I'm on the computer. Of course, they're all asleep!
No wonder it's your favorite room. I love it. Where did you get the pillow with the ticking on the edges? Did you make it?
Debbie, a good friend of mine made the pillow for me. We are in the process of redoing our shop on the blog and we will carry some items that she is making for us including pillows and ruffled stool covers. If there is a particular color that you'd like, let me know!
Your house is so lovely...I'm glad you told us about the history...amazing!
Thanks so much, Mary Ann! This house has sheltered so many different members of our family over the years. It would be interesting to compile a list of people who have lived here. That sounds like a good, family project!
Thanks for sharing a room in your home. It looks so warm and inviting. Enjoyed seeing all the art pieces too.
Kris @ Junk Chic Cottage
I remember your fave room over at Kim's. It was fun to see it posted here again. The room if full of charm and cozy and bright. Very pretty.
Kris, one of the reasons we painted most of the surfaces white when we moved in was to lighten and brighten everything. Plus, a lot of our furnishings already had a lot of color in them so it helped to unify everything. Thanks for visiting!
Your favorite room is so comfortable, Jane. I love all your collections and I'm glad you shared it again. Have a great weekend!
Thanks so much Kim! The room is cozy and comfort ranks high on our list of importance! Thanks so much for allowing me to share it with your readers!
Suzy @ Worthing Court
What a wonderful, wonderful room! I love every single thing about it. Thank for sharing a bit of the great history of your home. I'm would be DYING to see if there really is a beadboard ceiling behind the tiles! I hope you are able to take a look one day.
Suzy, we would be so delighted if we found that there was a beadboard ceiling! I would guess that Leo's parents had the tiles installed back in the 70s when they were the newest and most modern thing! That was probably the same time that they covered all the hardwood floors with carpet!