I am sure many of you feel the same about mixing elements to create a home that is a reflection of things you love most. To me, finding new ways to display items of the past and loving them, thinking about the people who may have used them before, and dreaming of all these things is what being a romantic is all about.
The sun was shining today, the first time in several weeks of snow, rain and ice, and it created a wonderful ambience just barely slipping in through the blinds.
I have always felt that layering lots of vintage textiles creates a romantic, vintage cottage feeling. I use two antique chenille blankets on my bed and cover a long bench at the foot of the bed with a vintage matelasse bedspread. My husband created the headboard from an old flea market door. It's one of my favorite things.
Layering beautiful clothing items like lacy prairie gowns, knitted scarves, shawls, leather gloves with delicate pearl beads and linens also creates a romantic cottage feeling.
In my last post I showed you my recent table makeovers, where once again I was reminded to never underestimate the power of paint, but when it comes to creating cottage romance, never underestimate the power of lighting either! I use little Christmas lights and primitive light sets all over the house year round. They always create the softest ambient lighting and cast lovely shadows. I wanted so badly to have a fireplace when we built the new attic bedroom but there was no way to do it. Because it is an attic room, space was limited, so I settled for this vintage stove painted white and filled with white lights. I love the reflection on the wall, almost lace-like in appearance.
I do have a tip when it comes to using light sets--- Never use LED lights if you want to create a soft, vintage glow. The lights are too bright, almost blue.
And of course, there are always candles burning. Always, always always.
To me, romance isn't always about the love between two people. Sometimes its the dream, the dream of beautiful things, places, people, and maybe the hope of a romance for someone waiting to find that special someone. I dream of France, and the flea markets there, where romantic treasures call my name!
Anything French always seems to add cottage romance.
When I think of a romantic cottage, trunks, travel cases and stacked luggages come to mind. They evoke that same nostalgic feeling of romance, of travel to exotic and beautiful places, of a special rendevous...
Dress forms and mannequins decked in vintage clothing, wedding dresses and jewelry and baubles reminds one of a more beautiful, romantic era in fashion.
I display the top of my wedding suit in our bedroom instead of packing it way in storage. I love displaying pearls all around the cottage, but especially on this mannequin. I don't obsess over having them lay just perfect. I prefer some things to look perfectly imperfect, as real life is never perfect, but beautiful nonetheless.
More layers of jewlery, junk, lace, vintage yarn, chippy mirrors...vintage romance.
Everything here is dear to my heart. Many items were handmade by me using vintage treasures from my grandmother's attic. Some items are gifts, some are special junkin' finds. Using sentimental items creates cottage romance.
The use of vintage sheet music, silver jewelry boxes, perfume in beautiful bottles, vintage cameos, pearls, hankies and rhinestones can always create a romantic vignette.
Silver plate and vintage bling...let me count the ways how I love thee...
I look for romance in the smallest details, especially when selecting vintage jewelry, such as the ones shown here: a brooch depicting a scene of courting lovers, a lovely rose, a fair lady in a beautiful hat, interspersed with pearls, rhinestones, and vintage stones of all kinds. Tiny dried carnations from a sentimental gift bouquet add more romance. Of course, no romantic cottage is complete without flowers, whether fresh, dried or pressed, silk or handmade. Back in the fall I showed you how I used an old salvaged architectural porch piece as a ladder for displaying dried flowers:Architectural Salvage Ladder
I used to be completely opposed to silks, but with a little creativity they can be beautiful too.
I created this bouquet using vintage brooches, hankies, lace and pearls from the flea market and estate sales.
I think it is very romantic! I wish brooch bouquets would have been "the thing" 13 years ago when we got married.
I have a thing for vintage toiletries and containers featuring beautiful old floral graphics too.
And of course, you can never have too much vintage lace in a romantic cottage.
Forgo a traditional window treatment and drape vintage romantic laces and pearls over a shabby rod instead.
Well friends, I hate to come to an abrupt halt, but I just realized this post is getting long and I could probably do a whole series on creating romantic vignettes! I have mainly focused on our bedroom tonight and there's lots more to show. Maybe I will do a follow up or two focusing on other rooms in the cottage.
Sweet winter night dreams of cottage romance to you!