Monday, May 3, 2010

A Beach House in the Country....?

Okay....I know you're thinking "What's up with THAT? How can you have a beach house in the country? What planet is she from, anyway?" Well, I am a beach-baby through and through. It runs through my veins, I swear. I grew up spending idyllic summers in my grandparent's big old cottage on Lake Michigan. Spending day after day making sandcastles on the beach, learning how to swim in the cold, clear water, collecting ladybugs in Coke bottles, and running down Mt. Baldy - the biggest, baddest dune there ever was - trying not to fall head over heels with a mouthful of sand before I hit the bottom. At day's end, I would be tucked into a big brass bed covered with grandma's homemade quilts and be lulled to sleep by the comforting sound of the waves rolling onto shore. You couldn't ask for more perfect summers...

When I married my hubby, we lived on a inland lake for 25 years. Boating, swimming, and fishing the summers away, and cozily huddled up in our cottage during the winter months - anxiously waiting for spring's return so he could put the pontoon back in the water and I could begin working in the extensive flower gardens that circled the house and shed.
Well.....we somehow found ourselves this grand old 1895 farmhouse in the middle of 12 acres of land a few years ago. I think we needed someplace we could spread our wings a little and were just ready for a change. We were seeking privacy and a little more peace and quiet, I think. When we woke in our farmhouse the first morning after the big move, hubby looked around the bedroom and stated, "I feel like I'm waking up in a Bed & Breakfast Inn." After that, we decided that we certainly needed to name this grand old dame.

A beautiful watercolor painting, created by a friend of ours on the lake (who, by the way, could be Kenny Roger's twin!), was given to me by my hubby one Christmas years ago and we hung it in our kitchen. It showed a winter scene of all of our dogs - past and present - walking along a snowy creek surrounded by pines. Two figures (hubby and I) can be seen walking behind them all in the distance. He had named it "Heaven's Walk". Needless to say, when I opened that up that Christmas morning....well, we won't talk about what a blubbering fool I became.....

That painting became the inspiration for our beach house in the country.

Ok. I know you're still wondering about the 'beach house' part. Seriously, I am getting to it.....

Before moving in to this house, I painted. Feverishly. Everything HAD to be the creamy white that I had grown to love over the years. I quickly slapped it over the burgandy walls in the living room. Next it went over the wallpaper in the study (yup - right over that wallpaper). And a lemon yellow bedroom became a soft white walk-in closet. (Yes, I own waaay too many clothes, but that's another story.)

After living with a 'shabby vintage flea market' style for a couple years, I found myself really missing the beachy feel we had in our lake house. One day, as I opened the second story windows to let in the fresh morning breeze, I found myself looking through the treetops to the nearby lake. It sparkled in the sunshine; shimmering in the breeze. It looked so close! Just like I was at the beach! (Well, almost....)
Yup. I had a revelation. Why couldn't I incorporate my beach theme into this house? We lived 3 minutes away from 4 different lakes! Hubby thought I was nuts, but I didn't care. I was obsessed.

And needless to say, my decorating bug took hold....and "Heaven's Walk" was born.

Now that I've told you a little more of who I am and what a dork I can be, I'd love to share with you the journey this house took me on during her transformation. She is a work in progress.....but aren't we all? :)

Blessings on a great day!



  1. Well written. I can't wait to see more.

  2. Wonderful! LUV your pictures! Great opening for your new blog.

  3. Stopping bye to say hello. Blogs are a great way to collect and share your thoughts. - Jim

  4. Thanks, everyone - for your support and encouragement! This is becoming quite a fun journey - and I love hearing from all of you! :)

  5. I am so glad I found you early on. That way I don't have to scroll back through months worth of reading. Once I am caught up I can be here daily. uh-oh- you're stuck with me and all my crazy (dorky-thank you) comments from now on...and all because of that Tia chick!

  6. Yeah! if you want beach cottage style, if it feels right and makes you comfortable at home, go for it. I live in the mountains and my husband said you can't have the beach look in a house up here. But I've done it, or started it in the bathroom anyway!

  7. Laurie, I am finally getting a chance to look through Heaven's Walk and it certainly is that! I had to smile at this post because I could say... A beach house in Arizona? My home is filled with seashells and lighthouses. Maybe someday I will put pictures in my blog. The blog world is filled with such beautifully decorated homes and such talented women that I'm feeling somewhat intimidated. I'll need to work on that, BUT I spend too much time ooohhing and aaahhing over so many amazing blogs and yours is one of my favorites! Keep up the good work! Julie
    ps... why would that man leave such a beautiful place and move to az? : )


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