Maine cottage inspiration exercise

After posting about this beautiful cottage in Maine the other day, I started trying to identify for myself what exactly it was about it that so appealed to me.  I go through this exercise every now and then (usually during a pause after a flurry of pinning) to try to articulate the elements of the design and decor that I would like to emulate in my home.  There are many, many things to love about it this place - which would I like to try to bring in to my decor and which would I like to modify for something more 'me'?  

For example, I do really love the easy, uninterrupted flow of white.  I feel like it unified the space in a very free way - anything goes with white, right?  I find I really crave the reflective brightness that a white canvas provides.  It's like a calm mind. (Or so I would imagine... don't they stick you in white padded rooms?)

I love the french linen slipcovers, but I need furniture I can snuggle in to - especially by the wood stove.  I like the lines and look of the two occasional chairs in the inspiration photos, but they don't want to make me curl up with a cup of tea. (I'd be upstairs on that bed, staring at that incredible view and daydreaming, thankyouverymuch.)  

I managed to jot down a few elements that I would like to keep in mind for my place, and I thought I would share in case you also fell in love with this style.  Please add any others you found in the comments!

Then I went over to one of my many dealers of online crack, Olioboard, to take a stab at putting something together myself.  I love that you can play around endlessly in this programme, and add in things you find online when they don't have what you are looking for in their library of images.  It always makes for an approximate rendition of a room - a very rough sketch based on what they have in their database - but I think the exercise of pulling in some elements and removing others is really instructive.

But what about actually hauling out the wallet and trying to recreate it IRL*?  Where do you start, what do you look for? Thank heavens for online shopping - these lovelies should be on their way to my front door as we speak.  (I wish.)

Here are a few things that jumped out at me:
1. Nautical Chart for Blue Hill Bay Maine ca. 1950's ($20 on eBay) - beautiful on the wall, useful when in a boat in Blue Hill Bay, and only 20 bones - what more could you ask for?
2. Ektorp Ikea sofa ($599) with Bemz Rosendal Pure Washed Linen cover ($669) - I love this line of casual linen covers that Bemz does, and this is seating a could really sink into (I should know, I am currently glued in one, but sadly not with that cover.)
3. White Kelly Chair ($99 at Elte) - such a pretty chair that looks so light and unobtrusive in the white colour, with an antique feel in the caned seat and bent wood frame.
4. Knox Lanterns ($48 - $100 at Crate & Barrel) - these look so East Coast, and they would bring in some darker colour without looking out of place.  Plus, this place just screams for candle light!
5. Handcrafted Red Oak Flooring (Real or Engineered Hardwood from Mirage Floors) - hardwood is a must, I like the beachy feel of this treatment.
6. Modern Weave Round Basket ($15 at West Elm) - baskets provide more natural textures and help contain clutter and messes that would otherwise diminish the space.
7. Lavato Ungaretti coverlet ($453 for Queen size blanket at Au Lit Fine Linens) - if I am imaginary shopping, I might as well indulge a little!  Quilted coverlets again have a bit of visual texture, a kind of antique/timeless feel, and will keep out the chill on those windy Maine nights.
8. Boston Functional Library Light ($465 at Elte) - I like the zap, the ping, the snap of the darker wall sconces. (I am trying to avoid the word pop, is it working?).  Again the modern yet industrial yet antique look is perfect.  (Can something look modern and antique? I have to go to bed...)

So now I know what to put on my shopping list (kind of want that chart), and maybe which things to take down and put away for a future decor whim.  Do you guys ever do exercises like this?  Or do I need to join some sort of support group...  I have so many.... it would be hard to schedule another.

*That means 'In Real Life' Mom.  Cool people like me say it all the time.


  1. Rosa @ FlutterFlutterSeptember 17, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    LOVE all of it! Your inspiration, your mood board, and your shopping list! :) I'm all for casual, white spaces!!

  2. This post must have taken forever to put together but it's a great exercise to go through when figuring out what you love. Love your olioboard and shopping list.

  3. Love this post Lisa! I can really see how the inspiration photos translated into your design board. Great choices for the shopping list. I've never done an exercise like this myself but it really makes sense. And if you ever find one of those things on the shopping list, it makes it easier to pull the trigger and buy it ;)

  4. This is such a great mood board Lisa! Love all the products that you found. Found these articles, thought you may be interested ( and ( Enjoy!


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