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6/27/2014

Gypsy Travels ~ Boho Austin Airbnb Cottage

Bohemian Salvage Cottage Exterior

I've been dying to share with ya'll about our trip to Austin this past weekend and our first ever Airbnb stay.  Why?  Because it was awesome.  And beautiful.  Beautiful for so many reasons.  Visiting Austin for my first time was AMAZING in itself,  but the absolutely magical little cottage we stayed in was just the icing on the cake.  My husband and I were a little hesitant with the whole Airbnb thing at first.  We are traveling with our 8 month old daughter, which is challenging at the best of times.  Our accommodations have to be,  well,  accommodating.  We have friends who swear by it though, so we decided to give it a try.
While scrolling through the many cool looking choices, we came across this gem of a cottage.  I was into it just from the pictures but after I read the description of the hosts,  I knew this was the place for us.

Wild Bohemian Garden

When traveling,  my husband and I always try to stick to small boutique hotels with plenty of local character like this one.  We prefer to get the feeling of where we are, as much as possible.  Obviously that makes the concept of Airbnb a fantastic fit for us.  I also love the fact that by staying in one, you are supporting the local people instead of a corporation.  The impact on the environment is much better as well, since you are using an existing resource rather then supporting more identical hotels and giant parking lots. All around it's really a great thing.

Our hosts Marcella and her partner, Meredith run their Airbnb to allow Marcella to stay home and care for the many children they foster. They adopted three girls, 2 of which officially became their daughters today! Lilly, Nicolle and Makenzie are some seriously lucky little girls to grow up in such a beautiful, love filled environment. Their home and garden is enchanting and their exuberant energy is reflected every where you look.
The garden is bursting with flowers, fruit trees and veggies.  They even make their own jam from the figs, grapes and plums that grow there.  If that isn't enough, Marcella also makes and sells the best toffee I have ever tasted.  She left us a sample to try in our cottage when we arrived.  I'm not usually a toffee person but it was insanely delicious.  If you are looking for a handmade gift for a foodie friend I highly recommend checking out her shop ATX Mason on ETSY, and get some for yourself while you're there.  It's that good.  It's like a mix of Southern Pralines & English Toffee. Yum.

Wild Bohemian Garden

Okay, where was I?  It seems like there is just so much to tell I'll never get it all out.  Okay, yes!  The animals!  Under that tangle of lush vines and trees there is a chicken run, full of fluffy hens (that are hilarious when they run)  There are 4 kitties,  2 big love dogs and a potbelly pig that call this garden their home as well.  Unfortunately all of the creatures were off on gallivants of their own when it was picture taking time. All friendly as can be, our daughter got a kick out of watching them when we strolled her around the garden. Which was awesome because we couldn't be going full tilt the whole time with the baby.  We would pop out for a short excursion and then head back to our oasis to recharge for a bit.  It was a perfect arrangement. The location was ultra convenient , being close to all of the attractions without being in the middle of the hustle and bustle.  When giving the baby a chance to rest it still felt like we were somewhere to explore rather than being in a carbon copy hotel room with a only a television for entertainment.  It was just so - us. Okay enough gushing already...I'll get down to showing you the digs...

Vintage Airstream In Boho Garden

They initially started by renting out this vintage Airstream and since it was such a hit they added another space by renovating their garden cottage. We were tempted by the Airstream but decided the cottage would be more functional for our needs, because it has more of a modern bathroom situation.
Here is our little piece of paradise, the perfect size for two and a baby. We realized while staying there we could actually live there full time quite comfortably. With some small modifications to the kitchen area. Ha! Well almost. Our own animal circus would never fit. Oh well.

Bohemian Salvage Cottage Austin

The interior of the cottage was just as welcoming and characterful as the garden. A mix of industrial style salvage, vintage and handmade touches coupled with total functionality made for a completely original and cozy decorating style. I could not get enough of it!
There were so many special touches that added to the overall magic of the place. The fountain and Adirondack chairs outside our tiny weekend abode were the perfect spot to chill with a beer and watch the kitties and chickens (while mentally obsessing over how badly I want a garden like this- if only I had the space!)

Window View Of Boho Garden

The view from our room...it sure beats the view of a hotel parking lot. What hotel can you wake up in to the sounds of the birds chirping in a dewy and verdant garden right outside your window? Not many.
That is the family's screened in porch/dining area. Another thing I will now obsess over having. I'm so serious. Isn't it gorgeous? I would eat out there every. damn. day. I love the outside and hate the mosquitoes, this would be perfect for me. It's going on the wish list.

Industrial Salvage Boho Bed
Our room with the coziest bed piled high with a cloud like duvet and mountains of pillows. Check out the ceiling all made of salvaged shutters. I die. I'm mental for old shutters, It's a New Orleans thing I guess.
If I'm not mistaken Marcella also handmade the paper banner and rosettes above the window (how charming!) The walls were adorned with vintage style maps and botanical prints. I'm even jocking the way she pinned them up with clips to not put holes in them. I should have been taking notes the whole time I swear.

Industrial Salvage Boho Bed
Which brings we to these vintage chairs. If I saw these chairs in a thrift store, I would fall over dead. Dead. They are the chairs of my heart and souls' deepest longings. That Kelly green pattern slays me. The rest of my life will be spent searching for their equal. Marcella if you are reading this, don't you ever throw these away without consulting me first. Kidding. But not actually kidding.

Vintage Maps & Funky Rattan Chairs
The little kitchen area was the perfect spot for me to hook up some healthy snacks so we didn't get 'restaurant-ed out'. I know that's not a word but it IS a thing. Although we did enjoy some great restaurants while in town. We had our own smoothies, coconut water, fruit, cold salads and cookies waiting for us in our mini fridge after a day out. We even toasted our English muffins in the morning at the red vintage breakfast cart station.

Boho Cottage Airbnb Full View
Notice the framed tin under the windows (very Austin) and the cute curtains made from pillowcases on the windows. I am so stealing this idea for my exposed lower kitchen shelves. I have been racking my brain for months on what to use and there it is. So simple and creative.
The wood floors appeared to be some kind of salvage as well, stained a dark coffee color, my husband is now obsessed with replicating the same look. I didn't have a chance to quiz our host on the specifics of some of the design elements as they were busy with family and we were only there for a short time. I plan on it when we go back though, and buying some of that homemade yard fruit jam to sample.
That pretty much wraps up the tour. Needless to say my husband and I are obsessed with it and will probably never branch out on our trips to Austin now because this was pretty much an impossible act to follow. So yeah. We'll Be Back.
In just two short days staying there I feel totally recharged and SO inspired. I mean, the amount of things these women accomplish, and with such style and grace. Sheesh!

As for the details of our Austin explorations, I will save sharing for another trip. Since it was my first time there, I decided to experience everything without the burden of trying to capture everything on film. I will say we took our daughter for a blissful first swim in the cool natural springs and she was an absolute fish like her Mamma and Daddy and she loved every second of it (yay!)
The natural beauty of Austin really haunts me, it has a great balance between urban and rural.  I think I am far too separated from nature in Houston's concrete jungle. I also hope that the city doesn't grow too quickly for its' own good and lose too much green space in the name of progress.  But that's another story.

Boho Cottage Airbnb Full View 2

If you plan on heading to Austin anytime soon and you would like to stay in Marcella & Meredith's little piece of paradise, you can visit their Airbnb profile HERE, and see more pictures of the cottage and contact them for a reservation HERE.

Garden Cottage in East Austin in Austin

Other in Austin, United States. Our cozy cottage located in our backyard garden is your own private oasis. Queen bed, hardwood floors, walk-in shower, high-speed internet, and a 1/2 acre lot right outside your door--complete with chickens and the cutest pot-belly pig in Austin.... View all listings in Austin

I hope you enjoyed my little tour!
xoxo-Andrea

6/25/2014

How To Pull Off A Vintage Gallery Wall



Vintage-Gallery-Wall
I recently put the finishing touch on my Vintage Gallery Wall above my couch and wanted to share the finished product with ya'll.  I also wanted to share a couple of tips on how to create a Vintage Gallery Wall that looks cohesive and well thought out, and not a crazy jumble like the walls of a junk shop, which could easily happen when using all vintage pieces.
The most important thing to remember is to keep a common theme, or several common themes, like I did.  A few uniting factors go a long way in making your pieces look like they belong together.  My reoccurring aspects are- era (the 70's),  color (blues, amber, b&w),  materials (wood, brass), frames (silver) and theme (natural elements like feathers, bird, leaves, tree etc).

Vintage-Gallery-Wall
Varying sizes and shapes keep things interesting.  A couple of large pieces anchor everything down and keep your gallery wall from looking too busy with no place for your eye to land. The 70s modern framed poster was my jump-off piece that inspired the entire wall.  I found all the pieces in thrift stores or on ETSY.

Most importantly- everything you use should be pieces you love and that have meaning to you.  I recently purged some wall art that I had been hanging onto that I didn't love/had no real meaning to me.  It made what I did keep seem all that more special.  The three zodiac plaques are mine,  my husbands and our baby daughter's astrological signs.  They even say our signs are attracted to one another- pretty cute huh?  As always, nature is a theme in our home, so the natural elements represent something loved and personal as well.  I think the cool color scheme does a good job of balancing the fire of the red couch too.

Vintage-Gallery-Wall
So what do ya'll think? Are you into the gallery wall idea or do you prefer to let your wall art stand alone? I'm always a more is more kinda gal myself : )

XoXo
~Andrea~

6/12/2014

Reader Appreciation Giveaway! ~ Home & Heart Book

Holistic-Home-Decor-Book
As as way to show my appreciation for those of you out there that read my blog,  I decided to gift one of my favorite interiors books, Home & Heart to one of you.  It's not a new book by any means,  but it remains to date, the most inspirational home interiors book I have ever read.  It is about so much more than the aesthetics of a home,  but rather the HEART of a home and all that goes into creating a home with intention.
Holistic-Home-Decor-Book
It is beautifully written and broken down into chapters that ensconce all of the senses and aspects of a spiritually fulfilling and holistic home.  The images are soulful and fresh although it was written and photographed several years ago.  I return to it to renew my perspective often and it continues to inspire me each time I read it.  It is the perfect book to keep on your coffee table and open from time to time, to enjoy with a cup of tea/wine. (After you have read it from cover to cover multiple times of course)

Holistic-Home-Decor-Book
It is a wealth of information and touches on many things that I had never even conceived of when I first picked it up 15 years ago.  It probably is one of the single most instrumental books in inspiring my approach to decorating and living.

Holistic-Home-Decor-Book
At some point I thought I had lost my copy of Home & Heart and freaked out.  I ordered another gently used copy online because it no longer seems to be in bookstores, then later found my original.
Now,  lucky for one of you,  I have two!
So- I will make it simple.  Visit the post HERE where I wrote a little about what Holistic Decor means to me and leave me a comment there. That's it!  I will be announcing the winner one week from today at the bottom of this post so stay tuned!  Good Luck!  Oh, and did I mention I love you guys?  Thanks for being here and reading my rants.  You.  Are.  The.  Greatest.  <3

P.S. This giveaway is open to followers in the U.S. & Canada only. Sorry guys :)

XoXo
~Andrea~

UPDATE! 
Congrats to the winners! This giveaway is now closed <3

6/02/2014

Trash To Treasure Dresser Re-Do

Hey ya'll!  Just popping in to share a "Trash To Treasure" re-do I recently completed.  It went way better than I could have expected, with it being one of my first repainting projects of this scale.  I had to share how awesome this discarded dresser came out!  I'm super happy with the results and even happier that it was 100%  free.  My husband and I spied it randomly on the side of the road one day and I knew I had to have it.  I had been on the search for a dresser for our bedroom to add much needed storage since baby came.  I had no luck finding anything with enough style, in our budget, to suit our space for months. The French Provincial style of this dresser with it's lovely curves, hardware and scale was So On Point. So we jammed on the brakes and loaded her up.

French-Provincial-Dresser-DIY

It was missing a drawer but I remembered seeing some pictures with baskets replacing them that I thought worked.  I was going to replace both top drawers with baskets but I don't mind the slightly off kilter look of just one (and it seemed like a shame to waste a perfectly good drawer for the sake of symmetry).  Plus the basket is the perfect place to store laptops out of site and easily accessible.  Strangely, I happened to have the perfect basket already.  It was meant to be.
All in all, this was a quick and surprisingly simple project.  We hand sanded the top completely (since I was staining it) and the sides only partially because they were to be primed and painted.  I had some leftover red mahogany stain and polyurethane as well as some dove white paint and primer.  A couple of coats of each and voila!  A totally free and gorgeous piece of furniture that would have otherwise landed in the dump.

French-Provincial-Dresser-DIY

The top has some wear and tear that showed up beautifully in the wood when highlighted by the stain. The whole piece now looks more like an antique than it really is. The only thing I feel like I need to add, is some beautiful paper to line the drawers.  Maybe someday if I'm feeling extra ambitious I will paint the drawers for a pop of yummy color when you open then too.  It suits our bedroom better than I imagined and matches my red mahogany colored vanity and white metal bed perfectly.  Now, just to style it up and post a picture of it for ya'll to see.  What do ya'll think of the finished project?  Not too shabby huh... Or as I prefer... Just shabby enough ; )

XoXo 
~Andrea~