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Mini-Makeover: Cottage Edition October 17, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, pets, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. If you’re like me, you love watching the show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Each week, Ty Pennington and his merry band pretty much completely demolish a house, then build a new one with all-new furnishings and landscape features on the same site.

Here at Hawk’s Haven, the cottage home our friend Ben and I share in the precise middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, our makeover attempts are somewhat more modest. In fact, they’re usually limited to changing the summer bed quilt for the Pendleton wool blanket in winter and changing the summer towels, with their seagreen, sunny yellow, and cheerful mango colors for the winter towels with their deep reds and greens, then, of course, switching back again in spring.

However. Sometimes a makeover just happens, and one happened to us—or rather, to our living room—this week. Blame it on our black German shepherd, Shiloh, aka Destructo Dog, aka The Rug Doctor (or, in her case, Surgeon). Shiloh had taken a few good-sized bites out of the braided 7-by-9-foot wool rug in the living room over the course of growing up, and I for one was sick of looking at it. However, replacing a rug that size is not a trivial matter, and actual home and car repairs, plus little things like bills and taxes, kept getting in the way.

Then a birthday check arrived. Our friend Ben and I are big believers in using gift money for things we couldn’t otherwise afford, and a new rug had “birthday buy” written all over it. We loved our old rug, which I believe we’d gotten from Orvis back in the day. But sadly, neither Orvis nor L.L. Bean nor Plow & Hearth—the three companies I knew of that carried braided rugs—had a beautiful braided rug in hunter green with additional colors and a wide all-green border like our old rug. In fact, none of them carried braided rugs with solid borders at all. So, after reviewing the options, we went with a chestnut braided wool rug from L.L. Bean with shades of blue, brown, rust, gold, tan, cream, and a little white. It was a beautiful rug, and it arrived in an amazing two days after I received shipping confirmation and only four days after I ordered it. Talk about service!

OFB and I rolled it out right over our old rug, which we figured would make a nice, thick rug pad and would make it harder for Shiloh to knock the rug all over the place as she raced through the house. The new rug looked great! The only problem was that I’d decorated the rest of the room to go with the green rug. Now the green-and-pink patterned curtains and the green Indian coverlet that’s disguising our battered sofa clashed badly with the new rug. It was clearly time for a makeover!

Fortunately, before the green rug, I’d had two pairs of curtains made for the living room windows, and they were hanging, drycleaned and pressed, in the closet. I had a feeling they might work with the rug. Sure enough, the curtains’ pattern was in shades of blue, rust, gold, and brown on white. In just a few minutes, the curtain issue was solved. The round braided mat on one of the living room rockers had to go, too, with its red, black and grey colors. But again, the braided mat on the rocker in my office was blue, brown and gold, so a simple swap was all we needed.

That left the sofa. I had a couple of other Indian cotton coverlets in the linen closet, but none were the right colors. So OFB, Shiloh and I piled into the car and headed for Adam’N Eve, a great little jewelry, clothing and furnishings store in nearby Kutztown. It carries a wide selection of Indian coverlets, and behold, there was one with a pattern of blue with a little white on brown. Eureka! Not only did this pick up the colors of the new rug, it also picked up the identical blue and white on the Japanese print on the ottoman cushion across the room from the sofa.

We’re still not done. I need to replace or cover three cushions that now clash with everything else, and we need to replace the little half-circle rug in front of the fireplace that matched the green rug (sob). But my goal is to get that done this very day, at which point, just two days after the rug’s arrival, the living room’s transformation will be complete. Top that, Ty!

          ‘Til next time,




1. Alan - October 19, 2010

And you didn’t even have to knock down the house to do it! Good on ya! Enjoy your “new” space.

Thanks, Alan! It’s looking better by the minute!

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