Monday, August 29, 2011


Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you're all doing well.  Not long ago, I was honored to be contacted by
Emily Chadwick of Design Shuffle to do a guest post for my readers.  Mari, guest blogger writer for 
Design Shuffle, has put together a wonderful post about decorating with vintage windows and doors...
something I love to do, and I know you do too!  So, here we go... enjoy!

Hi, everyone! I'm Mari and I write as a guest blogger for Design Shuffle, a fabulous social networking
site for interior designers, architects, design professionals and enthusiasts. I love my work because I
get to explore the beautiful world of interiors every day. Then, it's my job to write about the great
decorating ideas I discover along the way.

Here at Secret Garden Cottage, decorating is all about beautiful country cottage style. Thanks Jojeana
for letting us spend time with you and your readers.

As you can see here, Jojeana loves decorating with vintage windows and doors. So, when we were
asked to do a guest post about architectural salvage, we decided to focus on those two types of
vintage elements. We love to see how these pieces have gone from dusty and forgotten in the salvage
yard or flea market to places of honor in interior spaces. Please enjoy!

Dove Tales Antiques (via)

A whole set of vintage windows can make a big impact in a room's decor. They can be left with
panes intact or exchanged for mirrors. We like the look of both new mirrors and aged ones.

La Fleur Vintage (via)

Tall narrow doors like these would look stunning simply resting against the wall in most any room.
Missing panes just add character and even more vintage charm.

French Larkspur (via)

At French Larkspur, these 1920s garage doors look right at home in a studio. We think they would be
lovely anywhere. How often do you discover garage doors to bring inside? What a find those were!

Country Living (via)

Among several dining room design ideas, Country Living gave a nod of approval to this dining space
with its china alcove fashioned from vintage barn doors and a demilune window. Here, it's all dressed
up for the holidays.

Dreamy Whites (via)

A lovely mix of rustic and glamorous, the center of attention in this bedroom from Dreamy Whites is a
pair of aging doors.

Sunny Days (via)

For a mere $12, this six-pane window went from outside under a foot of snow to inside as part of a
beautiful vignette set against a mirrored wall. Doesn't it look great along with a mirrored star and a
smaller four-pane window inset with chalkboard?

Dreamy Whites (via)

Simple chippy vintage wood doors take a casual stance against the wall in this cottage living room--an
example of how country cottage decorating ideas for living rooms can be quick and easy, yet beautiful.

French Larkspur (via)

A single vintage door or tall window makes the perfect backdrop for a corner vignette. This one is
used beautifully as a rustic background for fragrant hyacinths--a welcome display of spring.

This post comes courtesy of Design Shuffle, where you can find top tier interior designs from around
the world – from New York interior designers, Los Angeles interior designers, and more, check out the
latest at Design Shuffle.

That was a fun post... thanks, Mari and Design Shuffle!

I'll be back on September 1st to share all of my bedroom with you guys... finally!

'Til next time...

~ Jo :-)

Friday, August 19, 2011


Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you all had a nice week.  My daughters went back to School
on Monday and all went well.  We're gradually getting back into the groove of things, and I'm
glad the first week is over with.

I brought some hydrangeas into my bedroom to hang on the hook rack I have in there, so I
thought I would share some pictures with you of how it turned out.  It's such a simple way to
bring some life into a room, and they'll look just as pretty once they've dried.

I have a dear Italian pen pal (you know who you are cara Renee :-)) who is so graciously teaching me
her language as well as some French... she told me that carpe diem means "seize the day" in French,
although I had a co-worker of my husband tell him it was Latin... so I'm not sure... but I love the idea
of waking up to that expression every morning. ;-) 

 I love this hook rack that I bought at a local antiques shop called Good Goods last month.  I was told
that the hooks are made from vintage porcelain knobs that were used on telephone poles way back
when to hang the telephone wires from.  I love that they have some numbers and USA on each one.
You can click HERE if you'd like to learn more about Good Goods.

All of my hydrangeas started turning green a couple of weeks ago, as they always
do this time of year.  They're now just starting to turn more of the purplish plum color
they always do in the fall.  I really like the green color though... I think it makes an all white
decor feel so fresh and clean. 

 Well, that's all for now, my friends.

Linking to Farmhouse Friday at LaurieAnna's Vintage Home.

Thanks so much for visiting!  I hope you all have a lovely weekend!! 

'Til next time...

~ Jo :-)

P.S.  Shortly after I published this post, I was informed by one of my lovely readers about
CARPE DIEM.  Here is what she had to say:

"CARPE DIEM in English  'Seize the day', CARPE DIEM in Italian 'Cogli l'attimo',
CARPE DIEM in French 'Saisir le jour', and it is a Latin word." 

Mia cara amica (my dear friend) from Italy, Renee, also read my post and told me that
she knew it was Latin, too... it seems I was the only one who didn't know... lol.  Sorry
about that Renee.

Anyway, I think that expression would sound wonderful in any language, don't you?!

Thank you for sharing this wonderful expression with me, Renee... and thank you for the
info, Rita! :-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


 Hi all!  I hope you're all doing well.  With September only a couple of weeks away, I feel like
I can finally share some news with you that I've been holding on to for a while now.  Not long before
Fifi and Mark came to visit back in July, I was contacted by Jennifer of The Old Painted Cottage to
have my home featured for the September Cottage of the Month.  I feel really honored that she would
include my home among so many other gorgeous homes... Thank you, Jennifer!  I just hope mine
doesn't stick out like a sore thumb among all of the beauty that's over there.

I started taking pictures the week after Fifi and Mark came to visit (you can read more about that
HERE), since my home was the cleanest it had been in a loooong time.  Today, I thought I'd give you
all a little sneak peak at some of the greenery I brought into my home for the feature. 

Lavender and hydrangeas...


...thyme from our garden...

...white crape myrtle and green apples...

...and more lavender and hydrangeas.

Since I've taken all of these pictures, I've been at a loss as to what to blog about lately.
I can't share all of the pictures I've taken, because Jennifer would like to have new ones that
you all haven't seen before for the feature.  I figured it would be OK to share these close-ups,
since they don't really give you any idea as to what the big picture looks like.  And trust me,
there are A LOT more close-up pictures than these few that I shared with you today, as well as
full-room shots of nearly my entire house (except for my kids' rooms and the bathrooms).

Anyway, hopefully I'll find something new to blog about before September...
I hope you enjoy this little tidbit for now.

For lots and lots of gorgeous home tours, head on over to The Cottage of the Month at
The Old Painted Cottage.

Linking to Vintage Inspiration Friday @ Common Ground.  Thanks for hosting, Debra!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I hope you all have a wonderful week!!

Bye for now...

~ Jo :-)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Hello everyone!  I hope you're all doing well.  My family and I had a wonderful time
at the coast over the weekend.  I wanted to share pictures, but none of them turned
out that well, so I decided not to bore you with bad photos of the beach... what would
be the point of that, right? ;-)

I've been so inspired by all of the beautiful food photography in Blog Land these days,
that I decided to pick some of the nearly ripe plums from our plum tree to take pictures
of instead.  These are Victoria Plums and have a reddish skin with a golden flesh, rather
than the more commonly known purple variety.


Most of you know how much I love beautiful photography, so I decided to have a little fun
and try to create some pretty photos using some vintage pieces I have and some flowers I bought
from the grocery store last week.


I still yearn for a better camera, so that I can manipulate the focus of each picture better.
Who knows when that will happen though, so I will have to just figure it out with the

Well, that's it for now.  My kids start school next Monday.  I'm going to miss the slow days of
summer vacation.

I hope you're all having a wonderful week so far!

'Til next time...

~ Jo :-)

Friday, August 5, 2011


Hi there!  Just wanted to wish everyone a happy summer weekend, before I took off to the
coast tomorrow with my family.

These are some pictures of some cabbage Fifi brought for the photo shoot a couple of weeks ago.  I
took these pictures the day after she and Mark left.  I thought the green of the leaves looked so
pretty and fresh against the blue of the vintage enamel bucket.



 I hope you all have a lovely weekend!  :-)

Bye for now...

~ Jo

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Hello everyone!  I hope you're all having a great week so far. :)

I want to thank my friend, Maria of Dreamy Whites, for her kind words about my kitchen and
for sharing the link to my blog with all of her readers.  That was so nice of you, Maria... THANK YOU!
If you haven't had a chance to check out Maria's blog yet, you've got to check it out.  It's filled with
so much beautiful inspiration that you just don't want to miss.  Her home is absolutely gorgeous, and
her photography stunning! 

I also want to thank those of you who left such nice comments about me on Maria's blog.
I read all of them, and they really meant a lot to me... you guys are the SWEETEST!

And, a warm WELCOME to those of you who came over from Dreamy Whites and are new to my
blog.  It's so nice to have you here... thanks for stopping by!

It's been a while since I took any photos outside, so I thought I'd get a little practice in.
This is my puttering spot where I like to plant my potted plants.  This is a space that's
not completely done, so I can't share the whole space with you.  Hopefully, it will get done
next Spring, and then I can share more of it with you.


The sun is just brutal here in Central California, so I never go outside around the house
without my straw hat during the summer.  It's a lifesaver, let me tell ya. ;-)

On another note, I wanted to introduce you to my friend Tricia's blog, A Rosy Note.  Her stunning
photography has inspired me since I found her blog almost a year ago. She has a gorgeous home and
style that's sure to inspire you as well.  I hope you get a chance to check out her beautiful blog.

We're going to the coast this weekend.  I can't wait to enjoy some of that cooler weather.

I hope you've all been having a great summer so far... staying out of the heat...
keeping cool.

Our kids go back to school in a couple of weeks... I can't believe how quickly summer
has gone by this year.

Hope you all have a great weekend coming up!

'Til next time...

~ Jo :-)