Stonewall Cottage is undergoing an amazing transformation in preparation for it’s next life as a wedding and event location as well as a short-term vacation rental. Hidden under hundred year old oak trees and giant sycamores, it was built back in the forties and still retains all the rustic charm and ambience from that earlier time. But Stonewall Cottage has been definitely overdue for a little clean up, a new coat of paint, and a fresh look for the landscape and outdoor areas.

We have started by taking away any mismatched flagstone on the patios, cleaning up the yard waste, and doing a lot of pruning and raking to see what we have buried underneath. The lawn needed some major love along with new sprinkler heads and a timed irrigation system that has been installed by our amazing head gardener Kuko. The house patio is being extended to give a little more outside area for entertaining and the private courtyard garden is being refreshed with new soil and plantings. It’s starting to look very pretty!

The front walkway needs a new step, something else to add to the long list.
We’ve decided to add a split rail fence around the koi fishpond and add two gates for safety. I’m growing climbing white roses mixed with jasmine and white bower vine on the fence with Santa Barbara daisies underneath it. The split rail has the rustic ranch look that works so well with the vintage quality of the cottage. Perfect choice. Nothing is too modern here!

The stone floors inside the cottage are due to be stripped and sealed. They should really look wonderful, as the stone is a beautiful shade of buff pink. Of course the walls, original wood ceilings, and all the cabinets are being painted with a fresh coat of soft white. The outside walls and woodwork are being spruced up as well.

Spending time at the cottage on this project has been inspiring. It’s so peaceful and full of birds singing; it’s like disappearing into another world, a very rural and charming one. There is an amazing energy here under these old majestic trees that calms your mind and relaxes you almost immediately.

The most fun part of this great cottage transformation is furnishing and decorating the bright new spaces. I’m having a blast at flea markets, garage sales, and on Craig’s List looking for just that perfect piece that says “country cottage”. There is some really great stuff out there and sometimes all it takes is a little paint and some imagination to make it perfect. The Ventura Flea Market was a treasure trove of great deals recently, including two dressers, a shabby chic mirror, a lovely outdoor bench, and a leather sofa/chair set with nail heads that definitely says “Ranch”. Luckily, I have two trucks at my disposal to haul everything home.

I have also been in the process of downsizing in general and have found numerous rustic pieces, furniture, and pictures in storage that fit right into the ranch look. It’s not that large of a cottage, but there are still three bedrooms and a great room to furnish. I’m in love with the leather couch and chair next to the stone fireplace. There are lots of wonderful outdoor areas in need of chairs and low tables to enjoy the fabulous rural scenery. I definitely will need to find somewhere for a hammock soon.

Progress seems to be slow as my mind races forward with all sorts of new possibilities. There’s so much to do and so little time. Thanks for reading and hopefully we will see you here soon!