Crushing That Cottage Life / by Bonnie Achariyakosol

The right space to mix up a sophisticated cocktail.

When a couple of crazy kids look for their first home together and are forward thinking enough to call in design reinforcements before they sign away their life on a mortgage, really great things can happen!  That’s the story of this East Dallas cottage design.  This couple enlisted my assistance to help them narrow the field of potential properties with their lifestyle and taste in mind.  The vibe was just right in this space with its soaring ceilings and comfortable layout.  We started with a fresh coat of paint, new light fixtures and gutting the bathrooms to make them really special.  

The front two rooms were the first challenge. The original homeowner had the space laid out with the smaller square room as the dining area but, due to its size, would really only accommodate 4 people.  This couple has an extensive friend pool and that just wouldn't cut it.  So we swapped the formal dining and living spaces to make way for a minimum of 8 and then created a cozy cocktail lounge in the smaller room.  Just a simple flip made all the difference!  

Now we were ready to start hashing out furniture selections.  For the cocktail lounge, we hung the clients’ existing photo series from the talented Andrew Slaton over the settee and a custom travel map over the bar.  One day, while checking the mail, they found a handwritten note and photograph of their home when it was first built that was left for them by a previous homeowner!  We knew we had to add that photograph to the conversation starting decor in the space.   

This amazing triptych is a one second frame by frame of an epic wave crash in the Pacific Northwest.

When framing the photo of their home from its 1920 heyday, I wanted it to feel really special! Give it extra matte and sleek black frame created a sense of importance.

In the dining room they loved the idea of commissioning custom art for the space. They had also just visited a Chihuly glass exhibit and fell IN LOVE with the idea of a sculptural glass light fixture.   In order to let those elements really shine, we kept the rest of the selections neutral and warmed it up with a soft rug and complimentary drapery panels. 

The custom glass fixture came boxed on a pallet with each piece of glass individually wrapped from the glass blower in Austin. Over a few bottles of wine we put it all together!

Then it was time to tackle the family room!  The goal with space was to create a cozy place to unwind at the end of each day with their two choco's (aka the sweetest chocolate labs!)  When selecting the fabric color on the sofa I followed those sweet pups around with my fabric swatches to find out which shade would actually disguise their locks!  Turns out chocolate labs are really more of a warm grey brown!  Who knew?  This crazy designer... that’s who!  We also had a wood burning fireplace and custom bench storage installed along the feature wall as the finishing touch.

Using the homeowner’s guitar as decor coupled with the gallery wall of personal photographs showcases their personalities.