Design. Create. Decorate.

Design. Create. Decorate.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Where We've Been...

Decorating a new home doesn't often start from scratch. Before deciding to get rid of a piece of furniture or accessory, consider whether or not it meets these guidelines:

a. it's broken or worn out beyond repair/upcycling  
b. you never really liked it (maybe you bought it because it was a deal, or you inherited it, or you bought something trendy that went out of style by the time you got it home) 
c. it literally won't fit anywhere in your new space

If the piece in question falls into category b or c, we highly recommend Craigslist and Facebook local on-line yard sales. Price your item to sell and be honest about its condition. If nobody bites, then donate it. Our favorite thrift store gives the proceeds to a local animal shelter. When we sold our Maine house, the new owners were happy to buy several of the pieces we offered them.

But, back to the items you're keeping. You might be surprised how fresh they look in a different setting. Here are photos of the house we owned in Kennebunkport, Maine. We built it in 2002, and remodeled it about ten years later. At the time, we figured we'd be staying a while. We didn't get to enjoy the improvements for long, but we learned a lot during the process, and the changes we made helped it sell. Honestly, I'd forgotten about those off-white wicker dining chairs--we could use them at Quince Cottage. Ah well, we made that decision knowing they had nowhere to live in our current house and didn't realize we'd be moving again so quickly.

Our Kennebunkport Home © Rhiann Wynn-Nolet

Family Room © Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
That Oriental rug is a perfect example of something that looked great in a new space. I grew up with that rug and really disliked it, but we couldn't find a way to sell it for what it's worth, so we moved it and fell back in love with it!

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Yep, there are those wicker dining chairs I mentioned earlier. The sixth one served as a drafting table chair in the office.

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
We had a pressed tin backsplash. It was awesome. 
Behind the shelves we installed beadboard to match the sink cabinet.

Entry © Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Office © Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
The braided rug was really cool. Unfortunately it didn't hold up well to terriers...

Master Bath © Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
We loved everything about this bathroom. The shower was subway tile with a natural stone floor.

Master Bedroom © Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Nothing says romantic bedroom like a fireplace and a chandelier. Also, that gas fireplace kept our pipes from freezing during a three day blackout following a blizzard. The house was so cold, we had to sleep with hats, mittens, and sweaters. All our fish died.

Screen porch © Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
We spent a LOT of time out here. Our younger daughter used to nap on the sofa.

 Upstairs loft © Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
One of our daughter's bedrooms © Rhiann Wynn-Nolet

Stay tuned to see some of these same pieces in our current house and a bit later, in their new surroundings!

Quince Cottage believes a vanilla subdivision house can be transformed into a beautiful home that reflects the unique taste and personality of its owner. 
In our own place, rustic, opulent, and exotic rub shoulders. Think gilded mirror, an embroidered velvet robe from Uzbekistan, and a ship-lap wall. 
Stick around, and we'll not only show you what we mean, we'll also give you tips on creating your own special style. 


  1. Love all the rich colors you used in this house, esp the dark teal in the loft room. I bet this house sold did a fabulous job with everything about it. I have never had a concept of a dream home of my own until I saw this...thx for sharing.

    1. That's so sweet of you to say! We went on the market at a terrible time for NE real estate so it didn't sell very quickly. However, it sold quickly to the couple that fell in love with it (they were vacationing in the area) as they biked by it on a Saturday, came to see it on a Sunday, and made an offer on that Monday. All's well that ends well, right?