Friday, March 12, 2010

A Beach Cottage~ that I adore


Have You visited Sarah over at a Beach Cottage Yet? Well if you haven't yet you are going to want to. All these pictures are from the talented Sarah's home over at a Beach Cottage. I am always so inspired when I visit her blog. I asked Sarah if I could share a few pictures of her home on my blog, and she was kind enough to say yes. I also asked her if she could share a little something about herself with all of you.

You are all in for a real treat!

I would like to share Sarah's story with you!

Sarah is An advocate for winging it and not worrying about perfection Sarah loves to combine coastal, cottage and country for her unique Beach Cottage style - she shares her projects, decorating ideas and ways to achieve a comfortable and casual home without spending a fortune.



"I started blogging to document the journey of our fixer-upper cottage but it has become so much more than a blog for me, it has provided me with a place to fulfill my passion for casual, laid-back decor, vintage coastal style and more has become for me a cathartic outlet at the end of the day"

Sarah loves old furniture, vintage things and the faded patina of the past mixed together with a healthy dose of modern white for a fresh take on hectic modern life.

In 2005, a young mum with three children she and her husband set out on a huge sea change, upping sticks and moving to the other side of the world, 17,000 miles away from her family and friends.


Just over two years later, in 2008 she purchased her first Australian home, a tatty old cottage near the sea, sadly neglected but on the beaches of Sydney, bathed in sunshine and heaving with potential (wood floors, sash windows, old fig trees, a summer house and a battered old deck).

She embarked on a mission to decorate the cottage-near-the-sea with a mixture of old vintage finds scoured from the beach-side suburbs and painted everything she could in a tried and tested hand mixed beach white, added piles of white linens, striped cotton rugs and heaps of vintage china...

Her blog has become a firm favourite with a large and loyal bunch of visitors logging in and commenting daily to see her latest find and gathering inspiration to re-use, re-purpose and re-invent for a comfy, easy home. She motivates her readers to source old cast-offs, browse flea markets and garage sales and turn them into much loved pieces with a past.

Eschewing the beach-themed look she combines bare floorboards, coir rugs, white cotton, neutral stripes, wicker baskets, Adirondack chairs, fresh flowers, and large puffy white sofas with the odd sea shell and displays a few interesting finds tumbled by the sea and washed up on the beach...

In less than a year the popularity of her blog has grown quickly, acknowledged by Apartment Therapy for her individual style and noted by the Washington Post as one to watch.

Recently showcased in the blogger's bible Artful Blogging for her take on creating coastal chic in a real home and real living by real women and about to embark on a new journey as a writer...

Born in London and raised in a very small house in Kent, England, Sarah, her husband, three children and goldfish now call Sydney, Australia home.


and the story of how we got to Aus...

I’m a thirty-something (okay I'm nearer 40 than 30) owner of a tatty old beach cottage in a beautiful seaside town in Australia, mother of three, wife to one, seaside taxi driver...

But I haven't always lived here, for nearly my whole life I resided in the same, very pretty village in England. Life was quite comfortable, filled with country pubs, cricket on the village green, walks in the woods, lots of drizzle and warm beer. Our children went to a good school, we had a good income, nice holidays, two expensive cars and some cash floating around for a nice life.

Something was missing though, and I was beginning to wonder what life was all about.. and as we flew into London in 2005, after a Christmas holiday we embarked on a mission to find a new life by the sea. We ummed and ahhhed on where we would go, re-locate to the coast of Britain or warmer climes - Europe, France, Florida, Australia?

We knew absolutely nothing about Australia, apart from that it was a long, long way from home, it had sun & beaches that were part of everyday life and an old friend of ours had sent us pictures of his commute to work on a very nice ferry and his life on a very nice beach.

So we put the feelers out Down Under and we started hatching plans, long late phone calls in the middle of the freezing English winter nights, extended internet searches on Australian cities, reams of reading, heaps of books and strange conversations on ex-pat forums about life the Aussie way.

Six months later and things were moving on, we had built connections and networked with enough business contacts for him to start job negotiations.


So in August 2005 we came to Sydney for a holiday. We'd told not a single soul of our late night Down Under dealings, so the whole covert operation was shrouded in secrecy, a kinda clandestine excitement circled the whole devious thing. But the funny thing was that the moment we landed in Australia, I felt like I'd come home.

After two weeks of shaking our heads in wonder at the wonderful Aussie lifestyle (& this people was WINTER), we flew home to London, overflowing with the amazing lucky country that is Australia and absolutely desperate for a visa and a new life by the sea.

A few weeks later & we got an offer we liked the look of and shortly after started the visa application process, including attending medicals and filling in forms, forms and forms. Surprisingly, two months later and much quicker than we had anticipated the big fat envelope from the Australian Department of Immigration arrived, our visas granted.


Oh. My. Goodness. We could go.

We quickly decided we wanted to get out here before Christmas, so what followed was a total frenzied operation to get our English house rented out, our belongings shipped, our life sorted out and to say goodbye to our friends.

It was a manic time, but on the second December 2005 we arrived, 5 suitcases, a holiday apartment, brimming with anticipation and one job in hand.


My days are now spent dealing with the same old things family life brings - but a little differently than before. And it's a pretty nice way to live. I only wish I came here sooner.

The move though has brought a few other changes, ones I didn't expect. Not everything turned out as we thought it would and the inevitable challenges of emmigrating and has meant making do, in more ways than one, in lots of areas of life.

It did lead us to this sad old cottage, that has needed bundles of love and attention to get it feeling good. And led me to start logging it all in my blog A Beach Cottage. I write about my escapades in finding things for our cottage, chronicle the makeovers and remodeling projects we take on ourselves, that don't always turn out so good...oh and living by the sea

You'll find it here on this site, I hope you enjoy surfing through my antics in this old place...


Don't you love Sarah's story & the pictures of her home!

I can't get enough of her blog! I just love this girl. I love her style and I love the way she writes. I feel so lucky to have gotten to know Sarah. Her blog is so much fun!
Thanks Sarah for sharing your story and for letting me use your beautiful pictures!

I can't tell you how blessed I feel to be apart of this amazing blog world. I have made so many friends in the past 2 months. I can't even tell all of you how much you mean to me. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Take Care,
Maria

59 comments:

Katie said...

I looove her home! Thanks so much for introducing Sarah's blog to us! I can't wait to check it out :)

xo-
Katie

ZAIRA said...

What a beautiful story to hear about. She's really talented. And her home?? Stunning!! Thanks Maria, you make us know great blogs full of inspiration!

Huge kiss from me
Zaira xx

Tina said...

What a lovely feature Maria! Sarah is indeed one of the treasures of the blogging world. I love her home and I love her sweet nature and her down-to-earth attitude. Her blog is definitely one of my faves. Wishing you and Sarah a wonderful weekend dear Maria ~ Tina xx

Julienne said...

Sarah was number 4 on my discovery of the blog world and I have been following, chatting and commenting ever since> She is a delight and her blog is wonderfully natural.

Anna said...

Mi chiedo se ci sono parole appropriate a descrivere la gioia che provo leggendo questo post!!!
Le immagini non lasciano spazio all' immaginazione!
E' tutto molto bello!!
Grazie, felice w-end!!
Anna.

Irene b said...

really incredible! You are so generous to show us every your discevery.

vosges paris said...

I have been visiting Sarah already before I started blogging myself in March 2008.... just discovered it is nearly my blogs birthday ;)... and we have been visiting eachother since then ;)
Nice post all in your own style.
desiree

Tamarah said...

Oh Maria how do you do it time after time....?? Visiting your blog is such a treat & I'm so enjoying being introduced to new blogs & shabby stores....And this time around it's a fellow Aussie....!!

Cheers & THANKS,
Tamarah :o)

Amanda said...

Hi Maria, I too love Sarah's beautifully decorated home and her lovely blog. She always managed to find and transform the lovliest thrifted pieces and I always love seeing the way she adds touches here and there to give her place that homely feel.

Alee said...

Beautiful! You always have the greatest finds to share. Thanks so much!

Alee said...

Beautiful! You always have the greatest finds to share. Thanks so much!

Between You and Me said...

I love A Beach Cottage....thanks for celebrating her life by the Sea....

you're a sweetheart, Maria...can't wait to get to know you more!

love your heart!

summersundays-jw said...

What a great story!! It's always been my dream to live in a cottage by the beach. Thanks for the introduction. Jan

Alicia ~ time worn style said...

hi Maria, Sarahs blog is one of my favourites. I'm in Australia too but nearer to Melbourne and on a mountain! Love visting your blog too :0)
alicia

Melanie said...

I love her blog. I saw her around Christmas time and fell in love with her style and marked her site as a favorite...but totally forgot to add her to my blog list! Thank you for refreshing my scattered memory! :-)))))

Maria, You are such a blessing to all and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are so happy that you entered this Blog World! =D

Have a fabulous weekend!!!!!

Cottage Dreamers said...

I love Sarah and her blog. Her's was one of the first I quickly became addicted to. I'm so glad you shared more about her with us!
☺ Celeste

Vanessa said...

Don't you just love this cottage? I love her design and taste for decorating. Looks so serene...

Lissa said...

I feel so inspired right now!...

Maison Charmante said...

Is wonderful and very beach style, and I like this light style...and the flea market treasures! Thanks for this post
Good w-end
Michela

Renee said...

I adore the chalk board/door. I feel inspired to do something like it for my home, thank you!

mimi charmante said...

Maria, I am starting to think that all you do is spend your days in front of your computer searching out the MOST FABULOUS sites to share with the rest of us... :)
How do you do it??? How on earth can you have even more children than I do and still find time for it all? We need to have lunch and then I can spend a couple of hours absorbing some of your fabulousness!
I am going to head over and check out this beautiful site - the photos you posted are beautiful~
Have a marvelous weekend my friend,
xx

Donatella said...

what a great story!! and what great style!! going to ck out her blog right now.. thank you for another wounderful blog you discovered.. very sweet of you!!

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

I love her home, so welcoming, warm and just gorgeous! Thank you for sharing!
xo
Kristin

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Love her story! Love her style! Love you too!

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

What a wonderful story!
Wow, 17,000 miles?!? That takes a whole mess of faith and courage, so good for them!

I see a lot of Sarah's style in you and vice versa. Y'all seem to share the same beautiful design aesthetic.

Have a beautiful Saturday, beautiful Maria!

Anne

Cottage Gal said...

I just stumbled upon your blog & I love it! I've added it to my blog list. Isn't Sarah's beach cottage just the best?! I love her laid back style. She has inspired me to grab fresh flowers each week at Trader Joe's. They add such a fun, cheerful touch to our cottage.

WhiteWhispers2u said...

Oh Ya! I have been visiting Miss Sarah for awhile now, isn't she a Hoot! I love her.

Sarah is very sweet and always emails/comments you back and that takes lots of time.Sarah likes to stay connected with her creepers LOL.I think she calls us lurkers though.

Great Tribute to Miss Sarah~Kim

Anne Marie said...

Maria....I JUST found her this week while surfing....and instantly got onto her RSS feed.

her house is so real and lovely.

Tracey said...

Love your blog...have been looking and "dreaming in white" for awhile. Thanks for pointing us Sarahs way...amazing! Just started my bog today...thanks for the inspiration!

Philigry said...

beautiful story! thank for sharing. i am headed to her blog right now!

Zita - Mlle Magpie said...

I love that beach cottage too, Maria. Who wouldn't want to live in that laid-back beauty?!!

sarah said...

g'day Maria

thank you, I am blushing here...

I just want to say *you are the best find of mine for a long time...

you and I have a little cowboy secret don't we?? hopefully I'll pull it off soon lol!

love ya

from Down Under...

Sarah

x

x
x

x

Canadian Cottage said...

Hi Maria! I love Sarah's blog. It is one of my favourites! She always inspires me. Thank you so much for sharing!

Razmataz said...

Maria, I don't know how I've missed this one. Promptly added to my favs. Hope you are well. Have a wonderful weekend.

Chania

Shel at Dreamy Nest said...

Oh my goodness! More white - you're turning me into a white-convert! :) Heading off to Sarah's blog to follow her. Thank you for sharing this.

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Oooh thanks for posting about Sarah, Maria. I have been such a fan of hers for quite a while now. Great style and nice gal (Australian speak there) too! I'm still drooling over her trunk found a few months back - it's gorgeous!

Gina said...

Hey Maria - I too am one of Sarah's fans - you are so right when you say she has great style and she has an even better sense of humor...I said I only follow a handful of blogs - well, hers is one of them!!! I "check in" with you guys every day to see what you've been up to - and thanks to Sarah (and now - you) I have thrown so much stuff out the window to get the same look...you guys are the best!!!

The Pink Poodle said...

Hi maria....found your blog via someone elses blog..via someone elses blog!! as it goes in blog world..

Glad you are having fun in blogland...
I have a group of lovely fellow aussies I regularly communicate with & have actually meant some..

sarahs blog is AWESOME & I cannot wait for her house to be featured in one of our HOME magazines due out this week..."real living" mag...
I also have to get my DAILY FIX of sarahs blog..

Yours is lovely as well..

cheers from OZ!! xx andrea

Vanilla Press said...

hello there!
Oh what a beautiful home this is!
All the white & tea lights & gorgeous furniture..what a dream
Thanks for sharing & nice to meet you!
Jas - Ireland
x

Farmgirl Paints said...

So pretty! Is this weird... I love those green blades in that fan?? We had one when I was a kid.

Jessica Hills said...

Thank you for such a nice comment! I love this home too...I think most of my favorites come from Australia. I hope I can visit there someday!

Annie Louise said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog with us. I love readying your blog and all the fun and beautiful things you share with us.
Thanks, Jeanette

lambi said...

Lovely story...Best regards Maria :)

Samantha - Walnut and Ivory said...

A Beach Cottage was one of the first blogs I stumbled across and inspired me to start my own as well! Definitely a beautiful and inspiring home :)

Ness Lockyer said...

Yes it is a blessed life in Australia.
This is a great blog and so nice of you to show it and do such a sweet post about it too.
Hope you are well Maria.
Ness xx

Tracey said...

It's all so beautiful!!! I only recently discovered Sarah and her gorgeous home...she ordered a magazine from me a few weekes ago and that led me to her blog...so glad I found it, as I just love her style!

Hoping you had a lovely weekend Maria!!!

Hugs ~

:) T

paige said...

i do love her style
what a dream to have a beach cottage!
always delightful to drop in & see what you're up to :)

LuLu said...

I've admired Sarah for a year now and just love everything she does!! I close my eyes and pretend I'm headed there for vacation!!!
xo,
LuLu

Annika said...

Just found your blog - it is great! I will be back!

fernandflora said...

What gorgeous and serene photos! So fresh and lovely!

(thanks once more for such a fabulous post the other day!)

p.s. I'm giving away three headband on my blog this week. Just a little FYI. :) xo!

paperbird said...

what gorgeous images- i loved each one.

Doda said...

Lovely to look at!
I've put a little award for you on my blog today. You don't need to do anything, just have the award
:-)

Berlin Deluxxe said...

Serenity at its finest!

Morning T said...

Howdy Maria- Sarah's home, blog, and style is incredible. I adore her and have copied many of her projects myself. She's truly an inspiration for us DIYers.
Hugs~
T

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Love her~

FEDERICA said...

I love her home and her blog! Gorgeous!
Hugs,
Federica.

Miss Mustard Seed said...

I love Sarah's home and blog as well. I can totally see how the two of you would fall for eachother's style.

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

Sarah's whites with splashes of sea and sky colors is so peaceful. No one does it better than her. Thanks for sharing. I only hope my cottage turns out 1/2 as well!

Screaming Meme said...

Hmmm? I think I am in love with this blog...:) Yay! So glad to find you! Hi, I'm Meme from Screaming Meme...It is so nice to meet you!

www.thescreamingmeme.blogspot.com