House Tours: From Plain Ranch to Cottage Charm

Outdoor sitting area
No surface is left untouched in this cottage full of salvaged materials and French antiques. The result is a home with eclectic European style and a touch of romance.

Enhanced Entry

Think outside the box to create a dramatic entrance to your house. Here, salvaged shutters frame the front door followed by refurbished screen doors, creating layers of style before you even enter the house. An oriental rug creates an unexpected welcome mat and adds color and texture to the entrance.The stencil over the door completes the look.

Unassuming Ranch

From the exterior of this 1950s ranch, you would never guess that inside the house has been transformed into a charming cottage full of French decor. On the outside, antique shutters, flowing curtains on the front porch, and putty-gray paint gives the home an aged patina. The curtains hanging from the porch beam soften the decor and hint at the romantic flair inside.

French Living

A muted palette of creams and muddy pastels create understated elegance in the living room. A raw umber glaze rubbed over a fresh coat of creamy paint gives the walls and ceiling a soft patina. Salvaged French brick floors, exposed pine ceiling beams, and wrought-iron chandeliers transform the dated ranch into a French villa.

Mix Old and New

The room's light, neutral palette draws the eye to the varied finishes of the antiques throughout the space. The mix of texture throughout the room gives the area an aged look. To add a modern touch to the room, the original fireplace was plastered over but the contemporary shape was left untouched. Furniture is arranged around a rug in front of the fireplace, creating a natural conversation area.

Creative Reuse

Search flea markets and tag sales for antiques that you love, whether it's because of the shape or the design, and turn them into something new. Here, antique moldings are repurposed as ornate shelves around the French doors to maximize storage in the room. An antique iron balustrade is topped with glass to become a fancy yet functional breakfast table.

Gather Antiques

Combine a variety of pieces to create a cohesive look. Here, a 19th-century carpenter's workbench stands in as a console table. The raw, unfinished wood fits perfectly in the rustic space. Artwork hung from S hooks and chains on a wrought-iron curtain rod forms a unique gallery. Give the gallery arrangement a cohesive look by choosing one shape for all the frames.

French Cooking

A distressed antique pine beam and lantern pendant lights add rustic character to the kitchen. Mirrors in the backs of the cabinets reflect more light into the space. A pair of four-drawer dressers were pressed back-to-back and topped with stone to create a central work space with ample storage.

Rustic Cabinets

The home's original kitchen cabinets were painted to resemble worn wood. Iron details such as this towel bar mimic the iron light fixtures throughout the house. A linen curtain hides open cabinets below the counter.

Table Transformed

A demilune table gets a second life as a chic bathroom vanity. The back legs were removed and the front legs lengthened. Choose a bowl-style sink to sit on top of the table. Add storage and style to the small bathroom with a chair that holds extra linens and a wicker basket that adds texture and corrals a stash of clean towels.

Stone on Stone

A walk-in shower is lined with tumbled-marble tile for earthy elegance. The raised texture of the pebble floor is naturally slip-proof. A weathered wood bench provides easy-access storage for toiletries.

Editor's Tip: Worn wood pieces, such as this bench, only get more character with age so they can be used anywhere, even the shower.

Found Treasures

Create a relaxing atmosphere by mixing and matching pieces. A pair of salvaged monastery beds form a dramatic headboard. The linen curtains hung behind the headboard add a casual touch to the scene and hide the room's window. An ornate wrought-iron bench sits at the foot of the bed and serves as a catchall for extra blankets. Natural elements, such as the wood dresser-turned-nightstand and sisal rug, add a casual touch to the room's elegant accents.

Make the Bed

The home's mix of neutral colors and natural elements is carried into the bedding. Create layered luxury and highlight textures in a bedroom in three easy steps. Start with a clean, white backdrop: a white coverlet or quilt and bed skirt. Stack your pillows, starting with a khaki sham, then a simple stripe and an oversize floral with a colored background. An extra blanket provides the finishing touch.

Dining Alfresco

A covered patio off the dining room is the perfect spot to enjoy dinner. The bricks are similar to those used throughout the house. A wrought-iron chandelier brings elegance and mood lighting outside. Iron chairs and a simple table continue the French theme.

Salvaged Style

An antique pedestal with a concrete top becomes a unique outdoor cocktail table. Outdoor fabric that's durable and weather-resistant dresses up the patio furniture and allows the homeowners to furnish the space similar to an indoor room -- with throw pillows and colorful upholstery.

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