Monday, March 28, 2011

A Visit To Bitty Brambles

We built Bitty Brambles about twelve years ago.Our daughters were two and six, and it was the perfect time.They spent many a day lost in their imaginations within the little house.They had a tiny sofa, chairs, and table. They cooked in a little pine kitchen my grandfather built for me when I was three.It wasn't unusual for us to find them sleeping on the diminutive furniture late in the afternoon.Unfortunately, those idyllic days of childhood have passed. Last summer I realized Bitty Brambles had been untouched for a few years. It had  become an impromptu storage shed for garden implements and household items. Around this time I was in need of peace and solitude; it was summer and two teenage girls can frazzle a mother's nerves. I spent a day sorting through the rubble. I gave away the miniature sofa, chairs, piano, and tiny pine kitchen (so difficult). I scrubbed the floors and washed the walls and windows.I moved in two chairs, a rug, bench, teapots, pictures and other tidbits I had accumulated over the years. My plan was to create a comfortable garden sanctuary that  paid homage to the little girls who believed in fairies, had tea parties for their dogs and dolls, and invited their parents over for blackberry and mud pies with dandelion tea.


Bitty Brambles sits atop a stone foundation. To the left is a tiny terraced vegetable garden.

The two chairs were originally for my dining room table, but proved to be too tall. They are from Lane's Country Living collection.
 I upholstered the bench with a remnant of plaid fabric. The little green table was given to my daughters by a kindly woman who owned a small gift shop in our village.Yes, we live in a village.

                 It was a perfect place to put a plethora of straw hats I collected in the 90s.

                    The windows are just Plexiglas.I made the curtains from an old set of cotton sheers.


 The tall wall was the perfect place to hang old pictures and to display teapots that were taking up too much room in Brambly.

 An extra Windsor chair from our kitchen patiently awaits the next gathering. I still need to find a table to place under the window. Presently, it's an old foosball table covered with a bedspread from my great-aunts ranch.
The plates on the right and left were my grandmother's.

                        Silhouettes depicting my daughters hang beside the door.

 We have the lamp on a timer.At night the 25 watt bulb casts a warm glow through the windows and out to the garden.

                                            A little cuckoo clock in the corner.




My husband had this Dutch door specially made by his friend with a door shop. We added the cross pattern that matches the trim on Brambly. 



We ordered the door knocker from Anthropologie.



Just some things I've picked up over the years.


The Alice in Wonderland prints used to hang in my daughters' room. I couldn't bear to part with them.

 Throw pillows from their old room.

Bitty Brambles is a gentle reminder of the past without being a shrine. It will remain a little house in flux as our needs change through the years. I'm sure my husband would prefer to store lawn equipment in it, and one day it's likely become a playhouse again. But, for now, it is a cozy, quiet place to sit and think.





Linking to:"Show and Tell Friday" at My Romantic Home
"Feathered Nest Friday" at French Country Cottage
"Inspiration Friday" At the Picket Fence
"Time Travel Thursday" at Brambleberry Cottage
"Wow Us Wednesdays" at Savvy Southern Style
               


66 comments:

Angie said...

Ann-Marie, this is one beautiful play house. Oh my goodness, I wish I would have had one like this when I was growing up. And I am loving the name. Too adorable. Thanks for sharing this beautiful stroll through your past.

Angie @ Linen & Verbena

Julie Harward said...

That is the cutest thing I have ever seen...it reminds me of the play houses my grandma used o make for me. I love the cuckoo in the corner too and the door knocker! Now, when you get little grands you might have to do it over again! :D

Allison Nicole said...

You do such a great job with everything you do! I can't believe you have a daughter old enough for college, you look so young in your pic! Have a great day!
xo Allison

Rachel said...

How utterly adorable! What a sweet place to dream and imagine....

Shelia said...

Hi Ann Marie! Oh, what a darling place to put together! I want a Bitty Bramble! You have some very lovely things in there! :)
I'm having a Heart of the Home Party - Show Us Your Favorite Cupboard on April 5th and I would love it if you would come!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

That is the cutest thing ever! I would go hide in there.

Sue said...

Hi Ann Marie ~ I just have to say I love every detail!. Bitty Brambles is absolutely delightful. I have always dreamed of just such a place for my grands, and so I was gifted with a little cottage last year. Mine is teeny tiny though and I will try very hard to not COVET yours!! Mine also contains the little cupboard that my dad made for me when I was little.
Yours is just charming. Don't change a thing.
Sue

At The Picket Fence said...

How do you do it Ann-Marie? Every post tops the next! Your love of fabrics, textures, tradition, and attention to detail is so very obvious and I always feel like I am flipping the pages of a magazine when I am over here. This is beyond gorgeous and I feel like I just went for a visit to the English countryside. Miss Marple must live around the corner! Do you know who Miss Marple is? :-) Thank you so much for once again providing me with fabulous inspiration and reminding me why I love this style so much!
Vanessa

Karen said...

Bitty Brambles is so beautiful and cozy. I'd probably go in there and never come out. I love it!

Boho Farm and Home said...

Oh my goodness Ann-Marie...that is the cutest thing ever! I always wanted a play house, I got a chicken coop instead. :)
xo
Caroline

Dorie said...

Oh my goodness! I could stay in bitty Brambles all the live long day! Soooo adorable :)

Cindy said...

What a sweet little place! I don't know that I'd ever want to leave...

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

It's a grown up doll house! I could live in it. Pretty!

Emily@LovelyBeasts said...

Your daughters were so lucky to have this playhouse. And you're so lucky to have it now as a teahouse retreat! I think we can all say that this is inspiring and I hope one day I can have something like it at my home. Even if I'm a senior citizen by the time it's built!

Terry said...

Ann Marie, Every little girl would love a place like this, but every big girl needs a place like this! I personally would love this place to read and reflect. My own sanctuary. Enjoy yours.

The enchanted home said...

This is hands down the most beautiful playhouse I have ever seen....looking for a tenant? OMG I could sooo live there...how incredibly charming, adorable, beautiful and gorgeous. Forget the kids...this is fit for an adult! LOVE it, now sending this link to my mom and sis who will love it all the same.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

I am so in love with this sweet house! It is charming, sweet and cozy comfy!

Adrienne said...

When can I move in? It is beyond darling. I've dreamt of such a place.

Lynn said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of your sweet cottage. How enchanting! I'm visiting from Show Off Your Cottage. Thanks for sharing and for providing such lovely photos - I agree with so many others ... I would never leave!
~Lynn
www.cottageandcreek.com

Divine Theatre said...

So sweet!

Trish @TheOldPostRoad said...

That is one cute house. Love the decor! I have some framed Madeline pictuers I cannot part with, either. (My girls are 14 and 17).
-Trish

Karen said...

Oh, how special! I just love it. And what precious memories. I would love to have a little cottage spot to sit and relax in, to dream, to clear my head, to create. Love it!
Karen

Hillcrest Cottage said...

I think every mom of teenagers should have a hideaway like this.... awesome!!!!

HayesTone said...

Just Simply Charming!! A good cup of coffee, a good book and I'd be in that room for a good portion of the day! So sweet.
Cheers!
~Laura
www.hayestone.blogspot.com

Pamela said...

Ann Marie this is a dream!!! I would have loved this as a child!! I had a doll house but not near as beautiful as this! What lucky little girls!!!

Annie said...

I love old furniture, especially when you use them with something new! The little table is great! Bravo! Best regards.
Annie

laney said...

...a tiny perfect jewel...and how appropriate that it came back to the loving mother who first thought of it for her little girls...

♥ Miss Tea said...

How cuteee, totally absolutely love it! I would love to have one just like it! thank you for sharing!

Gillian Layne said...

What lucky girls! I want my own tiny cottage in the backyard. :)

Carol said...

Oh to sit in there with a cup of tea and a good book - heaven! It's fabulous.

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

I would live there in a minute! Thanks so much for joining my newbie party!

At The Picket Fence said...

Okay I am in utter love with Bitty Bramble! I'll let someone else have the guest room, I'm going to come stay in here when I show up on your doorstep. ;). I love every single beautiful bitty detail of this!

Heather

Pat said...

Simply beautiful! I love Bitty Bramble.

marmee said...

this is my first visit and i am smitten with bitty bramble...what a wonderful place to ponder and for your girls to have grown up.

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

O my goodness!! This is just darling!! I love everything you have used in this wonderful playhouse! The colors of the walls are lovely and the furniture is divine!!

Hugs,
Debbie

Darla said...

I came by from things i love. All I can say is, I want to be your daughter. Adorable!

Kathy said...

Hello Ann Marie,
Every girl needs a play house - no matter her size or age! This is a perfect retreat! Quite lovely!
Kathy

Kari said...

Hi Ann Marie,

I LOVE the playhouse. It has all the colors that I have used in my own house. I just want to move in!! Thanks for the nice comment about my yorkie in the profile pic. Her name is Muffin and she is one of the loves in my life along with her sister Crumpet and the husband of coarse!!

Kari

Becca said...

How sweet is this ?! What lucky little girls to have had this to show off to their friends when they were younger ... I can imagine the tea parties that took place in there !! I can see now how it would be a beautiful escape for you ... love it all. And, thanks again for stopping by my Spring mantel. *Becca*

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

This little space is truly beyond adorable, I can just imagine enjoying some time in it! Janell

Jan@Thanks for today. said...

It's adorable...more than that, it's beautiful! How do you prevent mildew/mold from forming since it has only plexiglas windows? The furniture and pictures seem to lovely to risk getting damaged from heat or moisture;-)

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Absolutely beautiful and charming Ann- Marie~ Such a sweet little dollhouse! :)

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

So adorable!
Do you rent this space?
If so, please send me a rate card. I need to book a night soon.
:)
Love it.
xoxo
Alison

BeautifulDees said...

I want to play in your play house...wow we are impressed, my son love's your blog also. Come by sometime.
Love,Debbie

Magpies and Magnolias said...

How charming! When may I move in? I need an escape from my stepkids and this would do the trick.

I love all of the charming, feminine details. I would never get any work done around the big house. I would spend all my time in here!

You are blessed!

Magpies and Magnolias said...

P.S. Thanks so much for adding me to your blog list. You made my day!

Linda said...

Hi Ann~Marie! I just hopped over from Cozy Little House and adore your blog...your little cottage is truly special! I look forward to reading much more...I am a new follower!

maría cecilia said...

Hola Ann-Marie, what a beautiful place you have made here!!! I have so enjoyed your home and garden for my first visit to your blog. A great pleasure meeting you.
hugs from Chile
maria cecilia

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Hello Ann Marie!
What a wonderful blog you have and I love your little Bitty Brambly! I just discovered your blog through Brenda over at Cozy Little House and I knew from the pictures she posted that I would love it. I scrolled down and saw pictures of your home and didn't even bother to take a close look as I had to write and tell you that I am going to hit the 'follow' button as soon as I send this off. Yous style is what I love...It reminds me of my English Mother and Grandparents. I will enjoy going through your past posts to see what I've been missing. It's very nice to 'meet' you. I hope you have a wonderful day.
Maura :)

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Oh, I so enjoyed this look around. I love all the lovely touches you've added - the silhouettes of your daughters, and the hats - very English, if I may so!

Sarahx

Kristine: Lakeshore Cottage Living said...

I don't think this could be any more beautiful and perfect. I just love it all. Can I come stay?

Vintage Gal said...

I just came over from Brenda's Welcom Wagon Friday and I have to say OH MY GOSH Bitty Bramble is just absolute gorgeous. I could sit and relax there forEVER ;-) I am definintely going to follow along

Emily said...

Are you looking for a new tenant? It would be like living in a little fairytale cottage. FABULOUS, I want one too! Stop in and say hello to me sometime.

~Emily
The French Hutch

Our Country Bungalow said...

I love what you've done with Bitty Brambles!

We have an awesome treehouse here on our farm (not your everyday treehouse; it has windows, loft-bunks, and even a deck!) and now you've got me dreaming about new things to do!

Lovely!

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

What a darling little garden cottage. I'm so jealous...I'd love to spend the afternoon in there.

Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads said...

Oh, my! What a wonderful place to escape to and to use the excess items that you don't use in the big house any more. Looks like a woman cave to me!
Thanks for visiting my blog the other day and leaving your kind comment. Have a great weekend and go spend some time in Bitty Brambles!
Jane

Melanie {The Tiny Tudor} said...

Adorable- Such an enchanting place!

saltbox treasures said...

Hi Ann-Marie, Oh, Bitty Brambles is just perfect! You have such skill at decorating. It is just so cozy and looks like a wonderful get-away space.
I love it all! Thanks for sharing your little play house with us.
~ Julie

fitty's pinky rose cottage said...

oh I just love this Bitty Brambles! even the name is perfect! you did great job with the make over and glad you have a place to chill and rest!.. wishing you great weekend!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hey there- just stopping back by to say thanks for sharing this itty bitty delightful house at FNF! :)

Yvonne said...

Hi Ann-Marie, I just read your email and followed the link to Bitty Brambles. I had left a comment today on a recent post (the one with the beautiful tulips) about your "gardening shed". Oh my goodness, this is the farthest thing from a gardening shed! This little playhouse is straight from a storybook. At the first mention of fairies, I could imagine what your children were like when they were younger- my own little girl believes in fairies. Thank you so much for letting me know about Bitty Brambles! The name is delightful!

birdie blue said...

absolute darling make-over of your wee play house.
we have one, too. my four girls still spend quite a bit of time in it.

happy to have found your beautiful blog. i'm delighted to join as a follower, so I don't miss a thing.

have a lovely weekend.
xo
~molly

Brambleberry Cottage said...

Bitty Brambles is adorable! And I think it's wonderful that you've included several nods to its past by placing cherished items of your daughters' around the space.

Thanks for linking to the party, Ann-Marie.

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

VITTORIANA said...

dear Ann Marie I posted yr pics on my page over Facebook this is the link where youa are of course linked with yr blog, wonderful post
Susanna
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Victorianage-di-Susanna-Tesini-/112701315483552

Amy said...

A special retreat surrounded by treasures that you love!

Ral @ARTbyRT Seascapes and Island Life said...

What a pleasant Bitty house, I love the artwork and tea pots! Aloha Raliegh