photo cottage final reveal.

I can’t tell you how happy I am with my decision to turn my summer house into a photo studio, now aptly named the ‘photo cottage’ (thanks Darrielle!).

I am having a great time staging my furniture makeovers in the cottage and getting great pics.  I have found that I have to time it properly.  Morning light is much better than evening light because it’s not reflecting off of my red carriage house.  Bright sunshine is best, but I can fake it a little if there are clouds.  My next goal is to research my artificial lighting options so my timing can be more flexible.  Since I have a day job masquerading as an accountant, morning photo shoots might be few and far between.

I thought I would pull the makeover all together into one final post for you.  First, a quick ‘before’ collage of the summer house.

summer house collageIt was charming and lovely, but sadly underutilized.  So let’s head on in and check out the new look!

The door handle on the cottage is an old hand held garden tool that Ken affixed to the door.  To the side of the door is my planter and watering can on a pulley.  Those poor begonias look pretty sad.  I never have luck with them!  I usually don’t buy them, but these were just such a gorgeous deep pink.

photo cottage exterior collage

photo cottage exterior

The bricks that make up the stoop are from an old brick patio that used to be in front of my deck.  We pulled them up a while back to make the patio larger and we replaced them with flagstone.  I saved the brick and have been using it to edge my gardens and I also used it here.  Honestly, the bricks are just stacked in place.  No mortar or anything.  They have held up quite well though.

After painting the inside walls and floor white, adding a grey diamond pattern to the floor, and having Ken build a faux wall insert for the back window, I now have the perfect canvas for furniture photo shoots.


And on the other side of the room, I have a cozy seating area in case I ever do want to just relax out there and read a book (ha, as if I really ever do that!).  Plus, I finally came up with the perfect spot for the Paris sign that I purchased from Curious Sofa.

photo cottage chair

You may recognize the chair.  It was a makeover from last winter.  I brought it to Junk Bonanza, but there were no takers.  I also had it out for my Carriage House Sale, but again, no go.  Sometimes things are just meant to be mine!  This chair is quite comfy too, especially with the added pillow which is covered in one of my favorite vintage monogrammed pillow cases.

photo studio pillow close up

I used the space above the window to display some of my chippy green garden tools.

photo cottage slate and tools

And across from the chair is the cupboard for storing my photo props.

photo cottage cabinet

For a little better perspective, here is a shot of that entire side of the cottage.

photo cottage north wall

It’s not a large space at all, but it has just enough room to make a perfect stage for freshly revamped furniture!  I know I will get a lot more use out of this space now.  You are sure to see a lot of it on q is for quandie!

photo cottage linen white

15 thoughts on “photo cottage final reveal.

  1. Love it – I never noticed the door handle was a garden tool – how clever was that? I bet after seeing this post, there will be a few more structures out there in blogland similar to this with “old” tools for handles! Fabulous from top to bottom…


  2. Wonderful,wonderful,wonderful… Lawrence Welk would say! (You are probably to young to recognize him!) I love the consistent vibe you have running through your property – I kinda prefer if the house is vintage go with it and boy have you. So charming –


    1. LOL … no, I am not too young to remember Lawrence Welk. Just hearing his name brings back memories of sitting in my grandparent’s living room with Lawrence Welk on TV. I remember they used to put their TV Guide (yeah, I remember those too!) on a clippy thing and then hang it from a hook on the back of the TV. Isn’t it funny the little details that our brains hang on to!


  3. Oh my gosh! The photo cottage is beautiful! Now my one question, what about the harsh winters in Minnesota? Do you winterize the cottage? I would hate to see your hard work get wrecked by snow! And the comment about Lawrence Welk, my grandparents loved him. Lots of Saturday nights at their house watching Bobby and Cissie dancing on the old black and white tv!


    1. Well, I don’t winterize the cottage in the sense that it is usable in winter. I do close it up, and it stays quite dry inside. The roof is good, the windows all get closed up tight. I will likely bring the chair back in the house, and certainly all of my props will come inside for winter. As for Lawrence Welk, did you know that he was originally from North Dakota and he went to music school here in Minneapolis? And he got his start leading big bands in eastern South Dakota, which is where my grandmother was from. I wonder now if she knew that and especially liked him for that reason.


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