Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tudor Cottage Time!

I wish I lived in a castle.

Tudor Cottage = Gorgeous
I can't be the only one who read all those stories of princesses and knights and dragons when they were little, right? I can't be the only one who longs to live in a world where old-fashioned chivalry is not dying (though it's still hanging on by a thread). I joined the SCA--in part--to learn about some of the skills I read about and thought sounded fun, like sewing and archery. (Archery's a work in progress.) Besides, a man's house is his castle, so why can't mine be a medieval cottage, at the very least?

Enter the Tudor architectural style.

Based on English Renaissance castles and cottages built during the reign of the Tudors (particularly Queen Elizabeth I), the Tudor Revival home features:
  • Asymmetrical layout and steepled gables;
  • Paned windows with the classic diamond pattern;
  • Natural materials used in construction like stucco, brick, wood, and stone;
  • Exposed timber beams, formerly integral to the structure and now merely decorative;
  • Flattened arches;
  • Heavier furniture and rich earth tones in decor; and 
  • An overall gorgeous house that dreams to be in a fairy tale like its owner.

If Wishes Were Fishes...

Ash has kindly let me decorate the new house, inside and out. (As he put it, his old apartment looked like "a storage space he lived in" rather than a home.) As long as I remember that "we do have to resell this one day" and I keep the dragons in the basement a la Daenerys Targaryen, he'll let me do what I wish. :)

Currently, the living room of our house looks like this, pre-move:
I hate the white, but bay window!
(I promise, I'll post pictures of the rest of the house later today, post-move[-ish. My furniture is still not in the house and we're still purchasing some necessary items.])

I plan to paint the walls with this color scheme:
Look at the brick and plaster! They basically glued money to the house.
...And repaint the chair rail and baseboard in a deep, rich brown. As for furniture, Ash has a lovely (and Ikea-cheap!) dark brown sofa, which will go wonderfully with the coffee table and end table we got at Ashley's Furniture. (Way too many Ashleys in that sentence.) We're still working on wall hangings, but I want to get a bunch of family and friend pictures, as well as mounting a mantelpiece/shelf area to display our mugs from the Maryland Renn Faire and some homemade tapestries featuring the sigils of Westerosi families because I am that cool. (Still need to talk Ash into that.) While I plan and plot those out in my scrap fabric bin, I have coasters from ThinkGeek to fulfill my daily SoIaF needs.

Unfortunately, the goblet is not included.
As for the bay window, I want to buy some vinyl "window cling caning" from Amazon and replicate  diamond-shaped leaded panes. For $15, it's worth a try.
No luck finding window clings to match the circle bits, but one thing at a time.

What about outside?

For those who didn't read my last post, the front of my house looks like this:
Wow, are those bushes huge.
I need to do something with it, seasonal allergies notwithstanding, but what? Well, apparently I'm not the only one with this question, but a lot of the suggestions were no go's, like traditional English Knot gardens, as I am a.) not nearly skilled enough to pull this off, b.) too poor to hire someone who can, and c.) our plot is only five feet wide.

In lieu of that, I'm planning on planting four o'clocks underneath the bay window (technically something else which is almost a bay window but not because it's jutting out from the building itself, which is coincidentally right in style with the Tudor Revival thing but I can't find the link). I've grown them before, and they're very, very simple. Besides that, I'm glorying in being able to plant flowers without fear of deer eating them, so snapdragons and morning glories are sprouting in my peat-pellet tray. (Pictures coming!!)

Ash actually weighed in on this and requested herbs, so oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, sage, parsley, and...something else I can't remember are also growing. (Not cilantro. Like my mother before me, I dislike it and don't cook with it.) Weirdly enough, the rosemary sprouted in damp potting soil, which shouldn't happen due to its low germination rate and its preference for warmer temperatures and sandier soil than I can give it, but I'm not questioning anything.

The herbs will eventually go on the back porch by the kitchen. A new aloe vera plant will join my African violet on the kitchen counter, if one of my friends has an aloe that's sprouting babies and I can ask before they hack them all off.

And that's it!

Well, maybe not it, because I still have wrought-iron cabinet hardware to install and the trim to paint a darker brown and our bedroom to do and the game room/guest bed basement to complete, but that's it for the Tudor Revival inspiration stuff. Stay tuned for pictures of the rest of the house! Ash really picked well with this townhouse. :) If you'd like to see more ideas for what I want to do, you could follow my Pinterest board--I update it as I find more interesting ideas or items to include.

While I'm thinking of it, you've now seen two photos of my house--do any of you have any suggestions for what I can do with it? I'm all ears! (Or eyes--this is the internet, after all!)

~Ashley
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