How to “Coorie” up your Home February 16 2019
I have spent some time this winter tracing my ancestry and found a strong connection with my Scottish roots. My journey to better learn about where I came from lead me to a new take on an old concept from Scotland called “Coorie”. Historically the word means to “cuddle” or get “cozy” but has transformed over time to take on a new meaning. Gabriella Bennett took the time to explore its new meaning and wrote a book on the subject. After reading her book I had a realization that many of the described aspects of “Coorie” are very similar to what I use in everyday life and in my Home Decor. Bennett’s official definition of the word is...
“The Scottish art of deriving comfort, wellbeing and energy from wild landscapes and convivial interiors”
Bennett’s book goes into great detail on the commandments of Coorie, examples in food and drink, some traditions and the history of the word. It is an amazing read and I highly recommend it. The biggest takeaway for me was how to live a “Coorie” life here in Vermont and create a “Coorie” home by creating decor from what is found around me in my environment and community.
Here are some examples...
-Sheepskin hides and pillows: we are lucky to have lots of local farms in the area that we can visit and purchase hides from. Its an experience and hides make any home instantly cozy and chic.
-Rocks from Lake Champlain: Lake Champlain has some of the coolest rocks, they are smooth and are a cool gray color with lots of stripes and patterns of white. They look great in a glass container, I use them in containers to plant bulbs indoors.
-Deer and Moose Antlers: I have a couple sets of moose dropped antlers that look great hanging on the wall or as a centerpiece on a table.
-Moss: We like to take our dogs and kids out on walks in the woods, which is a great opportunity to collect moss. I use it at home on top of my potted plants, it looks great and adds great color to any room.
-Wool and knit items: I love to knit, especially in the winter evenings. We have so many great local fiber folks that sell amazing yarns from sheep and alpaca.
-Feathers: My husband is an avid upland hunter and while its not an activity I plan to partake in anytime soon, I love to use the feathers from the fowl in my decor. I add them to vintage glass bottles or in flower arrangements for some texture.
-Branches: I clip branches from my yard and bring them in and put them in vintage glass jars. They look great and eventually start to bloom green leaves which are so pretty and a real treat in the dead of winter.
-Eggs: I have had chickens for almost 12 years now and while I enjoy their company everyday, their eggs are such a treat. I keep ours in a basket on the counter, they are so pretty to look at. They are of course the freshest eggs you will ever eat as well!
-Greenery: whether its spring, summer, fall or winter I am always clipping greenery from the yard and bringing it inside. Place it in baskets, jars, vases, whatever you can find. It brings a room to life.
While the term “Coorie” is derived from Scotland, its a perfect way to describe how I live here in Vermont. I can spend time outside enjoying its beauty at any time of year and have something use in my home to create an inviting space. It helps to create a well balanced life, a content life.
So I invite you to give it a try, “Coorie” up your home... get outside take a good look around you and bring something home to help create a cozy and comfortable home while living a content and balanced life!
Getting Thanksgiving Ready November 05 2018
Thanksgiving is just two weeks away and I wanted to share a fun Thanksgiving tablescape. I like to keep things simple when it comes to seasonal decor, our house is tiny and storage is very limited. I like to use what I find outside and other transitional pieces that can be used throughout the year. The only thing I purchased for this tablescape were the pumpkin chargers. I got them on clearance at Pier 1 after Halloween 😉
The little guy and I spent some time outside collecting seasonal greenery and foliage. Then he had a snack while I went to work.
I have off white plates for everyday use so they can easily be dressed up no matter the occasion. My husband spent a couple of weeks bird hunting in October and I made sure he saved some feathers for me. I wasn’t sure what I would use them for until this morning, but they work well!
I love these battery operated twinkle lights, when I am done with them here on the table I will put them in a large vintage glass jar for a little sparkle in my living room.
Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!!
A Very Important Bathroom October 05 2018
I purchased our home over 10 years ago, I was single and had a lovely Saint Bernard named Lola. I remember thinking how was I ever going to fill all of the space. Since then many new animals and humans have moved in, two dogs, one cat, one husband and three children and I no longer worry about how to fill all of the home’s space. Needless to say the only full bathroom was no longer accommodating all of our needs.
We didn’t want to add another bathroom so decided to make the one we had work better. After much brainstorming, that meant taking out a linen closet to make room for a double vanity. This also opened up the footprint of the room.
I made up for the lost storage by adding other cabinets in the bathroom and upstairs. We had to spend quite a bit on plumbers to relocate and add a sink, as well as electricians to update all the wiring and add much needed lighting. So that meant being creative in other ways to stay on budget. We did that a couple of ways, one by using an old sideboard my parents no longer needed to use as our new double vanity. The piece was well made and had great lines, but I wasn’t a fan of the finish. I decided to strip the piece down, paint it black and update the hardware.
The other way we saved was by keeping the tub, it is original to the house from 1940 and in great shape with lots of years left in it. I was excited to keep something original as well, you know how the saying goes “they don’t make things like they used to!”
When designing the space I wanted to keep it traditional to the house so splurged on a marble counter top and picked a classic basketweave tile for the floors. This photo from Farrow and Ball became my inspiration for the color scheme, including the matching cat!
It was a long month without a shower (thank you to everyone who let me borrow their showers!) but we are so glad we did it. When you only have one full bathroom and a family of five, it becomes very important that it is the RIGHT bathroom!
Brimfield in September September 05 2014
The Brimfield Antique Show is on our Calendars every May, July and September. Sally is there as we speak, solo! with Beatrice going back to school this week, I stayed here in Vermont. Despite the unexpected heat, Sally loaded/unloaded the trailer and setup the 20'x40' tent with all of our best finds. As usual we were pleased to have returning customers visit us on opening day, all walking away with great pieces and lots of smiles...
Despite manning the tent all by herself, Sally has had a chance to get out and do some buying as well! Here are some great baskets that will be making their way back to the Vermont Shop...
September is the last show of the Brimfield season, so until May we say goodbye to all our Brimfield customers, fans and friends! we thank you for the successful shows and we will be back at it in the Spring!
Brianne and Sally
Mud Season March 23 2014
Mud Season in Vermont is the season in between Winter and Spring when all the snow and ice thaw turning everything to MUD. With four dogs and two kids, I generally dread this time of year. HOWEVER since this has been one of the longer and colder winters we have had in a while, I would WELCOME a little mud!!
Since we are still patiently awaiting Spring to make it's appearance, the Vermont Shop's re-opening will be a little delayed this year. If Mother Nature can cooperate I am hoping by the end of April to have the doors open :) We have been busy over the Winter buying and storing so we have lots of great things to open the shop with, so stay tuned! In the mean time be sure to watch us on Facebook and in our new online store for lots of fun items!!
We look forward to seeing everyone in the coming weeks, till then - stay warm :)
Bri and Sally