My name is Merritt, I'm a (newly) full time wife and mother of two tweens. I gave up my career to move across the country and start a new life for my family. A few months ago, our family moved from Maine (where I'd lived my whole life) to Georgia. I absolutely adore the South, I always have. My favorite movie, even when I was a little girl, is Gone With the Wind. I used to dream about being Scarlett O'Hara, and being surrounded by stately mansions and antebellum homes, the magical red clay of Georgia, cotton fields, luxurious furnishings and more money that I'd ever know what to do with. Of course, reality turned out to be a little different...well, a lot different.
We moved into a little cottage-style house in the suburbs. Cottage (as I'm learning) is really a nice way to say small. The crazy thing is, we chose it. We looked at other houses, 2 others that were MUCH bigger than this house, but they just didn't speak to us. As we were driving down the street to see this house for the first time, I was thinking, oh, please let be that one! It's a blue house with black shutters (hence "The Black Shuttered Cottage"), it has a backyard with tall trees and a creek that runs along the far side. The first time we opened the front door, we both looked at each other and said, this is it. And it is. I adore my little house by the creek, and even though it's small, I love it. It's the first time in my whole life I've felt like I'm home. This isn't our starter house, this isn't a stopping place until we buy a bigger house, this is our home.
For the past 3 months, I've spent every waking moment fixing up and decorating our little cottage, and loving every minute of it. I've been posting my progress on Facebook for my friends and family to see, and I keep getting emails and comments telling me how I should decorate their houses. A couple of people suggested that I write about my progress. I've been considering that suggestion for awhile, and today I just figured I'd make a go of it.
I'm not a professional decorator. I have zero experience. I'm sort of dumb when it comes to power tools and I can't sew at all, but I do love decorating and home renovation. And with one income, two kids, 4 dogs and a mortgage, I don't have an unlimited budget. Quite the opposite, really. My husband is known to be pretty tight-fisted when it comes to spending money, so I often have to get creative. Plus, I rarely know what I'm doing until I actually do it, so there's no amount of money that can help...unless I hire a contractor, and where's the fun in that?