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A Little Dining Room

Did you ever have a play house when you were growing up?
 I remember when my dad built one for me. 
I LOVED it. 
It was small and it charming and was my own little house.

I would say the theme was pretty much 'rustic' it was made out of plywood and 2x4's.
 It had little fabric curtains on the windows and a little door - mostly to keep my brother out. ;)
I used to drag my toys up there to play and I remember sitting and looking up at that
peaked beamed ceiling (which was just the construction beams and nothing more)
and I admired it and loved it.
 I guess it was probably the start of all of my house renovating and decorating obsessions.
Now, I sometimes escape out to the little cottage on our property to 'play'. 
I move things around,  restyle the bookshelves

and even set a little table in the dining area on occasion.

The dining area out here is a small & simple area with just a couple chairs, 
an old iron garden bench and old shabby french table

I love how quiet and simple it feels 

I added just a few touches of Christmas out here...
and a fresh wreath from Lowes dotted with  vintage ornaments was perfect.

Ohhhh.. and I was so excited that I found my absolute favorite flowers
at the grocery store this week.

 Yes, Peonies are in the house!
Whoo Whoo!!

The light was a little bit better with a break in the rain yesterday- pouring again now
so just a few photos today and I will share more with a Christmas Cottage tour soon.
For now, I need to read up on how to set the camera for Christmas lights (without the yellowing)
 and dark rainy skies. It is supposed to be dumping rain all week here.


Hope your weekend is going great!
Happy Saturday!


  1. Hello Courtney. NO I never had a play house :-( Us city dwellers barely had yards ... hahahahaa. But I always wanted one. I still do....
    Your cottage is beautiful, can hardly wait for the Christmas tour.
    Cheers, Gee
    PS.. my weekend is fab.. tweaking the Christmas decor I put up last weekend :-)

  2. What a gorgeous table. The dining room looks amazing! Your playing house has paid off, you're amazing!

  3. Oh my....sooooo beautiful!!! Love the wreath on the blakboard...the grainsack tablecloth...the tree...the's all just wonderful!!!!

  4. very pretty Courtney, can't wait for the Cottage Christmas tour.

  5. Only at the French Country Cottage can we find a Christmas peony. Thank you, Courtney! Beautiful!

  6. Very pretty, Courtney! Happy Holidays! xo

  7. Simply beautiful Courtney!!!! I always wanted a play house but never had one, but my best friend had one and we would play in it for hours! What a wonderful memory!
    Hope you have a lovely Sunday.

  8. so excited to find you & your beautiful blog. I have not received the new Issue of RC but am hearing incrediable reviews of your beautiful home. Love your pictures very beautiful too, xo Laura

  9. I remember a simple plywood playhouse my dad built for me when I was a little girl in San Francisco. The window came down and a made table. Thanks for making me remember that today. This is a beautiful cottage. I love everything you do. Beautiful!

  10. Courtney,
    It was fun reading about how your dad built you a playhouse and that's where you first started story is the same:) I would take my mom's Good Housekeeping magazines out to my playhouse and try to copy what I saw in them..that's for sure where it all started for me. Your cottage is so very pretty and I hope the rain let's up on ya.


  11. So very pretty! When I was a little girl I wanted a play house in the backyard soooo badly. My next door neighbor had one and she NEVER played in it. I was too shy to ask if I could play in it and my parents would not have let me. But I fantasized about how I'd decorate it if it were mine way back then when I was like 6 or 7. I think maybe I asked once for one and was told no and never asked again. If I'd kept asking they would have built me one...but I thought it was just too big of a thing to ask for. I can see why you are enjoying your little cottage so much.

  12. It is all just so beautiful Courtney and I love peonies!! Your pictures are always fabulous and I can only imagine what your place looks like in person.

  13. What a lovely cottage! You have decorated it so lovingly...I'd be out there playing all the time too!

  14. What. Great dad you have!!! Glade to see your still playing house.

  15. My weekend is going great thank you,I've done heaps of decorating and baking. I'm well ahead this year.
    Your little cottage would be so much fun and right in your own back yard too. It looks lovely all decorated for Christmas. xx

  16. Courtney, this is so beautiful! Everything looks so serene and lovely. The peonies are wonderful, too! Gorgeous setting!

  17. A cottage is a bit like a playhouse. I play house and nest in mine all day. Looks like you do too and it is every inch, BEAUTIFUL!

  18. It all looks so beautiful Courtney. Have a great weekend.

  19. The cottage is so alluring and sweet Courtney.

  20. What a beautiful setting, Courtney! Oh, to be a guest in your cottage!

  21. Peonies are one of my favorites too! Everything looks gorgeous!

  22. Your cottage is beautiful Courtney! Love your silver platters on the wall! Love hanging those too!And surrounded by your chalk board and wreath is pure elegance! Your tablescape looks amazing as always too! How lucky to find peonies at the market!Thanks for sharing and always inspiring! Have a wonderful day!

  23. Such a gorgeous, serene setting!
    I picked up some red and white packing twine similar to yours at Ikea and I love how you have wrapped your silverware with it & tucked in a sprig of fresh flowers ♥

  24. It looks beautiful, Courtney. Just a gorgeous table!!! xo Diana

  25. love the chalkboard with the wreath. I've got one very similar, but not as rustic. Love yours more!

  26. Love your little cottage and your Christmas decorating. So inviting and beautiful flowers!

  27. Is the wreath in the background just a picture or is it an actual wreath in a frame? Just stunning!!!!! Jann

  28. Scrumptiously gorgeous Courtney! I am loving the wreath in the framed chalkboard, and you know peonies are my abso faves!! Beautiful as always!!

  29. You take such wonderful pictures. We have a similar story. I also had a play house built by my father. My love of tiny spaces started there. I started a blog about tiny spaces & my tiny house. It is my retreat / guest cottage and get away. It measures 8'x 18' on the inside. It is my menopause cave. When I decorate it, it feels like I am wrapped in a hug. I so understand your joy when you decorate your cottage. I wish you would come bring your wonderful decorating touch to my shabby chic tiny retreat. I adore your guest cottage. It is beautiful and I could live there happily forever.

  30. Hi Courtney! I Love everything! Your peonies are so beautiful...
    I hope you are having a great weekend!

  31. So pretty! I never had a play house, but I still want one! Can't wait to see the cottage Christmas tour! From the peeks at the tree I get from these photos, I bet it's gorgeous! Hugs, Leena

  32. Not one thing is less than perfect,each and every detail is so could inspire the best my friend,x0

  33. I wish I had a cottage like yours to play in. How fun. I love the way you have styled the dining area.

  34. Simple is so beautiful here! I love the silver ball ornaments on the green wreath--very pretty.

  35. Your have great taste. Your post are always filled with such beautiful pictures. I'm just totally loving this dining room all dressed up for the holiday.

  36. What a precious little cottage, and wonderful place to go and play. I always wanted a playhouse too, but was never lucky enough to have one, so i had a box for a house, and would build little sofas and chairs to put in it. We started young, didn't we!? The peonies are such a treat, and i think alot of us would love to know what you figure out about photographing the christmas lights !


  37. Hi Courtney!!

    Yes my sisters and I had a playhouse and in the summer we use to have slumber parties. So much fun!!

    You are very elegant with you designs. So pretty!!


  38. It's beautiful, Courtney! Your first photo, and the last two are amazing. You have such a talent for photography! :-)