“Putting it in Neutral” is a nostalgically outmoded way of slowing a car. Coasting. Stopping. Parking. Responding with hands-on immediacy. Driving with a stick requires focus, finesse and thought. It’s straightforward. No frills. Fun. It puts you in control. Forget cellphones, MP3 players or eating breakfast. Driving with manual gears requires your full attention.
Just how “automatic” crept in and took over cars is unclear. Some call it easier, more convenient. But is it beneficial to lose the nuances of being the one in control? To be so easily distracted by 10 other things when you’re trying to accomplish one? Some of us are naturally better multi-taskers than others, but it’s not essential in everything we do. Maybe the real trick is to “single-task”. Resist the sometimes sneaky complexity of what is presented as “automatic”. No offense, of course, to those who revere an automatic transmission! Once you switch, it’s truly hard to go back…
Shifting gears (pun intended), imagine you’re considering decorating a room or two in your home. Maine Cottage is a furniture company afterall. How about taking the stick shift approach to your project? Deliberate and focused. One thing at a time. And if it’s simplicity and nuance you’re hankering for, then consider limiting your choice of styles and colors as we’ve shown in this post. These colors (mostly quite “neutral” in tone) are intended to express the spirit of “the big idea”, but personal preference is the rule. Simplify is the sentiment.
Less visual complexity makes a space easy and elegant. Subtle colors can have the same uplifting appeal as the reds we’ve presented this week. An interplay that is both warm and cool. A focus that’s further enhanced by a visual variety of rich, understated textures (ie: fabric, bedding, pillows, window treatments, rugs and various accessories). Thoughtfully handpicked and placed by you to create a unified composition. Not 10 different competing ideas, but one that resonates with singular clarity. Pleasingly your very own. This is overdrive. Let the coasting begin.
cover: January 2011
Thank you Martha Stewart Living magazine for including our new solid oak Ogden Long Bench in the January 2011 issue under Great Finds. Martha Stewart Living says “their decorating mission has always been to create rooms that are functional, yet relaxed and inviting – in short, spaces that are about living.” Evidently, we are very like-minded as we could not have said it better. Ogden features a brushed finish and is happy to hold up to 4 Monday Baskets.
Ogden Long Bench in milk
Our new Ogden Collection looks a bit different for Maine Cottage, but beneath its beachy brushed finish are the same native, natural materials as the rest of our wood furniture. The maple, butternut, cherry, and now oak used to build Maine Cottage furniture are grown and re-grown sustainably here in the USA. Prized by furniture makers, flooring mills and squirrels alike, oak trees are a majestic and fruitful resource. The definition of weighty hardness and enduring strength.
A pronounced grain is the most distinguishing aesthetic feature of oak. These “natural defects” are the varied, tapered grain patterns that remind us of the “real” qualities of wood furniture. Its unique character. Our Ogden collection does not have an oak veneer (thin slices of oak or uniform synthetic panels glued to a less expensive wood frame) to peel or bubble. Ogden is benchmade with solid wood and premium hardware to last a good long time.
Ogden pieces are substantial with an inherent resistance to moisture, insects, fungus, and general aging. Perfect for coastal and humid climates – like the rest of our furniture. Best of all, oak grain patterns readily accept our Ivory and Milk brushed finish for the vintage beach house, summer cottage, summery aesthetic we so love. Yes, you wood love Ogden.
A Maine Cottage guest bedroom with an Ogden Long Bench.
Just in from a customer are several images of a sparkling condo in snowy Ontario, Canada filled with Maine Cottage color and fabric. Cathy Earle worked with Annie in our West Palm Beach, Florida store to purchase many yards of Maine Cottage fabric and breathe new life into upholstered and wicker furniture she already owns.
We love her choice of Maine Cottage colors and how she mixed and matched Ann’s Labyrinth with Hotty Dotty patterns and solids to unify this space. White bricks, white trim, painted furniture and walls complete this joyful composition. How great to have a “Maine Cottage” in Canada. Love the stockings too!
Kiawah Island is one of those beautiful barrier island resorts near historic Charleston in South Carolina. Best known for its natural beauty, Kiawah is a coastal resort with world-class golf courses, sandy beaches and lovely homes. All in a very tranquil setting. Katie and Jack sent these four images of their living and sun rooms. Both completed recently with the help of Maine Cottage Design Consultant Amy Zonarich. The amount of natural light in these two inviting rooms is truly breathtaking.
“We have had nothing but wonderful comments,
A special note that the two Owen Chairs shown in the living room in zinnia Tweet Suite were part of the 2010 Charleston Symphony Designer Showhouse. Thank you for giving them a good home – they look wonderful in your living room.
A sunny sunroom with two armchairs in summer Bloom, a rattan Romeo Coffee Table and Island Sound Cabinet. Maine Cottage colors include: hot lime, sprout, porch and wave.
A Zelda Sofa is always a delight. Thanks for sharing Katie and Jack.
Nina in Leaflette with a Dilly pillow
Nina is a gracefully petite Armchair, Swivel Chair and Sofa with pleasing roundness and a plump seat. A perennial favorite in our stores, Nina’s attractive in any of our 200 Maine Cottage fabric choices – and particularly festive in our zinnia Dilly and Leaflette prints, so we thought we’d share.
Nina Sofa in zinnia Dilly & Armchairs in hot lime Hammock
Nina Armchairs in zinnia/pear Leaflette
A sofa that multitasks is a beautiful thing. It’s handsome seating by day, then voila! It’s a supremely comfortable bed by night. What better way to maximize efficiency in your living space? A Maine Cottage sleeper sofa turns a den, home office, study, playroom, or any space into a guest bedroom. The versatility and practicality of a Monty Sleeper Sofa (shown above in sprout Luxe Loop) are invaluable. Especially when your children come home from school or visit with their own children…
Still pondering a gift idea for the coming holidays? A Maine Cottage sofa, sleeper sofa, bed or dresser (any furniture order of $2000 or more) is the ultimate stocking stuffer. Each one custom finished to order in your choice of 200 fabrics and 40 colors. All orders placed by December 24th will be delivered FREE nationwide by our White Glove service. This is a pretty good deal.
When you live in the Northeast, the thought of a winter retreat is very appealing. Lois and David of Long Island, New York recently decorated their Palm Beach, Florida condo with the help of Maine Cottage Design Consultant Kelly Prucnal in our Yarmouth, Maine store.
We love their color and style choices. Our upholstery, rattan, bed, dressers and various accessories combine easily with other furniture they own. And it’s great to see several pieces from our beachy oak Ogden collection in the master bedroom. The overall feel of these living spaces is one of simplicity and comfort. A coastal condo filled with light and ease. Surely a welcome respite from old man winter up in our neck of the woods.
A Venus Love in mango Pure Linen
“Divan” is a funny old word for uncomfortably formal, sofa-like seating (below). A Maine Cottage Venus Love (above) is something entirely different. Something divine. And just as alluring as its namesake. It’s curvaceous and sumptuous seating for living spaces of every kind. Yes, fit for a goddess in your choice of 200 heavenly fabrics. Made in USA.
traditional divans of yesteryear…
Maine Cottage Otto fabric is a favorite around here. Our Design Consultants and customers love its textural, fine-waled, ribbed surface. These 100% weighty cotton fabrics in rich hues are very appealing. And now we’ve added five more color choices
for a total of fifteen. Each of them coordinates easily with the rest of our paint and fabric colors. Spill and stain-resistant Nano-Tex fabric protection keeps them fresh and pristine for a good long time. You Otto try it…
NEW True Blue
Norma Sofa in Summer Bloom, Norma Chair in Otto with a Celia Cocktail Table
The Maine Cottage® blog is a window into what inspires our designers to create cottage style furniture, coastal colors and unique fabric patterns. Whether you're an interior designer that specifies our products, a color consultant with creative block or a homeowner ready to live on the colorful side—welcome to our color drenched journey!
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