the cottage, finally.

Okay, so I know I’ve been terrible about sharing pictures of the Cottage. It was a combination of wanting it to be perfect and wanting to debut it in person with my clients before sharing it on the web. So now that at least one of those things has happened (perfection is still a long way off) I’m finally ready to share.

It would be impossible for me to really sum this place up into adequate words. I really don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of anything in my life (with the exception of the little human beings I’m raising) and in many ways I’m quite sure I’m prouder than I should be. I love the space we’ve created but I want to be sure not to take all the credit.

This place would be nothing without my amazing husband who never even rolls his eyes when I start another off the wall idea with “so I was thinking…”.

Nor would it have even an ounce of the character it has without Heather who poured her heart and soul into this project over the last six months. Sadly, Heather has moved on to a full time job but I’ll never stop appreciating the work that she did on the Cottage. Seriously, everything here has her fingerprint on it. I tell her she’s like Moses…she got her people to the promised land but wasn’t able to go in.

Then there are my friends who came and painted every inch of this space. And my family members who show so much interest in the space, some hounding me almost daily to share pictures. (Sorry Grama!!!)

And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Craigslist. And the Goodwill. The Cottage wouldn’t be half the woman she is without those guys!

So without further adieu…here’s my new baby…

That beautiful stained glass window was originally hidden by a coat closet. Can you imagine? At the suggestion of my client/realtor/friend/soon-to-be-part-time-employee Ginger, I had a handyman (ask me for his number…he’s awesome!) remove the doors and finish out the area. I love how it turned out.

Straight ahead when you walk in the front door you see this old doctor’s medicine cabinet that my Grama loved back to life decades ago. It was a part of my childhood home after my mom took possession of it, and now it welcomes our guests into the Cottage, housing some of my milk glass collection (again, compliments of Grama) and my vintage camera collection. It’s one of my favorite pieces in the whole place.

Here’s the view of the entire sitting room…

And here is the beautiful window that has already cast its beautiful light onto several handfuls of precious babies…

I was overwhelmed by the number of friends and partner businesses who sent plants and flowers for our grand opening. This gorgeous arrangement was compliments of Envy Boutique.

The chairs were Craiglist finds that I had recovered, and the beautiful painting in the background is a Life in Motion piece by Bekah Bynum (of Spirited Art fame). We’re thrilled to be partnering with Bekah on a few different lines of painted portraits, one of which is the Life in Motion. More about all of that coming to the business blog soon. =)

Facing the other direction in this room you’ll see our simple but quaint fireplace, made even more fabulous by a little ol’ 30×40 canvas of the cutest kids I know. And beauty full words painted on found wood by my dear friend Becca (not to be confused with my dear friend Bekah, above) whose small found object art shop Paint It Red I’ve been kind of obsessed with lately.

You can also see my penchant for colorful vintage hard-sided suitcases. And don’t be jealous but those fun wood grain chairs totally came from Starbucks by way of the Goodwill. One coffee shop’s trash is a photographer’s treasure!

If you look back through the arch into the other side of the room you’ll find yourself in the dining room turned ordering consultation room. You could say this is the room that pays the bills and keeps the lights on!

Settee by Ballard Design by way of Craigslist, library chair found on the side of the road, warehouse pendant lamp from Home Depot, end tables rescued by my mama, and rug and coffee table from Crate and Barrel.

And facing the other direction…buffet table, lamps, and lanterns straight from the Craigslist. Little bench found in my in-laws’ “barn”…which is a polite way to say the place they built to house all my father-in-law’s, ahem, treasures. (Love you FIL!)

(Are you tiring of the rundown yet? Better start skimming…this is gonna be a long one!)

Off the foyer/hallway is the first bedroom which we’re using to store props and other equipment.

This room is more function than fun. Except for…

the wall o’ baby. If that doesn’t kickstart your ovaries I don’t know what will.

The other two bedrooms are much more magical. Starting with the baby room…

Table and chairs set via Craigslist. The small crib was my mother-in-law’s baby bed…rescued from the “barn”. The rug was a find on overstock.com and the chinese lanterns were much cheaper on this site than they were at the Land of Nod where I originally fell in love with the idea.

The fun rocking horse was found by my friend and colleague Marla, who is the proud photographer currently working out of this super cool room…

Marla photographs teens and tweens so together we created Twist: One of a Kind Portrait for Tweens and Teens. Check her out and be sure to like the Twist page on Facebook! She also took the pictures for this blog post…thank you Marla!

Adjacent to the hallway that connects the baby room and teen room is the cute little bathroom…

which leads right to my office…

The office is actually attached to the kitchen but there’s not a shot of that. You can kind of get a glimpse through the mirror of the cut out window that connects the two rooms though. My office is a jumble of Ikea, Pottery Barn clearance, and Crate and Barrel. If you have a question, just ask!

As you walk out into the backyard you’ll pass through the back porch, which we had completely redone since it was in a pretty sorry (read: ugly) state.

Love that picture of Heather and Jude. One of my all time favorites, for reals.

And then, you walk into the backyard, whose landscape was completely redesigned by Chad Bostick of Bostick Landscape Architects. I seriously cannot recommend Chad enough. Another post all about that coming soon! All of our plants are still growing in but you can definitely get an idea of where we’re headed…

And turning back around to face the back of the Cottage, this facade was redone as well…

Here I am about five seconds before the first guests arrived at the grand opening.

I was a crazy woman. As in, I was on a ladder in heels with sweat pouring off my body while twinkle lights were shattering everywhere. That kind of crazy woman. I don’t know what I would have done had it not been for Heather, Becca and Lee Lee of Lyn’s Gracious Goodness and Susan from The Toy Place. They saved my sanity. They also probably saved me from breaking my neck.

In the end though, every single thing was beautiful. So much more so than I ever dreamed.

Our partner businesses were so generous and I had SO much fun giving away all these fun prizes. I swear, I felt like Oprah.

Every girl should get to feel like Oprah at least once in her life.

Lyn’s absolutely outdid themselves.

Everything was as delicious as it was beautiful.

But these ham and pimiento cheese biscuits? I think I ate half of them myself. Oh my goodness gracious. Or, as the case may be, oh my Lyn’s Gracious Goodness.

Notice anything missing from this cocktail table?

How about cocktail napkins? This girl forgot to get them. But luckily my client/realtor/friend/soon-to-be-part-time-employee Ginger happened to have 150 of those bad boys in her trunk. I think she and I are going to work out just fine.

So there you have it, almost everything you ever wanted to know about the Cottage all rolled into one epicly long post. Have any other questions? Hit me up in the comment section.

I’m prouder than I should be so I’m happy to answer. =)

JenniferSeptember 12, 2012 - 6:31 pm

It is so gorgeous Erin! Congratulations! I hate that we missed such a great party but can’t wait to see it “in action” next week!

MeganSeptember 12, 2012 - 6:37 pm

UNREAL! Makes me so sad I missed it!! I think you should be every bit as proud as you are! Fantastic job!!

Steph ConnorSeptember 12, 2012 - 6:53 pm

Wow! Just wow! I would be over-the-moon excited to just work, much less own, a place like this!!!! Will you do all of your future sessions here or do you still do outdoor locations or newborns in clients” homes? Best of luck with this beautiful new project 🙂

AliciaSeptember 12, 2012 - 7:02 pm

It looks utterly amazing! You nailed it, Erin! I know it must have been a magical grand opening. I can’t wait to see it in person!

JenniferSeptember 12, 2012 - 7:05 pm

Oh.My.Goodness. It’s absolutely magical. The babies room – can’t even tell you how awesome it is. And that brown and blue floral rug in the porch area – LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! And the landscaping!!! Wow. Just WOW. Congratulations and great job!!

HilarySeptember 12, 2012 - 7:14 pm

Everything looks amazing Erin! I hate we missed but it was our night to take dinner to our friends the Howells! By the way, your pictures for them were amazing! Looks like it was such a nice evening!

j.j.September 12, 2012 - 7:41 pm

My friend, you deserve to be prouder than proud! The place is gorgeous!! Well done 🙂

NickiSeptember 12, 2012 - 7:58 pm

Amazing.So very proud of you!!! So many questions and comments about all of the goods! Too many for iPad typing :). More tomorrow.

Janelle AndersonSeptember 12, 2012 - 8:06 pm

Oh Erin, it’s just perfect and to see it all come together is amazing. I remember running by the place last Spring, a place with so much potential that you turned into a reality. Congratulations! I can’t wait to see it in person…real soon! Hugs.

SuzySeptember 12, 2012 - 8:06 pm

The Cottage looks AMAZING!! You did a wonderful job and I had a blast at the Open House!!

Elizabeth CisnerosSeptember 12, 2012 - 8:06 pm

Congratulations! Looks like such a dream workspace! I’m nursing my own business space fantasies, so I loved how you put yours together! And really, really craving some of that pimento cheese ham biscuit marvelous-ness right now. Thanks. There’s no pimento cheese for 2000 miles of here.

CarrieSeptember 12, 2012 - 8:14 pm

BEAUTIFUL!!!! So, so awesome! Wish I could either transport the entire place to California or myself to Alabama (I guess that would be easier!). Nicely done! Congratulations – you should be very proud!

ellen pattonSeptember 12, 2012 - 8:15 pm

It’s so amazing!!! Tell me about that white cabinet with drawers next to your desk in your office…it’s very cool!

SusieSeptember 12, 2012 - 8:26 pm

What a wonderful team effort! You are blessed! Best wishes with it, making your magic happen 😉

Pam GravesSeptember 12, 2012 - 8:30 pm

Oh Erin,

It’s beautiful. I must say I cracked up about your ovary comment regarding the baby hats…If you weren’t so much fun I fear I would feel too old to enjoy you. My ovaries did NOT kick start; although, my future grandchildren WILL be adorable in them. Hopefully, you can take all their pics! I am thrilled for you.

Blessings, Pam

KimberlySeptember 12, 2012 - 9:21 pm

CONGRATULATIONS, Erin!! You have amazing and incredible talent that shines through in absolutely everything you do – and this is certainly no exception. Best to you in this new space and continue to enjoy the journey as I know you already have every step of the way!

AmySeptember 12, 2012 - 9:45 pm

It’s such a beautiful space and you’ve done an amazing job on all the details!! I’d love to know where your drapes in the dining turned consultation room from?

DebsSeptember 13, 2012 - 1:54 am

Brilliant! Cant wait for you to go international! 😉

amandaSeptember 13, 2012 - 3:57 am

It looks fabulous, Erin!

Jessica WSeptember 13, 2012 - 5:35 am

Congratulations! You deserve to be so proud; the place is absolutely gorgeous!

annieSeptember 13, 2012 - 5:44 am

Erin, I’ve loved you before and I think I love you even more now. The Cottage is absolutely beautiful and you have every right to be super proud of yourself. The details are perfect and now I wish even more than ever that we lived in Alabama so my kiddos could get their portraits taken by you. Great job!!

kristinaSeptember 13, 2012 - 5:52 am

The cottage is GORGEOUS, girl! SO amazing! Congrats!!! 🙂

JodiSeptember 13, 2012 - 7:12 am

Erin, I’m all teary because I’m so freaking proud of you!

ella walkerSeptember 13, 2012 - 8:13 am

absolutely gorgeous cottage, erin! you all did a fab job making it look the way it is.

ella walkerSeptember 13, 2012 - 8:16 am

oh … and the landscaping is outstanding, as well!

MjSeptember 13, 2012 - 8:32 am

OMG! The cottage is absolutely gorgeous! What a dream come true for you girls!

Corrie GreerSeptember 13, 2012 - 9:20 am

Congratulations!! What a beautiful job you have done with the cottage. Continued success to you in your endeavors.

NoraSeptember 13, 2012 - 10:42 am

It looks so warm and welcoming…love every detail!

Jen FikeSeptember 13, 2012 - 11:49 am

Absolutely Gorgeous! I just love how everything turned out!

MelissaSeptember 13, 2012 - 12:15 pm

How exciting for you Erin! What a fantastic place you have created….it is adorable…no wonder you are busting with pride! Congratulations from Texas!

chesleySeptember 13, 2012 - 12:31 pm

it looks SO SO good!!! Congrats!!!

PamSeptember 13, 2012 - 12:37 pm

I remember when I met you last year in California you were talking about buying a house for your business, not rent but buy, and here it is. It’s beautiful and I’m so glad that you fulfilled a dream! Congratulations! You’re definitely an inspiration!

JeannieSeptember 13, 2012 - 6:14 pm

Oh Erin, it was so worth the wait to see how beautiful everything turned out! I’m so very happy for you, your colleagues, family and friends! You have some great ones (fam and friends), that is for sure.
Ok, so I have GOT to know the secret to finding stuff on Craigslist. I hopped over to the site a couple of weeks ago and all I got was a “virus” on my computer (well, almost virus, but needless to say I haven’t been back since). Shoot me an email with some hints for hunting treasures when you have a chance. And CONGRATS again!

Amy T.September 13, 2012 - 7:31 pm

The Cottage is stunning! Congrats to you and your husband on your “new baby”, she’s beautiful inside and out.

ElizabethSeptember 13, 2012 - 8:22 pm

uhm, WOW.
I am kind of speechless–it’s just amazing!
And, you have a waaaaaaay better Craigslist than I do right now.
: )

Colleen D.September 14, 2012 - 7:52 am

You should do a spin off blog on “trash’ to treasure. It’s just incredible what you did with all that stuff! Great job! The place looks gorgeous!

heather mayberrySeptember 14, 2012 - 9:07 am

congrats! it is beautiful and fun and homey. good luck on this next chapter in your life!

Julie McDSeptember 14, 2012 - 6:00 pm

A-maz-ing! So excited for you … even if I’m just a long-time blog-lurker! Love all the details and love that went into making your cottage the perfect treasure chest for your amazing talents! Enjoy!

TinaSeptember 16, 2012 - 11:27 am

Oh wow, Erin! It’s beautiful and you SHOULD be proud!! I hope I’ll get to see it in person one day 🙂 Enjoy it!!

CourtneySeptember 16, 2012 - 6:23 pm

Everything looks great and most of all FUN!

AngelaSeptember 17, 2012 - 5:56 am

How exciting for you!!! I think I need to be looking on Craigslist more…what great finds!!!

Just to have a house that’s all YOU!!! That you can keep clean and picture perfect that has to be bliss!!!!

Enjoy and keep taking great photos!

erin cobbSeptember 18, 2012 - 1:40 pm

Thank you all for your excitement! Come visit anytime. =) Amy, the drapes were custom made but I found the fabric at a store in Atlanta. I actually saw it in a different color here in Huntsville too. I bet if you went into your best local decorator fabric store you’d see something really similar.

erin cobbSeptember 18, 2012 - 1:41 pm

Steph, I still plan to photograph on location but right now it seems most of my clients are excited about this option and have been wanting to come to me. Ideally I’d love to photograph most of my newborns here thought because it’s just easier for everyone when I don’t have to haul all my stuff into my clients’ homes!

Elizabeth JSeptember 18, 2012 - 9:01 pm

Wow Erin! It was so much fun to read this post and look at the pictures. We know that space all too well, so we can just imagine every nook and cranny. You did such a great job. I love that you took that front closet down and can really enjoy that beautiful window. The floors look great and you can really see that you put your touch on the place….and the yard, AMAZING!! I am hoping one day down the line we can come back to your cottage with our little family for a portrait session. How neat would that be! Enjoy keeping up with you, your family and business. Love to you from Texas!

-Elizabeth, David and Owen

kristinSeptember 19, 2012 - 8:47 am

Congrats, Erin! It’s beautiful!!!

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