This was this photo that  started it all.  I had no choice but to adore her. The lamps, the chandy, the mod chairs and table, the artwork that I copied more than once.  I found Angela from the Painted House over two years ago. She has since moved her blog but there is still great stuff at the old place.  Pure inspiration.

my painted canvas a la Angela

Angela’s style has greatly influenced me over the years, more than some TV designer or magazine.  This girl is a real mom with a real budget and a real house and a real life that isn’t perfect.  My kind of hero.   Angela seamlessly mixes modern with farmhouse with traditional with urban with country.  Warm, simple, timeless, inviting spaces.

The purchase of this pair of lamps for my own nest was directly inspired by Angela who had no idea that she gave me permission to mix country with modern.

I even found the first comment I left on her blog from over 2 years ago.  I am nothing if not shameless.

I’ve been a fan since April of 2008.  And since then, I watched with some of you as she renovated a Cottage in the Mountains of North Carolina. The cottage has been talked about and featured all over the internets.  It’s like, famous and junk.

This is the part where I wait for you to click over, read, drool, be shocked at the fact that she can find a pottery barn sofa for $10 then come back here to read what else I have to say.  Go ahead, click on that link up there.

This girl had a tight decorating budget and she worked some miracles between antique shops, TJ Maxx, IKEA, Pottery Barn Outlet {rugs for $90!} and stuff she already had.

So, remember yesterday’s post where I told you that I got all motivated and inspired this weekend.  Nope, I didn’t have company coming {that is motivating but not very inspiring}. Angela invited my family to the cottage.  It was a trade, I would get to talk about her cottage and show a ton of my favorite things about it in exchange for my family getting to stay there for the weekend.  She totally got the raw end of the deal but I’m not going to tell her that.

I expected to relax and enjoy a nice weekend with my family {and my husband’s sister’s family, they came too}.  And we did relax in the hot tub, soak in the picture perfect mountain setting with spectacular views, and took advantage of some true North Carolina past times.  What I didn’t expect was to come home so inspired and motivated to finish up some projects in my own home.  But, I’ll tell you more about that next week.

before Angela/after Angela

And now the cottage is open for business. Meaning WE, real live people can stay there!

You can stay for a week. You can stay for a weekend.  You can stay in the summer, fall, winter or spring.  You can stay with your family and go tubing and rafting, stay with a group of girls and go antiquing, and see the Biltmore Estate, or stay with another couple and not cook and hang out in the hot tub. I do not like green eggs and ham.

The cottage is tucked into a beautiful setting.  You feel like you are the only people for miles and miles, you feel really secluded.  But, you are only 15 minutes from Super Wal-Mart and Zaxby’s.  The best of both worlds.  It’s got 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, a kitchen, dining area, living room, family room, huge screened in porch, deck, two fireplaces, two flat screen TV’s and a VIEW.

If you look closely, you can see layers of the Smoky mountains in the background

The inside of the cottage is just as beautiful.  You feel like you are in a tree house when you look out of these four large windows.

There are lots of chairs and bar stools and outdoor seating. They will hold lots of hineys very comfortably.  We were a party of two families:: 4 adults and 5 children and it was plenty of room.

There is SO much I want to tell you about what I found out when snooping around Angela’s furniture at the cottage.  I’ve decided it will take me more than one post, so next week, I’m going to do a little mini series on what I learned at the Painted Cottage.  I’m all hopped up on chippy paint and graphic fabrics, and oh my goodness I can’t wait to write all about it.   I haven’t been this inspired and motivated to make a few changes in my home for a long time–and I owe it all to the cottage.

Back to telling you about the cottage itself, look, a full kitchen with a microwave, stove, refrigerator and farmhouse sink.

And even though everything is so pretty, I felt perfectly comfortably letting my boys sit on the furniture.

The downstairs family room has warm carpet and a big flat screen.  And painted teal paneling.  Love I tell you.

There are super duper comfy beds.  Trust me, I am a connoisseur of beds and the one we slept on was fab.

My boys slept in the bunk room.  There are four beds each with their own caged light, just like from Gym class.  When we said “time for bed,” they couldn’t wait to go.  Miracles do happen.

This room was very inspiring.

My husband and I love North Carolina.  When we got married, he lived in Florida, I lived in Michigan and we were married in South Carolina.  We honeymooned in North Carolina.  I loved it.  We stayed in the mountains at different types of inns and went antiquing and it was wonderful.   A few years ago for an anniversary, we stayed at the Fearrington Inn also in NC. We’ve been to lots of really nice places in North Carolina, but I can now proclaim that the Painted Cottage is now my favorite place to stay.

If you like to stay somewhere that doesn’t feel like a hotel, the cottage is for you.

If you like to stay somewhere with your whole family but you don’t want to put your kids in a separate hotel room, the cottage is for you.

If you want a laid back vacation, the cottage is for you.

If you want a fun go, go, go, vacation, the cottage is for you.

If you want decorating inspiration and motivation the cottage is for you.

You can find out more about the cottage at it’s own personal website.  And, check out the rates {only around $200 per night–for a whole house!} and availability here. Nesting Place readers get 10% off!  The Painted Cottage is also available for seasonal renters {lucky dogs}.

We drove 45 minutes to the Nantahala Outdoor Center and the kids played in the water, we watched rafters and kyakers and ate lunch.  Then we went to Bryson City and for $3 each, rented a tube and had a great time tubing on Deep Creek. Don’t let the name fool you, I spent a lot of time getting myself unstuck from rocks.  If you are daring, you could do this while you are at the cottage.

Angela & Nester BFF

Have you seen the cottage online before?  What would you do at the cottage?