A Cottage Christmas

Stumbling upon a gem in a meticulously manicured neighborhood, Charlotte Bollinger purchased a craftsman bungalow home that was originally built in 1906.

“I loved the layout of the house and didn’t change it,” said Charlotte of a decision that she is still happy with. “So many homes now have an open floor plan, but I love that the home is still in it’s original state.”

Prior to purchasing the home, Charlotte’s bungalow, along with the one next door, were lovingly restored by Gil Gonzalez who lives in the neighborhood as well. Gil was recognized for his fine work when both houses won a local preservation award.

The 1,300 square foot home has two bedrooms, one and a half baths and an outside courtyard, adding extra entertaining space. To complete the outside living area, Charlotte had shutters custom built and installed on one side of the carport to create an outdoor living room in a more intimate setting.

Working with Interior Designer Lynn Uhalt, the interior was transformed into a light and airy cottage. The dark wood floors were stripped, pickled and then waxed for a lighter feel. The entire interior was repainted in light creamy colors as well, making the space feel larger. The duo selected antiques from Charlotte’s collection and had them painted to fit the color scheme and cottage feel.

“I love textiles and Lynn found beautiful linens for the drapes throughout the house,” Charlotte adds. Subtle and unique wall treatments were also used in several rooms to add texture including cork in the half bath. In the master bedroom, custom bedding from Leontine Linens perfectly compliments the cottage decor.

Two chandeliers from Old Estate Gallery were the perfect fit in the living and dining rooms, tying the two spaces together. In the living room, an old mantle that was found at a salvage company in New Orleans anchors the space. Paying homage the old fire place that once filled the space, a mirror was strategically placed behind the the mantle to create the same feeling that a fire would. Simple and natural Christmas decor by Joanne Adams adds the perfect amount of elegance during the Christmas season. A petite Christmas tree sits a top a table, perfectly fitting the scale of the room, while giving the illusion of a full size tree from the street.

In the dining room, a 19th century French mirror reflects the Christmas tree lights from the living room, illuminating the space. After searching for a narrow dining table that was the right scale, Charlotte’s daughter, Renee Gautreaux gave Charlotte the perfect piece.  Elegantly set for the holidays, it’s the perfect setting for one of Charlotte’s luncheons or dinners.

When she has her whole family over, the expanded utility room serves as a private dining area for her grandchildren. “They love having their own dining room.” Charlotte adds. A mahogany plantation table, which serves as a desk in its daily life, is pulled away from the wall and flanked with folding chairs. The washer and dryer are disguised with a taupe and cream French linen check curtain allowing the room to be both functional and charming. POV

Photos Misty Leigh McElroy