Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | March 20, 2012

A Diamond in The Rough

I think it is time to talk a bit about my home before I begin to highlight individual rooms and projects. If I had to give my style a name, I’d call it “1950 Ranch with vintage accents.” I wonder, is there any such thing?

I adore vintage accents, warm wood tones of old furniture, crocks, blue and white china, oriental rugs, mixed in with art and handmade treasures. When we left the city twelve years ago and moved to the country, I brought many of my favorite family pieces from our 75-year-old Cape Cod where I had lived and collected for 25 years.

Home Sweet Home

Like many, we bought a diamond in the rough. It had been neglected and need a lot of TLC but was in our price range. My plan was to decorate this one-story, Ranch using the antiques and vintage pieces I already owned. I love the look of old classic pieces, from the primitive to more formal, mixed in with the modern amenities.

Like Hanzel and Gretel, we  live at the edge of a forest in a house surrounded by old, tall trees, each of which could tell 1,000 stories. Nature literally takes place at our doorstep.

We want a home with character; casual and comfy with vintage accents and above all a realistic and manageable home since we live on a dirt road and have two large dogs. For us, life in the country is a whole lot dirtier than our former life in the city where we exited our car onto a cement driveway and walked over patio blocks onto a deck and into our house. Here we exit onto a gravel driveway, walk across a wet lawn and into the house, as do the dogs many times each day. See the difference?

A little alcove that I decorate in the summer and it holds firewood in the winter

We have five beautiful acres; part lawn, gardens and woods. Our life here is about growing our own vegetables, working with our hands creating our artwork and living large out-of-doors.

Too much grass to mow but a great pole barn for storage!

My decorating choices are made to bring the outside in and create a gracious place to live and entertain…all within a retiree’s budget. Sometimes a tall order!

Back of house 3-seasons-porch with hottub.Check out my landscaping, I did it myself!

Enjoy and as always, thank you for visiting my blog.

Small House/Big Sky Donna



  1. It sounds and looks like you have a lovely home. Living in the country has so much to offer. I grew up on a ranch in Texas and enjoy the advantages of country living.

    • Karen, thanks for visiting Small House/Big Sky! I took a look at your blog as well and your house is absolutely scrumptious-so historic! I especially loved the photo of the laundry room with the laundry collectibles in silhouette! A sink with water in your greenhouse potting shed – my idea of heaven on earth.

      I planted seeds today as well. I make my own potting soil; an unscientific mix of one third organic soil, one third peet, and one third perlites. It’s “kitchen chemistry” and it works like a charm.


      Small House/Big Sky Donna

    • Karen thank you for your kind comments. You are so right-living in the country is a wonderful choice for many. Your bio mentions that you are a Zone 5 gardener so it appears that we have that in common as my piece of Michigan is a Zone 5 too !Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you’ll check in often. Small House/Big Sky Donna

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