Be careful what you wish for!

Some of the beautiful wild flowers on our farm.

Once the plans for the cabin were solidified, we met with an electrician to decide where the outlets and fixtures would be.  I must admit, it made me a little nervous trying to figure out some of these things in a space that wasn’t built yet.  Thankfully, our electrician is much more accustomed to this task and made some great suggestions.  Then, he dropped a bomb on me.  He told me that he wanted all of the lighting picked out and ordered before he ran the electrical wires.  I had no idea that I would have to undertake such a chore before the place was an actual place!  That is how the design of the interior began.

I knew that I wanted it to look like a cabin on the inside, but not like a country themed souvenir store.   I also had a special request from my husband that threw a wrench in the works. He told me that for air movement, he wanted ceiling fans in all of the bedrooms, in the great room, on the deck and the porches.  I am not a huge fan of ceiling fans.  Or maybe I should say I wasn’t. It did not seem in keeping with the vision I had in my head to go to the local home improvement store and pick up a bunch of your standard ceiling fans.  Thank goodness for the Internet!  I started typing in some key words to find some kind of fan that I might like.  That search led me to Houzz.com. If you haven’t gone there, you owe it to yourself to do so!  Not only do they have an endless amount of decor ideas in every conceivable style, but you can make an account for yourself where you can create what they call ideabooks that save photos of items that you might like.  You can even upload photos of your own.  When you are searching, you can choose keywords to narrow your search to find the products that appeal to you.  My keywords included rustic, farmhouse, and industrial.  I wound up finding some really unique cabinesque fans that I absolutely loved from a company called Lamp Click (lampclick.com)!    Of course, my Houzz ideabook did not stop at fans.  I found lots of other decor inspiration as well!
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I am not a decorator, but that website helped launch my vision for my project.  It started to come easily to me to pick out furnishings that I liked once I had an idea of what that was!  Suddenly, I found myself taking photos with my phone of things everywhere.  I’d see a cupola on someone’s garage while I was driving and pull over and snap a few photos.  Something I have always enjoyed is to bring a memento home from traveling.  I don’t traditionally get such things from a gift or souvenir shop.  I like to buy something that I will actually use, that someone else might not even realize came from somewhere else, but I know and it takes me back to that location every time I use it.  When my family traveled to Ireland three years ago, I found just such an item for the cabin.  It was actually a pair of items.  A pair of chairs to be exact.  As you can imagine, chairs are not the type of thing you can pack in your suitcase or put in your carry on luggage.  I found these chairs in an antique shop in a small Irish town.  The shopkeeper had never tried to ship anything to the US before and had no idea how to accomplish such a feat.  With the daunting shipping question remaining unanswered, I left the shop without the chairs.  In the days that followed, I couldn’t stop thinking about those chairs and how perfect they would be in our future cabin.  I told Stuart that I really wanted those chairs and that they were all I wanted for my 50th birthday which was in a few months. The chairs were not expensive, but I figured that the shipping would be tricky.  He inquired with a local pub owner, Cillian, who we had befriended, and Cillian assured Stuart that he would help him figure out how to get them to the US.  Apparently after we returned home, the promise to help my husband was no longer a priority for Cillian and the chairs never made it here.  Still, I was hopeful when my birthday rolled around that the “it didn’t happen” scenario was a cover story to throw me off and think I wasn’t going to get them.  I kept wishing and dreaming that surprise, there they would be!  Unfortunately, the chairs were not in the nicely wrapped package I opened on my birthday.  Some lucky Irish folks probably now own the chairs not knowing how perfect they would be in my cabin.  My husband still cringes at the mention of those chairs.  After that disappointment, I have told myself to “be careful what you wish for!”
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Another resource I found was a website called EBTH.com.  My friend Sally, who has helped us quite a bit with the cabin, turned me on to EBTH.  EBTH is an acronym for Everything But The House.  It’s an online estate sale website with sales all over the country.  You can follow a sale or a particular item and bid on things up to the last second of the auction.  Since the items come from many different sources, there are always unique and one of a kind things to discover.  I have also found their support staff to be extremely helpful.  In my experience, they are very interested in customer satisfaction.  Check it out.  The website is easy to use.  You can search all sales, sales in or near you, or for particular types of items.  If you are the winning bidder, you can either pick your item up from the estate or have it shipped to you.  All items have lots of photos, measurements, descriptions of the piece and it’s condition, and a shipping estimate.  Many of our cabin furnishing have come from EBTH.  
Much more to come, stay tuned!