When Steve bought forty acres of land in the Clinch Mountains ten years ago, I couldn’t see the vision.  He had gotten his first raise from work and decided not to add it to our normal budget.  He set up a separate account for the extra money and then bought a farm in the mountains.  There was no house there at the time, only the raw grit of nature left untouched for years.   The first time he took me there, I got so carsick on the ride over and nearly lost my breakfast.  Everywhere we walked, the water seeped up over our shoes and I thought he had nearly lost his mind.   Why would spend our money in this backwoods mountain town to walk in water puddles everywhere?

But two years later after months and countless hours of research and collaboration, he turned the wetlands into a fresh water pond/lake.  It’s fed by 7 natural springs and is a sight for sore eyes. It is, I daresay,  a magical place to spend your time.  My parents have been living there for the last few years while they build a house across the street.  They moved into their home last week and now the cottage sits empty, ready for some love.  (We’re probably gonna paint the outside, but that’ll have to be discussed in another post!)


The little cottage overlooks the water, which is flanked by the most gorgeous sycamore trees.



The girls and I are headed there for Spring Break next week for a little rest and reprieve and writing.  And also some cleaning and painting.  I’m painting the walls white so feel free to chime in with your favorite white wall paint! I want it to be Scandinavian/sparse/modern/rustic.

Something like this (ish).



After I took half my life trying to make my own mood board, I found room on IKEA’s website and I think this may be my jackpot.  Orange and white patterned sofa?  Tennessee fans with terrific passion? Yes, this  could be a done deal.  And if you hate orange or think I will after a year or two, that’s just a slip cover, so when I’m ready for a change, it’s not very costly to do from IKEA.


I also have a Cottage Board on Pinterest that is full of great yet simple spaces.









I guess who am I kidding to think I could have  space with no color?  But, I do want it to be fairly minimalist and easy to take care of, with lots of white space.

Also, I need to go thrifting soon and find the rustic side to this modern minimalist look.

Maybe when I get this all done, I’ll have little women’s retreat!

One thing’s for sure. You can’t beat the cool, misty mountain mornings.


(I’m sure there’ll be some happy mountain music playing!)

59 comments on “Mountain Cottage {Modern Rustic Design Board}”

  1. Perfect! And i have to say I wondered there at first if and how you’d introduce color. Funny timing, you posted about your turquoise kitchen this week, and it had already been on my mind lately as I plot some kitchen updates here at the farm. LOL That was one of the first posts of yours I ever read, years ago.
    love the foggy mornings and sycamore trees. Love the idea of a week to play and write. Love thrifting, painting, all of it. A dream come true! Enjoy xoxo

  2. Thank goodness for your husband’s intuition… What a blessing, cottage retreat to have, may it be used in many wonderful ways…. Can’t wait to see your decorating…. Love white, Scandinavian, with pops of color…. A hand made quilt with the colors you envision would be nice….. 🙂

  3. Hi Edie…I am so excited to see what you do with this lovely cabin in such a beautiful setting!! A wonderful white color that I used all throughout my house is Simply White by Benjamin Moore(OC-117)…it’s fresh with no yellow in it. Another nice but warmer white is Acadia White by Benjamin Moore (OC-38). My home has white walls everywhere and is the perfect canvas for pops of color! I love how clean and bright it feels…but still cozy because of all the color with warm throws, bright yellow pepper mill, orange plaid throw pillows…you get the idea! You are so good with color and design I can’t wait to see the finished product!! Have fun with your girls next week!

  4. That looks like a beautiful place. How wonderful you get to spend some time with your daughters there next week. Enjoy! Also…I daresay your mood board looks a little “nester-ish 🙂 which is always good!

  5. Did yo happen to make a font change recently? It all of a sudden is very difficult to read and I’m wondering if it’s a chance you made or if it’s a setting on my computer. Even typing this response is the same font (also hard to read).

  6. Just google Benjamin Moore-White dove (there’s a whole following for the pain color! A whole set of images will pop up. We’ve used it and it’s the perfect white. Crisp with No yellow but still a tiny hint of warm. excited for you and your family -what an exciting project!

  7. Hi Edie, what an absolutely breathtaking view! The Creativity Exchange blog just wrote a very helpful article on, tricks for choosing the perfect white. She has done all of the research, narrowed everything down, and taken all of the guess work away. It doesn’t get any better then that! 🙂 enjoy your time away with your precious family!

  8. I was just helping a friend pick out white for her kitchen this morning. I recommended Ben Moore White Dove for her kitchen cabinets.

    If you want a scandinavian look…then I recommend Benjamin Moore Decorators White in CC-20 or PM-3 (which has a faint touch of gray), Technically..they might be the same color…
    Decorators white is used often in rooms where they want the art and furnishings to stand out. Can’t wait to see what you do in the space!

    I was able to visit my first Ikea last week. I had a blast! That couch is awesome!

  9. I vote with Dove White – a classic, beautiful white and Benjamin Moore paint is the BEST! I know “gray” is the “in” color now and I do love it – especially on furniture as in Annie Sloan chalk paint in Paris Gray, and I love to wear gray clothing as in a cashmere sweater, but I find it a bit depressing on walls – it can suck the light from a room and feel cold. I am just a sunshine person and the dreariness of a prolonged winter is weighing on me right now!

  10. I would never get tired of orange! I love your plans for the cottage. I agree with the BM Dove White. The music is the BEST part. I love it when you add video clips.

  11. My family is from the Clinch Mountains a few generations back. My maiden name is Carter, so there’s a lot of those around there. 🙂 While I love the picturesque Bluegrass where I live, the Appalachian mountains are my home and make my heart beat a little heavy. My husband and I wish our kids could grow up in the small town, Mayberry-like atmosphere we both did. But God has other plans for these kids I suppose. I love your plans for the cabin… And I’ll be interested to see you have a minimalist space. Won’t you be tempted to accessorize it? That seems like your natural M O. I would love for my whole house to be minimalist, but that’s not very realistic for us right now. I can’t wait to see how all your cabin plans comes to fruition! Until then, keep on the sunny side!

  12. Love love love the UT couch!!! My 21 year old is moving into his first apartment this summer. I may have to gift him with his very own Vols inspired sofa to celebrate his newfound independence!

  13. This is all so exciting! I just passed up that wicker headboard at the thrift store yesterday! Shall I go back and make a cross country delivery for you:)

  14. Gorgeous view of the cabin and the lake. I want to come to your retreat! I’ll bring wine for evening, sweet tea for afternoon, and whatever you need for me to pick up on the way from Dallas.

  15. Love your ideas…I am a fan of country cottages…whites, baskets, ticking, etc….what a beautiful place!!! Love the Orange couch, but I am a Clemson fan!!! Mandy

  16. With your love of color I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Thanks for giving us a taste of the soundtrack of your cabin life. Love it! (My husband is in the other room and just told me, “Boy, that brings back memories.”) 😉

  17. Oh Edie, what a charming oasis! I love it. You know, I’ve never seen up close what mountains look like in your neck of the woods. My sister lives out there right now, so I’m going to have to see for myself. Very different from what a Rocky Mountain cottage would look like!

    It’s lovely, can’t wait to read more.


  18. Gardenia, DEW337, Dunn Edwards is the most beautiful white I know of and have loved it on every wall I have ever painted.

    It reminds me of early morning sunshine.


  19. Hi Edie~
    I love Sherwin Williams Emerald Extra White! It’s a bright crisp real white! Can’t wait to see your cabin!

  20. Looks lovely, Edie–what a beautiful respite from the world. I’m sure after you add all your special touches it will be even more beautiful.


  21. Swiss Coffee by Behr was a white recommended to me recently when I had a bathroom to paint — it’s reportedly used by lots of interior decorators. I was very pleased with the resulting creamy, not sterile shade. Amazing that white can come in so many hues!

  22. Absolutely beautiful. My Mom was a visionary- God bless her. She had 200 acres. I grew up with the best of both worlds- City during the week, country on the weekends. She moved a cabin my grandfather had owned onto the property. She completely re-did it. She built a lake (she LOVED to fish!) She added a barn. I had horses for as long as I can remember.
    It was a magical time. Y’all’s place looks that way too.
    Thank you for sharing it with us. I have been having a longing to return to the outdoors. Down time- God, the sun & stars. The grass between my toes-
    I have been keeping an eye out for property for sale.
    I love keeping it white- One of my favorite whites is Benjamin Moore, Grey Mist.

  23. Oh Edie…what a wonderful retreat for your family to enjoy! I can almost hear the frogs croaking & the crickets! We had a little lake cottage while our children were growing up & those are some of our most fun, precious memories! Have fun decorating & wishing you many wonderful memories there! P.S. I love that performance also!!

  24. How beautiful and peaceful! Love it! And the color scheme will be awesome.

    A tip — HIGHLY recommend the IKEA Karlstad couch you show in the picture. We have the HUGE sectional in Sivik dark gray. BEST. COUCH. EVER. So comfortable. Like, “sit on it and your drooling into the pillows in 10 minutes” comfortable. 🙂 And the entire thing is washable … pillows, seats, even the back and armrests. A great blessing for a mom of two wild boys! (Just make sure the slipcover you purchase is washable … some are dry clean only.)

    Can’t wait to see the in process pics! 🙂

  25. Oh goodness, I feel more relaxed just looking at these pics. I can just imagine jumping off the pier in bathing suits and then running up to the house in the evening for BBQs. Total joy and peace. Love it! Give us lots of updates so we can live through you!

  26. Of course I love it… I love everything you do… Call me the texas gal stalk blogger.. we recently bought a cottage by the lake– stop by my board.. cottage by the lake.. hugs… thanks for always inspiring…

  27. Benjamin Moore Simply White. Life changing lol! Its a really neutral white that isn’t creamy. I love, love, love it!!

  28. What a beautiful place to have where you can enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. I know your cabin will be gorgeous once you have finished it. I would love, love, love to go to a retreat with you.

  29. Edie…I just discovered your blog. It’s lovely. I been reading and realized your cabin is somewhere near Clinch Mountain. Where are you? I’m not a stalker. Lol! live at the base of Clinch Mountain on the North Fork of the Holston in Mendota, Virginia. I am a daughter of Clinch Mountain.

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