Charming Vintage French Cottage

“The floors are pine, so they will age beautifully. I like things that are worn, but lasting,” Brenda notes. “I don’t care if dogs run across the floor or if a friend in high heels scuffs it—that gives a place character. I love the imperfections.”

Appreciating the scale of the surrounding neighborhood composed of quaint bungalows, Brenda and Tim chose to build a two-room cottage rather than add a guest room onto their own home. Fifteen-foot ceilings and large casement windows create an open and spacious setting. Light mingles with an eclectic collection Brenda has garnered on countless mornings spent at yard sales, flea markets, and antiques shops.

An oak-shaded courtyard, where friends can enjoy a meal while seated around a zinc-topped farmhouse table, showcases the homeowners’ handiwork. Tim fashioned the gate out of lumber left over from the cottage’s construction, and Brenda laid the Tennessee flagstone underfoot.