Text by Avery Hurt
This adorable cottage was hiding beneath aluminum siding when a veteran art collector found it and turned it into a charming home for her diverse collection of artwork.
Before Marie Mealor bought and worked her magic on it, this charming 1930s cottage was hiding beneath aluminum siding. Marie, looking for a smaller space now that her children were grown and on their own, spotted the home’s potential anyway. After stripping off the siding and replacing the front windows with a floor-to-ceiling arched pair salvaged from a French hotel, the outside was totally transformed. Then the real fun started.
As an interior designer and owner of a custom framing business, Marie has been collecting art for 40 years and now specializes in helping her clients display their own collections. After enlarging the dining room and kitchen, she turned her practiced eye to the interior design of her own cottage. She confesses her art collection did not necessarily inspire the design scheme, but rather the art and the design went “hand in hand”—though the beautiful collection of expertly framed paintings is a key feature in the home.
The rest of the décor, like the artwork, is somewhat eclectic, with a comfortable mixture of old-fashioned charm and Victorian elegance. Soothing wall colors are punched up with colorful upholstery, rugs, and accessories to continue the artistic theme throughout the inviting space.
Clearly this cottage is home to a collection of treasured items, yet the style never gives the sense that this is a museum. Marie points out that other than her beloved art, she has few things in her home she doesn’t use. “I have no dishes that won’t go in the dishwasher,” she says, laughing. That attitude contributes to the relaxed, cozy look of the home.
Marie certainly has pieces that would be valuable were she to offer them for sale, but she doesn’t collect for that reason. “I buy things I like,” she says. That confident and personal approach to style comes through in the décor, too. This is a home where the focus is less on showing off art than enjoying it. It’s hard to imagine how anyone would not enjoy spending time in this enchanting cottage.