The new issue of Country Living has a really cute little feature on the playhouse at our farm that we gave Grace for her Birthday last year.
They came out and shot the playhouse (custom made by Lilliput Playhouses inspired by Gruene Hall) a few months ago, and the kids had the best time hamming it up. It helped that their were ice cream floats involved. Becki Griffin, who we worked with when Country Living shot the house last year, did SUCH a cute job styling it. I’ll post more when I get the pics, but for now you can check it out – including pics of the inside- all shot by Buff Strickland in the new issue!
Those of you who follow me on Insta know we spend every weekend we can out at “The Shmamptons”. We love it even more than we could have imagined- the fenced yard around our house feels like endless wide open spaces where the kids can run and be free. We cook & cocktail, swim, play games and just generally feel like lucky, peaceful little country mice. Speaking of which, those of you who follow me on Pinterest might have noticed me blowing up my “Country Mouse” board of late.
As much as we love having our family time at The Shmamptons, we enjoy sharing the place with our family & friends even more. While our house- an early 1900s Victorian- works wonderfully for us, things get tight quickly when we are hosting. My two best friends are cousins, and I grew up going to their family farm that could accommodate as many people wanted to pile on a sleeping porch. I would love for ours to be the same kind of “More the Merrier” place. Especially since it’s just a short drive from Houston it’s easy for people to make impromptu visits- and so we have started to think about adding a guest house sometime next year.
Writing this post, I realized I still haven’t given y’all a tour of the place beyond my instagram pics- I should do a proper shoot of the place. Putting that on the list.
“The Shmamptons” Shot by Roger Davies January 2015
In the meantime, for those that need more info to visualize, the current house has three bedrooms, two baths and a bunk loft. There is a wee kitchen and a big combined living/dining room. We did our renovation (adding a bath and converting the front parlor into a bedroom) in about 3 months two years ago. Last year we did a few landscape projects (fire pit, fencing the pool & adding a pavilion etc.) but otherwise have just taken our time to enjoy the place.
And I am glad we didn’t do any major projects right away. After spending two years out there, we know so much more about the property itself- the best spots to watch the sunset or catch a breeze- and what sort of setup we need to host our people.
Shmamptons King Bedroom with Daybed
For instance, the bunk loft will be great when the kids are older, but for now the stairs are still too steep for me to feel comfortable letting Grace sleep up there. Most of our friends are just starting to have babies, so it will be awhile until the loft gets much use. However, the daybeds we put in the king & queen bedrooms have been great and allow us to be flexible in sleeping different combinations of friends & family. Depending on who we are hosting, sometimes our whole family puppy-piles into one bedroom; other times the kids have a sleepover with friends in one room, and the adults have their own spaces.
Images via The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell
The Prairie is actually nearby our place, and during the Round Top Antiques Fair this year I did a little tour. I loved how all of the buildings had their own character and worked together to create a cozy compound. I have always been obsessed with tiny things, and especially Tiny Texas Houses, so I do quite like the idea of a few little guest houses.
However, the point of having our friends out to visit is to spend time together and I worry that having people separated in their own quarters will work against the QT, which makes me lean towards adding full-size guest house. Especially because we only have one small oven in the house now, so another cooking space would be helpful.
If we do go with a bigger guesthouse, it would be important to me that it fit with the scale and style of the existing home- and so I have been on a search for renovation inspiration. One of my favorites I have found so far is this house by Cuppet Architects that was in Country Living a few years back.
So charming- this one is getting saved to the board for sure. I have also been obsessing over this book we just got in…
So. Much. Fancy. Farm. Fantasy. And they are all in Virginia I think? I think I need to plan a road trip.
Ok, well I hope you enjoyed our little tour down the proverbial country lane. There is much, much more Country Mouse Dream House action where this came from, and we have already been working on a little something to increase our hosting capacity until we decide what to do longterm. So stay tuned for lots of bucolic inspiration to come!