Country Mouse Dream House

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 Master

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.

So! Now that we know we need more bedrooms, we are thinking about the best way to go add them. Several small casitas or trailers ala El Cosmico or The Prairie?The Prairie By Rachel Ashwell

The Prairie B&B, Round Top, TX



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.

cuppet architecture 2
Architecture 3

cuppet architects 9

cuppet architects 4

CUppet Architecture 8
cuppet architects 7

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!

6 thoughts on “Country Mouse Dream House

  1. The fun of having guests is to all be under one roof in my opinion. However, you are so talented and smart I know you will get it right and I look forward to seeing the end result.

  2. I actually like the idea of separate sleeping quarters (one and two bedroom options) with a shared space for living and dining… a la Santa Fe style… with babies etc you don’t have to worry about noise and its nice to be able to sleep in for some people 🙂 one of our friends has a farm with multiple barns and a main house and its an amazing set up.

  3. This is so awesome. You are such an inspiration, Bailey! I have no suggestions other than to keep blogging so I can oohhh and awww at it all! 🙂 Happy Summer.

  4. We’re having the same debate with my in-laws on adding on to their house in the mountains. My mother in law wants to add a few smaller cabins (so does my brother in law) but I vote for a larger addition to the main house. We come up there specifically to BE with everyone. Can’t go wrong either way 🙂

  5. Hello Bailey,

    I’m not sure if you remember me from high school, but you decide to come to Virginia, you are always welcome to the treehouse. Our treehouse is a very modern take on country living (I’ve posted our interiors and exterior on Instagram at @apklaiber) but our former neighbors built an all-American country farm about 15 minutes away that is gorgeous and we have several other friends with beautiful country homes for you to see. There are of course all of the bed and breakfasts situated around Richmond, Charlottesville and Northern Virginia for you to see too, most of which are converted farms or mills. Virginia is a lovely place to escape to in the summer. We’d love to see you!

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