Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Witch's Cottage

So what does a witch’s house look like anyway?  Is it gothic and grim or is it more like the movie set from Practical Magic? You gotta admit the sets and interiors of that movie are amazing. Who wouldn’t love to have a conservatory like the one in the movie? All those apothecary chests, glass bell jars, and cloches. Personally I want the kitchen, with all the creamy white glass fronted cabinets and dark old floors…. Combine that with the garden gone wild conservatory and I’d be thrilled. Here are a few pics of the movie set below.


To my amazement I found entire websites devoted to the look of the “house” from that movie and Victorian Magazine even did a spread on the set of the movie back in 1998. It often amuses me when I have someone to my home for the first time they are always a little surprised that we live in a ranch style mid-century home in the burbs. Now my gardens are my pride and joy and they are expansive, but the interior of our house, is a casual gardeny-cottage style with a bit of shabby chic thrown in- wherever I can get away with it. And guys it's pretty normal looking.

Our living room for example has mushroom colored walls, and the couch and loveseat are a sage green. While the tables in the living room are an eclectic mix of farmhouse antiques, and distressed shabby chic looking wooden furniture in old green or antiqued white finishes. I am the crazy person who painted a solid maple coffee table vintage green, had the husband sand off part off the paint, distress it, and then add antiquing patina… Its cool. We did something similar with the television cabinet. Painted it white, distressed it, then added antiquing glaze and crystal old style knobs. Oh and yes, I do still have the 100 year old wooden garden gate hanging on the living room wall. I wrote about the acquisition in my book Cottage Witchery.


Now that two of my kids have flown the nest, with the third making plans for her own lair in the future….. I am going to be able to indulge myself a bit more with the interior of our house. My new office is pretty basic at the moment. I’ve only finally gotten a room of my own for it back in November, so its coming along slowly. This spring I will change out the curtains, buy a decent reading chair and get the shabby chic witchy look I have been dreaming of. Cue theme song for Practical Magic here….

For now the walls in my office are a pearly white, the rug is neutral and the curtains are left over from my son’s previous apartment and are navy. But hey they are in good shape and best of all they were free. (We swapped. I bought he and his brother new curtains for their new place- he gave me his gently used navy curtains.) I do have all of the covers of my books displayed on the wall above my desk, and all four of my COVR award certificates are also framed and displayed. I have a big Goddess poster framed too. So besides a desk, a bookshelf and a table/ file cabinet the “office” is pretty standard… but soon that will change.

If you are curious and want to add some magickal atmosphere to your own abode- check out my book Cottage Witchery. With this book you can easily conjure up some natural magick for your own hearth and home. You'll find inspiraton, spells, and lots of witchery to keep you happily casting away.

So, since I can’t garden at the moment due to winter, I am dreaming of redecorating my home. (And yours!) I wonder… maybe we will start a new trend. Perhaps there really will be a decorating style called Cottage Witch Shabby Chic!

Blessed be, Ellen









15 comments:

  1. An especially timely blog for me! I am going to start working from home, and am gutting a spare bedroom to create an office. I have paint swatches hanging in the room now to review the colors thru the daylight. I don't like white ceilings, there is not a one in my home, and neutrals are ok for shared space, but I am so excited that this is allll mine to do with what I please!!! I am going to review "Cottage Witchery" for inspiration! Can't wait! Thanks for sharing! <3

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  2. Haha you never know, I love the kitchen in practical magic isn't it beautiful. My house is NOTHING like that though, its a semi detatched with small gardens but itsd home and my major project for this year is the redesign of the gardens and possibility of a small veg patch, I want lushous gardens brimming with beautiful flowers, I have three fruit trees that are minature ones but provide us with fruit come fall.

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  3. Cottage Witch Shabby Chic... I like that. Now I really live in a ranch style home from the 70's..... good luck taking my living room to the above style. BIG rock fireplace(I do mean big.. and ugly if you ask me.. there is nothing I can do with it.. some of the stones in it probably weigh as much as a person...sigh). But the rest of the house.. oh yes, I can change that!

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  4. Hi Ellen,

    Great blog and your cottage witchery book has been inspiring me for sometime! I think Cottage witch decorating is fantastic! This post comes timely for me as well, as I'm about to redecorate my parlor and I'm turning an unused sewing room into a grandkids room and that'll be lots of fun! (I sew at the kitchen table downstairs where I don't feel away from everyone)
    Love your new blog and posts!
    Blessings, Autumn

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  6. I am so disgustingly normal,LOL...People from my UU Fellowship stop by and are disappointed that the place isn't more 'witchy'.

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  7. I try to decorate in asian, etc. but always end up with a cottage decor....lol. Ya just can't take the Witch out of me I guess.

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  8. Good Morning Ellen,
    I loved this! It made me smile! I agree with you, I would take the entire house and gardens from Practical Magic.....I really love the balconies off the bedrooms! I often wonder when my four year old son starts bring friends over how I will handle all the questions from kids and parents alike. My house is eclectic...antiques when I can afford them Celtic/Medieval living room with swords,axes,daggers,,crosses,gargoyles, dragons witch's ball hanging in bay window...pictures of knights mostly Leighton, Dicksee and of course John WIlliam Waterhouse..bathroom has water theme and mermaids..fairies,,nymphs..bedroom has Goddess theme...gardens have fairies, sun, moon, and stars..,,crosses...wolf statue..wizard statue..
    My husband laughs whenever someone visits for the first time. It is fun to watch their reactions.
    I am constantly changing pics, wall art, and moving furniture to change the energy flow in the house.
    Imagine what our homes and gardens would look like if we had the monetary funds to match our imaginations!

    Blessed Be!

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  9. I LOVE the cottage in that picture! I'm ready to move in anytime ;-D

    Your book "Cottage Witchery" is one of my very favorites, among all of my favorites of yours.

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  10. It's so funny that you talk about this today, because I moved to England from Illinois about four years ago, and my Mom has been pestering me for photos of my house ever since. I finally took them and posted them on Facebook just today, and every comment practially was about how "un-Witchy" it looks! LOL! But, see, *I* think it does look "Witchy". It's just that that particular look has gotten really popular. I have herbs drying hanging from the ceiling, shells and stones in the window sills, suncatchers, plants,loads of magical books, Brian Froud faerie prints on the walls, mine and my twin daughters besoms on the (very neutrally colored) walls...but that's just really popular themes right now!:)

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  11. Am loving your blog!! Keep it up, girl!

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  12. Love your blogs. My brother calls my decorating style "country/wiccan". Says my house always smells like apples and incense! Keep up the great work!

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  13. Morning! Your wonderful book "Cottage Witchery" is such a HUGE favorite of mine that it has become my own little grimoire -- complete with additional scribblings, sayings and notes. I am a true homebody and Hearth Witch-- and home decorating is my first passion! Loved the part in "Cottage Witchery" when you describe your home. Hoping that someone will do a Pagan decor book with lots of photos and ideas for Magical Decorating -- like the book "Goddess at Home" by A. Bronwyn Llewellyn. I have a small collection of books for Hearth Witches -- including the very nice "Home & Heart" by Beverly Pagram. My own very ordinary suburban cottage is decorated in finds from thrift stores and auctions!

    Cheers and many thanks for your books!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  14. Good morning Ellen!

    I am curled up in my own cottage here and found your blog this morning! YESSSS! I just wanted to let you know that "Cottage Witchery" has had more of an influence on my practices than any other book on the craft. When I started my practice three years ago I was always a little intimidated by the ceremonial flair that so many books suggest. Your book was exactly what I was looking for! Practical ways to practice magic in my every day life without the pomp and circumstance of an elaborate ritual! My home is a place where friends love to come to wind down and relax and they can never quite put their finger on why it feels so good! *wink*

    Thank you so much for the gem that is "Cottage Witchery". I love collecting your books as each one is filled with practical information and your wonderful sense of humor!

    Take care!

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