Fall ’22 One Room Challenge: The Height of Modern Cottage | Week 6

The Height of Modern Cottage Design Week 6: Picture Perfect Art and Accessories!

Welcome to My Fall ’22 One Room Challenge Featuring Bold Design Choices in a Modern Cottage Style

I’m just so over the moon about participating in this 10th anniversary year of the One Room Challenge!

I look forward to sharing every step with you as the 8-week challenge goes on. Thank you ORC for hosting this wonderful event and I’m excited to cheer on all the other participants as we all take on this design challenge! (Psst…after you’re done reading my story, head over to the ORC Blog Page to read about the other guest participants’ designs.)

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow me on Instagram to stay up-to-date with everything I’m doing for my fall 2022 One Room Challenge.

This Week, I Share My Curated Collection of Cottage Art and Accessories!

1) Artwork

2) Lighting

3) Mirrors and Accessories

I’m accessorizing with pizzaz this week! With so much drama already infused in the room from the wall panels, furniture, and more, I made sure to select lighting and accessories that will bring organic warmth and botanical beauty to my living room, entryway, and hallway design.

It was so important to me that the art, mirrors, accessories, and lighting work in harmony with the elegant recessed paneled walls. I planned meticulously to ensure I had the right customized size and shape for each piece of art so that they would fit in the paneled sections. I wanted a “framed” effect – like a gallery. For the accessories, I knew that less would be more for this design, but I wanted each piece to accent my overall design.

I’m so excited to share with you the pieces I chose! Let’s dive in!

1) Artwork

Paint & Petals

What a joy to purchase custom original art from a talented visual artist! Bridgette Thornton of Paint & Petals collaborated with me to design and create three stunning custom floral paintings. Two complementary floral paintings will go on either side of my fireplace. Another bold botanical on a red background will go…where will it go? Stay tuned for the big reveal in week 8!

Would you believe I made these custom frames for the art?! I saved a little money on this process by using my own decorative door casings for the frames.

Designer Tip: Steal this idea! Cut costs by using unexpected materials for your next custom framing project.

I’m grateful to have such a good relationship with my custom framer that he let me do this! He told me to cut a 1/4 inch dado on the edge of the trim. Then, I took the mouldings and painted and distressed them for that perfect cottage finish I couldn’t find anywhere else.

I love using a white linen mat and I selected a periwinkle blue 1/4 inch reveal for the second mat. I needed to ensure all the prints were sized perfectly – frame and all – to fit neatly in my paneled wall sections. Each panel is a different size and I tell you that’s a math equation of craziness! 

(Psst…Can you spot the print from a different artist among the three Paint & Petals pieces? I’ll share more on that print down below!)

Scott Hanley from Blue Bus Framing at the Hanley Gallery did such a fantastic framing job on each of these paintings! His framing work creates a soft cottage feel that complements the pretty florals so well.

My new Paint & Petals art collection is going to bring new heights to my design! I’m so excited to see the final custom framed prints hanging beautifully in each paneled section on my walls!

Artfully Walls

Artfully Walls has a HUGE variety of well-known artists to choose from on their site. Can you believe I came across Artfully Walls on Instagram?! I was looking for more art for my “Height of Modern Cottage” design and they popped up! I was so excited to see the variety of styles, options, and sizes. I had so much fun looking through all the different categories to find just the right prints to fit my design. Artfully Walls made the entire process super easy and enjoyable.

Here I am again taking more art to Blue Bus Framing! We selected “my very own personal white linen mat” as Scott calls it once again for my Artfully Walls prints. I highlighted the floral prints with a 1/4 inch reveal of a red mat and used a black fillet for the architectural print.

Thanks to Martin Beebee Photography for this beautiful closeup!

Designer Tip: A fillet is a teeny weeny mini wood moulding that you can use instead of a secondary mat. It’s just a fun thing to use instead of a traditional mat accent. A fillet adds richness to a framed piece of art. It’s an actual piece of wood built into the frame – such a texturally rich alternative to a traditional mat.

This one in particular was so exciting to use. The beaded look matches the feeling of the scallops in the building – it’s so cute!

Scott had one of my favorite black and white slim distressed frames at Blue Bus Framing that I used for the smaller prints. My Artfully Walls prints will hang in the hallway along with other pieces of art and this was my frame of choice for all my prints in the hallway.

Designer Tip: Picking the same frame for all pieces in a gallery collection of art is a great way to use custom framing to unify the display. The art is all different, but the frame is the same!

The quality of paper Artfully Walls uses for its prints really gives each piece of art dimension like the original – more so than you might think. I’m thrilled with the results I got from Artfully Walls and highly recommend them to designers and non-designers alike who want high-quality prints. I’m looking forward to hanging my new prints so I can enjoy them time and time again!


Chairish is a spectacular online antique mall specializing in exceptional vintage decor and a great resource for designers looking for high quality vintage pieces from a reliable source. Everything right down to the packaging was a delight!

The prints I chose (Antique French colored chromolithograph from Revue Horticole set of 6. Listed by YoshaGraphics, New York, New York) originated in a vintage book. In the past, the print quality of botanicals in books was high enough to take them directly out of the book and frame them just like you would actual art. I was lucky enough to find this collection through Chairish!

I wanted to see how I would arrange my antique botanical prints before I framed them. They are a diverse set of prints, so I had to try many different arrangements to find the right composition.

Designer Tip: When arranging art, I ask myself all sorts of questions to decide on the best composition. Which prints am I going to see the most? How do I balance the right and left side? Can I use a diagonal line to balance the composition? (Which I did in my composition above and you can, too!)

I knew I would use the prints to frame my Ballard Designs Lindy Mirror, so the prints would be dispersed, but still close enough that they would have to work together as a composition. I also knew this was the one place I would off-center the art from the paneled wall “frame” so that the prints could frame the mirror instead. I can’t wait to show you the finished composition framing the Lindy Mirror in week 8!

For the framing, I knew I wanted a black frame to add more hints of matte black accents in my “Height of Modern Cottage” design. I knew the black would make the art POP. I chose “my special linen white mat” to contrast the little black frame.

Then I had to pick just the right red for the 1/4 inch mat reveal. I knew right away which red was the right red. I chose a shade that went with the overall room design and that would add depth of color to the art collection.

I tell you, you could go nuts picking that shade of red for the mat, but I knew once all the prints were together, the red mat I chose would be perfect – and as you can see above…it was! I’m so excited to hang these! It will be tricky but oh-so-fun!

Designer Tip: Think about using high contrast in your framing to brighten up antique prints! Antique prints can be yellowed due to age but the right framing choices can really brighten them up! The black and white contrast I used in my botanical print framing as well as the pop of red I chose for the 1/4 inch reveal mat worked together to uplift the whole image.

As you can see, I’m using a lot of florals and botanicals in my design, which is very cottage, but the real reason I’m using so many florals is because I love them and they make me happy! What better reason to choose something for your own design, right?

2) Lighting

I got rid of all my lamps when I decided to redesign my living room and bought new lamps to replace them. I usually buy the lamps for the body, and generally replace the lampshade, which is what I did for these three lamps. I love a neutral lamp with fun textures! I’ll use these and other lamps in both the entryway and the living room.

I chose the Original Warehouse Gooseneck Light in black and white from Barn Light Electric Company to go in my living room, entryway, and hallway. All lights are centered perfectly in each wall panel.

I love a bold black-and-white palette and incorporated that with these gooseneck lamps. The lamp shade provides the perfect dose of black against the bright white walls. The use of black on this lamp flows with the black accents featured throughout the rooms

The eclectic mix of lamps and fixed lighting is so cottage, but the shape of each piece makes for a more modern take on the cottage style. Each one has its own special character, yet they all will work together beautifully to create a lighting scape that is at once warm and practical.

3) Mirrors and Accessories


My round mirror with ball detailing (Lindy Mirror SKU#: WN171) is courtesy of Ballard Designs. I have loved this mirror for years and I’m so excited to finally have it in my home! This mirror is so special to me that I designed both the wall paneling and the giddyup table in the entryway around it. The Lindy Mirror is THE focal moment in my entryway design.

My striped chair will be in a different place for the final staging, but I had to show off how striking the mirror looks next to the bold pattern of the chair’s fabric. It’s a simple piece, but the shape is so original that it still makes a statement even amidst the other vibrant pieces in the design!

My mirror will hang in a transitional position between the entryway and the hallway. The mirror and its coordinating shelf are two of the only pieces I kept from my previous design. They both used to be green, but as you can see above, my mirror is getting a makeover! This mirror is another piece I designed around when planning my wall panel sizes. I’ll hang it back up in the same place it was before – after it’s undergone a dazzling transformation!

Here’s a picture of my coordinating metal wall shelf that will hang under the rectangular mirror to make a complete set. See the old green color? My wall shelf is getting new paint as well to match the palette of my “Height of Modern Cottage” design.

I was lucky enough to have a piece of spare marble lying around. As a last minute decision, I had it cut to size to go on top of the shelf with a curved ogee edge. The marble addition is a design choice that really elevates my entryway to new heights. I can’t wait to place an arrangement of fresh-cut flowers there for a beautiful botanical reflection.


I’m brimming with anticipation to add the final accessory touches to my design. I’ve collected some gorgeous pieces like the gray and white striped mini vases from Rod Works pictured above sitting on a pretty pedestal from Anthropologie. And of course I’m throwing in some designer beads! Every well-designed room has designer beads in it and mine is no different!

I’ve had these antique posts from Europe for a while and just could not get rid of them – I love them too much! Originally, they were just the wooden bases but I added the wire part on the top to marry with the posts. Most recently, I had my husband paint them black to add another black accent moment in my design. I have had these posts tucked away – now let’s see where I place them for my big reveal!

I chose these decorative white wall flowers (Ceramic Blooms Wall Decor Set of 3 White Item#: WP984) from Ballard Designs to hang in the hallway. It’s a fun grouping and adds some depth and dimension to the gallery walls. It’s an unexpected choice, but it works so well to have the 3D effect of the wall flowers complementing the 3D effect of the white wall panels.

My new area rug (Conway Rug SKU#: RT533) courtesy of Ballard Designs has a soft cottage feel. It’s bright, which is unusual, and has just a hint of red for a lovely accent. It really is the perfect designer touch for my cottage living room!

I made the throw blanket from scratch – see how I did it in week 7’s “all about fabric” post!

Perhaps the most prominently featured accessory will be a special bowl (Sedona Decorative Bowl SKU#: AD805) courtesy of Ballard Designs that I will use on the coffee table as the base for a gorgeous floral arrangement. The arrangement will harmonize with the custom floral art prints from Paint & Petals, Artfully Walls, and Chairish.

Featured Sponsor:

Ballard Designs

I have so many good things to say about Ballard Designs. I’ve used their products for years in my designs and they always exceed my expectations. The mirror, area rug, ceramic white flowers, and decorative bowl will add some oomph to my “Height of Modern Cottage” design!

I can’t wait to see this area rug courtesy of Ballard Designs sitting pretty under my red coffee table. Just look at that wide border on the rug! It’s rare to find a rug that has both strong patterning and the right proportions, but this one fits the bill! Ballard Designs comes through again!

One thing I love about Ballard Designs is the diversity of their selection. I go to them for items big and small. They’re an excellent resource for decorative items of all kinds!

Even an accessory as simple as a decorative bowl is elevated to new heights by Ballard Designs. The wood grain adds stunning visual interest and an organic element to my “Height of Modern Cottage” design!

I highly recommend Ballard Designs for your decor needs. Their catalog, service, and quality of pieces is high-level and dependable – just what you want when working on such a grand-scale design like this one! Thank you Ballard Designs!

That’s it for this week! More to come next week…!

Next week is finally time to talk about my favorite part of design…FABRIC! That’s right, it’s nothing but fabric, fabric, fabric next week – the last week before the big reveal! Follow me on Instagram to be the first to know when my next blog installment in my “Height of Modern Cottage” design story goes live!

Stay tuned for chapter seven of my design story next week!

See the rest of the story!

Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3 / Week 4 / Week 5 / Week 6 / Week 7 / Week 8

My All-Star Team

I couldn’t possibly pull of a design of this size and ambition all on my own in 8 weeks! I want to introduce you to the whole team, so you can see everyone who’s going to bring this design to life! (Shhh…don’t tell, but we’re all in our sixties!)

Steve Hersh

My electrician, custom metal worker, and my overall handy guy (oh, yeah, and he’s my husband)! It’s great to have my husband on board supporting me and helping me make this design happen!

Bill Mott

Master carpenter in charge of building…well, everything! I’ve worked with Bill for years. He’s so skilled and passionate about what he does and always goes above and beyond. Just wait till you see the videos of Bill in action! You’ll be amazed at the work he’ll produce just like I am every time I work with him.

Martin Beebee

My incredible photographer! Martin has been instrumental for me when it comes to taking gorgeous, magazine-worthy pictures of my designs. He’s going to work with me throughout the challenge to take in-progress and completed design photos and I know he’s going to help show off every part of my design in the best light possible.

Keely Hersh (that’s me!)

Homeowner, painter, drapery fabricator, re-upholsterer, room stager, finishing detail work…the list goes on! (Oh, yeah, and I’m my own designer this time! What a treat to put my skills to work for myself!)