Woodland Storybook Cottage

Name: The Elderkin Family

Location: Shohola, PA

Type of home: Cottage

Square Footage: 780

Do you rent or own your home?: Own

Tell us about your family and your home: I’m Danielle Elderkin, and I live in a cozy restored woodland cottage in the Poconos (The Pocono Mountains encompass forested peaks, lakes and valleys in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania) with my husband, Kyle; our two sons, Hayden and Logan; and our maltipoo, Bella.

 

In 2019, we left our Southern California lifestyle behind and embraced the enchanting charm of  woodland cottage living. We said goodbye to our spacious home, packed up our kids, furry friends, and belongings in an RV, and embarked on an exciting journey of home renovations.

 

Since then, we’ve revitalized two quaint cabins, gained popularity with our vintage camper makeover, and recently completed the refurbishment of our dreamy  woodland Cottage. When I’m not working on cottage restorations, I love spending time with my family, cooking delicious meals, strolling around our picturesque lakeside community with Bella, and searching for unique treasures to incorporate into our latest projects 

What is your favorite room and why? I have a passion for designing kitchens and bathrooms as I feel that these spaces offer plenty of opportunities to be creative and have fun with design choices. I love that I have the freedom to be a little quirky in my design approach in these areas.

 

 

When it comes to our restored woodland Storybook Cottage, it’s hard to pick a favorite room, but I would say that it’s a toss-up between the kitchen and one of the bathrooms. Both spaces have a fun and playful vibe, which brings a smile to my face. However, if I had to choose one, it would be the kitchen as it’s where we spend a lot of time cooking as a family. Plus, the open concept design between the kitchen, living room, and dining area makes it easy to interact with family and guests while preparing meals.

 

 

The design of the kitchen and much of the house was inspired by the Pastel Green Smeg fridge. I had always wanted one, and it fits perfectly with the aesthetic of the house. We even painted the front doors of the cottage and the shed-turned-office in the same color for a cohesive look.

 

 

The selection of tile was the next design decision, and while some might find it unusual to have tropical style tile in a restored woodland cottage, I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. Even after looking at nearly every patterned tile on the internet, this was the one that stood out to me. I have no regrets about my decision to use this tile, and it inspired the color scheme throughout all the spaces.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? (Include links if you have them!): One of my all-time favorite finds is the cabinet above the toilet in one of our bathrooms. It’s an old dollhouse from the 1800s that I discovered at the Anthropologie outlet in Pittsburgh.

 

The dollhouse had been converted into a storage cabinet with the front of the house serving as a door on hinges. We added a shelf for more storage, and it now serves as a unique and functional piece in the bathroom.

 

What I love about this cabinet is its charm and history. The dollhouse has its own story and character, and incorporating it into the design of the bathroom adds an extra layer of personality and interest to the space. The interior even has wallpaper, which adds to its charm and makes it a true one-of-a-kind piece.

 

I believe that incorporating vintage and unique finds into your design is a great way to create a space that is both functional and beautiful. This dollhouse cabinet is a perfect example of that philosophy and has become one of my favorite pieces in the entire house.

Any advice for creating a home you love?  If you’re looking to create a home you’ll love, my advice is to start with a theme in mind. We name each of our houses based on the design aesthetic, and everything tends to fall into place with that one vision in mind.

 

And when I say “theme,” I don’t mean it in a corny way. When designing this particular cottage, I envision every design choice with the question, “Could you see this in a modern version of Snow White’s woodland cottage?”.

 

Another tip for creating a space you’ll love is to buy pieces and design elements that you truly love and bring you joy.

 

And don’t forget to have fun with the details! For instance, when I’m selecting drawer pulls or door hooks, I don’t typically settle for basic ones in stock. I look for unique or handmade finds. For example, the hooks on the back of our bathroom door look like acorns, and I take pleasure in using them to hang our towels.

 

Ultimately, your home should be a reflection of your personality and style, and it should be a space where you feel the most comfortable. After all, it’s where you spend the most time. So, take the time to create a home you love, where every detail is intentionally chosen, and each piece brings you joy.

Describe your design style, where do you get inspiration from?: As a vintage-loving designer, I find inspiration in the beauty and charm of the past. My design style definitely leans toward retro, and I can appreciate pretty much any style from bygone eras. I have a minor in interior design, and my passion for design has always been a driving force in my life. When I’m not renovating houses, I’m busy as a full-time marketing consultant specializing in home decor.

 

 

My inspiration comes from a variety of sources, including movies, magazines, social media influencers, real estate listings, and nature. But when my husband Kyle and I purchase a new cottage or cabin, we always look to the home itself for inspiration. What does it aspire to be? We want to let it reach its full potential. Kyle and I make a great team: I handle the design, and he does the construction.

 

 

One of my favorite things is repurposing items with a history. I seek out unique items from home salvage warehouses, antique stores, and online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace. In fact, I’m a bit addicted to Facebook Marketplace, and we’ve furnished nearly our entire home with amazing pieces we found there. Incorporating these unique vintage finds into our designs is incredibly rewarding and adds an extra layer of charm and character to our spaces.

 

 

I believe that everyone has a creative side, and I hope my passion for design and repurposing inspires you to explore your own creativity in your home decor projects. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on unique vintage finds, and always remember to look for the potential in everything around you.

Please share any other thoughts on your project: Our latest restoration was a neglected woodland cottage that we stumbled upon while walking around the area. While most people would have run from it, my family and I saw the potential to give it new life.

 

The stone chimney caught our eye, and we knew that we had to restore this charming cottage to its former glory. I envisioned the cottage as Snow White’s cottage in the woodlands, and every design element was inspired by that idea. We poured our hearts and souls into the renovation, working tirelessly to bring out the magic and charm of the storybook cottage.

 

We even built a little shed on the property that looks like a miniature version of the cottage, it is painted the same color with the same roof and light. This sweet little private mini cottage is now my office and creative space.

 

 

If you’re looking for inspiration for your own cabin or cottage, I hope my story inspires you to see the potential in neglected properties and to follow your vision, no matter how unconventional it may seem. The passion and dedication we put into our Storybook Cottage shines through in every detail, and I’m thrilled with the final result.

If you are interested in the history of the American Bungalow check out our post regarding our 17 favorite books to read about bungalows

Photography by the homeowner Danielle Elderkin and @nivroz  Homeowner Instagram is @Relovedcabins

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Judy Hughes

Hi there..I’m Judy. I am a Mom, Wife, Dog Mom and Realtor. My posts are a potpourri of my favorite activities in life. I will dabble in home design & staging (specifically small spaces), real estate tips, plant-based eating, pickle ball, camping and adventure travel. ​Hoping you join me …....Thanks for stopping in! Judy

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