In­spired by Na­ture

Cottages & Bungalows - - Cottage -

For an easy way to bring win­ter style home, dis­play all the lit­tle won­ders found out­doors. Na­ture boxes are the per­fect way to bring the out­doors in­side in a sim­ple, beau­ti­ful way. Just take a printer’s tray or shadow box, hang it on a wall and fill it with any and ev­ery bit of na­ture you can find.

Londen made two na­ture boxes to hang in the din­ing room. She spray-painted them with chalk­board paint be­cause it’s a softer black than tra­di­tional spray paint. “I love the sub­tle color and tex­ture, and be­ing able to see our finds ev­ery day,” Londen writes on her blog.

Her boxes are filled with good­ies picked up dur­ing walks in the woods or any time spent out­side. Trea­sures in­clude seashells, small jars of sand and dirt, stones, seeds, nuts, leaves—you name it—if it lives out­doors, it could find a home in­side a na­ture box.

come in all shapes and sizes, from fid­dle leaf figs that can grow taller than the win­dows, to hang­ing ferns that spill over pots to drape down from the ceil­ing, to tiny suc­cu­lents that grace side ta­bles.

“I al­ways bring in dif­fer­ent things from the sea­sons,” Londen says. Dur­ing spring, for ex­am­ple, she’ll dec­o­rate with tulips. And dur­ing the hol­i­days, green­ery fills the home with color and fresh­ness.

They have two Christ­mas trees this year, one in the din­ing room and one in the liv­ing room, and go with fresh, real trees ev­ery year. It’s a fam­ily tra­di­tion to go out the day after Thanks­giv­ing to pick out a tree, cut it down and bring it home to dec­o­rate. “It makes the house smell so good,” Londen says.

For those not blessed with a green thumb, na­ture boxes are a great way to bring the out­doors in and bring some nat­u­ral charm to a space. And the need to go out­side to find good­ies to fill the boxes cer­tainly isn’t a bad thing ei­ther.


Homemak­ing is a team ef­fort in the Huffman house­hold. Londen, the de­signer, says she comes up with the ideas, and Mark does the heavy lift­ing. “He’s the one who makes all my ideas come to life,” she says.

Small im­prove­ments that give the home char­ac­ter are ev­ery­where; in par­tic­u­lar, the

kitchen ban­quette. Mark cut a hole in the door lead­ing to the base­ment for the cat, since that’s where the lit­ter box is. The ban­quette it­self was one of their larger projects. Mark con­structed the built-in bench him­self, us­ing ply­wood from Home De­pot to cre­ate a shiplap look. The bench in­cludes some much-needed stor­age space, and the seat has a gen­er­ous lip to cre­ate room for feet, so sit­ting feels more nat­u­ral than just perch­ing on a flat bench.

Out­side of the fam­ily room, Londen says the kitchen ban­quette is one of their fa­vorite spots in the house.

“We do spend a lot of time there,” she says. “We play a lot of games on that table, and my daugh­ter does her home­work there.”

In the liv­ing room, a metic­u­lously cu­rated gallery wall dis­plays black-and-white pho­tos from the fam­ily’s trav­els. “We laid out ev­ery­thing on the floor first. We took all the frames we wanted to use and came up with the de­sign. My hus­band did the math and hung them,” Londen says. “... As far as the pho­tos go, we just take our fa­vorite pho­tos from dif­fer­ent places and put them up there.”

While Ethel may have been hes­i­tant at first, the love and de­vo­tion the Huffman fam­ily has poured into her over the years has paid off. FOL­LOW LONDEN ON IN­STA­GRAM AT @SIXTYFIFTHAVENUE, AND ON HER BLOG AT SIXTYFIFTHAVENUE.BLOGSPOT.COM.

|ABOVE| WICKS AND WON­DER. Wicker chairs make the din­ing room play­ful, while a black and crys­tal chan­de­lier brings an el­e­gant bal­ance. Real green­ery in the form of a gar­land and a sec­ond Christ­mas tree pro­vide fresh­ness through­out the sea­son.|OP­PO­SITE TOP| WEATHERING THESTORM. The steel win­dow in the kitchen is orig­i­nal to the house. When the Huff­mans moved in, it had been painted shut; the storm win­dow was in bad shape, and they planned to re­place it. In­stead, with a lit­tle TLC and de­ter­mi­na­tion, they re­paired the win­dow and kept a piece of the home’s orig­i­nal charm.

HELP­ING HANDS. The head­board is a hand­made DIY piece Londen and her hus­band, Mark, worked on to­gether. She cre­ated the de­sign and shopped for the fab­ric, and he did the work to put it to­gether. Londen says many of their projects go that way—she’ll have an idea, and he’ll bring it to life.

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