If I wanted to live in Corinth, Mississippi — and the only drawback to that plan is there’s no Target or Publix there — I would grab one of these houses. My husband and I stumbled across them on a recent stroll around town and fell in love. There are three of these cottages in a row just a block from all the cool downtown shops and restaurants in Corinth. We couldn’t get in but we peered through the windows and liked what we saw: Compact and efficient spaces with a stylish flair. And so cute! Who could resist? And in a new-meets-old sort of juxtaposition, the cottages are right next door to this fascinating old brick apartment building that I just know is hiding all sorts of secrets and intriguing stories.
But that’s not the only old-and-new partnership going on in downtown Corinth. Take a look at the under-construction new Christian church, just a block and across the street away from its current building — a wonderful old pink-stucco Alhambra-looking place that seems very flapperish-Roaring Twenties to me. And just a few steps away from all of this architectural richness, you can buy a slugburger at an old-fashioned drugstore and a tamale at one of Corinth’s famous tamale stands, soak up some Civil War history and then browse through some of the most exquisite and fun antique/decorating shops in our little corner of the South. Now do you see why I love this town?
Did y’all have a great Labor Day weekend? Lots of cookouts and picnics and getting together? Bet you didn’t have as much fun as I did — I spent the whole weekend (and I mean the whole weekend, from Thursday morning to Monday afternoon)babysitting my 17-month-old grandson, Capt. Adorable while my daughter and son-in-law went to DragonCon in Atlanta. And besides all the incredibly good snuggle time I got with the Captain — and the chance to watch endless episodes of Sid the Science Kid, my new favorite TV show — I fell in love all over again with my daughter and son-in-law’s house. When my son-in-law, a high-school art teacher, got tenure this past spring, they decided it was time to move out of their apartment and into a real house. Frugal young family that they are, they had a budget and were determined not to budge from it. Their must-haves: A big fenced-in backyard for the Captain, three bedrooms, two baths and good storage space. It took awhile, but they found it — and under their budget. It was cute and in a good neighborhood and had a fantastic backyard. The bad news? Total square footage was less than their apartment. However, after living in it for a few days, I can attest that this house seems so much bigger than it actually is. The secret is a combination of design and decor. I love the archectural details that make this compact space live bigger: The soaring ceilings, the tiled entry way, closets tucked away in unexpected but efficient places, the big airy windows. It would have been so easy to have let this be a cheap and boring house, but no. And the kids have done everything they could to enhance the feeling of expansiveness — they added white beadboard to the eating area, knocked out some useless kitchen cabinets to create more open space and used paint to their advantage with the Captain’s bed- and bathrooms in bright oranges and yellows and the other rooms in soothing and calm neutrals. Adorable!
And a note to any other grandparents contemplating days of move-in babysitting: Line up visits from friends and family. I could not have made it without help from so many people who brought us food and new toys and drove over just to visit us. Thank you!!!
When I first started thinking about having the inside of our house repainted, I always knew I’d want to go simple and neutral. For years I’ve lived with my misguided attempts at rustic-Tuscany-sponge painting in the kitchen and my older daughter’s more successful vegetarian peach-and-eggplant bedroom. I’m ready to change my style to calm and serene — with an eye to selling the house someday. A Realtor who came to give us redecorating tips said to go neutral. Our painters said to go neutral. When we went to the paint store, the folks there said to go neutral and recommended a Pittsburgh Paint color called Dusty Trail. It was the newest most-popular house color around, they said, and I would be so happy with it. But I hesitated. I couldn’t decide: Was it too dark? Too olive-y? Too green? Too non-neutral? Husband painted a sample on a box — and did it very well, I might add — and we all agreed that it was a “yes.” But this past week when the painters first started putting Dusty Trail up on the walls, I did not like it. At all. I was second-guessing. I had paint anxiety attacks. It was the dark olive-y green all over again. I wondered how much it would cost to start over. But then, when the wall was completed and it was a solid block of color, I fell in love with its rich creamy neutral wonderfulness that adds depth without darkness. I finally understood why everybody said it was so good. For whatever weird reason, I’m telling you, the color looks so different when it’s right next to our old off-white than it does when it’s up on a wall all by itself. I do not know why this is. I’m sure it’s something that happens with paint and colors. But I’m glad it’s happening in our house on our walls.
And I love our painters. They are like your friends who come over and sweep up their messes and eat their lunches outside and tell you that the sofa really would look better over in that corner.