Saturday, June 4, 2011
Heading back to Tybee to meet a real life MerMaid!
We were on the road again and anxious to see how Eric was doing with the interior painting. We had made plans to also hook up with Diane Kaufman the owner of MerMaid Cottages. We were coming down on the yes...side of renting the cottage. We knew we would not be able to be there much of the time and we really preferred the beach in the fall, winter, and spring. Tybee Island is a Memorial Day to Labor Day beach destination so renting the cottage during the busy summer months seemed like the perfect plan. We arrived and were pleasantly surprised at how much work Eric had gotten done. The white walls and trim was doing a great job on highlighting the wood floors. The cottage was almost ready inside for some serious decorating. I have stacks of Coastal Living, Southern Living and Cottage Living magazines all filled with great decor ideas. So the idea of decorating the cottage was both exciting and a bit daunting. We would want to find a style that would appeal to us And renters. We would need fabrics and furniture that were comfortable first and easy to maintain second. I was hoping that Diane would be able to give us some suggestions on how to create the perfect Tybee Island Cottage! Diane did not disappoint. She is as nice as can be but she is very focused and knows exactly what she wants and can communicate her vision amazing well. I felt like I could finish her sentences after only spending a few minutes with her. A kindred spirit. She offered to show us her Cottage and her rental Cottage next door. We quickly took her up on the offer. I love looking at houses! Her cottage had actually been moved and relocated to her lot. The decor was cottage perfect and very Tybee Island. She mentioned that Jane Coslick had done the decorating for her in addition to saving and restoring and decorating 30+ other cottages on Tybee Island. I had noticed that some of the articles I had been saving from Coastal Living, Southern Living and Cottage Living had articles and pictures featuring Jane's work. I was actually standing in a cottage that had been featured in one of those articles. An alarming thought was working it's way into my head as we talked further about renting our cottage. Diane did not require that all of her rentals be pet friendly but many were...I thought we needed to be pet friendly for a couple of reasons. One I have good friends and family members who would not dream of leaving their Giget, Jezabell, Bear, or Midas at home. Two...we were blessed with a floor plan all on one level and we had a wide boardwalk type structure leading to the front door...so no steps for those of us with issues getting up and down lots of steps...me included! Three...I thought we needed to have something extra since we are not right on the beach. We are on the quiet North lighthouse end of the island with a nice slice of a marsh view so we can watch the tides ebb and flow as well as the shore birds...from our three season porch on the private back side of the cottage. Dianne agreed that the pet angle would be wise and she quickly sketched out what we would need in the way of furnishings, etc. New beds and the master had to be a King and probably two queens for the other bedrooms. High quality mattresses were a must...don't I know it! We have had our share of delightful vacation accommodations that were fabulous right up until you tried to sleep on a lumpy, bumpy, worn out mattress! No problem there...we got it. Lots of quality towels and linens...she recommended Home Goods...more about them later...She also gave us the name of a lady who could get us quality beds for a good value...turned out to be the same lady that Sandy had mentioned. Apparently Bonnie is the go to woman for Mattresses! We did a quick run down on the details...no contract...a gentlewoman's agreement and we worked together as long as it worked well for both of us. Even though we had just met I was fine with that...I can usually size someone up pretty quickly and Diane was the real deal. I mentioned that it was probably impossible for us to be able to utilize someone like Jane Coslick. Diane said well she might be able to just give us some limited design advice. If we were to have her decorate our Cottage that would be a huge marketing plus...since Jane's work is so well known. That alarming thought just kept coming back into my head...we really NEED Jane Coslick to turn this into the perfect Tybee Cottage for us and it would have the added and somewhat sensible benefit of helping market the Cottage and increase the likelihood of significant rentals! Before I could screw up enough courage to say anything. Diane just scribbled down a cell phone number and said why don't you give Jane a call and see if you can meet the next time you are down! Oh...my... first we lose our minds buying the Cottage remember we are just your average working joe and jane...now we are thinking about calling a decorator who has been in National magazines...I am seriously drifting away from my usual conservative mindset. I kept Jane's number...and we headed home to mull over the possibilities.