Friday, September 19, 2014

A Country Home Tour {Tracie Fish}


Oh you guys!

I recently sat down with Tracie Fish, creator of the Fishtail Cottage blog. We met for coffee and enjoyed chatting about everything from gardening to family, from home decorating to life with dogs and chickens!

I can hardly wait for you to see Tracie's charming home with enchanted gardens that will surely send you daydreaming…

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy!



Please tell us who makes this lovely country cottage a home?

My husband and I, and our amazing seven children (only three are still at home). We are about to welcome a grandchild into our world this January!

The area where we live is residential. However, I’ve managed to make it a farm-like setting. Also included in our family are: three shih tzus, Charlie, Sophie and Millie. One ring-necked dove named Joey. Five silkie chickens, Josie, Daisy, Pearl, Anna May and Gizzy. One darling lop eared bunny, lovingly named Bam Bam. We also have two nameless parakeets.



How did this house become yours?

We built “Fishtail Cottage” in 2005 and moved in February 2006. I hand-picked everything from the ground up.  I had to be persistent with the builder! I had a vision of the way I wanted to see the final project vs. what he was used to.  For example, having a straight front entrance was a crazy idea to him, as he was used to all walkways coming from the driveway.  Now my front entrance is one of the favorite features of our home, so I’m glad I stuck to what was in my head. 



I wish now that I could go back and do a few things differently. For example, we have pine hardwood flooring with matching wood features in our trim work. I wish we would have selected all white wood accents instead. When we moved in, we brought most of the same furniture from our previous home and found places for the pieces to go.  Over time, I’ve replaced furniture and accent d├ęcor as my style has changed and grown. 



Making Fishtail Cottage “our home” didn’t really start until 2011, when I began blogging. The landscape we began with was a blank slate...literally nothing but dirt.  I have chosen everything myself and planted it with my own two hands.  It’s been my favorite aspect of moving here - to see the garden grow over the past eight years.




 You have so many beautiful, carefully selected accessories in your home. Where are some of your favorite places to shop and what are you most drawn to these days?


I love shopping at Pottery Barn, Anthropology and Restoration Hardware… and who doesn’t love TJ Maxx and Target? But for unique finds and charming pieces that bring in character, I love frequenting flea markets. 



A couple of local (Seattle) favorite markets are “Ruffles and Rust Vintage Market” in Snohomish and the Haley’s Cottage “French Inspired Flea Market.”  M&M Antiques in Monroe is my absolute favorite place to shop. Every time I visit, I can’t leave without bringing home the most amazing item. I just love the mix of old and new together in my home.



I am not really sure what ‘style’ I have. But I decided if I love it, it will find a place in my home. Somehow it all seems to go together just fine!



Your gardens are magical! What would be your top tips for a beginning gardener, who may just be in the planning phase?

Honestly, I could only suggest to someone, just starting out, that a garden takes patience and nurturing. It’s what I’ve learned over time. It takes years to establish the right look.




Gardening is always evolving. One year, I will see the perfectly achieved look I saw years ago. The following year, that same area will be an overgrown mess that requires a crazy amount of pruning, removal of plants and simplifying. Gardens can be expensive, so there is nothing wrong with starting out with small plants.  Many times I find plants to rescue from someone else's garden, or on a clearance rack from a local nursery for just pennies.  When I plant these rescues in my garden, I just remind myself that they are for “next year’s garden,” as they will need time to get established. Also, make sure you allow enough room for your garden to grow.  I plant my plants a little closer together than the tag says, because I like a dense look in the garden. I also can’t stress how important layering is in a cottage garden. So, make sure to read how tall your plants will be. That said, I also feel it’s important to allow a few whimsical features in the garden. I love using real cement statuary as yard art – a few pieces mixed in with the plants gives the garden an established look.



One thing I did in the garden, was to collect each of our children’s favorite flowers and plant them throughout the garden. When those flowers bloom, I think of the children and the time we planted those flowers together. I just love that! 



Gardening brings me so much joy that I would love to venture into the professional world of landscape design!



What do you enjoy most about your home?

As that great saying goes, “What I enjoy most about our home is who I share it with.” My home would not be what it is without my family!

Just as the garden is ever evolving, so is the inside of our home.  When we built our house, we had very young children as well as teenagers.  Finding the balance between Thomas the Train, basketball hoops, and outdoor entertaining areas was important to us. 

We designed an open kitchen with French doors so that our parties could spill outdoors in the summertime and the football games and UFC fights can happen upstairs in our own theater. 


We purposely did not design a formal home. We are not afraid of spills or a few dings in the floor. When I turned my son’s room into a guest room, I even slept in there to see what it would be like to be a guest. I wanted to make sure the bed was comfortable and the surroundings were inviting.



What do you hope your family and guests will remember about their time spent in your home?

My goal is to provide a casual and welcoming atmosphere.  I want family (no matter what age) to come home and feel they are walking into their own sanctuary, leaving the cares of their day outside these doors. 

There is so much drama and stress in our children’s daily lives. I know that one of my jobs is to provide a comforting refuge for them. I’ve learned that opening our home for BBQ’s and family functions is important so that we see one another on a regular basis.  Spontaneous football potlucks are something my husband appreciates, so friends are welcome on any given Sunday. 

I really hope that everyone who comes here feels at home...


All images courtesy of Fishtail Cottage



Thank you, Tracie. I love your idea of planting your children's favorite flowers with them in the garden. What a great way to preserve that moment in time!

For more inspiration, you can visit Tracie's blog at Fishtail Cottage.

Thank you, readers, for coming along on this tour. I hope you enjoyed it!

Have a wonderful day...

xo

ps - In case you missed it, you can tour my sister Jodi's lovely country home here. 

40 comments:

  1. Wow. What a labor of love! Beautiful, warm and inviting! You inspired me to go right out and buy a Paniculata Hydrangea bush (hoping that's what the pink hydrangeas are!). You certainly achieved your goal of a well-planned home and garden. Monet's paintings come to mind. . .thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Tracie's gardens do resemble a Monet painting! Good description!

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  2. Tracie's home is one of my absolute very favorites inside and out!! ;)

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  3. She has an absolutely phenomenal home and gardens! I love the look!
    Brenda

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    Replies
    1. Hi Brenda ~ yes she does! Thanks for stopping in!

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  4. So beautiful! I've always loved Tracie's style, her home is gorgeous and her gardens are amazing. Thank you for sharing :)

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  5. How could anyone not feel at home in Tracies lovely home and garden? I have loved it from the first time I stumbled upon her blog. I consider her a dear blog friend and am always so delighted when Spring arrives and I get to see her gardens again! Thanks for sharing!
    hugs,
    Jann

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  6. What a beautiful home and garden. Thanks for the tour.

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    Replies
    1. Truly beautiful. Thank you for visiting! Glad you enjoyed the tour!

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  7. It is such a beautiful garden and home, thank you for taking us along on this lovely tour. xx

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    Replies
    1. So glad to share Tracie's inspiring home and gardens. Thank you for your kind comment!

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  8. Tracie has always been such a huge inspiration to me - not only with her interior design style but with her gardening talents, also. And what a sweetie! :) I loved seeing more of her beautiful living spaces, Julie. Thanks for featuring her this week!

    xoxo laurie

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    Replies
    1. Such heartfelt comments. Thank you Laurie! It was an honor for me to share Tracie's inspiring home and gardens.

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  9. She has such a lovely home. I think her gardens are amazing!

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  10. I popped over from Tracie's mention that she was featured. You did such a great job of allowing me, a new follower of hers, to get to know her better. All the things she values are so well showcased in her home and garden - it's very refreshing. Thanks for sharing, and for doing such a great job.
    Rita C at Panoply

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    Replies
    1. Hi Rita ~ Thank you so much. It was really fun to put Tracie's tour together. Very inspiring to me as well!

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  11. A nice tour of Tracie's home and gardens. As a follower of her blog, I've always loved the view of the gate to the front entrance.

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    Replies
    1. I can see why! :) Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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  12. Beautiful home.
    Your sweet little doggie looks so much like mine.
    Thank you for sharing the tour...
    Susan

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  13. Love her home- absolutely charming! Thank you for linking up at FNF!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Courtney ~ my pleasure! Thank you for hosting!!

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  14. What a wonderful interview! I'm a long time fan of Trace's home and garden and I love hearing more about her design and decorating philosophy. Clearly a whole lot of love has gone into this home! ... Happy to feature this post at our party and I'm so looking forward to exploring more here at Little Farmstead!

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    1. Thank you so much for the feature and your kind words!!

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  15. Beautiful interview, and although I've known and loved Tracie's home for a long time, I learned so much about her and her home through this post! thank you for sharing!! :)

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  16. Hi Tracie, I would be here for hours commenting you on every little detail that I love about your home tour, and then my comment would end up rediclously long.
    All I can say is when can I move in?

    You my girl have reached a beautiful level of finding your design style and the passion for the next beautiful find. Loving it all:)

    Hey girl I love the Cottage typography sign, much like my love sign. I now have a new and exciting sign on my post come visit and see :))

    See you soon and all the beauty that surrounds you.... By the way I so want to dine out at that Seattle washed out-doors courtyard table, how wonderful is that setting :)


    Xoxo
    Dore

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  17. Absolutely beautiful! Where did you get the pink and white lilacs? I MUST have them!

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    Replies
    1. Hi - I am sure Tracie would be happy to tell you! You can reach her by visiting fishtailcottage.blogspot.com and leave her a comment...

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  18. Please, do tell where you got the lilacs. I have been looking all over the internet. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi - I am sure Tracie would be happy to tell you! You can reach her by visiting fishtailcottage.blogspot.com and leave her a comment...

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  19. Please, do tell where you got the lilacs. I have been looking all over the internet. Thanks!

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  20. Where on earth did you find your Cotton Candy lilac? I too would love to get a couple!! Do you give cuttings?

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    Replies
    1. Hi - I am sure Tracie would be happy to tell you! You can reach her by visiting fishtailcottage.blogspot.com and leave her a comment...

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  21. Yes please tell us where you got cotton candy lilacs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - I am sure Tracie would be happy to tell you! You can reach her by visiting fishtailcottage.blogspot.com and leave her a comment...

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