Saturday, September 24, 2016

This post is not about

having achieved the perfect 

home décor.

anita pelayo rivera

It's about 

two blog friends

whose passions


home renovation



at a crossroads


tireless vision. 

Most of my readers already


how my husband and I  

bought our first house

in 1997


how over the years 

we've changed the landscape

with grit and determination



took a cold

outdated kitchen

"Frenchified" it

 as well as having opened

a small living room

into another dimension.

  But what you

may not know about

is my special friendship


Violet Skiles 


the blog

Create Beauty.

Every morning

we connect across the miles

by email. 

 I might share 

my current antique finds

for my studio

 talk about garden projects

but what's been the most fun
is finding out 
how much we've had
in common all these years
from our ballet tutu collections 

our whimsical natures


our fascination with light.

Violet has also been on a similar



domestic creative expression


I'd like to invite you to

visit her blog

leave her a comment

and see the impressive job

she and her husband 

have also done

to transform a 

brick home

into a country estate paradise.

Both our homes



you can now read 

one of the many chapters

in the tale 

of my home


available now on newstands

and on-line.

I'd really like to 


the ocher walls 

of my kitchen 


if that ever transpires

I know Violet will be there


share in the adventure.

Thank you Fifi O'Neill


Romantic Country magazine.


Cathy Hickman said...

You never fail to astound me with the beauty you have developed through your spirit. ♥

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

I am so thrilled for you and for the rest of us to be able to see your home and your story in print in Romantic Country Magazine.
Just reading this portion today on your lovely blog and seeing glimpses of your beautiful home and all of the tender, hardworking journey that has gone into every nail, paint brush and wall to create the home of your dreams is heartwarming and delightful.
Your home is gorgeous and your gentle and beautiful spirit resides within it's walls!
Congrats dearest.

Lisa said...

Oh Anita!
I think this is my favorite post of all. This shows some of your magic and I love it. Takes me back to Europe via the Midwest.
An aside, my very sweet, youngest granddaughter just turned one year old on Sunday. Her name is Violet Jane. <3 Conjures up all sorts of romantic notions.
Cannot wait to get my copy of the magazine.
Best wishes for continued success and great happiness.

Lisa said...

Oh Anita!
I think this is my favorite post of all. This shows some of your magic and I love it. Takes me back to Europe via the Midwest.
An aside, my very sweet, youngest granddaughter just turned one year old on Sunday. Her name is Violet Jane. <3 Conjures up all sorts of romantic notions.
Cannot wait to get my copy of the magazine.
Best wishes for continued success and great happiness.

It's me said...

Wowwwww your hone is amazing what beautiful decorated love it all ....i wish i could buy That magazine from Fifi here in Holland to see your beautiful home in you my friend always you love love Ria x

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Hi Anita,
Need to pick up the magazine! Nice shout out to Violet who I adore. Homes take time, creative expressions backed with deep pockets and tolerance for dirt, dust and debris to finally achieve our happily ever after nests of beauty. I like you, know the time and effort it takes. As you know I went through a complete gut of my kitchen well actually our old home in the 80's and last April -2015 I added what I thought would make our kitchen a total blissful spot to enjoy, my tastes run culinary. I think painting over those sponged faux painted yellowish walls will tickle your fancy. Paint can help transform and add décor direction. I love all your evolving changes to your home - the transformation Anita from your purchase of an English style home to altering it in style and adding your nurtured beautiful French inspired gardens made your approach to your home magical. Homes should speak of our love's and fancies and yours rejoices your dreams.

Robyn said...

Oh, Anita! How I enjoyed this post! You are magical, my friend. I love your sensitive nature, your creativity, your caring for others. How lucky I am to call you my friend. I have been so moved by this story, dear friend.
So much beauty that shows who you are and what you strive for and embrace. Love you to pieces, beautiful lady! xoox

"Create Beauty" said...

Hello dear friend!!!! My own post is now up! Thank you so much for linking to my blog here and for all
the JOY we share daily!!!!! And it is so exciting to see your lovely home in ~ and on the cover! ~ of
Romantic Country magazine! Congratulations!!!!!! It is truly amazing what you and Ruben have done to
your home over these 19 years to make it so beautiful and a reflection of your hearts!!!! BRAVO!!!!!

Truly Magnificent!!!!!

~ Violet

Stephanie said...

Oh my sweet friend, you have truly inspired me with the beauty of your post. I love what Robyn said about your sensitive nature...oh how true and right those words are.

Your home is a masterpiece, dearest Anita. I am in awe of the certianly poured your heart into every little detail.

And congratulations on being featured in the Romantic Country Magazine - what a delightful, dear one!

Much love to you!

Junkchiccottage said...

Ahhhh just swooning over your beautiful home Anita. Love your transformed rooms. Stunning. I am headed out tomorrow to get the Romantic Country to read. Congrats on the feature. I am going to head over to meet Violet now. Thank you for the intro.

donna baker said...

Anita, will wonders never cease? Not with you around it seems. I did not know you had remodeled/renovated your house, but you did a wonderful job. Just love the before and afters. Love the screen, the furniture and on and on. I will go pick up a copy of that magazine and have a look at your friend's blog. Thank you so.

Createology said...

Your home is such a vision of beauty and I will certainly have to acquire this magazine. I have followed Violet for a long time and she is truly an inspiration just as you are Anita Dear. Embracing Creative Bliss...

Celestina Marie said...

Dear Anita, what a beautiful post sharing your home and heart. I will surly be going out for my copy of RC. So much work goes into making a house a home and seeing a bit of your home here is inspiring.
Congrats on this feature and being on the cover.
Wishing you continued success.
Blessings to you. xoxo

MJH Design Arts said...

Hi Anita, What a beautiful tribute to your friend. Journeys with friends are the best ones. Thank you for sharing and CONGRATULATIONS. xoxo Mary

MJH Design Arts said...

Hi Anita, What a beautiful tribute to your friend. Journeys with friends are the best ones. Thank you for sharing and CONGRATULATIONS. xoxo Mary

Taste of France said...

Thank you for the introduction to Violet. You are an inspiration because most people have simple homes but dream of castles or at least romantic cottages. Your home is a dream made real, thanks to vision and no small amount of good taste. Congratulations on the magazine spread. I will get it online.

Barbara said...

Dearest Anita, your home reflects the beauty that resides within you. I can’t imagine how it must feel to have your own space featured in a magazine. Congratulations I can’t think of anyone else who deserves it more. I'm so looking forward to visiting your friends blog. Going there now. Hugs Barbara

Daniela said...

Dearest, precious Anita,
thank you for this so romantic and touching real fairytale going on !
Your home is so stunning, it's as beautiful as you, sweetie, and such friendship enriches one's life, you both are so fortunate :)

May your Sunday smile to you and bring joy to your heart,
with utmost gratitude

Xx Dany

rosa said...

whaoooooo Anita ce post m'a fait rêver, toujours tu nous offres des jolies photos que je ne me lasse jamais de voir et revoir
Passe un doux dimanche automnal
gros bisous

Colette (Un Cottage En France) said...

It makes one wonder who knows us better when looking at your suberb photos, people who know us for real or people who connect to stuff we put a lot of dedication into.

Contrats for the publication in Romantic Country and have a lovely Sunday. The rain is back over here after a few days of an unexpected returning summer.

Our French Oasis said...

Huge congrats Anita on the magazine spread, I cannot think of anyone who deserves it more. I was so happy to see my favourite chair of yours featured again here today! What you and your husband have created is a pure dream, but one that is real, one that you appreciate every single day and the attention to detail and the time and effort you have spent creating that dream is what must surely make it so special to live there. Have a wonderful happy and peaceful Sunday xx

vicki archer said...

Dear Anita... I want to be transported this very second... your artistry is so inspirational...
I look forward to the magazine spread... Happy Sunday.. :) xxv

nélinha said...

tout est magnifique que de belles photos qui nous font rêver et ces rénovations sont juste superbes
merci pour ce beau billet ma chère amie et bon dimanche à toi
bisous tout plein

helen tilston said...

Hello Anita,
I loved seeing you home and how passionately you have decorated and designed. Unfinished is such a great way to be. Thanks for the link to Violet's blog. I will pick up the magazine when I return stateside. A beautiful post and wishing you a superb week my friend.

Helen xx

francis said...

You are living your dream , day by day , step by step . Also having an important job with your students . They are so lucky to have a teacher who is an inspiring person . A teacher who has dreams and is inspiring all of us , all over the world by writing about it.
Your house is so beautiful You did a great job . I would try to find the magazine .
It's good there are soul mates ❤️
In October I will visit a friend She has a house in France . It will be a 9 hours drive by car . I know I will enjoy the beautiful landscape and I will be thinking of you .
All the best .

The Dutchess said...

And with the perfect music to accompany this wonderful never ending story ..I.m home...missed you much..xoxo

First to unpack..great the potting-shed inhabitants and then I will sit down for a letter to my dearest sister..A Bientot

The Dutchess said...

That's greet..we already know they are great..:)

La Contessa said...

FABULOUS!I Met FIFI as well a few years ago...................what a GORGEOUS HUMAN BEING NON?!
I know this put a SMILE on your FACE and MADE YOUR YEAR.............look forward to pursuing the PAGES!

The French Hutch said...

I have enjoyed you sharing the magical transformation of your home and find so much inspiration when I visit you. Your home is so lovely along with the gardens. I think of you as a princess living in a fairytale cottage! Lovely photography, sorry you don't blog as often as you once did but I found you on Instagram and enjoy it there. Off to visit your friends............Hugs......

The French Hutch said...

And, congratulations on the feature in Romantic Country. I will pick up a copy for sure.........

"Create Beauty" said...

Hello my dear, I too had to come back and view all of this, as I will again and again.....
Yours is such an amazing transformation, I can hardly take it all in!!!! What a joy to see that addition
you two built this summer on the back of your house, how very clever you are! And I loved being in on it
for every aspect!!!! Teee-heeeeee!!!! those days it looked like it wasn't going to work, but now?!?!?!
Perfection!!!!! And like you said about my place, there is only one thing missing from the picture,
ME being there!!!!!!

Thank you so much for sharing a joint blog post with me.... there are still so many things I didn't say
or show about our similarities, I could go on and on.....

I am loving my copy of Romantic Country, if anyone deserves a magazine photo shoot with the famous
Fifi and Mark, it is YOU!!!!!! sigh....
~ Violet

Art and Sand said...

I don't think I have ever seen so much of your home in one post - I'm in love!

Congrats on the magazine.

Debbie said...

Wow!!! Anita! Your home is like a beautiful little jewel! Congratulations!

Jules said...

Oh Anita, I love your garden. Would you please come to my house and make my garden look like yours? What kind of trees are those that are growing around an arch? They're stunning!

despetitsriens3 said...

très jolies réalisations de bon goût
Bises Anita

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

My, your transformations are breathtaking! I don't remember seeing your kitchen before and I loved discovering it. I'll make a point to visit your friend Violet because her love for tutus makes her a kindred spirit!

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Some lovely transformations happening at your sweet abode Dearest! I must pop on 'round to visit Violet! Wishing you a very happy week to follow xo

Red Rose Alley said...

Anita, I just loved seeing the transformation of your home. Now, was the "before" rooms your own personal style because I'm a lover of dark traditional furniture, and the case with the glass doors filled with all the goodies caught my eye. :) Your house looks beautiful, and you have done an amazing job working on it and turning it into a home for you and your husband. I know I've told you this before, but I love your fireplace, and I smiled when I saw the mini orange pumpkins on there. Romantic Country Magazine!! I can't wait to pick up a copy! Your kitchen is so charming, and I like the ocher walls. Were those the original walls when you moved in? However, I think white would please you more. Oh, what a darling cottage home. I'm so happy for you, and what an honor to have your home displayed in the magazine.

love, ~Sheri

ps How special you are to love every day of the week because you're alive!

Sandy at You May Be Wandering said...

Dear Anita...Congratulations on the magazine feature! It is much deserved - you have such an amazing eye for beauty! xoxo

Beth at PlantPostings said...

Congratulations! I need your designer's eye for my home interior. We've put a hold on major renovations until we move to our next (smaller) house, but I may ask for your advice in the future...who knows when. Lots to do here before we put it on the market. You made an amazing transformation! Cheers!

New York Roofing said...

Treasuring friendship is one of the best feelings in the world. It is magical that how friendhip can influence your life in a better way and fill your life with joy and contenment.

La Petite Gallery said...


A Joyful Cottage said...

What a delightful way to begin my day, Anita! I agree with prior comments that this is my favorite post of all. To get a glimpse of the before and after in your home's transformation is pure bliss. It just shows what can be accomplished with vision and hard work. . .and patience! You've done an amazing job and I look forward to seeing more of your home in Romantic Country magazine. There is no denying that your home is, indeed, romantic. I just love it. All of it, inside and out. Perfection. Congratulations. I'm off now to visit Violet. Thank you for this lovely post. Hugs, Nancy

Lowcarb team member said...

Your house and garden look lovely, I'd love to sit a while in the garden ...

How exciting to be featured in Romantic Country magazine, congratulations.

All the best Jan

Kim said...

How lovely Anita!! I will certainly be checking out the magazine feature. Congratulations!

Marcia said...

Magnificent transformation. Congratulations again, Anita. Looking forward to the magazine. I wish you continued blessings upon blessings.

Mapi said...

This is all so beautiful Anita !
Your house, your friend, the magazine .....

Have a lovely week,

Much love from The Netherlands,

Karen said...

Dear Anita,
Your magazine feature was wonderful. It was fun to see the details to your lovely home. I know how much work you poured into it and it shows. Congratulations.

Rosemary and Thyme said...

Hello Anita,

Oh how I love your gorgeous home Anita. I can see it has been a labor of love. I love your French kitchen. It so charming. And may I say that you have taken your photography skills to the next level.

Congratulations on your Romantic Homes feature. It is well deserved my friend.

I hope you can stop by for a peek at my fall home tour.



La Petite Gallery said...

Anita called around Rockland, No Magazine, so searched the net no luck. GUT!
Harris Publications is Shutting Down
The nearly 40-year-old New York-based publisher notified employees today that it's going out of business, citing the "rapid ascendance of digital media." yvonne You got last issue

Jeanie said...

I can't wait to get a copy of the magazine. Reading comments, looks like it might be tough to find so I'd better look fast. (And I adore the kitchen in ochre!)

Jean | said...

Anita, can't wait to read that magazine and to visit your friend's new-to-me blog!

jerilanders said...

Anita, How great to have your home featured in a magazine! That is quite something and certainly well deserved. I love transformations from drab and common to interesting and striking.

Béa de C said...

Chère Anita,
Ce post est absolument fabuleux car on se rend compte de l'amour mis dans votre maison!
Je vais acheter Romantic Homes!
Gros bisous de Belgique...

Unknown said...

Anita dear, I was already pinning your images before I even made it to the end of this glorious post. Your home exudes beauty, timelessness and a sense of peace. I'm so excited to see the article and thrilled for you! Sorry it took me time get back over here. We've been going through a major crisis with my youngest step-daughter that has taken all our extra energy. Hopefully things are on the way up.
I feel like I just spent an hour in your lovely home, chatting with you, enjoying a cup of tea. Merci, dear Anita!

Anonymous said...

How exciting! I am going to go and try to find the magazine at the local store. I did not realize how much work you've done in your home. I think it reflects you beautifully. Congratulations on the magazine article!


vintageandart said...

What a beautiful post Anita...and how lovely to share your journey so closely with someone else who thinks as you do. Congrats also on the story in Romantic Homes, l haven't read it yet but when l do l'll be sure to look out for your gorgeous home. What a journey it's been for you and hubby and it must be so satisfying to see your vision come to life. l'll pop over now and visit Violets blog, thank you for sharing. You're so right when you say our homes are never finished, there's always some new idea or something to be created or planted:-)

handmade by amalia said...

How wonderful to be back to your beautiful space, Anita. It took longer than expected to get back into the rhythm of blogging but I'm finally here, and just in to see your beautiful home. I cannot believe the transformation, what a vision you had to see the beauty behind someone else's decor.

Jacqueline said...

Anita, how fun to be able to see the before and after photos! I love all of your transformations. You have such a beautiful feel for everything in life and you share it with us, indoors and outdoors! What a marvelous difference in the kitchen.

Teacup Mosaics said...

True beauty of friendship, home and words. Always enjoy my visit and usually it is the morning with my first cup of coffee before the day gets too hectic. I'm still struggling with my blogging journey not sure which direction to go if any. I guess time will tell. Wishing you a wonderful week. Kelley

Rhonda said...

Oh my goodness...this is absolutely beautiful, to be expected from you sweet Anita. Your home is stunning and you have poured your heart into it. The pictures tell that story very well. Much love. Rhonda

Roberta said...

So beautiful, Anita. I love all your posts and instagrams. You keep me inspired! All the best. Will visit Violet's Blog for sure!

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

My dear friend,
First, congratulations! I must pick up a copy of the magazine. I have to say that you and Ruben make such a great team. You both have done such beautiful work inside and out of your home. The exterior is as breathtaking as the interior.. So peaceful and relaxing.
I am off to visit dear Violet.

Down by the sea said...

The changes you and Valerie have made to your homes are amazing! Congratulations in being featured in the magazine, it must have been strange and exciting to see it in the newsstands! Sarah x

Renae at HOME WITH SHOES said...

Dear Anita!
So I see that we both have returned to blogland in our own special way. Id love to rekindle our friendship as best we can. Our tastes in decor are on the complete ends of the spectrum but I feel that isn't a big concern. I'd love to see your cheery comments on my m - f posts. And... and your post as well.
Shall we? Renae ~

Red Rose Alley said...

BEAUTIFUL home, Anita!! I love the brick and your landscaping outside, and everything you've done with the interior. You are inspiring. And congratulations on being on the cover of Romantic Country! Wow, what an honor. I wonder if there are still copies available in the stores. I will have to look for one. :-)


Unknown said...

May we display your header on our new site directory? As it is now, the site title (linked back to your home page) is listed, and we think displaying the header will attract more attention. In any event, we hope you will come by and see what is going on at

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

You know, the outside of your home is as beautiful as the inside. I just want to take a seat and relax.
Thanks so much for coming over to visit with Lily.. Are those photos sweet or what! I knew they would make you smile.

Unknown said...

Thank you so very much for giving permission. Aside from the All category and the slideshow on the Home page, you can see your header under Home Improvement, Photography and the United States.

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

This is soooooooooooooooo fantastic!!!!!!! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!!! Congratulations dear friend! I'm going to get the magazine this week! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay for you!!!

The BUTT'RY and BOOK'RY said...

Good Morning Dearest Anita!!!
How glorious all of the photos of your beautiful home transformation are!!
Friendships and sharing creative inspirations are blessings indeed! :-)
It is thrilling to see your lovely touch in the pages of this beautiful magazine!!
XXX OOO Sending lots of love and warmth, Linnie

francis said...

Thank you so much for always leaving such a kind comment on my blogpost , even when it's been so long since I posted . You are the best . I am so glad you are posting like you used to but now with YOUR OWN PHOTO'S
It's like the story about your house/home ..... changing with you , work in progress .....
Getting better and better and what's more important ....the YOU in the here and now .
You let us in , in the process . I love that . I am so happy you have such a friendship where you realy connect and make eachother better together . Oh excuse my language . I am trying to say something but finding the words in your language is hard . Translating the words does not mean the scope will be clear
Last week I have been in your dream country . FRANCE . We had to drive for nine hours y car to visit my friend who has a house there . In LeBlanc ! I love France too .
Her house is so beautiful and her garden is very very huge . It's located along a river THE CREUSE and it was like heaven on earth . A dream . To say : BONJOUR , BON_APRES_MIDI and to hear the language everywhere ....... I will try to find the magazine ..... Be well my friend .

Botanic Bleu said...

It has been far too long since I last visited.... life gets very busy. Congratulations on having your home featured in Romantic Country. I must find a copy ASAP to see every detail.


Personally selected products said...

ANITA!! Hola mi querida amiga!
All your
Pictures look lovely , i love all your instagram pictures too, you know. It has been for too long since i last visited your Blog. Anyway i love every creative action you do.
Lots love
Happy week end from Madrid

Luisa Maria

victorian parlor II said...

Fabulous as always:)!



Kirsten Steen said...

Oh my goodness... what a GORGEOUS transformation! I love how you share the story of your evolution through both words and photos. And your photos are amazing... from the colors to the setting to design. You have SUCH a way! Thank you for this beauty! xoxo