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A Joyful Cottage Article on Gosherd Valley Cottage.

  • See original article here

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Living Large In Small Spaces - Gosherd Valley Cottage

Looking at the photo of this colorful cottage nestled in snowy woods, one might assume it to be in Scandinavia. That assumption, while not true, would be taken as a compliment by the cottage owner, Connie Cunningham.

Welcome to the fifty-seventh post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces".

The paintings of Swedish artist Carl Larsson inspired Connie's color choices for the cottage.

Getting Ready for a Game of Cards
Getting Ready For A Game of Cards by Carl Larsson 1901
When Connie's mother, Patty, purchased an1800's farm after her retirement as a commercial artist, the homestead cottage was quite dilapidated, with no electricity or plumbing. Patty made some improvements, added the utilities and painted everything white, but it was "still incredibly rustic."
Twenty-five years later Connie moved to the farm from Chicago -- where she had a successful landscape design business -- to care for her mother, who was diagnosed first with Alzheimer's and then lung cancer. When her mother died four years later, Connie remained on the farm she had come to love and made living arrangements in the barn's loft. She and her sister Chris, along with the help of friends, then went to work on the cottage renovation. 

Part of a working goose and poultry farm, the 1200 sq ft cottage is now a B&B rental located in a historic German region of Missouri that specializes in Wines, Spirits and Breweries.  "We have wineries all around, " Connie says. Gosherd Valley Cottage ships once a year for Holiday geese. They are AWA certified (Animal Welfare Approved) the hardest independent certification process in the country to attain.

When I first saw this photo of the kitchen, I knew the rest of the cottage would be utterly charming. I was so right.

Connie says the cottage was "created for people to unplug and relax and eat locally produced foods in their own cottage." Cottage says,  "A lot of people now request a thawed chicken for when they arrive."

The kitchen is stocked for guests to make their own breakfast. Connie explains that all products are local. "My neighbor's bacon or ham... my eggs, the local German bakery with fruit stollen with marzipan folded into the dough, two amazing jelly makers provide spreads, etc.. and of course I sell my own farmed chickens and geese here for guests to cook up for dinners."

Connie painted the existing kitchen cabinets. She repeated the scalloped trim on the new cupboard beds she designed for the cubby room, which was originally the one room log home.   

The vintage quilts were purchased at a local estate sale.

A tag-sale pillow embroidered in German speaks to the region's German heritage.

"Sleep Tight"

Rather than strip the painted ceiling beams, Connie painted them with a faux wood grain.

A previous owner had poured concrete floors throughout the cottage. Connie gave them a wood grain look, too.

Much of the decor comes from Connie's own extensive vintage and antique collections. "Everything is for sale in the cottage. . ." Connie says,  "all the antiques and artwork." 

Warm and cozy, the living room invites lingering. Connie's mom painted the wood grain on the faceless clock. 

Connie's love of primitive art is reflected in the painting she chose for the master bedroom.

Connie antiqued the new bed to make it look old.

Furnished with a full-size antique iron bed, the back porch bedroom was originally the front porch. 

Two full walls of windows make this a beautiful, light-filled room.

A wonderful spot to snuggle under a throw and read, or nap.

The fabulous bath vanity was made from an old dresser Connie found on Craigslist.
She found the claw foot tub on Craigslist, too. It came with the feet detached, which presented a bit of a challenge for Connie. A tub restoration company "walked her through the process" of reattaching the feet.

Windows open to enchanting views of the farm.


Cottage guests are encouraged to pick and enjoy fresh produce from the 1600 sq ft historic German four-square garden.

Geese roam freely in the pastures.

Great Pyrenees guard dogs watch over the geese.
Max and Angel guard the sheep. Belle (center) is retired from active duty.

Belle and her small friend certainly look relaxed to me.
I urge you to watch this lovely video (less than 7 minutes) of Connie and Patty's story, and how the cottage and goose farm came to be. I promise you it will touch your heart. And you'll get to see so much more of the cottage and farm than I can show you here. It's really beautiful. So go get a cuppa, settle in and watch. (You can thank me later.)

Visit Gosherd Valley Cottage online:

Facebook: Gosherd Valley Cottage

Photo credits: Carmen Troesser, Connie Cunningham

A special thank you to Connie Cunningham for allowing me the privilege of sharing her delightful cottage here at A Joyful Cottage.
See more home tours in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.