We have a WINNER!! Thanks so much to all of you who entered here, on Barbara’s Blog and via email {over 179 emails came in} The winner is:?

Cora of Heartfelt & Homemade!

This is the perfect time to dream of a cottage by the sea. Right? Cottages near the water tend to be cozy and modest, with exteriors painted in sun-reflecting whites, soothing sea glass blues, or playful bright colors. The interiors are charming, casual and have that “ahhh” feeling. Beautifully showcased in the book Waterside Cottages, you will hear the soft sound of the waves lapping on shore while taking in each and every glorious home featuring waterside style.

My friend Barbara Jacksier is the author of this gorgeous book, filled with inspiration. I am so excited to share this interview we did together with all of you, and also to share that she has generously offered to send one of her books to the very lucky winner of this giveaway~ how fabulous is that?!

Waterside Cottages showcases fourteen romantic waterside havens, from New England beach cottages to bright tropical bungalows to a boathouse on the steep pine-studded banks of Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. Filled with inspiration, for those of us who actually do live near the water, or just wish that we did!

Barbara, where are you from? (Tell us about yourself)

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up about 7 miles from Brighton Beach. Every summer while I was in High School, my best friend worked as a cashier at one of the under-the-boardwalk chair and sun umbrella rental stands. It wasn’t a terribly demanding job. In between the morning rush when customers left their deposits and sunset when they returned to get their money back minus the rental fee, my friend and I would lie on the beach and work on our tans.

We didn’t have a care in the world, except how to attract the attention of the boys who carried the umbrellas and chairs for the customers in return for tips. I guess, that is why I’ve always associated being near the water with sheer bliss.

What other writing have you done?

Throughout my career I’ve written and edited magazines (e.g. Woman’s Day, Ladies Circle and Harris Publications). I’ve also worked as a consultant on interior design and gardening books, a ghostwriter at Random House and a photo editor.

Why did you want to write a book on Waterside Cottages?

One of the perks of working for a magazine is that book publishers send you just about every book they publish. After reading—or at least flipping through—a gazillion books, I wanted to write one of my own.

The topic and title, Waterside Cottages, sort of chose itself. I was the editor of Cottage Style magazine when photographer Dan Mayers and I had the idea for a book that featured homes where the way the rooms were decorated (not the view) proved they were anchored near the shore. Besides, it’s always been my fantasy to live in a waterside cottage.

What makes a Waterside Cottage great?

Waterside cottages come in a variety of “flavors”. Some are decorated with tropical flair, nostalgic lodge looks or nautical chic. Others resemble humble fishing camps or English bungalows. The one thing that all really great cottages have in common is that they offer a ‘get away from it all’ welcome.

To me, the perfect waterside cottage is a place where the moment I step inside the door, I have the urge to kick off my shoes, take a deep breath and bury my cell phone in a drawer.

How could we have the Waterside look, even if we don’t live near the water?

Of course, you can create that same hideaway haven feeling in a Manhattan apartment or Sioux City suburb. You don’t need to live by the water at all. You just need to decorate as if you can hear the roar of the waves, watch the sun set over a turquoise bay or catch a fish by casting a reel while standing on your back porch. The ingredients can be borrowed from the old family vacation photos, the pictures in a magazine –or my book.

What are some favorite colors that just spell “beach” or “waterside” in a home?

It kind of depends on what type of cottage mood you are trying to design. If you’re not sure how to get started, sea glass colors are always good choices. Soft blues and greens always feel relaxing.

Gentle whites can also have that effect. Many summers ago, a friend offered to lend me her beach cottage for a week. When I arrived, I discovered that everything—and I mean everything—in the tiny Hamptons cottage was white. Even the milk in the refrigerator had been poured into an Ironstone pitcher.

There was none of the visual noise that comes from advertising or packaging to be found. Only fresh white beach daisies in a clear vase on a bare wood table and chairs topped with in an assortment of petticoat-like covers. My striped beach tote (filled with books and magazines that I hoped to read during the week) looked brash and out of place. After tucking my belongings out of site, I felt as if I was immersed in a meditative state. It was a dramatic lesson in the power of white.

What kind of textures make a room coastal style?

Vintage goods feel right in a waterside cottage. Chippy or distressed finishes, crinkly wicker, super soft fabrics and anything handcrafted or hand painted add costal ambiance to a room.

What are your five favorite tips for decorating in coastal style?

  1. If you are thinking of going coastal, start by evaluating your room’s key furniture – the sofas, beds, chairs, and tables. Decide which can all be left as is, what needs refinished and what should be replaced in order to create a tranquil coastal look.
  2. Never ignore your floors. Almost any wood can be lightened or painted a distressed white and area rugs can be used to obscure modern wall-to-wall carpeting.
  3. Keep lighting in character. Retro table lamps generate an entirely different quality of light than a crystal chandelier.
  4. While it takes a bit of planning to mix diverse fabrics rather than use a large amount of one print, it’s worth the extra effort. Creating a tableau of harmonious colors and motifs adds depth and interest to your home
  5. Decorative accents are a home’s finishing flourish and can most easily be replaced should you decide to change your décor. Shopping for home accessories is like buying a new necklace or purse. Buy whatever catches your eye without worrying if you’ll love it forever. When you’re “over it”, or can’t resist something new, it’s no big deal.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Aside from making sure my dog gets walked at least three times and my chickens have enough water and food, there is rarely anything typical about how I organize my days. That’s the joy – and curse—of being a freelancer!

What inspires you?

I’m a gypsy at heart and serendipity plays a large part in my decorating, cooking, crafts, writing and life in general. At the moment a bunch of fresh daffodils have changed my perspective on life. I love to hit shuffle on my iPod because my music spans many eras, countries and styles. I never know where shuffle will take me and what it might inspire.

Do you have any advice to give to others who are thinking of starting to write?

Never overestimate how much you will be able to earn with your writing. The Internet has changed the concept of being a writer. Anyone with something to say is a writer. And most writers write for free or for pennies.

Recently, David Carr wrote a column for the New York Times headlined “At Media Companies, a Nation of Serfs” . In it he says that for those who make a living writing, these are scary times. “It’s less about the diminution of authority and expertise, although there is that, and more about the growing perception that content is a commodity, and one that can be had for the price of zero,” says Mr. Carr.
What’s are you working on now?

Not ready for the big reveal yet, but it has to do with feathers.

What’s on your wish list?

A new MacBook Air laptop topped my list but I just received one as a gift and it’s amazing. I also needed new “really good” camera and that too appeared as if by magic. I’m one lucky girl!

Thank you so much, Barbara, for taking the time to do this interview for all of us, so that we got to know a little more about you, your book Waterside Cottages and decorating in this beautiful, casual style.

To enter to win Barbara’s Book Waterside Cottages please do the following:

  1. Go to our new blog address to leave a comment. {if the top of your browser says “frenchgardenhouse.com/wp you are at the right place!}
  2. Copy and Paste our new little FgH “Button” for our blog {on the right} to your blog for an extra entry. Please change your links, too, to go to our new address instead of the old one.
  3. Visit Barbara’s Blog and leave a comment for another entry.
  4. Or, you can email us instead, if you prefer using the “contact us” button on the top of our website for an entry. Not an extra entry, but I know lots of our readers aren’t on google or blogger etc. and prefer to remain anonymous.

please let us know you did more than the first comment so that we can credit you for all your entries. Contest will end 12:00am Tuesday, March 8, PST.

Can’t wait? You can order an autographed copy of Waterside Cottages from Barbara. Trust me, you will adore her book, and be inspired. ps. that link takes you to Barbara’s website, filled with house tours, recipes and everything coastal.

click on “Comments” to leave one and enter the contest!


  1. I am a follower!
    have loved Barbara J from the first time I found her blog!
    what an inspiration!
    Loved your in depth interview today!
    would love to WIN/own a copy of her book!
    warmest sandy hugs..

    1. 🙂 Barbara is easy to love, isn’t she? Love the warm sandy hugs…

  2. Georgia Monroe

    Love this article!! And I would love to have that book!

  3. Would love to have that book! Have added your button to my sidebar. Thank you for the lovely photographs and inspiration!

  4. I dream of beaches and seashells, and dwell in children memories of strolling along the sugar sand beaches of Destin, Florida. Winning this book would be a dream come true. Thank you for the opportunity!

  5. I’ll pass on the giveaway as I already have this book – I just wanted to say how much I love it and that some lucky winner is going to be very very happy when they get it!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie. It is a gorgeous book isn’t it? Makes you relax just by looking at the pictures.:)

    1. I just checked it, is does work. Did you try to copy the code in the little box?

  6. I am leaving a comment to enter this fabulous giveaway! Thanks so much for the opportunity!!! Hugs….

  7. Just starting our blog and found this lovely site. Love everything cottage but most importantly cottage colors. Beautiful blog and I’ll be back for more. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Welcome to the world of blogging. It’s so much fun, and you will love the sweet friends you make in the blogging world. xo

  8. I love this book and really enjoyed your interview
    Thanks for offering such a great giveaway

  9. Deanna P.

    Just looking at the wonderful photos you have posted of Barbara’s beautiful book make me want to start redecorating immediately!

  10. I’d love to win, besides your giveaways or the ones you sponsor are always so pretty, no matter what the treat is. 🙂

    Have a happy day, Lidy!

    1. Thanks, Melissa….I always think of you in the garden. Hope every day is happy for you, too!!

  11. glenda jones

    Love the beautiful seaside colors. Beautiful book!

  12. trizia koelzer

    I adore this page! The book woud be lovely to find in my mail!

  13. Gorgeousness here! Thanks for sharing…always in love with the beauty you share! Shabby hugs…xo..Dawn

  14. Beautiful blog and beautiful book. Would be thrilled to win!

  15. I’ve used pretty much the same color schemes in my home.I adore sea glass hues.But what tempts me most from this book is the all white bedroom,it’s gorgeous! Please enter me into this giveaway.Thanks!

  16. Joanne McElligott

    I am drooling over the pics in this book! Oh, how I love to spend time on Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod during the summer. Joanne @glamourgirljoanne@yahoo.com

  17. Kellie

    I just love the brightness and joy the style brings. I hope i’m in the drawing for the book.

  18. christine jaeger

    i would love a house by the sea… or the lake… or maybe i could win the book? :))

  19. LeeAnne

    Looking at the beautiful pictures brings to mind past trips to Nantucket, Seaside Heights, Cape Cod, etc. I can almost hear the waves, smell the saltwater, and feel the warmth of the sun. I would love to have this book on my coffee table to relive these memories every day! Beautiful!

  20. What a lovely interview. I have been eyeing this book. It is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing the link to her blog also. Thank you so much for stopping by and telling me about your giveaway.


  21. Doing all the above. Great new website by the way! I am also having a little giveaway over at my blog if you are interested. Headed to Barbara’s blog now.
    Love and blessings to you

  22. Wow! I love Barbara’s style. The muted pastel colors are divine and I love all the white shabby chic-ness! The touches of vintage charm are another favorite! I would so love to win a copy of this book! Please add me in!
    Thanks for sharing your interview!

  23. What Yummy EyeCandy!! A cottage by the sea is the ultimate dream!

  24. Cyndie

    I would love to win a copy of Barbara’s book. Her cottages photos are simply fantastic.

  25. I live on the water and need a re-do on our living spaces and am basically at a loss as to where to start. Maybe this beautiful book will be a jumping off point. I would love to sit down in a comfy chair and just “dive” right into the pages. Have a wonderful weekend Lidy.

  26. great pic’s. love this web site, yaw have some of the coolest stuff. thanks for sharing!

  27. Georgene

    Love the rooms! You can just feel the tranquility!!!

  28. Donna Kazmercyk

    I love the inspirational photos! It’s the look I’ve started in my living room and now want to continue next in my dining room!

  29. Oh My! What a lovely book! The photos are absolutely amazing! Please count me in as I would be thrilled to win Barbara’s beautiful book.

  30. Hi Lidy,

    Just popping by to say hi and thank you for the lovely interview with Barbara. I love her and already have a signed copy of her beautiful book. Can’t wait to see what her next book is all about – feathers – hmmm – sounds like another great book is on the way.
    Have a wonderful day.

    1. Erin, it’s always a treat to “see” you here. Hopefully I can “see” you in real life sometime soon again. 🙂

  31. This would be the perfect book to chase away the winter blues and turn them into spring and summr ahhhs! Thanks Lidy!

    Do come and enter my Artful Offering!

    Art by Karena

  32. Julie Silcock

    What a beautiful book – I felt like I was on holiday just looking at the pictures. I would love to win this – hopefully if I am lucky you will send it to New Zealand.


  33. Nancy H

    I just bought a beach cottage so I definitely need to win this book!

  34. Margo K

    What a beautiful book – and loved the interview! Thanks for such a generous giveaway!

  35. I love Barbara’s book. Please don’t enter me in the giveaway, I have a signed copy already. Thank you for doing this interview. It was lovely to read more about Barbara.

  36. Alisa Logue

    Looks lovely, hope I’m the lucky one. I also am a gypsy at heart and serendipity makes me happy! -Alisa

  37. I have this book and love it, so I enjoyed this post so much. I’m really excited to find your fabulous blog!

    1. I’m so pleased to meet you, Tracy. Will stop by your blog soon….xo

  38. As I have already won one of your fabulous giveaways please do not include me.

    I do however want you to know how very lovely everything looks here at your new location.

    Also the Romantic Homes feature is just beautiful. Well done and congratulations.

    1. Thank you sweet friend. Right back at ya. And thanks for the Romantic Homes love, it turned out so beautiful, they did such a gorgeous job with it.:)

  39. Hi Liddy, Great interview with Barbara! My beach cottage is featured in Waterside Cottages and I already have a signed copy so I’ll pass on the prize but just wanted to say that working with Dan and Barbara was a blast!

    1. Lucky, lucky you. Now I’m going to have to look you up and your beach cottage. 🙂

  40. Bonjour Lidy!

    Barbara’s book looks fabulous… I love that style of decorating.

    But let’s talk about you! What a wonderful spread about you and French Garden House in Romantic Homes April edition!! WOW! Your home is so lovely and inviting Lidy… what a privilege to see where you live and work. Thank you for sharing with all of us!

    Big hugs, Sherry

    1. Hi Sherry,

      Thanks for visiting me, I miss visiting you as much as I used to. {drat, work gets in the way!} Romantic Homes did such a beautiful job with our little feature….I’m trying to keep our house as neat as it was when they came.:)

  41. anita rivera

    Oh Lidy, this is what I love; the textures, the plotting and planning for making a house a home, and WHITE AND TURQUOISE in all its glory. Thank you dearest for visiting me today. My anniversary weekend was so beautiful, and every year it just gets better. Happy day dear one, your blog is so marvelous. Anita

  42. So glad you had a wonderful time! Each year is a celebration.

  43. Thank you so much!! I received my beautiful book in the mail yesterday and I love it! It is so inspiring… The first time I opened it I flipped through it glancing at the wonderful photos. The second time I sat down and devoured each page, taking in each photo of loveliness. Next I will sit and read and devour it all again!
    Thanks again so much!

  44. Cora,

    You are so welcome! I’m so glad you love the book, Barbara made it such a special book to read, with beautiful photographs, didn’t she?

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