About Provincial Elegance

Hi! I’m so glad you stopped by, my name is Melissa and I am the creator of Provincial Elegance.

A bit about me….

Since my youth I have had an appreciation for decorating and making things look lovely. As a young girl I was given my first doll house that my dear father had made me. I remember it so clearly, he had added wallpaper to the rooms and a cardboard window that appeared to be overlooking a cityscape at night. Most of my childhood was spent in front of my dollhouse, in fact I still sat there at fifteen and possibly even later then that. I would take all the furniture and miniatures out that we had found at garage sales and thrift stores and then put everything back again a bit different then before. It took hours and I loved every second of it. Not only did I learn how to keep house from the lessons of my dollhouse but I had an incredible example in my mother. She did the same thing just on a larger scale…our family home. Now she didn’t get rid of everything and start over mind you but she was always rearranging and creating new looks within the home. I loved watching her stand back and look intently at her work to see what she would do, sometimes she would keep it and other times she would start over again moving things even double her size and weight . I was always inspired by her and still am. My parents house is still the most lovely place I have ever been in. She is the reason my own home is so important to me. I want to create the same atmosphere that I grew up with, with sweet scents, glowing candles and the hustle and bustle of cleaning it every week to keep it lovely. She taught me by example that it is not a burden to keep a lovely house for ourselves and our families but a joy and a privilege.

Eight years ago I had the opportunity to put into practice the skills I had learned when my husband and I bought a tiny summer cabin. It was incredibly small for the size of our growing family but the property was in a beautiful location that bordered a conservancy. The house on the property was so ugly that on the day of the auction when I walked in to hand the lady our deposit, I looked around and determined there was no hope for making it look good… no hope at all. The only thing it had going for it was a stone mantle that had a working fireplace and the fact that it was bought very cheaply and I could easily stay at home with the children. There was infinite value in that. The house came complete with four ugly rooms and a carpenter ant infested “porch” where our dryer resided since there was no hook up in the house for it. The first few months were spent sleeping on the floor so that our children could sleep in the two bedrooms upstairs. We had our first addition completed one week before our fourth child was born, a two hundred square foot space that would be our bedroom on the one end and the dining room on the other. I felt like a princess, I now had a 100 sq. ft. bedroom and didn’t have to sleep on the floor any more.

The Summer Cabin
Our Cottage

Fast forward eight years and the house has doubled in size and is nothing of its former self. I no longer refer to the house as our summer cabin but affectionately refer to it as our cottage. My husband has built numerous additions and has kindly given me the design reigns to do as I please in and out of the home. He has patiently put up with our drywall going from metallic gold to flat cream to limed plaster. He is such a kind man to me! He makes it enjoyable for me to create a lovely home for him and our now five children.

My style has greatly evolved within the past eight years and while I appreciated the American Primitive look when we first moved in, I now strive to emulate the rustic simplicity of French and Italian interiors. I greatly admire designers John Salodino, Pam Pierce and Jane Moore and often study their work. I have never had a formal education in interior design but have taken just about every course within my own home working on our projects.

The Summer Cabins Porch
The Cottage Porch

My goal is that my blog will inspire you to be creative with your own home. I’ll be sharing much on projects, florals, decorating and painting in the next few months. I hope you stop back often and I hope you leave inspired.

Your friend,


Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.