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During the 2008 fall Holiday Open House, Sandstone for the first time featured walk through tours of their “Garden Cottage”. 

The cottage serves as a show case for innovative applications of timeless style and spacious casual elegance, in only a 1,200 square foot floor plan. 

During the four-day open house, hundreds of anxious eyes were shuttled from the showroom to the cottage for the leisurely tour.  Many ladies returned the next day with their husbands to share the concepts, vision, and experience. 

With the overwhelming response from the 2008 fall Garden Cottage tour, Sandstone has continued the tours on a seasonal basis. 

I know that a lot of our customers are from a far and are not able to visit our store during this time, so I thought it might be fun to feature the tour on the blog this week!

Sandstone’s Garden Cottage

Many times while traveling with the business doing shows or on buying trips, we’ve often stayed in efficiency suites, and to some degree, we implemented that concept in the garden cottage.

When you first arrive at the cottage you have the perception that you are entering a cute doll house, guard house, or something of that nature; then you are pleasantly surprised by the spaciousness once inside.


Juniper topiaries and arborvitaes flank welcoming plantings of brilliant color and shape.

Gracious living in a smaller floor plan.

The two key elements in this are the color scheme and the 10 foot ceilings.  One room encompasses the kitchen, dining, living, and work space, and at the same time allows us to comfortably entertain 12 people.

In this eclectic casual mix, the neutral color pallet of soft butter and warm chocolate carried through in the fabrics, patterns, and textures, enable me to add hits of color seasonally; allowing me to use various shades of green: from cerulean, lime, and kelly.  Aqua blues and persimmon orange and brilliant reds are welcome seasonal touches.


This eclectic gathering on the dining table is an abundant feast for the eyes.

This traditional wreath and bust finds an unexpected mounting, dressing the hutch for the season.

This bronze urn arrangement finds favor on the fireplace, amid a garland of rose-hips and pomegranates.

The newest addition to the cottage is the west sunroom where Max and I have given refuge to another eclectic gathering of antiques and garden accents; our own contribution to “recycling the past” with a touch of shabby chic; my room that gives me a little bit of green and sunshine to get me through the winter.

We framed the room with square telephone beams that we found on the property after we purchased it in 2002.  The plexiglass (Lexan) roof and walls are from fragments that we gleaned from a greenhouse that was leveled by a tornado four years ago.

Wrought iron chandeliers with faux crystals to catch the eye, along with staggered lanterns hang from the ceiling cross beams.

A large wrought iron baker’s rack anchors the south wall and makes for a wonderful stand to display a collection of various plants, accents and knick knacks.

For wall treatments I love to mix antique windows with botanical, fruit and vegetable prints; a study of six ferns resides above the eastward entrance door from the cottage.  A large chalkboard and smaller mirror framed in reclaimed wood rest upon a stone demi-loom table on the west wall.

Stone urns and containers at different levels carry the color of spring, along with staggered heights of stone tables, both new and old.  These staggered levels and heights also lend to the eye flow throughout the room.

Statues of St. Francis and St. Fiacre help keep the “outdoor feel” alive inside, while other accents include a cast iron candelabra, an abacus, and one of Max’s favorite pieces; an architectural terra-cotta piece of the roof line from the City Hall of Bridgeport, Connecticut, built in 1880.

An abacus, to pause and count-
Our manifold dividends
And St. Fiacre, lends his grace
On all the plants within.


A cast iron candelabra, cast stone planter, and Tuscan pottery anchor the antique stone table and benches on the west patio.

The east veranda has a beautiful gated yard extended to the east of this covered oasis. 

Even our two feathered friends couldn’t wait to get inside!!

“Hurry honey- Let’s get in there and take a peck…I mean peek”!!


An antique balustrade sundial takes residence in the front garden.

A trail of boxwoods curves the eye to the westward landscape and sitting sun.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of the Garden Cottage tour.  And maybe inspired your creativity for decorating some of your smaller spaces! Stay tuned!!

9 Responses to “ Garden Cottage ”

  1. Sheila Case says:

    Once again, I was VERY disappointed that I had to miss your Open House. I was not able to come from Branson, because of a “bulging disc”. I have enjoyed watching all of the beautiful changes over the past year and getting sneak peeks of the holiday season in the past month or so. Did you open your Garden Cottage to the public during the open house? I called and was told that it would not be on tour. The pictures made me feel like I was there, so I don’t feel SO bad. I know you put alot of love,talent and work into your wonderful business and I am among your thousands of fans. Congratulations on yet another awesome year. Hope you get time to enjoy the holidays now. Come to Branson!! 🙂

  2. Earlene Gathright says:

    My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Gardens. Lunch was delicious and our car was full of great decorations and stone pots.
    Looking forward to a return visit.

  3. Mark and Elizabeth Ferrell says:

    Max and Vicki,

    Once again, my wife Elizabeth woke up with excitment because this last Sunday she took me to Sandstone Gardens to have lunch, shop, and to show me the “Cottage”. She has told me for two years of how beautifully it was designed and how elegantly it is furnished. My wife, enjoys taking her lady friends to Sandstone Gardens on weekends and sharing the day shopping and relaxing in the Bistro. I have to say, that she has taken me on several trips also, and it is truly something I look forward to. I have purchased several items from artwork, concrete sculptures, to gift items that I give to my clients. This last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Max. Not only did he give my wife and I a tour of the “Cottage”, but he also shared with me his poetry. I want to thank him for the book he gave me which has his first works published in it. But far more important, I want to let his lovely wife Vicki know, that her husband Max truly adores her. It has been a long time since I have personally heard a man share with me how his wife makes his world light up and his sincere admiration, love, and devotion to his wife shows the character of a man with true values. It was a Blessing to meet such a man and may God lead many more men to meet a man known as Max. Sandstone Gardens is a inspiration, and this simply is because of two inspiring people……Max and Vicki. God Bless you both and the work you do.

    Mark Ferrell
    Tulsa, Oklahoma

  4. Betty Kusleika says:

    Beautiful setting and a wonderful way to show off all your great finds in a home environment. Sorry I was not aware of the “open house”. My friend and I had another great lunch and shopping experience on Oct 29th so must have just missed the opening. Hope to get an opportuntiy again soon to tour the cottage to see in person. The showroom was beautiful as usual and we must walk around at least three times to not miss anything.
    We will be back again soon I am sure.

  5. Bethanie says:

    Hello 🙂 Is it okay that I go kinda away from the topic? I’m tryin to read this blog on my new iPod Touch but it doesn’t show properly (a few of the boxes are half gone), do you have any suggestions? Shall I try and find an update for my system or something? Thanks! Bethanie x 🙂

  6. Hi thanks for yet another very good post. Where do you find your inspiration for all this :|? – Tandarts

  7. admin says:

    Hi Bethanie, it’s probably not your Touch…it’s probably the way the page is set-up. I’m not sure that safari reads the images correctly. I did get a update the other day about how to make our blog page mobile…I just need to make the time to read it and make the changes! When I do get this completed I will send you an update! Thanks for your interest!

  8. admin says:

    Betty, I’m sorry to hear you missed this year’s open house, but you can still make Candlelight Shopping!?!? Details are on our website at http://www.sandstonegardens.com. Hope to see you soon!

  9. admin says:

    Oh My Gosh…I have nightmares at night!! I’m kidding, the only time that I have for my own thoughts are at night when I get home, then my mind never slows down and the ideas start flowing! I’m not sure all the time where my inspiration comes from… I see it in fabrics, shapes; even a great new color will trigger something! I covet books, magazines, anything from a Pottery Barn catalog to a great hardback from a world renowned designer. My younger sister says I was born with inspiration, she tells a story of when we were kids; that I would make her Barbie furniture and clothes from scrap wood and pieces of cloth that I would find laying around. I just put together what I love to see and if others find it attractive, my prayers were answered! I can’t tell you what I do is “the right way”; I just use my natural instinct and create from my personal taste. Thanks for your comment and keep coming back!!

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