If I sound a bit proprietary about L’s cottage and studios, it’s because my daughter, Kelly, and I have been sharing ideas and enthusiasm with her from the time it was still pretty much a ratty farm shack, with nothing to recommend it but a spectacular view of the ocean and farm fields at the southern tip of San Mateo county.


But like L, we harbor our own fantasies about having our own little cottage by the sea, just big enough for one, in which we would create beautiful things.

Garden 5

Many cups of tea, afternoons pacing in the garden, trips to look at materials later, the cottage is fully realized, and has spawned a small studio beside it and now, another converted outbuilding has become a large studio nearby.

Garden 2

The garden, designed by Kelly, has had a couple of years to mature now. It had been months since I’d seen L, so a date was made for yesterday, and L surprised me with her newly completed studio.


Bird House

Dear pals, walk with me through her house, her garden, her art spaces, and know that there was no team of production people running around dusting and rearranging things ahead of us. This was not a photoshoot for which plans had been made months in advance.

L's Kitchen

L is a real woman, who actually lives here and works in these rooms and designed them herself, unless you want to count the opinions Kelly and I gave liberally during the process. The flooring, fabrics and furniture aren’t pricy or rare.


There are a few old family items, but no collections bought through snooty dealers.

Blue Cabinet

It’s just stuff. Cool stuff. Nice stuff. But the beauty is in L’s artist’s eye, and in the care and love with which she edits and arranges every corner.


As gorgeous as this food was to look at, it was even more unbelievable to taste. The scone came from Swanton Berry Farm, a few miles south, and it was a triumph of whole grain and berry wonderfulness. Not the sort of thing I’d normally go for, but it was truly a bite of heaven. The cheese, too: a creamy gorgonzola….Cambezola? Heaven. Plus, of course, the mangos, the berries….yikes, it was good.


L had been working in a tiny studio built next to her cottage, which is also spectacular in its extremely small way.

Studio 3

This was L’s big surprise for me. The studio she’s dreamed of, and we’d been scheming about for years now, was now complete — or at least, complete enough to use.

Studio 2

Studio 3

Paint Brushes

What a fantasy come to life! A big, mostly empty room full of nothing but possibilities. With a view of the ocean. The chairs are from Ikea.


Frannie the cat completes a window tableau.


These elegant, rustic vessels are L’s work, and they’re sitting on her tiny front porch.


The flowers are from our local farmer’s market: L said they were $2 a bunch, and this is two bunches. The sculptures underneath are her work. The green cabinet was drug home from a yard sale and slightly reworked to fit the niche.

Green Cabinet

I was particularly happy to be able to share this with you all, because I know how much it inspires me to see a vision manifested, and to see spaces created for endless, beautiful possibilities. I hope it inspires you, too.

Small spaces

And especially for those of you who have either chosen to live alone, or are doing your best to live alone and well, please appreciate that there are things only you can do with your singular spaces.


Just be sweet to your non-single pals and let us come over once in a while to drool over the perfection, the neatness, the delicacy and scale of it all.

– L

Studio 4

Studio 5

Studio 6

Garden 3

Garden 4


  1. All beautiful 😉 What a place! Location and all 🙂

  2. Michele says:

    Oh how lovely!!! I could cozy up in there with no problem whatsoever!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing. I just want to keep looking at the photos!

  3. Wow. These photos are wonderful. I love the idea do having a singular space. I guess I miss living alone more then I thought. Not to say I don’t love and appreciate my family since they have come to live with me since my vision has diminished. I guess that was a long dissertation to say about the idea of having ones own space…..sorry for my ramble. lol

  4. Diana says:

    Wow! So beautiful! Thanks for sharing these pictures.

  5. Claudia Orieux via Facebook says:

    Love, love…love. Thank you so much Lynne for taking us with you to visit L’s place. Lovely. Gorgeous old flowers that remind of me of my childhood and all the lovely little nooks and crannies. I didn’t know you could get a stove in white? (is that a gas stove?) Did L paint it? In my little suite, my plan is to have it all white and let the colour come from fabric and accessories, so it was great to see what L did. Love this style. And art work….love.

  6. Michele Wolfe via Facebook says:


  7. Claudia, it’s a Jotul, and it’s gas. You can get it in gas or wood and it comes in white and other colors. We have it in black, but I want to get a white one for Casa Chiquita.

  8. L did a great job with the cottage and studio, along with Kelly and your collaboration. That’s talent. Love everything about it. Great pictures. They should be in a magazine. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hey Rose! It’s OUR magazine, right? No trees harmed, either!

  10. Yes, and what a lovely magazine it is. The fact that you did it without harming any trees makes it even more lovely. You Rock!

  11. I love that our magazine talks about real people doing real things that are within reach of most anybody. I’m sick of hearing and reading about zillionaires and how they spend the money they made ripping off stockholders or bank customers.Thanks, Rose. You rock, too!

  12. You’re inside my head. That’s what I was thinking when I was reading your blog. It literally felt like I was reading a magazine, and that it was written by someone I know. You made me feel as though I know L as well. So, that’s great that you, Kelly, and L made all this possible. Great job!

  13. Chrissie says:

    This is really lovely <3 When I buy my house, Auntie L, you know imma come looking for you, right?

  14. You’ll meet her when you come out here. She’s a dear pal, but kinda shy about having her name out there.

  15. Lol.. She’s met Lynne Bowman. Are you sure she’s ready for Company? Well, as you know, I won’t bother her much.

  16. shannola says:

    Wow, I loved L’s little cottage home. I loved the rustic appeal that these picture give off. I know that it is much better in person but I loved it nonetheless. I also loved what Kelly did for your garden. Not peaceful place. <3

  17. Gorgeous Lynne! Love the white, so fresh! ❤

  18. Chris Dougherty Andres via Facebook says:

    The gardens are beautiful. I love the rustic vessels L made, along with everything else. Truly! Thanks for sharing.

  19. It’s a little confusing with the two post going about the blog. I thought you were speaking of a Pescadero Retreat. Lol.. Sorry

  20. Tina Funez via Facebook says:

    Truly a beautiful place. Love it all. Thanks for sharing with us.!

  21. Stephanie Barton via Facebook says:

    Oh wow. I can’t get enough of this, Lynne! I was truly thinking the same thing about the magazine–more people should see your work and your words. I’m still digesting this beautiful blog; I’ll have to come back tomorrow and compose my thoughts a little better–right now I just want to gush about it! So wonderful.

  22. Stephanie Barton via Facebook says:

    I think my comment just disappeared. 🙁 I’ll come back tomorow and try again.

  23. Claudia Orieux via Facebook says:

    Thanks Lynne!! I didn’t know they came in white…might be looking at one 🙂 Rose and Lynne couldn’t agree more!!

  24. Chanda Camese via Facebook says:

    Wow, what an amazing place! I think the best homes are those that most interestingly represent the person or persons who live there. From the landscaping to the interior design to her art pieces, you all did a great job putting it all together.

  25. I’ve been just wordless about this. Such a stunning gem of a place. Got me all inspired. (wheels turning) Well done, all three of you, and thank you for sharing it with the world! 😉

  26. Kara says:

    I have officially fallen in love with L’s cottage. WOW. Kelly, your landscaping/design abilities are incredible. Every single photo is stunning. Thanks so much for sharing this, Lynne. Talk about beauty.

  27. Destiny Zestiny Elmore via Facebook says:

    Really beautiful, it makes me want to change up my itty bitty space. The studios are a dream! I love when people make a life doing what they love.:) Amazing job on the decor, and the garden, and, and, and–just lovely.

  28. I LOVE the blue and green cabinets!! I want!!!

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