holiday decorations amid the woodsy surroundings create a
"home for the holidays" feeling at the McFaddens’
cottage north of Milwaukee on Lake Michigan.
Even before they
were married, Dave and Linda McFadden scoured flea markets, estate
sales and antique shops. "I like old things," Linda McFadden
says. "I like them even more when they are a little bit
years the couple have integrated their finds into their homes and also
their home decor stores, Past Basket in Fox Point and Geneva, Ill.,
which feature tablewear, bedding and other home decor.
just look," McFadden says of her treasure-hunting. "I’m
always hopeful I will find something for the store or the home."
Many of her
finds have found a home at the family cottage, just north of Milwaukee
on Lake Michigan, a short commute to the Past Basket store they owned
in Kohler for 15 years. The store relocated to Milwaukee and the
cottage became the spot for family gatherings throughout the year.
eclectic and casual furnishings — the result of many years of
collecting — encourage family and friends to relax and enjoy
their time together.
The cozy and
just a little bit quirky cottage was built as a one-room fishing shack
in the 1920s or ’30s and has undergone several additions since that
time. Prohibited by the village from making any further additions,
McFadden says they "decided to make the best of it,"
remodeling the kitchen and hearth room, among other areas of the home,
without changing the home’s footprint.
McFaddens’ grown children and grandchildren visit it’s very
informal. "It’s not tense about everything being absolutely
perfect," McFadden says. "We want people to relax."
sunroom turned dining room is the setting for family to gather
for holiday feasting. A corner Christmas tree is decorated with
antique ornaments as well as some from the owners’ home decor
store, Past Basket.
interior creates the perfect environment for that to happen with its
casual, collected decor. Artwork from "not famous artists,"
folk-art pieces, items once sold at Past Basket and, of course, their
antiquing finds bring a context to the space. McFadden says the
collected, layered style of decorating isn’t something that can be
copied from a catalog. She knows by instinct what works and isn’t
afraid to rearrange and edit her collection. "Everything you own
doesn’t have to be out at the same time," she says. "If
you have some good things you can reuse them in different ways,"
Her best advice
when looking for home accessories: "You should always be looking
to find because the next time there might not be anything to
kitchen by Past Basket Custom Kitchens (an arm of the Past
Basket business) reflects the cottage’s casual atmosphere with
its distressed cabinetry and artisan stools. The backsplash
features handmade tiles and the custom range hood bears the
imprints of leaves collected from the property. The birch bark
ornaments on flanking "Charlie Brown" trees are a family DIY project.
McFaddens uncovered the natural stone on the fireplace, which
had been practically hidden in a previous renovation. At one
time the fireplace had been the only heat source for the former