Vintage accessories and French style combine in this tiny Texas home

Sherry McKinley loves old things, so when she started decorating her little home — which she calls the Yellow Rose Cottage — she added as many vintage pieces as possible.

“I love restoring old buildings, and if I can’t find an old building, my second favorite thing to do is build something new out of as many recycled materials as possible,” she says. Every room in the Fischer, Texas home is filled with vintage pieces, most of which have been found and restored or repainted to match the theme of the home.

The house is only 460 square feet, but that hasn’t stopped McKinley from turning it into a hard-working house. “It has all the comforts of a regular home, except small,” she says.

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The house has a rustic French-inspired feel, in part because of all the found objects. Upon entering the forward saloon, guests are welcomed into a bright and comfortable salon. “The theme of this piece happened (accidentally) to be a kind of French,” she explains. She found a vintage table on Facebook Marketplace and liked it so much she outfitted the rest of the space with it.

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Antique dinner plates and vintage gold-trimmed chairs match the gold details of the table, and McKinley has painted a matching two-person sofa.

But the highlight of this space is the large windows that open the room to a view of the porch. “My favorite part of Yellow Rose Cottage is the windows,” she says. “They’re at least 70 years old, they’re from an old house, and they’re some of the biggest panes I’ve ever seen in a double-light window.”

She explains that old windows are often thrown away when homes are renovated, but the quality is still excellent, so she salvages and reuses them whenever possible. “It’s such a high quality window that you can’t even buy something like it today.”

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Just off the kitchen is a well-equipped kitchen with a large fridge, hob, oven and dishwasher. Beneath an assortment of chicken-inspired decor (a nod to the property’s chicken coop) is a reclaimed white sink, another of McKinley’s finds. “He’s probably 100 pounds and probably 70 years old,” she says. “And it will last another hundred.”

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And although all the plumbing in the property is new, McKinley couldn’t resist adding a vintage touch to the bathroom. She wanted to add a new sink to an old vanity she loved, so she had a carpenter build special holes for the plumbing to keep the drawers functional.

Above the sink, a large antique mirror extends almost to the ceiling. “I love large mirrors, especially for small spaces,” she says. McKinley found the bathroom mirror at an antique store and knew it would be a perfect fit for the space. “I think it works wonderfully in this house, especially with all the French influence,” she says.

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She bought the bedroom set used, then decorated the bedroom around a favorite duvet cover. And since there are no closets in the house, she found an old wardrobe and painted it to match the rest of the furniture.

Her favorite part of the room, however, is the walk-out patio. “I like a lot of light, so instead of putting another window here, we decided to make an exit patio,” she says. “It’s just a nice way to hang out and see what the weather will be like before getting dressed.”

In total, the house took about nine months to build and cost around $95,000. McKinley says every second was worth it. “When I’m in the cabin, I get such a sense of satisfaction because it was such a fun project and it turned out well,” McKinley says. “It really is a highlight of our retirement.”

Dora W. Clawson