North Augustan wanted her cottage to have a personality

A few of Nancy Gage's walls are soft sages, creams and yellow, but the bold raspberry pink she picked for the living room is her favorite.

"It makes all the white of the fireplace and cabinets just pop," said Ms. Gage, the marketing director of SRP Federal Credit Union. "Most guys couldn't live with raspberry walls, but I just love it."

Ms. Gage designed her North Augusta cottage 20 years ago.

"I built this little house, found the lot, the builder -- all of it," she said.

The Missouri native knew just what she wanted in a house and is still satisfied with the overall design.

"Some of the wallpaper I'll change, but I love the open design and all the windows," she said. "You look out every window and it's like you're looking out into the country."

Her dÃcor has touches of country, but Ms. Gage said her style is really closer to shabby chic.

"I like things that are unique," she said. "Most furnishings, I've bought second-hand."

Her coffee table is fashioned from an old window. A hutch was found along the side of the road. Ms. Gage whitewashed and then sanded the piece to give it an aged look.

The dining room table has been aged to match. It's a favorite spot in Ms. Gage's home. She's a frequent host of dinner parties and loves setting tablescapes to change the feel of the room.

"I'm a dish collector," she said. "I've got a cabinet stocked with all of my place mat and napkin options so I can mix it up every time I entertain."

From the dining room, a hallway painted a soft Gerber baby pink leads to the bedrooms.

Ms. Gage's bedroom features yards of tulle draped to form a canopy over her bed. A smaller bedroom was turned into an office. A found office chair was recovered in black-and-white toile. Another chair her parents owned for 50 years. Ms. Gage replaced the skirted brown fabric with a crisp cream.

"You can breathe new life into almost anything," she said.

Outside, Ms. Gage landscaped the cottage with pink flowers and a white picket fence built by her grandson, Adam. She's got plans for a faux cemetery surrounded by roses and chandeliers hanging from the trees.

"It would be a nice place to meditate," she said. "It's a bit different, but ultimately I want my home to be my own."

Reach Kelly Jasper at (706) 823-3552 or kelly.jasper@augustachronicle.com.

At home with

WHO: Nancy Gage, the marketing director of SRP Federal Credit Union

WHAT: A three-bedroom, 21/2-bath cottage in North Augusta

IT'S A FACT: Before they were painted raspberry pink, the living room walls were a soft, powdery pink. "It was so light it never registered," she said. "I finally said, 'I'm game. It's only paint. I should go for it.' "

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