A Conversation with Simply Southern Cottage’s Sara McDaniel

In search of a spark to start the new year, I picked up the phone for a chat with Sara of Simply Southern Cottage. After all, there’s no one better to instill a sense of hope and optimism than the lady who pursued her dream home in Minden, LA for almost two years!

Sara’s Fav Christmas Porch

We chatted about the holidays and the house . . . did a little dreaming about future projects and some reminiscing, too. If you’re not familiar with Sara’s story, it’s definitely worth a read. She is a testament to the power of faith – even in the beginning, when it’s the size of a mustard seed.

O: You are such an inspiration on so many levels. Your story of renovation and redemption lifts me personally and professionally – to know that even the strangest nudge has a way of working out in the end. I love that you listened to that still, small voice.

SM: It was hard at first! I tried to ignore it, but the whisper persisted until I just couldn’t fight it. At that point it was more like a yell!  

Breeze Cerulean

O: But, the payoff was worth it. Just look at your cottage!

SM: It has been an amazing journey, for sure. I’ve just grown so much through all of it.

O: I absolutely adore your front porch – it’s such a great space! And I love that you style for each season. Which of your scenes do you love the best? Not that they’re not all fabulous.

Sara’s Dream(Catcher) Life

SM: This year’s Christmas, for sure. I had a vision for what I wanted and it actually worked! I need my front porch to exude Southern charm and create a welcoming atmosphere – whether I have guests coming over or people are just driving by. The fall porch was my second favorite.

O: We love – and truly appreciate – that you have our indoor/outdoor rugs on your gorgeous porches. How are those working out? Like, for real-real. Don’t feel compelled to embellish.

SM: Omigosh, I love them. I’ve had the Boucle Biscay in Driftwood out there for more than a year now and it still looks new.

O: That is great to hear! What are you doing to it?

Breeze Aegean

SM: I literally just blow it off with a leaf blower once a month. Seriously, it holds up so well. It gets intense sun, this IS Louisiana, I’ve had plants on it that have tipped over – I just blow it off! I had one spill that needed a rinse, but that’s it.  

O: They’re resilient. Just like the homeowner! Which other patterns do you own?

SM: I have the Breeze Cerulean and Aegean – and the Boucle Jenna.  

O: Wow! That’s quite the collection. What drew you to these rugs initially?

Fabulous fall decor

SM: The soft patterns and neutral colors. I knew I wanted something that would pair easily with seasonal décor and other fabrics. When I moved into the cottage, I wanted to create a simple, calm space that included wood, light colors and lots of textures.

O: The Boucle and Breeze collections certainly do all of that!

SM: Yes. Then, after living with the rugs, I fell in love with the ease of them. I don’t have a lot of time between my job, my blog and renovating a new space – I can’t spend my time scrubbing, so these rugs are perfect for my life. They’re easy.

O: Speaking of your new project, where is it taking you?

Boucle Jenna

SM: It’s right here in Minden! I absolutely love my town and want everyone to have a chance to see it for what it is – warm and inviting. We’re named “The Friendliest City in the South”!

After a conversation with Sara, it’s easy to see why Minden earned its name. She is the quintessential girl next door – a brilliant combination of soft and strong with a side of sass and spunk! Plus, she has great style . . . as evidenced by her love of Orian rugs. Subscribe to her blog and follow along on her adventures on Instagram. You’re sure to walk away with a healthy dose of inspiration for the year ahead – just like we did.