Photo Gallery: Dreamy White Cottages
See these modern and country spaces.
The owner of this weekend home in Quebec installed practical storage closets along one wall of the main entry, which feels spacious and light thanks to a coat of white paint. A weathered wood console, vintage-look mirror, and exotic Persian rug add interest in the space.
This guestroom gets plenty of natural light, so the young family that lives in this cottage year-round chose a variety of soft blue and white printed linens and pillows to keep things bright. A white bedside table, lamp and window seat blend in with the walls and let the gorgeous Muskoka views take centre stage.
Youssef Hasbani, owner of Toronto home store L’Atelier, regularly escapes to his lakeside cottage in the Kawarthas. Its crisp white interiors allow Youssef’s collection of vintage and modern finds to shine, like this 18th-century bergere chair and mid-century modern Paul McCobb table.
Youssef had special windows installed in his cottage’s guest bunkie to let in fresh air and bring the outdoors in. Guests can enjoy the view from a white bed and admire the unique trusswork overhead. An exotic end table adds a hit of visual interest in the all-white space.
In Cory and Catherine DeFrancisco’s Muskoka lake house, crisp white panelled walls look rustic yet fresh. In their dining room, chic slipcovered chairs set the tone, while oversized glass pendant lights make a statement over the table. During dinner parties, barn doors can be pulled across to close off the kitchen and create a more intimate environment.
Anne Côté, design director at House & Home‘s publication Maison & Demeure, had been renting cottages in Quebec’s Eastern Townships for years before she purchased this 111-year-old farmhouse. To add some French country charm to her new galley-style kitchen, Anne installed a farmhouse sink and a Parisian street plate on the wall.
To make the architectural features really pop in their white living room, the homeowners painted the back of their built-ins in a dark grey tone. A subtle striped rug and printed throw pillows add pattern to the pale space, while still keeping the overall effect airy and light.
In this Laurentians, Que. cottage, a cramped mudroom feels larger thanks to white paint and a teal painted floor. Homeowner Heidi Smith installed the hooks and shelving herself for convenient storage.
The narrow kitchen of the same cottage seems wider due to the white cupboards, simple backsplash and uncluttered storage. Views to the lush surroundings can be enjoyed while washing dishes.
Heidi’s seating area has a subdued palette that evokes a laid-back, beachy vibe. Leaving the ceiling beams natural draws the eye upward, making a stunning pendant light the focal point.
Heidi made the most of the open-concept living space by assigning different corners different functions. Banquette seating in the corner allows a tighter fit for the dining table, while a separate seating area is the perfect spot to curl up with a book.
Heidi chose another standout pendant light for the principal bedroom, drawing the eye upward toward the beamed ceilings. White bedding with hints of subdued pattern is in keeping with the neutral palette of the cottage.
Juli Daoust and John Baker, owners of Toronto’s Mjölk, hired a contractor to paint their cottage ceilings white, creating a uniform look with the walls and floor. Sliding glass doors, high ceiling and tailored furniture make the room feel light and airy. The unusual daybed sofa is a Shaker-inspired piece that’s carried at their store.
The chairs, all mid-century Danish Shaker designs by Folke Palsson and Jorgen Baekmark for FDB Mobler Denmark, were bought online for about $100 each. Juli and John found the black candelabra while rummaging through the boathouse, while the snowshoes belonged to Juli’s dad.
John and Juli installed the kitchen cabinets themselves and kept the original stove, knowing they would be mostly barbecuing. An under-counter fridge with pullout drawers saves space. “It was a $600 floor model,” says John. “We added our own plywood panelling and wood handles.”
Juli and John covered much of their Georgian Bay cottage in DIY plywood panelling, adding a raw and casual feel. Although the bedding seems to match, one is a Hudson’s Bay blanket found in Sweden, the other is from a vintage shop in Toronto. Other finds, such as the bearskin rug and First Nations print complete the look.
Photographer Paul Massey’s London home has an enviable rusticity that seems effortless and casual. A white painted floor and white industrial-style light fixtures are the perfect grounding elements for grey Gustavian chairs and colourful wildflowers.
This Quebec country home — designed by Scott Yetman — has expansive views to the greenery outside, and he designated this veranda for casual dining. Pairing casual folding chairs with weighty armchairs allows the space to function as both an eating and reading area.
The mudroom of the same Quebec country home follows the same white theme as its veranda. Framed prints of fish add some colour.
To complement the northern light, owner Monique Waqué decided to decorate with pale colours evocative of Danish style. Check fabrics in a mix of colours and scales are used as the home’s primary pattern. Monique furnished rooms minimally, buying many items at auctions in Denmark or Germany. Much of it is Scandinavian or French, and small in scale to suit the cosy dimensions.
When painted white, siding offers a more casual alternative to formal panel moulding. When paired with black accents and contemporary bedding, the room takes on a youthful cottage-chic look.
Once a room in an old schoolhouse, this dining area is now warm and inviting. The woodsy table was built by owner Carmen Dunjko with a wooden plank wrapped in artist’s canvas and birch stumps, reflecting the home’s Eastern Ontario pastoral setting. Sleek beech and rush dining chairs by Italian designer Vico Magistretti offer contrast and polish.
Large- and small-scale florals and stripes give this room a cohesive look. Decorating on a budget? A covered night table, painted bench and mismatched lamp bases demonstrate the charm of thrift store finds. A bench at the foot of the bed provides a space to store books.
Potted palm trees add a tropical element in this contemporary living room, accentuating its breezy Miami Beach vibe. Organic tree-stump tables are a warm contrast to the white furniture and polished-concrete floors.
The ultra-sleek kitchen in the same home features glossy white cabinets, CaesarStone counters and stainless-steel appliances, makes cooking and entertaining a breeze. Industrial light fixtures reinforce the modern tone, while black accents ground the space.
In the dining room, mix-and-match chairs attest to the owners’ sense of humour. While the corrugated metal wall is a reference to siding used liberally on agricultural buildings in the area, it takes on a distinct glamour when paired with a vibrant work by Justine Fernie, iconic Ghost chairs by Philippe Starck and an ethereal chandelier.
Simple window treatments and plenty of natural light give the bedroom in the same home an airy feeling. The black accents on the bed ground the space, while the twig bed frame, antlers and woolly carpet add warmth and texture.
A large black mirror, a steal at $50, visually doubles the space of this area and fits perfectly above a narrow table. The roman blinds throughout the main level are inexpensive linen attached to tension rods and held open with black ribbon.
The cheery hues in the rug add drama to this black and white palette. Three contrasting dark brown velvet pillows on the sofa, and the repurposed toolbox used as a magazine holder, are simple yet elegant accessories. The rustic coffee table is actually two benches placed side by side.
Exposed rustic planks and beams give the kitchen of the same cottage a dramatic sense of height. The darker wood farm table and Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs break up the monochromatic palette. The overall ‘unfinished’ vibe of the kitchen, complete with linen curtains covering lower shelves instead of closed cabinets, offers even more character.
In a three-week-long painting spree, the homeowner painted the entire space white (she even painted the floor) to transform this once-dingy building into a welcoming, functional space. An antique rope-bed with a tufted mattress serves as a makeshift sofa during the day. A pair of Bergere-style chairs are an elegant touch.
A mid-century modern sofa and chairs by British designer T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings anchor this airy screened porch. Multiple seating areas provide places to converse or escape, all with slightly different vistas. Sophisticated lighting and side tables elevate the outdoor space.
Inside, function marries form in chunky reclaimed-wood tables that roll on casters, a side table that boasts hidden storage, and a sofa clad in a white slipcover for easy cleaning. Wood accents, sculptural shapes and a bright suzani and throw pillows add warmth and personality.
Old wooden screens make a charming headboard in the principal bedroom, where the white palette is enlivened with a hit of spring-fresh chartreuse. Learn how to make a lively DIY painted rug similar to the one pictured.
A cottage bunkie is the perfect place to use a unique colour scheme, different from that of the main cottage. Here, fiery colours contrast sharply with the white painted-wood walls, adding a bohemian vibe to the room.
To give a bare garden a focal point, Jenn created an outdoor lounge area with basic gravel. A simple white sun sail overhead pulls everything together. Tree stumps painted with white lacquer create unique, textured tables. The pieces are all easily stored in the shed when not in use.
A layered tabletop vignette featuring driftwood, lanterns and pottery helps create texture in the otherwise white room, while darker wood tones help ground the space.
A low profile, all-white daybed (actually a boxspring and mattress) sets the pace in Jenn’s living room. The white African Juju hat, vintage lamp and beige-and-white embroidered fabric from Mexico on the throw pillows infuse the room with personality. Teak folding chairs continue the organic, outdoor feel.
V-bracket shelves, the quintessential storage staple, are hung right to the ceiling, maximizing storage space while maintaining a casual, open vibe. The white palette is punctuated by baskets and containers in natural wood tones, adding texture and interest to the space.
To create an eclectic yet cohesive dining set, Jenn paired metal bistro chairs found at a flea market with an affordable picnic bench, and then painted everything out.
A neutral palette exudes serenity and cleanliness. Freelance stylist and creative director Jenn Cranston created a headboard out of a bamboo screen, and unique lights by rewiring two pendants and wrapping the cords in raffia. Throughout her cottage, Jenn uses branches for sculptures and displays grass and leaves from her garden.
Maude Arsenault and Eric Tessier painted the exposed brick in their Montreal home the same colour as the walls to give the room a seamless look, while floating white shelves allow selected objects to stand out.
Painting interiors a crisp white or soft neutral enhances the amount of light coming in from large windows. Here, views of Georgian Bay can be taken in from a comfortable window seat. Pale bedding and open side tables also keep the room fresh and airy.
In the same cottage, rustic beams draw the eye upward, making the ceiling in this great room look even higher. A peaked roof keeps the room light and airy, and ceiling fans cool the house on hot summer days. A sisal rug and neutral furniture colours keep the space casual and cottagey.
Wood shutters are a staple for casual, seaside style. When open, they invite plenty of sunshine; closed, they keep interiors cool. Shiny terracotta floor tiles add Mediterranean warmth, while a raw-wood pedestal table and X-back chairs slipcovered in linen add to the cottage theme.
Work your style and floor plan around the structure of your space, not the other way around. Part of the appeal of this sunny cottage breakfast room is the uneven beadboard and knotty wood floors. Designer Anne Hepfer kept these elements intact and simply transformed the look with white paint, casual decor and a fresh blue and white palette.
This great room of the same cottage has two sitting areas, an ideal setup for weekends spent entertaining. The huge mirror (custom-made in Bali with tiny seashells) balances the fireplace at the other end of the room. The ottoman is made of antique mats from Borneo. Keeping the backdrop and major pieces neutral means the owner can add bold colour and pattern in easy-to-update accessories.
This principal cottage bedroom features a white button-tufted headboard and gauzy white bedding with hints of watery blue. Wall-to-wall carpeting and elegant accessories, like the silver lamps and ruffled bedskirt, make the room feel like a luxurious hotel suite.
Wood walls and a rustic ceiling, both painted a fresh vintage white, brighten a cottage bathroom with beautiful windows, fixtures and natural light.
The owners of this historic Muskoka cottage installed a clawfoot tub and brushed-nickel faucet in the bathroom to keep with the old-fashioned theme. Beadboard walls, sun-dappled blinds and an all-white palette create a serene atmosphere. A wall-mounted shelf and convenient side table allow for easy storage, too.
Because designer Michelle Lloyd’s cottage only has one bedroom, multifunctional pieces in the living room make sense. Painted bamboo daybeds can be pulled apart to create two beds, while the “coffee table” is actually a camp cot. White terrycloth upholstery is easy to clean and swimsuit-friendly.
In the same cottage, mixing playful, rough and unexpected objects with the sleek daybed and Saarinen-style table keeps the space from looking too precious. White paint, fabrics and Moroccan-style lanterns and cabinet lattice work create an exotic feel.
In the boathouse’s narrow upper-level bedroom, Michelle installed floating ledges flanking the bed. “Having no tables or table lamps lends ease to a tight space,” she explains. The antique French sconces, which the couple had owned for years, were painted white and capped with elongated contemporary shades.
This expansive cottage play area — designed by Carol Stephenson — features a whitewashed floor and rafters that make the room seem extra-vast. Large windows open views to the tree-filled property, and make the space seem more like a patio. Furniture covered in aqua vinyl is kid-safe and low maintenance.
This cosy sleeping area is nestled at the bottom of the boathouse’s T-shaped layout. A vaulted 12-foot ceiling, tongue-and-groove panelling and exposed painted beams add character.
With its bare wood floors, comfy seating and a palette of white, ocean blues and sunny yellows, the screened porch off the family room has a breezy “coast of Maine” aesthetic. Ideal for dining, gathering with friends or simply curling up with a book, the homeowners of this weekend home spend every moment they can in this cosy space.
Youssef’s cottage is like a lodge, filled with the beautiful objects he loves and collects. In his rustic dining nook, he showcases four vintage hurricane lamps above a rough, nature-inspired cedar pedestal table. Making use of every square inch of the space, he built an L-shaped banquette seat, covered in white terry cloth, which he also uses for storage.