Photo Gallery: Dreamy White Cottages

Crisp white may seem like an unlikely colour choice for a holiday home, but as these spaces prove, it's the perfect backdrop for stylish summer living. Whether you want to update your kitchen, bathroom, living room or bedroom — at the cottage or in your home — this fresh decorating gallery is full of designs worth emulating. From rustic to modern, romantic to country, you'll find every style of cottage here.

  • French Country House Entry

    White panelling and shutters have classic appeal.

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2014 issue
    Photographer: Monic Richard
  • Serene Lake House Bedroom

    Delicate prints are pretty and charming.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2013 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
  • Eclectic Cottage Living Room

    White is the ideal backdrop for mixing styles.

    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.

    Source: House & Home April 2014 issue
    Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
  • Breezy Guest Bunkie

    An all-white interior makes this room feel larger.

    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.

    Source: House & Home April 2014 issue
    Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
  • Pretty Lake House Dining Room

    An all-white palette creates an airy feel.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2013 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
  • French Country Kitchen

    Rustic accents give this kitchen a charming look.

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2014 issue
    Photographer: Monic Richard
  • Contemporary Lake House Living Room

    Bright white ceilings and built-ins look fresh.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2013 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
  • Casual Cottage Entryway

    A painted floor adds impact to a white space.

    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.

    Source: Maison & Demeure June 2011 issue
    Photographer: Jean Longpré
  • White Galley Kitchen

    Visually expand a space with white.

    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.

    Source: Maison & Demeure June 2011 issue
    Photographer: Jean Longpré
  • Laurentians Living Room

    Soft shades of white add a relaxed feel.

    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.

    Source: Maison & Demeure June 2011 issue
    Photographer: Jean Longpré
  • Open-Concept White Cottage

    All-white beams make the ceiling appear high.

    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.

    Source: Maison & Demeure June 2011 issue
    Photographer: Jean Longpré
  • Laurentians Bedroom

    A soft, almost-white green on the walls lends a serene vibe.

    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.

    Source: Maison & Demeure June 2011 issue
    Photographer: Jean Longpré
  • Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room

    Used rugs and tapestries add texture, pattern and warmth.

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2011 issue
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Pared-Down Dining Area

    This dining table, by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, offers a modern take on antique style.

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2011 issue
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Plywood Cottage Kitchen

    Glossy white cabinets add a modern touch in a deconstructed space.

    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."

    Source: House & Home June 2011 issue
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Georgian Bay Cottage Bedroom

    Canadiana finds add character.

     

     

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2011 issue
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Relaxed Eat-In Kitchen

    An all-white palette envelopes a pared-back space.

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2011 issue
    Photographer: Paul Massey
  • Veranda Dining Nook

    Low windows maintain views even while seated.

    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.

    Source: Maison & Demeure May 2011 issue
    Photographer: Monic Richard
    Designer: Scott Yetman

  • Casual White Mudroom

    A white bench, walls and shelving keep this room simple, uncluttered and spacious in feel.

    The mudroom of the same Quebec country home follows the same white theme as its veranda. Framed prints of fish add some colour.

    Source: Maison & Demeure May 2011 issue
    Photographer: Monic Richard
    Designer: Scott Yetman

  • Romantic Cottage Living Room

    Bleached-pine floorboards brighten up this small space.

    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.

    Source: House & Home May 2011 issue
    Photographer: Andreas Von Einsiedel
  • Black & White Cottage Bedroom

    Wide clapboard-style siding — usually reserved for the outdoors — is making its way inside.

    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.

    Source: House & Home, January 2011 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
  • Rustic-Chic Dining Room

    Old wood panelling was removed to reveal stunning fieldstone walls.

    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.

    Source: House & Home October 2010 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • Pretty Blue & White Bedroom

    Bleached panelling imbues a classic cottage.

    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.

    Source: House & Home August 2010 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
    Designer: Colette van den Thillart

  • Bright White Cottage Living Room

    Truss frame supports reference traditional farmhouse motifs.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
  • Modern Cottage Kitchen
    This light-filled space is a natural gathering post in an open-concept great room.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue.
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
  • Eclectic Cottage Dining Room

    Diverse pieces create a charming look.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
    Designer: Ron Carter

  • High-Contrast Cottage Bedroom

    Painted, rough-cut pine panels offer rustic charm.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
  • Airy Cottage Entryway

    An affordable sisal remnant is a smart choice that adds texture to this entrance.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue.
    Photographer: Janet Kimber
    Designer: Deb Nelson

  • Vibrant Cottage Living Room
    A colourful antique rug purchased on eBay brings this space to life.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue.
    Photographer: Janet Kimber
    Designer: Deb Nelson

  • Rustic Cottage Kitchen

    Flea-market finds, vintage pieces and heirlooms mix in this cosy space.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue.
    Photographer: Janet Kimber
    Designer: Deb Nelson

  • Cottage Garage Guesthouse

    Increase square footage by turning a garage into a guesthouse and studio.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue
    Photographer: Janet Kimber
    Designer: Deb Nelson

  • Sunny Screened Porch

    Colourful pillows and organic textures brighten an outdoor living room.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue.
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Cottage Sitting Area

    White beadboard walls and a nautical-inspired round mirror exude country charm.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Fresh Cottage Bedroom
    Get a summer-chic look with glass lamps and bold florals.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue.
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Charming Bunkie Bedroom
    A tree trunk makes a fun side table.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue.
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Outdoor Cottage Seating Area
    Try gravel as a deck alternative.

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2010 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
    Designer: Jenn Cranston

  • Beachy Cottage Entryway

    Crisp, clean white is paired with materials like raffia and bamboo for a casual take on oceanside living.

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2010 issue
    Stylist: Jenn Cranston
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • Lakeside Cottage Living Room
    Create a bright, beachy feel with light walls and natural materials.

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2010 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
    Designer: Jenn Cranston

  • Kitchen Shelves
    Go right to the ceiling to take advantage of all available wall space.

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2010 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • Relaxed Cottage Dining Room
    An all-white colour scheme keeps things chic.

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2010 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
    Designer: Jenn Cranston

  • Organic & Artisanal Bedroom

    Use natural elements to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2010 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
    Designer: Jenn Cranston

  • Crisp Contemporary Living Room

    Practical firewood adds an artistic touch when stacked to maximum capacity.

    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.

    Source: House & Home June 2010 issue
    Photographer: Jean Longpré
  • Charming Cottage Bedroom

    A neutral colour scheme keeps this room bright.

    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.

    Source: House & Home May 2010 issue
    Photographer: Ted Yarwood
    Designer: Melody Duron

  • Spacious Cottage Living Room

    White walls and high beams enlarge this interior.

    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.

    Source: House & Home May 2010 issue
    Photographer: Ted Yarwood
    Designer: Interiors, Melody Duron; architect, Richard Wengle.

  • Casual Shutters

    Install wood shutters in a dining room instead of drapery to keep the room relaxed.

    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.

    Source: House & Home April 2010 issue
    Photographer: Monic Richard
    Designer: Susan Kaufman

  • Whitewashed Cottage Dining Room

    A bright dining area.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2009 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
    Designer: Anne Hepfer

  • Spacious Cottage Great Room

    Painting the walls and ceiling white brightened an old wood cottage.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2009 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
    Designer: Anne Hepfer

  • Elegant Cottage Bedroom
    Painted beams add old-world charm to this space.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2009 issue.
    Photographer: Kirsten Hinder
  • Romantic Cottage Bathroom

    Antique furniture in warm blue-green shades and a softly draping curtain add romance and country charm.

    Wood walls and a rustic ceiling, both painted a fresh vintage white, brighten a cottage bathroom with beautiful windows, fixtures and natural light.

    Source: House & Home April 2008 issue
    Photographer: Pottery Barn Bathrooms (2003 Hotze Eisma and Oxmoor House)
  • Bright Cottage Bathroom

    Original hardwood flooring adds to the traditional feel of this space.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2008 issue
    Photographer: Donna Griffith
    Designer: Gordon Ridgely Architects

  • Chic Cottage Living Room

    Carved lanterns, Pucci-style printed pillows and seashells add pattern and texture to an all-white space.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2007
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
    Designer: Michelle Lloyd Bermann, Lloyd Ralphs Design.

  • Modern Tropical Living-Dining Space

    Wicker, raffia and rattan accents offer texture and a casual, beachy note.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2007 issue
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
    Designer: Michelle Lloyd Bermann, Lloyd Ralphs Design.

  • Beachy Boathouse Bedroom

    A sea of white creates the perfect casual retreat.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2007 issue
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
    Designer: Michelle Lloyd

  • Spacious Cottage Family Room

    White ceiling beams add height.

    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.

    Source: House & Home December 2006 issue
    Photographer: Ted Yarwood
    Designer: Carol Stephenson

  • Breezy Boathouse Bedroom

    Country style with nautical charm.

    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.

    Source: House & Home July 2006 issue.
    Photographer: Andrew Waller
  • Quaint Country Sitting Room

    Mixing and matching styles redefines country living.

    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.

    Source: House & Home August 2005 issue
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Warm Cabin Dining Area

    Antiques dealer Youssef Hasbani has a flair for mixing styles and cultures in his lakeside retreat.

    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.

    Source: House & Home Summer 1997 issue
    Photographer: Per Kristiansen
    Designer: Youssef Hasbani