Decorating & Design

July 24, 2013

Pared-Back Cottage Decorating

My partner Andrew and I were lucky enough to spend another sun-filled holiday at our favourite place on earth — a charming little cottage on Stoney Lake, Ontario.

If the day comes when we’re able to have a cottage of our own, I don’t think I could live without separate sleeping cabins. With the hustle and bustle of summer entertaining, many cottage guest books fill up fast, and providing these guests with a space to call their own for the weekend makes all the difference.

Most bunkies are just large enough to fit a bed, and hopefully offer a bit of storage space for luggage and a surface to leave out sunscreen and after-bite lotion. Some don’t even have hydro but I’d recommend it if possible because a ceiling fan always helps on warm summer nights.

“Our” bunkie at the Stoney Lake cottage we rent is just about perfect in my eyes. With windows on all four sides (including the screen door), the space is full of natural light. The walls and ceiling are made of whitewashed pine, and the floor is painted out in a warm white — it doesn’t get much more cottagey than that! A painted floor can easily be freshened up every year if it’s a small space like this, or let scuffs add a rustic feel to a cottage or bunkie.

At the end of the bed there’s a simple wicker chair and a set of hooks for hanging beach towels. Skip large closets for whimsical hooks like these.

Another cottage staple is the simple white matelassé coverlet. Pair one with creamy yellow sheets for a warm touch. There’s nothing fussy about this bed, and that’s the way a cottage bedroom should be!

Now some might think that sleeping in a small cabin away from the main house is far from desirable, but I can honestly say the sounds of nature and the cool cross breezes made for a better night’s sleep than I’ve had in any luxury hotel!

See our photo gallery of Traditional Cottages for more decorating ideas.

Photo credits:
1-4. Joel Bray