15+ Cottage Dining Rooms That Will Make You Want To Pull Up A Chair
Socializing is a big part of the appeal of cottage living: it’s as important as relaxation. A convivial dining area where you can rehash the day’s epic water ski wipeout while sinking your teeth into corn on the cob doesn’t require white tablecloths — just a table big enough to include everyone, including weekend guests. These cottages show an appreciation for shared meals with dining areas that make everyone want to pull up a chair and join the fun…. until it’s time to go outside for s’mores.
In Lysanne Pepin’s Eastern Townships cottage on Libby Lake, a casual picnic-style table and benches makes it feel like dining outdoors. The table was custom made to match the open shelving, while the cool grey wall color helps the warm wood pop.
Charmingly named “Eel Cottage” on Shelter Island, New York, has plenty of history. The 19th century dining room has an 1800s Irish farmhouse table at its centre, with comfy wingback chairs that were bought from the previous owner.
Designer Fenwick Bonnell’s family cabin in New Brunswick is beloved for it’s humble, timeless charm. The dining area was updated by swapping out benches for chairs and adding floor length drapes and a new wicker pendant fixture.
Karen Kain, the director of The National Ballet of Canada, and her actor/producer husband Ross Petty don’t put on airs at their Pan-Abode cottage. Designer Cameron MacNeil chose rough wood pieces in classic styles to complement the bench the couple picked out. Simple glass pendants keep the mood light, while a graphic rug and mix of pillow prints inject a cheery feeling into the space.
A statement branch-like light fixture and spacious custom dining table were splurges in this Muskoka cottage.
Designer Anne Hepfer used this boathouse’s location on the shores of Lake Rosseau as inspiration for the color palette. A banquette serves as a full fledged dining space with the addition of some comfortable woven armchairs. And the view can’t be beat.
Family vacations in St. Barts inspired Toronto designer Montana Burnett to create a serene retreat closer to home. The generous trestle-style dining table can seat up to 14 people and has a parquet wood top that adds subtle pattern. Folding canvas director’s chairs are a timeless touch. To max out space, the kitchen pass-through doubles as a breakfast counter or snack bar.
Two benches offer communal seating options on the far side of the dining table in this luxe Muskoka cottage. For smaller gatherings, the benches can be moved, so the chairs can be spread out. Sliding barn doors can also close off the kitchen (not shown) from the dining area during parties.
With its full-height windows, the dining area has an al fresco ambience. The designers of Sarah Richardson Design paired a Gothic chandelier with more traditional fan-back Windsor chairs for an eclectic look. “It’s a fishbowl of beauty,” says one owner of the sunny space. “You feel as if you’re right out in nature.”
In this Georgian Bay cottage, a dining table by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders is a modern take on an antique style. The tapestry reminds the cottage owner of a sunset on the water. The Shaker-style Danish chairs — which were bought online — pop against the white-painted floor.
In this Fort Erie cottage, family gatherings are celebrated around a pine dining that that seats up to 14. Hanging two chandeliers balances its length and the cheery azure cushions and colorful pottery keep the mood lighthearted.
Inspired by Cape Cod beach houses, homeowner Heidi Smith infused her cottage with plenty of white, mint green and pale blue, and embraced natural materials like wood and wicker for a breezy vibe. The dining area is super functional, with a built-in banquette that can seat up to 10 little ones — perfect for when Heidi hosts extended family and her kids’ friends.
This modernist cottage on British Columbia’s Pender Island kicks the picnic bench design concept up a notch. Artful pendant delineate the dining area without blocking views, and the bench is wide enough to accommodate a clutch of kids or adults comfortably.
The dining room in this Prince Edward Island vacation home designed by Sarah Richardson — with its unadorned glass doors — is all about the view. Vinyl upholstery wipes clean, and the bench can accommodate a crowd of kids.
An industrial table sets the tone in this airy dining area in this Sunshine Coast cottage, dubbed “Ebb Tide.” Inexpensive white chairs by Ikea are mixed with blue linen armchairs for a high-low mix.
A contemporary chandelier looks dramatic against the Douglas fir walls in this Georgian Bay cottage, which was built from a prefab kit, but looks uniquely personal. The antique pine table was salvaged from the original property on the site, so the battered charm adds a sense of history.