This Designer’s Coastal-Inspired Cottage Is The Perfect Weekend Getaway
When Toronto designer Tiffany Piotrowski first saw this cottage, the interior left much to be desired (think: dark wood panelling, popcorn ceilings, and orange and brown patterned carpeting). However, the location couldn’t be beat: the 800-square-foot cottage was just two blocks from the beautiful beaches of Lake Huron and a five-minute walk to the main street of Sauble Beach, a small town in southwestern Ontario.
Tiffany envisioned a place that could be a weekend getaway, as well as a desirable Airbnb property. So during the renovation, she kept to a soothing palette of whites and soft blues and natural textures of jute, seagrass and rattan. “I didn’t want it to look too traditional and cottagey,” she says. “I wanted it to feel more coastal, like a beach house.”
Click through to visit this light and bright lakeside escape.
The entryway is part of an addition that was built onto the original 1950s cottage. Tiffany kept costs down by keeping the flooring and panelled ceiling, which were still in great shape. The bench was a family project: Tiffany’s father, Rick, constructed it from spare lumber, and Tiffany’s mother, Tammi, sewed the throw pillows. New bamboo matchstick blinds, a handwoven water hyacinth side chair and baskets tucked under the bench set a beachy tone.
Tiffany enlarged the window opening (top left) between the kitchen and entryway to allow more light into the kitchen. A Shaker-style peg rail holds sweaters and hats.
The former popcorn ceilings made way for new wood panelling, and both ceilings and walls got a coat of white paint. “I didn’t want the whole place to end up as a white box,” says Tiffany. “Keeping some of the trim and ceiling panelling in the dining room a natural wood tone helps maintain the original feeling and warmth of the cottage.”
The cottage’s footprint remains unchanged, but Tiffany relocated a cramped eating area from the kitchen to the new dining area at the front of the cottage. During demolition, she removed a railing between the living and dining areas, intending to replace it. “I ended up liking the open feeling so much that I left it as is,” she says. The wood-framed opening has a raised lip to keep the living room chairs in place.
The kitchen is new, but vintage-look brass light fixtures and classic white subway tile give it a more traditional feel. Tiffany’s father used a piece of spruce to create the floating shelves, and the new laminate floors are a good match to the existing flooring in the entryway. Washing dishes is a more pleasant task with the newly expanded opening from the kitchen into the sunny entry.
In the serene principal bedroom, soft greys and whites are punctuated by natural textures, including a straw hat Tiffany’s mom wore on her honeymoon. The table lamp and side table came with the property; Tiffany gave the vintage table a fresh coat of paint.
Brass fixtures bring personality to the clean-lined vanity.