Decorating & Design

August 13, 2018

Inside A Designer’s Rustic & Refined East Coast Cottage

Designer Fenwick Bonnell gives his beloved family cottage on the coast of New Brunswick a mindful makeover.

“This cottage has been in my family for a long time — my grandparents began renting it when my father was a teenager, and my parents finally bought it in the 1950s. We love it but, up until recently, we hadn’t done a lot to it. Two years ago, my sister Suzanne — who is now a lawyer with the New Brunswick government — and I renovated the cottage along with my brother-in-law, Wayne Burley, who oversaw the eight-month construction. We decided to save the original structure and build a winterized 700-square-foot addition so we could visit year-round.

Happily, Suzanne is very handy. She re-wove and restored chairs, and reupholstered and repainted furniture. Other pieces were sent to Toronto to be redone. Once everything was shipped back, I came down to install it. When my sister arrived, she burst into tears. Knowing that I had nailed the mood and honored the cottage’s memories was very heartwarming for me. It’s as wonderful to spend time here now as it was when I was a kid. And thanks to the renovation, cottage season has been extended. Now, my happiest days come around more than once a year.”

Click through to see inside the space!

Author: As told to Iris Benaroia

Janet Kimber


House & Home July 2018


Fenwick Bonnell