How To Update Your Cottage Without A Renovation
With a prime location and an interior in need of a refresh, this lakeside cottage in Muskoka, Ontario, got a major update with some strategic decorating. Homeowner Candice was planning on a full overhaul, but soon she realized no renovation was needed to make it her family’s dream space. Enter Toronto-based decorator Virginie Martocq, who happily agreed to help Candice, a school chum of her sister’s. Together they spent eight months transforming the cottage. “We were able to stick to a strict budget by keeping the basics high quality but good value,” says Virginie. Click through to see the fresh and contemporary result.
A fresh coat of Benjamin Moore’s Black Tar (2126-10) gave the existing front door new life.
A floating shelf by the front door is the perfect perch for beach finds.
The living space is designed to withstand wear and tear. “Wet bums should be OK on chairs, sandy feet should be easy to sweep up after and materials should hold up to sunlight,” says Virginie.
In the living room, a pleather ottoman looks high-end but stands up to everyday cottage living.
The old kitchen was very dated,” says Candice. “Scrolls, valances and dark green marble countertops — it was a mishmash of ’80s styles.” To simplify the look, Virginie installed cabinets with Shaker-style doors, as well as delicate brass pendants over the island, letting the focus be on the lake view.
A statement light fixture and custom dining table were splurges.
“This room had the biggest transformation,” says Virginie. “The walls went from pickled pink to a gorgeous shade of grey — we got the paint color right the first time!” The new hue makes the room feel cozier and more connected to nature, and painting out the window frames helps them recede into the background.
The principal bedroom was in good shape, except for the pine flooring, which was damaged by pets. The floor was stripped and stained a classic grey. Fresh drywall and a sleek roman blind give the room a more tailored look.
Gold brick tile, a black herringbone backsplash and floating vanities in the principal bathroom fulfil Candice’s brief of “fun and edgy.”
The owners wanted the look of Mexican cement tiles but not the cost, so Virginie found a porcelain replica at Mettro Source.
In the daughter’s room, a daybed is piled with pillows found on mother-daughter trips to New York. “We carried them back in our suitcases,” says Candice.
“The bunk beds were the one thing we splurged on in our son’s bedroom,” says Candice. “Now it’s hard to get him outside!”
Virginie and Candice also spruced up the one-bedroom boathouse, installing a new bathroom and kitchen, and painting the entire interior.
Fishing buoys are the perfect nautical accent.
“My husband and I really bought the cottage for us,” says Candice. “Our kids have always loved going to overnight camp, so their summers are mostly spent away.”