Wake Up Your Cottage For Summer With 20 Fresh Decorating Ideas
The cottage is home to some of summer’s most treasured memories, and should be at its best and brightest for its busiest season. Give this deserving space a design refresh with our 20 easy ideas to wake up your cottage just in time for the rising temps.
Wake up a tired porch. Designer Joel Bray updated this rental cottage’s front porch by changing the fabrics. “I chose nature-inspired fabrics that would age well and be in keeping with the cottage’s rustic-trad charm,” he says.
Incorporate foraged finds. Homeowner Kelly Anderson found the wood used to make this hanging storage piece on a walk around her property.
Let the landscape inspire you. A rope-framed mirror and lacquered grasscloth dresser in a watery blue connect indoors and out.
Paint out window frames. Decorator Virginie Martocq painted out the window frames in this sunroom to help them recede into the background and emphasize the view.
Lighten up wood walls with white. Cedar panelling on the walls and ceilings felt too rustic for homeowner Susan Abramovitch’s taste, so designer Margot Austin gave the cottage a complete refresh with a can (or two) of white paint.
…and don’t forget the fireplace. Mjölk store owners John Baker and Julie Daoust-Baker gave their trad fireplace a slick of paint to conceal damage to the stone. A brass front adds warmth.
Hang personal photos on the wall. Many memories are made at the cottage, so why not commemorate them? In this family room, a photo taken of the homeowner’s sons jumping into the lake is a precious memento.
Give old finds new life. Oil paintings, boat etchings and photographs that used to hang in this couple’s home now serve as a curated collection in this guest house. A rope handrail is a whimsical touch.
Display collections. Straw hats were a lucky market find for cottage owner Laurence Martocq while vacationing in the Bahamas; now, they have pride of place above a striped headboard in a guest bedroom.
Add personality with accessories. A colorful runner and patterned canoe paddle bring character to this gorgeous grey and white cottage kitchen.
Embrace a watery palette. To give this bunkie a complex paint story, designer James Davie painted the window trim, baseboards and crown molding a light blue, then coupled it with a deeper shade on the shelves and cabinets.
Bring nature into every room of the home. Homeowner and former J.Crew menswear designer Frank Muytjens tucked a lucky tree branch find behind a bathroom mirror for a simple, whimsical effect.
Construct a cottage-ready hat rack. Perfect for on-the-go storage or an artistic display, a wooden wall rack is easy to make and boosts functionality. Get step-by-step instructions here.
Get nautical. Given that the owners of this cottage spend most of their time lounging on the dock, a piece of anchor artwork was a fitting choice to fill an empty kitchen wall and nod to the cottage’s location on the shores of Lake Rosseau.
Make little moments special. A bouquet of daisies in a pretty glass vase creates a moment of beauty by the bedside.
Reinvent existing pieces. Transform a plain item with local finds or a favorite collection to give it personal meaning, like this mirror with seashells.
Bring an artsy look to your patio or dock. Durable and inexpensive to make, a concrete stool with pink and blue brushstrokes makes for a handy side table on a patio or dock. Get step-by-step instructions here.
Add playful touches. A lamp with a rope base and lighthouse decoration create a charming moment in this Port Colborne, Ontario, cottage.
Play with pattern. In this Muskoka boathouse, designer Margot Bell carried the painted floor pattern onto the coffee table for a layered look. Framed vintage nautical flags punch up white board-and-batten walls.
Create space for indoor activities. Save space for a rainy day! In this boys’ bedroom, trundle beds flush with the wall leave lots of floor space open to hang out when bad weather hits.