How to Refresh Your Cottage Without a Major Renovation

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I don’t know about you, but I am ready for cottage season! As the temperatures warm up, many people start returning to the cottages that they said goodbye to in the fall. Now is the perfect time to refresh your cottage decor so that, when summer finally rolls around, all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy your newly rejuvenated space.

Here are my top tips for freshening your cottage without a major renovation.

1.    Paint. Okay, this may seem simple and obvious, but it really is the number one way to dramatically change any space with a minimal investment. An entire cottage can be completely transformed with a coat of paint and little else. Try white walls with black trim and doors for a dramatic look or opt for a more coastal and beachy vibe with pastel blues and greens trimmed with white. If your walls are in good shape, consider painting just the trim and baseboards to give everything a fresher look.

2.    Declutter. Cottages often become a last stop for items we are looking to get rid of in our city homes. As a result, cottages can often end up cluttered, with a hodge-podge of furnishings, décor items, kitchen gadgets and so forth. This time of year is perfect for going through your closets and cupboards at the cottage and getting rid of anything possible that is not serving a purpose or feels like excess. Sort though your extra linens and towels and take a hard look at the knick-knacks laying around. You would be amazed at what a little decluttering can do to make you feel more relaxed in your space.

3.    Freshen Your Furniture. Now is the time to make sure you have the right type of furniture in your space. Cottage furniture should be comfortable and casual, but also functional and durable. Make sure that your furniture can withstand wet bums and the occasional ice cream drip without too much fuss. The last thing you want to spend your summer doing is trying to get out stains. Go for slip-covered sofas or chairs that can be easily removed for washing; or opt for leather which can be easily wiped. Avoid end tables and coffee tables with glass tops – you don’t want to spend your precious relaxing time dusting and wiping!

4.    Kitchen & Bathroom Upgrades. If your cottage kitchen or bathroom cabinets are feeling drab and outdated painting them and changing the hardware is a great place to start. If your cabinets are fine, consider upgrading your counter-tops or back-splash for a fresh look. Don’t forget about sinks, faucets and toilets too. These are all easy upgrades that can have a major impact for minimal investment – not to mention the ROI if you ever decide to sell. 

5.    Revive Outside. As a cottage-goer myself, I can attest to spending more than 60% of my time at the lake outside on our veranda. Outdoor spaces should be given just as much attention as indoor spaces – especially at the cottage! Whether this means that it’s the year to invest in that new patio furniture you’ve been eyeing, add an outdoor rug or just freshen things up with new toss cushions, this is the time to do it so you can enjoy it all once the summer arrives.

Even if you decide to implement only one of these changes, I guarantee you won’t regret it! Time spent investing in our cottages is time spent investing in our well-being. These retreats are, for many of us, the one place we can truly get away and unplug from the busyness of life.

If you have a project in mind that you would like to discuss, or want some advice on the right design service for you, please get in touch and I’d be happy to help!