Your summer cottage should serve two main purposes: relaxation and family time. No formal decor allowed — you want furniture and fixings that make it feel like a vacation. From vintage and bright to simple and modern, there are several directions you can take your interior design. Whichever route you choose, keep these interior design basics in mind to create a space worthy of being your private getaway.
Keep It Light
A summer cottage needs to reflect the season. This means creating a base in white or cream that can be accented with a pop of colour or a bevy of pastels. While simple, this colour switch is guaranteed to brighten up the space and make small rooms suddenly feel a few feet bigger. Don’t forget to whitewash dark wood walls, floors and trim — it’ll cost pennies compared to the price you would pay for replacing it.
Keep It Bright
Summer is the season to indulge in a pop of color. Think hot pink, teal, bright yellow and mint green. To avoid going overboard, mix furniture pieces in neutrals and pastels with boldly colored accessories.
Keep It Organized
Between the swimsuits, towels and pool toys the potential for your summer cottage to get cluttered is high. Load up on tons of baskets and bins for high traffic areas like the front entrance, back porch and even the bathrooms. Add hooks to hang hats and towels and a shoe rack to control your family’s collection of flip-flops and sandals.
Keep It Fuss-Free
That stiff backed couch and formal dining set may look stunning in your city apartment, but out in the country they’re grossly out of place. A true summer cottage should be filled with comfortable pieces that encourage you to kick back and relax. In fact, this is the space where you can overindulge in mismatched thrift store finds without it feeling kitschy. Think overstuffed couches, rickety vintage dining sets and wicker side tables with a history.
Keep It Unbreakable
Summer cottages tend to be the place where house rules go to die. That means eating in the living room, putting your feet on the coffee table and running in the house. Your grandmother’s Ming vase may not be the accent piece for a space where anything could happen. Don’t ditch the heirlooms completely though, just pick pieces that won’t cause major heartbreak if they break.
Keep It Cozy
Naps, reading and general daydreaming should be at the top of your to-do list at your summer cottage. To help you in these noble pursuits, you’ll need cotton throws, soft accent pillows and cool, comfortable bedding. Skip pieces made of dry-clean only fabrics like silk and satin and choose washing machine ready options like cotton and linen.
Keep It Easy-to Clean
Your summer cottage is bound to attract dust, dirt, bugs and sand, so choose flooring that’s easy to keep clean. Wood and vinyl are top choices because they can be swept, mopped or vacuumed, are quick to dry and the right grain or pattern disguises dirt.
Stick to these five “musts” and you’re guaranteed to create an easy-to-maintain summer retreat that’s fit for the whole family.