Located near the Shlei fiord, this romantic home's main entrance is sheltered under the balcony off the principal bedroom. Homeowner Monique Waqué planted the boxwood-edged garden with poppies, carnations, succulents, peonies and Siberian iris.
An easy way to combine colours.
Side-hung windows that open onto a thriving garden add to this cottage's storybook feel. Monique adds colour with portable planters which can be switched up every few months with seasonal flowers.
Romantic Cottage Living Room
Bleached-pine floorboards brighten up this small space.
To complement the region's northern light, Monique decided to decorate with pale colours evocative of Danish style. Check fabrics in a mix of colours and scales are used as the home's primary pattern. She also furnished rooms minimally, buying many items at auctions in Denmark or Germany. Much of it is Scandinavian or French, and small in scale to suit the cosy dimensions.
Lodge-Style Dining Room
Natural wood panelling creates an authentic cabin look.
A generously sized kitchen table made of reclaimed pine easily accommodates large family dinners. An elaborate handmade French chandelier adds an unexpected twist.
Bathroom With Antiques
Reclaimed pieces add country charm.
In her Collingwood country house, designer Sarah Richardson painted a salvaged clawfoot tub yellow to coordinate with the country-chic drapes. The vanity is also a reclaimed find that blends well with the feel of the old home.
Farmhouse Sitting Room
Large screened windows bring the outdoors in.
With a nod to the home's heritage, a large fieldstone fireplace and limestone flooring define a room that's screened for relaxed summer use and glassed in when the weather turns cold. Family members often sit around the cocktail-height table for casual fireside meals.
Romantic Farmhouse Bedroom
Plush bedding and carpet in watery hues create a soothing atmosphere.
In the principal bedroom, a palette of pale blues and creamy whites creates a calm atmosphere. The homeowners had the cypress ceiling pickled to accentuate the height, and to tone down the orange. French doors flood the room with light and lead to private gardens.
Classic Country Fireplace
Soothing colours and antique wood furniture contribute to a farmhouse-inspired space.
In this dining room, the shallow mantel and thickly grouted fireplace surround are almost flush with the wall, and tie in perfectly with the board-and-batten panelling and exposed ceiling beams. The rustic feel is continued with a pair of simple turned-wood candlesticks and a faded framed map. George Washington-shaped andirons are a playful historic touch.
Rustic Cottage Reno
A gutsy reno adds European sensibility to a family cottage.
Before she updated her family's 70-year-old cottage, designer Colette van den Thilllar's mother advised her to tear the building down. But Colette was determined to maintain the original structure: "I'm not terribly sentimental, but Canadians understand how deep into your system family cottages get." The result is a cottage that is a scrapbook of her family's history. At times dark and moody, then airy and Scandinavian, the home is fresh, calm and welcoming.
Rustic Country Reading Room
Use shelves that suit the height of your books.
The unique scale in this room, combined with old wood beams, an antique cradle and horse saddles give this space fairytale charm. The ladder is a book lover's delight and an orange-red rug adds to the cosiness.
Cosy Cottage Guest Bedroom
Vintage and antique items lend a lived-in feel.
The aesthetic of this bunkie guest room ties in with the main cottage so that visitors who stay here feel equally comfortable. Tongue-and-groove panelling, painted a soothing sage and a bright white, creates a cosy backdrop for an inviting mix of thrift store finds.
Cottage Sitting Area
White beadboard walls and a nautical-inspired round mirror exude country charm.
Function marries form in chunky reclaimed-wood tables that roll on casters, a side table that boasts hidden storage, and a sofa clad in a white slipcover for easy cleaning. Wood accents, sculptural shapes and a bright suzani and throw pillows add warmth and personality.
High-Contrast Cottage Bedroom
Painted, rough-cut pine panels offer rustic charm.
Simple window treatments and plenty of natural light give this bedroom an airy feeling. The black accents on the bed ground the space, while the twig bed frame, antlers and woolly carpet add warmth and texture.
Cottage Garage Guesthouse
Increase square footage by turning a garage into a guesthouse and studio.
In a three-week-long painting spree, the homeowner painted the entire space white to transform this once-dingy building into a welcoming, functional space. An antique rope-bed with a tufted mattress serves as a makeshift sofa during the day. A pair of bergere-style chairs are an elegant touch.
Georgian Bay Patio
A flat stone terrace that's large enough for loungers.
This traditional New England shingle-style home, designed by architect Richard Wengle with interiors by Melody Duron, is perched high on an island, offering sweeping views of the water. The owners used plants and mosses native to the area, and intend to add planters gradually to this granite terrace.
Spacious Cottage Living Room
White walls and high beams enlarge this interior.
Inside, rustic beams draw the eye upward, making the ceiling in this great room look even higher. A peaked roof keeps the room light and airy, and ceiling fans cool the house on hot summer days. A sisal rug and neutral furniture chosen by interior designer Melody Duron keep the space casual and cottagey.
Cottage Kitchen Storage
An open pantry encourages family and guests to help themselves.
A charming floral curtain (hung on a rod with hooks) hides the dishwasher, making the space seem more traditional and old fashioned. Simple open shelves, old wine casks and a wicker basket holding condiments also keep with the casual, unfitted tone of the kitchen.
Living Room With A View
Large windows brighten up a sunroom.
Duron wanted this room to have an organic, outdoor feel, so she brought in a teak dining table and casual indoor-outdoor wicker chairs. She also painted the window seats a soft grey to complement the granite surrounding the home.
Charming Cottage Bedroom
A neutral colour scheme keeps this room bright.
Painting interiors a crisp white or soft neutral enhances the amount of light coming in from large windows. Here, views of Georgian Bay can be taken in from a comfortable window seat. Pale bedding and open side tables also keep the room fresh and airy.
Industrial Country Kitchen
Beautifully restored stone walls hearken back to a simpler era.
The original tamarack ceiling and pine door of this kitchen highlight this Quebec home's rich history, while stainless steel appliances and contemporary fixtures offer modern style and functionality. The wine niche, once used for milk bottles, adds character and secondary storage for the owners' red wine collection.
Spacious Cottage Great Room
Painting the walls and ceiling white brightened an old wood cottage.
This great room — designed by Anne Hepfer — has two sitting areas, an ideal setup for weekends spent entertaining. The huge mirror (custom-made in Bali with tiny seashells) balances the fireplace at the other end of the room. The ottoman is made of antique mats from Borneo. Keeping the backdrop and major pieces neutral means the owner can add bold colour and pattern in easy-to-update accessories.
Terrace With A View
A charming side patio offers views to the lake.
As with the front of the cottage, the black-stained wood siding and crisp white gingerbread trim were left untouched to keep the original authenticity of the structure. The stone patio offers a flat area to arrange comfortable outdoor seating for lazy afternoons in the shade.
Preppy Cottage Palette
White walls and wood furniture offer a warm, country look.
Inside, this cottage designed by Anne Hepfer features graphic prints, comfortable furniture and a blue and white palette. The dining and living room chairs have very different patterns, but both have a vintage, nautical look to them, so it works.
Casual White Living Room
A crisp palette and beachy accents put the "chic" in shabby-chic.
Architect Alexander Latham designed this summer home with the owner's "Carolinas inspiration" in mind. The owner pined for the wraparound porches and weathered-shingle façades of the south. The interior plays on the same theme with crisp white walls, slipcovered white furniture, and pops of brown and green. The owner scoured her favourite shops and outdoor antique markets, hunting for vintage finds and items with patina and worn paint — anything that would give the new-build home a feeling of history.
Nautical White Living Room
Reclaimed materials and vintage art add interest.
To achieve a historical feel and balance the dark flooring in this room, reclaimed ceiling beams were painted black. A painting of an old boat lift adds to the vintage vibe of the space.
Add show-stopping rustic elements to punch up your cottage design.
Most of the dining room furniture is black, but the white coffered ceiling and twig chandelier keep the room feeling airy. Shaker-style chairs, a trestle table and a zebra-print rug combine in this new-country look.
Eclectic Beach House
Casual furniture makes a space more livable.
Inside Tidey's main cottage, rattan furniture with bright pillows, panelled white walls, vintage mirrors, and driftwood and shells lend a relaxed summer feel to this living room. A cottage is the perfect place to add a personal touch with found objects and special mementoes.
Quaint Shingled Cottage
Natural materials blend a cottage's exterior with its surroundings.
This charming cottage sits amongst the trees as if it were part of the forest. The owners brought in natural granite to emulate the native landscape, covered the exterior in dark-stained cedar shingles and stone, and opted for a gambrel roof that allows for a semi second storey without towering above the trees.
Rustic Cottage Living Room
Cosy chairs and simple lamps create symmetry in this open space.
From the kitchen eyes are drawn to a two-sided stone fireplace — an organic focal point. "We wanted it to look like it's been here forever," says the home's designer, Andrea Crawford. The model sailboat on the mantel is in keeping with the casual tone.
Casual Cottage Design
A living room decorated for comfort and ease.
In this rustic cottage, slipcovered furniture, a brick fireplace and exposed barn beams contribute to the inherent cosiness of the living room. A seagrass area rug suits the natural palette and a unique turquoise fixture adds overhead lighting and personality.
Kenny G's Rustic Retreat
This custom getaway, built on a rugged patch of land on Lake Joseph, has raw yet refined style.
The musician envisioned a family-friendly cottage reminiscent of a classic Adirondack lodge — and that's exactly what he got. Natural materials, a dark brown exterior, and large windows connect the home with its woodsy surroundings.
Cottage Living Room
A cosy and personalized sitting area.
The living room's leather furnishings and hits of red complement the pine walls. Large-scale photos of Kenny G's sons, Noah and Max, recall a memorable fishing trip. A double-faced stone fireplace opens to the kitchen on the opposite side.
Warm And Woodsy Dining Room
Deep shades of brown on the window frames, flooring and table give this dining room a cosy, lodge-like feel.
Walls of windows keep this room from feeling dark, while vintage iron seating with white cushions add comfort. A butterfly net, wicker lampshade and collection of red lanterns add to the outdoorsy vibe of Kenny G's cottage.
Granite countertops, a stainless steel apron sink and a brightly coloured rug add character.
The cabinetry's dark finish contributes to the lodge theme of the home. A pale green ceramic tile backsplash features accent tiles with subtle pinecone and leaf motifs.
Eye-Catching Principal Bedroom
A muted area rug and detailed transoms add character and charm.
Crisp white bedding, pine walls and a softly draping mosquito net add a sense of adventure and a well-traveled feeling to Kenny G's exotic principal bedroom.
Bright Cottage Bathroom
Original hardwood flooring adds to the traditional feel of this space.
A clawfoot tub and brushed-nickel faucet in the bathroom keep with the home's historic theme. Beadboard walls, sun-dappled blinds and an all-white palette create a serene atmosphere. A wall-mounted shelf and convenient side table allow for easy storage, too.
Classic Cottage Porch
Warm cedar furniture, patterned cushions and bright flowers invite guests to linger.
Toronto designer Barb Purdy wanted to spruce up her Parry Sound cottage on the cheap. So, instead of hiring contractors, her husband built the cedar deck himself. They also used discount-store fabric for the cushions instead of buying pricey designer pillows. A railing and bunkie are still to come, but the deck is livable and welcoming already.
Cottage Dining Room
Unmatched dining room furniture, wood accents and big windows add rustic style.
Unfinished tongue-in-groove pine walls give Barb's cottage dining area a natural look. A twig-wrapped chandelier is a playful nod to the outdoors.
Cosy Reading Nook
Slipcovers and pine shelving offer budget-savvy style.
In the cottage living room, Barb opted for custom linen slipcovers to cover her old furniture instead of buying a new sofa, installed pine built-ins in lieu of hardwood bookcases, and hung several bamboo blinds instead of splurging on custom window coverings. The result? A warm and inviting space with a customized look and loads of storage.
Contemporary Coastal-Style Living Room
A stone fireplace echoes the rocky hills and beach outside.
Once a local secret, Hirtle Beach now has some of the most coveted real estate in Nova Scotia. In this coastal home, designer Mimi Findley stained the hand-hewn spruce beams and floorboards the same hue to unify the barn-inspired space.
Casual Cottage Living Room
Colour and pattern contribute to a warm, welcoming space.
Cobi Ladner's P.E.I. retreat is filled with simple charm. "I wanted to get away from anything that looked formal," she says. The multicoloured rag rug, which warmed the floor of her first apartment, worked well with an outdoor teak table and other accent pieces in Cobi's favourite shade of "cottage green."
Rustic & Warm Living Room
A designer country house that's effortlessly artful and cosy.
Toronto designer Melody Duron's restored barn boasts a living room that eschews the trappings of "country cute", taking on a sophisticated-rustic look instead. All the stones that make up the commanding fireplace were found on the property. New pine flooring was installed, but the width of the planks and an oiled finish lend it a timeworn patina.
Quaint Country Sitting Room
Mixing and matching styles redefines country living.
With its bare wood floors, comfy seating and a palette of white, ocean blues and sunny yellows, the screened porch off the family room has a breezy "coast of Maine" aesthetic. Ideal for dining, gathering with friends or simply curling up with a book, the homeowners of this weekend home spend every moment they can in this cosy space.
Warm Cabin Dining Area
Antiques dealer Youssef Hasbani has a flair for mixing styles and cultures in his lakeside retreat.
Youssef's cottage is like a lodge, filled with the beautiful objects he loves and collects. In his rustic dining nook, he showcases four vintage hurricane lamps above a rough, nature-inspired cedar pedestal table. Making use of every square inch of the space, he built an L-shaped banquette seat, covered in white terry cloth, which he also uses for storage.