Cottage decorPublished on July 22, 2011

  • Farmhouse style. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

  • Farmhouse style. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

  • Cape Cod style. (Courtesy of Mabley Handler Interior)

  • Cape Cod style. (Courtesy of Mabley Handler Interior Design)

  • Rustic retreat style. Courtesy of MODECOR (Photo by Mark Holleron)

  • Rustic retreat style. Courtesy of MODECOR (Photo by Mark Holleron)

Cottages. Some may be simple and tiny and others splendidly large, but what ties them all together is the fact that they are all places with common ground.

Cottages are getaways where indoor and outdoor meet. They are places for friends and family to make memories and reminisce about summers past.

When decorating your summer home, here are a few things to remember:

- Bring the outdoors in with woodsy and rustic elements;

- Bring the indoors out. Bring the colours and warmth of the indoors to your outdoor spaces;

- Create a mood - fresh, romantic, rustic, comfortable, intimate, warm;

- New meets old - mix newer elements in the space with antiques and more rustic elements;

- Small cottages - keep them simple and visibly calming to the eye with fresh colours like whites, blues, greens.

Here are a few styles you may want to consider.


Think antiques, wainscoting, fresh colours mixed with warm reds and pops of black and brown. Consider wide-planked wood floors or go for painted wood floors. Add brushed bronze or black hardware and lighting, stone accents and fabrics such as floral and Toile's mixed with solids.

Cape Cod:

Imagine cedar shakes and shutters, wood floors and trim with architectural detailing. The furniture would be slip-covered and accented with white wicker and knotty pine. Painted in pastel colours, the space is fresh and lively and accented with antiqued floras and stripes, and complimented with nautical detailing.

Rustic Retreat:

Envision a post-and-beam style or knotty pine cottage with stone fireplace, wood floors, rustic beams and leather furniture coupled with colours in earth tones. The idea is to think "autumn", and it will guide you. Use your elements of nature here with weathered woods and natural greens like grass and moss. Highlight this with reds, oranges and golds.

No matter what style you choose, it must never be fussy. Keep it comfortable. It must give you and your guests a calm, cozy and warm feeling each time you step through that screen door and it creaks "welcome"! 

Sonya Kinkade is the principle designer of Sonya Kinkade Design.

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