Citrus colours and vintage inspiration come together in a classic cottage on the Big Rideau. A hammock in the trees, a bunkhouse and a screened-in porch surround the framework of the Cross family gathering place. It sleeps as many as seventeen on a weekend when the lake seems to call the entire family as meals are shared, games are played, books are read and happy hour starts early! The living is easy - but stylish too.
The cottage décor has a rustic feel that tastefully embraces vintage charm. Fabrics in florals, plaids and stripes mix with bright coloured solids to create a fresh look. When asked for one tip that Jennifer Cross can offer to achieve the same look, she half jokes: "Gallons and gallons of white paint."
Jennifer's company, Juniper Lane Interior Design, specializes in cottage décor. Her decorator mom, Judie, owns Interiors by Judie Cross in Perth, and has worked on several client cottage projects. She agrees with Jennifer about using white as a backdrop. "White or ivory is definitely my first choice for walls as it is light and summery and maximizes all of the natural light coming in and provides a blank canvas for all other colours used. It can hide flaws and unify spaces and works with all styles of decorating," Judie affirms.
For their open-concept family cottage, they used a base of white throughout to allow for easy pops of vibrant colours like bold yellow, blue and green. It's a scheme that works well, with the fresh feeling of bringing the outdoors inside. Judie and Jennifer also have plenty of creative ideas to maximize minimal space.
"We've had to be extremely innovative with furniture and space; sofas pull out & fold away-cots magically appear from under beds," Jennifer discloses. In the narrow bunkhouse, three beds lined up in a row are all dressed with tasteful striped bedding from Home Sense. It's a camp-like setting where you can almost see flashlights under the quilted covers and hear the tall tales and ghost stories - with just a peek inside. The kitchen has the same campy feel with open shelving revealing dishes, cookbooks and accessories in bright colours and patterns, which provide double duty as a decorative display. Every corner offers function and décor working together; cottage-coloured towels hang from hooks in the back hall, rain boots take on a decorative flair when positioned next to a gardener's nook, food and beverages are always on offer.
The clever mother/daughter duo clearly has a flair for cottage décor and offers up tips on how to get the style right.
Versatility: Choose indoor-outdoor furniture and fabrics so seating can easily move from inside to out, as needed.
Bargain Wisely: It's okay to buy inexpensive accessories but don't skimp on fabrics, good quality goes a long way when crowds are using a space.
Let go of the past: Cottages often have history that is part of their charm, but there comes a point when you need to let go and start to purge to make room for function.
Room for everyone: Creating multiple seating areas let guests relax without being on top of each other.
Start in Neutral: Begin with a neutral scheme and add pattern and colour as the space allows.
Contact: Interiors by Judie Cross, 613-267-4344; Jennifer: Juniper Lane Home, 613-862-3804,