Home Decor

Five tips on decorating your cottage home

Summer style is all about comfort and ease. For this family, that means a lot of wood, windswept trees and a cool view of the water
By Virginie Martocq
Five tips on decorating your cottage home

Ted Yarwood

Island living

"It was a dream job," recalls interior designer Jennifer Worts, speaking of the custom-built home she lovingly designed. The family’s main objective in building this stunning retreat in Ontario’s cottage country was to create an unassuming and inviting place for the large clan to gather. And while the home’s interior was certainly important, it was the cottage’s island location and the spectacular natural surroundings that dictated their vision. “What they wanted above all was a home that integrated its surroundings seamlessly. They wanted to bring the outside in, and the inside out.”

The simplicity of this philosophy is felt throughout. Though quite large, the home is essentially one expansive, multipurpose room that feels straightforward, unpretentious and laid-back. The central space is made up of four different zones: a kitchen, a dining room, a living room and a recreation area. The front wall is outfitted with huge doors that slide back completely and open up onto a large screened-in porch. With all the doors gone, it’s hard to tell where the wood-clad timber structure ends and the trees begin. And that’s just how it should be.

cottage home, decoratingTed Yarwood

1. Mix geometric patterns

Get a casual cottage look by mixing different patterns. The key to making it work is keeping the colours consistent — in this case, reds and browns from the rug are picked up in the stripes and medallions on the pillows.

Get a similar look:
Geometric Kibak rug, Ikea. Bench, Stacaro. Redford house mirror, Peaks and Rafters. Harbor sconce, Restoration Pillows, Pottery Barn.

cottage home, decoratingTed Yarwood

2. Choose lamps with matching finishes and similar shapes

Keep lights cohesive when outfitting a large space like a great room. A wrought-iron chandelier over the living area works well with the black-iron lights over the pool table.

Get a similar look: Black chandelier, club chairs, both Restoration Hardware. Black armoire, Cornerstone Home Interiors. New country black side chairs, Ethan Allen.

cottage home, decoratingTed Yarwood

Hallway decor: mounted canoe ceiling display

A tall ceiling in a hallway is the perfect place to hang a family treasure, like this antique hull. Oars, flags, canoes or a collection of baskets would make an equally fun and unexpected statement.

Get a similar look: Teak chairs, Fresh Home & Garden. Basque honey console table, basay basket, both Crate&Barrel. Similar chair, Ikea.

cottage decoratingPhoto, Ted Yarwood.

4. Accent wood with hits of black

In a home where many different colours of wood are used, a single accent colour, like black, can really pull the look together. Here, chairs, lights, accessories and even the kitchen counter are all a soft matte black.

Get a similar look: Chandeliers, Elte. Wooden bowls, Snob. Wool blanket, West Elm.

cottage home, decoratingTed Yarwood

5. Mix indoor and outdoor pieces

An enclosed porch sits somewhere between indoor and outdoor spaces. Play up the look by juxtaposing soft interior furnishings like pillows and rugs with exterior details like this glass and iron lantern.

Get a similar look: Pendant light, Restoration Hardware. Vintage sign, Smash. Sectional sofa, Andrew Richard Designs. Floral pillows, 1212.

cottage home, decoratingTed Yarwood


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