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5 Tips for Decorating & Transforming Your Cottage

Purchasing a cottage is a milestone full of celebration and hard work.

Your place deserves love and attention so you can fully enjoy all that the cottage lifestyle has to offer.

Once you have the necessities it’s time to create a home within your cottage.

As we all know, creating a home consists of two elements; the experiences that shape it and the decor that lives within the memories.

Your home wouldn’t be home without yours and your visitors (family, friends, pets, etc.) lovable laughs, hilarious hiccups, and fond moments.

Your home also wouldn’t feel like a home without personalized touches, the items that keep you sane, and decoration to fill the silence.

A cottage is commonly referred to as an escape from city life and a place to celebrate nature.

Despite that being true, any place you stay in should have a sense of warmth and comfort. Who wants to create memories in a tame or cold environment?

If your cottage isn’t bringing you the sense of joy you imagined or if it needs a fine tune-up: check out our 5 decorating tips that will transform the ambiance.



1. Reuse Furniture

Purchasing second-hand furniture is beneficial for the environment, but utilizing your furniture or your excess belongings is even better.

Having items that are broken in by familiar faces will instantly add comfort to your space. An additional benefit is you don’t have to worry about ruining new items. The cottage life isn’t always clean or precise, expect some spills, breaks, and a lot of dirt.

The best pieces to reuse are:

  • Couches: they’re comfier when broken in and it’s easy to add life to them.

  • Tables: they’re going to get scratched, they’re going to have spills, and if you still have it—it’s durable.

  • Decor/Art Pieces: they add personalization and familiarity, plus if it doesn’t match your home’s design anymore, at least you can still enjoy it elsewhere.

2. Use Pillows and Blankets to Add Colour

Spicing up a room is extremely simple: add a pop of colour with pillows and blankets.

Thick quilts and thin fleeces are perfect accents to an old couch: drape it over the top, lay it on a side, or cover the whole love seat with it.

It’s stylish, plus it’s always nearby when the nighttime breeze comes in.

Whatever style you’re trying to achieve, pillows can help.

Match your theme to pillows:

  • Modern: geometric patterns, block colours or leather.

  • French Country: floral, soft patterns, or light colours.

  • Rustic: farmhouse-inspired, burnt colours, or textured.

Use different sizes and shapes, place large/small ones near each other, also feel free to scatter them throughout the cottage—outside included.

3. Bring the Outside, Inside

A cottage should have a different feel than a home: it should be comfier and remind you of nature.

To achieve this, bring outside elements inside.

Use large outdoor lanterns as centrepieces, add eucalyptus to your bathroom, consider wood frames for mirrors and photos, also, sheer curtains will allow natural lighting.

Being surrounded by natural elements is what cottage life is all about. Don’t hide from it, embrace it.

4. Natural Light

Speaking of natural light... Never hide it, always embrace it.

Bringing natural light into a room that has small windows or no patio doors, can be difficult to achieve.

A sheer curtain, as mentioned previously, is one way. Placing a mirror opposite or adjacent to a window is another.

Fabric and colour choices will impact lighting as well. Thin fabrics (chiffon, voile, etc.) and light colours (creams, soft greys, etc.) will brighten a room.

Scared you’ll lose comfort? Don’t be. You can contrast the lightness with heavier decor.

For example, if you have sheer curtains and an off-white couch: add velvet pillows, navy plant pots, and use candles to soften the room.

Already thinking about renovating? Then it’s a perfect time to plan a skylight, add patio doors, or enlarge windows.

5. Landscape Lighting

When purchasing a cottage, usually the land is considered more than the structure.

It’s your starting point, your foundation, and it determines how many limitations you have for creativity. Don’t overlook your landscape when decorating.

You want an outdoor space that embraces Muskoka. Having the correct furnishings is a great start, but an outdoor entertainment space isn’t complete without lighting.

Illumination can truly transform any space: you can turn any basic (but beautiful) property into a vibrant and inviting spot.

Adding uplights to your garden, well lights to shrubs, deck lights or a moonlight feature will complement the beauty around your cottage.

Stairway lighting, pathway lights and deck lights are also great for navigation during the night. Now you have a cohesive design and a safer environment.

Your cottage should be enjoyed throughout the day and night. Take advantage of late-night dinners, the cool nighttime breeze, and stargazing.

Give Your Cottage Life

When you live in Ontario, summer cannot be neglected. There is a very limited amount of sunlight and warmth throughout the year—don’t waste it scrolling through Instagram or binging Netflix.

Create an environment that encourages you to enjoy the environment around you.

If you’re ready to transform your cottage with illumination, reach out to Nightscape’s team of professionals. We’re specialists in creating custom landscape lighting designs for cottages.

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