Ten inexpensive decorating tips for your cottage

by in At home

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Is your secondary residence your weekend getaway? Does its interior need a little freshening up? We have 10 frugal ideas to add style to your cottage.

For some, the cottage can end up becoming the home decor version of the poor cousin, receiving hand‑me-down furniture and objects from the primary residence. For others, it’s an inspiring canvas for creating the perfect ambiance for a relaxing stay that reflects its owners’ personality.

Whether your style is classical, shabby chic, mid-century modern, Canadiana, or a cheerful mixture of several genres, use our budget tips as a source of inspiration to spice up your cottage while saving enough to be able to invite the neighbours over for a barbecue.

1. Bring out Grandma’s bedspreads

Be they family heirlooms or flea market finds, old fabrics are as beautiful as they are precious. Don’t stash them away in the closet! Use them not only in bedrooms, but also in the main living areas. Decorate an armchair with a loom-woven catalogne, reupholster the back of a couch with a blanket made of local wool and frame a hand-embroidered dish towel to liven up a kitchen corner. 

2. Choose a dominant colour

To counteract an ill-assorted collection of furniture, choose a dominant colour as an anchor between rooms. You can do so by painting the walls in soft white, or splash the kitchen chairs, the bases of living room lamps, or the metal bed frame of the guest room with turquoise (or any other colour!). 

3. Pick wildflowers

Your cottage is surrounded by nature. Invite it in! Gather ferns, flowers and greenery during your strolls in the forest. Place pine cones in a bowl on the kitchen table. Rocks and shells are also decorative treasures. Fill a Mason jar with your favourites and add small battery-operated lights. However, make sure to comply with the Act respecting threatened or vulnerable species by not picking protected plants (check with your municipality).

4. Showcase your most interesting collections

Antique plates, miniature sailboats, trophies… Displaying a collection in your cottage can add a fun and colourful touch to your interior. Gather the prettiest objects and place them on the fireplace, the entry wall or the bathroom windowsill.

5. Minimize objects

Objects tend to accumulate in the cottage because we forget to ask ourselves whether we really need them. Sometimes we simply don’t dare give away or recycle certain items.

In contrast to displaying your collections, take some time to look around for clutter, including what’s hanging on the walls, lying on the coffee table, or hiding above cupboards and under beds. Perform a quick version of the Konmari method by doing a clean sweep of the entire cottage. Help your interior breathe and look better without spending a dime!

6. Create a gallery wall

Grouping images can make a big impact! If you don’t want to invest in custom frames, pick some up at local flea markets and garage sales. You can even hang empty frames. To provide a bit of consistency, paint them all with the same accent colour.

7. Ferret around for second-hand curtains

Window treatments can be costly, especially if you have an airy cottage with lots of windows. Visit second-hand stores, which often have a good selection of sheers. Before trimming them, hang them up by the window to observe how they move in the wind. There is something romantic about extra-long curtains swaying in the breeze!

8. Change cushion slipcovers

No budget to reupholster an old couch? Give it the gift of new cushions! They are so easy on the wallet that you can afford to offer a wardrobe that changes with the seasons. Simply buy a small variety of slipcovers. You can create a monochromatic or textured look, or even transform old T‑shirts for the purpose.

9. Salvage nautical objects

Even at the end of their useful life, oars, buoys and surfboards bring charm to any space! Give them a fresh coat of paint and hang them in the kids’ room, outside on a garage door, or in the solarium for a seaside look that never goes out of style.

10. Capture memories

The cottage is often where family celebrations and weekends among friends take place. Capture the most memorable moments on a Polaroid-type instant camera. Hang them from a piece of coloured rope using gold clips. Bring million dollar smiles to your cottage for next to nothing!

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