The only thing better than an out-of-the-city cottage is a retreat designed with style. Thanks to these five decorating tips from Andrew Bockner, co-owner and designer of Andrew Richard Designs, you can turn your Canadian cottage into the ideal escape.
Photo Credit: Andrew Richard Designs
View photos of Andrew’s own Canadian cottage!
Use fun, bright hues to add a punch of colour to the surrounding nature and its earthy textures. Incorporate cushions and throw pillows in trendy shades that are easily recovered and can withstand moisture and heat. With outdoor furniture no longer limited to traditional tones of black, grey and white, add a piece in a contrasting orange, blue, or two-toned pattern to your existing set for a surprising and fresh colour feature!
Reflect the personality of you and your family with outdoor furniture that matches your design esthetic, whether traditional, modern or eclectic. Feel free to mix and match styles for a look that's your own, like a modern sectional with rustic accents. Just like your indoor decor, you can infuse personality on your cottage porch or dock with accessories like lanterns, driftwood or themed accents. Try incorporating family heirlooms or antiques for a more personal touch.
Choose comfortable dock loungers that your family can relax in, either to watch the sunset, read a good book, or have an afternoon nap. The Muskoka chair is a Canadian cottage staple and is perfect for basking in the sun or socializing with friends and family. Be sure you don't forget to add a side table so your cool beverage has a home!
Splurge a little on a great outdoor dining set as it will continue to be the centerpiece of all weekends to come. Teak is a key and practical trend for 2013, offering a natural appeal that is classic and industrial and can withstand Canadian weather. When planning your weekend menu, include plenty of fresh produce to stay refreshed in the heat. Focus on traditional and easy dishes like grilled burgers, kebabs or fish. Whether entertaining friends or enjoying a quiet family meal, spend more time enjoying and less time preparing!
Complement your unique outdoor setting and stay warm with a modern fire pit inspired by a natural campfire. For a low-cost alternative, keep soft blankets in hidden compartments or a cushion box. Multiple cushions designed for outdoors are a low maintenance way to keep comfy and can be used as extra seating on a hard dock. An outdoor sectional offers plenty of cozy seating to entertain all your guests and can be paired with wooden stumps that double as side tables or additional seating. Make sure you leave room for shade products to protect from the sun's rays.
If you’re anything like our HGTV.ca team, getting elbows-deep in the garden has been on your mind lately. So while you’re getting those backyards, balconies, or decks in tip-top shape to start planting, we found five unique planters guaranteed to put a smile on your face (even before your garden is in full bloom).
This vintage-looking bike offers a whimsical way to display up to six potted plants.
Bicycle Planter, $322.
Whether you want to show off fresh blooms or keep a handful of beers chilled on ice, this planter is an outdoor party must-have.
Dual Planter-Party Tub, $35.
Give usual air plants or succulents a stylish kick by hanging suspended glass planters outside your deck.
Shane Powers Hanging Glass Bubble Collection 13” Capsule, $26.
This self-watering herb planter (perfect for urban foodies) is sure to make growing greens like basil, parsley and kale a breeze.
Patch Planters, $38.
Pick up a can of paint and make your own pretty planter with this step-by-step DIY project.
Check out the full list of materials needed.
I’ve always wanted to give photo transferring a try and lately I’ve been obsessed with Instagram (like most of the world), so I thought I would combine the two. I love the worn out vintage effect this project resulted in and I can’t wait to make more!
STEP 1: Resize your images to the same size as your wood. Print the image in reverse, so that it will read correctly when transferred to the wood.
STEP 2: Apply the fluid matte medium with the foam brush to the piece of wood and onto the image.
STEP 3: Carefully lay the image onto the piece of wood right side down. Smooth out any bubbles using the credit card.
STEP 4: Apply more matte medium to the back of the image. Set aside to dry for 24 hours.
STEP 5: Using a damp textured cloth, carefully rub the back of the image until it starts peeling away. Once the backing is completely off gently give the image a light sand to create a worn effect. This will help blend in any imperfections.
STEP 6: Attach picture hanging hardware to the back of each piece of wood and hang to admire!
Visit our Renos & DIY section for more step-by-step crafts.
Cottage life should be a sumptuous retreat from the city’s hustle-bustle, complete with the comforts of home. That’s not always the case – due in part to dated finishes and insufficient amenities. To take your cottage from rustic to resort-worthy, fix up the five common problem areas we’ve identified below. Your luxury nature-escape awaits.
Years of environmental wear-and-tear can leave your cottage’s wood-paneled exterior paint-peeling and crumbled. Replace the dying wood with Cape Cod Finished Wood Siding. The colour comes baked on so there’s no need to paint it, reducing two big jobs into one simple step.
Image via: www.desiretoinspire.com
Old, soiled carpeting is an instant turn off. Instead of replacing it with new carpeting (that will undoubtedly get stained again in a few short years), opt for heated hardwood flooring. Perfect for cottages open year-round, it’s more durable and will keep your cottage warm and cozy in the winter.
Image via: www.apartmenttherapy.com
Problem plumbing is common in cottages, especially after a long winter of no use. That’s why it’s important to take precautions to prevent damage come spring. First, be sure to empty the pipes in the autumn to ensure the water doesn’t freeze in the winter. Second, opt for black polyethylene pipes – they’re strong enough to handle some freezing in the winter. Despite these precautions, you may still end up with cracked pipes. To fix them, use screw clamps and self-fusing tape. For other more serious issues, hire a professional to help solve the setback.
Image via: www.designsponge.com
Cottage life isn’t fun if you’re sweating behind a fan or shivering under a blanket. To make your surroundings more comfortable, consider installing temperature control. Geothermal heating is a green source of energy that will keep the cottage comfy year-round. It uses the earth’s temperature below and above the ground to keep the air cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Image via: http://www.79ideas.org/
When cabinets look dated, so does your kitchen. If they’re in need of a renovation, ask yourself one question: replace or reface? If your current cabinetry is still functional, save money and simply reface them with paint, wood or laminate veneer, and update the hardware to something more modern. Otherwise, you may be looking at a major renovation in replacing your cabinets (which will be worth every penny none the less).
Image via: www.cococozy.com
Maybe you’re celebrating a graduation this summer or perhaps an engagement. Or if you’re like me, a birthday party for one of your children. (Our little girl is turning one!) Whatever the occasion, it’s sometimes nice to put a little forethought and effort into a special event. While “theme” parties can sometimes fall into garish territory, there is a way to do it tastefully and elegantly. For my daughter’s first birthday, I decided to focus on the theme of butterflies.
Via Flying House, Martha Stewart
The idea came to me one night as I was rocking her to sleep. Above her crib she has a butterfly mobile and it struck me that this was a great theme for a first birthday. The metaphor of emergence and transition is actually well suited to many events and might work just as well for a wedding or a baby shower.
Butterfly Paper, Drinking Straws, Orange Butterfly Cut-Outs, Butterfly Washi Tape, Butterfly Gift Tags, The Paper Place; Linen Napkins, Williams-Sonoma; Cutlery, Vintage; Plate, Queen’s; Paint Colours, Benjamin Moore (Creamy Orange, Soft Pumpkin, Stratton Blue, Harrisburg Green).
Inspired by vintage specimen drawings of butterflies, I opted for a palette in shades of soft mint, steely blue and creamy tangerine. Since I hope to host the party outside, I also added in lots of garden party elements like ferns and ivies. I stayed away from any florals so that the butterflies could take central stage. Store bought butterfly cutouts are easy to apply to straws, hang from mobiles or decorate a table cloth with. I even saw them applied to paper lanterns. Luckily butterflies are one of those images that are readily available in a variety of forms; invitations, wrapping paper, washi tape, plates, and glassware are all relatively easy to find decorated with a butterfly image. Even if you are pressed for time it doesn’t take a lot of effort to gather a few butterfly themed things to make your party look great. Depending on the age of your party-goers you could add in events like butterfly face painting or designing gossamer wings to wear at the party. Of course, the whole thing should conclude with a cake decorated with butterflies. While I’m sure my one year old will have little or no memory of her first birthday, I hope when she looks back on the photos years from now she will smile with happiness.