Easy, breezy, cottage style, create that relaxed, casual look in your city home

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Easy, breezy, cottage style, create that relaxed, casual look in your city home

Photography by Jason Hartog

Summer days are the things that dreams are made of. Long and lazy weekends curled up with a book by a window, or soaking up the sun’s rays on a lounger outdoors. It’s certainly my favourite time of year. It’s when the weekend warriors brave the traffic and head out of the city for fresh air and cool lakes. Whether you have a summer retreat of your own, or simply want to create the cottage vibe in your own home, here are my favourite ways to bring easy, breezy cottage style to your decor.

Freshen it up with a coat of white paint

For walls, light and bright is always right. My go-to wall colour is Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White. It’s bright and fresh but still feels warm.

White paint works on any wall and acts as a great blank canvas for pops of colour. Summer is all about colour, so you can go bold in your colour choices everywhere else and they will POP against the white backdrop.


Incorporate natural wood tones

I always say that a touch of wood is a must in any decor, but this is especially true of a cottage. I love to add the warmth of wood with hardwood flooring or a vintage wood table. The wood accents also help to balance all those white walls by adding character and warmth.

When in doubt, use blue

Blue is my hue. Summer homes need a little pop of colour but if you’re too shy to pick one, or worried your choice won’t work, you can never fail with blue. In my mind, blue is hands-down the freshest way to create a crisp cottage esthetic. I love nautical navy but aqua and robin’s egg blues work, too. Layer in this colour with art, pillows and even lighting.

Add vintage finds

Vintage furniture and decor add a casual and comfortable vibe. This is the perfect time of year to go to antique markets or simply wander consignment stores for the perfect vintage piece of furniture. Not only does it add loads of personality and tell a story, but it’s easy on the environment too. Sustainability is important to consider and finding unique and fine objects at a local antique fair will be a great conversation starter for those summer soirees.

Use natural textiles

Nothing says easy, breezy cottage style more than white and neutral fabrics blowing in the wind. Textiles such as cotton, wool and jute add a relaxed feel. It’s okay if they wrinkle or aren’t perfect. That’s the idea!

If you are like me, you truly appreciate getting out of the big city from time to time to enjoy a slower pace of life, but it’s not always possible. So why not create that casual weekend vibe all summer long right in your own home? Just remember to slow down the pace and maximize the fun factor.

Designer Rebecca Hay is principal of Rebecca Hay Designs Inc., a Toronto-based Design firm specializing in classically livable family homes. Offering complete decorating and renovating services for over a decade, Rebecca and her team manage all of the details from start to finish. Known and celebrated for her design work and appearances on various acclaimed HGTV shows, Rebecca is an active YouTuber, you can also follow her daily design adventures on Instagram. Servicing clientele throughout Toronto, Muskoka and throughout Canada. RebeccaHayDesigns.com


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