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Five ways to spruce up your cottage on a budget

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Five ways to spruce up your cottage on a budget

As your cottage is likely your second home, you may be reticent to invest the time and money required for a full interior renovation, complete with brand new furniture. Instead, you may consider revamping your cottage space with some new accent pieces and DIY projects. Even the smallest updates can have a dramatic effect on the look and feel of your city-escape, breathing new life into it as you sip your Niagara wine and lounge on your Muskoka chairs.

There are plenty of foolproof and inexpensive ways to instantly refresh your space (cottage or otherwise) that you can start implementing today. Here are five budget-friendly tips and tricks to get you started.

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Vintage vibes

Whether you bought your own cottage, inherited it from family, or renting with friends, it’s likely that the space came with much of its own furniture. While this certainly makes furnishing your home-away-from-home easier, the furniture may not be to your taste. In the spirit of recycling and saving money, you can opt to re-finish some classic, staple pieces such as an old dining table or re-upholster an old sofa. If, however, you’re keen on keeping the vintage vibe, but with new furniture, you can easily purchase home décor pieces made in a similar antique style. While there’s always the option of purchasing these pieces second-hand from charity shops or lawn sales, there are many new pieces on the market made to simulate the past. When shopping for these pieces, look out for antique, rustic and vintage styles that complement your current decor.

With your new array of vintage (or vintage-inspired) pieces, you can decoratively arrange them upon an accent table or cabinet. These pieces can be new purchases, or even simple everyday objects, such as: a collection of pitchers or carafes, glass jars or vases, some candles or candle holders, even a collection of mirrors and photo frames arranged in a gallery-style wall will do the trick.

Under cover

Slipcovers have received a bad rep over the years, but rest assured that these new options aren’t your grandmother’s slipcovers! These handy fabric options have come a long way in fabric and design, and are a great (and inexpensive) way to refresh old sofas, armchairs or dining chairs. There are many options when it comes to slipcovers: you can choose to purchase a new piece complete with its own slipcover; purchase a stand-alone slipcover; or have one custom-made for a piece you already own. They’re washable and durable, and because of this, practical even in light, neutral colours. In fact, light-coloured slipcovers work well if you want to achieve a laid-back, beachy vibe for your space. You may even choose to purchase a few different kinds with different colours or patterns to transition your furniture seasonally, or change up your style every summer.

Slipcovers can also easily be used on outdoor furniture, providing comfortable seating for large parties or solo lounging. Their low maintenance makes them especially suitable for outdoor furniture, as they can easily be thrown in the wash and are durable against the elements.

In addition to slipcovers, accent pillows, throw blankets, decorative rugs and tablecloths are other inexpensive textiles you can purchase (or make yourself) to instantly refresh your space, both indoors and outdoors.

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Flower power

Flowers and other greenery are great and budget-friendly ways to instantly add style to your indoor space. They also work to bring outdoor elements inside to give your cottage a cozier, more natural feel. You can opt to use flowers and greenery purchased at your local florist, or simply use those picked on your morning walk. Rather than using a traditional vase, opt for a glass jar or other decorative vessel.

In addition to flowers, other natural elements such as: sea shells, foliage, wood and sand can also be incorporated indoors to impart a rustic, relaxed vibe. In the spirit of bringing the outdoors in, you may also decide to incorporate patio furniture, wicker and outdoor lighting into your interiors.

Simplicity is key

Regardless of the theme or aesthetic you’re going for, ensuring to keep the design simple is key to creating a relaxing oasis away from the city. Making use of accent pieces, such as cushions, colours and textures are great ways to evoke a theme or style without being over-the-top. Mismatched pieces, such as chairs, bunk beds, plates, tables or glasses are all part of the charm of a rustic cottage and allow you to re-purpose pieces you may already have. If, however, you decide to buy new furniture, be mindful of choosing neutral tones, clean lines and all-purpose material, especially for your outdoor space.

Double duty

Whether you’re purchasing a new piece of furniture or repurposing an old one, ensuring that it can serve a double purpose is key. Furniture that serves more than one function is a worthwhile investment, especially in small quarters. For example, ottomans that serve as seating and storage are great living room and outdoor patio options. Sofas and pull-out couches are great for lounging and accommodating overnight guests. Tables can serve as decorative benches, coffee tables and even dining tables, if table height can be adjusted. Daybeds are great for turning a room into a spare bedroom, or double as an extra room for lounging, or as a studio or library.

Many of your re-purposed accents can also be used as clever storage spaces: wicker or wire baskets can be placed underneath a desk or table. Old pieces of wood can be installed as shelves, and old cabinets can be sanded, refinished and used as storage devices throughout your space.

Re-decorating your cottage doesn’t have to become an expensive undertaking. There are a number of small, yet worthwhile, investments you can make that will instantly inject new life and style into your space. See a wide selection of affordable furniture and accent pieces, perfect for your cottage.

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