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Choosing your cottage style:

When choosing your cottage style, it’s the little touches that count

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When choosing your cottage style, it’s the little touches that count

Now that summer is here, it’s time to discuss different ways you can update your cottage for the new season. This isn’t about redecorating your entire space, but more about little touches you can bring to your country home that will make it feel refreshed and new for the summer season ahead.

Whatever your style is: Quaint, rustic, pretty or traditional, all it takes is a few choice accessories and soft finishes to make your cottage feel fresh and new. Consider it a mini-makeover! Here are some suggestions:

Refresh with soft finishes

I love a relaxed, natural feel to my cottage where I can walk into the space and feel instantly relaxed and comfortable, so when we come back up for the summer, I always bring a bunch of new carpets, wicker baskets, and lanterns to freshen up the space. All of the pieces have a rustic look to them, almost as if to say I found them at some small antique shop in town.

Out with the old, in with the new

So many cottages have this old-school, tired look to them. They’re typically really dark, and full of tired old chairs and furniture. I like to brighten up the space – literally. Because many country homes have greater natural light exposure, I want to take advantage of that, so I’d re-paint the walls in oyster shell, cream or light grey, and I’d switch out any heavy, dark wood furniture with something lighter, whether it be something like wicker, or even painted white. Slipcovered furniture is also very popular in a cottage look because it offers relaxed and easily updated furnishings.

Fun with fabrics

Choose fabrics that suit the vibe of your cottage home: If you only spend summers here, consider gauzy linens, burlap, cottons and jute. They feel breezy and airy, and really go with a relaxed, comfortable setting.

Accessories

It’s always fun to update your space with accessories, but remember what I always say: edit your finds, and don’t overcrowd your space. The same rule applies to your cottage. Although it’s very tempting to meander through all of the wonderful antique and vintage shops in cottage country and buy everything you see, thinking it’s just perfect for the cottage, it’s best to be selective with what you actually buy for your home. My weakness is serving platters, plates, bowls, you name it, so if I find some charming options when I’m shopping, I’ll always pick up a few new ones for entertaining at the cottage. You can also refresh your space with new picture frames, throw pillows, lampshades or bed linens, too.

Flowers, flowers, flowers

My favourite thing about a cottage home is walking through a room full of freshly-picked blooms. I love my gardens at my cottage, so I take full advantage of what they grow in the summer and use all the wildflowers and plants as design inspiration inside.

Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes.

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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Soft Finishes

Use these hot designer tricks for choosing the right soft finishes for your home

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Use these hot designer tricks for choosing the right soft finishes for your home

When it comes to soft finishes, like your wall colouring, fabrics, carpets, cushions or curtains, I think the best way to begin is to figure out what your home style is, and how you envision your space to look. Some of the best inspiration can be found in some of your favourite decor magazines, Pinterest boards or even a favourite TV show. For me, when I’m travelling there is nothing better than the selection of design-inspired magazines you can find virtually all over the world. I’ll take clippings of spaces I love so I have something tangible to refer to when I’m ready to design a new space. Also, I think it’s important to remember that you want every space in your home to feel comfortable, friendly and welcoming. Long gone are the days of formal sitting areas and posh powder rooms that are rarely used. You want your home to be inviting, so consider that when deciding on those soft finishes, too.

Even if you’re not a designer, you can still have the ability to visualize your space and understand what marries well together or what may clash, but there are a few designer tricks you can employ that will help you even further when deciding on the myriad of finishes you need to think about. From wall colours, to throw pillows; a carpet, or some curtains, consider these suggestions and you will be well on your way to a beautifully harmonious home.

60-30-10 rule

This is a timeless decorating that is meant to maintain proportion and balance in the colours you use in any space. Your 60 per cent is the main colour of your room, so this could be your walls, large accent pieces such as area rugs, or a couch. The idea being that this colour is the majority rule of which everything else is based from.

Your 30 per cent is your secondary colour. Since you will only be using half as much of this colour as your main colour, this could work for curtains and draperies, bed linens, or an accent wall. The secondary colour supports the main colour, but can be different enough to distinguish them, while also giving your room some interest.

10 per cent is your accent colour. In a living room, this is for your throw pillows, decorative accessories, and artwork. For a bedroom, your pillows on your bed, lamps or other decorative pieces.

Work from your base colours

I always make sure my larger pieces of furniture are neutral, regardless of the room in my home. From my bedroom to my dining room, all of my major furniture (couches, chairs, dressers or tables) are in muted shades, such as charcoal, grey, white, black or navy. These work as your anchors to ground the room, while also giving you the opportunity to take a bit of liberty with colour in the paint or your fabrics.

Forgo trends

Trendy decor looks are always fun, but they rarely last the test of time. If you invested in that purple velvet couch, chances are you may grow weary of it in the next couple of years. Trendy pieces can feel very dated very fast. The good news is that you can easily change your couch with a slip cover, switch out your curtains or try different carpets if you feel like experimenting and creating something new. I always refresh my space like this come the different seasons.

Choose your colour scheme based on the largest pattern in the space

Say you have a patterned carpet, or a large piece of artwork hanging in the space, select colours for your soft finishes (like a great throw pillow or ottoman) based on what hues you love in those patterns. That way there will be certain flow in the whole space if colours are similar. If you’re looking for a more neutral wall paint colour (and I strongly encourage that), look to the pattern’s whites or beiges to match.

Go for grey

This is a very popular neutral, and with good reason. It has the ability to appear warm or cool making it easy to pair with virtually any colour on the wheel, whether dreamy pastels or bright pops of colour.

Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes.

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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