If you’re lucky enough to have a summer getaway like a cottage or cabin, odds are you’re planning on spending as much time as possible there this summer. While cottages benefit from having a rustic charm to them, there comes a point when your shabby chic decor can start to look just plain shabby. If your cottage could do with a little TLC, try these 10 quick design tips to update your old cottage this summer.
1. Clear Out the Clutter
First thing’s first, you need a clean palette to work with. Start by taking a walk through your cottage and getting rid of anything that is broken, falling apart, or just not necessary to have any more. Just like our homes, cottages tend to accumulate items that are stuffed into drawers or pushed under beds and never looked at again. This includes old toys, board games, sporting equipment, old magazines and books you’re not going to read again, and various knick-knacks that tend to appear out of nowhere. Once you’ve only got the items you want in your cottage it’s time to deep clean everything.
2. Dust and Vacuum Everything
Whether you can see it or not, your cottage is full of dust, dirt, and sand from years of enjoyment. Take the time to properly go over every surface and wipe it down to get the dust off. This includes your old couch and the drapes. Once you’ve cleaned off the surfaces take some time to vacuum the floors and any carpets you may have. It’s also a good idea to vacuum or launder your furniture covers if possible. Giving your cottage a thorough cleaning will make it feel fresher and lighter, meaning you can enjoy it even more all summer long.
3. Wash Windows
Now that you’ve cleaned every surface in your cottage, it’s time to turn your attention to your windows. Give them a good cleaning on both the inside and outside to help them really shine. Doing this will not only give you a clearer view of the natural beauty that surrounds your cottage, it will also make the inside seem brighter and bigger.
4. Fresh Coat of Paint
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for any home or cottage. For an easy but impactful update, try painting your front door a new colour or just freshen up the current colour on your walls. A whitewash will always make the space look new and bright.
No budget or desire for a new kitchen? Try painting the cabinets to brighten things up and make it look like a complete reno for a fraction of the cost. Don’t forget the outside too! Painting the trim around your freshly cleaned windows will help make your view of the outdoors really sparkle.
5. Swap Out Your Decor
Updating your cottage doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Instead of buying brand new, try bringing some pieces from home that you may have become bored with or pieces that you love that are being lost in the shuffle at home. Perhaps you’re in the market for new throw pillows at home. Why not bring up last season’s pillows up to the cottage for a new look. By swapping pieces between your home and cottage, you’ll get a good mix of decor pieces without having to buy everything brand new.
6. Update Linens
If you’ve been using the same sheets and towels since you got your cottage, it’s time to update them. Swap out old and tattered towels for new fluffy ones that actually help to dry you off. The same can be done with your sheets. If you have mishmashed bedding that’s been handed down over the years, consider buying some new bedding or swap them out for a set from home. Whether you buy new or bring something from home, new linens will make your summer stay feel like a real getaway.
7. Landscaping Makeover
A little landscaping goes a long way, especially if your cottage is currently surrounded by unruly plants and bushes. As much as you might love the wild look of it, taking the time to do some light pruning and trimming will really help elevate the appearance of your cottage. Simple tasks like creating a clear pathway to the front door, or adding flowers to the front of your cottage can really help update the overall look.
8. More Lights
Cottages can sometimes be dark and dingy once the sun sets. This is because a lot of older cottages do not have overhead lighting or have a few kitschy lamps placed around. A simple update you can make is changing all your light bulbs to LED bulbs that will shine brighter and last longer. You can also add more lamps to your cottage to literally brighten it up. If you really want to go all out, consider hiring an electrician to install pot lights in your ceiling or wall sconces to brighten up hallways.
9. New Furniture
We love the rustic charm of a cottage as much as the next person, but it’s likely your current cottage furniture either came with the place or is a hand-me-down from who knows where. If you really want your cottage to look updated, it’s time to swap out that old furniture for something new.
Consider the fabrics when purchasing new furniture for your cottage. You want something strong and durable that can handle having wet bathing suits and sandy feet on it. If your furniture comes with slips that can be taken off and washed at the end of the season, that’s even better.
10. Simple Home Improvements
While you’re probably not looking to do a major renovation on your cottage, there are a couple of simple home improvements you may want to consider. It never hurts to have your electrical or plumbing looked at and updated. While indoor plumbing and electricity are modern luxuries we take for granted at home, some cottages are lucky to have a working outhouse. Whether your electrical and plumbing is outdated or outside, it never hurts to have a home service professional come by and see if everything is up to code and still functioning properly.
We’re sure you’ll enjoy your cottage even more this summer if you do even one or two of these updates. If you need some help updating your cottage, find a home service professional on HomeStars and get started on updating your cottage today.
Cover image courtesy of All State.