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Popular in Decorating

A Colorful Coastal Cottage

A cheery palette and comfortable furnishings keep generations of the same family coming back to the beach in easygoing style.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • New Old Soul

      Three grown sisters continue a longstanding summer family tradition in a new beach house built where their grandfather's no-frills cottage once stood. The charming home captures the memories of the original structure, while providing more space and creative comforts. 

    • Out on the Porch

      The bright, inviting screened porch is a favorite place to cool down after a day at the beach. Furnished with mod wicker seating, the space dons a breezy blue-and-white scheme punctuated with cheery yellow. 

    • White with Brights

      The living room's crisp white palette sets a soothing backdrop, while punches of bold color enliven the space. Simple woven window shades, natural fiber rugs, and indoor-outdoor fabrics pay homage to the beach location in subtle ways. 

    • Gathering Space

      The dining room's large farm table and easy-care outdoor chairs gather family and friends beneath ceiling beams, reclaimed from the original cottage. Colorful woven baskets contribute to the room's intriguing mix of smooth and rugged surfaces. 

    • Casual Mix

      The kitchen's easygoing vibe is enhanced by open shelving, cedar plank walls, tongue-and-groove panel ceilings, and cool slate floors. Honed Carrara marble countertops lend a rich, yet classic, accent to the casual space. Vivid red stools and accessories add just the right dash of color

    • Island Dreams

      Strips of 1x2-inch lumber installed over drywall in the master bedroom give the appearance of board-and-batten paneling, while also protecting the walls from furniture bumps. Tranquil sand and surf colors create a soothing palette just right for beach dreams.

    • Memory Keeper

      Collectibles and heirlooms simultaneously introduce memories and color throughout the cottage. Here, a garage sale find cabinet, refreshed with pale gray paint, showcases cozy quilts made for each of the family's three sisters by their mother. 

    • Everyday Elegance

      Picture-rail molding and a decorative ledge hint at wainscoting in the master bath. Everyday vases, jars, and trays come out of the cupboard to lend a touch of glamour. A painting and rug pump up the neutral palette with cheery pinks and reds.

    • Airy Retreat

      The second-floor loft space features bunks for the kids, plus their own bathroom and living space. A playful gallery wall combines beach art with nostalgic silhouettes.

    • 10 of 13

      Bunking in Style

      Dormer windows and a crisp white backdrop continue the feel of the ocean breeze right up the stairs into the children's sleeping quarters. Large yellow cushions hang from wall pegs, providing the perfect backrest for reading in bed

    • 11 of 13

      Sunny Outlook

      Playful pops of sunshine yellow are cooled by gray in the kid-friendly bath. A painted desk and chair serve as a simple vanity. 

    • 12 of 13

      Playing Around

      Bold hues, lounge seating, and a chalkboard-top table make the upstairs living area a favorite hangout for kids. Airy rattan-style furnishings are a great small-space choice, as their see-through arms and legs never stop the eye. 

    • 13 of 13
      Next Slideshow A Small-Space Cottage Tour

      A Small-Space Cottage Tour

      See how a photographer and her husband opened their petite cottage home to nature's beauty with sky blues, sunshine yellows, and plenty of rustic textures.
      Begin Slideshow »



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