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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.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Setting the Scene

      This picture-perfect cottage embraces nature’s beauty through light, color, and texture. Double-hung windows throughout the house allow for a steady stream of sunlight to drench the home with natural appeal. With a large front yard offering plenty of separation between the home and the road, privacy is never an issue for the homeowners.

    • Clean & Simple

      The living room’s large windows, ceiling beams, and Gothic-style brick fireplace were among the original features that stood out most to the homeowners. They painted the walls, ceiling, and fireplace surround white to simplify the space and to reflect light streaming in from the windows. Featuring a palette of golden yellow, chocolate brown, and pale blue, the accessories ensure the all-white living space doesn’t feel sterile and cold.

    • Rustic Appeal

      Patterned pillows in sunny yellow, royal blue and soft blue-gray add warmth to the home’s all-white color scheme. A mix of rustic textures, such as unfinished woods, wicker, and wrought iron, add visual weight to the light, bright spaces. In the living room, a pair of timeworn wooden tables work together to function as a central coffee table.

    • Stylish Work Space

      A desk located directly behind the living room sofa provides a convenient, compact spot for the homeowners to pay the bills, sort through daily mail, or work from home. It can also double as a place to set drinks within easy reach for people sitting on the sofa.

    • Small & Mighty

      Inspired by their travels, the homeowners made a bold style statement in the kitchen with Cuban-style concrete tile that mimics patterned wallpaper. The striking wall treatment gives the small kitchen dramatic visual appeal. The rustic ceiling beams overhead add texture and visual weight. A tiny table placed in the center of the kitchen provides additional prep space and a casual eating spot.

    • Endless Views

      In rooms where the house lacked natural light, the homeowners made way for more. In the kitchen, cabinetry above the sink was removed in favor of a large bank of windows. Now, the sink area overlooks a freshly planted vegetable garden, a place the homeowners frequent as they experiment with new recipes and ingredients.

    • Casual Dining

      The homeowners eat most of their meals in the dining room, so designing it to be comfortable and casual was paramount on their design list. An unfinished wood dining table and a variety of seating options create an eclectic, natural vibe that’s echoed by an oversize basket chandelier and bird-and-branch patterned draperies.

    • Accessorize & Relax

      Like the rest of the home, the walls in the bedroom were painted white to provide a neutral backdrop for furnishings and accessories. The homeowners kept foundational pieces, such as the wrought-iron bed frame and wooden nightstands, neutral to allow an ever-changing array of pillows, throws, and accessories. A white-painted driftwood mirror frame adds a hint of rustic texture.

    • Bathed in Style

      Similar to the rest of the home, the bathroom features a carefully thought-out blend of textures. A pair of metal medicine cabinets draws stark contrast between the weathered oak washstands and wicker storage baskets below. The console-style sinks ensure the bathroom countertops are never full of clutter and mess. Unlike the rest of the home, the bathroom walls were painted a rich gray color to prevent the space from looking sterile and cold.

    • 10 of 13

      Basement Redo

      The homeowners renovated the unfinished basement to create a cozy hangout for watching TV and relaxing with company. Some of the brick walls were left unfinished to blend with other rustic elements throughout the home. The slipcovered love seats are easy to clean and lend a neutral backdrop for a collection of energetic, patterned throw pillows.

    • 11 of 13

      Unique Storage

      A weathered metal and wood unit in the basement offers open storage and display space for a variety of odds and ends. The unfinished character of the unit blends well with the rough brick walls and wooden posts throughout the space. The attached stool swivels from side to side and provides a spot for the homeowners to take a seat and use the tabletop as a desk.

    • 12 of 13

      Watering Hole

      The homeowners use the original soapstone sink in the basement for gardening projects. A burlap skirt conceals pipes and shelving underneath. Any exposed piping throughout the basement was painted to help it blend with the white walls.

    • 13 of 13
      Next Slideshow House Tours: Coastal-Cool Cottage Style

      House Tours: Coastal-Cool Cottage Style

      Interiors expert Tracey Rapisardi brings beachy flair to every home project she touches. Tour two homes that display Rapisardi's signature cottage style.
      Begin Slideshow »



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