House Tour: Cottage in Minimalist White

Decorating in Neutrals
A home dressed in white takes a minimalist approach to cottage decor, and mixes in a little bit of glam along the way.

Cover Story

This cottage home's crisp white and nautically inspired decor starts at the front door. White structural elements, such as the beams and pillars, delineates a palette of grays. A hand-painted life raft boasts the home's address.

Color Connection

Judicious use of color adds cottage charm to the minimalist aesthetic of the home. A Swedish-style hat stand painted a chalky gray-blue fits perfectly inside the front door and sets the tone for the home's color palette.

Rise and Shine

Located at the juncture between upstairs and down, a desk tucked in next to the staircase provides a place for the homeowner to start her day. Small details, such as the curvaceous claw feet on the desk, and accents of darker colors, such as the chair legs, the stool, and the desk hardware, enliven the white space while not distracting from the clean aesthetic.

White and Bright

The open and airy living room juxtaposes formal with casual, organic with sleek, which is the ethos of the entire home. A decidedly symmetrical arrangement nods to formal, which is kept in check by comfy, slipcovered furniture. Branches and palm fronds mix with sleek glass sculptures on the tables. Floor-to-ceiling white offers an ethereal atmosphere.

Artist's Eye

Although predominantly painted soft white, the interior of the doors of the hutch were painted a faded hue of blue, signifying the ocean. High-gloss white floors, coated with industrial-grade paint to withstand foot traffic; quiet white walls; and ceilings planked in whitewash wood give vignettes like this one, found throughout the house, a chance to shine. The homeowner, an antiques shop owner and artist, says, "I've always used my house as my art, trying out different looks and compositions. It's my way of relaxing and creating something beautiful."

Reflective Qualities

While the spaces are already open and airy, reflective surfaces enhance the home's ethereal atmosphere. Here, a seascape painting on the opposite side of the room is reflected in this mirror to create an open, airy feel.

Design Bridge

Similar decorating approaches throughout the home yields a cohesive look. This sideboard is positioned between the living and dining rooms and carries the glimmer-and-organic pairing to bridge the two spaces together. The plants and flowers offer a natural feel while recycled glass vases in aqua provide the sparkle.

Dine In

Continuing the minimalist white palette, the dining room also mixes the sleek with the antique. The crystal chandelier that hangs above the dining room table offers a classic touch. A galvanized metal top fabricated for the table is a clean-lined partner for the linen slipcovered chairs and the white cafe chairs. A hutch built by the homeowner's father serves as display space for blown-glass vases, seashells, and other treasures.

Clean Cooking

The homeowner was wary of trading her upper cabinets for open shelves. "But I love the results," she says. "Things are so easily accessible. And with everything exposed, I have to keep it all tidy and pared down." The small island couples function with eye appeal, and is just the right size for the space.

Sweet Dreams

The same white palette from downstairs carries over into the master bedroom, creating a serene oasis. Hints of black, as well as the mirrored nightstand, French-style chair, and breezy drapes, introduce an air of sophistication to set the room apart from the rest of the home's more relaxed, minimalist look.

Please Be Seated

In the master bedroom, paint and fabric transform mismatched furniture into the perfect pair. A whitewash finish nods to the room's white-infused color scheme and gray ticking fabric adds contrast. The ocean theme is again boosted by the large clam shell located on the table and the coral-pattern pillow.

Porch Pizzazz

A wraparound porch added during the home's remodel provides a spot to enjoy views of the home's property. Oars repurposed as wall art nod to the home's nautical, beachy theme.

Neutral colors range from the lightest of beiges to the richest of grays. See how to use neutral colors in your home decorating. Plus, learn how a neutral color scheme can be brought to life in any room.

Neutral Tips

Watch this video and learn more about decorating in neutrals.

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