A Coastal Cottage Renovation

When the homeowners bought this 150-year-old cottage in Nova Scotia, they needed to bring the house into the 21st century but wanted to respect its history and preserve its vintage aesthetic. The result: a charming success.

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Everything In This Slideshow

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    Coastal Revival

    This coastal vacation cottage in Nova Scotia was built in 1860. When the owners bought it, they wanted to add modern updates while staying true to the home's classic roots. On the exterior, gray-blue paint and cream trim softens the exterior of the wood-sided cottage.

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    Warm Welcome

    Walking into the front door for the first time, the homeowners knew they wanted to make this house their own. They stripped decades of stain and paint from the woodwork, and now the beautifully restored pine staircase and natural hardwood floors greet visitors.

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    Back to Basics

    Simple, neutral furnishings in the living room provide a cozy seating space, while a sisal rug edged in suede adds a natural element. Rich wood and leather accents are sprinkled throughout the room.

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    Time Travel

    The fireplace—restored to its original state—serves as an elegant focal point in the living room and warms up chilly nights. Reproduction iron sconces and carefully recrafted paneling and trim feed the aged aesthetic.

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    Pattern Repeat

    Linen-upholstered chairs at the game table match pillow patterns on the couch and complement the natural color of the curtains surrounding the bay window, further tying the room together.

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    Earthy Look

    Rich, natural wood dominates the dining room. The antique pine china cabinet, custom-made trestle table, and original flooring—mixed with the moss green wainscoting—create an earthy, rustic aesthetic. White accessories, on the table top and in the china cabinet, open up the room’s dark tones.

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    Modern Makeover

    The owners merge history and modern amenities in the kitchen, wanting the room to appear as though it evolved over time. Two ways they balance the old and new is by hiding high-tech appliances in the center island and facing the refrigerator with caned doors so it appears as a built-in armoire.

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    All in the Details

    Details such as Shaker-style cabinetry, open dish storage, a porcelain farmhouse sink, and period-perfect window reproductions add to the homeowners’ hope for a sensitive restoration.

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    Homey Hallway

    Antique maps of the area adorn the walls as you climb the staircase. Once upstairs, an alluring window seat—complete with cushy pillows and ample underseat storage—rounds out the upper-level hallway.

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    Blue Period

    A dusty blue covers the vintage-style vanity and painted beaded board in the master bath for a relaxing beach-meets-country vibe. To offset all of the dark blue, the walls, countertops, and accents were kept a crisp white.

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    Mix and Match

    The homeowners balance understated hues with exciting pattern throughout the home, including in the guest bedroom, which features another original element: steeply angled walls. The walls offer an off-center mood, which contrasts well with the immaculately decorated space.

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    Summer Space

    One contemporary comfort the owners commissioned was a screen porch. With its high ceiling and exposed rafters, nautical decor, and muted color palette, this open space functions as an airy summer living room.

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    Outdoor Life

    A traditional outdoor look is easily attainable. The owners placed an inviting arbor and picket fence around the garden to frame the backyard space.

  • Next Slideshow Before and After: Home Exteriors

    Before and After: Home Exteriors

    Maximize curb appeal with an exterior makeover. See how these 24 facades went from ordinary to unforgettable.
    Begin Slideshow »

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