Whether you’re looking to redesign your cottage’s bathroom or kitchen, or get an entirely new one built, we put together the best looking interior and exterior designs to better help you plan your cottage renovation project. Get inspired by pictures and details to figure out which look is best for you!
There are several cottage types out there, but these here are the ones we’ll be covering:
Contemporary or modern cabin
Neoclassical style cottage
Born in Nordic countries like Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, Scandinavian design is typically minimalist. It brings us back to basics by only using and displaying what’s essential to our daily routines.
Nowadays, Scandinavian design is used in architecture and interior design alike. Wood is the material of choice when putting together a Nordic style cottage, and it is accompanied by neutral tones (i.e. black, light wood & white) and simple shapes. When it comes to Scandinavian interior design, white paint and accessories, some wool, wood, and fake fur are prominent design elements.
The Hygge lifestyle – a trending Danish lifestyle – is also gaining popularity. Living a Hygge lifestyle is all about underlining the importance of life’s simple pleasures. Hygge can easily be integrated into your cottage’s interior design by putting in a reading nook by the window! This lifestyle is synonymous with a mellow, cozy, and relaxing atmosphere after all!
Swiss cottages are typically characterized by their wooden structure – more specifically red pine wood. Their look is distinguished by their architectural style that includes a gabled roof. This type of cottage is almost always a two-storey cottage. And, it’s actually quite a common cabin style these days. However, people tend to omit using wood in order to save on costs.
When classifying this cabin style as ‘contemporary’, we mean any cabin/cottage that has been recently built and considered a current trend. Contrary to common belief, when talking about modern architecture, we’re actually referring to architecture born during the industrial revolution. Essentially, builds that are of the modern trend include work from 1935 by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as more recent constructions like that of the Sydney Opera House built in 1973.
However, the use of the terms – ‘contemporary’ and ‘modern’ – are commonly used interchangeably to mean any construction that is fairly recent. Contemporary cabins tend to be similar to houses, with simple sidings like wood, stone, and brick. A hipped roof is the norm, along with large windows of various dimensions. As for the interior’s design, opt for an open concept look with eco-friendly materials.
Log cabins are – quite evidently – known for their wooden beams and logs used for their build. They’re the typical image we conceptualize as soon as someone mentions ‘Canadian cabin’. Though, if you plan on getting one of these built, keep in mind that their energy consumption is generally 25% higher than a building with openings of only 10% (i.e. 10% of the structure being doors and windows). To compensate for this energetic consumption, you’ll need to ensure your new log cabin is up to building code standards, make sure windows are facing north, better insulate the foundation and ceiling, etc.
To ensure everything goes according to plan, you’re better off getting help from a general contractor that specializes in log cabin construction. They’ll be able to help you find energy efficient solutions and other great tips to build the best log cabin for you.
In line with the oh-so-popular minimalist lifestyle, many homeowners are opting for mini-cabins. Not only do they fit with their lifestyle, but also allow them to purchase a cabin even with the rising cost of living. These cabins don’t require much maintenance, and their construction cost is much less than typical sized cabins. These tiny spaces are great for escaping the city and enjoying the great outdoors. Regardless of the shape, you choose for your micro cottage, the only requirement is keeping only the essentials. Additionally, these wonderful cabins are window-abundant – allowing a ton of natural light in.
Mid-Century Style Cabins
Mid-century style cottages are inspired by our American neighbours. This style peaked between 1945 and 1980. Cottages with this look have flat roofs (or lightly sloped ones), big windows, and an open-concept interior.
We tend to find these kinds of cottages by a lake. Neoclassical cottages are typical English 1920s style homes that are easily recognized by their small same-sized windows, their shutters, as well as the buildings’ simple finishing and rectangular shapes. This cottage look definitely reminds us of waterside views or country living, as opposed to cottages found in the woods.
Tree House Cabins
This one is one of our favourites! Treehouse cabins remind us of a time when we were kids and all we dreamed of was having a tree house in our yard. Many factors need to be considered when opting for this kind of cabin build. For instance, you’ll need to go for a tree that’s fairly sturdy and avoid weak ones like poplar, aspen, and walnut trees. It’s also important to use fixings that are both sturdy, and harmless to the tree. You’ll even need to consider what kind of movements the tree will make on windy days.
Seeing as this kind of cabin build isn’t so common, we suggest you contact a specialist or Call us!
Your cabin living room: a relaxing haven
Cottage Living Areas
Once you’ve figured out what your cabin will look like from the outside, it’ll be time to tackle the indoors! As people tend to purchase (or build) cottages in order to escape their busy lifestyle, you should consider planning out your relaxation haven: the living room. Cottage views are typically breath taking, so opt for a living room near nice big windows. Of course, a cozy living room isn’t complete without a beautiful fireplace.
If you love outdoor sports, consider, for instance, adding ample storage in your nearby den! Your space’s look will remain clean and cozy, and your dedicated relaxation area won’t get filthy with shoe tracks and sweaty gear. When building your cottage, you’ll surely need to consider these kinds of details!
A simple cottage kitchen
The main gathering space in your cottage is likely to be the kitchen. However, opting for something simple and only getting what is deemed necessary will do the trick. This means that its space can be quite a bit smaller than your everyday home’s kitchen. However, when designing the kitchen, don’t forget about the kitchen work triangle. It’ll ensure ergonomics and proper functioning of all aspects in the room. You can make sure it’s well setup by getting the help of a kitchen designer.
As for your kitchen’s style, pick out some simple looking design that will stand the test of time. After all, your cottage is your second residence and you’re likely to keep it looking the same way for quite a while.
"I'm here to help you with your kitchen project"
- Marilena / Renovation Advisor at Reno-Assistance
A small & practical cottage bathroom
The same thought process should be used for your cottage bathroom. Like with your kitchen, just keep what’s necessary. No need to get both a bath and a shower. Just get a shower for the space if you really want to make the most of your cottage. However, if you’re hell-bent on having a bath in your cottage, the good news is that you can get one installed by a window that has a view on the lake or landscape and still have a wonderfully intimate setting!
As for your bathroom’s materials, opt for some that will also last the test of time. In most cottages, wood is a primary element used throughout the entire residence. Though, if you’re planning on putting wood in your bathroom as well, make sure your ventilation is adequate and that your finishing is water repellent. Maximizing a small bathroom’s space isn’t ideal, but if your bathroom is rather small, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at some great tips and tricks that might work for you!
Your cottage bedroom: Comfy & well thought out
First and foremost, we’d like to point out that closets aren’t necessary for cottage bedrooms. We suggest that you rather go for a small cupboard and a simple stand for your bag and its contents. By doing so, you’ll gain space and potentially be able to add a cozy reading corner in the bedroom. You can also opt for simple furniture, like nightstands with no drawers to keep to your budget. Your cottage is the perfect place to let your creativity run wild! You can, for instance, use a chair as a nightstand, or even a large varnish-finished log.
For bedrooms that are near the cottage’s entrance or any other passage, we suggest you put in a horizontal window. The room’s occupants will be able to view the beautiful landscape while still having some privacy. As for the guest rooms, consider putting in bunk beds. You’ll maximize the number of people you can host and, if you plan on renting the cottage out, it’ll allow for a greater occupant capacity.
Get creative with your cabin’s yard
Both the indoors and outdoors of a cottage’s premises tend to be used equally. We do, after all, go there to escape the city and be one with nature. So, if you’ve got space on your land, you might as well make the most of it. Why not get a hammock? Or maybe an outdoor shower to rinse off after jumping in the lake? If you plan on putting in a fire pit, just double check with the municipality. In some areas, there are rules and regulations that must be followed like placing it 3 meters away from the building, while in others, you might not even be allowed to put one in. Some people go for optimal relaxation and even get a sauna installed outside!
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