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Families use their cottages for radically different lengths of time, depending on their schedules, prior commitments, and its distance from their home. Is your cottage a place where you’ll be spending every weekend from spring through to early fall — or just a handful of weekends? Is it a place where you’ll stay all summer long — or will you only be staying a week or two at a time?
You know how cottages are always described as “cozy”? Well, in real estate, “cozy” is code for “small.” A wealthier family may actually need a large-scale summer home, but most cottages are intimate spaces — allowing families to spend their time together, rather than always separating into different rooms. That’s part of their charm!
You may have four bathrooms in your house, but your cottage will probably have one — maybe two. Are you dreaming of an all-white space with a deep clawfoot tub for soaking? Or are you going to be fine with a bare-bones shower to wash off that beach sand? If your family is accustomed to having multiple bathrooms, it might be good idea to incorporate a powder room in addition to a full bath — waiting in line to brush your teeth can be rough when it’s not the norm!
Steer clear of stainless steel, chrome, and brushed nickel if you’re going for a true cottage feel. Think white, copper, brass, or oil-rubbed bronze.
There are certain tricks that can make any space feel more cottage-y. Painted clapboard walls add charm and texture, and reclaimed wood floors and cabinets add warmth. Cottage-owners tend to favour light paint colours — whites, creams, pastels — to make them look cheerful and open.
Kids have a ton of small items, and they need a little help to stay organized. Here’s a set of simple plans that can make a storage piece perfect for any child’s room. It can make a bookcase for stowing their picture books or easy-read chapter books, a dollhouse to house their favourite plastic people, or play-shelves to hold elaborate block displays and figurine set-ups.
This handy message board is perfect for kids of all ages — from preschoolers learning their letters to university students needing a spot to post class schedules. It’s also a helpful spot for families to stick important school papers and sports team notices — especially because so many refrigerators these days don’t have magnetic doors! Just use a few pieces of pine, a backboard, and a sheet of metal for your magnetic surface.
No lakefront house is complete without a beautiful wooden raft, docked just far enough away to have fun swimming to it. What could be better than slipping into the cool lake water, swimming to the raft, pulling yourself up, and soaking up the sun? Oh right, a cannonball, a jackknife, or a swan dive!
Every dog deserves a snug little house they can call their own — especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors. Involve your kids by getting them to draw pictures of how the doghouse should look. Then take them with you to gather supplies — wood, deck screws, galvanized nails, and a small bundle of roof shingles. Customize your pup’s new home by painting it a fun colour, adding a personalized sign with their name, and even installing a little porch area for them to relax.