Houzz Tour: Small Space Living in a Chic Coastal Cottage
Thanks to some clever design, this cosy, two-bed cottage can accommodate 12 for weekends by the water
Who lives here? A couple with grown children when on holiday
Location South Kingstown, Rhode Island, USA
Size Two bedrooms plus a sleeping loft, and one bathroom; 870 sq ft (81 sq m)
Designer Janelle Blakely of Blakely Interior Design
“After” photos by Andrea Pietrangeli; “before” photos by Janelle Blakely
Because interior designer Janelle Blakely had worked with the homeowners before, she knew just the type of coastal cottage style they desired – elevated beyond typical seashell themes. “The goal was to use textures and a traditional coastal colour palette infused with punches of vibrant colour to add energy and make it personal,” she says.
The renovation included removing the dropped ceilings to expose the rafters, replacing the flooring with pre-finished white oak and painting everything white. The team also moved the kitchen’s exterior door to make room for a stackable washer and dryer to the right of it. They had to lose a window to fit in the fridge, but Blakely made up for the loss of natural light by specifying a glass door.
“But their friends took one look and said, ‘No way!’” Blakely says. Tired of trying to cut through the red tape required to install a dock at their existing home, the couple ultimately decided to buy this one for themselves.
Because the house lacks cupboards and the bathroom is so tiny, the kitchen was the only place to squeeze in a washer and dryer. Using stackable models allowed the designer to tuck them into a corner and conceal them from the living room.
“They wanted to maximise how many people could stay here – we were able to get in enough sleeping space for 12,” she says. That count includes the living room sofa, which is a pullout. “We made use of every inch for functionality,” Blakely says. For example, the woven coffee table contains the bedding for the sofa. She used these kinds of strategies throughout the house.
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The fabrics in this sunny room are fade-resistant, and the woven PVC on the chairs can stand up to damp bathing suits.
“Often we line these kinds of blinds, but, in this case, we wanted to be able to keep the views of the water open while providing some privacy,” Blakely says.
“We chose articulating wall lights here to add visual depth and to balance out the lights over the table,” Blakely says. A flatweave rug adds softness underfoot.
Although the house is not suitable for winter use, Blakely was able to remove the panelling and add insulation to help the homeowners stretch the season longer into autumn and earlier into spring. She then had the walls covered with boards, adding furring strips between the seams for a board-and-batten look.
“We didn’t stick to this exactly, but for the 10 percent, we used the orange and pink coral-inspired tones that give the house that vibrant energy that makes it a fun family home,” she says. The artwork enlivens the room and has coastal appeal without being too theme-y.
As is typical for a New England cottage, the home does not have wardrobes, so it’s all about drawers and hooks. The robe hanging on the rack has a fun and personalised detail: the house is called The Mallard Cottage, so the designers had the robes embroidered with mallards.
Artwork: “Languid Days of Summer” by T.S. Harris.
This single bed has a trundle, and there’s another queen-size bed up here, too. And that brings us to the final sleeping count.
Living room pullout sofa: 2
Porch pullout sofa: 2
Bedroom No. 1 queen-size bed: 2
Bedroom No. 2 queen-size bed: 2
Sleeping loft with single bed, trundle and queen bed: 4
What’s your favourite room in this bright holiday home? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.