Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Living: Cottage Style with Sarah Richardson

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a great weekend either in the city or up north at cottage country.  Yours Truly is sadly suffering "a pain in the neck" ... literally, with limited mobility.  This rather uncomfortable phenomenon had visited me before and I concluded it was stress related.  Yes I was stressed for the last little while, but I am now ready for my vacay to visit Chris' family in Germany.  So why does this pain has to make yet another appearance, especially right on the day of my vacation??
Let me just say tylenol extra strength and stinky chinese muscle relaxing lotion were my best friends during the 8 hours flight across the pond.

So an 8 hours plane ride maybe a little long for a weekend getaway, but P.E.I. is within your reach if you have 2.5 hours.  Think about it, if it takes me nearly 3 hours from downtown Toronto to get to my camp site near Georgian Bay, why not consider having a cozy, breezy family retreat with an unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean?  This is exactly what a family from Toronto has done and they invited Sarah Richardson, along with her design team, to turn this newly constructed house into an ultimate seaside home away from home.

With a magnificent view of open water, this family home is built to resemble an old farm house with a couple of additions as the family expands over time.  In fact, this particular architectural element actually reminds me of Sarah's Farmhouse when I first saw this coastal retreat in the July 2012 issue of the Canadian House & Home magazine.

Drawing inspiration from its natural surrounding, this summer home is filled with shades of white & blue for a soft and serene nautical palette.  Causal elegance is how I would describe this P.E.I. cottage: off white kitchen with beadboard detail painted in light watery blue, open and closed storage to max out both functional and visual interest, and that dining room with wall to wall glass windows + the Artemide logico triple linear chandelier that mimics fluffy clouds, who wouldn't want to be invited to this dinner party?

By the way, I love that crisp black and white chevron throw hanging over the natural basket.  Doesn't this city chic accent represent a shot of Tommy Smythe in this tranquil family home?  

Another architectural element I love in this house is the white washed cathedral ceiling with tongue and groove paneling, plus the support beams in natural wood finish: talking about giving a practical/structural element a fresh, stylish touch.

The supersized iron chandelier gives the living room its presence, serves as a dramatic statement piece, and it helps drawing the eyes down to ground the space. The white cotton slipcovered sectional contributes to the overall light and airy feel.  It also provides a neutral backdrop for the blue accent pillows to pop.  The full height moonstone tiles add drama to the kitchen, and the sophisticated smokey blue hue ties in perfectly with the area rug in the living room.

A couple of examples on how to maximize all the functional spaces: a cozy reading nook right off the staircase with a large window on its side, and a private boardwalk that wraps around the house.

This bathroom features a few of my favourite design tricks from Sarah:

Mixing ceramic tiles with stone mosaic tiles for an exquisite look without breaking the bank

Wrap the floor tiles up to the base of the shower for a seamless transition

Team up carrara marble with polished nickel hardware for a classic, timeless look

Now are you inspired to decorate your own little piece of heaven with a light, watery palette? Perhaps one over on the East Coast? Chris are you reading this?

It is DIY special this week folks!  Come back on Wednesday to discover the DIY lesson I've planned for you!


  1. Love those beams in the living room and the storage in the kitchen. This place reminds me of the Hamptons home in Something's Gotta Give. (Hope your neck is better!)

    1. Me too! I will have to work that into my future bed & breakfast adventure. That will be a dream of me and Chris one day in the future with a little bakery up front.

      5 treatments and still on pain killer, I think I am 60% back on my neck strength. In Prague already ... and what a wonderful city!

  2. These are such fabulous tips, watery palette is becoming our fave!

  3. Those neck pains always strike at the wrong time. I hope it is gone by now and you can enjoy your vacay! Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve this week!

  4. Hi Tim!! I hope you and Chris are enjoying your vacay so far (despite the pain in your neck - hope that goes away soon)!! How I wish I had time in the summer to get away from it all, it seems as though I'm the only one who hasn't taken any vacation time recently. Can't wait for autumn to take some time off and get back to blogging!!

    Looking forward to the DIY post you have coming up - hopefully it will inspire me :-)

  5. My favorite part about that article was the part about how easy/affordable it is to get to PEI! I'm hoping more people will share the view so they can come to our beautiful Island and see it for themselves.. I may be biased but it's pretty dreamy!

    1. yup and I will be planning a visit to P.E.I. hopefully sooner rather than later!