Beachy Keen [the cottage living room]

My family has a cottage up in Maine. It was built by my great great grandparents back in the early part of the century by their own bare hands.  It’s pretty basic, but we love it.  We love it with the sea foam green walls that were painted over 50 years ago, the chenille bedspreads, and the vintage drinking glasses with Howdy Doody and Clarabell screened on them. We’re talking vintage dishware Eddie Ross would drool over.  It’s that kind of cottage by the beach.

Over the weekend, I floated the idea of sprucing things up a bit to my parents. As they will admit, it’s been a while since things there have gotten an update. I was thinking of bringing in a new rug for the main room, maybe hanging some new blinds and window treatments and replacing some of the bed linens.  And possibly spraypainting a rocking chair or two. They were thinking along the lines of painting, painting and then, maybe, could I paint? Note to self: Never offer up the possibility of free labor to parents. 😉

My mother is looking to move away from the sea foam type vintage colors and move closer to a New England beach cottage look. I will use my style maven Sarah Richardson as an inspiration. Check this out:


Sarah Richardson Design Cottage Living Room

I can work with that. I love the mix and match look going on above, which is convenient, since we will need to mix and match a bunch of hodge podge furniture.  We need to find a way to tie it all together for a cohesive look. Right now, I would say it looks more like an antique store; great pieces, but not a lot in common.

First up, let’s replace the pull out couch, a nice brown plaid number. No joke. Nothing says “Welcome to the beach!” like brown plaid, right? I’d replace it with the old standby- the Ikea Ektorp sofa bed in white:

Ikea Ektorp Pull Out Sofa in White - $649

I like to use white couches (duh!) so you can play off of it with lots of accessories. When you have a blank slate, you can play up other elements in the room. In our case, we are talking little offbeat treasures that we would love to pull into the design.

We’ll paint the room a nice cream color- nice and easy to work with. With all the different mixes of woods, wicker, etc, this gives us a little more wiggle room.  We’ll set up our Ikea couch, and then replace the rug, like so:

Dash and Albert Staffordshire Stripe Woven Rug - $364 (8x10)

Dash and Albert Tattersall Woven Rug- $364 (8x10)

We’ll spray paint the rocker from yellow to cream or white (I would love a red, personally) and replace the cushions on both the rocker and the side chair with a vintage inspired fabric that plays off the masculine blue and white stripes.  Something like this (PS- full disclosure: I’m in LOVE):

Waverly Maldives Lapis Fabric

Now let’s throw into the mix some pillows.  Maybe something like this?

Reversible Ikea Alvine Figur Pillow- $4

Ikea Ektorp Pillow- $19.99

And then, of course, we should probably replace the lace (LACE!!) window treatments that have discolored over the years.  We’ll keep it simple with white curtains from where else, Ikea. (Note: these also come in RED, which I would go for. Just think about it, Mom!

Ikea WIlma Curtains

So, there ya have it. The living room of the cottage.  Would you do red drapes? What about a red rocker? Leave your comments, so we can bulldoze my mom into exploring color!


2 thoughts on “Beachy Keen [the cottage living room]

  1. This sounds like a fun project. I love that Maldives fabric, it would look awesome with a red rocker. But I’d go with white curtains. I put red ones in my fam room 2 years ago and I’m kinda over them. You can only do so much to the room with red curtains. But I guess if it’s a place you only see every so often, go for it. Oh and those blue and white rugs are perrrrfect, definitely get those.

    Oh and thanks for the nice comment on the ohdeedoh post, it sounded very convincing 🙂

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