Decorating tips for the cottage

Samantha Pynn shares a few tips on how to give a country makeover to those tired spaces to turn them into family friendly summer getaways.

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Samantha Pynn on Summer Home

John Queenan

The new season of Summer Home with Canadian design star (and Chatelaine expert) Samantha Pynn kicked off last week and I recently asked Samantha to share a few quick tips on how to transform your own space into a summer oasis.

Q: How is your approach to decorating a cottage different from decorating a city home?

A: The process is not different – I apply the same process, start with a floor plan, develop a storyboard, work with what you have and buy vintage. But the look of the cottage is definitely more laid back and forgiving, and the finishes and fabrics have to be as maintenance free as possible.

Q: What inspired you particularly about cottage living – have you always been a country girl or is this more of a newfound love?

A: Oh I am the furthest thing from a country girl. During the show, I fell out of a canoe and fell off a rock because my wedges were too high, and got my car stuck in a ditch (twice). But since shooting the show I have developed a crazy love for the country, especially all the baked goods!

Q: Often cottages become the final destination for cast away furniture from the primary home, are there a few quick tips on reinventing these pieces for the new space?

A: Paint and slipcovers are key. Some cast offs should go to Goodwill and not the cottage and while you’re donating your furniture, pop into Goodwill and see what they have that has more of a country vibe. The look of an urban space and a cottage space are different. Avoid taking old furniture that is too slick for the cottage. I’m thinking of contemporary furniture, not modern as in mid-mod, but furniture that looks like it was space-age during the 90s.

Q: What are a few (furniture or decorative) pieces really worth investing in for a cottage?

A: You need a comfy sofa and some comfy chairs – anything that you’re going to sleep or sit on should be super comfy. There is nothing worse than trying to take a nap and feeling a spring poke you in the ribs.

Summer Home is on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT on HGTV Canada.Tune in for more of Samantha’s easy tips and tricks to transform your own space and follow along in her country decorating adventure. For further information and scheduling on Summer Home, visit hgtv.ca.

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