Living Large in a Cottage Small

Intimate and Inviting: The living room combines old and new pieces acquired through family, antiques shops and local tag sales. The result is a serenely monochromatic space that encourages guests to curl up and relax. The sofa, in brushed oatmeal denim with damask linen and pom-pom pillows, is flanked by cabriole tables with a metallic paint finish. Framed architectural engravings and a large mirror enhance the scale of the room, and a clean-lined glass-top table opens up the center of the space.

Intimate and Inviting: The living room combines old and new pieces acquired through family, antiques shops and local tag sales. The result is a serenely monochromatic space that encourages guests to curl up and relax. The sofa, in brushed oatmeal denim with damask linen and pom-pom pillows, is flanked by cabriole tables with a metallic paint finish. Framed architectural engravings and a large mirror enhance the scale of the room, and a clean-lined glass-top table opens up the center of the space.


Getting Cozy: Although the master bedroom is tiny, the dramatic palette of chocolate, raspberry and vanilla adds punch, and the mirrored closet doors visually double the space. Leopard-print wool carpet is from J&S Designer Flooring in Morristown, the vintage table lamp was found in an antiques shop in Nantucket, and the headboard and footboard are upholstered with Annie Selke fabric from Calico Corners. The homeowner admits, sleeping in this room is like "curling up inside a jewel box."


Breakfast in Blue: The sunny dining room entertains four for brunch or, when both leaves are added to the table, up to 10 for a dinner party. A cozy bench serves double duty as extra table seating or a conversation spot during cocktail parties. A bevy of glass birds encircles the chandelier and infuses the space with a bit of whimsy. The table is set with straw placemats and white chargers from Dransfield & Ross, handmade napkin rings as well as a sugar bowl from House of Jawi in Bernardsville.


Intimate and Inviting: The living room combines old and new pieces acquired through family, antiques shops and local tag sales. The result is a serenely monochromatic space that encourages guests to curl up and relax. The sofa, in brushed oatmeal denim with damask linen and pom-pom pillows, is flanked by cabriole tables with a metallic paint finish. Framed architectural engravings and a large mirror enhance the scale of the room, and a clean-lined glass-top table opens up the center of the space.

In the popular 1955 standard, “Give Me the Simple Life,” Tony Bennett sings, “A cottage small is all I’m after, not one that’s spacious and wide.”

That notion rang true for a Morris County writer and stylist who dramatically scaled down from a large family residence in an executive neighborhood to a decades-old Cape Cod-style cottage.

After a flurry of tag sales and donations to local charities, the homeowner parted with all the furniture, lamps and rugs she didn’t love—as well as a closetful of unopened hostess gifts—and kept only her favorite pieces.

Despite the cottage’s humble provenance, it’s now a fun and chic retreat, validating that size isn’t everything.

Although both the interior and exterior required renovation, the project was undertaken one room at a time with every window, door and floor eventually being updated as the structure evolved into a cozy and comfortable new space.

The posh living room, dressed up in a monochromatic palette and accessorized with reflective metallic furnishings, is bright and sunny.

The cottage lacks a bonafide dining room, so the homeowner created a versatile area within the eat-in kitchen that functions as an intimate breakfast room, but instantly can be readied for a dinner party when two leaves are added to the table. New French doors (two of which swing wide onto the deck) open up the space and enhance the flow for elbow-to-elbow parties.

When entertaining, mix-and-match plates are favored over formal place settings. French-inspired furnishings and fanciful touches like the crystal chandelier with beaded shades and pinch-pleat draperies elevate the room’s style.

Thanks to mirrored closet doors, the first-floor bedroom appears larger. Because each room is cozy, ”splurges“ on discounted remnants of top-of-the-line, wall-to-wall wool carpet—such as the bold animal-print floor covering that graces this bedroom—are affordable.

According to the lady of the house, ”A lot of people are scaling down nowadays. My home is proof positive that, although you may give up square footage, you don’t have to compromise style and comfort in the process. I love my sweet cottage.”

Breakfast in Blue: The sunny dining room entertains four for brunch or, when both leaves are added to the table, up to 10 for a dinner party. A cozy bench serves double duty as extra table seating or a conversation spot during cocktail parties. A bevy of glass birds encircles the chandelier and infuses the space with a bit of whimsy. The table is set with straw placemats and white chargers from Dransfield & Ross, handmade napkin rings as well as a sugar bowl from House of Jawi in Bernardsville.

Breakfast in Blue: The sunny dining room entertains four for brunch or, when both leaves are added to the table, up to 10 for a dinner party. A cozy bench serves double duty as extra table seating or a conversation spot during cocktail parties. A bevy of glass birds encircles the chandelier and infuses the space with a bit of whimsy. The table is set with straw placemats and white chargers from Dransfield & Ross, handmade napkin rings as well as a sugar bowl from House of Jawi in Bernardsville.

Delicate Details: In a tiny dressing area, a mirrored chest holds a gold bamboo-look frame to organize toiletries: an old pink alabaster urn chockful of French soaps and cotton balls, perfumes, and pink ornaments that offer a cheery note.

Delicate Details: In a tiny dressing area, a mirrored chest holds a gold bamboo-look frame to organize toiletries: an old pink alabaster urn chockful of French soaps and cotton balls, perfumes, and pink ornaments that offer a cheery note.

Getting Cozy: Although the master bedroom is tiny, the dramatic palette of chocolate, raspberry and vanilla adds punch, and the mirrored closet doors visually double the space. Leopard-print wool carpet is from J&S Designer Flooring in Morristown, the vintage table lamp was found in an antiques shop in Nantucket, and the headboard and footboard are upholstered with Annie Selke fabric from Calico Corners. The homeowner admits, sleeping in this room is like "curling up inside a jewel box."

Getting Cozy: Although the guest room is not large, the dramatic palette of chocolate, raspberry and vanilla adds punch, and the mirrored closet doors visually double the space. Leopard-print wool carpet is from J&S Designer Flooring in Morristown, the vintage table lamp was found in an antiques shop in Nantucket, and the headboard and footboard are upholstered with Annie Selke fabric from Calico Corners. The homeowner admits, sleeping in this room is like “curling up inside a jewel box.”

 

Robin’s Egg: Overlooking a private wooded lot, the whimsical upstairs guest room has dormered ceilings with built-in storage. Wool carpet and Benjamin Moore's palladian blue walls make the space warm and inviting, and honeysuckle pink linen and Annie Selke prints add punch. A pair of twin beds sport comfy chocolate cotton-upholstered headboards with chenille trim.

Robin’s Egg: Overlooking a private wooded lot, the whimsical upstairs guest room has dormered ceilings with built-in storage. Wool carpet and Benjamin Moore’s palladian blue walls make the space warm and inviting, and honeysuckle pink linen and Annie Selke prints add punch. A pair of twin beds sport comfy chocolate cotton-upholstered headboards with chenille trim.

Petal Power: To add pizzazz to the guest room, the homeowner color-copied the bright pillow fabric, and affixed paper flower images to simple Kate Spade plates for a pulled-together wall presentation.

Petal Power: To add pizzazz to the guest room, the homeowner color-copied the bright pillow fabric, and affixed paper flower images to simple Kate Spade plates for a pulled-together wall presentation.

Posh Pups: The guest powder room sports Thibaut’s delightful “Best in Show” wallcovering, and the homeowner plays up the canine theme with vintage engravings found at antiques shops and animal-print towels from West Elm. Vanilla pom-poms from Calico Corners lend a playful touch to a crisp chocolate linen shade.

Posh Pups: The guest powder room sports Thibaut’s delightful “Best in Show” wallcovering, and the homeowner plays up the canine theme with vintage engravings found at antiques shops and animal-print towels from West Elm. Vanilla pom-poms from Calico Corners lend a playful touch to a crisp chocolate linen shade.

Old Meets New: The newly renovated office is sublime in Benjamin Moore fieldstone paint, and a glass desk and geometric style chair from West Elm offer a minimalist vibe. Here, a mixture of vintage art and contemporary furnishings blend elegantly. 18th Century French engravings were framed by Connoisseur Fine Arts 908-766-1139 cfineart dot com in Bernardsville.

Old Meets New: The newly renovated office is sublime in Benjamin Moore fieldstone paint, and a glass desk and geometric style chair from West Elm offer a minimalist vibe. Here, a mixture of vintage art and contemporary furnishings blend elegantly. 18th Century French engravings were framed by Connoisseur Fine Arts 908-766-1139 cfineart dot com in Bernardsville.

Making More of a Small Space

Just because you’re residing in a simple Cape Cod-style home doesn’t mean you can’t live large. Check out these fool-the-eye tips:

  • Mirrors and mirrored furnishings create an illusion of space wherever they are placed, especially at the end of a hallway.
  • Benches, daybeds and demi-lune tables require little floor space and can be used all around the house.
  • Wall shelves are a clever way to display interesting collections and provide needed storage.
  • Statement elements such as sparkling chandeliers and French-inspired pieces make small spaces look special.
  • Gorgeous fabric and carpet deliver luxe comfort and are worth the price.

Resources

All carpeting throughout the home is by J&S Designer Flooring (973-605-5225; jsdesignerflooring.com) in Morristown.
Window treatments are by Karin Hoffsten of Calico Corners (973-887-3905; calicocorners.com) in East Hanover, and sewn by Deborah Fico (908-236-6907) of Clinton.
Floral Design is by Village Flower Shop in Mendham (973-543-7795; villageflowershops.com).


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  • http://Website Mary Beth

    Love love love this article! Great ideas shared–which I will be using for my guest room!