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Beachy to Cottage Style - Tuesday Design Tips!

Sharing my thought process on helping a friend update her two level living room from beachy to minimal cottage.

Before: Beach Style Living After: Cozy Cottage for two


I received the opportunity to work with a friend to help with her living room layout with new furniture she had already picked out and was on it's way! She wanted to update and freshen up the space with a new paint color on the walls as well. She was going for a minimal cottage feel.

Before, the walls were a beige/brown color with two wood tones within the space. The second level banister stood out because it was a darker tone than the rest of the lighter golden oak floors and window casing.

I noticed the new furniture items were in the grey tones with a spunky pattern on the chair with a pop of fuchsia, blues, and khaki colors. My friend is a fun, energetic lady, therefore I wanted to make sure I chose colors that would help accentuate those fabrics within the space. Concerning the new paint colors, she wanted the TV wall to have an accent color and the remaining walls would share a second color that would need to be applied to the first level as well as the open loft above.


Before Photos:

After Photos & floor plan:


I suggested a more traditional layout of the new furniture keeping in mind the traffic pattern. Because the banister above the TV wall was the only darker wood tone in the room, I suggested carrying that darker grey up and onto the banister as well. That would really provide a focal and even out the space, considering all of the fabric furnishings were going to sit opposite of that wall.

The before layout had quite a bit of space that I though was wasted. By placing the new smaller chair that had so much personality on its own, away from the wall would draw the eyes towards the center of the room; while keeping the seating area cozy for conversation and utilized the space better.

I suggested a soft white shag rug to ground the space and not take away from the new wall colors and furniture. Placing a heavier rug in this space helps with keeping the comfort and focus on the main floor as the space is open to the second level…and because it’s so soft and comfortable for your feet (not to mention Minnesota winters can get brutally cold)! I also suggested finding a piece of glass to sit on top of the ottoman that could serve the purpose of a coffee table when they are hosting. This way, the ottoman can serve duel purposes: coffee table to set drinks and appetizers on, while keeping the ottoman fabric present, and secondly, the glass can be taken off and the ottoman can be utilized as a foot rest when it’s just the hubby and her at home kicking back and relaxing. I added a few accessories to finish off the space such as the beach-wood tray on the ottoman that can be used as a serving tray for guests and the faux greenery in the large glass to keep that corner open and not cluttered visually; adding color and height for balance against the corner table lamp.


I hope this helps when you are looking at freshening up your space, with either picking out new furniture or simply moving around what you have to maximize your space!

This was a fun little project; of course working with the client made it that much more fun for me!



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