Create a Cozy Cottage

Designer Courtney Delancey Syrett infuses her Venice Beach home with old-school cottage charm.

Simplify with Slipcovers

Photographer: John Ellis

Simplify with Slipcovers

With the family's four kids and two dogs, the living room needs to stand up to whatever the troops dish out. Courtney's solution: white canvas slipcovers for the furnishings she already had, including a leather-and-wood hand-me-down sofa from her brother. Besides being easy to clean, they lend an easy-breezy feel to the once-mismatched seating and create a neutral back-drop for pops of color.

Left: The living room slipcovers and pillows are by Court Designs. The sisal rug is from Pottery Barn.

Reinvent Salvaged Pieces

Photographer: John Ellis

Reinvent Salvaged Pieces

Courtney put her eye for refurbishing to work in the dining room. She commissioned a mirror made from scrap pieces of tin she found at a Hamptons tag sale and gave her mahogany chairs a new sheen by painting them black and reupholstering them with casual-chic linen. To offset all the wood, she had an old metal basket she found at auction wired and converted into a chandelier. "It reminds me of an old crabbing basket," she says.

Left: The dining table is from Dovetail. The mirror was made by Hudson Home.

Bring (a Little of) the Beach Inside

Photographer: John Ellis

Bring (a Little of) the Beach Inside

In the entry, hand-blown glass lamps and jars in sea glass shades, a nautical map, and a few seashells set a beach cottage vibe upfront and look collected and personal, not themed. The seafoam green painted stair railing is another subtle seaside touch.

Left: The banister is painted a custom mix. Benjamin Moore's Stratton Blue is similar.

Add Warmth with Wood

Photographer: John Ellis

Add Warmth with Wood

To give the kitchen an old farmhouse feel, Courtney clad the ceiling with V-groove paneling, concealed the range hood, and topped the island with butcher block. "Wood gives the room warmth," she says. For contrast, she added vintage metal drafting stools, limestone flooring, and metal pendant lights that she distressed with muriatic acid. "They look like old wharf lights hanging over a booth in a pub on Long Island," she says.

Left: The pendant lamps are from Kichler; the limestone flooring is from Walker Zanger.

Indulge Yourself in One Room

Photographer: John Ellis

Indulge Yourself in One Room

Cottages may be small, but they don't have to lack luxury. During the renovation, Courtney chose affordable materials for other rooms in order to design her dream master bath. "We wanted one room where we could get away from it all," she says. The oversize tub, Cararra marble tile, and romantic chandelier and sconces make the bath feel like a true escape.

Left: The master bath walls are painted Seashell by Benjamin Moore. Courtney covered the backs of the shelves with drawer liners.

Freshen Up Old Favorites With Paint

Photographer: John Ellis

Freshen Up Old Favorites With Paint

In the master bedroom, Courtney revamped a dark wood secretary from her grandmother's home on Fire Island with a coat of custom robin's egg blue paint. "When it was mahogany, the chest was just too heavy, but I loved it because of the history that it represents," she says. "Now it works perfectly in the space." Adding a nod to mod is an old Herman Miller potato chip chair her grandmother acquired from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's cafeteria.

Left: The master bath walls are painted Seashell by Benjamin Moore. Courtney covered the backs of the shelves with drawer liners.

Use Color in Small, Contained Doses

Photographer: John Ellis

Use Color in Small, Contained Doses

Though Courtney filled most of the house with soothing neutrals, she stocked one daughter's room with cheerful shades of mint green and bright orange. "A child's bedroom should be playful and appeal to the imagination," says the designer. Jellyfish-printed curtains and a zebra-striped beanbag add a dash of whimsy.

Left: The walls in one daughter's room are painted Spring Mint by Benjamin Moore.

Customize Small Spaces With Built-Ins

Photographer: John Ellis

Customize Small Spaces With Built-Ins

Just off the entry, Courtney created an anything—and everything—goes mudroom for the kids to dump their belongings. Custom benches open up for storing sports equipment, while hooks are perfect for hanging beach towels and hats. "We may not have much rain and snow in Southern California, but with four kids you need a place for skateboards, beach towels, and backpacks. I have to keep some sense of order!" says Courtney.

Left: The mudroom's striped pillows are from Dash & Albert

Printed from:
http://www.coastalliving.com/homes/decorating/cozy-cottage-00414000075399/