8 Steps to New England Cottage Style

A designer revives a small Victorian cottage in Martha's Vineyard with clever ideas and plenty of coastal artifacts.

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Rethink the Floor Plan
Photographer: Annie Schlechter , Styling: Elizabeth Beeler

5. Rethink the Floor Plan

Because the family eats most meals on the front porch or at the beach, Tracey transformed a former dining area into a sitting room. "I wanted there to be a nice transition from the living room to the kitchen without it feeling like a hallway, so I hung an overscale chandelier above two slipper chairs that have a view out to the garden," she says.

The slipcovered chairs are from Vineyard Decorators.

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Lacy curtains, fresh florals, and plenty of monogrammed pillows are just a few of the feminine touches that give this room its calming and sweet mood. Pieces scored at thrift stores and flea markets were refreshed with paint, then artfully applied to achieve the shabby-chic distressed look.