Cottage Decorating: 12 great finds for under $50

As a long-time cottager just returned from a glorious Victoria Day long weekend, my thoughts are on easy summer decorating tips to spruce up your home-away-from-home.  I’ve been traveling to Kennisis Lake in the Kawarthas since I was a kid- my Dad having the brilliant prescience to buy land way before it was fashionable- and I’ve been part of the constant renovations that transformed a tiny A frame to a spacious retreat for a large family.  Decorating up north was always done on the cheap: old couches from home, hand-sewn curtains, hand-me-down dishes (some chipped), mis-matched sheets and the odd nic-nack that didn’t belong in the city (remember the crocheted owl?).  While I don’t recommend turning your place into a jumbled-up junk collection, I don’t think that spending a lot of money is necessary.  The look should be casual, kid/sand proof and easy to maintain with a few stylish touches to make it feel up-to-date.  In the spirit of summer (yay!) I did a little scout of my local Homesense stores to suggest a few great finds that won’t break the bank.

Here is a handy bottle tote that is as practical as it is stylish.  It’s casual and rustic and perfect for the dock, the table or a pic nic, $19.99.

Homesense does a terrific job with lanterns.  This is just one of the many, many great options.  I like this one because it’s woodsy, has a great handle and looks modern (and tropical in the right setting). $28.99

These platters are great for big BBQs. The colour is perfect for summer and the design is modern. $49.99

I love these twiggy director’s chairs. They come in two colours (avocado as seen and navy)  and have a matching table (behind). Chair $49.99

I would love to see this glass lamp with woven shade in a beachy living room with a big white couch and sisal rug.  $49.99

These carpets are indoor/outdoor and are perfect for sandy feet.  The best part? If they look less-than-fresh come September, don’t feel bad about replacing for next season! $19.99

Are you sensing a theme?  This mirror has a faux-wood frame that is perfect for a guest bedroom or foyer.  $29.99

Every cottager knows that good beach towels are a major must-have.  These ones are super plush in amazing colours. $16.99

I love this substantial planter that wouldn’t even dream of blowing over in the wind.  $49.99

I use baskets for everything from magazines to throw blankets to firewood.  I really like the worn grey-beige colour of this one. $19.99

Stylish coolers are another necessity.  I love the fresh turquoise with silver trim and great price point. Just add ice and your favorite drinks! $12.99

I like this little jug because of it’s African-craft look and pretty colour.  I think this would be perfect as a bit of cottage decoration on a book shelf or table. $19.99

Have fun decorating and remember that the purpose of escaping to the cottage is to relax and take it down a notch.  Shop for stylish items that will last and won’t cause stress when that Visa bill comes in the mail!

Homesense Spring Preview

Here are my favorite finds from the Spring/Summer Homesense preview. Things to watch for: a fresh colour palette of turquoise, orange, white and silver; gorgeous rugs; cheap and cheerful furniture pieces; bohemian English garden accessories (love the mirrors!) and finally a collection of small tables fit for any fabulous living room.  Can’t wait for these amazing things to hit the stores!