Summer Cottage Renovation Ideas

Summer cottages are known for being charming and full of character. If yours is lacking the luster it once held, it’s time to renovate. From tending to the basics to adding amazing aesthetic appeal, every summer cottage deserves a revamp every now and then.

Back to the Basics

When you get a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you don’t want to spend your time hassling with repairs and maintenance. It’s best to get it all done at one time if possible.

If you have an aging cottage, you’ll want to make a checklist to find any hidden problems you may want to have repaired along with the ones that are obvious. The electrical, plumbing, and structural conditions are prime areas to attend to.

Then there are the less obvious safety factors. Does your cottage contain lead, lead paint, asbestos, or mold? If so, while it can get expensive, you will certainly want to have those issues taken care of by a professional.

Out of Necessity

Is your cottage not functioning for your family? If you are finding you are in need of another bathroom or bedroom or that the living area is too small to fit your family in (much less any guests), you may want to consider adding on. Typically, the cost of an addition is less expensive than purchasing a new cottage so do the math and if it makes sense, spring for it. Learn more at

Now for the Fun Part

It’s always a pleasure to be able to visually enjoy the changes to a summer cottage. Before you set about on your revival journey, it’s a good idea to put some thought into it.

Here are some suggestions you may want to consider that will bring out the character of your cottage:


Finding your cottage’s identity is creating and/or discovering its personality and bringing it to life. It also has to do with your own desires for the look and feel of your cottage. If you happen to love the rustic appeal, you may want to bring that characteristic out in your redesigning. Perhaps you adore natural textures and a cozy feel and wish to highlight and add more touches to accomplish this type of décor.


Painting your cottage is a way to define and embrace its identity. Bring in soft colors for fresh, crisp traditional cottage-style lines or go bold to liven up the place. A red paint color will give a country twist to your place while sleek blue-gray hues will add a touch of modern air.

Natural Touches

Especially if you have neutral paint, you can use wood to bring warmth to your cottage. Installing wood flooring, adding wood to the wall or even cabinetry adds a touch of nature as does accents from stone, slate, brick, and other materials of the earth. Natural touches go with any décor such as farmhouse, traditional, and even modern.

Open Concept

Regardless of whether you have a large or small cottage, opening up the living and kitchen areas will make your space roomier and more family and company friendly. Since the idea of having a summer cottage is to get away from all the clutter of daily life, an open concept is a nice touch to free your mind as well.


Having a summer cottage is like owning a slice of heaven – but only if it meets your needs and is a desirable, aesthetically pleasing place to go. Otherwise, it’s not serving its purpose. By maximizing your cottage’s potential, you really can’t go wrong.

Victorian house

One popular option is to renovate in the Victorian style. This can give your vacation home a classic and elegant look.

There are several things to keep in mind if you’re going for a Victorian style renovation. First, you’ll want to use lots of bright colors. Pinks, greens, and blues were all popular colors during the Victorian era. You can use these colors on your walls, or just in accent pieces.

Another important element of Victorian style is intricate details. This can be anything from detailed moldings to stained glass windows. The more detail you can add, the more authentic your cottage will look.

Finally, don’t forget about furniture. Victorian style furniture is usually very ornate and heavily detailed. You can find antique pieces that fit this style, or have new furniture custom made to achieve the look you want.

City loft style

If you’re lucky enough to have a summer house, then you know the joys of spending lazy days by the water. But even the most idyllic summer getaway can start to feel a little dated after a while.

One quick and easy way to update your cottage is to give the exterior a fresh coat of paint. Choose a light and airy color palette that will reflect the natural surroundings. Adding new outdoor furniture and decor is another great way to spruce up your space. Opt for weather-resistant pieces in a classic style that will stand the test of time.

Inside, start by decluttering and simplifying your decor. Stick to a few key pieces that represent your personal style. Then, add some cozy touches like throws and pillows to make it feel like home. If your summer home has dated appliances, consider replacing them with energy-efficient models. Updating fixtures and hardware is also an easy way to give your space a facelift.

Finally, don’t forget about the little things that make a big difference. Fresh flowers, scented candles, and local artwork can all help give your cottage a fresh new look.

How to renovate on a budget

If you’re thinking about renovating, but are worried about the cost, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to renovate on a budget. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Repaint instead of gutting: A fresh coat of paint can go a long way in giving your cottage a new look. If you’re not ready to commit to a new color scheme, start with neutral colors like white or beige and add pops of color with accessories.
  2. Update hardware and fixtures: Another easy and inexpensive way to spruce up your vacation house is to update the hardware and fixtures. This includes things like door handles, light fixtures, and cabinet hardware.
  3. Replace flooring: If your cottage’s flooring is looking worn out, replacing it can make a big difference. But don’t break the bank – try shopping for flooring at discount stores or online.
  4. Get creative with storage: Summer cottages often don’t have a lot of storage space. Try using things like baskets, shelves, and hooks to maximize space and keep things organized.
  5. Add personal touches: Finally, don’t forget to add personal touches to make your cottage feel like home. This could include things like family photos, heirlooms, and favorite books.


There are endless possibilities when it comes to renovating your summer piece of heaven. We hope that our ideas have given you some inspiration for your own project. Remember to focus on creating a space that is comfortable and inviting – a place where you can truly relax and enjoy the summer months. With a little bit of planning and elbow grease, you can transform your cottage into the perfect retreat.