pictorial bicycle leaned against an outdoor, vine- and lights-covered window in an outdoor wall to illustrate nine Secrets of Cottage Style
Photo: Richard Leo Johnson

Mastering Cottage Style

Jane Coslick, interior designer and serial renovator at janecoslick.com, brakes for weather-beaten cottages, cast-off furniture, sparkly chandeliers, and offbeat art, all of which comfortably coexist in her mind's eye. Several years ago, she spotted a bleak-looking brick house on rustic Tybee Island, Georgia, her favorite haunt. Built in 1946, it had small, dark rooms, a hulking fireplace, and the word teardown written all over it. "It was kind of a mess," she recalls sweetly. "I just decided to make it more functional for me and the way I want to live"—casually but efficiently, in a tidy, charming place. Working with carpenter Peter Dittmar and landscape designer John Dugger, she gutted the house and its garden shed and remade them inside and out, lavishing both with colorful paint and quirky finds—like the salvaged window, complete with curtains hung from an old broomstick, dressing up the fence shown here. A little beadboard here, a little sunlight there, and plenty of cottage-style expertise reflected throughout. Keep reading to draw from Coslick's store of great ideas.
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