I've spent every summer of my life visiting the Rideau Lakes cottage that my parents built in 1972. I grew up watching my mom fill the place with antiques, mostly purchased from auction sales all over eastern Ontario. I suppose it's her taste that first nurtured mine: If it's old, I probably like it. My ideal cottage weekend involves waking up early on Saturday and hurrying to our local flea market to find a new treasure. It's usually something vintage, of no great purpose other than it makes me happy to look upon it (and I have the milk-glass collection, a sweet set of 1960s hankies, and the most-awesome two-tiered 70s chip bowl ever to prove it). As an editor at Cottage Life magazine, I've seen hundreds of cottages covering a whole range of styles. And while my own tastes lie on the more traditional (and often quirkier) side, I'm equally impressed by the sophisticated modern aesthetic that has drifted ashore in cottage country. I admire the daring break from the traditional cottage-as-lodge look (bear rugs and hunter green plaid anyone?) to something cleaner and more open, and very often more environmentally friendly. Cottage style—whether it be the design of the building or the decor that fills it—”is hugely varied. I love it all. I've never been one to follow trends in design and decor; I just like what I like, and I try to make sure that everything in my personal space is something I love. This is especially true at the cottage, the place that has given me my most precious memories, and where even the smallest, most utilitarian object can hold so much meaning (sort of like that chip bowl). -Michelle Kelly
Recent Articles and Blog Posts
*4 loon calls
When you hear the loons calling across the water, do you ever wonder what they are saying? The loons have four common calls, each with a different meaning. Here's a lesson in loonie linguistics:
The wail is a long mournful call...
The royal collection
So, I hear that there’s something sorta special going on across the pond on Friday? Something about a wedding?
I jest. In fact, I am very much looking forward to Will and Kate’s nuptials. I love the pomp of Royal...
Birch log side table
Tomorrow afternoon we'll be heading to the lake for our very first cottage weekend of 2011! I'm extra excited about opening up this year as I'll be introducing Roy to the lake. Something tells me it will be an even more hectic...
Features of smart saunas
Guest post by Martin Zibauer
In the May issue of Cottage Life, Susan Nerberg outlines key features to include in your sauna design. Having grown up in Sweden, with a cottage in Finland, Susan has had ample sauna experience....
Spring show favourites
Anyone who has had a baby knows that you can't go it alone. Even the most capable mom needs a little help along the way. I've been lucky enough to have the amazing assistance of Jessica Cherniak of 4th Trimester doula services....
The Spring Cottage Life Show
Just a quick note to remind you all that the Spring Cottage Life Show starts TODAY and runs through until Sunday, in Toronto, at the International Centre. Head out and get yourself sorted for the 2011 cottage season! There will be...
Opening up to inspiration
I recently saw this shot of old drawers all stacked up on Apartment Therapy.
Their exact use aside, don't you think they look so...pretty? I love their patina, and the fact that alone they'd be nothing much, but gathered...
Show off your style with a gallery wall
Last week, I wrote about a neat-o dog bed from the blog sarah.wandering. Now, I don't want to lavish too much praise on another style website, but I'd be remiss if I didn't share another project from that page. Sarah has done a...
DIY dog bed
Cottage living is for the dogs, there is no doubt. The moment we turn down our cottage road, our pup, Georgia, goes berserk anticipating what's at the end of that long driveway. We tend to pamper our fur child, and usually bring...
Beer poster from Pop Chart Lab
Usually I associate beer "art" with frat houses and tacky bars. You know what I mean: adverts made into posters, neon signs that flash brand names, framed freebie t-shirts, and the like. But beer has something of a split...