Michelle Kelly

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

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...

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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...

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Charlotte Gray’s cottage

Our April issue hits the mail tomorrow. Woo hoo for the first issue of 2011! Summer is on the way... The issue features two profiles of particularly charming cottages, and the stories of the people who use them. The first...

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I’m baaackkk….

Well, what a whirlwind couple of weeks that was! I'm delighted to share with you all what I think is the best news ever: I recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Roy Joseph! Here's a shot of the little sprite so you know...

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Baby on the way

Just a quick note today to let you know that I'll be silent for a little while. My little baby is due to arrive at any moment! I hope to be back to blogging before too long. Until then, please keep your creative juices flowing. I...

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Use a wool blanket to make a curtain

Here's a great idea that has cottage written all over it. I was cruising around on ReadyMade today when I came across this cool curtain project: Neat-o, wouldn't you say? And perfect for a cottage. Not only does it look cool...

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Picking paint colours

A few weeks ago, I posted a photo of my dining room, all set for Christmas dinner. In the comments section of that post, loyal reader Maggie asked about the paint colours in the room. She brought to mind something that I've been...

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Alanna Baird’s upcycled tin fish art

Just a quick post before I dash out for the week. Is it just me or does the first week back after holidays feel like it goes on forever? Might it have something to do with the sudden end of gluttony—you know, daily afternoon...

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Hot Link: Decor8

Decor8 is one of those blogs that has something I find useful or inspiring in pretty much every post. Written by American editor and design consultant Holly Becker, currently living in northern Germany, the content often includes...

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Happy New Year!

Well hello again all! I'm back in the office today after two weeks of holidays. I had a great break: Lots of relaxing, lots of good food, lots of family time, and lots of sleep! I took a major step into adulthood this Christmas...

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Tonight on Cottage Life

  • 06:00 pmWEEKEND RENO
  • 07:30 pmBROJECTS
  • 08:00 pmMONSTER MOVES
  • 10:00 pmBUYING THE BAYOU
  • 10:30 pmBUYING ALASKA
  • 11:00 pmBUYING HAWAII
  • 11:30 pmWHAT'S FOR SALE
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Amanda Lee