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Turn a 2 Star Cabin into a 5 Star Cottage Resort

These Tips will turn your 2 star cabin into a 5 star cottage resort

Comfort and practicality have always topped the list of what Canadians expected out of their cottages, but attitudes are changing and a new priority is elbowing its way in. We’re talking, thank goodness, about style. Practicalities remain important, of course, but style and strong interior design are becoming key as homeowners look to cottage country not only as a getaway, but as an investment. If you want to update your weekend retreat without breaking the bank, or if you want to flip your cottage for profit, Colin and Justin have all the answers.

Create a new kitchen for less

If your cottage kitchen is a little dated, swap out the tired counters for Butcher Block Timber from Ikea. Update wooden cabinets by rubbing them down first with sand-paper then applying several coats of satin–finish paint with a small foam roller. Thin coats build up to provide strength and colour density, so take your time. Add new handles, under-cabinet lighting and new appliances, and your old kitchen will look as good as new.

Make more of the views

There are legions of Canadian cottages situated in the most beautiful countryside, yet many have small windows, which effectively shut out the view. We’ve been known to cut entire walls out of existing guest rooms and install full-height windows to let cottagers connect with the great outdoors. Go big or go home!

Add an ensuite shower room

If you can, transform a master bedroom into a suite by adding a dedicated shower room. Having your own bathroom is amazing in the city, but even more indulgent out in cottage country!

Transform your basement

We transformed one cabin’s bare, drywalled basement into a bedroom, shower room and TV zone. We clad the entire area in beautiful cedar to echo the ‘loggy’ nature of the home above. Presto: a dated space suddenly became a luxury inclusion—and a major investment boost.

Give your cottage a clear design identity

We transformed a dated log-cabin interior simply through our furniture and accessory selections. Using second-hand furniture pieces adds heritage, while luxury faux antler chandeliers, a reclaimed hemlock table and modern grey sectional sofa all balanced country and modern style perfectly.

Comfort = luxury

It’s worth spending a bit more on comfort, so do your best with your choice of bed, chairs and sofa to really up the luxe factor. Indulge with lamb’s wool or cashmere mix throws and opt for feather-filled cushions over foam for that little bit extra!

Create atmosphere

Use lighting to adjust the mood and make more of your cottage. Add a dimmer switch to an overhead fixture (easy and inexpensive) or use table lamps to create mood and focus.

Add a screened porch

Adding a screened porch makes a huge difference to the cottage or cabin experience. Put simply, being able to sit ‘outside’ bug-free makes each day extra special.

Take the lifestyle luxe outdoors

Building a dedicated firepit or outdoor fireplace really enhances the cabin experience: everyone can enjoy late summer evenings sitting around the fire. The warming flames also mean folk can linger outdoors longer through the fall.

Give it a name

We named our first, last and current cottages (Hemlock Hill House, Grey Gardens and Plan B) and had guest books, towels, beach bags and slippers monogrammed to celebrate each one. Treating your retreat like an exclusive hotel will make you extra proud of it and give your guests a fun extra touch when they visit.

Catch Colin and Justin on their hit shows Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure, Sunday nights on Cottage Life and Game of Homes, Tuesday nights on W Network. Follow them on Twitter/Facebook @colinjustin and on Instagram @colinandjustin.

-by Colin & Justin