May 30

Are you one of the lucky ones who can enjoy a trip to the cottage all year round? Share your cottage style pics with us on Facebook and Twitter!

For many of us, spring is the time when we head to the cottage with the intent to open it up for the season. We pack the cleaners, vacuum, dusters, and maybe even the toolbox. We may have to remove boards from the windows, perform minor repairs, and just generally freshen up the whole space.

Here are a few suggestions that will add a touch of luxury to your summer get-away.

Re-fresh the deck or porch.

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When we’re at the cottage, so much of our time is spent on the deck or the porch. Even if it’s a covered area, it’s bound to experience some wear and tear thanks to use and exposure to the weather. Show it a little love by repairing or replacing planks that have cracked. If you notice that the stain has faded or the paint is starting to peel, give that your attention. There are so many options now that make staining and painting easy. Products are so much more resistant to the elements than they used to be. So, all the effort you put into the project will pay off in the longterm.

Add an outdoor shower.

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Whether you install a simple showerhead on one side of the deck or you actually construct an enclosed, outdoor room, you’ll love the benefits that an outdoor shower offers. At the very least, it will keep sand and water drops from entering into the cottage. Scale up the luxury portion by turning that shower into a steam shower. You’ll be able to enjoy a spa treatment right there on the deck.

Build an outdoor bar

Photo: Fusion Stone

What would a cottage be without a refreshing drink? Ask yourself whether you really want family and friends trudging through the cottage every time they want a drink. Keep your cottage clean by building a bar area outside. Stock it with drinks and lots of ice. If possible, connect electricity to the structure so that you can add in a small fridge and pretty lights.

Read about ways you can customize and personalize your cottage bathroom: Recycled Bathrooms Are Forever Trendy

How do you prepare your cottage for the season?


May 26


Welcome to the long Memorial Day Weekend!

Not only is it a long weekend, it’s the kick-off to vacation season. Are you planning to go away this year? Let us know where you’ll be heading off to this year!

One of the more popular vacation ideas that’s been trending for a few years now is the spa vacation. Even for those of us who can opt to luxuriate in our own home steam showers, the idea of jet-setting off to a tropical locale and indulging in some well-deserved spa treatment is irresistible.

So, before you pack your bags and call the pet sitter, have a seat and review these tips to ensure a fabulous vacation.

  • Make a list of exactly what you’re looking for. Do you want to have the opportunity to take part in workshops, or do you just want to lounge on the beach?
  • Check the spas list of products and costs. Do they offer what you’re looking for as an all-inclusive package, or will you have to pay separately for every aspect of your stay and experience?
  • If you’re traveling with someone who’s not a spa aficionado, you’ll want to make sure that he or she will have something interesting to do while you luxuriate in a special treatment or two.
  • Make sure that the spa you’d like to visit offers complimentary locker room, change facilities, slipper, robes, towels, hair dryers, showers, and anything else you might like to have at your disposal.
  • Ask questions about the packages on offer. Sometimes, spas will offer a discount if you combine certain packages.
  • Google the spa for images. Although the brochure might claim to have ambiance to spare, seeing pictures of the facility will confirm it one way or another.

Have you been lucky in your spa choices, or have you ended up with a few duds? Share your stories!

May 24

The last time I renovated my upstairs bathroom, I didn’t realize that bathroom vanities could be a design feature. Now, in my defence, that renovation happened over a decade ago and I was on a strict budget.

Designs and design imagination have come a very long way since then!

Bathroom vanities are typically seen as simply storage vessels. They’re a place to put stuff that we use daily, and a place to store stuff that gets forgotten and left for (sometimes) years before we embark on a good clean-up.

Let’s give those bathroom a little love, shall we.

First, dive into yours and pull out all the stuff you haven’t used in a long while. All the creams that have hardened, the aerosol sprays that have gummed up, and anything that looks dubious.

Then, give the whole vanity a really good wash.

Finally, organize what’s left in pretty baskets, mini shelves, and even lazy susans.

Read: DIY Bathroom Vanities

Now, you deserve a break. Sit back and admire these beautiful bathroom vanities.

Gorgeous glass and classic minimalist styling:

Photo: Nella Vetrina

Do you like pink? Why not take a favorite color and style and marry them in a unique, personalized vanity?

Photo: Homedit

Sometimes, the best thing to do is to repurpose a piece of furniture. Take an old cabinet, rip off the doors, and install new drawer pulls that can accommodate hand towels. What do you think of this one?

Photo: Shaidee

What would your perfect bathroom vanity look like?