join clubcobi special offers
go
Facebook Pinterest Twitter YouTube Blog Feed

blogitty blog blog blog ...

cottage

cute cottage decor “do’s” list

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday July 23, 2014 at 07:00 AM
collectingcottagedecoratingsummerComments (0) Bookmark and Share

I’ve decorated our little cottage in PEI on a shoe-string. Here are a few easy ideas…

10. Framed maps of the area as affordable art.

framed map

9. Tin-topped kitchen tables from flea markets clean-up great for empty corners or porches. I painted this one with high-gloss marine paint.

tin top table

8. Trays add character to cookie-cutter, thrift-store dressers.

tray on dresser

7. Garage sale vases grouped with one or two wild flower stems make a statement.

milk glass vases

6. Paint-by-numbers are surprisingly cute and fun to do at the cottage!

paint by number

5. Choose a theme to work with your cottage and start an art collection.

ship prints

4. Put an old worn chair to work by holding towels.

red chair with towels

3. Let mundane supplies double-duty as pretty little moments.

jars of toiletries

2. Use large pickle jars half filled with local sand/stones/shells for porch lanterns.

pickle jar candle holders

1. Forgo plastic chairs for a pair of porch rockers - guests will fight over them!

porch rockers

cottage

introducing cobikids!

Posted by Cobi on Monday March 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM
cobistyle productscolourcottagefamilyComments (7) Bookmark and Share

I’m excited to introduce our latest collection of cobistyle bedding at SEARS!

Charlotte bedding ~ Charlotte ~

It’s designed with kids in mind but I’m personally thinking kids of all ages.

Emily bedding ~ Emily ~

These are bright and happy top-of-bed patterns (meaning comforters, quilts and shams) that will work just as well in a child’s room…

Mary bedding ~ Mary ~

As a teen’s room….

Jane bedding ~ Jane ~

As a young adult’s room…

Charles bedding ~ Charles ~

As the cottage or chalet!

Virginia ~ Virginia ~

Available in two sizes - twin and double/queen - these nine lively patterns will set the tone in an otherwise simple room, making decorating a snap.

Lucy ~ Lucy ~

And all of them come packaged with fun coordinates like throws, towels and decorative pillows.

Elizabeth ~ Elizabeth ~

There are 9 patterns in total - 6 are currently featured at SEARS.CA

James ~ James ~

And the rest are now in SEARS stores across Canada.
Finally something to put a Spring in our step!

cottage

postcard from PEI

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 08, 2013 at 07:00 AM
cottageinspirationsummerComments (0) Bookmark and Share

Part of the fun of owning our cottage on Prince Edward Island is that we get to share it with others through renting for a few weeks each year. We leave a book out for our guests to sign and encourage them to write notes on their finds around the island; recommendations; warnings, etc.

This year I was lucky enough to be given a series of pictures taken by one of our (talented!) guests, Annette Snowdon of Kitchener, Ontario, as she explored our favourite little island on her visit. Many of the snaps are of sites I see each trip, and I’m so glad to now have them recorded as lovely photographs! Please enjoy…

carriage house lounge, PEI

Pam Price fence, PEI

abandoned diner, PEI

perfect fishing hut, PEI

2 fishing roofs, PEI

hut with tuna tales, PEI

Boyes on Swans shed, PEI

cl up of traps beside hut, PEI

3 fishing huts, PEI

Thank you Annette - what a treat! Don’t you just love it that everything is kind of crooked? The simplicity and charm of Maritime life, never loses its appeal to me.

I’m enjoying the island right now for our annual family holiday. I hope you’re having a great summer too!

cottage

cottage around the corner

Posted by Cobi on Monday January 14, 2013 at 06:00 AM
cottagedecoratinggardenwinterComments (3) Bookmark and Share

One of the privileges of being a magazine editor (as I was for many years) is that the odd time, you get to feature something of your own personal experience.

This home sits around the corner from my own and I have always admired it - as most people in our neighbourhood do.

wreath on gate

A few winters ago we captured it on film for Gardening Life magazine.

door to house

The use of red against the winter snow is fantastic and looks great well beyond the holidays.

front gate

chair detail

Our neighbours make the most of their little cottage in the city and really know how to create charm without fuss.

shed

Even the big city blogs agree as it was featured in Habitually Chic this past December. Who says the suburbs aren’t chic?

cottage

screened-in porches

Posted by Cobi on Monday April 23, 2012 at 07:00 AM
cobi's housecottagesummerComments (3) Bookmark and Share

There’s something about screened-in porches. porch gr and wh

They’re so relaxed. porch w pink table

And they’re the perfect place to enjoy ‘outdoor decorating’! porch w green shutters

Like painting a ceiling blue. porch w blue ceiling

porch w blue ceiling and table

And playing with all those great new indoor/outdoor fabrics. porch gr and white

porch on angle

You can see my own porch by clicking here to an older blog entry.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to watch a movie in a screened-in porch on a summer night?

porch w flat screen

Screened-in porches have that ‘family-board-game-feeling’ like at the cottage.

porch w family

Kids of all ages love the ‘camp’ feeling they evoke. porch w girls

I guess it’s just that whole romantic notion of living life at a slower pace. Porch SEA

And hey, if it gets us to do that, we might even be able to say they’re good for our health!

porch w tub

cottage

something new to tackle

Posted by Cobi on Monday August 30, 2010 at 06:59 AM
collectingcottageorganizingsummerComments (0) Bookmark and Share

I have a little collection of fishing tackle boxes at our family cottage.

cobi

Here they are sitting on a children’s chair I have. I love the colours of them.

cobi

Particularly the beautiful greeny blue on the bottom one. It’s the colour of water.

cobi

But any of the greens are lovely too.

cobi

If not pretty, there’s something charming about the rough findings of a well worn tackle box.

cobi

cobi

I have to admit, I have yet to find a function for my boxes, but here are a few ideas I found…

cobi

cobi

cobi

And so as summer winds to a close, and life becomes more organized, maybe I’ll tackle one of these ideas at the cottage in the fall. Or maybe I’ll just go junk hunting for another hidden gem of a treasure box.

cottage

can it!

Posted by Cobi on Monday August 23, 2010 at 07:00 AM
collectingcottageentertainingsummerComments (1) Bookmark and Share

I snapped this picture right before we were about to leave our cottage for home.

cobi

Such a simple thing but it made me happy to leave a little group of ready-made hurricanes for the next group to enjoy (we rent in the summer), without worries of anything precious. I filled any jars we had kicking around the kitchen with sand from our beach and a few finds of shells and rocks and voila - not original but charming none the less. Here are a few other inspirational pictures I found….

cobi

The jars don’t have to be special to make an impact. Give new life to regular canning jars you’ve tucked away for when you find time to make grandma’s raspberry jam.

cobi

Of course, the old blue jars are more special…

cobi

The other thing we did this holiday was buy some wire at the local hardware store and fashion hanging hurricanes to bring home as a gift to my sister-in-law. We thought it was kind of fun and personal that we collected the sand and little finds from our own beach where she has visited and enjoyed.

cobi

There’s something so charming about a homemade lantern…

cobi

Here’s a cute idea for parties ~ replace hook holders for solar lights with jar lanterns. A real flame to light the way seems so much more special.

cobi

Of course hanging lanterns on tree limbs, fences or porch beams always looks rustic and beautiful…

cobi

cobi

Just be sure to use lots to create a real impression…

cobi

One last thing - how cute is this - what a great party idea! I practically have enough of these in my basement to pull this look off with no more cost than the lemonade. This idea’s almost good enough to make you want to plan an end of summer party!

cobi

cottage

checkers alfresco

Posted by Cobi on Monday August 16, 2010 at 07:00 AM
cottagefamilysummerComments (3) Bookmark and Share

I thought I would show you the painting project my kids did with me this summer holiday in PEI.

cobi

We did it in an hour or two not including the walk on the beach to collect pebbles for one player and scallop shells for the other. Of course anything local and plentiful would do.

cobi

I had a little box left over from something else and it worked perfectly to keep the loose pieces in (don’t forget you need extras to make Kings!). We screwed it down so it stays in place and no doubt it will turn silver like the table by the end of the summer.

When I got home from the cottage I went on google to search for other versions of our table but found very little ~ amazing! I had no idea we were so original wink .

Let me know if you’ve painted a checkerboard on anything and how it worked out. After we did this, I was thinking we could have painted the entire surface of the table in a checkerboard pattern and then participants could have set up a game on whichever squares they chose ~ one end of the table or the middle. it might even look a bit like a tablecloth. I know, I know…never satisfied.

Here’s the christening game on the table…’check’ it out…

cobi

cottage

hung out to dry

Posted by Cobi on Monday August 09, 2010 at 07:00 AM
cottagesummerComments (6) Bookmark and Share

At our cottage in PEI, we have a clothesline. Here’s a shot of it in the morning…

cobi

And here’s a shot of it in the evening…

cobi

The wind is always blowing on that wee little island and the lawns are big and flat making for perfect ‘clothesline country’.

I have a book at the cottage that’s all about the clothesline through time…

cobi

There’s actually some interesting trivia.

Clotheslines and clothespins came along in the early 1800’s when the idea for using rope to hang clothes was borrowed by an inventive housewife from her seafaring husband. Maybe in PEI, who knows? wink

cobi

Shortly after came clothespins with the push kind coming first…

cobi

cobi

…and then the spring or clip kind was patented in 1832.

cobi

Now of course we have the choice between wood and plastic pins…I like them both…

cobi

It’s fun to imagine the changes in clotheslines - where they’ve been hung, and what’s been hung on them - over the past 200 years….

cobi

Farm denims and cotton bedding…

cobi

50’s aprons and teatowels…

cobi

cobi

Smirfs, Barney’s and Babybops…

cobi

Not to mention the places they’ve been hung…

cobi

All over the world…

cobi

cobi

City and country…

cobi

cobi

In different styles, like the umbrella…

cobi

The t-post…

cobi

cobi

And if you think you don’t have the posts for it, you can always be inventive like this creative sole who used a shepherd’s hook from the garden store.

cobi

Hanging clothes on the line just feels good.

cobi

Plain and simple.

cobi

cottage

milk it for all it’s worth!

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 19, 2010 at 07:00 AM
collectingcottageentertainingsummerComments (3) Bookmark and Share

One of my favourite collections is my bits and pieces of milk glass. It’s particularly fun to use in the summer.

cobi

I use the vases for flowers and leaves from the garden - hosta leaves and hydrangea look great.

cobi

But also for votive candles - the white glass just glows (sorry I don’t have a shot at night).

cobi

I also have some pieces at our cottage in PEI, they’re perfect for holding a single Lupin or Daisy bloom.

cobi

But here’s a use I hadn’t thought of…

cobi

What I love about milk glass is that it’s so easily available. There’s always a few pieces at any thrift shop at any given time and for next to nothing - you can get it for $1.00 - $2.00 a piece, less at garage sales.

cobi

What that means is - it’s easy to amass a collection in no time.

cobi

Check out this one…

cobi

But you don’t have to have tons to make an impact:

cobi

Just a few pieces look great together.

cobi

cobi

Or even just one…

cobi

cobi

It’s also easy to grab a bunch of pieces if you’re throwing a party.

cobi

And with a bit of florist tape, it’s so easy (and affordable) to do your own arrangements.

cobi

Notice that all of these flowers are cut quite short so the look plump and full, not tall and spindly.

cobi

The white glass looks great at weddings.

cobi

But don’t just think flowers, check out how great this moss looks. This whole display could be done for under $5.00!

cobi

I love this shot…and I actually own 6 of these tumblers, but I don’t have a wire holder…hmmm….gotta run…

cobi

cottage

pick a pocket

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 05, 2010 at 07:00 AM
cottagecraftfamilyComments (2) Bookmark and Share

I was just looking at this cute pocket board we have in our cottage, here in PEI.

cobi

It hangs over a bed and guests use it to keep the odd cd, ipod, novel, jewellery, a watch, sunscreen…it’s surprisingly handy.

cobi

And it got me thinking that everyone has a few old pairs of jeans in their closet, if not a stack! And if they don’t, every thrift shop has denim just waiting to be bought for nothing.

cobi

If you’re at a cottage this summer, it might be a fun project to make something out of old bluejeans. Here are some ideas….

If you’re up for a big project, you could try a quilt. The pockets are a fun addition:

cobi

Or here’s a small project that you could make up fast for stocking stuffers later in the year:

cobi

Here’s a fun idea, add a pocket to existing pillows you have at the cottage.

cobi

For a young friend, these purses are cute:

cobi cobi cobi

I’d like to make these cutlery/napkin holders - what a fun idea to take 10 or 12 to someone’s cottage for a hostess gift:

cobi

Or if that sounds too ambitious, how about two pot holders? The pockets are the perfect size for hands of course:

cobi

And here’ a summery look, you’ll be smashing serving lemonade in this:

cobi

Forever in Bluejeans Babe!

cottage

a lot of hang ups!

Posted by Cobi on Monday June 07, 2010 at 07:00 AM
cottageorganizingComments (1) Bookmark and Share

I was in PEI recently, opening our summer cottage for the season, and it occurred to me how much I used coat hooks to decorate the walls. Coat hooks, and versions of, are a practical substitute for art, particularly at a cottage or country home. They fill the wall space nicely and can be both decorative and useful. I snapped a few pictures of mine to show you.

This is a piece in our master bedroom…

cobi

It’s made of reclaimed wood and vintage door knobs. So smart.

cobi

Here’s another version of it I found on the internet - a great DIY project.

cobi

On another wall in the same room I just used hardware store peg boards to fill a blank space…

cobi

Pretty cheap wall art.

cobi

Downstairs we have a lavender coloured room and I found this old piece of cottage green wood someone had used for coat hooks, the colours look great together. It’s been hung a few times as you can see by the holes but it’s got a lot of character and holds pjs, bathing suits and t-shirts with ease…

cobi

And in another bedroom we hung a traditional accordion coat hook contraption, which does the job…

cobi

Behind the front door of our place is a cool project from a few years ago when we took a canoe paddle and screwed drawer pulls into it. I forgot to take a picture of it but you can see a bit of it here….

cobi

Here’s another great front door shot I found…such an affordable solution and I love the look…

cobi

And how cool is this random idea…

cobi

Here’s a more controlled, modern look…

cobi

At a second entryway in PEI, we hung this vintage French piece. It’s an amazing colour and really handy for catching caps, keys and the dinner bell…

cobi

And check out this magazine article for a fun cottage idea….

cobi

No matter what you do, be proud of your hang ups. We all have them!!

cottage

taking back the house

Posted by Cobi on Monday September 07, 2009 at 07:00 AM
cottagefamilysummerComments (6) Bookmark and Share

And just like that, it’s over. Would we all agree? The shortest summer on record.

The only upside to the end of summer is the calming feeling of ‘taking back the house’.

What I mean by that is little things like not only emptying the weekend bags but also giving them a shake to get rid of the bits of sand and actually putting them away. Of putting the coolers away too and filling the fridge at home with food that will be eaten and not just left to sour or transported back up to the cottage. Of moving the tennis rackets that sat at the front door all summer and the fan that sat in the upstairs bedroom. Of giving the kids the last freezies and getting the ice box back to just ice. Sad symbols of summer’s end, yes, but also comforting in a way that only ‘order’ can bring.

cobi

Speaking of kids, lets all enjoy a moment of silence in respect for the parents out there who are breathing a sigh of relief this week. You know who you are - you made this summer the “best ever” for the little ones you love, regardless of the expense or exhaustion that making those memories may have brought.

cobi

Yup, another summer down, but the quiet of September is always lovely in a melancholy kind of way. Low-in-the-sky afternoon sunshine that glows through the trees and the lonely sound of cicada’s while the kids are back to the first days of school. A welcome respite from the chaos - at least for a few days.

cottage

Loster Trap Towel Rack (say it 3 times fast)

Posted by Cobi on Monday August 17, 2009 at 07:00 AM
cottagecraftsummerComments (10) Bookmark and Share

cobi

I know not everyone has an old lobster trap kicking around waiting to be used for a project, but this worked out so well, I had to share it with you. And who knows, maybe some of my East Coast friends can use the idea?

On this years summer holiday at our cottage in PEI, Bob and I had to make a trip to the dump where there was a large pile of wood refuse, and being the island, a good part of it was made up of lobster traps and parts there of.

Surprisingly Bob and I both spied the same beautiful piece in particular that was just the simple arched frame, with no netting left on it and weathered to a perfect grey. My agreeable husband kindly climbed the pile and grabbed it for me - they’re heavier than you’d think! - and as we threw it in the van, we agreed we’d do something with it, although we weren’t sure what.

By the time we got home, I knew what. Bob screwed it to the side of our outdoor shower - it happened to fit the shower frame perfectly and we had a great towel rack up within 10 minutes (and no arguing!). It would also work vertically but the support wasn’t as good in our situation, it might be in another.

Anyway, it works like a charm and was easy peasy lemon squeezy to install - as easy as squeezin’ lemon on a lobster, by!

Oh, another little tip that even non-islanders can use: 2 years ago we painted the aluminum siding of our cottage gray to match the colour of the weathered decking, spindles and lattice around the place. It’s made the cottage look so much more cohesive (the odds and sods and bits that don’t line up blend in now) and we just use white trim on things that we do want to highlight like the screen doors. It’s a great idea if you have weathered wood on portions of your home or cottage that you don’t want to paint or stain (ie. maintain) - paint the other parts of the building to match!

After going through tons of grays and trying to match one to a broken spindle that I carried around in my purse, the best colour match was SICO “sketch” #6206-31 and the product my painter used for the aluminum siding is latex 811 Velvet. It goes on beautifully and stays on great (touch wood - or rather, aluminum wink).

cobi cobi

go