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Design Ideas
A Charismatic & Colorful Beach Cottage
A small beach bungalow achieves a blend of contemporary and classic cottage style with daring patterns and playful décor pieces.
This colorful beach cottage welcomes relaxed living at its best, drawing inspiration from its natural surroundings. Fresh flowers, seashell décor, bright colors and eclectic patterns play well together and infuse this home with coastal character. When Senior Interior Designer Marisela Contreras, of Jackson Design and Remodeling, began working on the design for this beach cottage, she... Keep Scrolling
Written by JESSIE YOUNT
Photography by BRET GUM
Styling by JICKIE TORRES


This colorful beach cottage welcomes relaxed living at its best, drawing inspiration from its natural surroundings. Fresh flowers, seashell décor, bright colors and eclectic patterns play well together and infuse this home with coastal character. When Senior Interior Designer Marisela Contreras, of Jackson Design and Remodeling, began working on the design for this beach cottage, she aimed to incorporate these cheerful themes into the home. Working with Anne, the San Diego homeowner of 19 years, she selected décor pieces, furnishings and colors that reflect Anne’s personal, modern and vintage tastes.

Looking down the galley of the kitchen toward the sleek stainless steel range and hood displayed in front of the marbled chevron backsplash.
MIXED & MARVELOUS. The silver hood, range and pot filler update the kitchen’s functionality and modern style. Meanwhile classic Shaker-style cabinetry and stained wood floors add timeless elegance.

RECLAIMING SPACE

Balance, in terms of style and functionality, was a priority in the interior of the home; the small 1950s layout of the colorful beach cottage clashed with Anne’s modern lifestyle. Anne sought to add space to her cottage and employ smart storage solutions. When the renovation was complete, the cottage had grown from 942 square feet to 1,215 square feet.

“The glass liner with the marble backsplash in a chevron pattern is a nice mix of fresh and traditional.”

In the kitchen, the Jackson and Design Remodeling team transformed the layout by knocking down the wall that separated the kitchen and dining room to allow more light in. Marisela says, “The kitchen and dining room were swapped, giving room for a nice L-shaped kitchen with a good size island.” The new island seats four, creating an area for entertaining. No additional square footage was added to the kitchen; these layout changes simply make better use of the space.

Kitchen countertops with glass liner and marble backsplash in a chevron pattern with cutting board and coastal inspired salt scooper.
FUN WITH FUNCTIONAL PIECES. While many of Anne’s appliances were tucked away in cabinets to save space, Anne enjoys displaying her mix of vintage and farmhouse style décor pieces on her countertops.

RE-WRITING THE FOOTPRINT

The entrance to the deck was also relocated, creating room for a pantry and baking corner. The baking corner was one of Anne’s top priorities; she wanted her appliances tucked away, leaving ample room for preparation and baking. “Next to the pantry we added a cabinet with a mixer lift for easy access and stored the microwave in the upper cabinet,” Marisela says. The team also installed a sleek hood and pot filler above the range for convenience.

Marble topped large kitchen island in the center of a white and bright kitchen accented by globe pendant lights and fresh greenery.
ILLUMINATING PERFECTION. A white-on-white color palette in the kitchen creates an open and airy feeling. Natural sunlight and overhead pendants bring in light. Marisela says, “The clear globe pendants on the island add visual interest without obstructing the view, allowing for the space to feel more open.”

“For the master bedroom and bathroom, our main goal was to expand the bedroom to include its own bathroom and a walk-in closet. We were actually able to get two closets in the bedroom, for extra storage,” Marisela says.

CLASSIC & CONTEMPORARY

“For the interior color palette, we went with the classic colorful beach cottage colors, whites and pale blues, to make the space feel bigger and brighter,” Marisela says. These pale colors unify the home’s theme, while stained wood floors add contrast throughout.

Fresh flowers, seashell décor, bright colors and modern patterns play well together and infuse the home with coastal character.

White Shaker-style cabinetry and glossy quartz countertops predominate in the kitchen, while cove crown molding, fixtures and appliances add a more modern feel. Patterns offset the simple color scheme with contemporary flair. “The glass liner with the marble backsplash in a chevron pattern is a nice mix of fresh and traditional,” Marisela says.

Distressed dark wooden farmhouse chairs and dining table covered in bright and colorful tulips. Looking into an open concept white and bright colorful beach cottage kitchen.
BEACHY BALANCE. Dark furniture in the dining room adds contrast to the brightly illuminated kitchen. Colorful dishes, fresh flowers and beach-themed pillows populate the dining area with lively charm.

COHESION THROUGH THE HOUSE

In the bathroom, “We selected greens and blues inspired by the ocean” Marisela says. The three different tile patterns in the shower create intrigue, while dark and playful floor tiles add a twist. The patterned flooring was a must for Anne, to balance classic colors with a contemporary touch. Marisela says, “We found these great 12″x 12″ deco porcelain tiles, from San Diego Tile & Marble, that add a vintage touch but are also easy to maintain.” The final look comes together with the vanity, which is stained quartersawn oak and topped with durable and stylish quartz.

Wooden vanity in a bathroom, open concept tiled shower and faux-cement tiled floors with an intricate pattern.
PATTERN PLAY. The bathroom contains the most intricate display of colors, patterns and textures. Anne’s personal favorite is the patterned floor tiles. Marisela found tiles that mimic the look Anne desired but don’t include the additional maintenance of caring for concrete.

“For the master bedroom, our main goal was to expand the bedroom to include its own bathroom and a walk-in closet. We were actually able to get two closets in the bedroom, for extra storage,” Marisela says.

Bright and colorful beach cottage bedroom, white walls with a crystal chandelier and a bright blue quilt on the rod-iron bed.
SERENITY ACHIEVED. Anne’s bedroom maintains a white-and-blue color palette. The ocean-inspired theme creates a calming setting, surrounded by white walls and sheer curtains. Bright pops of yellow appear on a throw blanket and décor pillows, adding sunny delight to the private space.

DESIGN TIPS FOR A COLORFUL BEACH COTTAGE

While a small interior will benefit from light colors, the exterior is the perfect place to be bold and add lots of color. When it comes to achieving balance, she says: “Mix vintage finds with modern fixtures to give a rustic twist to the ordinary.” Key elements of décor, including lighting, moldings and appliances, provide contemporary appeal. Glamorous pendants and chandeliers help to round out the look.

“For the interior color palette, we chose classic cottage colors, whites and blues, to make the space feel bigger and brighter,”

Use vintage fabrics, patterns and textures on curtains and décor pillows to offset other materials. Marisela’s final tip is to make your home reflect your own lifestyle. “Mainly collect items that are personal to you and create your own style,” Marisela says. Whether it be family heirlooms, travel pieces or thrift-shop finds, decorate your home with a little more you.

An arts and crafts style glass and wooden barn door makes such a statement as you walk toward the bathroom.
DARING DOORWAY. “My favorite item is the barn door, from Builders Trading Co., going into the master bathroom,” Marisela says. After purchasing the door, Anne stored it in her garage until she found the perfect opportunity to use it. The glasswork is a nod to Arts & Crafts style, fitting for the age of the home.

Want more simply beautiful ideas? Check out this post on a Rustic Farmhouse Style Beach Cottage. 

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