“New Old” Cottage Guest House Reveal Part 1 - The ground floor

Cottage interior design style - Teaselwood Design, Skaneateles, NY
Small house interior design , Teaselwood Design, Skaneateles interior designer

We're pretty sure guests will never want to leave our clients’ dreamy new guest cottage!

Our clients came to us wanting help to design a new guest cottage on their lakeside property. They, of course, wanted it to be comfortable for guests, but they wanted the cottage’s footprint to be kept as small as possible while including as much storage as possible.

That meant using every space creatively, finding clever ways to tuck storage in anywhere and everywhere we could and making sure not a single square foot of space was wasted.

In terms of the style, our clients wanted the cottage - and the kitchen in particular - to look as if it were put together over time, rather than screaming, “Hey! I’m brand spanking new!”

What we ended up with is a sweet little guest cottage that sleeps eight, feels light, bright and airy throughout and looks delightfully ageless!

Over the next couple of posts, we'll be showing you the entire cottage, starting here with the ground level - which includes the entryway, kitchen, master suite, and powder room, plus a little hallway we managed to claim for some serious storage.

Outside, we played up the “timeless” theme with simple-but-charming architecture and details. Three lantern-style light fixtures and a coat of teal paint on the double doors feel fresh but still classic enough to feel just a little bit quaint.

Cottage interior design style by Skaneateles interior designer, Teaselwood Design


It was important to get as much natural light into this little house as we could, so we chose the double front doors, each with six big glass panes.

Here's a little curb appeal trick - Look for a key feature on the front of your home and repeat it in the landscape like we did here with the cement pavers that echo the front doors' grid of windows.

Small house interior design

Multi-purpose is the name of the game when you're dealing with small spaces. For starters, we took full advantage of the entry space by tucking little nooks outfitted with cushioned benches, shelves, and coat hooks on either side of the entry to create not just one, but two spots to sit and take off shoes and muddy boots and to stash guests' bulky bags and coats.

Built in storage ideas by Teaselwood Design, Skaneateles New York interior designer

The happy blue paint and crisp white wainscoting create a cheery welcome.

Far be it from us to miss an opportunity for a surprise craftsmanship detail - see that narrow planked ceiling?

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We added even more storage on the living room side of both entry nooks by creating a deep doorframe and building tall cubbies into it.

Built in storage ideas by interior designer Skaneateles, NY interior designer Teaselwood Design

I can't get over how cute this wallpaper is that we picked for the hallway. Doesn't it look perfect next to the plaid curtains on the cubby doors?!

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To the left of the entry, we carried the blue into the living room/kitchen/dining area with the pale blue ceiling and the kitchen island's end piece.

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We gave this multi-purpose space extra wide doorways, scaled down (but still comfy) furnishings and plenty of big windows to keep things from feeling cramped.

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While it can be tempting to add draperies to big windows. that would have made this room feel closed in and cluttered. Instead, we opted for subtle white shades that offer privacy and light control but that stay up and out of the way when they aren't needed.

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We kept the living room furnishings - as we did throughout the house - classic but in colors and textures that give off a casual “lake cottage” vibe.

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In the kitchen, the gorgeous bright white cabinets have subtle details like the moulding around the top and the pair of star cutouts in the pantry doors that help obscure the cottage’s age.

Cottage interior design style by Teaselwood Design, Skaneateles, NY interior designer
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We maxed out the storage capacity here with the large island, tall pantry cabinet and the pie safe-style cabinet we tucked into the corner.

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Cottage interior design style, Teaselwood Design, New York interior designer
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The glass front upper cabinets maintain the open feel while still keeping dishes dust-free in between guests.

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The handle on the built-in refrigerator adds the character of an old-fashioned icebox. So cute!

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We're all for mixing metals (like we did in this project's mudroom bath), but we kept all the cabinet hardware, lighting and plumbing fixtures (including that fantastic range hood) in a nickel finish in the great room (and in the rest of the house) to help achieve a historic cottage feel.

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We chose the sleek countertops instead of something with more of a worn-in look to not only keep the kitchen from seeming overly rustic - but also to elevate the entire space with a little note of luxury.

Using upholstered bar stools are a great choice when there isn't much delineation between the kitchen and the family room. Plus, they can act as flexible seating for the living room just by turning them around.

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We kept things consistent in the living and dining areas by painting the built-ins and the shiplap wall with the same white paint as the kitchen cabinets. In small spaces, consistency and repetition of elements equals visual calm!

Built in storage ideas by Teaselwood Design, Skaneateles, New York interior designer
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Backless benches on the family room side of the dining table save space and are more versatile than chairs for seating more folks for meals.

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Apart from the lantern lights over the kitchen island and the dining table and the sconces flanking the kitchen window, we used can lighting. Anything hanging down in the middle of the family room's open space would interrupt the sight lines and feel in the way in general.

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We added linen storage at the end of the hallway with this lovely navy blue cabinet.

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In the compact powder room, we focused on simple, classic elements like the hexagonal floor tile, the globe sconces and the lovely greenish-blue walls.

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Also on the cottage's ground level is the master suite, where we used yet another riff on the blue and white palette.

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The light wood shiplap wall is an extra special touch for this room.

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We took inspiration for the closets on either side of the little passageway from the bedroom into the master bath from a swanky New York City hotel.

Built in storage ideas, Skaneateles interior designer
Built in storage ideas by New York interior designer Charity Buchika of Teaselwood Design
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Statement-making details don't have to be big or fussy. Case in point, the basket weave patterned tile in the master bath.

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So much for sticking the age old warning that guest start to wear out their welcome after 3 days because clearly, anyone who stays in this guesthouse is never going to want to leave!

Who knew there could be so much to look in such a little cottage?! And there's still more to come with the top floor which is also filled with great features. Stay tuned!