Cottage Living in the Big City

a bright spacious living room equipped with a brown leaver couch, decorative artwork, and lush green plants
Here are a few turnkey ways to transform your city home into a cozy oasis with a cottage or cabin feel. 

Living in a big city like Toronto, you can often feel overwhelmed by the traffic, minimal greenery and bustling streets. Sometimes you feel that you just want to escape up North for much deserved rest and relaxation being in the great outdoors. Well no need to despair, as with a few simple tips you can bring cottage living into the big city. 
Here are a few turnkey ways to transform your city home into a cozy oasis with a cottage or cabin feel. 


Start with a fresh canvas and paint the walls 

We’d all love to have those beautiful wooden walls that you typically see in a cottage, however these are obviously a little difficult to come by in a big city. Painting the walls, a fresh white will completely open up your space. Remember the darker your walls, the smaller your space will feel. Stay close to warmer whites and avoid those purple whites. Alternatively, if you are looking to spruce up your cottage/cabin that already have those darker wooden walls, you can add white accents to freshen up your space.  

Add warmth with grains of wood  

When it comes to wood accents, the more real and raw, the better. Faux wood is just as good, just make sure it’s not completely plastic looking as it will take away from the rustic appeal. Keyways to add wood accents to your décor include a wooden coffee table, wooden side tables, wooden tree stumps, wooden coasters, a mirror with wood trim, a wooden bench, anything really!  

Introduce hints of colour that represent nature 

Think about colours that are true to nature and represent the lake and the woods. This would be shades of blues and greens. This can be brought to life in multiple ways through different accents. For instance, a hunter green throw or blanket will do the trickIf you want to incorporate art while sticking to a budget, try framing an old map of a lake or river.  


Ensure your furniture is comfy and welcoming  

Keep your furniture traditional and neutral. Avoid sharp modern edges. Adding some industrial pieces will keep that rustic vibe. Example a wooden coffee table or wooden shelves with metal elements. With rugs, avoid modern bold patterns, and stick with subtle geometry patterns/ neutral colours. Woven or sisal rugs are great!  


Create a cozy vibe with your decor 

  • Blankets: Having a wool blanket draped over your couch or stored in a woven/wicker basket will create that “I’m here to stay” vibe. Can’t go wrong with a warm wool blanket or a faux fur throw. 
  • Candles: The aromatic scents that candles provide can quickly bring the memories of being in the great outdoors. Light a candle or two in your living area to create that bonfire vibe.  Recommended scents: cedar/spruce/pine. 
  • Coffee table books: Bring in beautiful wilderness photography with a coffee table book showcasing the great outdoors. A great one we recommend is Cabin Porn 
  • Potted Plants: To feel like your outdoors you need to bring in some of the greenery indoors. Add a hint of forest green to your space with potted plants. When bringing in new plants to your place, always be sure to check the plant first to ensure it doesn’t have any bugs or gnats that will affect your other plants. Don’t over water your plants and give them lots of sunlight. To ensure your plant can continue to thrive be sure to repot it in a bigger pot every few months.  
  • Paddles: A great DIY project that is sure to get many compliments is to paint a paddle or two which you can then hang on your wall. Leveraging painters’ tape and your desired colours, you can paint many geometric shapes on the paddle in order to create your own piece of art.  
  • Artwork: Great art doesn’t have to be expensive. Now a days you can print photography on canvas for relatively inexpensive. Choose a few of your favourite outdoor photos to print on canvas or purchase a map of a favourite trail or lake and frame it and showcase it on your wall. 


Leveraging these simple tips and tricks you can bring cottage living into the big city, making your humble abode feel much cozier and outdoorsy. The best part, is you don’t have the break the bank to do it, as it can easily be achieved with a few DIY projects.

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