Cottage Life

It’s “Throwback Thursday” here on the blog and I’d love to take the opportunity and revisit a pretty East Hampton cottage designed by Robert Stilin. Stilin is an incredibly talented designer with an eclectic aesthetic that I have long admired. In his interiors, the old and the new blend within the fine line of comfort and cozy living. This house in particular that he decorated for clients David Wine and Michael MacElhenny is as inviting as it is spare.

The cottage is a Shingle style house possessing many architectural charms. With a shingle-covered exterior, tons of hydrangeas, green grass and privet fences – it is for many of us the very definition of perfection.

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Pool

To preserve the house’s authenticity, Stilin used a monochromatic palette of browns and beiges with soft touches of blue. Natural textures like sisal, wicker and wood add interest. In the living room below, Stilin chose a large sofa that is first and foremost comfortable. Upholstered in a crisp Belgian linen, it conjures a masculine note.

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Living Room

For drama and contrast, Stilin kept the walls light and used sculptural furnishings and beautiful antique lanterns.

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Entry

In the kitchen, a 12-foot-long oak island offers plenty of space for cooking and entertaining.

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Kitchen

One wall in the kitchen serves as a drop-off station for hats, coats and shoes, a charming little mudroom displaying real life.

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Mudroom

The kitchen floors are painted in a striped pattern – a clever way to make floors pretty. This sunny corner in the kitchen is my favorite in the home and I like ho the old settee is upholstered in a green linen that blends in with the gardens.

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Light

The repetition of moldings, stripes and window treatments is not only a unifying detail but creates rhythm and comfort throughout the house.

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Dining Room

The attic was transformed into a cozy kids bedroom. Tucked under the eaves, antique French beds and beadboard covered walls keep things simple and chic.

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Kids Room

The master bedroom is another stunning room in the house. A 19th -century American cannonball bed and antique desk contrast with the crisp white walls. It all feels fresh and modern. The woven midcentury chair is the perfect complement to the classic-lined furnishings.

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Bedroom

Stilin shares my love of window seats. What could be more luxurious than a cozy window seat with a pretty view? In his interview with House Beautiful he says that with his homes he wants to bring back the pleasures of small-town living. But my favorite thing about this project is the nostalgia for older times and a slower pace that transpires… and all need more of the good old times!

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Window seat

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Daybed

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Bathroom

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Vanity



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  1. October 26, 2017 / 2:08 pm

    What a beautiful home Eva! I love that mud room wall in the kitchen with the tiny window seat and cubbies. Those hydrangeas are something too! The home looks comfortable and relaxed-the unadorned windows helps promote that feeling I think. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Eva Contreras
      October 26, 2017 / 2:12 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth! Glad you like it!

    • Eva Contreras
      October 27, 2017 / 7:21 am

      Thanks, Elizabeth!