Transforming a Small Cottage Into the Perfect Weekend Escape
October 13, 2017
House ToursHome
There's nothing that a coat of white paint, a family of greenery and a disco ball can't cure. Just ask Lauren Kelp. Together with her husband, she revamped a cozy little cottage in Michigan to escape the hustle and bustle of the Chicago work week. Take the tour of this sweet spot made perfect with a little elbow grease and cool, bohemian decor.
After living in downtown Chicago for several years, my husband and I realized we needed a space to go and disappear from the grind of urban living. We stumbled upon this 700 square foot gem right in the heart of New Buffalo, Michigan – just about an hour outside of downtown Chicago.
The inside was painted an alarming Kindergarten yellow, the yard was overgrown, and the rooms had an awkward flow but the light was magical and the erratic landscaping made us feel like the house was something out of a storybook. After almost a year of tearing down walls, moving things around, and several thousand YouTube tutorials later, we have turned this little #TinyKelpHouse into our favorite weekend retreat.
 Within days of getting the keys, we knocked the wall separating the kitchen and the living room to open everything up and give it a more communal feel. Once the majority of the wall was down, we DIY’ed a fun countertop area that doubles as a bar, extra counter space, and a great nook for additional seating.
 Space is coveted in a small house, so everything has to have multiple purposes or uses, and this bar space is one of the most used areas in the house. We found this gorgeous sofa from Rove Concepts and worked the Living Room design around it. The Hygge & West wallpaper helps give the room a bit of a glam vibe while the red velvet and décor accents make the space feel cozy and bohemian.
Truthfully, once we repainted everything white (paint is Promenade by Valspar) the house completely transformed. Everything became lighter and brighter, and with the addition of a few wall sconces, the small room took on a life of its own.
Originally the bedroom and the bathroom were flipped, so with a little demo finesse, we were able to transform the bathroom into a serene space that doesn’t feel cramped. Truthfully, this was another case of finding an amazing product and re-working a space around it. In this case, it was those amazing encaustic tiles! I am a big believer in having a clutter free bedroom, especially in a weekend home.
Your bedroom should be a space to let your hair down and unwind, not a place of anxiety. The velvet upholstered bed from Joss & Main and the neutral grey wallpaper adds drama to the cozy room without feeling crowded or stuffy. We ditched the traditional bedside table for something a little more casual, so we stack our current bedtime reads on the floor and charge our phones in the kitchen. A tech free bedroom is an absolute must in our house! 
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Vendor Credits
Bathroom tile, Tess I
Cement Tile Shop
ANDANZA wallpaper in Copper
Hygge & West
DIAMANTE wallpaper in Grey
Hygge & West
Erika Upholstered Bed
Joss & Main
Bedroom Wall Sconce
Lamps Plus
Scarlett Sofa in Cardinal Vintage Velvet
Rove Concept
Braided Rug in Off White
Rugs USA
Linen Roller Shades
The Shade Store
Kitchen Cabinet paint, Wet Pavement
Promenade paint