How To Beautifully Live In A Small Cottage

Want to know how you can beautifully live in a small cottage?

In a cottage that is 1300 square feet?

Well, my friend Mary Alice of Chateau Chic can show you how.

Mary Alice recently downsized from a large home in the suburbs of D.C.

to a very quaint cottage on the east coast.

Today, I am thrilled to show you how she has made this cottage a beautiful retreat

for her and her hubby.

When you enter her home you come into an area they call the sunroom.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

You can see how lovely it must be when you first enter the cottage

and what a delight to both work and relax in.

Here is the front door as it was decorated last year for Christmas.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

The other side of the door …. and notice that Mary Alice uses beautiful vintage mirrors

throughout the house that shows gorgeous reflections.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

A vintage French hat/coat rack holds a variety of Mary Alice’s beautiful vintage items.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Mary Alice uses many vintage cabinets for storage

and displaying her vast collections. This cupboard used to be in her former kitchen.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

You will see Mary Alice frequently changing out items in her cabinets and chests and all surfaces!

The doorway to the cottage from the sunroom/entry area.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Another amazing area in the sunroom.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

The Kitchen

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Mary Alice has an incredible collection of vintage breadboards…..big sigh!

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Isn’t this the the coolest scale!

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

The stairs … located near the dining room.

Dining Room - Housepitality Designs

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

A close up of what you see above in the corner of the photo.

Always amazing things to see. Check out that great door.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

The Dining Room

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Every corner of each room always has a pleasant surprise.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

The buffet.

Whenever I visited Mary Alice in Virginia, I always marveled on how she so beautifully

decorated this particular buffet. The vignette was always different each time I visited.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

You can see part of the kitchen from the dining room area.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

I spoke about the wonderful reflections in the many mirrors

Mary Alice’s cottage. This is just one of them which reflects the dining room and kitchen. Pretty!!

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

The Living Room.

A beautifully appointed and versatile room.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

I believe this particular piece in the living room is a treasured family piece.

Every inch is utilized….and items like these vintage suitcases used for pretty storage.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Pretties in corners.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Mary Alice always has wonderful backdrops to her furnishings like these doors.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Don’t have a fireplace? … create one…..and a beauty it is.

The mantel always has the most wonderful mantelscapes that changes with the seasons

or when the mood strikes Mary Alice.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

This cottage has such wonderful leaded glass in many of the windows.

Cabinets in this room as others  serve as storage and just looking pretty!

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

I have been shopping with Mary Alice many times

and she is a very savvy shopper. Her knowledge of antiques and her eye for design

is a great combination for creating a most stunning home. She knows a bargain when she sees it,

and she will splurge on something of greatness and uniqueness.

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

The Master Bedroom

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Reflections in the mirror

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

Chateau Chic - Housepitality Designs

There are other rooms of the cottage that are not shown today;

however, you can certainly get the feel for this gorgeous vintage cottage.

So, can you downsize to a cottage like this one of 1300 square feet?

I think I could if I was able to have this cottage to include all of Mary Alice’s things!!!

See more of Mary Alice’s wonderful cottage at Chateau Chic.

Have a most wonderful day!

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  1. Beautiful Shirley! Thank you for the wonderful tour of Mary Alice’s cottage and treasures!
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  2. What a beautiful cottage! It is decorated perfectly! It looks so light and airy and cozy at the same time. I love the front door! Thanks for sharing the tour with us. I hope you have a wonderful day!!!!
    Shannon@belle bleu interiors’s recent post…A CHANTICLEER TABLESCAPEMy Profile

  3. I might need a few extra feet, but if I could fill it as beautifully as Mary Alice I would have no problem with a cute cottage.

  4. Thank you so much for this lovely post, Shirley!! I appreciate your very kind words, sweet friend.
    Mary Alice

  5. Hi Shirley! Thank you so much for the tour of Mary Alice’s Cottage so beautiful place !!!
    Have nices day

  6. I adore her cottage…..everything is absolutely beautiful!!!! I have lived in a smaller cottage so the size would not be an issue for me.

  7. Her cottage is gorgeous. I don’t know if we could go that small, we have this ploace FILLED:) I still like my “things”. I also still love decorating for the seasons so it would be hard to get rid of all that. But sometimes, “necessity is the Mother of invention”, it would be a big challenge:) Thanks so much for sharing MA’s beautiful home today.
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  8. Oh my goodness! Mary Alice’s cottage is just stunning. And while she has plenty to look at, her spaces are not cluttered. Now that is talent! Love it all!
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  9. Hi Shirley, I so adore Mary Alice’s lovely cottage. My little nest is about 700 square feet so to live in her bigger 1300 would be divine. Love all of her lovely displays. Thanks for the tour. xx Jo

  10. Shirley, Mary Alice’s cottage lives larger than its size! Her furnishings are so pretty and the cottage is light filled with all of its treasures. Thanks for the wonderful tour!
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  11. She has done a wonderful job with her new cottage. It would be fun to walk through there and take in all this in person. She has an artful way of displaying her collected treasures and created a very cozy home.
    Liz @ Infuse With Liz’s recent post…Farmhouse Style TablescapeMy Profile

  12. What a charming, lovely home! I am also envious of her breadboard collection!
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  13. WENDY HOWELL says

    Beautiful! She has some amazing pieces!

  14. Just gorgeous! I see so many treasures that I love! The vintage doors are so pretty and she has decorated them beautifully. Mike and I are thinking about downsizing from our home to a smaller one too. I know it’s a challenge. Mary Alice makes it look so easy! Thank you for sharing this stunning home!

  15. What a charming cottage! If we kept a notebook of how often we use each space in our homes, I’ll bet we could all downsize considerably, not that we would want to!
    pat @ Life At Lydias House’s recent post…Garden Tour of Moss Mountain Farm Part 4My Profile

  16. Lovely cottage! Very creative living. sheila
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  17. Her home is filled with her treasures! Thanks for taking us on the tour. My house is 1300 sq ft, same as hers. I used to think about moving to a larger house but now I think it’s wonderfully cozy. One positive for sure, I won’t need to downsize!

  18. What a fun home tour! Filled with just about everything I ADORE…French antiques! Her bread board collection is amazing…love it. Thank you for the tour, Shirley!
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  19. Mary Alice is a sweetheart! and her lovely home is definitely worth sharing. Thanks for the tour!
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  20. Great cottage, thanks so much for sharing it with us. I only have 1400 sq ft. to much for me.

    Have a great weekend.

  21. bobbi duncan says

    I just love seeing that beauty comes in small packages, too. We downsized to over 2,400 sq. ft. and we still have rooms we don’t really use. I am thinking a lovely cottage with nice finishes and very little upkeep will be just the ticket when hubby retires. Time to enjoy more of life.

    • Hello Bobbi: after my husband passed away, I sold my much-loved house and bought a condo that’s 1464 sq. ft. It’s in a charming town filled with every amenity one could want such as gift and dress stores, cafes, restaurants, library, art school, doctors, butcher shop, chocolate shop and so on. (Too many to mention.) I don’t even need a car as I walk to everything. I had to let go of a lot of things but find I still have everything I want or need and love my condo. Like you said, there were about three or four rooms I never used in my previous house. Because this is smaller, I had the funds to have it fully painted before moving in and carpets replaced, etc. so that it doesn’t feel like it belonged to anyone else … but me! I think, when the time is right, you will love the “letting go” and the less-maintenance involved!

  22. It’s lovely! Am I old-fashioned in that I love to see color and “stuff” in a house? I get tired of the all white and empty spaces.
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  23. It certainly doesn’t seem small! All the white makes it so serene and effortless, beautiful-
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  24. Becky in 'Bama says

    A real beauty. I see your friend has a ‘thing’ for scales! I also noticed how in the different pics, though it was the same room, she had moved things around and changed out the vignettes (just like you said). Maybe when I retire I can do this…as it is, once I get something in place it may stay that way YEARS – hate to admit that, but weekends are usually reserved for house cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry – you know – all that FUN STUFF! LOL Thanks for sharing with everyone. Hope your hand is mending appropriately.

  25. What a pretty cottage! Thanks for sharing her space. I downsized quite a bit in this house and I’m still working on making everything work for us. You have to think more carefully about everything that comes into your home and items have to be multi-purpose.

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  26. Lovely, but I want to know who does all her dusting?! Lol

  27. I just love the white with a touch of color. Every room is just so perfect…
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  28. Seeing Mary Alice’s beautiful cottage makes me want to lighten and brighten everything! She most definitely knows how to display her fabulous collections! Thanks for the fabulous tour and I hope your hand is on the mend.

  29. What a lovely home! It’s so wonderful to see empty nesters transform smaller houses into truly beautiful homes. Thanks for the tour!
    Lisa’s recent post…It’s Not Too Late!My Profile

  30. Shirley, though these rooms are more “filled” than I usually prefer, I can’t say I’d change a thing about this perfectly charming cottage! I love it all!
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  31. oh my word Shirley… this is one incredible tour! And you are right… those vintage bread boards!

  32. Thank you Shirley for the beautiful tour of Mary Alice’s Cottage, it’s absolutely beautiful. I love that big white vintage Scale, I’ve been trying to find something just that one but just to hard to find. I wish I knew where she got hers. Thank you again.

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