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2011 Cottage Trends
Studies report that Canadians feel vacation deprived. We have busy, stressful lives and most of us crave some quiet time for relaxation and renewal. Cottage ownership is up and there are more people attracted to the market than ever before.
Cottage life used to be somewhat rugged or rustic. Upscale cottages might have had a small black and white television in the corner... or a telephone and it wasn't unusual to see spiders or evidence of mice. Many had outdoor bathroom facilities.
Today's consumer is very particular. These days, buyers want a cottage that echoes the feel of an all-inclusive resort. They are put off by your auntie's old chesterfield and those hand-me-down beds. They want pristine, absolute cleanliness, gourmet kitchens and high speed internet.
Vacationers are becoming more sophisticated. They are comfortable with small spaces- but only if they live large. Today's buyers seek boutique style & they really want high-quality presentation, preferred locations and marketable properties that can be acquired below market value.
While nature-based, outdoor activities are part of the equation, today's cottager wants their "place" to reflect their respect for the environment and resonate with rustic charm, while offering superior modern amenities. They ask about four piece baths (preferably more than one), indoor & outdoor hot tubs, swimming pools, central air conditioning, dining rooms, larger kitchens, games rooms, groomed walking trails, satellite television, wood-burning fireplaces and integrated tech spaces.
Kitchens are expected to have bread makers, microwaves, quality coffee makers, blenders, juicers and ice-cream makers. Buyers today want more than one outdoor space. There should be a deck (complete with state-of-the-art barbecue) and a cabana or pergola or cabana-like space for comfortable, shaded lounging. Today's buyers are interested in handcrafted wooden furniture, comfortable king or queen-sized beds, and screened porches overlooking the water.
Bedrooms must be inn-like and exceptionally clean looking.
Organic floor coverings are preferred. Glossy finishes on wood floors are the best and even better if the floors have a bit of a vintage feel, being somewhat distressed. Muted tones of travertine is alright, too. All doors should be solid and well-fitted. Cabinetry should be modern, with clean lines and finishes. Plain, vintage-style metal, ceramic or glass knobs on cabinets and doors complete the look.
Interior colours should be neutral and natural. This year, touches of bold pink honeysuckle are the rage- with simple, minimalist decor. Colour blocking and bold feature walls are in.
High ceilings, beamed ceilings or bright ceilings are a must.
The exterior of the cottage should look organic... and should be eco-friendly and maintenance free. Windows should be abundant, new, high-quality and lockable.
Today's buyer doesn't want to see piers... slab on grade works, basements are better- especially finished, walk-out lower levels. Roofs should have the proper pitch that doesn't require shovelling and a tastefully muted colour of metal is preferred.
Mixed shorelines- of rock and sand are okay. Some buyers prefer just rock or just sand. Weeds are not okay. Clean, clear water is required- and there can be no mushy stuff under foot. Level lots are preferred- a gentle slope is sometimes acceptable. A view is important- some nice little, treed, unoccupied islands and western exposure is best. Easy, year round (township maintained) road access and lots of parking is a must- however one shouldn't have to hear or see the road or vehicles.
Garages, bunkies and boat houses should complement the main cottage. They should blend into the landscape and be maintenance free. Any landscaping should appear to be natural, uncontrived and organic in flavour. The satellite dish should be discreetly hidden. Everything should look like it belongs in the setting and garbage pickup is preferred.
They want a good, solid dock and a speedboat to go tubing, touring or water-skiing. They want a kayak &/or canoe. They'd like to be close to the local cliff-jumping spot.
The lot should be totally private and they don't want to be bothered by others, playing on the lake. There should be a very quaint store or town nearby. The sort of place where you can browse for treasures or rare deals in antiques.
& a shop with an excellent selection of organic foods and treats.
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