Cottage Living for Young Couples or Empty Nesters

Recently someone left a comment on one of my older posts titled, “Dream Towns, Fantasy and Real” (Thanks, Orchid Girl!) In the comment she shared a link to an adorable cottage and in doing a bit of research, I discovered the cottages were designed by a company called, The Cottage Company. They’ve built several communities (eight so far) in the Pacific Northwest and they are all designed around the concept of cottage-style homes.

The cottages I toured online were adorable with tons of light-filled rooms. The one below is just 990 square feet, yet feels much bigger. Notice the windows up there in the gable. I think it’s all the great light coming in through the many windows that give these cottage homes a bigger feel.

Cottage with Dutch Door


It has the cutest front porch and I love the Dutch door!  As we tour this wonderful cottage, you’ll notice how windows are built-in everywhere they can be to allow for as much light as possible.

Dutch Door for a Cottage Home


We can see a bit more of the community in this view. The cottages are close enough to create a neighborhood feeling, but far enough apart to offer privacy. The gorgeous landscaping and gardens would make me feel like I was on vacation at a lovely resort.

Cottage Porch with Overhead Pergola


The design of this porch pergola really creates a lot of shade.

Cottage Garden


I noticed they have tucked in shelves and added storage anywhere there’s a spot for it throughout the home. Love that!

Storage in Cottage Home


The front door opens up in between two spaces. The dining area is on the right…

Cottage Dining


…and a small living room is on the left. Look at all those windows! I love the light-colored hardwood flooring! So pretty!

Cottage Home with Open Interior


How do you like the ceilings? I always think of a stained wood ceiling as being dark, but this isn’t dark at all. Really adds a lot of character to the home. I bet it would be pretty painted, as well.

Cottage Kitchen and Small House Living


Kitchen in Cottage Home


Since these cottages are designed to be small, the downstairs bath is also the laundry area.

Combined Laundry Room and Bathroom for Small Cottage Home


The staircase is also filled with lots of natural light.

Small Cottage Staircase


There are two bedrooms in this cute cottage.

Cottage Bedroom


Here’s the second bedroom and there are the gable windows we saw from the front of the home.

Sunny Cottage Bedroom


The upstairs bath…

Cottage Bath with Skylight


I love the office!

Sunny Cottage Office


Look at all that space! I’m not sure if this is part of the bedroom we saw above or part of the office.

Cottagel Media Room and Office


Remember the door we saw in the kitchen?

Cottage Kitchen and Small House Living


It takes you out onto a cute deck out back.

Cottage Porch


Here’s a view of the back with the deck and you can see that each home has parking for two cars.

Cottage Home with 2-car Garage


Wouldn’t these homes be perfect starter homes for a small family or a home for a couple whose children were all grown and out of the nest, as long as they didn’t mind the steps. You can see more of these cute cottages where these photos were found here: Conover Commons Cottages

Love a cottage makeover? Frances Schultz made over her darling Bee Cottage and it turned out so cute! You’ll find her cottage makeover here: Frances Schultz Decorated Bee Cottage and Herself Back to Happiness

Frances Schultz's Garden Room in Bee Cottage


Mary Carol Garrity’s darling cottage is a wonderful example of living BIG in a small home. I love her lake cottage! Take the tour here: Mary Carol Garrity’s Lake Cottage Home

Mary Carol Garrity Moved To A Cottage on the Lake

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  1. Nancy Reed says

    This is what makes your blog totally different. You provide us with wonderful and interesting new ideas we can actually learn from. Any of the ideas in this cottage can be used in other situations. The floor plan is well designed and of course all those WINDOWS cause light and airiness to a small space. Very interesting and fun to see all your beautiful photos.
    Best Wishes

    • Thanks so much, Nancy! I do love these cottages and the gardens they design with them are like icing on the cake! I can’t figure out why more builders aren’t building these type communities, especially with all the babyboomers retiring now. So glad you enjoyed this post! 🙂

  2. Love it! It is bigger than it looks and it is so darn cute~!

  3. Really does look larger, and more comfortable, than expected. Mary Carol’s cottage is my all-time favorite–gorgeous–but can’t wait to see yours one day 😉

  4. I would love to live in a community of smaller homes such as the one in this post. Less is more…

  5. This is such a nice house. It is, indeed, spacious feeling. It is so much more reasonable to live in 800-900 square feet rather than these “tiny houses” which are in the news everywhere. I am definitely never going up and down a ladder to bed lol!

  6. These are a adorable! Wish they had something like that in New England!! Can you research that for us, Susan!? 🙂 And I LOVE that jungle green in the Bee Cottage. I’m falling in love with that color scheme. It was featured in the latest issue of Coastal Living. And I also LOVE all the skylights in the second floor rooms — especially the one over the bed. Can you imagine a full moon over your head at night? We live in a master planned community, too, with some of those features, but our “cottages” are larger — around 1700 sq. feet. It would be fun to downsize further! Thanks for these ideas, Susan!! And I’ll be watching for what you find in New England! LOL!! xo

  7. This is my perfect home. We just bought a cottage but the one thing it lacks is light. Added Velux Windows help but this one is so much better. I guess the Victorian design was to keep it warm but with better heating we can open up more nowadays. I live in Scotland but dream of living in the sunshine!

  8. If only these were in the northeast, I’d be sold!

  9. Love this post…and enjoy all your posts. Starting to think of retirement and moving to a smaller home….this one looks perfect !

  10. Marlene Stephenson says

    These are wonderful, and have so much in such a small space. Thanks Susan.

  11. I think the house would be great for a vacation spot by the ocean, as you would spend most of your time outside.

  12. I love love all your posts,especially the clever tablescapes. I would like to do a special tablescape for my husbands 60th birthday. He loves stock car racing and he has several motorized miniature race cars. I like to use his favorite colors orange and royal blue. Any suggestions/ideas would be greatly appreciated. Any idea were I could purchase race themed items.

  13. Susan,

    The layout, and size is a lot like the townhouse I rented in college. Brought back memories of the PNW.


  14. I would love to live in one of these cottages!

  15. I could easily live in this cottage. And those outdoor spaces are breathtaking! I would definitely need a gardener to keep it all alive, haha.

  16. Susan, did you know… I’d “come home” to any of those cottages!! franki

    • I did not know! Someone emailed me a link to that yesterday. I remember on the ship during the Q and A time, they mentioned having done some acting, etc… but I don’t remember them mentioning being able to sing. Multi-talented for sure. Their parents must be busting with pride at all they have been able to accomplish.

    • Just listened to it again and it literally gave me chills!

  17. Oh my ..I love your Dream Home, Susan… simply adorable and so you!! I did downsize to a little cottage in Oct, 2014 and still have a garage full of boxes…slowly finding a place for the things I could not bear to part with…i.e. dishes and books. I’ve had a booth at antique/consignment store since moving and sold lots of things, donated lots of things, and still have way more than I need, but that’s what we all do when downsizing. After almost a year and a half of selling, donating I’m now finding more things that I can let go… but, it has taken time. My best advice is not to part with anything “quickly”. If there is “any doubt” in your heart about parting with an item, just pack it up and take it with you. (So many people suggested I sell everything and buy new when I got settled….how could they say that?? Did they not “love” their stuff they collected for years?? So glad I did NOT follow that advice!) Believe me when you are “building your new nest”, you will find it a lot easier to let go if it doesn’t fit in the new home . I moved to be closer to family and prayed to find a small cottage (no apt, condos, etc) with minimal yard space that I could call “home”…. and it happened!!! I love my little gingerbread-style neighborhood where neighbors are friendly & most residents are retirees or single women all generally my age. Beautifully landscaped yards, flowers and each cottage is connected with a white vinyl fence with picket across top (some with arbors) and lovely gate to our own private fenced back yard. I have a small screened porch that I also enjoy. In my 1100 sq ft, I have 2 bedrooms, 2 baths vaulted open concept in living/kitchen area and huge master with vaulted ceiling and great closet space. I am loving every minute of making it my cozy place…. the only thing I miss is my wood burning fireplace and intended to add one; however, due to limited furniture placement, decided I was happy without it. “If” I should ever win the lottery, I plan to add one to the porch and that would even be better!! LOL Good luck in your dream home search…. even though lots of work, once you find the “perfect house or lot”, the rest is easy and you will LOVE doing it all over again…. believe me, the decorating is twice the fun and I promise, you will NOT miss the larger house!! Good Luck and Happy Hunting!! 🙂

    • That is such good advice, Barbara. I’m going to remember it when I get up the nerve to downsize one day. One part of me is excited about the idea of having a new place to decorate, and the other part feels overwhelmed by it all! You home and neighborhood sounds wonderful!

      • So true…It can be “very overwhelming” I have to admit as I had been in the same house for 16 years (my attic was also full). 🙁 I started by packing/selling, etc. a little over a year before the big move and that really took some pressure off of all that had to be done. I know you are very organized and that’s a SUPER key to downsizing. Because I had so many breakables as you do, I preferred to do my own packing. I had seen how my daughter’s professional movers packed, which was good, but they don’t list what’s IN each box. They just label the particular room….not good because they pack things from other areas sometimes too. On her last move we had to buy plastic forks, spoons etc. for over a week because we could not find their silverware…. everything was marked “Kitchen”. I don’t have to tell you how many boxes were labeled that way.. lol. Sorry for the length of this info, but wanted to share the little things that kept me sane through the move from one state to another. I also have some other packing supply tips to share when you find the timing is right and you’re ready to go with your dream…You can do it!! 🙂

  18. Some lovely points and GORGEOUS photos. I would love to own a cottage like this! Maybe someday…

  19. Smaller spaces are all the rage and these houses are perfect examples of what can be done with great planning. Thanks for the tours, and I’m going to click around now to your other links to see more!

  20. Phyllis gigandet says

    Love looking at these fresh homes – having lived in my home 30 years now, we are bursting at the seams but don’t know where to begin to pare down! But it is refreshing to look at these. I do have to admit, though, I still am sucked in to the “Paris apartment” look, and the English cottage and country look – guess I’ll keep my “stuff” a little longer!

  21. Thanks Susan– I love the cottage look!

    Also! I’m working on an idea that you just might love… Will check back with you if it turns out, in a month or two!

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