We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.
Name: Camille Charland Perez, husband Jeffrey, baby June, and boxers Stella and Matcha
Location: Québec City, Canada
Size: 650 square feet
Type of Home: Cottage
Years lived in: 8 months, owned
My husband and I were looking for a pied-a-terre when visiting our families. With two dogs and a baby on the way it was time we had our own space! [This cottage] is literally steps from the St -Lawrence river and down a private road with very few neighbors. For us it was the perfect mix, 15 to 20 minutes from the city center but completely private and set in nature. We rent it half of the time since we don’t live there [full-time], and come to time to relax, unwind, and enjoy the peace and quiet. You get views from every window looking out on the river and the forest. It just feels good.
My Style: My general style would be “English cottage meets Nordic countryside.” I like curated interiors, a lived-in approach, a monochromatic palette, and a minimalist touch.
Inspiration: Since we are close to the water and we have access to a small private beach, I was really inspired by the “coastal look” without being cheesy.
Favorite Element: There is something special about this place. Everyone that has come and stayed says the same thing. I don’t know if it’s the location, the wood walls, or just a peaceful feeling… so I don’t know if there is one thing I like most!
Biggest Challenge: We don’t live there full time and I was eight months pregnant when we bought it. We came only a few days at a time to fully renovate the place. It took us five months when it could have been two-and-a-half months.
Proudest DIY: Thanks to my handy husband, we did all the work ourselves. But one thing he was particularly proud of is the wood stove. We bought this used, black stove and spray painted it a creamy color. (By the way, it’s a specialty paint intended for heat.)
Biggest Indulgence: Marble countertops. Being a secondary home that’s sometimes rented out, it was a splurge compared to other items. But I wanted this place to live and age. Marble will etch and stain and look more beautiful with time. I wouldn’t change that.
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? This is a very small cottage so we had to be clever with storage. There is no closet in the bedroom, so we created one next to the fridge. It’s seamlessly integrated with the cabinets so you would think it’s a pantry!
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? The shower faucet is beyond. It makes the experience even more luxurious! The pressure, and size of the shower head — we were so pleased. Another thing I adore is our dining room chairs. They are all wood and cane and so comfortable. They came from far away, so we waited a long time, but it was worth it!
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Every room needs a storage solution: hooks, baskets, and shelves! When you have a smaller home you need to have options everywhere. We used an antique dresser as our entry console, because you can store so many things in there. We used a 2-in-1 washer unit to save space, which left us plenty of room to add shelves and storage options. Also hooks should be in the bedroom, bathroom, and entryway — anywhere you could need it.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Make it intentional. Take your time to find perfect items, and mix old with new.
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.