Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tour a Laguna Beach Cottage

Backlit by a wash of blue, the beach cottage looks as if it strayed from a fairy tale, one that begins in Laguna Beach, California. Red geraniums bloom in the window boxes, and a Dutch door stands ajar, beckoning us to step inside. 

The designer-developer, Clark Collins, is well-known in the area for meticulously restoring old, neglected cottages. Collins researches historical details, refurbishing original items, such as hardware and light fixtures. He scours antique stores for replacement pieces, making certain that each one represents the home's era:

"This charming 1946 home is a quintessential Laguna Beach cottage. Tiny at only 950 sf, but adorable. It had fallen into complete disrepair and so was a complete down to the studs remodel. All the interior pine paneling was replaced and the kitchen and two bathrooms were completely remodeled. The floors, lighting, doors and windows are original, but just about everything else is new. My goal on this project was to restore the home to how it would have felt when it was built in 1946 (with a few modern conveniences)." --Clark Collins, Designer and Developer

The cottage may only have 950 square feet, but it lives big. All of the rooms are white, which contributes to the spacious feel. Colors are drawn from a Persian rug--the red tones are echoed by the brick fireplace; blue notes are repeated in the pillow and art.

From the front door, you can see the staircase. A wood oar has been cleverly used as a rail.

Vertical planking adds height and maintains an authentic 1940s vibe. A bookcase holds everything you'd need during a weekend stay, from sea shells to books.

Three vintage bathing suits were mounted and framed, adding a splash of color, along with sustaining the by-the-sea motif. 
Beach Style Living Room by Laguna Beach Design-Build Firms Clark Collins - Collins Design & Development

In the kitchen, soapstone counters add an historic feel, and the color adds elegance and interest to the white cabinetry. Seaweed paintings draw the eye to the rear wall. Any cook would love this kitchen, with its ample counter space, storage, and state-of-the-art appliances. All details have been thoroughly researched. Instead of using typical pulls on the fridge, Collins found antique boat cleats.
Beach Style Kitchen by Laguna Beach Design-Build Firms Clark Collins - Collins Design & Development

At the other end of the kitchen, a seating area has been tucked ingeniously into a bay window. It's just the right size, leaving breathing room on either side. There's storage inside the u-shaped bench. 
Beach Style Dining Room by Laguna Beach Design-Build Firms Clark Collins - Collins Design & Development

A painting by a local artisan brightens the space. Many of the lighting fixtures are original (and were refurbished).
Beach Style Dining Room by Laguna Beach Design-Build Firms Clark Collins - Collins Design & Development

Here's another charming bookcase, holding books and beachy items.
Beach Style Spaces by Laguna Beach Design-Build Firms Clark Collins - Collins Design & Development

The upstairs bedroom has a view of the water. I love how Collins used blue and white textiles to echo the sea and sky. 

Details add charm to a corner: a handsome campaign chest, blue-and-white striped rub, and a potted fig tree.

Mirrored closet doors bounce the light and give the illusion of space. Just beyond is a bathroom.


  1. What an adorable cottage. I suspect in a house that small, they have to be well organized. It's beautiful inside and out.

  2. Oh my goodness, what a perfect little cottage.

  3. CA beach cottages have long enchanted me, and this one certainly pulls at the heart strings. Darling!

  4. lovely and so calming ... been awhile since I visited but love your blogs new look :)

  5. I adore this little cottage and LOVE Laguna Beach!

  6. I love it! Just about the size I'd want too.

  7. This is the cottage that I would want to live in!!! I adore everything about it. Aren't the vintage swimsuits, framed as art, the cutest? It's cozy, sweet and perfectly decorated. Yep, I'd love it!

  8. What a gorgeous cottage...I could definitely live there without anyone twisting my arm!!...Love those vintage framed bathing suits!

  9. I love the beachy cottages in the California coastal towns~ my favorite part of this one is the Dutch door, love that!

  10. What a delightful cottage! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  11. Stunning! I love to see old places like this brought back to they're original glory! CC

  12. It's really cute and I'm happy to know that he's saving those old houses, but "1940s feel".... hmmm..... I think he needs to research the era more ;)


  13. It's charming and you had me at the vintage bathing suits picture! What a clever idea to have framed them! :)

  14. I'm sooo totally in love with every aspect of this beautiful bungalow, I can hardly stand it.
    I love the blue and white to the moon and back..I love the living room..the bedroom is to die for..I love the mirrors on the closet doors....*heavy sigh

    1. BJ,I am so glad you liked it! You can find more of his beach cottages here: