Selecting the perfect cottage is a complex feast. It requires spending a reasonable amount of time thinking about where to buy, what you want to do while there, whether it is on water or next to trails, whether there is a quaint little village next to it, or are there grapes involved?
Or maybe you’ve inherited it, and it has always been there in the family, filled to the brim with childhood memories.
Now, in May, all that matters is that you have one, and luckily so. The excitement, the anticipation, the swing on the tree and the walk on the narrow deck into the lake as the sun shines higher and higher up.
And as you get ready for the summer, here is what you should watch for:
The Heart of the matter
“Eating together is a symbol of shared life,” says Anne-Meyers Wright, an Accredited Practicing Dietitian in Australia that has extensively researched the connection between eating in company and wellbeing. When we eat together, the nutritional value of our meals increases. A proper cooking area at the cottage contributes not only to the value of the meal itself but to those beautiful moments of preparation that can be shared for as many benefits as the meal itself.
Be it a fire-pit, or a barbecue, having a good prep area around it will reap the companionship benefits of every day of the season.
The pebbles and twigs on the breakfast table
More and more cottages turn inward as opposed to outward. With four seasons and a lot of snow, many of us want to enjoy the cottage not only in the summer months but in the wintery dusty whites of a cold and hibernating nature. As the warmth defrosts the lake and melts the snow outside, before the summer sets in and outdoor meals become the norm, look at decorating your table in anticipation. And if you do not have these yet, collect them for next year: twigs, branches, pebbles, and dry leaves.
Use them on your breakfast table not at the fall dinners, as a symbol of passing, but in the spring, waiting for them to bloom. You’ll see how this little act of reframing the traditional fall objects will give you a new view and glimpse at meaning. When we respond to rituals too closely, without asking ourselves why, without moving things around, we lose ourselves in the pleasure of reliving an experience we like. Keep that. And add to it the taste of a new one.
The view out the window
Few imageries have been more tackled than the view out the window. It offers a backdrop for meditation, excitement, or relaxation. A place of belonging that, by just having it, makes you part of the spectacle of nature. And out there, we are all about that. The views out of cottage windows have the power of fairytales. A world framed neatly on all four sides, clean of intrusions, defined and controlled. We see precisely as much as we see. The world of the window is understandable and safe, a world to return to comfortably every day.
Consider crafting your view, and then make the transition from the inside the best you can. Add a deck if you don’t have one. Put a splash of colour in your outdoor furniture to invigorate it. Make room inside for a viewing spot to sip your tea or drink your morning coffee. Design and fearlessly enter the world in your window because it is yours to enjoy.
Images courtesy of Unsplash