Pimp Your Cottage
Cottage Guide

Pimp Your Cottage

Whether you’re looking for a kick-ass smoker, a new stash of water toys for the kids, or an eco-friendly outhouse, consider the our Cottage Shopping series your shortcut to the cottage good life. Look for more cottage shopping guides in Ottawa Magazine’s Cottage Guide, on newsstands now or order it here!

From towels to throw cushions and area rugs to rustic mugs, elevate the tone at your summer home with finds from these original stores.

Hudson’s Bay – 73 Rideau St., 613-241-7511 (many more regional locations).

One of the keys to The Bay’s longevity is the company’s ability to remain cool while remembering its roots. Those roots date back more than 300 years to the heyday of the fur trade. Why bring up ancient history, you ask? To drive home the fact that The Bay has always had a handle on that rustic-modern vibe so vital to the Canadian psyche. Upscale any bed or couch with a thick woollen point blanket or lambswool throw, all showcasing the signature HBC stripes. The Company Collection by artist Charles Pachter also includes such cottage staples as mugs bearing an iconic moose motif, tea towels, and coasters. And if Bay memorabilia aren’t your thing, you can guarantee that beach towels are invariably on sale.

Boogie + Birdie – 256 Elgin St.,613-232-2473.

A sister shop to the magazine store Mags & Fags, Boogie + Birdie does for knick-knacks what Mags & Fags does for magazines — showcases them with love. The store boasts a highly curated selection of artsy home accessories great for upscaling your own cottage or giving as a gift to your favourite cottage owner. Think rustic mugs, nature-inspired cushions, candle holders, and other small home items. Much of the stock is local or national, including Ottawa-themed prints and solid wooden cheeseboards cut in the shape of Canada or Ontario. Simple area rugs come in handy for cold cottage floors.

Framed! – 1075 Bank St., 613-730-0477.

Cottages are often passed down generation to generation, the walls becoming more packed with family photos and favourite artworks as the years pass. Spruce up the overall look with a trip to Framed!, a store that has all the mats and frames you could ever imagine. Framed! also boasts a large selection of framed and unframed artwork (often by local artists), affordable posters, and other home-decor items, including indoor/outdoor carpets, rustic lanterns, benches, and pretty tea towels and mugs. The selection changes with the seasons. 

J. D. Adam Kitchen Co. – 795 Bank St., 613-235-8714.

This Glebe mainstay is filled to bursting with everything the busy home cook could imagine needing. Many of those items are also perfect for the cottage. There are colourful tablecloths and placemats, ideal for sprucing up a simple wood table, as well as affordable tableware from the likes of Maxwell & Williams. Inexpensive jute area rugs are perfect for warming up bare floors, and the store also stocks a range of condiments from Mrs. McGarrigle’s, Gourmet du Village, and Wildly Delicious if you need to stock the pantry in a hurry.

Urban Barn – 22 York St., 613-860-6020 (plus three more Ottawa locations).

Cheap, cheerful, and Canadian-owned, Urban Barn launched in British Columbia in 1990 and now boasts more than 50 stores Canada-wide, catering to shoppers with a taste for rustic-modern furnishings at a “just beyond Ikea” price point. It also has dozens and dozens of accent cushions and throws — the quickest way to warm up any cottage room. From animal print to fake fur to sparkly, there’s a look for every taste. And on the off chance that nothing in this varied assortment grabs your fancy, take a quick stroll around the corner to Zone (471 Sussex Dr.), which also stocks a full range of artsy-cottagey pillows with wildlife and nature themes.

Third World Bazaar – 6110 Mitch Owens Dr., Manotick Station.

It has been a fall tradition for more than a decade — heading to Peggy and Dick Bakker’s massive country barn near Manotick to load up on global gifts, clothing, carpets, and home-decor items. The Bakkers travel the world, sourcing fairly traded crafts directly from producers. Cottage owners looking to revitalize their space will find one-of-a-kind garden accents, rustic furniture (we love the tables made from teak roots), oriental rugs, tableware, cushions, and art from around the globe. Everything is very affordable — including that complete set of Mexican margarita glasses that every cottage needs. This year’s sale runs Friday to Sunday, Sept. 30–Nov. 13 (including Thanksgiving, when the bazaar is also open).