Remove This Item From Your Cart?

Hi {$ myUser.first_name | capitalize $} Your Account
Log In
{$ eProductQuantity $}
{$ unreadCount || 0 $}
{$ eProductQuantity $}

Sunset Magazine's Smart Cottage Gets A Decorist Makeover

AUGUST 19, 2017
Photo credit: Julia Sperling

Each spring Sunset Magazine puts on their annual Sunset Celebration Weekend where their magazine virtually comes to life. This year we're excited to announce that Decorist was asked to design the tiny guest cottage on their beautiful property in Sonoma County.

The idea behind the cottage was to make it a high-style, high-tech home designed 100% online by Decorist, sourcing from online retailer The Mine, using Thumbtack's online services to find local contractors and Mosaic technologies to get all the smart gadgets talking to each other. You can say, it was the house—or the chic smart cottage—that the internet built. 

Today we'd like to take you on the tour of that cottage to see the beautiful rooms designed by both Decorist Head of Design Jessica McCarthy and in-house designer Emily Gaydon. Needless to say, this 19th century cottage now has a 21st century modern farmhouse look.

Sit back, scroll through and enjoy! Room after room will prove that a great designer can make magic online!


The kitchen designed by Decorist Head of Design Jessica McCarthy has a country-chic farmhouse feel with a sleek modern twist found in the appliances. With Samsung's smart fridge, oven and hood, Jessica weaved these new more efficient appliances with the earthy elements found in the rest of the decor.

Not wanting to do a major kitchen renovation, Jessica had the upper cabinets removed and painted the lower cabinets slate blue—Chalkboard Wool. Butcher-block counter tops were installed and a simple subway tile backsplash runs from counter-to-ceiling. Jessica wanted open shelving to make the small space feel more open and inviting and styled it with beautiful baskets, cutting boards and gorgeous pottery from Heath Ceramics. 

The rust color Turkish-inspired rug from The Mine adds a bit more color and interest to the kitchen giving it a sophisticated aged bohemian vibe.

On the wall opposite the sink, a simple gallery wall was created using prints from Artfully Walls. Jessica included a narrow industrial console with vintage stools to add a bit of seating. 


Living Room

To make the narrow living room feel as expansive as possible, Jessica chose small-scale furnishings such as this narrow linen sofa. In order to cover an old heating unit, a built-in bookcase was installed that served a dual purpose adding much needed storage. Drawing from a similar hue in the kitchen, the bookcase was painted blue. The acrylic paintings on the wall are from a Northern California artist, Caryn Owens

When it comes to decorating a small space, Jessica purposely chose some multi-functional pieces. Rather than a classic coffee table, she used two stools that could provide a surface for drinks/decorative items but could also be moved around or used for additional seating. The chic leather sling safari chair adds a relaxed one-of-a-kind feel to the room and the sophisticated stacked horn table lamp works beautifully with the modern farmhouse look.

To add some texture and interest, a gallery wall of baskets found on Etsy helps to create a diversion to the mounted TV. Strategically placed in the living room, Amazon's Echo controls the Nest thermostat, the smart lights and the TV's smart speakers. The weathered wood and metal media console adds a slight industrial feel to the room.


Master Bedroom

Keeping with the cottage vibe, the master bedroom also designed by Jessica has a serene, feminine feel with the floral wallpaper and hints of blush. Jessica added a variety of materials to the room using a solid wood headboard and creamy linen bedding from Rough Linens.

Rather than traditional table lamps, Jessica used sconces that helped to free up the night stands for decorative objets. The plug-in sconces add an additional decorative element and replace the need for art. Not wanting to have too much technology in the master bedroom, a simple Dyson fan/air purifier helps to ensure that the temperature and air quality are perfect. 

The vintage chair with the lush sheepskin throw and and gigantic leather tassel add more texture and interest to the bedroom.

The pale tones throughout the room, as well as touches of rattan, play off the pattern on the walls.

Kid's Room

The kid's room was devised to transition for toddler to teen. Decorist in-house designer Emily Gaydon designed the room continuing with the blue color scheme found in the kitchen and living room. However, this room has a little bit of a mid-century feel with the custom murphy bed designed by California Closet. The molded chair, ceramic lamp and built-ins continue with that mid-century asethtic.


The mix of indigo textile pillows from Well Made Home and the more colorful bohemian pillows  give a pop of color to the white bedding and help draw the hue from the living room and kitchen. The pièces de résistance in the room was the woven wool wall art by local artist Meghan Shimek which helped tie it all together.

One of Emily's favorite smart gadgets in the room was the digital framed canvas by Meural. It's a fun and dynamic way to showcase your kid's own artwork.


The bathroom also designed by Emily continues with the rustic feel found in the rest of the cottage however, it's updated with modern fixtures and accessories. The shower curtain has hints of blueish/gray and orange that help tie into the rest of the cottage. Emily added a vanity in a wood tone intentionally lighter than in adjacent rooms giving it a clean and updated look. The light fixture adds an industrial edge to the design.

To read more about the smart home devices used in the cottage, check out the story in Sunset Magazine. And if you want your own smart home design, start a Decorist design project today! You can work with Jessica or Emily or any of our other 400 plus designers. Happy Decorating!

Beautiful interior design.

Easy, affordable, and all online.

Design Delivered.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for your exclusive offer.