Friday, April 27th, 2007

Jane Coslick, Tybee Island Cottage Queen: Top Ten Beach Cottage Tips List


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
11 Comments » | Published in Community Serivce, Decorating Modern, Design Magazines, Design on the Web, Design Press, Fresh New Design, Preserving Modern Architecture  |  11 Comments

The Palm Cottage Before:


and after:

Oh my word, I have been meaning to write about Jane Coslick for years now. Seeing her latest cottage in the May issue of Cottage Living reminded me. Jane takes run down sad shacks on Tybee Island in Georgia (near Savannah) and turns them into the most vibrant and funky cottages. Her award-winning preservation efforts have prevented a lot of McMansionism and helped the island retain its casual charm. I think her own website says it much more articulately than I could ever paraphrase:

“Jane Coslick’s Designs and Restorations embraces the cottage lifestyle: open, friendly, and simple. Jane’s lovingly restored homes are painted bright colors– trimmed in crisp white, and are full of funky furnishings, many of which she designs herself. Jane blends the quirky with the quintessential and fills her homes with delights at every turn. Her passion for restoration and design has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally.”

Luscious Little Cottage:

Ah, the second home. That dreamy little beach cottage you can keep spare and perfect because you don’t need to store all of the things you need in your normal day-to-day routine. Jane’s work exemplifies the rules to live by when outfitting a second home:

1. Keep the kitchen spare and have fun with the china you pick:


This set from fishes eddy is one of my favorites for a teeny tiny beach cottage:


2. Don’t be afraid of color and some serious funky. Jane’s earlier work is full of color and pattern – she is not afraid to mix anything and everything:


3. On the flip side, when in doubt, try white. Her latest work shows more restraint – using white to make the small spaces seem larger, to show off cottage details like beadboard and scalloped edges, and to help the carefully edited touches of color stand out:




4. Fun beach details are fair game. What might seem kitschy in another setting (marlins, funny signs, shell doorknobs, palm tree painting collections) are appropriate for the cottage:

amgr15.jpg fishcampgall11.jpg

noras-cottage.jpg tybee-shutters-picture-wall.jpg


(Similarly, details like antlers, tree stumps, big stones, vintage fish creels, etc. work in mountain homes. Themey-ness is A-O.K. in these fun settings).

5. Be sure to use flowers. Hydrangeas and rugosas are especially beachy; window boxes give any cottage an instant makeover (it’s kind of the lipstick of the exterior, while fresh trim is the mascara):





6. You can incorporate modern accents and furnishings and still keep a cottage feel. Not everything needs to be shabby chic:

maddies-on-jones.jpg amgrb.jpg

By the way, isn’t the painted interior of that built-in corner cabinet wonderful? That is an idea I would like to incorporate at home.

7. Sandy feet are a fact of life. Outdoor showers are a must and inexpensive linoleum floors can be super cute and are easy to sweep:

8. Maximize porches, patios, decks and yards for maximum use. The interior of the cottage is for rainy days! Jane often puts daybeds on porches in order to maximize overnight guest capacity:


9. You will become very popular when you own a beach shack. A lot of the design is about maximizing the number of people who can sleep in the house (unless you don’t want them to come, then keep the number of beds and sofas to a minimum!):


10. I’d like to add my own beach cottage rule: No television or internet (that’s a big one coming from this TV addict). Pull out the Boggle, cards, Scrabble, Risk (the board game version) and even Monopoly. Bring your crossword puzzles and all of those books and magazines you’ve been meaning to read.

most photos from Jane Coslick Designs except for the one of Blue Star china from fishes eddy and the ones that are obviously from the Cottage Living spread. For more information about owning or renting a Coslick cottage, or about hiring Jane to help you with your own home, click here.

About Becky:
Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!

About Becky

has written 1620 post in this blog.

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!



  1. jenny says:

    April 27th, 2007 at 2:56 pm (#)

    that pink house (the luscious little cottage) is the most charming little thing ever.
    someday, i want to live in a bright pink house!
    all of these photos are such a dream, thanks for sharing becky!

  2. jill says:

    April 27th, 2007 at 9:43 pm (#)

    i adored this article when i saw it in cottage living! jane coslick is amazing!!

  3. beth thrasher says:

    May 2nd, 2007 at 5:38 am (#)

    Hi! I am Jane’s web designer– just wanted to let you know that the “Luscious Little Cottage” is for sale! For more info, visit the web site at

  4. Mark Dlugozima says:

    October 4th, 2007 at 7:31 am (#)

    Great restoration work! I have loved Tybee for 44 years and can’t wait for summer again! I have started an internet TV channel about Tybee.

  5. Becky says:

    October 4th, 2007 at 7:34 am (#)

    Hey Jenny, looks like you can buy it 🙂

    Mark and Beth, thanks for the information – everyone who wants to check out Mark’s channel, it’s here:


  6. Andrea says:

    November 16th, 2008 at 4:54 pm (#)

    Gorgeous … I want one!

  7. Genevieve from Panama says:

    February 11th, 2009 at 11:44 am (#)

    Beautiful design, I will take many ideas for my cottage, I love white.

  8. Kat says:

    February 24th, 2009 at 12:37 pm (#)

    I lovee this site and the pics are great – I always daydream about the completion of my dream “Cape Cod COttage”

  9. beth says:

    January 14th, 2012 at 6:52 pm (#)

    My husband and I stayed at one of a Jane’s designer cottages in Savannah…they are the cutest beach cottages you could ever want…I am so in love with the way she designs..I love everything she does…just remodeled my
    late Grandmothers kitchen, and went with white…and it turned out fabulous…got ideas from Jane,and will continue to use her ideas to get the rest of the house finished.

  10. Fred says:

    March 22nd, 2012 at 1:43 pm (#)

    My grandparents owned Maddie’s on Jones and this Yankee boy has fond memories enjoying fresh boiled shrimp at the dining table. I never took a liking to grits (oatmeal and brown sugar fueld us up North).

    The Chus (current owners) and their designer did a wonderful job turning Grandaddy’s dark cottage into a wonderful white cloud.

    I’m looking at buying a rental property up North and would incorporate ideas from this blog.

  11. Tonita says:

    June 29th, 2013 at 3:13 pm (#)

    What a great post. Perfect for inspiration.

    I love tiny places. I have a very teeny tiny 8′ x 18′ house. I currently have it decorated in shabby chic vintage style. Even thought it is located far from any beach I have the ability to turn it into a faux beach cottage. When I get bored with my white décor – I just add shells, beachy signs, turquoise pillows & fabrics to give it the feel of a teeny tiny beach house. This way I can pretend to be at the beach. I don’t think that location has to limit theme choices.

    Thanks for introducing Jane’s work here. I now want to see more of her work.

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