Notes from Michael: My Cottage Guestroom’s Summer Makeover

With pieces from today’s White Sale, Rue’s home expert Michael Mosca makes over his beach house guestroom with a simple, neutral palette.

Now that summer is officially upon us, I spent the weekend readying the beach cottage for the first house guests of the season – rolling out the teak porch furniture, having new slipcovers made for a pair of comfortable reading chairs, and taking inventory of what needs to be refreshed and replaced.

On Saturday I tackled the linen closet – time to put away the wools and break out the cotton blankets and crisp cotton sheets. After a healthy purge and a donation to our local thrift store, it seemed a good opportunity for a mini-makeover for one of the guest rooms. And lucky for us, it was perfectly timed with Rue La La’s upcoming White Sale.

The smaller guest room is the only bedroom without water views, but it’s cozy and charming with a steep eave. It’s seemingly nestled into the tall pines that sit outside the bedroom’s window – several of our friends refer to it as the “treehouse” room. I envisioned creating a warm, neutral palette with white, ivory, and linen.

Here are the key players that brought the room together:

  • Hemstitched ivory sheets in a high thread count cotton sateen. I usually prefer a crisp percale, but these are so soft and luxurious that I happily broke my own rule.
  • A lightweight white cotton blanket in a basket weave pattern.
  • A linen-colored cotton quilt and shams embroidered with a subtle paisley pattern.
  • Linen window panels that let in the dappled summer sun and the warm ocean breeze.


We’d recently inherited an amazing collection of pillowcases hand-embroidered by my partner’s great grandmother, circa 1920, in excellent condition. I couldn’t resist sprinkling these into the mix, and they paired perfectly with the hemstitched cases and top sheet. For an extra punch of white, I pulled in a painted table with plenty of room for summer books and one of my favorite flea market lamps.

The room is the picture of summer cottage cozy, and I’m looking forward to welcoming the first summer guests to the the fresh and light “treehouse room.”

The White Sale opens Thursday, June 21 at 3PM ET.

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June 21, 2012