Beth’s New-Meets-Old Beach Cottage Inspired Bungalow

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Katie Gard)

Name: Beth Puscheck, owner of Blue Cottage Hill
Location: Villa Park, Illinois
Size: 1,300 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months; owned
Who else lives here: Beth’s boyfriend & their dog, Aaron

A professional beautician by day, Beth’s always had an eye for style. And from the moment she and her boyfriend bought their 1926 cottage in the Chicago suburb of Villa Park only 6 months ago, she’s been taking her talent home and completely transforming the formerly uninspired space.

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Ceiling detail in entryway (Image credit: Katie Gard)
(Image credit: Katie Gard)

Although the home had already been renovated when they bought it, Beth wanted to add some light and color while maintaining the integrity of the vintage details —you know, the drool-worthy tiled entryway ceiling, original iron and glass doorknobs, and beautiful hardwood floors. What she achieved is a fresh, airy, beach-inspired abode that still pays homage to its well-crafted past.

Somehow, in that mysterious way that eludes decorating neophytes like myself, Beth manages to seamlessly blend the old with the new. By mixing distressed thrift store finds with more contemporary furnishings from popular name brands, she creates a mixed-media look that’s cozy and inviting. And she’s not afraid to play with color — whether by finishing her pieces in unexpected hues, painting her dining room a deep navy blue, or adding a pop of midcentury gold above a refurbished white-washed fireplace. No one can say she doesn’t take risks —and so far they’ve all paid off! (If you live near Villa Park, be sure to check out her Etsy store.)

(Image credit: Katie Gard)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I wouldn’t say I have a specific style —I just really wanted a light and relaxing atmosphere. I love the beachy, cottage feel. Things that are worn and not-so-polished are my style.

Inspiration: I’m inspired by the beach, so I wanted most of the rooms really light and airy.

Favorite Element: The furniture I have thrifted and re-finished, like the blue buffet in my living room and the distressed cabinet in my dining room. I think those are my favorites because I didn’t just buy them —I put in the work to make them unique.

Biggest Challenge: The fireplace. We wanted to open up the wall to expose more brick we discovered — for some reason past owners had covered up a large portion of it! Once the wall was opened up, we pushed back the wall above the fireplace to give it depth and room for a large mahogany mantle I had found. I had some brickwork professionally done to fix the broken areas, and then I whitewashed the brick to finish it up.

What Friends Say: “You need to come decorate my house.”

Biggest Embarrassment: The dog loves to be on the couch so it always has dirt spots.

Proudest DIY: The fireplace.

Biggest Indulgence: The sofa and chair in the living room were definitely an indulgence —I wouldn’t normally spend that much money on furniture, but they’re something I plan on keeping for a very long time.

Best Advice: Do lots of online searching before picking paint colors and schemes.

Dream Sources: World Market, Home Goods, local consignment stores.

(Image credit: Katie Gard)

Resources of Note:


  • Living Room – Sherwin Williams, Mega Greige
  • Dining Room – Sherwin Williams, Naval
  • Kitchen – Sherwin Williams, Pussywillow
  • Bedroom – Sherwin Williams, Labradorite


  • Couch and chair-and-a-half – Crate and Barrel
  • Coffee table – World Market
  • Grey chair – World Market
  • Blue buffet – Thrifted find, then refinished
  • End table – Thrifted find, then refinished
  • TV console – Ikea
  • Table lamp – Homegoods
  • Tall standing lamp – Ikea
  • Rug – Crate and Barrel


  • Table – Costco (painted white by me)
  • Small white cabinet – Thrifted find, then refinished
  • Chair – Thrifted find, then refinished
  • Rug – Pottery Barn


  • Blue cabinet – Homegoods


  • Bedframe & headboard – West Elm
  • Nightstands – World Market
  • Lamps – World Market
  • Dresser – Thrifted find, then refinished
(Image credit: Katie Gard)

Thanks, Beth!

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