Give your summer guests a classic coastal Maine cottage experience by incorporating these 6 elements into your guest bedroom!

Colorful summer bedroom with water view

It is the time of year here on the Maine coast when we all start getting ready for the influx of summer guests! I designed our home with these visits by family and friends in mind. Summer homes that have been in the family for years are a tradition here in Maine. I wanted our new home to feel like one of those old family homes — filled with furniture and accessories collected through the generations — but with a fresh modern spin.

Our main house has two guests rooms, plus a den with a pull-out couch and attached full bath. And the guest cottage sleeps four with a full bath, living and dining areas, and a kitchenette. I decorated all these spaces with a definite coastal Maine vibe so that my guests would feel like they are on vacation from their everyday lives!

Here are 6 ways to turn your guest room into a classic coastal Maine retreat, no matter where you live!

1. Antique furniture

The showpiece of this room is the antique cottage bedroom set. It features a bed, dresser with mirror, side table, and washstand and dates to the late 1800’s/early 1900’s. The carved headboard and mirror, scalloped detailing, and delicate painted design had my heart the moment I laid eyes on them. I bought this set for our previous home at an antiques show in Virginia, but I think it was always meant for this waterview bedroom in Maine.

You might be surprised that unique antique pieces like these can often be bought for much less than new furniture. And the craftmanship of old pieces just can’t be beat. If you prefer new furniture, though, (they didn’t make queen or king-size beds back then, and my kids hate how the drawers in the dresser stick) you can find new cottage-style pieces for a similar look!

2. Bright Summer Bedding

Pretty floral sheets in bright colors scream summer. I got these sheets from The Company Store Last Summer. They always have a nice selection of bedding in fun patterns. These or these would provide a similar look!

A quilt folded at the foot of the bed is perfect for those cool Maine nights. My quilt is an old Pottery Barn design, but this one from The Company Store is so pretty!

Be sure to keep your eye out at Target and HomeGoods for throw pillows to complete your Maine cottage look!

A dog or two lounging on the bed is the icing on the cake!

3. Striped Rug

A simple striped cotton rug is soft underfoot and adds another layer of color and pattern. Annie Selke is my go-to for striped cotton rugs.

The vintage hooked ship rug was a lucky estate sale find!

4. Vintage collections

Vintage collections are a must to achieve that “old family home” feeling in a room. The grouping of china houses was my mom’s. She had them displayed just like this on a dresser in one of her guest rooms. I think of her every time I look at them.

I spent a few months hunting for coastal watercolors in local antiques/vintage stores to create the gallery wall behind the bed. They have the feel of being collected over the course of many years, though. They don’t have to be the same size or have matching frames, but I recommend that you choose a theme to tie the display together. Most importantly, have fun with it!

5. Wicker furniture

Wicker furniture isn’t just for the porch! I love the casual coastal vibe it adds to a room. Vintage wicker is another thing that can be found for reasonable prices at antiques stores. When my grown kids visited over the last couple years, they often worked remotely. I realized I needed a small desk in each bedroom when one of my sons-in-law was conducting Zoom meetings with his computer sitting on the end of the bed! I painted this vintage cutie pale blue to match a table I have next to the bed.

6. Classic Window Treatments

This guest room has a spectacular ocean view. It also gets direct sunlight in the morning. I recently had these scallop-edged roller shades from Budget Blinds installed in the windows. Their design harkens back to simpler times, but their clean lines and modern mechanics are very much grounded in the present. And I love how that scalloped edge frames the view and also echoes the scalloped detail on the bed and dresser.

These are not your grandmother’s roller shades! They are a simpler alternative to more pricey roman shades. That said, if the flimsy roller shades of old are making you question my design sense, a simple drape or roman shade would create a similar Maine cottage look!

I hope this post has inspired you to bring a little classic coastal Maine into your home! For the story of how we ended up here in Maine (and how I ended up chatting with you here), check out my post Bold Journeys and Second Runs!

Greetings from Maine! I am so grateful you stopped by!


Highlighting coastal decor and lifestyle, Maddie and Cisco, and the way life should be...