A Cozy Suburban Cottage in Black and White

By Matilda Davies

We just can’t get enough of this couple’s clean, simple style. Homeowners Lindley and Brian have mastered the art of uncomplicated, uncluttered style in their cozy suburban cottage. A black and white color scheme and few embellishments create a peaceful home perfect for achieving deep focus.

When the couple moved thirty miles to be closer to their businesses, they opted not to sell their little slice of quiet and instead put it up for rent on Airbnb—just in case they ever want to go back.

Living Space The living space—in black, white, and brown—is centered around the cottage's fireplace

Fireplace The cozy fireplace is a favorite gathering spot in the home

Dining Above the dining table hangs an acorn-shaped hammered copper light fixture

Dining Double louvered doors gate the kitchen and dining room

Details Built-ins flanking the dining room hold little details for guests to enjoy

Simplicity A side table paired with a snake plant offers a little color in a white hallway

Furniture Dressers aren't just for bedrooms—this solid piece provides a transition between the living and dining spaces

Details A favorite book and warmly scented candle make this temporary rental feel just a little more like home

Kitchen The kitchen is all in creams and whites—a seamless Corian countertop pairs well with a subway tile backsplash

Reno The couple has taken on a number of DIY projects in this home, including installing subway tile in the kitchen

Color A simple guest bedroom offers just a thread of blue to the home's bare-bones color palette

Bedroom A single black accent wall provides depth in a cool room

Bathroom The simple color scheme continues in the bathroom with black and white mosaic tile flooring

Details Details like this brushed metal faucet keep the home feeling cool and clean at all times

Yoga Lindley uses the home's sunroom as a private yoga studio

Yoga White walls, blonde hardwoods, and plenty of natural light make this room a naturally peaceful space

Details Other than a few peace-keeping accoutrement, the yoga room is free of embellishment

Patio The back patio of this suburban cottage is paved in classic basketweave brick

Approach This suburban cottage's front sidewalk is framed by gentle green hosta

A brief history of the home

As told by Lindley

The house was built in 1941, and it definitely showed that when I bought it. It’s adorable, but comes with all of the delights of an old home.

When I first bought it, I made all of the basic cosmetic updates—painted the interior white, did some landscaping, etc. This past year, though, we’ve started to tackle some of the bigger projects. We recently ripped out all of the old cabinets and this really terrible teal backsplash in the kitchen and put in subway tiles instead.

Next is to redo the kitchen countertops, but since we’re doing it all ourselves, it’s such a process. We’re also in the process of ripping up the carpet upstairs and laying down hardwoods. The only thing we’ve hired out for this house is the landscaping, and an initial lifting of the floors. Other than that, we’ve been pretty stubbornly DIY, even for things like changing out toilets.

Why did you choose this house?

I fell in love with this house the first time I saw it. The location is perfect, I loved the cozy little backyard area, I’ve always wanted a fireplace, and the sunroom that I knew would become my yoga room were huge sellers for me.

Describe your architectural/decorating style.

Minimal. Very minimal. I love white walls with green things, and I value simplicity. This house has been interesting to decorate this past year since we currently use it as a rental property on AirBnB, so we’ve had to find a mix between my minimal style and things that would be considered functional for guests.

Where do you find inspiration for your home?

Instagram. With my photography job, I have to spend at least an hour a day on there, just keeping up with trends and ideas, so I’m always screenshotting photos of what I want to do next to the house. Then I send them to Brian with the caption !!!, and somewhere between our two businesses we try to tackle them.

Tell us what you love most about this home.

The fireplace. The photos here don’t do it justice, but in the winter, I live by that thing. It’s the coziest part of the house. Last winter, I set my desktop up in front of it and worked from the living room for at least two months.

Image 1: No suburban cottage is complete without a cozy fireplace

A favorite DIY project in this home?

Putting the tile up in the kitchen. It was [Brian’s and my] first big project together, and it was both fun and miserable. It ended up being a long project—we had to put up our own drywall, lay the tile, grout the tile, etc., but it was so wonderful once it was finished to really be able to see it and be proud of it.

What type of project will you always outsource?

Yard work. I really wish I was one of those people who found peace in gardening, but I honestly don’t even like mowing the lawn. I can paint or sand or whatever else all day long, but I plant one plant and I’m done. And then it dies the next day anyway.

Anything you’d like to change about the home?

It’s so hard owning an old home, because you constantly want to make improvements. One thing, though, I’d say putting in a master bathroom. There are only two little hall bathrooms right now, and I put a lot of stock in bathing space. That’ll be a big down the road project.

Any advice for others considering listing their home on Airbnb?

It’s a LOT of fun! It’s work, though, so make sure you have the time for it. I just had to take an unexpected four-hour trip to clean up after a busted pipe, so always make sure you have time to get over there if it’s ever needed. But other than that, it’s been a great experience for us.

It’s nice to have other people enjoying the home that we put so much work into, but also to know that we can always go back if we decide we want to.

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