Designer Spaces Home & Decor

Life at the Beach Designer Space


For Rob and Crystal Hasell, a young professional couple with two young children, getting away for the weekend means traveling to their summer house—next door. When the lot beside their home, where they have lived for the past five years, was for sale they bought it as an investment. What was originally planned to be a storage place for pool equipment and bikes became, due to Crystal’s inspiration, a gracious one-bedroom cottage.

“Our goal was to create a space where everyone would feel welcome, where the kids can have a blast in the pool while the adults visit and cook-up a great meal,” Crystal states. “We had a moderate budget. My husband said, ‘Just be reasonable’,” Crystal remembers. Designer Maria Killam provided guidance with colour, furniture, and finishes. “Maria and I worked together to respect a modest budget. We spent on important items like drapes, the couch, and counter top.”


Entering the cottage, guests receive a clear view to the outside pool. In the foyer, the sea shell white table, moulding, and lamp, as well as the blue and white striped rug and the accessories introduce the Nantucket aesthetic. Crystal wanted a style that was “casual and beachy with a lot of natural elements, not too glam.”


The open floor plan and the vaulted ceilings with cut glass angles create a modern, airy space. Many items in the cottage are thinly etched. The chandeliers, wooden birds, bench and blinds inhabit only a slight visual space. In the kitchen both glassware and shelves ‘disappear’ against white walls. The bathroom’s whiteness, wicker and glass is also visually expansive. Loosely woven wicker and accessories add a buoyant feeling.


To the right of the foyer is the living room. The blue sofa added a “nautical, summer house feel. It all came together from there,” Maria notes. “I just love the couch and would never have thought of it without Maria’s guidance,” Crystal states. The striped drapes inspired the sprinkles of teal in the cottage. “When working with accent colours, always try to introduce them in small, medium, and large gradations,” Maria advises.


Dark flooring found throughout the cottage is continued in the bedroom located to the foyer’s left. “We wanted to add just a splash of glam for guests,” Crystal comments. Silvered metals, elegant linens that reprise the bed frame’s scrolling, and abstract landscape art have a polished elegance.


On the patio, teal and sea blue, a sisal rug, wicker and glassware bring the interior’s themes outside. “We love to have people over. My husband is an amazing cook. He is a civil engineer but puts so much thought into cooking—the outdoor BBQ space was very important to him,” Crystal observes.

“People are speechless. They didn’t expect something like this, neither did we to be honest. We feel so completely fortunate and blessed to have a special space like this to enjoy and share with everyone. I absolutely love everything, everything! Maria is a genius. I just love it,” Crystal states.

Text by J. Lynn Fraser, Photography by Tracey Ayton, Produced by Canadian Home Trends Magazine


  • Space Designed by Maria Killam
  • Photographer,Tracey Ayton
  • Bench, Table and Coffee Table, Turquoise Lamp, Sofa, White Tall Lamp and Bench, Whale, Coasters, Other Vases, West Elm
  • Sectional, Stylus Furniture
  • White Cabinet, IKEA
  • Entry Table, Mirrors, Joss & Main
  • Rattan Chair, Mirrors, Pier 1
  • End Table, Vase on Coffee Table, Entry Lamp, HomeSense
  • Birds, Faux Flower, Seashells, Chintz & Co
  • Fans, Horchow
  • Counter Top, Caesarstone, Nougat
  • Bed, End Table in Bedroom, Chandelier, Outdoor Dining Set, Carpet, Sconces, Counter Stools, Sisal Area Rug, Area Rugs and Pillows, Big Shell, Chandeliers, Sconces and Pendants, Stools, Summer House Sign, Pottery Barn
  • Entrance Mirrors, Wayfair

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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.

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