Blog - Cottage Culture


Incorporating 2023 "Colours of the Year" into your outdoor space

Incorporating 2023 "Colours of the Year" into your outdoor space


At the end of each year, it is tradition for interior designers, paint experts, and fashion gurus to release their predictions for the hottest colours of the upcoming year. “Colours of the Year” are based on societal and design trends the experts see, and every industry pays attention to them. Amazingly, these annual predictions can influence everything from paint colours to couch cushions to kitchen appliances.

Are you ready to see the 2023 “Colour of the Year” predictions? Read on below to see the trendiest colours and learn more about incorporating them into your outdoor living space.


“Colour of the Year” Predictions for 2023 

While 2022 focused on bringing more green into interior and exterior spaces, the 2023 “Colours of the Year” are all about self-expression and prioritizing health and well-being in the home.

Nods to nature and earthy tones are popular and utilized to create spaces that feel protected, calm, and cozy. Elegant whites and grey-beiges are also trending, creating opportunities for fresh starts.

Here are all the predictions we have seen so far:

  • Terra Rosa (Dunn-Edwards)
  • Redend Point (Sherwin-Williams)
  • Canyon Ridge (Better Homes and Gardens)
  • Blank Canvas (Behr)
  • Vining Ivy (Glidden)
  • Rustic Greige (Dutch Boy)

While not highlighted in this article, Valspar has also unveiled its picks for "Colours of the Year" with 12 stunning hues that echo the trends noted by other experts. Cozy White, Gentle Violet, Rising Tide, and Villa Grey are just some of the colours on their esteemed list.

Below, we dive into some of the different colours of the year and offer tips on how to incorporate them into your outdoor living space.


Terra Rosa (Dunn-Edwards) 

Terra Rosa by Dunn-Edwards is a bold, romantic, nostalgic, and approachable hue perfect for a neutral background or as an accent colour. It’s rosy-pink tones with a slight nod to terracotta provide a sophisticated, yet pretty look for any space.

This "Colour of the Year" pairs well with white accents, tan linens, slate greys, and blush pinks. Add pops of black, green, sky blue, or yellow to complement Terra Rosa and make the space your own.

Complement Terra Rosa colours on your deck or patio with a Pamir Pendant Lampshade in beige or natural. Toss a Solid Crinkle Throw in Fawn Pale Beige/Medium Beige over your outdoor sofa or add a pop of yellow in your outdoor kitchen with a Dandelion Linen Hand Towel.  

For a moodier look, incorporate black and slate furniture or accents. Try the 3ft Polygon Fire Bowl or the Amesdale Lounge Set.

Redend Point (Sherwin-Williams) 

Redend Point by Sherwin-Williams is a beautiful blush-beige with pink undertones that is a perfect example of a mid-tone neutral. It offers warm energy with earthy colours, creating a sense of serenity while bringing a touch of desert-esque nature to a space.

This modern and energizing neutral can stand on its own or pair well with other neutrals like beige. Similar to Terra Rosa, Redend Point looks great with white. It is enhanced by natural accents like rattan, terra cotta, and grassy greens.

Pair Redend Point with unique décor items like the Dutchess Indoor/Outdoor Pillow in your outdoor space. Opt for rattan patio furniture like the Kamomill Armchair or accessorize with the Haya Set of 3 Outdoor Planter Baskets with a rattan finish. A Hassel 2.5 Seater Sofa would also look stunning with a Redend Point-coloured pillow or throw.

Canyon Ridge (Better Homes and Gardens) 

The terra cotta-inspired and pinky trend continues with Better Homes and Gardens pick - Canyon Ridge. However, while Terra Rose and Redend Point lend themselves to a more romantic, traditional, or moody look (depending on how you choose to style it), Canyon Ridge creates opportunities to have some fun.

A vibrant cobalt pairs well with Canyon Ridge, as do greens, reds, and whites. Because this "Colour of the Year" works well with almost any hue, you can express your creativity and bring your own style to the mix. For modern spaces, take the risk with cobalt accents. Opt for denims for rustic spaces, or stick with a timeless navy if a traditional look is what you are going for.

Try the Noosa Pillow or the Atlas Fleece-Lined Throw for denim décor. The Bertrix Pillow in Patterned Sand would also pair perfectly with desert-inspired Canyon Ridge.   

Blank Canvas (Behr) 

Blank Canvas by Behr is appropriately named due to its ability to complement any design you can envision. This "Colour of the Year" offers a clean, fresh, rejuvenating, and inviting 

hue that provides more visual interest (and less starkness) than pure white. Use it on its own or as a grounding starting point for visually appealing layers.

Blank Canvas offers limitless possibilities for both indoor and outdoor living spaces. It invites us to embrace a fresh start and aligns with the trend of creating a sense of calm and rejuvenation. Yet, at the same time, it challenges us to demonstrate our individuality.

Bring Blank Canvas aesthetics into your patio furniture with outdoor sectionals like the Lyra 2.5 Seater or Armchair. The Vevi Coffee Table in white is another way to incorporate the vibes of Behr’s Colour of the Year.

Complement Blank Canvas-esque outdoor furniture by boldly experimenting with different colours, textures, patterns, and materials. Try a rug like the Bold Strike Shag Mat, add some interest to your table with the Kimono Rectangle Placemat, or incorporate pops of colour with the Patek Turkish Towel


Vining Ivy (Glidden) 

Glidden’s Vining Ivy brings nods of nature into your space with its blend of blues and greens. While it looks like a bold choice at first, this energizing “Colour of Year” is extremely versatile and can work in both classic and contemporary styles.

Use Vining Ivy to create a welcoming, cozy, and tranquil environment that feels homey for you and your guests. In your outdoor living space, utilize Vining Ivy as an accent in your patio cushions, pillows, throws, rugs, and towels.

Pair Vining Ivy with wood finishes, rich textures, and stone accents. For a concrete tabletop look, try the Virgo Coffee Table. Opt for the Eios Teak Dining Table or the Circus Dining Table with Lazy Susan to incorporate natural wood. 


Rustic Greige (Dutch Boy) 

Last but certainly not least is Rustic Greige by Dutch Boy. As its name suggests, this "Colour of the Year" is a mix of grey and beige. It has subtle red undertones, which make it a great match for the other earth-tone paint and décor items that are on-trend.

Like other colours on the list above, Rustic Greige is grounding, cozy, comforting, and calming. Its warm, neutral tones can be used as a backdrop to soften bolder colours, but it can also stand on its own as the focal point.

To complement Rustic Greige in your outdoor living space, incorporate the Blixt Lounge Chair in Pink. Alternatively, make greys a focal point with an outdoor sectional from the Ambon collection. The Ayla Turkish Towel in Red is also a creative way to stay on trend, add visual interest, and pull out the red undertones of Rustic Greige.


2023 "Colour of the Year" Wrap-Up 

Whether you are attracted to the bold and romantic hues of Terra Rose, the warm energy of Redend Point, or the opportunity to be adventurous with Canyon Ridge, you 

are sure to find outdoor furniture and decor items that bring in one (or more) of these "Colours of the Year." Pair the desert and terracotta-inspired hues with earthy colours like tan, white, blue, green, and yellow. Also, plan to have some fun experimenting with different textures, patterns, materials, and finishes.

For nods of nature and a bold yet versatile colour (that may initially seem beyond your comfort zone), opt for Vining Ivy's blue-green blend. Make it the star of your space, or incorporate it more subtly with outdoor décor and accessories. Pair it with wood and stone accents to keep your outdoor space on-trend.

If Terra Rose, Redend Point, Canyon Ridge, and Vining Ivy seem too adventurous for now, colours like Blank Canvas and Rustic Greige may be just what you are looking for to rejuvenate your space. Both hues are cozy, inviting, and versatile. Utilize them as a base for layering or let them shine as the focal point. Dare to pull in the other "Colours of the Year" with outdoor pillows, throws, towels, and rugs.

No matter which colours you choose to spruce up your backyard, deck, or patio next year, we know you will have a great time experimenting with colour and expressing your personal style.


Stay on Trend in 2023 with Cottage Culture 

What did you think of the 2023 "Colours of the Year?" Did any of the hottest colours for summer 2023 catch your eye? Are you already getting excited about how to incorporate some of them into your backyard, patio, or deck? If so, you will love what Cottage Culture has in stock!

Browse our online patio furniture collection or visit our showroom in Hensall, Ontario to start making your vision come to life. Though you are likely packing up your outdoor living space and preparing to hunker down indoors for the winter, it is never too late to start planning for your perfect patio next season!

Are you looking for outdoor living inspiration? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Angela Roth at 7:00 AM
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How to Beat the Winter Blues -with Scandinavian inspiration

How to Beat the Winter Blues

with Scaninavian inspiration!

With approximately a week and a half under our belts since ‘falling back’ to Standard time, we’re just now adjusting to getting up in the dark and coming home from work in the dark. The urge to ‘cocoon’ is great - at least for myself! - burrowing in for a few more minutes in the morning, or snuggling down with a cozy throw in the evening to keep warm indoors, while nights get colder and darker outside. No surprise that it’s the significantly reducing amount of sunlight as the days shorten, and then losing that extra hour of daylight that can trigger a lethargic feeling and the impulse to hibernate.


In Scandinavia, during the long and dark winter months of the year, Scandinavians traditionally try to interject as much light as possible into their lives. The Lucia festival, which happens on December 13th every year, is just one example of this; but light doesn’t just mean actual light, it also means comfort, joy and well-being. It is a philosophy and way of living that consistently lands the Scandinavian countries on the Top 10 list of the happiest people on earth, and something we perhaps might consider striving toward!

If colder weather and shorter days are causing you to feel the ‘winter blues’ like our Northern neighbours, you’re not alone! During the cold, dreary months in the midst of our Canadian winter season, it’s not uncommon to experience fatigue, sadness, difficulty concentrating, and a disruption in sleep schedules. However, there are ways to rally and inject the components of comfort, joy and well-being into your life! And we want to help you pre-empt any of those feelings with a number of strategies outlined below.


Counteracting hibernation tendencies   

We are a social species, but at this time of year it’s sometimes difficult to remember! However, we can push through those lethargic feelings and rally, with a few researched and tested strategies listed below.

  • Regular sleep routine and schedule

  • Exercise – keep active!

  • Follow a Balanced Diet (boost your mood with the right food)

  • Take Vitamins (Vitamin D)

  • Keep Warm

  • Seek out the Sun – get outside and maximize natural light therapy

  • Fresh Air

  • Surround yourself with Good People

  • Manage your Screen Time – take a break from the News

  • Take up a New Hobby/Make evening plans and commit in advance

  • Home activities

  • Nurture your Spirit and Stimulate your Senses

  • Spend time by a Fire

  • Use a Light lamp (the kind SAD folks use, if all else fails)

Let’s detail each of these various ways to balance the urge to just head home and hibernate:

1. Regular Sleep Routine and Schedule

Sleep is a big component of mood, as, without adequate regular sleep, psychologist Kelly Donahue, PhD says our circadian rhythm can get disrupted. This disruption then disrupts cortisol rhythms and impacts hormone production. To improve sleep Donohue recommends:

  • Go to sleep and wake up ath the same time every day

  • Follow a simple bed time routine that signals rest to the body, such as taking a bath, turning down the lights, drinking a cup of herbal tea

  • Expose yourself to light as soon as you wake up

  • Sleep in a cool, dark room

  • Don’t use electronics in your bedroom

  • Write any worry thoughts on a piece of paper before bed, so if you wake up in the night, you can tell your mind that everything is recorded to be dealt with in the morning

2. Exercise

Exercise relieves stress, builds energy and increases mental and physical well-being. Getting at least 20 minutes of vigorous activity four times a week has been shown to reduce depressive mood, according to Dr. Jacqueline Gollan, PhD professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. And there are a variety of ways to get exercise, she points out. Get a gym membership if that’s what it takes to keep you warm and working out, but you could also try running up and down the stairs. If twenty or thirty minutes feels like too much to start, try breaking it down to 2X10 or 3X10 – two or three mini-workouts of ten minutes each throughout the day.


3. Follow a Balanced Diet

Healthy eating has been shown to benefit mental as well as physical health. Consuming protein with breakfast, lunch and dinner can enhance mood and prevent sugar and carb cravings later in the day. Balance your craving for carbohydrates such as pasta and potatoes with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Also, including foods high in Vitamin D such as fatty fish, fish oil, and Vitamin D fortified foods like milk, breakfast cereal, yoghurt and other food sources can help balance mood according to the National Institues of Health.


4. Take Vitamins

Make sure you are taking a multi-vitamin, this time of year, and perhaps a Vitamin D supplement if you are not getting enough in your diet. Consider consulting with your doctor to determine if there is a particular supplement you may need to make sure your system is balanced and healthy. A vitamin deficiency may be the cause of inconsistent moods or fatigue.

5. Keep warm

According to the NHS Health Scotland, being cold makes you more depressed. It’s also been shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by half. Keep warm with hot drinks and hot food. Wear warm clothes and shoes and aim to keep your home between 18 and 21 degrees Centigrade (or 64- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit). You can also enjoy a wide selection of Pokoloko alpaca sweaters and accessories, available at Cottage Culture, to help keep you warm.


6. Seek out the Sun

Give yourself every opportunity for daylight, even when inside, such as by placing your chair, kitchen table, workstation or exercise equipment near a window. And getting outside needs to be a priority during the winter months – soaking up the sun even in winter temperatures is critical. (Melrose S. Seasonal affective disorder: an overview of assessment and treatment approaches.). Finally, if time and budget allow, plan a midwinter visit to a warmer, sunnier climate; it will give you something to look forward to and it will address your Vitamin D deficiency.


7. Fresh Air

Even though it’s cold outside, bundle up and make sure to get some fresh air. Getting fresh air increases your energy, reduces stress and improves the quality of sleep – so make it a point to go outside and go for a walk! Plus, try to go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days.


8. Surround yourself with Good People

Loneliness and isolation tend to make the effects of the winter blues worse. That’s why your personal support system, which may include friends, family and co-workers should be on speed dial. If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that human contact and socialization are important to our mental health. And when you are dealing with the winter blues, finding a way to spend time with supportive people is key to boosting your mood. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept any invitations you get to social events, even if you go for only a short time. Activities may include walks outdoors, talking on the phone, visiting a local exhibit, trying out a new restaurant or coffee dates (virtual or in person).


9. Manage your screen time

Being indoors more often in cold weather tends to mean an increase in screen time, whether spent watching television, looking at our computer screen or playing on our phone. Too much screen time diminishes mood, builds fatigue and creates too many distractions. Plus, if this time is spent consuming a non-stop news cycle, you may feel an increase in the winter blues, stress or despair from the news. So, try to limit the amount of time spent in front of a screen, and if possible, schedule one hour to consume news, whether in one sitting or broken up in chunks.


10. Take up a new hobby/make evening plan

Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms of SAD, says Sue Pavlovich of the UK organization, Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA). It could be anything, such as playing bridge, singing, knitting, joining a gym or writing a blog. The important thing is that you have something to look forward to and concentrate on.


11. Home activities

Cooking, reading, watching enjoyable shows or participating in family games – crokinole is making a comeback! – are all easy and enjoyable home activities, which give you something to plan and look forward to, whether for yourself or the whole family.


12. Nurture your Spirit and Stimulate your senses

Slow down and curl up in a cozy chair with a good book or write in a journal. Some people find that painting their walls – or even their nails - a bright colour can improve their outlook. Scents, as well, can add to your feelings of well-being – try peppermint or citrus essential oil or some other energizing scent.


13. Spend time by a fire

According to a study from the University of Alabama, sitting by a fire decreases blood pressure and helps you relax. The warmth, the cracking sounds, the smoky smell and light of a natural fire help soothe and comfort especially when it is cold. Cottage Culture has lovely Iron Embers firepits to facilitate building that mood-lifting natural fire, along with cozy throws to help keep you warm


14. Light Lamp

If you don’t find relief from some of the more low-level interventions, you may want to consider light therapy, which some people find effective for seasonal depression.


I hope that these helpful pointers will  be useful and aid you in enjoying the winter months. this year. ."As my mohter always said, "this too shall pass." Before you know it spring will be here and you will be planning your nexr Summer adventure! 


Janet Baird-Jackson at 3:21 PM
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Decorating for the holidays with a Scandi vibe

Decorating for the holidays with a Scandi vibe


I am in love with Scandinavian design! The minimalist, clean look incorporated with warm hues of nature speaks to me. When it comes to the winter months I am drawn even more to the Scandi vibe. I think this may come from my aversion to the dreary winter months and my constantly looking for ways to bring light and warmth into my home during this cold grey season.  With this in mind I thought this year, I would delve more into decorating my home in a Scandi vibe for the holiday season. The simplicity and coziness of the Scandinavian Christmas décor creates a peacefulness (that I think we all need at some point during the holidays).


Here are some decorating tips for a Scandi Christmas vibe to help you bring some peaceful Scandi bliss into your home this holiday season.


  1. Lots of white.  As with year-round Scandinavian design white is the main feature. White is traditionally used in Scandinavian interiors to reflect the natural light and spread the light around the home during the long cold winter months. Strings of white beads on Christmas trees along with handmade crochet snowflake ornaments would be one way to infuse white into your Scandi Christmas decorating. Since it is the holiday season be sure to add in pops of colour, red is always a sure-fire fit! Be sure to create contrast and depth by adding pops of black, maybe with candle holders or with your dinnerware when setting the holiday table.

  2. Light natural wood. Woods such as beech, pine and ash are commonly used in Scandinavian design. This carries through with Christmas décor in the way of strings of wooden beads for the Christmas tree, dough bowls used as table décor and even wall décor of various forms. Handmade wooden carvings of horses placed with a sprig of greenery or a little bow placed around the home creates a quick and easy Scandi Christmas décor.

  3. Texture. Texture, texture, texture, this is what brings in the warmth when decorating.  The Scandi vibe includes sheepskins anywhere you can use them, chunky knit throws and felt décor pieces. A basket filled with throws and sheepskins placed by the couch in the living room screams “come sit, be cozy!” And cozy is yet another element of Scandi design and maybe one of the main elements! I am sure you have word of the word Hygee. This is the Danish and Norwegian word that loosely translated means coziness and comfort, a feeling of well-being and contentment. Textured pieces create this coziness.  Felt bowls filled with extra Christmas tree decorations placed on a shelf or as a center piece or even the use of felt coasters add a layer of texture creating the cozy vibe.

  4. Lighting. Nothing creates a mood more than lighting and this is especially true with the Scandi vibe.  The white base of your Scandi design is there to help reflect the light as the available daylight is in short demand. Candles are a must have when you are creating a Scandi Christmas. Candles give you height when used in your table décor and create such a warm and welcoming vibe when lit. There is truly something special about enjoying a meal over candlelight. Another lighting element to consider when you are thinking about your Christmas décor is twinkle lights, a must have for any Christmas decorating. I love the simplicity of the lighted bare branch trees in white either on their own or clustered in a group in a corner. You can choose to hang a few simple red ornaments on them for a festive flare or leave them bare, either looks great and creates a warm feeling. Need help adding light to that far corner of the room? Maybe a textured floor lamp on a dimmer switch would help create the feeling you are looking for? I love the Midway floor lamp; the handwoven rattan floor lamp instantly adds warmth to a corner even when it is not lit up! When the floor lamp is turned on the cascading rays of light on the floor add yet another design element.

  5. Greenery. Bring the outside in! Natural elements are a main principle of Scandi design. Sprigs of evergreen are a must have in Christmas Scandi décor. A simple branch hung on the wall is a great place to display your collection of Christmas cards and well wishes from friends and family. A small evergreen sprig with a tied bow of twine placed at each table setting on top of a linen napkin is great way to incorporate nature into your dining table décor.

    Potted plants throughout the home is another Scandinavian design element. To carry this design element through the holiday season, use smaller potted evergreens placed throughout your home. Placed on the foyer table or kitchen countertop these little saplings instantly create a natural holiday flare. These potted evergreens are readily available this time of season and bring a natural pop of colour and texture to the home. Not to mention, this is an environmentally friendly form of seasonal decorating as you can plant these evergreens around your home in the spring.

  6. Less is more. As with traditional Scandi design decluttering is key.  Clean lines and minimal adornment carry through to decorating for the holidays. You may find this an easy form of decorating but admittedly this is one of the hardest Scandi decorating tips for me to follow. I tend to decorate an area and leave a box in the room, for the next few days, every time I walk by the decorated area I “edit” taking some pieces away. By the end of the few days, I usually have the desired minimal look.

  7. Make it personal.  The holidays are all about family and traditions, don’t forget to incorporate this into your holiday decorating. Even if some items may not align with the Scandi vibe, if these pieces mean something to you it is important to have them in your space.  You want your indoor space to be as unique as you, this is what makes it special and memorable.

Angela Roth at 6:00 PM
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Fire pits and bowls vs Fire Tables

Fire Pits and Bowls vs Fire Tables: What's The Best for Your Outdoor Space? 

Creating an inviting and cozy outdoor space can be a challenging task. You need to consider everything from decking to even fire features. Choosing the correct fire feature for your outdoor space can help create the inviting environment you desire.

Whether you choose to use wood or gas (propane or natural) adding a fire feature to your cottage or home is a fantastic way to extend the use of your outdoor space. It can help extend its use into the colder months, or add a bit of flare in the warmer ones. To help you make the right choice for your space here are the differences between fire pits and bowls and a fire table. Hopefully it will allow you to create the best outdoor oasis you can.

Before choosing your best option, here are a few things to consider:

Is this for heat or ambiance?

  • Fire pits and fire bowls are meant to provide heat.
  • Fire tables are meant to provide ambiance.
  • You can opt for custom options to provide both heat and ambiance as you can control the number of BTUs (British Thermal Unit) the burner is outputting by turning the flame up or down.

Fuel source 

  • Wood is an excellent choice if you have an abundance of trees that you can use for free fuel.
  • Propane requires a tank, which can be an eye sore and requires covering and proper storage.
  • Natural gas, is it available in your area and will you have to run a line to the area and hide the gas line.


  • Is there something on the market to suit your needs or will you require something custom?
  • Units on the market will range from 40000 BTU up to 150000 BTU on average they are around 50000 BTU.
  • There are many assorted sizes, shapes, and materials available on the market.


  • Fire regardless as to how the flame is produced is still fire and if you play with fire, you’re going to get burnt.
  • Never leave a fire unattended on your deck if small children or animals are around.
  • Accidents do happen and a fire could have dire consequences.
  • One advantage of a fire table over a fire pit is the table does provide more of a barrier to the flame for smaller children.
  • Fire tables are a better option if you are looking at or already have a composite deck.
  • Gas is safer than wood as you can turn off the gas to stop the flame rather than having to put out a wood fire with water or an extinguisher.


  • How much money do you have for a fire feature?
  • Tables are double the price of fire pits as they serve a dual purpose, table and ambiance.
  • Custom options are available, but this is going to be the most expensive option.

Fire Pits and Fire Bowls 

Fire Pits come in every shape, size, and material and are usually between 19” and 25” in height. You can choose from several types depending on what fuel you are looking to burn, wood, propane, or natural gas. You could also opt to buy a wood grate or gas burner and build the fie pit from interlocking brick, stone, or some other type of fireproof material. You can use your fire pit or fire bowl for outdoor marshmallow or weenie roasts; however, caution is needed when using propane or natural gas burners as to not let the marshmallow fall into the burner (not fun cleaning up after that).

Wood burning are the most common option available on the market (as of time of writing), but it does depend on your municipality as to whether you can burn wood and they usually have restrictions as to where they can be placed and how far from flammable materials it needs to be. Depending on the size of the fire pit, it will restrict the amount of wood that can be put in the fire pit, which will restrict the amount of heat produced. Check to see what you are looking for in terms of area that you are looking to heat before purchasing your wood fire pit. The manufacturer may also have grills or other attachments for your wood burning fire pit or fire bowl that might make this option even more appealing as it can be used to cook as well. Cottage Culture offers a great selection of high-quality wood-burning firepits in a variety of stunning designs! 

Propane and natural gas versions can be used anywhere since the fuel can be extinguished by simply turning off the gas so there is no danger of sparks starting an accidental fire. There are several types of gas fire pits, and they are listed in BTU or how much heat they will produce. You will need to see the diverse options on the market to choose the size appropriate for your space.

Fire bowls are usually a propane or natural gas burner in various shapes such as round, square, rectangular, or custom built that are added to your landscaping to be used as a fire accent throughout your outdoor space.

These features can include one or several fire bowls on top of a waterfall to fill your pool. They can be used to light a pathway or to provide lighting and flame in various sections of your outdoor space to show separation of the areas.

Important things about Fire Pits and Fire Bowls 

  • Suits lots of distinctive styles: modern & traditional.
  • Works well in areas that have limited space.
  • Classic campfire appeal and smell with real wood.
  • Larger fire bowls are not visually overwhelming in an outdoor landscape.
  • Creates intimate seating areas and provides warmth.
  • Allows you to have a larger flame because there is no limiting tabletop.
  • You can purchase covers for both fire pits and fire bowls.

Things to think about before purchasing a Fire Pit and Fire Bowl 

  • Restrictions in your municipality regarding fire pit placement.
  • Limited seating options around your fire bowl.
  • More difficult to find the right bowl suitable for a large area and may require a custom solution.
  • Side table may be required to hide the propane tank as well as to place drinks.
  • May not be recommended for a narrow space as it might overwhelm with heat or limit movement.


Fire Tables 

As it suggests this is a table that has a fire bowl inside it. This allows you to use the table like normal either at coffee table or bar height to enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvre, while also enjoying a fire in the centre to provide ambiance and warmth. You can also get one at dining table height with a fire feature inside, that would allow you to eat a full meal around a burning fire in the centre of the table.

Wood burning fire tables are less common, but there are some available on the market. You have much less control over the heat because you are adding logs to your fire. You would also have less control over the fire itself and would need to be careful with children or animals being round it.

Propane and natural gas tables are more common, and some manufacturers even allow you to swap out the fire bowl for a metal bowl to add ice to keep your bottles cold for cocktails in the warmer months when the fire bowl is not being used. Some fire bowls have fake logs or even fake stones, but most manufactures today use the fire glass as the colour choices are varied and can coordinate with the colours in your furniture or other accents in your outdoor space.

Fire tables are made of metal or metal with stone tops or tiled tops that usually are part of a line of patio furniture. There are tables on the market as stand-alone items that can co-ordinate with your existing furniture in your backyard oasis. You can also buy ones that are part of patio sets, that way you ensure all your furniture matches. They also help provide a sleek and modern look to any outdoor space and can go with a variety of design choices and styles.


Important things about Fire Tables 

  • Useable space for drinks and snacks or even a full meal.
  • Options for cold drinks when not using the fire bowl are available with some manufacturers.
  • Available in different shapes and sizes of tables as well as the fire bowls.
  • Squares or rectangular tables work well with sectional furniture.
  • Better suited for small or narrow spaces.
  • You can purchase covers for fire tables and side tables.
  • They can be purchased as part of a furniture collection.

Things to think about before buying a Fire Table 

  • Designed for less heat because of proximity to the fire.
  • The fire bowl may require a glass barrier.
  • Does the table come with a cover for the fire bowl when not in use?
  • May require an additional side table to hold a propane tank if there is not room under the table.

Picking the best option for your outdoor space can be challenging and seem to be a daunting task. Hopefully this will help you in creating your dream outdoor oasis and complete your space. Whether it be with a Fire Pit, Fire Bowl, or Fire Table creating the best space for you is the best option.



Angela Roth at 12:07 PM
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What's so special about alpacas?

What's so special about Alpacas?

Pokoloko and Cottage Culture

It’s hard to believe that it’s already 12 years ago now, this month, that I was travelling with a group of friends through Peru, first visiting the Amazon, then Cuzco, the Sacred Valley and the UNESCO World Heritage Site dating from the 15th century, Machu Picchu. It was on the journey from Cuzco to the Sacred Valley that I first met live alpacas, and the first of numerous artisans creating clothing from the soft fibres of these woolly animals. Of course, I had to bring home an alpaca sweater, which I continue to enjoy today!

After visiting this special part of the world, it is easy to see what inspired Jessie Lyon and Case Bakker (the co-founders of Pokoloko) to share the wares and support the local artisans of the area with the rest of the world.

With a shared value of fair-trade principles and eco conscious ideals Jessie and Case started Pokoloko. A brand that curates unique high-quality artisanal goods from around the world. Pokoloko has grown to over 1000 boutiques across North America and supports over 100 artisan families in South America, Turkey, Morocco, and Indonesia.

Cottage Culture shares the principles and ideals that are Pokoloko, and we are proud to carry the unique heirloom-quality items created by these gifted artisans from around the world. We love the quote

     “You can’t empower women in one country while exploiting             women in another.”

What's so special about the alpaca?

The alpaca is a species of South American camelid mammal, domesticated and kept in herds that graze on the high levels of the Andes in Southern Peru at altitudes of 11,000 to 16,000 feet above sea level(!), where they are sustainably bred and raised for their fibre. That’s right it, it’s called alpaca fibre, not alpaca wool. Alpaca fleece is the natural fibre harvested from the alpaca. This is harvested once a year by shearing the alpaca, usually in the springtime depending on location. The shearing of the alpaca in no way harms the animal, in fact alpacas need to be sheared once a year to protect the animal’s health.  The alpaca can not shed like a horse, cat or dog making them unable to manage the summer heat. This alpaca fibre is used for making knitted and woven items similar to sheep’s wool.

And did you know? Alpaca is one of Earth’s most sustainable fibres! Alpacas have soft, padded feet - not hooves – which minimize soil erosion in their environment. They consume less water and food than their camelid relations, and nibble on top of pasture grass without uprooting it.


Fun Facts about Alpaca fibre:

  • Alpaca fibre is not itchy like regular wool.

  • Alpaca is as silky and soft as cashmere.

  • Alpaca fibre is almost five times warmer than any other kind of wool.

  • Even when the Alpaca fibre is wet it will retain heat.

  • Alpaca fibre is flame resistant.

  • Ancient South Americans called Alpaca fibre “the fibre of the Gods” and it was reserved for royal use only.

  • Alpaca carries no lanolin which makes it hypoallergenic.

When we asked our staff to choose their favourite alpaca product it quickly came to light that we truly have too many favourite alpaca products to choose just one! The sweaters are all so soft and luxurious and the blankets and throws so cozy and comforting! After much consideration here are a few of our staff favourites;

The Mia Sweater

The softness of this sweater must be felt to be believed! Wear it as a fashionable cardigan or as a Fall or Spring transitional coat. Whichever way you to choose to wear it the Mia sweater gives you a comfy confidence as you go about your day.

The Long Jacquard Sweater

The Aztec pattern of this beautiful duster length sweater truly makes a statement. The heirloom quality and timeless design of this sweater make it a sweater that will be loved by generations.  Made with the supremely soft fleece of the baby alpaca the cozy factor of the Long Jacquard sweater is elevated even more! The problem with this sweater is you want to wear it everywhere!

The Fleece-lined Crinkle Throw

The perfect throw to snuggle up with! The classic design of this throw is both complementary and full of character making it perfect accent in Scandinavian design as well as a great choice for gift giving. Made with 100% Turkish Cotton and 100% high-quality fleece this is the go-to throw that causes family feuds!


As I stated earlier, these are just a few of our favourites and there are many others to choose from. The great thing is, you don’t have to travel to remote areas to enjoy any of these products visit or stop in our showroom to see and feel these items for yourself. Cottage Culture offers these little alpaca luxuries, as well as other Turkish cotton product lines.

What is Turkish Cotton? 

Turkish cotton is a premium quality fibre that’s made to last. An extra-long staple fibre (ESL), Turkish cotton is very easily harvested using sustainable practices. Much like Egyptian cotton the long fibres yield stronger and smoother threads than regular cotton.


Fun facts about Turkish Cotton:

  • The fibres of Turkish Cotton dry best when not exposed to high heat – so we recommend to hang dry your Turkish Cotton towels and hand towels.

  • Turkish Cotton dries quickly! Instead of absorbing moisture like Terry cloth, Turkish Cotton wicks away moisture.

  • Turkish cotton gets softer with time.

  • As Turkish Cotton is very thin, the robes and towels are exceptionally lightweight making them great for travel!

Our favourite picks for Turkish Towels are the Hasir-Prussian towel and the Atlas Turkish Towel. The versatility of these towels makes them a great investment and also an excellent choice for a gift! Suitable for the home as a bath towel, a fashionable wrap or sarong as well as being the perfect beach blanket. You feel the quality of these towels at first touch! The eye-catching gematrical design of the Atlas or the soothing striped pattern of the Hasir allow them to compliment any home.


Hygge (say “hue-guh”, loosely translated as “coziness”) at Cottage Culture

The Scandinavian concept of “Hygge” is a cozy feeling in your soul, a chair or group of chairs pulled up to a glowing fire in a fireplace or firepit, a softly flickering candle on a table set for dinner for two, wrapping yourself in a warm cozy sweater or just a general feeling of contentment in a simple setting. Hygge can be all of these and more as described in our blog Hygge – The Scandinavian Lifestyle of cozy. It means comfort, joy and well being.

This warm comfort can be achieved with the many Pokoloko products that Cottage Culture is pleased to be carrying in our store located in Hensall, both numerous cozy alpaca creations, plus Turkish cotton textile products. And if you are selecting any one of these treasures as a gift, there is joy in both the giving and receiving.

Want to wrap yourself in soothing comfort? Try out any of the fleece-lined throws. Perfect to keep the evening chill at bay or to cozy up in with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. These throws make a great design choice if you are looking for that “something” to give your space a cozier feel, just drape it over the corner of your sofa or chair and it instantly warms up the space. Instant Hygge!

Another way to experience the feeling of coziness and warmth is to wear an alpaca-fibre toque, head band, scarf or mittens. Depending on the day, maybe wear all of them! These items are perfect for the wet snow days that we experience here in Southwestern Ontario as the alpaca fibres retain heat even when wet!



The relationship focused nature of the Pokoloko company and conscious nature of which they choose to run their company are only a couple of the reasons we are proud to carry the Pokoloko brand in our showroom. By supporting artisans from around the world we can help others help themselves and empower them.For a more in-depth read into the individual artisans from around the world that Pokoloko supports I encourage you to read some of their blogs at

Janet Baird-Jackson at 3:19 PM
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