Sometimes smaller spaces force us to be the most creative. Take this adorable 1850s cottage living room on the shores of Provincetown, Massachusetts, owned and designed by Ken Fulk and featured in the June 2012 issue of House Beautiful. While it has the same New England fishing-village feel of the rest of Fulk’s vacation home, this little space is brimming with personality, great shapes, and amazing accents that make it feel larger than life.
The living room’s history is spotlighted by original wide-plank floors and wood salvaged from an old ship on the ceiling. The outside comes inside in unusual touches like the twisty wood floor lamp, live plants, the sea grass rug, and Fulk’s crazy-cool collection of coral and other bits from the sea on the bow window’s sill. These are contrasted with furniture in strong, graphic shapes—especially the white-slipcovered sofas and cowhide ottoman, and the fun prints on the indigo pillows and throw.
Our favorite parts of the room are antiques, like the green-and-lavender drum table, and the various pieces of art and kitsch from flea-market hunts. Painting one accent wall (Covington Blue by Benjamin Moore) was a stroke of genius that allows all the art and objects placed in front of it to practically burst with life. Best of all, the room has a relaxed, casual feel that’s equally perfect for entertaining or kicking back on a Sunday morning with a newspaper and a cup of tea.