What it is: In some ways, cottage design is as much a frame of mind as it is an approach to decorating. There’s an everyday ease from how it celebrates imperfections, regular treasures and combined families of furniture. Cottages are inclined to be modest, unpretentious and full of heart — traits most of us are proud to claim.
Why it works: Comfy, casual and personal, cottage style is perfect for the way we actually live. Fabrics are pliable; furnishings encourage us to flop down and prop up our feet. There’s a lot of leeway for the individual saying that anchors how we consider decorating nowadays.
You will enjoy it if… You rock the straw-hat appearance. Shiny surfaces make you cold. You bought slipcovers way before they were trendy. You’d take a pitcher filled with hydrangeas over a bouquet of long-stemmed roses. You are on a first-name foundation with neighborhood flea market sellers.
More’So Your Style Is’:
Conventional | Arts & Crafts | Art Deco | Hollywood Regency | Rustic
Old World | French Country| | Transitional | Contemporary | Midcentury Modern
Industrial | Eclectic | Coastal | Preppy
The Lettered Cottage
Style Secret: Gentle Patina
Not so long ago, cabin was virtually synonymous with shabby chic. Although that term feels stale now, the elements which made it so hot — mild colors, floaty fabrics, mismatched furnishings — are still mainstays of cottage décor. Faded prints, rumpled cloths and peeling paint contribute to the classic charm that underlies this style.
Hot tip: There’s a fine line between pleasantly distressed and simple beat up. To prevent crossing it, balance aggressively weathered bits with newer ones and keep color schemes soft and easy. The aged furniture in this space looks more striking against clean, modernized walls, trim and window treatments.
Style Secret: Airy Palettes
Cottage colors feel as soft and clean as a cotton sheet refreshing by a clothesline. No jewel tones or shocking brights here think white blended with ivory blended with cream. Layer in light pinks, greens, blues and other washed-out colors. Don’t combine a lot of pastels; stick with a couple of shades instead.
Hot tip: If you can not resist a bit of bold color, go right ahead. But restrict it to a few smaller furnishings or accessories, and keep it tone . One turquoise pillow in a fall of light blue ones might look fresh and appropriate, but in the event that you also throw a chartreuse rug and paint the ceiling lemon yellow, the appearance veers in another way.
Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab
Style Secret: Beadboard
If there is 1 thing which shouts”cottage,” it is beadboard. This classic grooved paneling is a perennial favourite, and for good reason: Not only is it simple to install, but it is a no-brainer for adding warmth and character to a bare wall, a sterile ceiling or dull cabinetry. You can not fail by painting it creamy white, but it is also fun to put in a hint of subtle color and distress it’s ever so slightly.
Hot tip: Beadboard can be a powerful addition to a space, so a little goes a long way. The paneling in this toilet pops because of its texture, despite being in the backdrop.
Dear Daisy Cottage
Style Secret: Feminine Fabrics
Just as any other element, fabrics define cottage design: delicate florals, ticking stripes, gingham, eyelet. Natural, textured materials, like silk, linen and burlap, fall right in step with all the appearance. Classic fabrics, from hankies and dishcloths to flour sacks and aprons, pop up on pillows, quilts, chair seats and more. Curtains are usually easy, absolute and breezy.
Hot tip: Maintain a light touch with all the floral prints. It is fine to mix and match a few, but a lot of can feel overly sweet, especially if they’re all little scale. Ditto for lace — you don’t want your house to look like a bridal store.
Style Secret: Slipcovers
Slipcovers and cottage style were made for one another. What is more laid back than throwing a sheet within an old sofa and calling it a day? OK, so it is not quite that easy, however, the right slipcover will lend a low-maintenance allure — and hides a large number of upholstery sins.
Hot tip: The sheet item? Really, don’t do it. Slipcovers should be tailored, carefully contouring the item beneath. There are tons of ready-made designs available on the market, but if you are willing to invest a little more cash, you’ll have one custom-fitted to get a crisper profile.
Rethink Design Studio
Style Secret: The Power of Paint
Cottage decorating mavens haven’t met a wrought-iron mattress or battered side table which they could not liven up using a paintbrush. Whether you would like to rescue a ratty end, decorate dark wood, or combine bits that take the mismatched seem a little too much, paint is your buddy. It is cheap, it is quick and it is fuss free.
Hot tip: Worried a just-painted piece will look glaringly new?It’s simple to get a worn look with a little strategic sanding or filing. Period (or period-look) drawer and cabinet pulls and other hardware also help.
Style Secret: Old-Fashioned Flooring
Ever seen a timeless cottage with wall-to-wall carpeting or slick vinyl? We have not. You want to have more rustic materials that could take a couple of hard knocks. Wood (stained, painted, pickled, stenciled or simply left normal ) is queen, but you can bring in brick or stone as well. Keep rug materials easy, like sisal or braided cotton.
Hot tip: Although tile isn’t the first material that comes to mind when you consider cottages, it can work as long as you pick a design that reads as classic (for example, the tiny hexagonal tiles which frequently turn up in bathrooms).
Liz Williams Interiors
Style Secret: Collected Chic
Here’s the key to making collections operate: power in numbers. And that’s especially true for the flea market finds and classic castoffs that generally populate cottage-style rooms. Should they seem too dispersed, so will the distance. Massed together, these glass bottles have a collective impact.
Hot tip: A space filled with quirky screens, offbeat furnishings and cheeky accents can easily slide into eclectic territory. If this isn’t the appearance you need, keep the basis of the room accurate to cottage conventions.
Style Secret: Open Shelving
Not so long ago, kitchens did not have the banks of top cabinetry which are standard now. What they’d instead was home to piles of plates and bowls, canisters of sterile goods and baskets of edibles. And in cottage interiors, not much changes from the translation, although nowadays the appearance is as much decorative as it is utilitarian.
Hot tip: Open shelves aren’t for the chronically disorganized, so you’ll need to keep clutter in check (and devote to a tiny additional dusting). Dishware which hews to an identical appearance and palette, like ironstone, creamware or basic white ceramic, is perfect for cohesiveness.
What does cottage style mean for you personally? Inform us in the Remarks section.
So Your Style is:
Conventional | Contemporary | Eclectic | Transitional | Industrial | Coastal | Arts & Crafts | Hollywood Regency
Next: Cottage Bliss
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Adding Touches of Vintage Flair
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