Cottage Style Decorating Ideas

Cottage houses are renowned for their natural comfort and charm. Its interior style has a colorful, comfortable look that brings that casual and personal vibe. It thrives on imperfections, ordinary treasures and mixed blends of furniture. The cottage style is unpretentious, humble and full of heart.

The cottage style, technically speaking, isn’t a decorating style after all – it’s just a term made to refer to the interior decorating styles common in a typical cottage home. So whether or not you live in a cottage, you can adapt this style by recreating cottage interior ideas and tips, such as:

1. Adapt an airy, botanical color scheme

1. Adapt an airy, botanical color scheme

The colors in a cottage style interior are soft, clean and purely botanical. Add no jewel tones or shocking bright colors here – think white, cream and pastels. Layer in washed-out shades of green, dusty pinks, light blues, buttery yellow and light apricot. You can also add forest colors like greens, golden browns, and rust; or beachy colors like sandy beiges, soft blues and lots of white. But avoid mixing a lot of colors – stick with one or two shades only.

You can add a touch of bold colors like fuchsia, turquoise, and sunflower yellow, but limit it to a handful of small items and keep it tone on tone. The color of the walls is very integral in achieving a cottage style interior. Wallpaper works well, especially patterns of floral prints and plaids.

2. Mix and match furniture

When it comes to furniture choices in a cottage style interior, opposites attract. Mix and match glossy and muted, or contemporary and vintage. Furnishings in a cottage style home often contains something recycled, purchased from a flea market, or passed on from family, as well as items that are new and casual-looking. It doesn’t need to match with each other to create a charming look. Anything found can be painted to fit in a color scheme. Iron and wicker furniture can be made comfortable and stylish with cushions covered in floral fabrics. If your furniture is made of wood, it can be repainted with white paint or any pastel color and add new knobs.

3. Keep flooring informal

Floors in cottage-style homes are informal and even imperfect. The common flooring used is bare wood floors, which can be stained, painted, stenciled, pickled or simply left natural. New wood is made to look old and dated. Sometimes, raw wood planks are covered with vintage throw rugs or any vintage area rugs. Besides vintage rugs, you can also use natural rugs like sisal or braided cotton.

For bathrooms and kitchen, stone and tile can also be used. Choose a style that says vintage.

4. Install beadboard

If there’s one thing that is a trademark of the cottage style, it’s beadboard. It’s a classic grooved paneling put on walls or ceiling and even plain cabinetry. It easily adds a touch of texture, pattern, and warmth to a bare surface. It can be a strong addition to any room, so don’t overdo it. The paneling will pop because of its texture.

5. Embrace imperfections

One of the things that add charm to cottage style interior is its natural, simplistic and pleasantly distressed elements. Rather than cover the pine board walls with artwork, showcase its architectural beauty. Peeling paint, faded prints and rumpled fabrics add to the vintage charm to this style. You can balance aggressively weathered pieces with new pieces.

Paint is your friend as you salvage vintage items for your cottage style interior. You don’t want your house to look too old and outdated. But add a worn look with the use of a little strategic filing and sanding.

6. Keep windows looking light and airy

For windows, keep it informal, light and airy. Consider lace and sheer curtains instead of heavy drapes. If privacy is not an issue, keep it bare. You can sew valances in fabrics or add swags of lace to your curtains to make a soft look.

7. Install open shelves

Open shelving is a staple for cottage interiors. It’s home to the stack of plates and cups, as well as dry goods and baskets. But before you commit to open shelving, make sure you are not disorganized and you are willing to make an extra dusting. Also, the dishware must have a cohesive look and color palette, since all these are displayed on an open shelf. Open shelves in a cottage interior are often white.

8. Use slipcovers

Slipcovers are also another trademark of the cottage style. Throw a cozy slipcover on a couch, then add plenty of throw pillows to make it more comfortable. However, don’t simply use any sheet – make sure that the slipcovers you use are tailored and custom-fit to the couch.

9. Embrace feminine fabrics

Besides the slipcovers, your choice of textiles also helps define the cottage style. Embrace feminine fabrics featuring florals, gingham, plaid, eyelet and stripes for your draperies, curtains, upholstery, pillowcases, table skirts and more. Make sure you coordinate a variety of prints for a collected look. Display vintage fabrics like aprons, quilt throws, hankies and hand towels. Use natural and textured materials like linen, cotton, and burlap. When choosing floral prints, make sure to keep it light. It’s fine to mix and match a few, but you don’t want to overdo it.

10. Reuse vintage items

A cottage style interior is not complete without a vintage piece of item that is repurposed or displayed. For instance, you can reuse an old dresser as a kitchen cupboard to hide bathroom towels; you can repurpose a kitchen table as a desk, or you can use a section of an old wooden fence as a headboard.

11. Add unique accessories and collections

Be on the lookout in a flea market and antique shops for and pick charming plates, interesting frames, musical instruments, old telephones and use them as a display. A collection of precious china displayed on an open shelf is common in cottage-style kitchens or dining areas. Besides these, you can display a collection of cups, mugs or glass bottles. Place them together for a collective impact. However, be careful not to overdo quirky displays so as not to look eclectic. Keep the foundation of the room true to cottage style conventions so it would still differ.

12. Add DIY items

The cottage style of decorating is perfect for people who enjoy do-it-yourself projects. Furniture and accent pieces that are unique and made of items that are repurposed will be very well-received in a cottage interior. For instance, you can turn an old jug, vase or tin in a personal lampshade. You can make a patio table out of an antique milk jug and a round wood piece.