To recognize best how to decorate with Cottage style it helps to comprehend the focus should always be toward designing for comfort and relaxation. Pretense and formality are sometimes the mainstay of other design styles. But Cottage style couldn’t be farther away from them.
The name cottage originated in medieval times for the modest one story homes that peasants lived in, who worked the feudal lord’s land.
Whenever thinking Cottage decor……..think quaint and cozy……never formal or stuffy. Cottage style and decor is at the opposite end of the design scale from modern. It’s practical and homey.
Pastels colors are typically used on the walls with antique materials and vintage lace on the windows. Hand braided throw rugs are also popular in cottage style. Hardwood flooring that can even be white washed and distressed, gives a light airy feel to a room as does exposed wood beam ceilings that are typically painted white.
Antiques and collectibles will bring the charm and warmth to your decorating, use white washed or distress painted furniture when possible. Antique iron beds in their original unfinished condition provide a less cumbersome feel than wooden or upholstered head boards. Most original cottages aren’t known for their large rooms……. so iron beds don’t take up the visual space that most bed frames do in small quarters.
Vintage framed photo’s and old advertising signs add a fun element to the appeal and atmosphere you’re trying to create. I you’re doing a beach side cottage think nautical accessories……. shells, hurricane lamps, old buoys, anchors, large tie down rope that can be hung across the wall. Accessorize with floral groupings and candles to help express the mood of the room.
If your cottage is in the country, you’ll want to consider a more woodsy farm theme with you accessories. A great arena to choose from are farm implements……old pitch forks, small wooden chicken coups, old feed bins, wagon wheels. I saw a beautifully designed cottage in which the owner had a collection of old bird houses she hung on the wall.
Another cottage theme can be a lakeside retreat, where elements like row boats, oars, decoy’s ……… whatever you might find around a traditional vacation lake are commonly used.
Lighting is essential and can add a large feel to the coziness and warmth of your cottage decorating. Swap meets are a great source for vintage, yet low-cost lighting. Old floor lamps with frosted glass shades give a warm glow, as oppose to a harsh light from most modern fixtures. Table lamps that you canremember seeing at your grandmothers, with material fabric shades, will help bring the soft light you’ll want.
When considering furniture, always think overstuffed and comfortable. For tables, cabinets, wardrobes etc., look for vintage or antique painted pieces with weathered finishes to give a used lived with feel. Old beveled mirrors can be found at yard sales and swap meets , quite reasonably. Given a light coat of white paint and a slight acetone ragging, will give you that weathered cottage look.
When decorating your cottage or going for that cottage decor feel…….. think “generations of use”. A place that may have been continually handed down through the family from generation to generation and over that period of time has accrued a great collection of memorabilia from past family members and guests. Everything should possess a story or memory. Surround yourself with things you enjoy looking at and seeing every day. Things that put a smile on your face without a lot of thought. Spontaneous joy…….
One of the more fulfilling elements to decorating your cottage or just going for that “cottage style”, is in the finding and collecting of items you want to use. Don’t rush……. let these things come to you over time. They’ll have more meaning when they do.
Always……. enjoy the process.
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