When you think of cottage style decorating the first words that come to mind is light and airy. Colors are usually light and breezy, fabrics are cottons and lace and furniture is a mixture of old and new. A cottage is a place where you go to find peace and tranquility and cottage decorating reflects this quiet, cozy attitude. You can create a cozy cottage décor in any house by using some or all of the following tips.
Walls. Cottage style walls are usually done in soft, comforting colors like white, cream, light blue or sage. Very soft pink or yellow works well too and can blend with many different colors. Floral or small print wallpaper in soft colors follows with the theme. Wainscoting of cream or white painted beaded board placed ½ or ¾ up the wall and accented with a chair rail gives a room its own distinctive charm. You can paint or wallpaper above the wainscoting to add color to the room. Lattice on a wall also makes an interesting addition at little cost. Buy unfinished lattice and paint it white or cream then nail onto a blue, yellow, pink or sage wall. It makes a wonderful backdrop in a living room, family room or kitchen.
Flooring. Cottage style floors are usually simple, informal and imperfect. Light wood floors look perfect with scattered rugs to add color. Painted wood floors that blend well with walls work well for that cottage “used” look. Stenciling is very popular on unfinished or painted floors as well. Light colored carpeting is fine and tile kitchen, bathroom and dining room floors fit in also. The most important floor accessory is rugs placed in strategic areas to add character and warmth. Cotton woven rugs or braided rugs keep the cottage look on course.
Light fixtures. Bean pot lamps in different colors keep with the informal look of the cottage style. Glass lamps, gold or nickel or painted ceramic also do well. Lamp shades can be easily made by gluing left-over fabric from your throw pillows or curtains over a plain shade. Or try hanging crystal chandelier pendants from the bottom of the shade. Hanging light fixtures can consist of vintage chandeliers, painted light fixtures with colored shades over the bulbs or any vintage looking fixture in nickel or a painted metal. Tiffany style light fixtures, used sparingly, also fit in well with the cottage style.
Kitchen cabinets. Painted cabinets are the perfect style in a cottage kitchen. White, cream or sage look good although sometimes a red, dark blue or green can give vibrant color but still work well with the cottage look. Taking off the doors on the dish cabinets is very popular so you can show off your dishes. Glass inserts are also in line with the cottage look. Glass, ceramic or nickel door pulls and knobs add that extra little pizzazz to your cabinets.
Trims and moldings. The right trims and moldings can take an ordinary room and change it into a cottage style room. Painted chair rails around a room gives charm especially if you have one color below it and a different color above. Decorative moldings at the floor and ceiling add character and charm. Decorative corner wall brackets in doorways or under edges of kitchen cabinets gives a room an added flair. Something as simple as adding ball feet under your kitchen cabinets can give them the look of a hutch. Little details add up to exceptional charm.
Furniture. The great thing about cottage style is the older and more loved a piece of furniture is the better it fits in. Furniture is usually painted pieces in white, cream or sage colors but any color that blends with your décor will work well. The function of the furniture can change around too. A bench can make a great coffee table or a kitchen table can serve as a desk. Couches and chairs should be puffy with lots of throw pillows. Slipcovers are quite popular so you can change the look easily and inexpensively. Antiques are at home in a cottage décor and anything that looks too used can be freshened up with a new coat of paint. Wicker furniture with fabric cushions work well in a cottage room too.
Window dressings. Window dressings should be light and airy to follow along with the soft cottage style. Try curtain rods with decorative finals to add a touch of distinction. Cotton floral or stripe curtains that blend with your décor will keep things light. Lace curtains or sheers are also an option. A simple valance works well too and for privacy you can have a pull-down shade that hides during the day. Painted shutters are also a nice option for kitchen or living room windows. They give the room the ultimate cottage look.
Fabrics. Cottage style allows for a mix of fabrics as well as a variety of florals, plaids, checks and stripes in coordinating colors. The idea is for everything not to match, just blend. Fabrics are used extensively for slipcovers, pillows, tablecloths, curtains, chair cushions and skirts and throws that keep you snuggly warm. Fabrics such as cotton, chintz, satin, and chenille plus many others can mix in harmony while making a room inviting and warm.
Colors and prints. While cottage style allows for mixing and matching you will want to keep to a theme of varying colors. Pink, green and matching floral and strip prints can make up the overall theme of your cottage décor. For a more beach cottage style you can use blue, white and beige as your main theme. A red, white and blue theme works for an Americana cottage style. Picking out your basic three colors and working around them will give your cottage style a sense of unity.
Accessories. It’s the little things that count and in decorating the little things make a big difference. Cottage style loves antiques, well-loved items and flea market treasures. A vintage hat on a hook, a few seashells in a vase or an antique musical instrument in the corner adds character to your rooms. Painted baskets as catch-alls or your collection of ceramic kittens on a table brings your own touch to your décor. Mix and match the things you love best but don’t overdo it. With cottage style, less is best.
Bringing a cottage décor to your home can be as simple as painting the walls and adding slipcovers or picking up a few old pieces of furniture at a flea market. Cottage style is inexpensive and easy and can bring charm and character to your home.