Cottage Style Decorating Ideas
To Help You Create A Cottage Look

Are you looking for cottage style decorating ideas that are easy to do? Are you trying to figure out exactly what is the definition of Cottage Style and how do you obtain this style for your home?

To me, Cottage Style is more about the feeling you create for your home. Every home has an immediate "feeling" the minute you walk in. You know what I mean, right? Some homes just greet you with a welcoming and comforting feeling. Other homes scream "be careful where you sit, and be sure to wipe your feet". Well, a home decorated in the Cottage Style has a way of giving every visitor a hug when they first enter.

How do you obtain this style? This style is made up of distressed painted furniture, light-weight fabrics, nostalgic accessories, and soft interior paint colors. It is decorating your home with things that have meaning and history, while still creating a very comfortable and relaxing environment.

One of my top places to look for Cottage Style ideas is at the flea market. At the flea market you can find baskets, old quilts, white ironstone pottery, old paintings, and distressed furniture.

I love to attend the flea market. You NEVER know what you will find. I arrive early and ready to hunt; it truly is a lot of fun! Make sure to take plenty of cash and wear comfortable shoes.

Below are some fabulous ideas and DIY projects! Enjoy!

Cottage Style Furniture

Nothing about cottage furniture is stuffy or pretentious. Cottage Style furniture has a look of comfort and ease. Many furniture pieces are upholstered with linen, chenille, floral, and plaid fabrics.

If you are wanting to purchase some upholstered furniture, I always recommend solid prints for your larger pieces. That way you can change out your decorative pillows any time, and have a totally different look.

Find an old wooden chair at the flea market or junk store, and paint it white.  This is such a cheap decorating idea, but such a lovely look!


I stayed in a little cottage in Tybee, Georgia.  If there had been room, I would of put this dresser in my Jeep! Don't you love the chipped paint?


Painted furniture is one of my favorite things about Cottage Style decorating ideas. One main reason is because you can make it a DIY project. You can have beautiful furniture for next to nothing.

I get so many compliments on my hand painted furniture. If you would like to learn how to paint distressed furniture, I highly recommend purchasing the e-book from Altar'd below. For $10 you will receive 84 pages of instructions, that will teach you how to prep, paint, distress, and apply antique glaze to your furniture.


Slipcovers are a fabulous way to have cottage style decorating! White canvas and duck are great fabrics to use for slipcovers. Just remember to wash the fabric in hot water and dry before beginning sewing your slipcovers. This way there will be no shrinkage when you wash your finished slipcovers.

Want to make your own slipcovers? If you are looking for easy sewing projects then download this slipcover guide from Pink and Polka Dot.



Cottage Style Lighting

Your This is one of my "favorite things"! This small chandelier hangs above my master bathroom tub. I paid $5.00 for the chandelier. It had an old bronze finish with plastic shades, but I could see the "diamond in the rough".

I purchased a kit from the local craft store that gives any metal surface a rusted, Old World look. It was easy to do and the kit comes with everything you need. You simply spray paint the base coat a rust color. The kit comes with a darker brown colored paint that you sponge on top. You finish with a polyurethane spray and that is it!. I added shades with beading that I glued on, and all for under $15! I have a gorgeous chandelier!

Look for antique lamps at the flea market. Lamps with painted glass shades are a perfect fit for this style. With Cottage Style decorating you do not have to have matching lamps! That is what makes this style so comfortable and endearing.

Look for antique lamps and chandeliers at the flea market. Lamps with painted glass shades are a perfect fit for this style. With Cottage Style decorating you do not have to have matching lamps! That is what makes this style so comfortable and endearing.

Different uses for old doors.

Another favorite idea of mine, is this old screen door. I paid $20 for it at the flea market. I sanded off the rough paint, and put a fresh coat of white paint on the front and back of the door. (the mirror will reflect the back of the door, so remember to paint both sides) Then I took it to a glass company and had them cut a mirror the right size to be mounted on the back. Now I have a full length mirror in my guest bathroom, and tons of character to boot!

Here is an exterior door that was made into a mirror. This door hangs in a client's hallway. When you are looking for old doors that you want to turn into mirrors, try to find ones that have some interesting details.

Wash your doors gently with dish soap and water. Once your door is dry you want to brush on a coat of polyurethane. This will keep any paint from chipping off and make dusting easier.

This headboard is one of my favorite Cottage Style decorating ideas! It was made from an old door. My husband added wood molding to frame the door into a headboard. Then I painted it white, and gave it a distressed look using antiquing glaze. This beautiful headboard is in our master bedroom.

Be sure if you are wanting to purchase a door for your headboard, to choose a door with panels like the one above. You want it to look uniform when the door is turned sideways.

Can I throw you another cool idea?

So, really, how awesome is this idea? This idea is from Rebecca of YouAreTalkingTooMuch.com. She is one smart cookie!

Cottage Style Decorating Ideas
for Window Treatments

Cottage Style window treatments are not fussy or formal. The fabrics consist of floral patterns, toile, plaids, light linen, and sheers.

Pair your drapery panels with bamboo shades. They make a perfect match together. Remember, with Cottage Style decorating ideas there isn't a set of exact rules. It is about the feeling you are creating along with the look.

Adding Character with Unique Accessories

This is a black iron piece of scrollwork that I paid next to nothing for. I purchased two and placed them in the doorway between my kitchen and dining room. It adds a lot of charm and character!

You could also use old architectural corner pieces that were salvaged from old homes.

If you are wanting to accessorize your kitchen, white ironstone pottery, or plain white dishes look beautiful. You can find white ironstone at the flea market or antique shops. While shopping look for vintage items to accessorize your kitchen.

Find old jars to hold your sugar, flour, and coffee. Purchase an old-time scale to set in the corner of your counter top. I also love the look of small potted herbs set in clay pots.

Do you have a particular interest that you would like to incorporate into your Cottage Style decorating ideas?

I had a particular client whose husband loved vintage things. He especially loved vintage photography items. So, I shopped at the flea market and found an old fold-out camera, a dark room timer, and an very old video camera. I used these to accessorize their bookshelves, along with a lot of other items.

It was really unique, and that is what Cottage Style decorating ideas are all about! Thinking outside the box, and taking the time to come up with different ways to accessorize your home.

This was such a fun find! This clock is 3' by 3' and hanging in our bonus room! I reminds me of the lid from a metal trash can, only much larger!

Sometimes my ideas come from just roaming through the flea market. You find one thing, and then begin to build on that idea.

So, have fun! Really the flea market is a blast!

Take the cottage look outdoors

Don't forget to extend your Cottage Style decorating ideas to the outside! If you have a screened-in porch, it is a perfect place to really embrace this particular style! Painted Adirondack chairs, rockers, and porch swings all embody the Cottage Style. Add pillows with fabrics that are light and airy. Don't overdo your accessories. Decorate with white candles, a few potted plants, and a few garden accessories.

Give your home some Cottage Style curb appeal! Consider painting your front door a different color from your siding and shutters. Make sure you add a front door wreath, nothing is more welcoming.

Well, those are some of my favorite Cottage Style decorating ideas. I hope you enjoyed them.

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Hello! My name is Jennifer Davenport. I am so glad you have stopped by. This website is full of ideas to help you "make a house a home". Here is a little about me...

JD Designs is my interior design business, located in Murfreesboro, TN. 




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