There is just something about cottage style decorating that is so
inviting, comforting, and just plain charming. I find that people who
embrace this style of decorating just naturally have a love of things
past, and enjoy “hunting” for unique things. Cottage decorating is
simple and uncomplicated.
So, what is "cottage style decorating", and how can you obtain this look? Well, first, this is a look you can manage no matter where you live. Whether it is in an apartment, or a one-story ranch home. Cottage style is light and breezy, soothing color palettes, and often mixes and matches old and new with ease. It is all about the vintage look, painted furniture, and fabrics that are comfortable and cozy.
Be willing to hunt - do not be afraid to use your imagination! Be willing to shop at flea markets and garage sales for unique items that can be re-purposed. I LOVE to go to the flea market! I never know what I am going to find.
You can find a ton of country cottage style furniture at the flea market. Whether it is painted distressed furniture, or an old chair you can put a slipcover over.
This is me shopping for artwork at the flea market.
At the flea market you can find a ton of Cottage Style decorating ideas.
Look for unique pieces of furniture that you can paint. Use a good paint primer first if the furniture has never been painted. Look for furniture that has character and wonderful lines. It will add even more charm once it has been painted.
Below is a photo of an old office chair I paid $10 for at a garage sale. I painted it white and it sits in my daughters room.
Every piece of furniture does not have to be white! The bowed chest below I painted green and then applied a faux finish over the green to make it look antique.
Learn to look at things with a new eye when you are shopping for cottage style furniture and accessories.
This old antique library card catalog is chipping and worn. But, that is what makes it fit into the Cottage Style. How cool would this look in a living room, with a large mirror hung above it, and unique accessories on top?
Find accessories that are endearing and charming. A collection of old bottles on a shelf, or a simple white dish to hold soap in a guest bathroom is a simple and easy way to add charm. It doesn't take a lot of money, and you can decorate on a budget if you are willing to take the time to look.
When I say look at things in a different way, it is about asking yourself a few questions. Like for instance, "Can I paint this", or "What can I add to make this have a little more cottage style". This lamp above belonged to one of my client's little girls. I hot glued the button trim around the lamp. It turned it from cute to ADORABLE! Don't be afraid to get a little creative.
Choose fabrics with a soft and romantic look to them. Vintage looking floral patterns, chenille, and linen, are all great cottage fabrics. Sheers are a great choice for window treatment ideas. If you want pre-made curtains, I love the Shabby Chic line from Target. Mix and match florals with stripes; that is a classic cottage style look.
Lace is another great choice for curtains. Nothing is as beautiful as the sun being filtered through either lace or sheer curtains.
Cottage style decorating doesn't always have to be pinks, whites, and light pastels. Below is a fabric that has richer and brighter colors, but still falls into the cottage style.
It is very easy with cottage style decorating to get cluttered quickly. And I know I harp on this, but don’t get cluttered. When shopping choose things that are special to you. Maybe they bring back memories, or just make you feel cozy. Special antique plates, unique bookends, and vintage lamps are just a few accessories that have the cottage style feel.
Think about different things you can use as art. I found an old Good Housekeeping magazine, so I framed the cover. These little girls are precious.
You can create the cottage look in any home when you add bead board or wainscoting. Bead board is a classic and timeless look, and is relatively inexpensive. It can be used in bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, just about any room. It can even be used on the ceiling.
Wainscoting is another way to add character and charm to your home. I love the classic raised paneled look.
Keep your lines clean and neat, decorating with things that mean something to you. But, above all, have a little fun!
Here are some ideas and photos that are all about cottage kitchens!
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