The cottage style is very popular in America, but it can be found on other continents as well, precisely because it is so approachable and inviting. However, creating a perfect cottage decor is not that simple, and you need to learn the basic elements of cottage style decoration. It can be easy to mix up cottage style with shabby chic, especially since they’re a bit related, but at their core, they represent two different styles. Thus, if you’d like to have a natural and rather simplistic home, lacking pretension and with a casual air, then you might like to choose the cottage style for your home.
To describe this style in more literary terms, it is both intimate and airy; this means it also has to be a smart type of decorating, which utilizes each space to the maximum and incorporates a lot of storage space in order to avoid clutter. While it is welcoming and cozy, this style should create open spaces. Warm wood surfaces or furniture are elements that define the cottage style, but there is a moderate use of color; while you are not restricted to a certain palette, you should choose a few main colors and go with them when defining your decor. Thus, it is easier to achieve this style if the main nuance in every home is white; modern materials, surfaces, furniture and spaces are the opposite of the cottage style decor. Instead of more practical drapes, you’ll have to go for lacy, or even floral curtains.
Lacy curtains can be long and flowing; floral patterns can be a bit too much, so you’ll have to opt for shorter curtains in this style. A sub-genre of this style is the beach cottage style, which will obviously incorporate maritime symbols and details; thus, you will have to incorporate more blue accents next to your mainly white decor, and introduce decorative elements such as paintings of vessels, salvaged anchors or make-believe anchor decorations, bottled ships, sea shells, or textiles that reiterate the maritime accents.
When mentioning that cottage style is related to shabby chic we were also referring to the choice of colors. Thus, both styles often incorporate white walls, except the style we are interested in today will often have paneled walls as well. This can also serve as a solution if you are refurbishing an actual cottage with dented walls; and if it is placed in a colder climate, the panels will help keep it warm. White paneled walls are a hallmark of the cottage style, so if you’re refurbishing your house from scratch, adding this important detail will take you much closer to a good result. Smart storage space is another element of the cottage style that you can incorporate; re-purpose the place under the stairs, choose beds with storage cabinets and so on. Floral patterns are also often encountered, but you mustn’t exaggerate if you want to keep the style simple and aired; for instance, you can add flowery throw pillows on a white or beige couch, or opt for small flowered drapes. A long, low cabinet under a window with a soft mattress or some pillows on top is a common image of the cottage style; this creates a lovely reading space, or simply an area for relaxation. Since the cottage style also emanates nature, you might want to look for a bio mattress, one which doesn’t smell like chemicals, the way that memory foam mattresses smell. You can find some great mattress reviews on the following website: bestmattress.guru.
Surrounding yourself with relaxing, beautiful objects and colors, is an important characteristic of the cottage style. It is true that this style can be a bit feminine, but you can also find a good balance through decorative items. The beach cottage style is more unisex, but there are other ways to achieve equilibrium. For instance, patterned floors are a good addition, as long as you stay in the color scheme for the style; wicker chairs and baskets, rocking chairs, naive paintings, vases with field flowers or dry flowers, and even antiquated items that are no longer useful today, such as old radios or gramophones can add to the decor. Taking objects that used to have utility and using them solely for aesthetic purposes can further enhance your decor; an old clothes iron, a sewing machine, or even something as ridiculous as a butter churner receive a new purpose in “modern” cottage style homes.
The cottage style isn’t limited to new or old furniture; you can combine them as long as they follow the same lines; go for white or wood-colored pieces. Alcove beds are also a good way to define cottage style, whereas drapes and linens have to be made from natural materials, and generally natural colors as well. However, you can create focal points by adding a red chair, or some other decorative objects in brighter colors. While this style doesn’t necessarily include potted plants, you can go for some spice pots in the kitchen, or some pastel flowers in a vase. Delicate details make up the cottage style as much as more obvious items; monogrammed pillows, a patterned wool blanket, empty decorative and colorful bottles, and family photos are ideal examples.
Livening up the overall white decor with small colorful items, be they statuettes, frames, throw pillows or vases, is something you must not forget to do. However, you must find a balance between creating the style with decorations and avoiding clutter and unclear spaces. While you must avoid clutter, you must also avoid unused, uncertain areas in the home; try to find a practical use for every corner, even if that means turning it into a reading nook. Finally, an interesting tip is to use patio or garden furniture for the living room; a simple white couch with colorful throw pillows next to a wicker chair will define the cottage style perfectly. Salvage old furniture if you must, and bring it to new life with a coat of lacquer or white paint.