Cottage decor has become one of the most popular decorating styles to come along in many seasons. It’s comfortable and cozy, made for today’s easy, informal lifestyles.
Cottage style decor isn’t the classic clapboard house with a white picket fence and window shutters (although that’s a wonderful look if you have it). Cottage decor starts with the idea of hospitality; its purpose is to make everyone welcome and create a homey ambience.
What’s more, Cottage style decor isn’t something that has to be limited to a rural setting. These days Cottage decorating styles can be found as often in the city as well as in the country, in an apartment as well as a house. It isn’t the exterior setting that matters, although it’s nice when they complement one another. No, the aim of Cottage style decorating is to let the homeowner’s personality shine through a pleasing mixture of fresh, fun and fabulous furnishings.
Two things to note about Cottage decor: It isn’t stuffy and formal, and it’s definitely not that ’80s pink-and-blue combo that characterized American Country style. Today’s Cottage style decorating combines both pastel and bold colors, vintage and classic pieces mixed in with modern, from distressed wood furniture to traditional slipcovered chairs and sofas. It’s not only OK to explore a variety of colors and textures in Cottage style, it’s pretty much expected.
It isn’t necessary to do an entire home in Cottage style, either. However, some home decorators find that once they get started on their particular Cottage theme, it’s hard to resist doing over the entire house or apartment. Here are the major themes found in today’s Cottage decor:
Country Cottage: Here we have a mix of warm woods, rustic elements and rich colors that fairly burst with the appeal of welcoming farmhouse. Nothing artificial; everything natural.
Shabby Chic: This contemporary style, which is actually trademarked by its originator, Rachel Ashewell, blends right in with today’s earth-friendly movement. It emphasizes lavish use of repurposed flea-market treasures and vintage hand-me-downs with a soft pastel color scheme.
Romantic Cottage: This is a style that would be ideal for the bedroom of a girl or her older sister out on her own for the first time. This style centers on lots of florals and feminine embellishments, with lots of soft pinks and roses in colors. Floral rugs on the floor would be perfect.
Beach Cottage: Here’s a style that says “vacation.” This breezy decor should evoke a sense of salt-tinged sea breezes with seaside accents and colors. Painted hardwood floors would be covered with braided rugs to catch the sand.
French Country: This is a Cottage theme that’s as robust as French folk themselves. Think vibrant color schemes and fun accents from the farm, such as roosters (a favorite), pigs and sturdy pottery.
Cottage Garden: Inspired by nature, this style aims to bring the outdoors inside with lots of natural woods in greens, browns and an array of flower colors.
English Cottage: Step back in time with this style, making use of antiques, good china tea cups, perhaps a silver tea service or a whimsical china teapot, and oh, yes, some lace.
Rustic Cottage: This is about as laid-back as you can get without going camping. Think log cabin and you’re well on your way to this appealing style.
Swedish Cottage: Thanks to the popularity of a certain manufacturer of Swedish furniture, this style has gained plenty of its own fans who love the clean, light and uncluttered look with lots of architectural details.