Generally, when you think of “Cottage”, a vision of thatched roofed tops nestled in a forest clearing comes to mind – with the image of Hansel and Gretal not far behind. The term Cottage used to describe the style and structure of the exterior of the home, but with so many of us looking to get back to the simple side of life, a Cottage Interior Style of Design has emerged.
A Charming Bit of History
Long ago, Cottage style homes were constructed by arts and craftsman, rather than actual architects. This resulted in more of a “hand-made” simplistic feel on both the exterior and interior (of the home). The rugged nature in building this type of home would have left you with the impression of the interior being left “unfinished” – as exposed wood beams, open ceilings and raw woodwork were the norm. But that was all part of the charm.
If you have considered bringing this style of design into your home, there are a few basic recommendations that you may want to implement. Although you may find a Cottage interior style an easy decorating method, you can never go wrong with getting advice from a qualified Cottage Interior Designer before or during the designing stages.
Recommendations for a Cottage Design
- Furniture: Simple, pretty, soft, charming and comfortable should be what you look for when selecting furniture pieces. Choose floral patterns on the upholstery with wood accents on the arms and legs. Unlike a Baroque Interior Design, the ambiance of the furniture should be more important than where it came from, or how much it cost.
- Window Treatments: You have a few choices in window coverings – depending on how much privacy you are requiring. Go with sheer, airy panels in a soft fabric for a more romantic, softer interior – or leave the windows bare for optimum simplicity. Shutters were also a popular style and offer the ultimate in privacy.
- Flooring: Since arts and crafts are the basis for this design, stick with a simple, small planked, stressed hardwood floor – or mimic it with tile. Now-a-days you can get hardwood flooring that replicates an old worn out floor from years gone past. Braided throw rugs serve to warm the space and bring color into the room.
- Lighting: Use lighting almost like you would use an accessory. Don’t just wonder into your local lighting store and pick out the prettiest chandelier you can find. Get creative. Choose lighting that resembles a simpler time; think of old fashioned carriage lanterns, or candle sconces adapted to be used as a wall sconce. If you do go to the home decor store, consider shopping in the exterior lighting department – instead of using the light for it’s intended purpose outdoors, bring it inside for a truly charming and quaint feel.
- Accessories: You can’t go wrong with arts and crafts of any style. Turn pretty wooden bowls and baskets into useful containers that hold everything from walnuts to car keys. Collectibles of any kind, especially if they are hand made, will authenticate your Cottage style. Candles, wrought iron accents, handcrafted throws or pillows, will also add to the charm. Plant life is a recommended accessory, as well.
- Colors: Soft and warm will do just fine, but it can vary depending on which part of the country you live in. If you are closer to the coast, you may want to go with sea-greens and crisp whites, whereas if your location is more mountainous, think greens and rusts and rich wood tones. The idea here is to bring the colors from outside, in.
No Rules Allowed
The wonderful thing about a Cottage Interior Design is it’s simplicity. There really are no rules or bullet points that must be followed. This style is more about a “feeling” rather than the materialistic items that take up the floor space. With a Cottage decor, there is no need to break out of your budget and shop the high end stores. It’s not about the materialistic items that take up the floor space, but rather about the mood of the room.
With a little imagination and creativity, this style can easily be achieved by re-purposing the contents you already have on hand – and don’t be shy about doing a little bargain hunting. Instead of hitting the mall for furnishings or accessories, pull over at a local flea market or craft show and fill your home with unique, one-of-a-kind treasures – treasures that the original builders of a Cottage styled home would be proud to have.
If you would like to find more inspirational ideas on home design, please visit our page of Interior Design Ideas and Photos. While there, check out our interior designer directory where you will find highly qualified designers for all areas of your home and business.