Cottage Design and Décor 101
Also called coastal, English cottage or beach décor, cottage design is ever-spreading to the inner continental United States instead of solely found in homes on the coast. Think lots of sea glass, linen curtains, rattan chairs and white comforters – the breezier-looking, the better.
Cottage décor has become more popular in recent years because its calm, cool colors make people feel relaxed, and its mixture of upscale Hamptons style with comfortable, worn pieces is a look most anyone can afford. In the middle of February, here’s how to make your own home look a little more like a beach cottage.
Lamps with wide bases in sea glass hues of green, blue and purple are easy to find in most décor stores, even in Target. Lanterns with plenty of clear glass make great pieces to sit on either end of the mantle, and inexpensive empty glass vases can be filled with seashells or faux coral pieces. Hang lightweight sconces with bronze, white twig or shell details on the wall. Lampshades should be linen or lightweight textured burlap. Overall, remember to mix earthy tones with smooth, light-colored textures and gold, silver, bronze and copper.
The cornerstone of cottage décor is sheer panels that allow tons of light to filter through, flanked by starchy linen or stiff cotton panels in light neutral colors. If you can, hang white shutters on the inside or opt for white, wooden blinds. As an alternate to linen curtains, hang printed damask or toile cotton curtains in pastel colors.
Cottage décor style takes its cues from the look of the sea and sky, so think how the ocean, beach and horizon look at all times of day, including sunrise, high noon and sunset. For wall colors, aqua, periwinkle, sky blue, light green, coral, pink and orange are great choices, and fabrics and linens should be in taupe, white, cream and beige.
Dining room, coffee and end tables should be rattan or wicker with glass tops for reflecting more light, and nightstands and dressers should be in white wrought iron, sturdy light-colored wood or wood that’s been painted green, blue or white. Bed headboards can be white or black wrought iron or from distressed wood. In entryways and laundry rooms, hang white cubbies or open shelves with wicker baskets for attractive organization and a pop of texture.
Cottage décor is decidedly feminine, so add a masculine touch to a bedroom with a weathered leather chair and throw pillows in nautical stripes of red and white or blue and white. Bring the outdoors in with grass-like plants in varying heights, and add light green or blue silk hydrangeas in a mirrored vase to give a burst of color to an all-white bedroom. Put small family photos in oversized, distressed white wooden frames.