Variations of Cottage Style Decorating

What do you think of when you hear the term “cottage style”? Is it a sophisticated cabin in the mountains, a casual beach bungalow with coastal accessories or a cute little house with a picket fence brimming with collectibles?

How would you like to live in this cottage?
How would you like to live in this cottage? | Source

The answer is yes to all! There are a number of variations of cottage style decorating, each with its own personality and charm. If you are a fan of this quaint and cozy decorating style, here are three popular options to consider:

Vintage Cottage

Vintage cottage is the type most closely associated with this decorating style. Vintage cottage is reminiscent of shabby cottage -- sans the frills and excess of white painted furniture. If you have a fondness for flea markets and garage sales, this type of cottage style will certainly appeal to you!

Vintage cottage allows you to let your imagination run wild. Picture a home decorated with a collection of vintage furnishings, accessories and fabrics from a variety of periods. A vintage cottage home should feel warm and welcoming. It should also include items that reflect your personality and interests.

Vintage Cottage Style

  • Warm and welcoming
  • Eclectic
  • Subtle
  • Vintage furnishings

When designing a vintage cottage room, think about a wall color that will blend with a variety of fabric patterns and colors. While this style is known for a mix of furnishings, you want to make sure the color scheme is not jarring. It should be subtle and soothing.

Draw inspiration of antique stores, flea markets and garage sales.
Draw inspiration of antique stores, flea markets and garage sales. | Source

Look for fabrics at antique shops and flea markets. Old tablecloths make great covers for throw pillows. On occasion, you can even find entire bolts of vintage fabrics just waiting to make a statement in your home. If you don’t sew, you may be able to find curtain panels and pillow covers made from vintage floral fabrics. Mix florals with coordinating stripes, checks and plaids for a truly eclectic look.

Overstuffed chairs and sofas are a great choice for vintage cottage homes. Throw on a neutral slipcover and use your pillows and throws to bring color into the space. Mix different wood tones and painted furniture pieces. No need to restore wood finishes, the time worn look is perfect for vintage cottage decorating.

Shop for vintage lamps, pottery, picture frames and artwork as the perfect finish touch for your vintage cottage home!

Great Vintage Cottage Decor Ideas!

This simple display reminds me of life in Southern California!
This simple display reminds me of life in Southern California! | Source

Beach Cottage

If you long for the sand and sea, why not incorporate the beach look into your home? I lived in San Diego for a number of years and fell in love with beach cottage style. When I moved to Las Vegas, I brought the coastal Southern California look with me. Even though the ocean is hours away, I'm reminded of it every time I walk through the front door!

Beach cottage decorating is simple to achieve -- start with basic, neutral furnishings. Think of clean, casual and airy spaces filled with the colors found in and around the sea. If you don't live near the water, find inspiration from beachy photos and artwork. This style works best when approached subtly – kitsch is frowned upon in classic beach cottage design. Sorry, you’ll have to leave your lighthouse and seagull collections at the door!

Casual beach cottage living.
Casual beach cottage living. | Source

Beach Cottage Style

  • Simple
  • Casual
  • Natural
  • Sand and sea colors

Simple lines and furnishings are the look you’re going for with beach cottage style. Imagine a roomy sectional or sofa and loveseat covered in natural cotton twill. Add a large, whitewashed coffee table, side table and beautiful wood bookcase or console to round out your family room.

Use beach inspired artwork to adorn the walls of your beach cottage home.
Use beach inspired artwork to adorn the walls of your beach cottage home. | Source

Artwork might consist of a few large framed sepia photographs of coastal scenes. Paint the wall in a sandy hue and add white wainscoting as a nice contrast. Introduce the colors of sea glass with pillows and carefully edited accessories. Use seashells, coral and driftwood sparingly as decorative accents.

Sisal rugs, woven baskets, natural grass window shades and billowing off-white curtains help bring the outdoors into your beach cottage home.

Beach Cottage Decorating Ideas

Rustic Cottage

If you dream of a lakeside cabin or one nestled in a wooded valley surrounded by majestic mountains, then you need to bring rustic cottage style into your home!

This decorating style is a natural, textural and bucolic style, well suited to rural environs. However, you can recreate this rustic decorating style in any home or apartment.

Rustic Cottage Style

  • Nature-inspired
  • Earthy
  • Cozy
  • Rich, comfortable fabrics

Keep your rustic décor simple, classic and sophisticated. Choose pieces of wood furniture that would feel right at home in a mountain ski lodge. Avoid the trap of furnishing your home exclusively with log and twig furniture. Look for quality pieces with rich tones that will warm up a space. Furniture made from reclaimed lumber is easy to source these days and will give your rustic room a sense of history.

A stone fireplace makes a statement in rustic cottage design.
A stone fireplace makes a statement in rustic cottage design. | Source

If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, splurge on a natural stone facade and hearth with a chunky weathered wood mantel. Many manufacturers make stone veneers specifically for fireplace surrounds. They look just like full pieces of stone, but are extremely thin, easier to install and much cheaper than large-scale stone.

Along the same vein, consider wide plank, hand scraped wood flooring. You can add texture and color by layering your floors with beautiful woven Native American, exotic Kilim or Dhurrie rugs. The addition of wood beams to a high ceiling will also give any room rustic appeal. Here’s a great money saving tip: use weathered wood laminate flooring and faux wood ceiling beams to get the same look. They are amazingly realistic!

Select paint and fabric colors that you would find in a woodland or mountain setting. Earth tones and neutrals are perfect for rustic cottage style. Take your cues from a worn leather wingback chair, riding boots and faux fur throws. Cover pillows in burlap, chenille and suede. Throw in fabrics with luxe jewel tones in paisleys, stripes and plaids for pops of subdued color.

Do a faux leather paint treatment on the walls and adorn them with eclectic items like naturally harvested antlers, vintage ski photographs or Plein Air landscapes.

Decorate Your Own Rustic Mini Cabin!

© 2012 lindacee

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Start a Conversation! 14 comments

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

I love cottage decorating and little cottages with white picket fences. However we live in a townhouse far from that. Your hub was great with terrific photos. Thanks for sharing all of this.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Lovely! My favorite is probably the beach cottage style. It's just so simple and relaxing, making me feel like I'm on a vacation all year long! hehee


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Carol, it is amazing how you can incorporate cottage into the most unexpected dwellings. But, sometimes the architecture of certain homes just won't support such a homespun interior style. Anyway, I'm glad you're a fan of cottage decorating and can appreciate its special nature! Good to hear from you!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Om, I'm with you. Beach cottage is such a laid-back style. It's one that does exude that endless vacation feel! :)


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

Excellent information and presentation -- should be enough ideas for anyone approaching re-decorating (or a first time home/apt). Best/Sis


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Angela, thanks for the compliments! Cottage decorating is the perfect thing for the first-time home buyer or someone straight out of college. It is so easy to do on the cheap. So good to hear from you!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

I would LOVE to have a beach cottage, but since we live in a forest in rural NY, the rustic theme would fit better! Cottage themes are so cozy!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

They are cozy and easy to achieve. I think rustic cottage style would suit your rural home the best. Thanks for reading my Hub and commenting, Leah!


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

I absolutely love this style of decoration. Thanks for the fun decorating ideas!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Me too, Simone! Cottage style is so versatile, you can take it, shape it and make it your own. I especially love its eclectic nature. Glad you enjoyed this Hub!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

Cottage style is so cozy and comfortable! My small house is perfect for this. And I have lots of vintage fabric that would be perfect for pillows, old tablecloths that just sit in a closet, never used. I just can't bring myself to cut them up!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Dolores, I feel your pain! At one point I had a large collection of vintage tablecloths -- also perfect for pillows and valances. I didn't have the heart to take the scissors to them! :)


Holly Wojahn 2 years ago

What a find you are! Just recently landed for a few months time in Las Vegas; my home for 20 years is France.... As an artist/ Francophile, my fifteen years in Paris enabled me to comb through Flea Markets almost daily. Smaller Antiques markets sufficed during my past four years in the south of France!! While here, I'm up cycling tired old pieces of furniture, to reflect the feeling of French Flea Market finds, with handpainted and decoupaged bits!! On FB, you can find me at; Melange By Holly.... Vegas may be the final frontier, in terms of penetrating the typical "Glam Décor", with bits of French Cottage inspiration!!!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 2 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Holly, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I, too live in Las Vegas (actually Henderson). Good luck with your furniture hunt. You should be able to find plenty to up cycle into French flea market creations. I will definitely check out your FB page!

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