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The Fun of Cottage Style Decorating Starting with the Front Porch

Updated on February 13, 2010

Welcome to Cottage Style Decorating

Cottage Style Decorating Begins with the Front Porch
Cottage Style Decorating Begins with the Front Porch

Loving the Cottage Style Lifestyle

 Cottage style decorating is not just a style.  It is a way of life.  More than any other recognized style of home décor the cottage style is an expression of oneself in its purest form.  There is nothing uncomfortable about cottage style living.  The design is expressive and more importantly it can be fun.

The journey into cottage style decorating is an invitation to a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade and a lazy afternoon of rocking on the front porch.  Cottage style is all about using what you have or what you find at the most inexpensive stores.  Cottage style is all about that warm feeling that comes from being surrounded by personal discoveries and new found treasures.  Cottage style is about living life and enjoying every moment of it.

English Country Cottage Inspiration

I first fell in love with English cottage style as soon as I discovered the English countryside. Never before had I even considered anything that remotely reminded me of old furniture and what has become known as shabby chic décor.

Having grown up with a well manicured front lawn I was most intrigued by the flowers growing in every space in the front of many English cottages. There was one big appeal --- no lawn to mow. But, more than that I was captivated by the beautiful flowers that seemed to be in bloom year round.

The gates in front of many of the English cottages were not designed to keep out intruders as much as to announce visiting friends. Perhaps, the most noticeable aspect of the English country cottage was not the appearance but the people who inhabited the cottages. They were friendly, welcoming and always willing to offer a cup of tea and a scone.

I soon realized that English cottage style is more a reflection of the personality of the inhabitant than a rigid style.

Cottage Style House Plans

For those who enjoy the informal lifestyle offered by cottage style living, cottage style house plans are available --- if you want to build.

Examples of cottage style houses may be more varied than any other style of house. Cottage style architecture ranges from the Victorian cottage to the small two bedroom bungalow on the corner.  Most of us think of the two bedroom bungalow when we think of cottage style living in the United States, unless we are living at the beach where cottage style living takes on a more rambling style plan.

However, it must be noted that cottage style homes today range from 1,000 square feet to over 6,000 square feet.

A cottage style house plan that replicates an older cottage style appearance.
A cottage style house plan that replicates an older cottage style appearance.

Cottage Style Décor Begins on the Front Porch

Some of us have the white picket fence or the old hinged gate that add to the country style way of living. However, for most cottage style homes the décor begins with the first step onto the front porch.

Whether the front porch has an old porch swing that hangs from the ceiling or well rounded wicker chairs and a wicker love seat, or perhaps an old green and white metal chair and glider or a couple of rockers with cushions, the front porch will be displayed as an open air room inviting guests to have a seat and stay a while.

Pillows, flowers, and a wicker table add to the country style look and feel.
Pillows, flowers, and a wicker table add to the country style look and feel.

Wicker Country Cottage Style Porch and Patio Sets

Rocking chairs add to the comfort of this well furnished country style porch.
Rocking chairs add to the comfort of this well furnished country style porch.
Add a front porch swing with a colorful cushion!
Add a front porch swing with a colorful cushion!

The Front Porch is the Window to Cottage Style Living and Decorating

More than anything else, cottage style makes everyone feel at home.

The front porch furniture can be purchased new or as I prefer, it can be purchased from a thrift store or at auction. Perhaps, that is where the real fun of cottage style decorating comes into play.

Take a look at the wicker settee above. Look at the rocking chairs. What about that wonderful porch swing? Many of us prefer to buy new. It saves time and work.

For some of us hunting for the special porch swing or chairs or tables is part of the cottage style in and of itself. If, like me, you enjoy shopping for bargains and looking for undiscovered treasures, visit the local thrift stores. Take in an auction. Chances are you will find something that catches your eye.

The furniture on the front porch is the first step toward cottage style décor. With wise choices it will be the last place you rest before bed during the warm summer evenings.

Cottage Style Porches Requre a Finishing Touch

Colorful flowers add a finishing touch to the cottage style front porch.
Colorful flowers add a finishing touch to the cottage style front porch.

Colorful flowers in hanging baskets are a terrific finishing touch for the cottage style front porch.

If the porch does not receive too much direct sun or has a sufficient coverage, adding a few ferns either in hanging baskets of planters will create a cool feel to warm evenings. But, do not hesitate to use colorful flowers that will complement the cushions used in the chairs and swings.

Cottage style is a matter of selecting your favorite colors and country styles and blending them to perfection beginning on the front porch.  Cottage style is more than just shabby chic!


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    • profile image


      22 months ago

      Hi Jenna, do you know where the cottage in your second picture is? It's so beautiful. Louise

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      nice article. nice pictures.well written. well done

    • profile image


      7 years ago

    • profile image

      Astghik Poghosyan 

      7 years ago

      GREAT!I'm in love with this style.I love the UK and I'm realy fond of this hub.Thanks

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 

      7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      Great hub! Love the style and you have good taste!

    • Mireille G profile image

      Mireille G 

      8 years ago from Kansas

      This is a really cool hub on cottage décor. It makes me miss Europe.

    • profile image

      Gabriel M 

      8 years ago

      These are some gorgeous photos, the cottage style certainly shines in these examples. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Porch Swings 

      8 years ago

      Beautiful pictures! I love this look. Thanks for sharing.


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