When the word ‘cottage’ comes up, you immediately think of drinking a warm cup of tea, in front of a warm fire on a cold winter's day.
This is because the very utterance of the term takes us to a cosy place — where you sink into a soft couch, surrounded by floral cushions in an old wooden house in the countryside.
To have a roaring fire, a thatched roof and a purring kitty at your feet is somewhat of a dreamworld fantasy for most people. However, there are lots of things you can do at home to achieve your own interior cottage wonderland — where comfort is taken to a whole new level.
Materials and colours
Cottage styles are generally favoured by those who resist the imposition of technological and avant-garde design, and are after something a little more ‘homely’.
So, when thinking about materials, imagine wooden beams, stone walls, arches, and vaulted roofs, creating the perfect canvas for the other decorations and furnishings that will come later.
Don’t go for the modern marble island countertop in the kitchen — this kitchen island from Living Styles is the perfect accompaniment to any cottager’s cooking area and it’s ready to wheel in right now.
To complement this wood and stone framework, the colours should be earthy. Bone, beige, tan, sand and terracotta go well, as do green and reddish tones. If you have little lighting or the sun’s rays aren’t beaming into your living areas, go for a white painted wall. Use natural fibers such as yarn, cotton, wool or linen in carpets, cottons, and linens for upholstery fabric and plain unlined fabric for curtains.
The furniture in a cottage style home can be bought new, but can often be recycled, or purchased from a flea market. Signs of wear and tear are exactly what you’re looking for in a piece — faded colour and scratch marks means it’s old and loved.
Keep to that oak and wooden feel we talked about. The coffee table, for example, should be thick and dark, with perhaps a couple of drawers to create that solidity and comfort you’re after.
The kitchen can prove tricky at times to create the theme you want, but a Samsung smart fridge isn’t exactly the thing you should be looking for. Smeg does wonderful retro models that fit seamlessly into a wooden, earthy kitchen.
Old cottages in the mountains may well contain a floral pattern or two, and this is no different when it comes to the sofa. But, fear not if that’s not your style, because you can still create a cottage feel without an array of pink flowers stitched into the centrepiece of the living room.
Find something that’s quite the opposite. A beige or a white couch goes fantastically well with wooden flooring. Make sure it’s something you can sink into after a long day and enjoy that cuppa. Fill it with cushions to create somewhere you could easily nod off on.
Little trinkets, colourful mugs, figurines, and floral vases are the hallmark of a cottage-style interior. Antique shops, tag sales, and even grandma’s attic can all reveal a treasure trove of items both useful and decorative. This approach will give every corner of your home a design touch that transmits life, stories, and personality.
Bamboo wicker and wire are also good ingredients to throw in for a cottage look. Using decorative objects based on these materials will help you achieve the casual effect you're looking for. Find a place for this wicker basket for example and fill it with fresh fruit in the kitchen, or books and magazines in the living room.