Cottage Style Defined
Get inspired by simple cottage home decorating ideas.
Although cottage style today graces even the most upscale homes, its roots lie in modest means and making do. The hallmark elements that characterize this popular look—pale paint colors, distressed surfaces, humble fabrics, and found treasures—were born of practicality in an era when high design was available only to the wealthy.
Cottage style doesn't follow rigid guidelines; instead, it's more of an attitude. It's about relaxation and resourcefulness, easy living, and a sense of contentment. Casual, comfortable, and lighthearted, it embraces imperfection and nimbly straddles both the past and present through its mix of weathered furnishings and fresh simplicity.
These designer rooms employ cottage style beautifully:
Get the Look
If cottage style strikes your fancy, try these strategies for blending it into your interiors.
Pale colors. White tones anchor the cottage palette, but other light and neutral hues round it out. Choose faded greens, yellows, and blues, or weave in dusty lilac, lavender, and rose. Cottage style can handle a few jolts of brighter color as long as you cut it with swaths of pale neutrals. Golden wood, such as pine, maple and oak complement the color scheme.