So, exactly what are cottage decorating styles? Let’s start by looking at what it is not. A cottage is not bound by traditional rules of decorating. It is not something you buy in a package of pre-coordinated furnishings. A cottage room is not one that is reserved for company or for special occasions. Above all else, a cottage is meant to be lived in.
Banish the bland interior. Cottage decorating uses color and pattern to help define space.
Add texture to your space. Mix and match using casual bright fabrics. Use florals and stripes, checks and plaids, solids and patterns in a coordinated casual cottage theme.
Create an authentic interior. Emphasize the old and mix with the new. In a typical American-style cottage decorating you are likely to find wood and wicker, reclaimed wood or painted furnishings and distressed surfaces.
Set the stage with wood flooring and area rugs. A cottage floor is meant to be walked on and easy to care for!
These are just a few of the many elements that go into creating a unique cottage home. A real cottage home is all about you!
Everyone dreams of a home overlooking the sea – Atlantic, Pacific, or Gulf. It may be tropical with waves gently lapping and breezes softly blowing. Or it may be more dramatic with the surf crashing on the rocks and seagulls soaring overhead – just like here in Maine. For some it is a vacation get-away – for others a year-round retreat. A coastal cottage can even be found inland or in the city – bringing the lure of the sea into your home. Coastal cottage decorating uses natural nautical colors – blue, green, aqua, coral, light brown, white. Tropical beach houses tend to use more pastels – with warmer tones found more in northern climes. Pacific coastal style is often more sophisticated with a blend of Old World European furnishings and Asian accents. Atlantic and New England cottages are more relaxed with nautical themes and American Colonial motifs. Wicker rules on the Gulf Coast with a Caribbean influence in a tropical paradise. All coastal homes love natural materials that are easy to care for. Use materials that can withstand the elements – sun, salt, moisture and sand.
A rustic retreat, the mountain lodge may be nestled in the woods or beside a lake. It might be a fishing cabin or a ski lodge or a family vacation home. In fact, the lodge look in cottage decorating fits almost any place where you want a ‘get away from it all’ atmosphere in harmony with nature and the great outdoors. The mountain lodge is casual and comfortable. The color palette is warm and inviting, often using deep red, burgundy, greens and rich earth tones harmonizing with the natural surroundings. Curl up with a good book on oversized upholstered furniture sofas and chairs. Combine natural, rustic and primitive design elements – distressed and reclaimed woods, hickory twig furniture, stone and slate. Decorate with vintage items that reflect your local heritage – old photographs, carved duck decoys, nature paintings and memorabilia. Add warmth with blankets, pillows and throws.
Picture your family and friends gathered around the farmhouse dining table…the aroma of a stew simmering in the kitchen…the warmth of a crackling fire in the fireplace. Reminiscent of simpler times, the country cottage decorating has an old-fashioned aura that ranges from the romantic to the rustic. With a distinctly Americana accent, décor might date back to early Colonial times or vintage early 20th Century. It can be light and airy or warm and cozy. The color palette tends toward more muted earth tones with splashes of bright color accents — deep blues, rich reds and sunshine yellow. All about comfort, rolled arm upholstered furniture and printed fabrics combine to create an inviting interior. Borrowing a note from the past, country farmhouse decorating has distressed and rubbed painted wood surfaces, reclaimed wood furniture and spacious farmhouse tables. Look for old-fashioned treasures and decorative accents – an iron bed, a creaky rocking chair, an old campaign chest, pitchers, baskets and pillows. Fill your house with flowers from the garden. Sit back and enjoy the view from your farmhouse porch, complete with traditional wicker country furniture.
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