A cottage-style home evokes feelings of nostalgia and warmth. A design style that relies less on hard-and-fast rules and more on feelings and moods, cottage style has grown in popularity over the last few years. When you conjure up images of a countryside home or a quaint getaway in the mountains, you may think "cottage style." But this aesthetic can be recreated in nearly any type of home.
There are some clear themes when it comes to cottage style, but less is often more with this type of decor. Quaint kitchens, cozy bedrooms, and soft textures abound in cottage-style homes. There are shared elements with antique and Scandinavian designs as well.
Click through for some of our favorite cottage-style interiors and exteriors that will make you want to pare down and embrace the cozy lifestyle.
Add Texture to Your Walls
In cottage-style homes, shiplap is key. Textured walls with wood paneling not only add a lot of visual interest, but they also hold up to dirt and dents over time. Hang shiplap in your small spaces to give them a more purposeful cozy feel.
Layer Classic Details
Cottage style has a sense of nostalgia throughout. Layer in thrifted or recycled pieces throughout your room and focus on traditional details with classic lines and natural materials. For example, opting for real wood furniture over synthetic materials can give a room a cottage feel.
Focus on Neutrals
We love bold colors, but when it comes to cottage style, less is definitely more. Focus on lighter, weathered neutral colors such as cool whites, beiges, and soft grays. You can fold in colors, but pick more traditional hues like navy blues or deep greens over neons or bright colors.
Focus on the Entry
A cottage-style home always has a porch to welcome guests. If you're building, make sure to focus on your entryway. A big, broad porch can make a small house look and feel larger.
Don't have a porch? Consider installing a portico for a cozier entryway that's a lot easier to install.
Consider Farmhouse Details
Farmhouse details like a deep porcelain apron sink work wonderfully in a cottage home. These rustic elements give a home a lived-in, warm feel and help a small space feel cozy rather than cramped.
Embrace the Attic Bedroom
Many cottage homes have sloped ceilings and half stories. If you have an attic, consider converting it into a charming guest bedroom. The space should feel comfortable and lived in.
Opt for Reclaimed Wood
Reclaimed wood details are perfect additions to a cottage home. Whether you opt for live edge shelving in a kitchen or you swap out a desk for a rustic reclaimed piece, these natural, unfinished details give your cottage home a warm feel.
Add Cute Details
The difference between a small house and a cozy one is the attention to detail. Make a quaint cottage feel homey and welcoming with small details such as a brightly painted door or new shutters.
Keep Art Simple
Wall art helps any home feel complete and personal, but consider the "less is more" mindset when it comes to hanging art in a cottage-style home. Simple line drawings or watercolor pieces work best in a cozy neutral space.
Utilize Every Corner
When you don't have room or obvious extra space, it's time to get creative. A cozy cottage will often have unexpected nooks and crannies. Transform an unused corner into an L-shaped desk or install a reading nook under the stairs. Look for ways to extend your space without opening up those walls.
Keep it Perfectly Imperfect
One of the best elements of cottage style is that it embraces imperfections. Don't worry about everything being in its specific place. In fact, cottage style works best when it's a bit rumpled and lived-in. It should feel approachable and welcoming, but not cluttered.
Keep Exposed Beams
Whether you're lucky enough to have exposed beams in your home or you're planning on faking it, beams can give any room a cottage-like feel. Highlight your architectural details by hanging a few reclaimed beams in your space for a classic style.
Wainscoting is another easy way to add a cottage feel to any home. It works best in a dining room or an office, but beadboard or wainscoting is an easy DIY you can do in a weekend or less.
Add Warm Materials
A cottage-style home should never feel overly cold or modern. Opt for real-wood pieces and layer with cozy rugs or throws that add a sense of rejuvenation and serenity.
Built-ins help to capitalize your space add more storage without using up precious floor space. If your home doesn't already have built-in shelving, consider faking it with floor-to-ceiling bookcases.
Decorate With Books
Books work wonderfully well in a cottage home. They easily add warmth to any space and can make any room feel cozy and lived-in. Whether you style your shelf with a few purposefully picked books or you store an entire collection, don't be afraid to decorate with books in a cottage home.
Mix in Antique Furniture
Mix old and new for a classic yet modern look and feel. A modern cottage home can have both updated and traditional elements but focus on statement-making pieces that can really tell a story.
Small bedroom? No problem. Cottage style works oh-so-well in a small bedroom where quaintness is key. Pare down your decor and focus just on the essentials, but don't be afraid to layer textures like throws or accent pillows.
Mix in Pastels
While neutral hues work well in cottage style, there are some colors that feel nostalgic and classic. A creamy mint green or soft pink can work wonderfully as accent colors to add a bit of depth in a cozy kitchen or bedroom.
Add a Sconce
Getting the lighting right in a small cottage is essential. If you don't have a lot of room for bedside lamps, a classic hanging sconce is a great way to give your space a more traditional feel and save precious nightstand real estate for other objects.
Make the Most Out of a Small Kitchen
While organizing a small kitchen can be a little more difficult, there's something naturally cozy and welcoming about a small quaint kitchen. Reduce visual clutter by removing upper cabinets and focusing on a rustic, exposed shelf instead.
Add a Window Seat
Add a cozy built-in window seat to your living room or dining nook for a space-saving seating option that is as adorable as it is practical. Bonus points for the added storage under the seat.
Show Off Your Cookware
Embrace the rustic cottage feel and let your pots and pans breathe. Install a hanging bar for easy access to all of your essentials.