Just thinking about the English cottage style makes me smile from within; it is one of the most cherished styles we have and is more often than not referred to as ‘quintessentially English’ – because it is. Brimming with charm, intriguing with eclectic décor, immensely cosy and always a true representation of the person or people living within. This is a style that is built upon your personal likes and high comfort; it showcases your history, existence, character and humour. The main or sometimes only sense of order is brought with a colour palette, that is observed fluidly throughout the home.
Due to the history of cottages, it is a prime feature to have little comforts that were once the main pleasure amongst cottage dwellers – hard-working souls with very low budgets/incomes. Today, cottages are not seen as homes to house low-incomes – in fact, they are very desirable and appeal to all level of personal budgets. The comfort we are speaking of is rustic, outdoorsy and influenced greatly by the colours and materials of Mother Earth. Furniture has a lived-in look and comfort is maximised by overstuffed upholstery.
Start your cottage style decorating with choosing a colour palette; one that bares rich earthy colours such as warm browns, orange, yellow and muted greens. These colours should have a similar finish and won’t be fighting for attention. Another popular colour that is used in the English cottage style is rose pink or dusky pink. Roses in general are iconic to English gardens to they also show up as motifs on fabrics and accessories. Don’t go over the top with pink or rose prints – it should be used as if it would be special and adorns those pieces you love the most.
Natural materials such as wood and stone make up most of the furniture and flooring within the cottage; other special architectural features include a rustic fireplace and visible wooden beams on the ceiling. If you don’t have these features, consider having them put in to emphasise the cottage style – just make sure that any wood or stone that is used has a natural finish and absent from polishes.
A traditional cottage may have a small interior and you will need to have this in mind when buying furniture. Look for pieces that can be sized down when not in use such as a drop-leaf table for dining.
Window treatments are always an attractive part of decorating the cottage and will often consist of café-style ready made curtains, sheer tab top voile curtains or window treatments made from lace. A Swish curtain track will offer flexibility to when you want to change between lighter and heavier fabric curtains.