Cottage Inspired Interior Design

Beth Asaff
Cottage bedroom

Related to country style and Cottage Chic style, cottage inspired interior design is an uncomplicated, romantic look that is welcoming and relaxed. With natural colors, and a worn, soft look Cottage inspired design can fit in with nearly any architectural style.

Cottage Design Basics

Cottage inspired interior design is a multi-hued, comfy look typified by painted furnishings with graceful shapes, texture-rich essentials (like baskets, beadboard and natural fiber rugs), worn finishes, and colors inspired by the garden. The cottage approach allows you to revive your home easily with furniture slipcovers and comfy throw pillows.

Cottage interior design makes for a light, airy, serene, charming and laid-back space. No longer just for vacation homes, this cozy style is now commonly selected for all-season decorating.

Early on, cottage style was very utilitarian, given that craftsmen instead of architects were the designers and builders. The walls were often open to the studs with boards in between for shelves. Ceilings were typically open up to the support beams.

Because of these humble beginnings, open shelving and exposed beams or woodwork are still a major cottage design elements. Keeping it simple is the guiding principle. Unadorned, flat panel doors and bead board wall panels are a great fit. Kitchens are open to other rooms and feature cabinetry that is uncomplicated with little detail. Exposed beams and wood are often painted in white to lighten up a cottage room. Other essential ingredients of cottage design are balconies and window seats that allow guests to enjoy the garden views.

Colors for Cottage Décor

Many of the colors for cottage style design are pulled from nature and botanicals.This includes lots of warm wood tones in a range of colors from light to dark, as well as:

  • White
  • Light orange
  • Pale coral
  • Mauve
  • Dusty pink
  • Green, all shades
  • Accents of fuchsia and deep yellow
  • Blue and white combos

Furnishings for Cottage Décor

Furnishings for cottage style include lots of painted wood, iron, wicker and overstuffed sofas and chairs with floral patterns. Look for secondhand pieces or surfaces that have been antiqued to show a slight weathering of their surface. Garden furniture, lots of dulled metal tones and a mixture of new and old items together help to complete the look.

Fabrics for Cottage Décor

There are few patterns and fabrics that don't work well in cottage style design. Begin with lots of soft, floral patterns as the base. From there, mix in stripes, checks and solids with fringe accents and lots of woven fibers. Leather, corduroy and sheers on the windows help to pull the room together.

Cottage Décor Extras

The little accents scattered throughout a home are frequently what makes or breaks a design. Be sure to include lots of fresh flowers, baskets, braided rugs and a few nautical accents to give your cottage inspired home that finishing touch. Shutters on the windows and wallpaper in any of the cottage inspired designs can also help to cement the style.

Cottage Resources

Looking for some inspiration or a place to buy some cottage inspired furnishings? There are plenty of resources available.

  • My Home Ideas - From the publishers of Southern Living. Discover comfortable style, informal decorating ideas, and stress-free entertaining.
  • Cottage Life Magazine - Offers advice and ideas for cottage dwellers or dreamers.
  • Cottage Home - A place to buy all the furnishings needed for your cottage home.
  • Cottage Chic Store - Everything you need for a cottage style life.

Incorporate it Slowly

Cottage style works well because it is comfortable and unfussy. As you begin to add some cottage inspired pieces to your home, remember to do so slowly; you may find that you get the look just right long before you ever thought you'd be through.

Cottage Inspired Interior Design