Home Decorating Ideas - Cottage Style Decor Defined

When you envision the perfect home interior ambiance does it include the adjectives simple, lightfilled, vintage and comfortable? If so, you might be a candidate for Cottage Style decor! You don't have to reside in a literal cottage to incorporate this design theme into your lifestyle. The fundamentals of cottage style decor are not difficult to impplement and can be easy on the budget, too.

The color scheme you select should be light overall for most types of cottage style decorating. A healthy dose of white along with soft shades of green, pink, blue, yellow, aqua and rose will set the cottage tone. If your taste lends more toward a rustic cottage look, you may incorporate more golds and medium shades of green into your decor. Use these colors on your walls, and don't hesitate to vary the colors from room to room. Keep the shades soft and light, and you can transition beautifully from room to room, keeping the cottage theme prevalent. To add a little bit of drama to the room, use one of your chosen colors in a deep tone for a few accents. For example, if your color scheme includes soft blue, use a bit of navy blue in an area rug, an accent piece, in artwork, etc. Remember to use a light touch and it can make your room even more memorable while maintaining the soft, simple overall look.

The ideal floor treatment for this style of decorating is wood, and if you are into the time-worn look, use wood planking or distressing techniques to make newer wood look old. You can paint the floor, stencil the perimeter, stencil an 'area rug' onto the floor, or use area rugs, to continue the cottage style theme. If wood flooring is not an option, use light colored carpet or tile if possible, and anchor the main pieces with an area rug.

Furnishings can be handled in a couple of different ways. If you are looking for a little more elegance in your cottage style decor, you may decide to use new furniture and accessories, keeping the colors and wood tones light. You can use a mix and match of small fabric patterns on upholstery, pillows, table skirts and the like, and still maintain a clean and fresh overall look. The upholstered pieces should be comfortable and informal, with a 'come sit in me' look about them.

For those who really enjoy true vintage, and who may also have a leaner budget, flea markets, antique shops, garage sales, etc. can be great sources for cottage style decor. You may find an awesome antique door and decide to cut it down to use as a coffee table by adding legs to it. An old cabinet or nightstand can be converted into a unique bathroom storage unit. Feel free to paint any piece, using one of the selected shades from your color scheme. Look for vintage prints, fabrics, accessories, and anything that tickles your fancy, no matter what it is.

Cottage style allows for a mix and match of accessories, whether you are showcasing a theme of accessories or all pieces are unique. One caution as you create your cottage style look is to avoid overcrowding and creating a messy, flea market look to your room. Instead, opt for fewer pieces that are truly unique and have a presence of their own. You will be able to appreciate the beautiful wall color, unique floor treatment, furnishings and accessories without being overwhelmed by all of the 'stuff'.

If you need to use your current furniture but want to change the fabric, slipcovers are a great way to do just that with minimal investment. Another budget saving option is to look for well-priced accent pieces and accessories at discount stores such as Homegoods or Target.

Cottage style window treatments are simple and informal. Wood shutters, plantation shutters, and wood blinds are always a good choice for areas that need privacy. If you decide to use fabric for valances or side panels, use an organic fabric such as cotton or a simple weave. Lace works well in this style if you are decorating on the more feminine side.

As you can see, there is not one right or wrong way to decorate Cottage Style. If you keep your selections to light, natural, vintage (real or reproduction), organic materials and colors, you can create your own unique Cottage Style home.
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