Guest Author - Donna Coogan
Do you love cottage decor? The appeal of cottage decorating is its casual, welcoming atmosphere. There is no one way to do “cottage” and that makes it not only fun to work with, but also easy on the budget.
Cottage decorating styles range anywhere from farmhouse to coastal to shabby romance. Tap into your style and then use some of the ideas below to help you flesh it out.
Mix and Match
When decorating cottage style mix and match your furnishings. It is always more charming to mix different periods and woods than to have everything look the same. Doing so gives a room character. Try mixing dark finishes with lighter stains or painted pieces. Include furniture ranging from vintage to contemporary for a lived-in, eclectic look that was built over time.
If you think slipcovers are frumpy and unattractive, think again. Slipcovers add instant appeal to cottage decors. Throw a quilt over an old chair for a lived in comfortable look or have custom covers made for a more put-together design. You can find pre-made slipcovers in solids, plaids, checks and florals which makes them compatible with any cottage style decor.
Slipcovers are compatible with tight budgets, too, because they help save the furniture underneath from being worn out. You can throw slipcovers in the wash so that makes them very user friendly with children and pets. If you go with white slipcovers they can be bleached to keep them looking fresh year round.
Vary Colors and Textures
Whatever cottage style you lean toward, always add a variety of colors and textures to your spaces. Even if you prefer a shabby all white theme, you can vary the shades with neutrals and pops of color like pink or aqua.
When decorating include both hard and soft surfaces in a room. Layer fabrics, too. Re-upholster your chairs with pretty ruffles, add lots of pillows to your sofas and several throws or quilts to your beds. Add cushions to hardback chairs and curtains to soften the lines of hard walls and windows.
Add a Painted Piece
Nothing says cottage more than a painted piece of furniture. Try to add at least one piece in every room. Whether it’s a small wooden stool to hold a plant or a large china cabinet, painted pieces add instant cottage appeal.
Cottage isn’t cottage without bringing the outdoors in. Freshen your rooms with flowers to create natural cheer to your home. You can also add potted plants or bowls of fruit for similar results.
Cottage decorating is easy to reproduce. You can use family hand-me downs or shop around to find just the right touches for your home. The advantage of cottage decorating is it is a very cheap way to make your home look beautiful. It can be built over time, adding pieces here and there as your budget allows.