It’s All About the Details

laundry room sink

Have you ever seen a lackluster house come to life after it has been accessorized?  It’s amazing how that happens!  Accessories are the “jewelry” that complete your home in the same way that just the right jewelry completes an outfit.  While it’s totally fine and preferable to furnish your home with some inexpensive big-box items, it’s also wonderful to add beautiful custom touches that don’t have to be crazy-expensive.  In today’s blog post, we’ll explore some of those options and what you can do to give your cottage or farmhouse a special custom look.

Simple Moldings and Trim

You don’t need fancy three-piece molding to finish off your walls.  If you’re looking for a simple finish, especially for a cottage or farmhouse, go for basic flat stock molding.  Flat stock is just a flat trim board and is typically not as thick as traditional crown molding.

Thick but Basic Baseboard 

We went with 7” high baseboards for our farmhouse.  Seven inches is great because it is substantial; go higher and you risk cupping.  Our baseboard is flat and has no curved edges or grooves where dust can collect.


Shiplap is essential for any cottage or farmhouse, but is not suitable for most other styles except coastal.  Try it on a single wall, as a lower wall treatment capped with a basic chair rail, behind the mantle on the fireplace, or in a stairwell.  If you really love the texture for a cottage or farmhouse, feel free to cover all walls with shiplap.


The same guidelines apply to beadboard as they do to shiplap.  It also looks lovely on ceilings.  If you can’t afford to go all-out, add some strategically placed pieces and repeat.

pink winter floral arrangement

Open Shelving in the Kitchen

Opening up a cabinet by removing doors or installing basic triangle brackets with shelves on top can make a world of difference for your kitchen.  Open shelving makes your space feel less confining, and makes a beautiful spot to display dishes, florals, pottery, and the like.  Ballard Designs offers several different options to help you find the right shelf for your decorating style and display needs.

white couch with throw pillows

Coordinating Fabrics

To keep your furniture from looking ho-hum, try switching out your throw pillows.  Please reference our post on throw pillows for everything you need to know.

Each fabric should be carefully selected for proper use, and wear and tear.  For example, do not use a silk pillow on a heavily-used living room sofa with messy children.  Chances are good that the silk will be pulled, stained, or destroyed.  A silk pillow may be more appropriate in a private space with light use, such as a dressing room or as a decorative pillow in the master bedroom.  Try a denim fabric instead.  They are wonderful for high traffic areas, and come in almost any color, not just blue!

Spruce Up Your Throw Pillows with Embellishments

Are you worried that a plain square pillow looks just…square?  Spruce up that pillow and give it some personality!  Some adornments you can add to throw pillows:

  • Beads
  • Ric-rack
  • Ruffled edge
  • Ruched edge in contrasting pattern or color
  • Welting, especially contrast welting
  • Knife-edge
  • Flange
  • Pom-pom fringe
  • Brush fringe
  • Tassel fringe
  • Bands
  • Braids
  • Gimp
  • Etsy (one of our favorites…help support small businesses; shop by color, style, detail, etc.)

Custom Signs

Nothing says cottage or farmhouse more than a pretty custom-made sign.  Etsy is a fabulous resource for finding any type of sign you can imagine.  In most cases you can contact individual shop owners for custom work and choose the lettering style, size, colors, and finish.  We just had a beautiful “Le Bain” sign made for our master bathroom and hung it over the tub.  Perfect!  Right now we’re in the market for a HartLand Bakery sign.  Stay tuned!

shiplap in powder room

Special Mirrors

You don’t need to go far to get a great mirror, especially if you are looking for a DIY project.  You can start with any mirror or you can frame a piece of mirror glass and add on vintage shutters that you can pick up at salvage shops for cheap.  Simply choose a color scheme, add some layers of chalk paint, distress, repeat, and you have a one-of-a-kind custom mirror.  You can also find some pretty wallpaper (peel-and-stick is really easy) and frame around the glass with a print that coordinates with your colors and decor.

Painted Lamps

Did you know you can paint the base of a wood or ceramic lamp to coordinate with your color scheme?  Practice layering and wiping chalk paint until you get your desired result and then seal with clear wax. We like chalk paint a lot because it’s so easy to work with, can be mixed for a custom color, thinned with water, layered, wiped off, and distressed.  The possibilities are endless!

Printed Fabric Lampshades

Yes, you read that right.  Go to Ballard Designs and choose a ready-made lampshade in a variety of lovely printed fabrics to dress up your lamp and coordinate with your room.

lamp in a kitchen

Add a Lamp to Your Kitchen

Yes, your kitchen!  Try a small to medium size lamp and place in a corner or at the end of your counter for some personality and coziness.  If you have an open floor plan be sure to tie the lamp to your other lamps.  They don’t have to match but they should relate to each other in color, style, lampshade style and/or color.

Specialty Finishes for a Truly Custom Look

Consider painting the bottom of your farmhouse wall sink like we did to coordinate with your powder room colors.  Choose a flat finish paint, tape off your sink, and totally change the look of your bathroom.

Add a Touch of Luxury Underfoot

Is your bathroom floor feeling a little cold?  Add a rug or two.  We chose a soft blue round rug in front of our clawfoot tub and matching rectangle rugs in front of the vanities.  Carry your coordinating a little further and splurge on a matching area rug under the bed.  We did and love it! 

pool house bath towels

Look for Fancy Hooks

Instead of a boring towel bar or ring, look for interesting hooks.  Hobby Lobby has some and so do many Etsy shops.  You can choose different materials, shapes, colors and designs.  Try a bird perched atop a hook for a cottage touch in your powder room.

pool house sitting room

Accessorize Empty Spaces

It’s a good thing to have an empty wall or corner now and then to give the eye a resting place and to avoid a cluttered look, but by all means accessorize your home!  Not sure what to do or where to do it?  Read on for some accessory ideas:


A turntable or lazy susan for a large dining table will allow you to locate the salt and pepper shakers with an easy turn.  Lazy susans are also great for keeping your laundry room organized.  Put your detergent, bleach, and fabric softener in pretty bottles and arrange on a lazy susan for convenience and a tidy look.


Decorate a round metal tray with dishes, vases of flowers, and odds and ends and place on top of a round ottoman or coffee table.  This is also a good way to keep all of your remote controls in one place.  Wooden or woven trays add a textural look to your decor and come in a variety of materials and colors.  Or you can paint your own.

Decorative Boxes, Bins, and Baskets

These are so attractive and handy for storing bottles, books, toys, and more.

pottery and dishes on open shelves

Pottery and Dishes

Pottery and dishes really spruce up your kitchen and easily fill open shelves.  We just love our GreenGate dishes because they come in an assortment of beautiful colors and patterns that are a breeze to coordinate.

pink winter floral arrangement


Floral arrangements, faux flowers, and wreaths can be changed seasonally and add the perfect finishing touch to your decor.

Cutting Boards and Charcuterie Boards  

Behind the stove, on the counter or against the back of a cabinet, cutting boards and charcuterie boards add warmth and pops of color to your cottage or farmhouse kitchen.

vintage books on a harth

Vintage Books

Vintage books add a ton of charm to a bookcase, shelf, or mantle display.  Check out one of our favorite Etsy shops for superb customer service and an incredible selection of gorgeous vintage books.  I love thumbing through and seeing the personal messages, names, and dates.

Accessorize Away!

Thank you for spending time with us today!  We hope you are truly inspired to make all of the rooms in your home feel extra special.  Need more help? Contact us for a design consultation!  Until next time…

From the HartLand with Love,

Monica, Cheyenne & Brittany

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