The word “home” means many things to many people. For most of us, home conjures feelings of love, joy, acceptance, and comfort, and nothing embodies those feelings more than cottage style.
What is a Cottage Style Home?
Generally speaking, a cottage style home is a smaller dwelling, often one or one-and-a-half stories, and is filled with items that exude character, charm and time-worn patinas. The beauty of cottage style is not just the casual, relaxed atmosphere it creates, but also its versatility. Cottage style can easily blend with other styles, creating unique cottage-style homes with a twist. Some types of cottages include: beach, bohemian, modern, farmhouse, English, storybook, vintage, country, retro, shabby chic, rustic, cabin, southern, and French country.
While we love many different styles of cottages, Monica chose farmhouse cottage style for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we simply love farmhouses, and we wanted our home to appropriately fit our land and our historic town.
How Did Cottage Style Come About?
Cottage style originated in the countryside, most likely in England, where small quaint homes were utilitarian, but maintained a tidy and cozy look and feel. Cottages evolved over time, changing from one story to one-and-a-half stories, and even larger. Cottages are typically not grand structures, but may be a modest size to accommodate family living. In certain parts of the United States, cottages are considered summer homes because they are often found along lakes or riverbanks, and are intended for rest and relaxation.
What Elements Make up Cottage Style?
As we mentioned, cottages are usually found in the countryside or near lakes or rivers, and as such, there is harmony between the indoors and out. Some cottages have porches or patios to make the most of outdoor living. Cottages are casual rather than showy, and because of their small to medium footprints, wasted space is not an option; cottages make use of all available space. They typically have sloped ceilings, knee walls, or dormered windows, with an emphasis on symmetry, balance, and a welcoming entrance. Exterior features include pitched roofs, simple windows, and stone, brick, or wood accents and adornments. Interiors are generally airy with few hallways; this “open concept” appeals to many homeowners. Cottages are well-known for their charm and character, which often includes cozy spaces such as nooks, window seats, and niches. Cottages can include almost any color, from soft to bright, light to dark, and painted and natural wood finishes. Traditional cottages tend to be mostly white with soft colors to enhance the light and airy feel. Fabrics are usually soft and well-worn or faded, with a mix of floral, check, and geometric patterns. Slipcovers are desirable because they can be easily washed and hung to dry. One of the most appealing aspects of cottage style is its versatility. New objects are comfortably at home with antiques or flea market finds.
How Can You Create Your Own Cottage?
First, identify the style that speaks to you most. You can look to Pinterest or other online sources for inspiration. Do you like traditional cottage style with lots of white, floral fabrics, and distressed finishes, or do you prefer the modern clean lines of a more contemporary cottage with pops of bright colors or even some black? Do you dream about an English cottage with rose-covered trellises nestled in the hillside, or would you prefer a more rustic home next to the lake, with chippy painted chairs pulled up to a worn wooden table? Once you find your style, take your time and select items you love. Cottages have a collected-over-time look, so choose what you love, first and foremost, and enjoy the hunt. Cottage style is never fussy or perfect, which only adds to its appeal and comfort.
No matter your preference, cottage style is versatile, comfortable and feels like home. What twist will you put on your cottage?