Cottage style furniture was introduced by those trying to imitate the fine furnishings of those who were well-off. The wood was of lesser quality, so paint was used to hide flaws in the wood and to brighten up smaller homes or cottages. The cottage style fits smaller homes well because the lighter colours make a room appear larger. The eclectic mixture of furniture in a cottage-styled home can be repurposed to allow the room to feel airy and lighter then dark wood furniture.
Choose tall shelving units to make the room appear taller. An old armoire painted a light colour can be used in the living room to store a television, as well as books, and has the right feeling for cottage style.
Pick armless chairs instead of overstuffed armchairs. Use a love seat instead of a full-size couch. The furniture should all be the same base solid colour to act as a backdrop for a smaller room.
Buy furniture with slim legs showing instead of fabric flowing to the floor. The light will show under the furniture and give the appearance of openness to the room.
Convert an old bench into a coffee table to keep the room open. Cottage style furniture is often restyled or repurposed from its original intention. The smaller-scale coffee table will give an illusion of more space in the room.
Drape soft throws on chairs or sofas to give the furniture the cosy look of cottage style. Using soft coloured pillows or cushions also gives furniture a comfy feel.