How to Decorate an English Seaside Cottage

Written by mary cockrill
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How to Decorate an English Seaside Cottage
Spotting sailing vessels through a telescope is a relaxing seaside cottage pastime. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The decor of an English seaside cottage is a blend of tranquillity and comfort. Ocean blues, sea-foam greens, crisp whites and sandy beiges compose an airy and fresh colour palette. Relaxing on the front porch or snuggling up in an old armchair evokes the casual seaside cottage ambience. Bringing the outdoors inside and keeping life simple is a reflection of English seaside cottage decor. Cosy beds, plump pillows and comfortable furniture epitomise this carefree decor.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Splash a fresh coat of paint on one or more interior walls to interject new energy and life into an English seaside cottage. Sea-inspired paint colours comprised of blues, corals, greens, whites and beiges enhance the casual seaside decor. Coordinate the wall colour with a complementary trim colour, such as sky-blue walls accented with fresh white trim. Attach white wide-width beadboard panelling to the lower half of a wall to add instant visual interest.

  2. 2

    Hang simple white lace or sheer curtains or valances over windows, allowing rays of streaming sunshine to brighten the cottage interior. Installing white plantation shutters or wood blinds provides light-blocking privacy when needed and enhances the English seaside cottage decor. Window treatments should be simple and functional -- never frilly or fussy. Place one or more colourful potted flowers in deep windowsills to add instant vitality and colour to the room.

  3. 3

    Furnish the English seaside cottage with an eclectic mix of old and new complementary furniture pieces. Historically, many cottages were furnished with comfortably worn used furniture that was handed down from the manor house. Integrating old furniture pieces with newly purchased pieces enhances the seaside cottage ambience. Incorporate painted cabinets, small bookshelves and comfortable chairs. Purchase new upholstered furniture in easy-to-clean fabrics for minimal care. White wicker settees, chairs and accent tables placed outdoors create an inviting spot to relax.

  4. 4

    Accessorise with a mixture of items created from natural elements. Lay sisal area rugs over wood floors, adding elements of texture and warmth. Crystal-clear jars filled with seashells, mirrored tiles reflecting glowing candles, and woven baskets filled with fresh towels or linens enhance the cosy seaside cottage ambience. Display antique china, Wedgewood porcelain and blue-and-white Cornish ware in open kitchen cupboards. Hang pictures of sailboats, lighthouses or other nautical-themed pictures on bare walls.

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