What is a cottage-style house?

Updated November 21, 2016

If you're looking to give your home a cosy look, the cottage style might be the right way to go. Cottage-style homes follow no hard and fast decorating rules; they are always welcoming and warm. The cottage style ranges from small, country bungalows to larger, seaside homes. The best look for your home is the one you like the most. The good news is you can pull ideas from many designs and create your own cottage-style home in no time.


Options abound when it comes to furnishing your cottage. Choose pieces that fit the mood of each room. For an informal look, use distressed furniture, usually found inexpensively priced at yard sales and flea markets. Oak furnishings enhance any cottage look because they blend well with both laid-back and formal decor. Another alternative is wrought-iron furniture, which goes with casual and formal looks while creating an interesting ambience. Try painting furniture to add spots of colour to the rooms.


Accessories enhance rooms and add character. For a country cottage look, use quilts in bedrooms and hang quilt samplers in the living room. Flower arrangements add colour and a touch of nature to every room. Vintage pieces bring character to modern cottages as well as country cottage homes. Look for chandeliers, framed mirrors, rugs and lamps that unite the elements of your home's decor. Try matching antique candlesticks and frames with a mirror for a unified look.

Window Treatments

Choose window treatments that enhance the style of your cottage. If your home's look is relaxed, go with striped or checked fabric. Another casual look is plaid. If your cottage is romantic, hang softer window treatments, such as sheers or lace. Whatever style you choose, surround windows with fabric.


Cottage-style homes have a variety of exteriors, ranging from stonework to wood siding. Some cottages have stucco exteriors, while others have arched windows. Another option is cedar shakes, which are common on beach cottages. Go with exterior colours such as periwinkle blue, white, buttery yellow or pale green. Wicker furniture on porches and window boxes add charm to cottages. Enhance the cottage look with a pebble or brick walkway.

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