Cottage interior design ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether your home is in a coastal seaside community, on the shores of a lake or in the middle of a landlocked suburb, you can use several design ideas to give your interior spaces a distinctively cottage feel. The cottage style is characterised by light colours and comfortable, casual surroundings. Oftentimes there are also vintage and coastal elements mixed in as well.


Filling interior spaces with vintage, antique wood furniture is a common strategy with cottage interior designs. You can find antique chairs, tables, rocking chairs, benches, headboards and other pieces at flea markets and antique stores. In general, stick with simpler, utilitarian pieces characteristic of Shaker-style furniture, as opposed to highly elaborate and ornate pieces characteristic of Victorian-style furniture. As HGTV mentions, you can also give more modern pieces of wooden furniture a cottage makeover by painting them and then wearing away some of the paint---once it is dry---with sandpaper. When it comes to beds couches and reclining chairs, stick with light colours and plush, fluffy cushions and pillows. Consider using wicker as opposed to traditional wood frames. If you have dark couches or chairs, such as those that consist of black leather, Better Homes and Gardens recommends covering these pieces with light-coloured slipcovers.


Hardwood floors are some of the best options for cottage style interiors. As Better Homes and Gardens notes, in addition to the ease of maintenance, hardwood floors offer a warm quality that works well with the soft fabrics and light colours that typify the cottage style. In summer, leave your hardwood floors bare to promote a cool atmosphere, while in winter, use rugs to increase coziness.


According to HGTV, white is one of the best colour choices for interior cottage walls. In addition to contributing a bright, clean feeling, white walls make spaces seem more expansive than they actually are. While painting standard, flat drywall or plaster walls, white is one option; also consider installing white beadboard walls. These walls feature a series of repeating-- typically vertical--panels of wood that contribute significantly to the cottage atmosphere. Faux beadboards are also available, which consist of lighter weight composite materials. An alternative to beadboard, as Better Homes and Gardens notes, is to cover your walls with sections of white wooden lattice work.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Erik Devaney is a writing professional specializing in health and science topics. His work has been featured on various websites. Devaney attended McGill University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in humanistic studies.