October 14, 2013
Whatever form it takes, log cabin rustic or English country home, the tradition of a cottage often evokes coziness and comfort for the people who live there. Muted colors, seashore or garden motifs and hardwood floors coupled with area rugs - like the quilt motif of Shaw Floors' Highland rug in the Bob Timberlake collection - all predominate in cottage decor.
Colors usually associated with cottage design are dusty tones of pastels that reflect the ocean and gardens. Florals convey a genteel atmosphere, while plaids fit best with a rustic decorating scheme. Cushions for soft upholstered furnishings are often slip covered in different colors and patterns according to the season.
Another way to create a vintage look found in traditional cottages is to encase windows in shutters. Usually finished with a light wood stain or painted white and off-white, they are an attractive complement to wood floors and pastel wall colors. If homeowners have traditional white trim, a good complementary wall color is light gray with a hint of blue.
Variety in furniture
Painted furniture is popular in cottage-style decorating. Homeowners can create a distinctive look by stenciling a pattern onto the painted surface, according to Better Homes and Gardens.
Wicker and rattan are other favorites in traditional cottage furniture. They are often used as a set of love seats and chairs or as accent pieces like side tables and writing desks.
While not part of the cottage tradition, some contemporary furniture can be integrated into the room design as well. Rather than a fussy, cluttered look, cottage decorating often has a clean, white-washed effect that's a good match with modern furnishings.
Whatever their style, cottage furnishings are known for their light and airy feel. According to CottageStyleDecoratingGuide.com, whatever furnishings homeowners choose should create an atmosphere that reminds them of vacation time when day-to-day living is comfortable and carefree.
Accessories for cottage-style home design may be collectibles that homeowners have gathered through the years or vintage finds from flea markets. Baskets are traditional accents, but they also have a practical use as storage for odds and ends around the house.
The backs of cabinets or the wall behind open shelving may be painted in an accent shade that will allow displayed treasures to stand out. The backing should be in contrast to lighter wall colors to stand out. It's just one of the design tricks that homeowners can use to give their cottage-style rooms personality.