Classic Cottage Style

Dan Heringa
Make your space comfortable and inviting with these 10 tips.
Be eclectic.

Remember when.
Lend your kitchen a nostalgic feel with vintage appliances. A refurbished stove, manually operated toaster, and dial phone will force you to slow down. A retro clock will ensure your culinary efforts are cooked to perfection.

Get creative.
Construct funky curtains out of old tablecloths and clip rings. Choose from your own collection or visit a local secondhand shop for undiscovered treasures. Shades of cream and pastels provide a clean, simple look.

Find inspiration in old cottage photographs and area homes, or consult your family albums. Past generations can be an excellent source of classic design, so ask relatives for suggestions or handed-down furnishings.

Keep it casual.
Sun-faded slipcovers and plaid blankets give decor a lived-in look. Try a fabric store for material with the stylishly faded look?or a thrift store for the real thing.

Know your limits.
Stick with a theme. Start with shells you?ve collected on the beach or paint colors pulled from the ocean.

Be an individual.
Mix and match dining chairs for an innovative, inexpensive way to gather around the table. Each family member can choose a chair to decorate in his or her own style. The different chairs will become conversation pieces and add character to your dining area.

Dive in.
Get your hands dirty at a salvage yard. Comb through carefully to find sinks, tubs, doors, and lights to complete your cottage. They may not look like treasures initially, but these home necessities can be revamped into something new.

Indulge your artistic side.
Decoupage a tray with brochures, old photographs, and other historic memorabilia. Display the masterpiece so guests can reminisce.

Speak up.
Share your vision with friends and family. They may come across a desired item before you do. After all, achieving great vintage style takes time.

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