10 Steps to Cottage Style

Create a cozy and inviting space with our 10 easy tips.

Be Eclectic

Photo: Kim Cornelison

Be Eclectic

An assembly of home furnishings from different time periods will create an inviting, yet individual ambience. Accent with old lamps, lanterns, clocks, or various beach finds on mantels and side tables to enhance your personal style.

Remember When

Photo: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Remember When

Give your kitchen a nostalgic feel with vintage appliances. A refurbished stove, manually operated toaster, and dial phone will lend an old-school vibe, while a retro clock will ensure your culinary efforts are cooked to perfection.

Get Creative

Photo: Laura Moss

Get Creative

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

Reflect on the Past

Photo: Richard Leo Johnson

Reflect on the Past

Find inspiration in old cottage photographs and area homes, or browse through old family albums. Past generations can be an excellent source of classic design, so don't be afraid to ask relatives for suggestions or handed-down furnishings.

Keep it Casual

Photo: Jean Allsopp

Keep it Casual

Sun-faded slipcovers and worn plaid blankets give the room a "lived-in" look. Try a fabric store for material with a stylish and purposely faded look or visit a thrift store for the real thing.

Know Your Limits

Photo: Richard Leo Johnson

Know Your Limits

Try to stick with a theme throughout the room. Start with shells you've collected on the beach or paint colors pulled from the ocean and incorporate them in furniture and accent pieces.

Be an Individual

Photo: Jean Allsopp

Be an Individual

Mix and match dining chairs for an innovative and inexpensive way to gather around the table. A fun idea is for each family member to choose a chair that is his or her own style. They're sure to add character and whimsy to the room.

Dive In

Photo: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Dive In

A salvage yard is a great place to get your hands dirty and discover unique finds for your home. Carefully comb through to find sinks, tubs, doors, and lights that will complete your cottage. They may not always look like treasures, but these money-saving necessities can be revamped into something new and chic.

Indulge Your Artsy Side

Photo: David Hillegas

Indulge Your Artsy Side

Decoupaging is a fun and easy way to add some sophistication and style to cottage pieces. Try it on a tray with brochures, old photographs, or other historic memorabilia. Display your masterpiece for guests to marvel at.

Speak Up

Photo: Jean Allsopp

Speak Up

Share your vision with friends and family. They might come across a desired item before you do, and could be able to help. After all, achieving great vintage style takes time.

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