Saturday, January 11, 2014

Decorating Vintage Cottage Style Interiors




Homeowners looking to create a peaceful interior design that gives them sanctuary from the troubles of everyday life many times turn to the ever-popular romantic cottage style associated with bed and breakfast inns. 

Also called flea market style because the character and charm is found in the many treasures found at flea markets and antique malls. Since this style features a homey collected look, much emphasis is put on collectibles and handmade items. Cottage style decorating is meant for real living, which makes it perfect for the budget decorator! 

Creating the Cottage look can be done with any style home. A room should evolve over time for maximum charm and contain such elements as weathered finishes, faded florals, and furnishings with history. Below are some more tips for creating a cozy, relaxed, and yes, even a romantic mood. Just a word of advice...this is a style women love and men.....not so much, especially if you go overboard with the frills.  Maybe for a week end at a bed and breakfast but not every day living. Just use restraint !!!

There is a tendency to get this style confused with the more European shabby look. Many people end up with a combination of the two. An upcoming post will look at that style in more depth.



White wicker furniture with  pretty printed pillows and flowers. No matter what style home you have this combination will definitely set the stage for the Cottage look. My advice is to ALWAYS aim for authentic antique and vintage furniture if you truly want to project this style.

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This style is not about perfection. Chippy furniture is embraced in this style and adds to the charm.



Wall paper is a good choice for the Cottage Style interior. Display pretty collectible like these hats and canes.


Since this is a "colleced over time" look, be sure to purchase antique and vintage collectibles and display them in pretty cupboards. This homeowner has papered the inside of their display case with a lovely wallpaper.


Slipcovers, pillows, quilts and tablecloths are all hallmarks of a romantic vacation spot like a bed and breakfast. Collect vintage linens from antique and collectible stores and flea markets.

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One of the gorgeous qualities of this style is the use of soft colors, and neutral color palettes. Soft neutrals such as eggshell whites, sky blue, and soft roses and neutral beige and tans give a cottage style appeal to Cottage Style interiors.


 This style won't break the bank and is one of the easiest styles to use if you are starting out with nothing and are on a strict budget. If you are a collector and like finding treasures, this style is definitely for you.


Scour flea markets for inexpensive pieces that you can transform into heirlooms with wallpaper, decoupage and painting techniques.


Pretty tea sets, plates, and other vintage accessories are an important part of the Cottage Style.


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I have always collected antiques and in the 80's my style was more English Cottage. I actually had this set and sold it to an antiques dealer. My style changed and I sold an entire collection of  accessories. Was pleasantly surprised when I saw this picture on Pinterest. It is difficult to find complete sets....could it be mine??? That's what happens many times when your styles change, you get rid of things so you can buy different treasures. 

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Aqua is a popular cottage color. Always mix in some pretty antique furniture!


Painted furniture is popular with this style. Also consider adding quaint lighting such as wall sconces and tole painted chandeliers.

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I featured this Cottage kitchen once before but it is so cute I had to share again in this post. White cabinets look lovely in this style kitchen. Also consider papering your ceiling!!


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And flowers...always flowers! Create romantic nooks and window seating filled with pillows....anything that adds charm!!


Cottage prints are more in the line of country style. Pink is a very popular color.


Wallpaper with large floral sprays are perfect for Cottage interiors.


Cottage Style is all about being relaxed and cozy so don't be afraid of mismatched patterns.


Just think quaint when you are decorating with this style. If you have new fixtures, do anything to add charm. Here for instance they have paneled around their bath tub to give it a more vintage feel. Claw foot tubs are excellent too! 

Another romantic Cottage bathroom. Use a pedestal sink or find a pretty vintage piece in which to install your sink.


Cottage style decorating offers a casual approach to decorating your home, no matter where you live or the size of your space. It is an inviting and imaginative style, and if you love to mix and match furniture and accessories, it is hard to go wrong with this approach. 


And, of course, the vintage look spotlights antique family heirlooms......


with accents that include handkerchiefs and even clothing and jewelry.

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A cute idea for a Cottage home. I know I sound like a broken record but don't go overboard with ruffles.


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A beautiful Cottage style dining area.



The gingham background sets the stage for a pretty mix of patterns. This bed with lattice trim and a pergola like canopy is the perfect addition.

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An easy way to combine pattern in the cottage style is to look for different patterns that all have a white background and similar color schemes.

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Handmade crafts are nice accessories for the Cottage home. Just don't go overboard. You don't want your home to look like a craft shop.


Wallpaper your risers for the perfect Romantic Cottage stairways.


A few doilies scattered about adds to the appeal of Romantic Cottage home....


even if they are on the floor!!


Touches of lace are always pretty and work well with this style. Just don't get carried away. Same with ruffles. Too many can overpower your room and cause it to lose the soft vintage feel that is the very essence of Romantic Cottage.


Make sure the lace enhances and doesn't overpower and take away from your look.



Many rooms are furnished with antique wrought iron beds and pretty floral bed coverings and quilts. Look for rag or hooked rugs for your floors.


Either purchase or learn to make your own painted furniture. Pink, blue, green, aqua and white are the most popular colors in the romantic Cottage style.


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Pretty embroidered pieces are just the thing to give a vintage hand made look to any room. You can find lovely pieces on Ebay or Etsy.

Slipcovered furniture is also a popular element when decorating a Cottage Style interior.



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Pretty muted colors and soft fabric are what you want to focus on in decorating your Romantic Cottage home. Try to find vintage if you can.

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Personally I prefer just a few painted pieces mixed in with antique furniture but many like this homeowner fill their room with painted pieces.

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Many times rooms include florals, (soft pinks, reds, and greens), and white wicker furniture. Romantic Cottage creates a soft, pretty, and comfortable atmosphere.

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Pink and blue are also perfect colors for the Romantic Cottage interior. And look for collectibles like these to display.


And last but not least, there HAS to be roses!!



You might also enjoy Decorating With The Granny Square Afghan 








Click here to see the previous post!


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Lisa Farmer

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