As much as contemporary design aesthetics seem to be the norm these days, and despite the beauty and ingenuity of many contemporary design options, there is something to be said about a home with a more rustic, or cottage feel to them. “Homey” homes utilize warm colours, retro looks and soft lighting to create appealing spaces that are ideal for relaxing and unwinding in ways that contemporary edges, metal and lines simply can’t. If you are trying to incorporate a touch of the cottage into a remodelling project, below are 11 tips to help you get keep that cottage feel even when you aren’t at the cottage.
- Blend the old with the new. Blending old and new means getting creative with secondhand or repurposed items such as salvaged windows, doors and gates. Making use of antiques, such as clocks, quilts and vases adds a homey touch to a room that relaxes the soul, instead of over stimulating it.
- Utilize open shelving displays. The cottage is about the maximization of available space, which often means creating hybrid storage-display areas. Cottages are as much about functionality as they are about raw aesthetic. Open shelving and corner cabinets are fantastic areas to both store and show-off everyday pieces and favourite decorations.
- Include fixtures. Fixtures such as claw-foot tubs, farmhouse sinks and traditional faucets add an immediate vintage look to any remodelling job. The best part of these fixtures is that you don’t have to compromise on quality or functionality in order to get the desired look.
- Cottage-style exteriors. Cottage style homes generally feature natural siding materials such as stone or brick to provide some texture. Exterior details and ornamental touches such as painted mouldings and muntins and arched doorways are simply exterior remodelling touches that can give your home exterior that cottage feel.
- Cottage-style outdoor spaces. Take your outdoor space into consideration during your makeover. This could mean redoing or re-staining the deck or patio, installing a railing around the perimeter or incorporating some cottage-style furniture, such as wicker, into the setup.
- Choose a new front door. Rarely talked about but always noticed is the front door of your cottage or house. If you want your home to have an open, airy, welcoming feel, opt for a front door with a decent amount of glass. Doors that are windowless, or which have only a small window near the top do not scream “welcome.”
- Shutters. The retro feel of wooden shutters is a perfect compliment to the laid-back, down-to-earth feel of the cottage. Installing some shutters during remodelling will go a long way to creating that cottage look on both the outside and the inside of your home.
- Cheerful informality. Cottage rooms are airy and intimate at the same time. They utilize nooks and alcoves for reading and daydreaming as well as space-saving storage spots. Colourful weathered paint, warm stained wood, things in a cottage home are meant to be touched and used as opposed to looked at from afar. The goal of the cottage aesthetic is to provide maximum comfort alongside a vintage, well lived-in look.
- Wood panelling. An easy way to add an instant cottage feel to any remodelling job is to add in some wood walls, even if they only wood accent walls, around the house. Stained, even unfinished wood adds a natural feel to a house that is stuck in the middle of a glaringly urban environment, and everything from the smell to the aesthetic helps to provide that calming cottage influence the moment you step through the front door.
- Bring the outdoors in. For most people, the cottage is a back to nature experience. It is where we escape hectic urban lives and reconnect with the forest, the water and the sounds of the wild. Floral wallpaper, potted plants, flower arrangements and even hybrid indoor-outdoor furniture all help to create this experience inside.
- Utilize cottage iconography. This could be as simple as a canoe paddle over a bed, or a couple of cottage chairs on the patio. Add a cottage feel to the living room with some handmade blankets and embroidered pillows.
After a long day of work, it’s nice to be able to come home to a space filled with good memories. Stepping into a remodelled home which has incorporated cottage design and style elements puts your eyes and mind at ease. While you physically may not be at the cottage—stepping into a claw-foot tub, or cooking with your family in a garden-inspired kitchen can make you feel like you are.