Everything You Need To Know About Cottage Style Homes

There are some words in the English language that have been made to invoke a particular feeling. “Cottage” is one of those words. Immediately you imagine steaming tea in a floral teacup beside a warm fire with a sleeping cat on your lap. It’s such a cozy word. While life’s luck may prevent you from the purring kitty, you can indeed have the cozy cottage with tea and fireside chair. You may be able to get your hands on an old cottage with the charm and comfort built in or you may have to create it yourself. Either way, a cottage is one of the most charming house styles to live in. Here’s what you need to know about them and how to get one for yourself.

History

View in gallery

View in gallery

View in gallery

The word “cottage” is derived from the medieval word “cotter”, meaning a person living in a small home in exchange for working the surrounding farmland for the landlord. Often the term included not only the house but the barn, outbuildings and anything else enclosed by the fence on the plot. Somewhere along the way, cottage came to mean a small house. No real particular size, just small. While the cottages of Europe serve as dwellings, the cottages of America usually refer to a vacation home. Whatever it’s official use, these homes have no lack of charm and invitation for the weary of heart.

Exterior

View in gallery

A cottage in the English countryside will often resemble another home style. There may be a simple line of windows like a Georgian home or you might find the half timber pattern of a Tudor home. Consider it a blessing because starting with a mix of styles gives your cottage a personality you can’t easily create.

View in gallery

If you’re wanting to take your cottage in a more modern direction, try to preserve the historic charm and use paint and details like fixtures to bring your little house up to date. Black is a great option that will make your cottage stand out against the rest of the charming cottages.

View in gallery

Trying to create a beachy cottage for you and your family and friends? Lean away from the traditional brick and stone and embrace the shingles of the seaside Victorian. Paired with your classic minty greens and windy grasses, you’ll make your cottage into a place you’ll never want to leave.{found on thecottagejournal}.

View in gallery

While thatched roofs aren’t common among the cottages of today, there is definitely infinite charm to be found there. They are about as classic cottage as you can get and, combined with some climbing roses, you’ll have an English cottage fit to be in film.

View in gallery

Maybe you’ve noticed that we keep bringing up points about landscaping. Probably because a cottage home absolutely must have lovely landscaping. For a more old English look, opt for creeping vines, unruly bushes and flowers that can be clipped for a vase.

View in gallery

If you prefer neat and tidy landscaping to the wildflower field, you’ll want to choose your plants based on how they’ll look symmetrically. Lines of shrubs in layers have a lovely tidy effect on your front yard and draw the attention to your cottage instead of the landscaping.

View in gallery

Sometimes a cottage will have a front porch rather than a real front yard. Take advantage of the square footage and give your porch some plant-y love with potted shrubs and flowers. You’ll have that instant garden effect without needing grass at all.

View in gallery

Don’t have much of a porch to speak of? Window boxes are your solution. They will make it easy to give your cottage that pop of color and you barely have to get your hands dirty at all. Plus, changing them out seasonally will be simple.

View in gallery

Are you blessed with an abundance of square footage? Then use that front porch as an extension to your living space. Cozy it up with a swing, some outdoor furniture and don’t forget the patterned cushions. It will give your neighbors a peek into your inevitably cozy living room.

View in gallery

Sometimes, a cottage has not only a front porch but also a back patio. If yours is lacking, you’ll want to add one. Not only is it a great way to expand your entertaining space in your small home but you also get to style it out in the coziest cottage decor. If that’s not motivation enough, we don’t know what is.

Interior

View in gallery

When renovating a historic cottage, you’re likely to find lots of things underneath the modern wood and drywall, like brick and stone. If you’re able, keep these elements exposed to give your cottage a real nostalgic feel. You can’t help but love the extra texture as well.

View in gallery

Beams were a common occurrence in a cottage though, like the stone walls, many have been covered up. Time to let those beauties out into the open and shine. They may need a bit of refinishing but you’ll be able to appreciate that touch of vintage they’ll add to your cottage.

View in gallery

You may have noticed that many cottages have exterior shutters. You’ll be happy to know that cottage decor welcomes shutters on the inside too. In such a small space, interior shutters can fold away from the windows completely, allowing the maximum natural light, unlike curtains sometimes. A win for your little dusty corners.

View in gallery

Kitchens can be tricky in a cottage, due to the small square footage. Embrace the opportunity to purchase the mini appliances, including a Smeg fridge in your choice color. They will provide you with an adequate kitchen without taking up too much storage space.

View in gallery

Speaking of storage space, a wall of cabinets can look bulky and unwanted in a small cottage kitchen. Display those floral teacups and jam jars on open shelving that will help your kitchen feel like a real movie-worthy cottage kitchen. This will also help you better edit your kitchen necessities based on style as well as use.

View in gallery

Some cottages are so small that there is no room for an actual dining room so a breakfast nook must suffice instead. Rather than bemoaning the loss of your dining table, embrace the cushioned seating and pull up as many chairs as you can manage for your guests.

View in gallery

Ahh pattern. So many classic English cottages thrive on pattern. Floral wallpaper against a traditional rug and striped curtains somehow just work in a cottage. If you can’t manage the curtains, at least give yourself the luxury of a floral wallpapered bathroom. Your cottage will thank you.

View in gallery

Does pattern and color easily overwhelm you? Start by covering your walls, cabinets, furniture and even the floor in white. A blank slate will help you determine what needs color and where the pattern should be without too much trial and error.

View in gallery

A bedroom under the eaves is a common thing among cottage style houses. All those slanted walls and ceilings easily enable you to create the most charming of bedroom escapes. Think outside the box with your decor and see how you can fill the odd corners and nooks in your space.

View in gallery

So shabby chic isn’t your thing. That doesn’t mean you can’t live in a cottage. Eschew the roses and wallpaper in favor of modern lines and neutral tones. Add some leather accents for texture and black fixtures for modernity. You’ll find that shaping a modern cottage home is easier than it sounds.