Cottage style

Country charm is associated with a relaxed, warm environment, probably because it reminds us of an old-fashioned family home of yesteryear — with all the love and fresh baked treats that go along with it.

With today’s predominant modern way of living, we have lost some of that soul, with living spaces becoming more structured and contemporary. Although beautiful in its own way, spaces lack that warm, homely feel.

It’s not difficult to incorporate old antique charm into our modern homes. A visit to a thrift shop or grandma’s attic will reveal an exciting collection of farm-inspired accessories that will help you introduce this inviting and timeless look.

Let’s take a look at some key cottage-inspired elements that can help introduce that farm feel into your home.

Cottage style

Bedroom Basics

Let’s start with the room where you begin and end each day: the bedroom. As we spend a third of our lives in our bedrooms, they are the most important part of the home. It’s that warm, safe place where we go to rest and recharge.

Old style wrought iron beds are perfect for creating that cottage-inspired look. Make up the bed with an inviting down comforter, a few plush cushions and a cozy throw, and you’ll have a bedroom that you can’t wait to get home to.

An old vintage dressing table can be re-purposed and repainted to make a beautiful focal point to be used as a dresser or a bedside table. White is a classic and versatile primary colour that can be contrasted with accents of natural, earthy tones for a simple, yet elegant finish.

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Refurbished barn doors can be used as shutters to maintain privacy, as a door – or even a headboard – if your bed is a standard mattress and base combination.

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Country cottages usually have lush gardens where flowers abound. Floral themes and flowers have a special place in cottage décor, bringing colour and fragrance into the home.

Even if you live in an apartment, introduce potted plants and fresh flowers to create the essence of being outdoors. Old vintage farm jugs or milk cans make the most classic vases that add to the theme of the room.

You can even select plants that help freshen and cleanse your air, so your environment can be both healthy and beautiful.

Cottage style

The Cottage Kitchen

Kitchens are the heart of the home, a place where family and friends gather to share delicious meals and treats.

Bringing that cottage style to your kitchen is really simple. Shelving made from reclaimed wood and wrought iron wall brackets are quick to put together and look stunning. A vintage enamel milk pail can be used very effectively as a flower pot!

Cottage style

Old kitchen counters can be repainted for an eclectic feel. Using old vintage items to accessorize and equip your kitchen is a sure way to carry through the farm style.

Dishes, glasses and cookware can be mixed and matched. Carry through a common theme, like neutral tones or pigeon pairs to create symmetry.

Cottage style

Nature-Inspired Bathroom

Basic cottage bathroom amenities can be livened up by adding a few factors like colour, fragrance and light. As with the bedroom, a white foundation makes a perfect base on which to build and decorate.

Even in a small bathroom, the addition of printed wallpaper makes a world of difference. Frosted glass windows replace the need for curtains or blinds while letting in natural light during the day.

Details are important. Use old-style glass or enamel jars to store bath salts, cotton buds and any bathroom luxuries that make you feel pampered.

Add scented candles for bath time. Houseplants like ferns and violets thrive in bathroom environments and add a touch of softness.

Cottage style

Natural Lighting

Making use of natural or non-electric light goes hand in hand with the cottage lifestyle. During the day, make sure blinds and curtains can be pulled back to allow lots of natural light in.

A dimmer is a great way to control the amount of light you want at night. Candles are of course an essential item for any cozy cottage setting. Try a selection of scented candles in different parts of the home. In summer, when windows are left open, citronella and citrus- scented candles are ideal for keeping mosquitos and other bugs at bay.

Paraffin or oil lamps are just as welcoming, functional and affordable and generally available in a range of colours to blend in seamlessly with your chosen colour palette.

Cottage style

Reclaim & Re-Rurpose

Take a look around for renewable items that can be reclaimed and given new life. Often times a little love and a coat of paint is all that’s needed. There are always treasures to be found at garage and boot sales.

As there are no hard and fast rules when creating the perfect cottage look, it’s acceptable to mix more modern furnishings with older pieces of furniture.

A well-worn Persian rug or carpet helps say “Relax!”. A true farm style home makes a person feel welcome. Furniture is functional, warm and well-loved. Scatter cushions add comfort and liven up a room.

Half the fun of designing the interior of your home is hunting down those special treasures and accessories, then finding the perfect place for it to live. Happy hunting!

This guest post (and images) was produced by Bianca Birgit.

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