Cottage Style is the latest “trend” in lifestyle from decor, to food, to fashion. Blame it on COVID quarantining, but I’m finally “on trend!”

I never was a minimalist even though I like things neat and tidy. So, this new label suits me just fine! What are the basic principles of Cottage Style?

1. Furniture is often recycled, bought from a flea market, a consignment store, or collected from family rejects. Matchy-matchy doesn’t jive here! Choose an overall color, like your favorite, and make that your color scheme. Paint and recover to suit your own aesthetic.

2. Reuse vintage items. In a cottage scheme, pieces are adapted from one use to another. For example, an old sewing machine stand can become a bedside table, a relic of a kitchen pie safe can store towels in a bathroom, a well-worn kitchen table can become a desk, or a picture frame can become a mirror. The pieces just need to show signs of loving wear.

3. Cozy and inviting is the over-arching theme. Your home needs to greet you with open arms when you walk in the front door. It says, “come in and sit a spell!” For example, I switch out the throws and pillows on my neutral recovered couches to usher in the changing seasons. My collected Scottish tweed blankets replace my Middle Eastern Damascus cotton throws, and I switch out linen light-textured pillows for knitted and tweed ones.

Cottage Style can be adapted to any basic framework whether you lean towards modern mid-century or English country-side. Layer on your heart’s desire, incorporate your family treasures, feature your travel collections, and insert your personal joys, just as long as your home says, “Welcome.” 

How does your home say welcome with a capital W?

Home’s not merely roof and room,

It needs something to endear it;

Home is where the heart can bloom,

Where there’s some kind lip to cheer it!

What is home with none to meet,

None to welcome, none to greet us?

Home is sweet, and only sweet

When there’s one we love to meet us!

Charles Swain

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