Cottage style is so popular right now, and no wonder, it is such a relaxed, welcoming style, that everyone loves it!
I visited a local shop in Chemainus, BC, called Vintage Treasures, and asked the owner, Sherry Barkley, how she came to know so much about cottage style. She confessed she was a “magazine junkie” and that she had been reading magazines like Romantic Homes and her new favorite, Romantic Country, for many years. She is also an avid fan of designer Rachell Ashwell. When I asked her what the most important aspect of cottage-style decorating was to her, she answered “Follow your heart. Surround yourself with things you love and that bring you happiness”. Follow Sherry on Facebook at vintage treasures in chemainus bc.
Between Sherry and I, we have come up with
the main elements of cottage style
If you're trying to create this look yourself, whether in your whole home, or just one room, here are a few key elements you'll need to include:
1. Use natural materials. Aged or distressed wood, natural tiles, granite, pottery, glass and stone are just some of the natural elements you will want to include. Don't forget to use natural fabrics like cotton, hemp, wool and linen. Make sure the fabrics are washable for easy care.
2. Use white! Soft white walls and ceilings will create the perfect backdrop for any colourful accents you may want to use. Pale greys, tans, taupes, and creams will also blend with whites to create a fresh, natural feel.
3. Use “old” furniture. Refresh old cabinets, chests, shelving, bed frames, tables and benches by painting them or just give them a good cleaning. Make sure they are in good working order – if not, take them to a furniture restorer or your local handyman or antique dealer, they are often a great source of info and know-how.
4. Make sure it is comfortable! Cottage style is all about feeling relaxed and cozy. Large, soft chairs and couches with lots of pillows, cozy blankets, throws and quilts, will ensure that those who use the room will always be comfortable and warm.
5. Showcase meaningful objects. Personalize your space with items from your past or things that you have collected that make you feel good. Special shells, postcards, bits of vintage fabric or lace, buttons, baskets and frames are just a few examples.
6. Get creative! Don't be afraid to combine different patterns and colours – if you like it, then trust your instincts and go with it.
7. Last, but not least, repurpose. Start looking at objects in a new way, think outside the box! An old picnic hamper might store kids books, a tea pot could become a vase, an old muffin tin could showcase your button collection (thank you Sherry, for that idea!). Using old objects in new ways is what makes this style interesting and fun.