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.

 Cottage Style Homes

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 of the Cottage Style Homes

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 of the Cottage Style Homes

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.

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.

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}.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Three Beautiful Cottage Style Homes

In many ways a cottage is what a dream home feels like for many. It’s a very charming and cozy type of home by definition and while there are many variations of style and design which can occur, this warmth is always present. Every home should feel like a cottage regardless of how it looks on the outside. Here’s some more examples of such gorgeous structures.

A charming cottage on the beach

This beautiful beach cottage from Florida is absolutely charming. The blend between the landscape, the views, the breezy and sunny weather and the warm and inviting design of this cottage is simply perfect. This is a 3-bedroom cottage that you can actually book as a vacation retreat. As you would expect given the location, the indoor-outdoor connection is very seamless and strongly emphasized.

There’s a big wraparound porch that links the cozy indoor areas to the outdoors and acts as a transitional space. It’s a perfect spot for admiring the views and enjoying the sunny weather with a book on a cup of coffee in the morning. There are multiple points of access onto this porch from the living area as well as from the bedrooms. The two floors have similar designs and are equally inviting and charming.

A modern cottage home in Washington

Originally this is where a 100 year old home used to sit, which burned down and all the beautiful memories inside along with it. The owners then worked with studio Hoedemaker Pfeiffer to build a new cottage home in its place. They wanted it to have the same charm and feel of their previous home and to look as if it’s been there for ages.

In order to give it that lived-in look and feel, the architects designed it as a series of little sections all connected together. This way it tells of story of how these sections were added over time, how the house grew and expanded even though everything was built at the same time. The resulting cottage-style home has lots of bright and airy spaces linked to little outdoor porches and verandas and inside there’s an eclectic design with both modern and traditional influences.

A stone cottage by the lake

This charming cottage was designed and built by studio Murphy & Co. Design in Minnesota. It was created as an addition to an existing house by Lake Minnetonka so the architects tried to give it some of the same style and character as the main house while still allowing it to stand out and to be unique. The plan was for this to serve as a separate guest house and to occupy a piece of land next to the main residence overlooking the lake.

The palette of materials used for this cottage is inspired by the main residence and includes natural stone, plaster and raw timber. These textures put together give the cottage a really cozy and rustic vibe, especially with this beautiful staggered roof design and the big chimney on the side. Inside there’s a big social area downstairs with a living room, dining area and a kitchen with access outside. Upstairs is where sleeping area is situated and the bedrooms have a beautiful open terrace with a perfect view over the lake. diys

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