Cottage Style Is More than Shabby Chic

Cottage style furniture is perhaps one of the most eclectic collections of all time.  Shabby chic has been one of the major trends in some areas in recent years.  Cottage style could be described as shabby chic organized and updated.  I’m not about to knock anything that is labelled “shabby chic”.  The truth is I love it.  However, it is the finishing touch that cottage style puts on decor that makes it work well while maintaining the comfort.

Cottage Style is Casual

Cottage style casual dining is an eclectic blend of the best comfortable styles.

Casual Cottage Style Dining

Cottage style is more than a “design” or a “decor.”  It is a lifestyle that speaks of casual and comfortable living.  Cottage style decor is a reflection of our best personality traits.  It allows us the opportunity to experiment with our favorite things.  And, it is always casual, even when it is in the more formal rooms.

The casual cottage style dining room setting above is an eclectic mixture of some favorite pieces of furniture.

Cottage style is a matter of personal preference, a matter of mixing and combining examples of several distinct styles into a single setting and decor. Unfortunately, and quite honestly, cottage style can best be compared to flower arranging. Some people have a knack for it. Others just don’t get it.

We have all seen those gifted people who can take a bunch of weeds and seemingly toss them into a vase and they look as if they were perfectly arranged. At the same time some of us can take the best long stem roses and work tirelessly trying to place each in an exact position and it appears as if we tossed them into a vase with no attention paid to the arrangement.

Cottage style can be learned and perfected while still leaving plenty of room for self-expression.

Cottage Style is Colorful

For those among us who are afraid of bold color or may be afraid to mix colors cottage style decor is not for you.  Cottage style decor is colorful.  However, it is not without guidelines.

The general rule of thumb is to select three colorsTwo always seem to be more predominant with the third being a little more subdued.  The corner setting to the right is filled with yellow and blue with a white background — the furniture.

Please note that while the colors are distinct and stand out, none are heavy or too bold or bright.

Bold Floral Prints and Live Flowers Are the Hallmark of Cottage Style Decor

Bold floral print wallpaper deplays the best in cottage style wallpaperLook through any magazine that covers the cottage style and you will discover that there are bold floral prints somewhere in the room.  Chances are you will see a small arrangement of live flowers sitting on a table as a design accessory.  Yes, live flowers are a part of cottage style living.  Generally speaking, the large floral print should be confined to either the wall or to a piece of furniture.  Please note that it is not recommended that bold floral prints be mixed.

Floral print chair ideal for cottage style decor

Floral Print on comfortable bedroom chair

For those who are not ready for the bold floral print wallpaper surrounding them in a room maybe a bold floral print chair will do the job.

Refer to any of the pictures to notice that there is one bold floral print in each room setting.

The key to selecting a bold floral pattern is to keep the colors true to the room.  It is not advisable to try to bring in another color in the floral print.  In fact, if at any time there is an almost absolute necessity for colors to match rather than complement it would be in the print.  For that reason it may be wise to select the floral print before selecting the other colors.  Of course, determine just how much print you are comfortable with.  That will help determine whether you should go with a bold floral print wallpaper or keep the bold florals to the fabric of throw pillows.

Country Style is a Mixture of Patterns, Textures and Materials


A blend of patterns, textures, and materials

Country style blends patterns and textures

Country style blends patterns and textures.  The picture to the right is perhaps one of the best examples of Country Style decor done to perfection.


While the colors or exact patterns may not be your first choice, the setting is everything that country style represents.The bold floral prints appears as embroidered pillows.

The drapes pick up on the subtle colors used throughout the room.  Notice that the lining to the curtain (folded back) is a basic plaid that picks up two of the hues on the front side of the curtain.  The front of the curtain is a stripe that has the colors of the “lining” with an extra shade.

Even the green wicker chair in the foreground picks up the color of the leaves in the embroidered pillows.  However, note that the texture and materials used to make the chair complement the bench turned coffee table.  They are held together by color, while the textures are entirely different.

Cottage Style is Comfortable

Cottage style decor exemplifies comfort

Pillows soften the sofa creating the comfort of country style living

Pillows soften the sofa to the right creating the comfort of country style  living.  Without the throw pillows that cushion the back of the sofa, there would be a far less comfortable area for sitting.  The sofa itself, without the throw pillows and perhaps in a different upholstery, would fit into any formal living room setting.

The addition of the pillows give the feel of inviting comfort.  Note the use of stripes and floral designs that designate the color scheme of the room.  Again, it is color that holds the style together.

Whenever you look at the cottage style decor, it must be mentioned that it is pure comfort.  The sofa invites a guest to curl up with a book, pull one of the pillows to the back and settle in for a cozy evening.

Recommended Books: