22 affordable ideas that add up to sweet cottage style….
All About the Windows
1. Simple window treatments ensure ample light. Any lightweight fabric will do. Find tab-top panels for less than $20 at Target or Bed Bath & Beyond. Or simply hem all raw fabric-by-the-yard edges and use clip-style curtain rings over rods for an easy project.
2. Slipcovers reflect the easy-living attitude that’s crucial to cottage style. Sewn from affordable cotton or canvas, most slipcovers easily slip off and into the wash.
3. Vases look charming with or without flowers. These antique perfume bottles are perfect for a blossom or two. Select flowers that might grow in the cottage garden, such as lilacs, roses, and daisies.
4. Vintage fabrics might seem pricey, but consider their design punch. A curtain panel should yield enough fabric for three 20-inch-square pillows. Shop for damaged or stained pieces that can be cut to make a pillow top; add new coordinating fabric on the back.
5. Beaded board creates cottage style faster than any other element. Wood paneling called Ply-Bead from Georgia Pacific looks like beaded board, but it’s really a 4×8-foot sheet paneling with tongue-and-groove edges. At about $19 a sheet, it offers a lower-cost option than traditional beaded board at $8 for a piece 8 inches wide and 8 feet long.
6. Worn paint suits cottage furniture. For a durable finish, use Benjamin Moore’s Low Lustre Waterborne Satin Impervo. For a matte finish, use low-luster milk paint. Buy directly from http://www.milkpaint.com.
7. Hardwood floors offer warm wood tones and an easy-care surface that looks good with soft fabrics and subdued color schemes. Leave the floors bare in summer and add rugs in winter.
8. Lattice adds cottage charm to walls and more. For a lattice panel that reflects the garden, buy ready-made panels at a home center. Add trim to top and bottom to encase the panel.
9. Shells gathered during a walk on the beach and displayed in clear glass containers bring the beach home. Sharing the things you love creates personal style.
10. Romantic chandeliers add charm to any room. You can add paint, crystals, and lampshades to an existing dining room light fixture. Or check out home centers for new chandeliers with lots of style for less than $100.
11. Printed fabrics in soft colors cozy up any bedroom. Lots of pillows and a ruffly bedskirt give this bed a cottage style boost.
12. Feminine curves on the rustic iron bed frame suit the romantic nature of cottage decorating. Look for antique pieces of furniture at garage sales or thrift stores to get the look for less.
Show Off in Style
13. Collections are key to cottage style, but the freshest way to show them off is with restraint. A windowsill is the perfect place to display these antique lather brushes.
14. Baskets give a room casual style. Keep bathroom shelves organized by storing extra towels and powder room supplies inside matching baskets.
15. Style a lampshade with buttons and trim. It takes only a little craft glue or self-stick lampshade to create this look. Take it a step further and hang unique trinkets, like these keys, from the edge of the shade.
The Small Things
16. Details, such as pretty ribbon and buttons on pillows sweeten the look. Keep it simple and monochromatic for fresh cottage style.
Bring the Outside In
17. Wicker brings the feel of the porch inside. For a new twist, cover the piece with black spray paint. It’s a chic alternative to traditional white.
Make a Statement
18. Architectural fragments, such as old mantels, corbels, brackets, and molding, bring aged cottage elements into a new home. Look for vintage pieces at flea markets and antique shops.
19. Knobs dress up a utilitarian piece of furniture. Adding glass or crystal knobs freshens a dated sideboard. Look for new or vintage knobs at flea markets and garage sales.
20. Wire baskets add charm as well as storage. Below a desk, they can hold favorite books or magazines.
21. Claw-foot tubs offer instant cottage style in the bathroom. Check our salvage and antique stores to find a vintage tub in your area.
22. Wainscoting wraps a bathroom with charm. Bright white paint tops the beaded board with restful color, and it’s easy and inexpensive to redo when your color mood changes.
“I love all these ideas, they seem very easy and simple to do. Maybe I’ll decorate my cousin’s new apartment with these ideas in mind.”
“Oh So Fabulous!!”