Friday, June 3, 2011

Follow The Basics For Effective Cottage Style

Home decorators who embark on their first experiences with cottage style sometimes find they overdo it without meaning to do so. The result is often an unhappy experience with a home decorating style that's meant to be friendly and comforting.

Here are some suggestions from interior designers on how to achieve cottage style without going overboard.

Keep Window Treatments Simple:

One of the goals of cottage style is to bring nature indoors. The easiest way to do this is with plenty of sunshine beaming through the windows. To avoid blocking out Mr. Sun, use light, airy window treatments. For example, bamboo blinds could be flanked by organza panels to soften the room. When the breezes blow, the gauzy curtains flutter freely, a lovely effect.

Fearlessly Mix Old and New:

Part of cottage style's charm is that sense of heirloom items combining with the furnishings of a new generation. Familiar things blend with fresh additions, such as pairing your wedding silver with Grandmother's summer chintz china. Pair a wicker love seat with a modern area rug in a foliage pattern. Mixing antiques and vintage furnishings with newer additions takes a little skill, but the experimenting is fun.

Blend to Harmonize:

Key to the blending of old and new is the ability to balance the scale and patterns of various furnishings. For example, a large-scale pattern would work best in an area rug, where it could be fully appreciated, while smaller-scale patterns below on pillows or perhaps a chair.

Display the Things You Love:

A home isn't a museum, carefully controlled and cataloged. A home is meant to be a reflection of its owners' personalities. With Cottage style there's freedom to have more artwork, more collections, more of everything, but try for an eye-catching display, not a hodge-podge. Instead of your entire collection of souvenir silver spoons, exhibit the best examples. This way, the collection can change periodically to give the room refreshing interest.

Use Color in Unexpected Ways:

Cottage style often evokes a pastel or muted palette with many people, but they forget that variations make bold use of color. What's more, vivid colors can energize small spaces, such as walk-in pantries or small hallways. For example, try painting the inside of a closet in bright yellow, especially if the walls outside it are white. Cottage style welcomes whimsical touches.

Layer on the Texture:

Beaded-board paneling makes a terrific addition to any cottage style room. Its vertical grooves can help elongate a small room, especially when painted white to visually expand the space. Some bright pillows on the seats will spark interest.

Welcome the Wicker:

Few things say "cottage" as eloquently as wicker accessories, from chairs and love seats to baskets for everything from logs to flowers. What's more, wicker can be painted to match any color scheme. A pair of wicker bookcases or shelves are ideal for displaying some of those collections mentioned earlier.

Keep it Warm:

Finally, what's a cottage without plenty of throws and quilts to wrap up in when the evening cool descends. Adding these touches will help decorators create a cottage style that's just right.

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