Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Guide to Cottage Style Furnishings

As the author of Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes (, I am often asked to explain what are the characteristics of Cottage Style decorating. In my book, I have included an entire chapter called "Cottage Style Basics" which reviews the "nuts and bolts" of "cottage style decor".

When considering the principle of design whether referring to a painting or looking at a room's interior you will hear the term "design elements". These are the basic components of design which make up the whole picture. They include color, texture, pattern, scale, light and shape or form.

This article will concentrate on the type of furnishings that are considered "cottage" style. Fortunately, cottage chic furniture is very affordable and can be found in local shops, flea markets, second hand stores, auctions etc. The beauty of this type of furniture is that it is very "forgiving" and "broken in". While many shop owners and collectors take their time to re-finish vintage furniture,the cottage look tolerates dents, bumps, rust, scratches, tears, imperfections etc.

Elements Associated With Cottage Style

1. Painted furniture (all colors)

2. Chippy, flaky, peeling surfaces.

3. White or pink painted furniture for romantic looks.

4. Armoires and interesting cabinets, dressers, tables.

5. Incorporating lots of antiques and collectibles.

6. Slipcovers.

7. Overstuffed comfy chairs and sofas.

8. Ottomans.

9. Surfaces showing weathering.

10. Mixing different period and styles of furniture.

11. Distressed furniture.

12. Chips, scratches, dings ,imperfections are welcomed.

13. Cottage furniture such as farm tables, cupboards, cabinets.

14. Re-purposed furniture, i.e. using a Hoosier cabinet for a computer station.

Photos shown in this post are courtesy of and

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link:
C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff

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Dianne is a member of:
The American Society of Journalists and Authors
The Authors Guild, Inc.


  1. Seeing this style everywhere - it is a style that can work mixed into any room...