Cottage chic as a style is gaining in popularity. Since arising in Britain as a way for professionals to recapture the comfort of their grandparents’ cabins, it has swept across the ocean to become a craze among the young and hip in Canada and the United States.
The simplicity of the design makes it easy to add cottage chic elements, bit by bit, into a traditional décor scheme without breaking the overall image. Even if you have a contemporary scheme, minor renovations can quickly turn your modern home into a classic cottage.
Here are tips to incorporate cottage chic into your home:
- Barn wood cupboards
- Use modern pieces with cottage flair
- Unpainted wood for your horizontals, not your verticals.
- Buy furniture with contrasting patina and distress, not matching.
- Buy less distressed functional furniture and more distressed decorative objects.
The rustic texture of barn wood is underrated by modern designers. The reclaimed wood adds depth and texture, and turns your functional cupboards into artistic focal points.
Many contemporary sinks, light fixtures, cabinets, and tables combine elements from farmhouse and cottage designs. For example, contemporary kitchen sinks now sometimes use the apron-front sinks common to grandmother’s houses across the countryside. Many light fixtures also combine clean modern lines with old-world materials, like oil-rubbed bronze. Use these pieces to bridge the gap between the modern home you live in, and the cottage you dream of.
If you think the look of wooden cabinets interferes with the simplicity and light of a space, try using unpainted wood for your tables and counters instead. It will give you the same desired feel without overpowering the room.
Just as there’s such a thing as too much symmetry, just as there’s such a thing as too much matching. This is especially true with patina and distress: the signs of wear that make high-quality furniture more beautiful as it ages. If you buy furniture all with the same signs of wear, the room will look unnatural and planned, instead of comfy and down-to-earth. Spend time checking out flea markets and antique stores, and buy pieces that could tell a story.
The fundamental problem with distress is that it can get worse with use. With painted furniture, distress also leads to flaking paint that can very quickly make a mess. If you like the look of distressed painted wood, save your love for mirror frames, picture frames, and less-used cabinets. Use better kept wooden pieces for day-to-day life.
The cottage chic movement is all about creating a sense of comfort and serenity. Any pieces you can add to your room to bring the allure of living in the woods will put you on the right track to achieving this rustic style.