Cozy Cottage Style: Create A Beautiful, Comfortable Home

Saffron Marigold - Updated: August 24, 2021

Welcome cottage style into your home to design an inviting space that’s the ultimate in cozy comfort. Cultivate the charm of an English country garden, or imagine yourself surrounded by a beautiful wildflower meadow in the France. Enjoy the romance of a moonlit, starry night. Through our patterns and palettes, our cottage style cotton and floral fabrics tell stories that transport you to another place and time. Find ideas for decorating a cottage bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchen, or dining room.

At Saffron Marigold, we find inspiration in traditional textures and techniques along with the beauty of the natural world. Each collection tells the story of a place in this world–a place real or imagined–that overflows with beauty, history, and creativity. All of our fair trade, block printed linens are handmade at our artisans’ studio in Rajasthan, India.

What is cottage style decor?

Cottage style decor celebrates all things meaningful, soft, and cherished. Cottage decorating doesn’t necessarily follow the trends that come and go but instead focuses on blending comfort and texture with cheerful colors. And you’ll find nods to nature along with sweet vintage touches in modern cottages, lakeside cottages, and traditional English country cottages alike.

vintage cottage style kitchen by Delightfully Dutch Vintage
photo courtesy Ashley @ Delightfully Dutch Vintage, featuring our Wild Poppies cafe curtain

What defines cottage style: characteristics

What makes a cottage cozy? For starters, cottage living includes plenty of soft landing places. This look is all about the warm, the comfortable, the hygge. In cottage style decorating, you’ll see pillows piled up on sofas, throw blankets tossed over the loveseat or stashed in a basket, and soft curtains with gentle patterns gracing the windows.

Cottages around the world are known for their charming gardens, but you don’t have to have a green thumb to incorporate some English cottage garden touches here and there. In fact, floral patterns and prints are nearly a must in cottage decor!

English cottage style garden with blue and white tablecloth and al fresco dining table
a cottage garden tablescape featuring our English Gardens print
  • If flowers aren’t your favorite, then turn to botanical prints–either in textile or art–as a nod to nature. Whether you snip flowers straight from your garden, display a bouquet of dried hydrangeas, or hang a botanical wreath, these kinds of natural touches will help you bring in the charm of an English cottage garden.
  • The layering of patterns and playing with complementary or contrasting colors and patterns also characterizes cottage style. This is the look that shuns the matchy-matchy and abhors the cookie-cutter look. Cottage style revels in the hand-selected items that carry the most meaning and often places these beloved items on display.
cottage style living room with white sheer curtains and wood paneling
an inviting cottage living room with layers of patterns & colors, white washed wood, and our Ivy Lace curtain panels
  • It’s important to note that this look has the capacity to veer towards clutter. However, with careful editing and a bit of Marie Kondo philosophy, you can avoid the jumble. Once you’ve narrowed down your most cherished items, family heirlooms, or special antique pieces, you can creating an artful display. You’ll have a personal expression and decor solution all in one!
  • Lastly, furnishings here can range from brass bedframes to natural wood finishes. Painted, distressed, or lime washed finishes are also popular in cottage homes.

Why cottage style is so popular

Cottage style is still popular for several reasons. The inclusion of sentimental items in cottage style decor creates an instant sense of nostalgia and familiarity. Except for a holiday dinner or special garden party, perhaps, cottages happily eschew the opulent and the pretentious. In other words, cottage decor never wants to put on a show. Instead, it wants to invite you in to its embrace and feel as easy as a walk in the garden or as amiable as a warm cup of tea.

Cottage colors & palettes

Some say that cottage color schemes need to be light, airy, and filled with neutrals and pastels. And while that may ring true for some fans of cottage style, know that you aren’t limited to light neutrals or pastels whatsoever in your cottage decorating!

If you own a mountain cottage, pastels probably won’t be the colors you reach for. If you dislike neutrals, why on earth would you use them? Use the colors you love best and that feel homey for you.

With that, here are a few swatches from our collections just to give you an idea of what colors you might like to work with. Our customers use these time and time again to decorate their own cottage homes. Feel free to be inspired by these collections or to find a different print that makes your heart sing.

Blue and white is a traditional palette in cottage decor, and we have a wide range of blues to choose from.

For a sweet twist on traditional English cottage style decorating, consider pairing a lilac color with cream.

Red and black are a classic go-to color scheme for a traditional cottage cabin.

If you’d like to add a dose of French country style to your cottage decorating, turn to yellow.

And if you love a pattern that’s filled with a host of colors, then choose a multicolored floral pattern and build the rest of your cottage decor from that palette

How to style a home with cottage decor

Cottage decorating doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the word “complicated” is basically the antithesis of cottage decorating. The words welcoming, inviting, and relaxed are words to keep in mind when it comes to cottage living.

From quaint country cottages to a coastal beach cottage, style and feather your nest by creating spaces that look ideal for chatting with a friend, sipping a drink, and enjoying the moment. Think touchable textures, personal mementos, and decor that tells a story.

How to decorate a cottage bedroom

How do you decorate a cottage bedroom? Very much the same way you decorate the rest of your cottage home! Start with cozy bedding. Now, cottage bedding conjures images of handmade quilts and frilly curtains. If that resonates with you, by all means, dress your cottage bedroom with those kinds of linens!

a cottage bedroom dressed in linens from our Orange Blossom collection

However, keep in mind that decorating a cottage style bedroom isn’t bound to patchwork and lace. You can have a romantic-looking cottage bedroom or something a bit more on the boho side–either style can find its home here.

From shabby chic cottage decor to beach cottage looks, white bedding is a classic choice for any kind of cottage. If you prefer a bit more color, you can’t fail with floral bedding. Floral bedding in colorful patterns are right at home in a cottage bedroom. And if still love the idea of a quilt, considerour hand embroidered quilts, which are wonderful for layering.

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Essentials for the cottage bedroom

Saffron Marigold

Orange Blossom CP Floral Curtains

These creamy curtains feature a stylized vintage floral pattern, making them a lovely option for bringing in a touch of warmth in a cottage bedroom.

Saffron Marigold

Ruby Kilim Quilted Bedspread

Our hand quilted bedspreads are light to medium weight–perfect for layering on the bed or to wrap around yourself while watching a movie or reading a good book.

Overstock

Green & Pink Plaid Bench

Whether placed at the foot of the bed or used as vanity seating, this adorable bench adds a sweet touch to your cottage bedroom. And mixing gingham with florals? Bonus cottage style!

Lamps Plus

Amelie White Swing Arm Plug-In Wall Lamp

Add subtle texture and warm lamplight with a swing-arm lamp–the perfect solution for reading in bed.

Decorating a cottage style living room

A cottage living room is meant to be lived in! This isn’t a room that’s just for show–and frankly, what room in any cottage home is really intended to be a showpiece only? Whether or not you live in a true cottage (read: a smaller space) or simply adore the look of cottage decor, the rule of thumb for decorating a cottage living room is to keep everything user-friendly.

The easiest way to do that is by decorating with beautiful, easily-washable fabrics! Our pillow covers are easy to launder, come in a variety of styles, and make it easy to freshen up the look of your cottage living room.

coastal cottage style living room from Little Eastham Cottage
photo courtesy Little Eastham Cottage, featuring our Starry Nights pillows
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Some other tips for decorating a cottage living room include choosing a vintage style rug with pattern and color from which to build your color scheme (or just to hide inevitable spills). Anchor seating with side tables for easy places to hold drinks, and make sure you have plenty of throw blankets–just the look of them suggests comfort.

Lastly, choose curtains with light-filtering properties to allow you the privacy you need while still allowing for golden sunlight to enter the room. You can never go wrong when you choose to hang white sheer curtains with patterns, but remember that valances and cafe curtains are excellent cottage curtains, too.

cottage style living room with valance curtains
a cozy cottage living room with our Orange Blossom beaded valance curtains
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Cottage decor essentials for the living room

Rugs USA

Beige Native Collage Area Rug

We love this vintage-looking rug for its pattern and plethora of colors. It gives you so many color choices to consider for your cottage decorating!

ELK Home

Manor Cottage Accent Table

Spindle legs are a hallmark of English cottage style furniture, which makes this little side table a smart choice.

 

blue throw pillow with stars
Saffron Marigold

Starry Nights Block Print Throw Pillow Cover

The rich blue background and white stars of this block print pillow cover suggest something a bit vintage, a touch Americana, and a tad coastal. It’s a perfect pillow for your cottage.

white sheer curtains with pattern
Saffron Marigold

Ivy Lace White Sheer Curtain Panel

White sheer curtains, especially like this panel with a floral botanical print, are beautiful in any space.

 

How to style a cottage bathroom

A cottage style bathroom may have modern amenities, but the overall look should transport you to another period of time, when things were sweet and simple. Now, by nature, most bathrooms aren’t huge, and cottage bathrooms are no exception. With that in mind, look for items where form meets function. A cheery cottage shower curtain, a pretty pair of bathroom window curtains, and attractive storage will do the trick. In other words, choose decor carefully to avoid overwhelming the space! To create authentic vintage cottage vibes, reach for a fabric shower curtain.

Cottage decor for the bath

wooden shelf for bathroom
Native Range

Bathroom Storage Shelf

The beauty of warm, natural wood is perfect for a cottage style bathroom, and the rope lends a nautical nod (perfect for a coastal cottage look).

fleur de lis cast iron towel hook
Alacart Creations

Old World Cast Iron Towel Holder

This is cast iron towel holder is a great example of form meeting function. It features a lovely French-inspired design (form) yet provides a service (function). A win-win!


blue floral valance curtain with beads
Saffron Marigold

Enchanted Blue Floral Valance Curtain

With delicate beads that catch the light and a stunning flower pattern, our Enchanted valance is an eye-catching bathroom curtain. Pair it with a matching cafe curtain from the same collection for a fuller look and added privacy.

Tulip Mist ~ White Floral Sheer Kitchen Cafe Curtain
Saffron Marigold

Tulip Mist White Cafe Curtain With Floral Pattern

For pure vintage, shabby chic or romantic style, choose our white sheer curtain for your bathroom window treatment. With a delicate tulip motif and lacy appearance, it’s just the thing for a cottage bathroom.

Pretty decor for your cottage style kitchen

Kitchens seem to be the most popular rooms for cottage decorating. It’s no wonder why: a kitchen typically calls to mind so many family memories. It’s a place of comfort and creating comfort food, after all! In that spirit, decorate your cottage kitchen with whatever brings forth those warm and fuzzy feelings. Whether it’s a plate wall featuring your aunt’s china collection, a shelf of treasured cookbooks, or frames filled with Mom’s recipe cards, decorate your cottage kitchen with these kinds of treasures.

cottage style kitchen with white sheer curtains

Don’t forget to bring in the natural sunlight! Nobody enjoys cooking in a dark, dreary kitchen, so make the most of the windows you have in your cottage kitchen. Cotton is a great fabric for a cottage style curtain, and ours filter in light while giving you a bit of privacy. You can hang a valance and cafe curtain together as a tiered set, or you can choose whichever one suits your window best.

And for a true cottage kitchen look, hang a cafe curtain to hide under-the-sink storage (as seen in the first photo in this post!).

Cottage style decor essentials for the kitchen

bouquet of sunflowers in a wooden box
Open Blooms

Box of Sunshine

A flower bouquet brightens up any kitchen, it’s true! And a box of sunflowers feels sturdier than a vase. Bonus: you can keep the box for other uses when the sunflowers are past their prime.

copper pot rack rod for under the cabinet
Viola by Meg

Copper Pot Rack

This stylish and practical storage solution takes a cue from the vintage cottage look of hanging copper Jello molds on the wall. Modern meets vintage for pure cottage style in this copper rack.


white and blue floral round tablecloth
Saffron Marigold

English Gardens Round Floral Tablecloth

Classic blue and white meets a wildflower bouquet in our charming English Gardens print. So pretty for your kitchen table!

floral cotton placemats
Saffron Marigold

Enchanted Ivory Floral Placemats

Placemats are exactly what you need for your kitchen table when you want to set a pretty table without a lot of fuss. These floral cotton placemats are a perfect addition to your cottage kitchen decor and linen collection.


Cottage dining room decorating ideas

A cottage style dining room is the least stuffy dining room at all. This is a space meant for gathering and bonding over meals and conversation. It’s pretty–perhaps even beautiful–but isn’t not a just-for-show kind of room.

place setting with cottage style china, flowers, cloth napkins
a pretty cottage dining table set with our Moonlit Taj cloth napkins

You’ll see painted chairs over upholstered seating, although either one can work here–it’s all in what you see as the more comfortable option. Here you’re more likely to find a wooden farmhouse dining table with a table runner spread down the middle or cloth placemats at each place setting instead of a crisp, formal white tablecloth. This is the ideal style for the hostess who wants to put forth a bit of effort without making a huge fuss.

Essentials for the cottage dining room

cottage style china from VIlleroy & Boch
Villeroy & Boch

Cottage Collection Plates

If you’re not into collecting vintage china, then look for a fabulous set of colorful china for entertaining in your cottage style dining room.

white sheer cafe curtain with pattern
Saffron Marigold

Ivy Lace White Cafe Curtain

Here’s a secret–you don’t always have to have full-length curtains in a dining room! For a relaxed-yet-polished look, try hanging a row of white cafe curtains as a lovely dining room window treatment.

cloth napkins with blue floral pattern
Saffron Marigold

Moonlit Taj Floral Blue Cloth Napkins

Cloth napkins with a sweet blue floral print are a welcome addition to the dining room table setting.

 

Putting it all together

collage of cottage decorating ideas


Whether you sense of cottage style leans more towards the traditional English cottage look, a lakehouse cottage style, or something uniquely your own, we have a wide range of linens available to help you style your cottage home. Shop our patterns and prints and mix and match to create the cottage style that appeals to you.

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