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Art of Design: Cottage Style

Joseph Pubillones on

Cottages -- it seems they never go out of style. The simple, warm-the-heart rustic decoration of cottages has a lot of followers in the interior design world. And it's logical, thanks to the warmth of the wood and the elegance of the stone. It is a style that transports us to a simpler way of life, a world already past that many of us long for.

The materials and architectural elements of cottages are the main components of the cottage style: wooden beams, stone walls, arches and vaults are the embellishments of this style that often tries to fly under the radar. These elements create the perfect canvas for other decoration and furnishings that give that feeling of comfort and home.

There are cottages all over the world. Each country has its own version of these humble abodes, from the English countryside home to the Mediterranean rustic hideaway to the all-American Foursquare house or beachside shotgun cottage.

Cottage styles are generally favored by those who resist the imposition of technological and avant-garde design and prefer the natural tendencies of wood and natural fibers, reminiscent of the past. This style adapts perfectly to smaller houses. And although it is less used in urban environments, it can create a space with rustic airs, which always adapt to any environment.

The colors that predominate in cottage interiors are those of wood and stone, complemented by earthy tones: bone, beige, tan, sand and terracotta, as well as some green and reddish tones. If a cottage has little lighting or few windows, I always recommend white for the walls and highlighting one wall in an intense color or with bold wallpaper.

To achieve a real casual cottage feel, choose a few handmade accessories and unique furniture that gives a human touch. Also think small-scale and add an occasional table or whatnot to display figurines. This approach will give every corner of your home a design touch that transmits life, stories and personality.


Use natural fibers such as yarn, cotton, wool or linen in carpets, cottons and linens for upholstery fabric and plain unlined fabric for curtains. Sofas, wingbacks and tablecloths may include natural patterns such as florals, stripes or plaids -- or a mix of it all for a look that seems like an accumulation over time.

Bamboo, wicker and wire are also good ingredients to throw in for a cottage look. Using decorative objects based on these materials will help you achieve the casual effect you're looking for. You can't forget plants and flowers, which will serve to decorate tables, windows, furniture and any other surfaces.

Finally, make sure to combine the old and the new for a look that is stylish but, above all, comfortable. Antiques may be the perfect pieces to add nostalgia, while a new upholstered sofa or chair will guarantee comfort, which is crucial to any design. Cottage style is many things to many people, but it is most about a laid-back and unpretentious attitude toward everyday life.


Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. His website is To find out more about Joseph Pubillones and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Copyright 2019 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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