- Open shelving. Open shelving and plate racks exude cottage style. Brackets or corbels that hold the shelves are important for a true cottage look. Keep them simple but stately.
- Small-paned windows and French doors. A light, airy feel is key in cottage design. When privacy is not a concern, opt for plenty of paned glass. For upper cabinets, replace ordinary doors with glass-front models. If you need to keep items hidden, install curtains on the inside of the doors.
- Shutters. They're not just for the outside of the house. Use them for pantry doors or creative decorating -- shutters tell a cottage tale.
- Furniture-look cabinets. Furniture-style cabinets with feet and simple crown molding add to a cottage design. A freestanding hutch from a bygone era creates a focal point for the room. Consider a painted piece with a distressed finish.
- Wood flooring. Wide-plank wood floors have an authentic cottage feel. Whether you choose a painted, stained, or natural finish, consult a professional to ensure the floor will stand up to kitchen traffic and the occasional spill.
- Beaded board. Feel free to use beaded board liberally in a cottage kitchen. It looks great on the walls, ceilings, islands, cabinet doors -- you name it. Add an unexpected twist by installing beaded board horizontally. A fresh, crisp coat of white paint completes the look.
- Oversize baseboards. Bold baseboards are a hallmark of turn-of-the-century homes and command attention. They are the finishing touch to a beautiful floor.
- Bin-style drawer pulls. Bin-style drawer pulls add a general store feel to your kitchen. Consider spring-loaded latch hardware for cabinet doors, and hinges from the same era.
- Color. Cottage-style color schemes often consist of white and soft pastels. But don't be afraid to punch it up with a bit of bright color: Add gingham curtains in red or blue, or paint the kitchen island in an accent color such as celadon.
Continued on page 2: 6 Budget-Friendly Tips for Cottage Style