15 Tips for a Cottage-Style Kitchen

Consider these elements -- cornerstones of cottage style -- to transform your kitchen into a cozy cooking space.


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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Shutters. They're not just for the outside of the house. Use them for pantry doors or creative decorating -- shutters tell a cottage tale.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Create a cottage kitchen on a budget by using these six penny-pinching tips.

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  1. Scour tag sales. Watch tag or estate sales for a buffet or hutch in need of some TLC. A fresh coat of paint and new -- or recycled -- hardware creates a cottage-style focal piece for the kitchen.
  2. Add beaded board. Install a beaded-board backsplash or wrap an existing island in beaded-board paneling.
  3. Open up. Remove the doors from a cabinet or two to create open shelving.
  4. Go with white. White appliances naturally fit a cottage color palette, and they are generally the least expensive.
  5. Think vinyl. To save money on flooring, consider 12x12-inch vinyl tiles from a home improvement store. You can get creative and design a pattern or go for the classic checkerboard look.
  6. Give a custom look. Create oversize baseboards with wide planks topped with base caps. By creating your own, you can choose the height for a custom look.

Easy tips to get a cottage look

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