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Surfaces that suggest age exemplify the relaxed look and touchable textures of an easy-care cottage kitchen. Use your favorite chair, chipped paint and all. It looks great with beaded-board-style cabinets that mimic timeworn wainscoting. Dark grout suggests 100-year-old spaces while reducing upkeep on subway-tile walls
Smooth and gleaming or worn and weathered, wood furnishings and surfaces connect cottage decor to nature. Mix types and finishes for cozy comfort. This dining room's focal point is the glass-door hutch, stripped of paint and home to white ironstone.
Ask four people to define "cottage" and you'll likely get four different descriptions. Spanning locales, eras, and lifestyles, cottage suits you and your home, now and later. For example, copper fixtures lend an English countryside feel, while whitewashed wood paired with blue exudes beachfront style.
Using unfitted furniture suggests your cottage kitchen has evolved. Whether mismatched or hand-me-downs, Grandma's hutch and a flea market-find bench can be personal, while serving a basic kitchen function.
Salvaged cabinets become creative projects when stripped, distressed, or treated to new color. Replace the hardware or insert glass door panels for an affordable update. Traces of old finish lend character to this repurposed piece. Enlist chests and cabinets from another room for creative kitchen storage to show off your style.
New house? No problem. Use cottage icons such as beaded board, moldings, and plate rails to create almost-instant architecture and a sense of history. Install pieces in stages as your budget allows.
Show your stuff. From bowls to biscuit cutters, cottage collections express your personality and some are functional enough to earn their keep -- as well as wall or shelf space. Open shelves (or doorless cabinets) let you enjoy collectible pottery. A gallery of family photos rates handcrafted wood frames.
People will gather in your kitchen; why not make them feel at home? Adding a comfy place to sit and visit can comfort the cook as well as the guests. Partnering a worn farm table with two circa-1950 chairs and a padded banquette creates a cozy spot for dining and conversation.
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.
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.
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.
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, or opt to only install glass fronts on a few cabinets.
Feel free to use beaded board liberally in a cottage kitchen. It looks great on the walls, ceilings, islands, cabinet doors -- you name it. To add an unexpected twist by installing beaded board horizontally.