English Cottage Style for Your Inner Jane Austen

English Cottage Decor

English cottages radiate charm through floral prints, unassuming furniture, and relaxed, but dignified design. The following rooms will have you swooning for more than Mr. Darcy.

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A Cozy Seat

English Cottage Decor

The most thoughtfully arranged rooms look good without any dressings or furniture. The architecture alone should hold its own, and English cottages typically stand up to such scrutiny. This window nook offers a sense of the room's inner beauty, with its tucked-away seat, built-in drawers, rustic wall planks, corner corbels, and angled ceilings. Can't you just picture Lizzie Bennet curled up here with a book?

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Big Statement


With the right supporting players, even the humblest items can enhance English cottage designs. Here, an antique pedestal table with peeling paint becomes an object of intrigue. Everything else—the beadboard, shutters and even the slouchy banquette cushions—nods to the table's texture without overpowering it.

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Farm to Table

English Cottage Decor

Few things evoke "country cottage" more clearly than mismatched chairs pulled up to a long wood farm table. The cheerful floral wallpaper and full pot rack in this lively kitchen make it the perfect space to play host to friends and family.

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From the Outside In

English Cottage Decor

English cottages are often on working farms, where long days are spent outdoors. A mudroom is a smart way to confine grit and grime and provide a resting spot for boots, gloves, and hats before entering the house proper. This, durable, rugged slate and long, trough-style sink look just as handsome indoors as they do outside.

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Flurry of Florals

teal bedroom

Bundles of bouquets bloom across this bedding in a nod to the floral prints inspired by English cottage gardens—just one of many ways to bring the glory of a country garden inside, but these blossoms last much longer than cut flowers, Popular, too, are planked walls and painted pieces. These heavily distressed blue walls check both boxes.

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Bring it Inside

English Cottage Decor

With clever juxtaposition, items more commonly used on patios or in gardens can segue seamlessly into a breakfast nook or kitchen. Here, a pair of old columns are capped in iron urns, a rickety hutch is strung with chicken wire, and a weathered table and chairs provide casual style. A swath of antique lace, fresh flowers, and a sparkling crystal chandelier polish the room with glamour.

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Lived-In Look


One of the many appealing elements of English cottage design is that the room is unmistakably lived in. There are no furnishings only for the sake of appearance, and everything, eventually, takes on a well-worn -- and well-loved -- patina. In this kitchen, notice the distressed island finish, where paint has been rubbed off the corners and edges. The hutch looks older than the rest of the room. Such versatile pieces are darlings of English cottage design.

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Tips for a Cottage Kitchen

Cheery and bright, cottage kitchens often feature simple, white cabinetry, a farmhouse sink, and plenty of charm. Get inspired to add cottage style to your own kitchen.

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Better Together


Decorating an English cottage is a lot like planning a dinner party. You're inviting people (and pieces) from all sorts of backgrounds into a single spot, and the goal is merry mingling and fantastic story-telling. This bedroom scores on every count, as neutral furniture, fabric, and artwork buzz harmoniously, and a few shots of color inject allure. Each item is interesting on its own, but together? They're unforgettable.

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Easy Does It

rustic kitchen

Paint can cover a multitude of sins, which is why it's so popular among cottage enthusiasts. But sometimes, a scraped surface that's seen better days has just the right patina for a room. Here, no fewer than four shades of blue—all of them worn and weathered—beckon guests into a cottage kitchen with a Message: Come as you are. Pretension has no place in an English cottage.

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Gracious and Gorgeous

English Cottage Decor

For a formal room, this living space certainly hasn't forgotten how to make guests feel welcome. There are just enough homey touches—down cushions to sink in, carefree cotton slipcovers, and a serene color scheme with a hit of sparkle—to remind visitors that English cottage living rooms are a place to let your hair down.

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Open to Shutters

Country Cottage Bath

The English relied on shutters to control sunlight and shield interiors from an unexpected burst of rain or snow. Shutters are still a distinguished dressing for windows, especially in rooms where privacy is key and where curtains might seem heavy-handed. Other old-world touches in this bathroom include marble flooring and an assortment of unframed mirrors.

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Cottage Bath Ideas

Casual and comfortable, English cottage style is a perfect fit for a bathroom. See the many ways to create a cozy atmosphere in yours.

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Salvaged Treasures


Cottage rooms provide a space for old things to find new life. Repurposed pieces are especially popular, whether those items hail from home, a neighbor, or a stranger with good taste. Here, old shutters stand in as a headboard, a vintage suitcase as a footboard, and a castoff chair as casual seating.

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Rise and Shine

English Cottage Decor

Streaming morning sunshine is nearly all the decoration this breakfast room needs. A long-loved table with a mismatched set of chairs, wide-plank wood walls, and homey white paint, create the ideal setting for the start of a day in the country.

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Better Than New

English Cottage Decor

Yes, you could outfit a craft room or sewing space with shiny new organizers from the local office-supply store—or you could scour flea markets and thrift shops for jars, bowls, and bins with a little rust, some scrapes, and a whole lot of history. The second option is much more fun and puts to good use items that might otherwise remain untouched.

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Back to Basics

English Cottage Decor

Sometimes the most striking schemes are the simplest, as proved by this nursery swathed in black and ivory. With color stripped out, the focus turns to each lovely piece, from the antique crib painted with a pastoral panel, to the shutters with tulip cutouts, to the stately Roman shade monogram. All of it is as elegant as the best English cottage interiors.

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Formal but Unfussy


Even more formal spaces, such as a den or a dining room, flourish in versatile English cottage style, which blends elegance with a relaxed attitude. High-backed chairs, both wooden and upholstered, are well-worn in this dining room, where an antler chandelier replaces crystals, a nod to the hunt.

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Calming Colors

English Cottage Decor

Muted hues—colors hushed by the addition of black pigment—are common to English cottage style, as they usher serenity and elegance into a room, but allow sparkling finishes to shine. Furniture and kitchen cabinetry are popular places for muted tones, not only to conceal scratches and marks but also for a dab of color.

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Beautiful Backdrop

living room

Exposing a house's structural elements, such as overhead beams, angled ceilings, or wall paneling, is embraced in cottage style . These beautiful beams and wide-plank wood walls provide a hefty dose of charm and create the backdrop for stately furnishings, rugs, and artwork.

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Peace and Quiet

English Cottage Decor

English interiors murmur rather than shout. It's a small detail, but tufting on the back of a chair or sofa is a whispered signal that this room bends toward Britain. The accent is a mark of craftsmanship and more demure than other global styles. Leaded glass windows also provide subtle sophistication. It's upon closer inspection that the details reveal themselves.

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Totally Toile

English Cottage Decor

Perhaps the most recognizable pattern for wallpaper and fabric, toile has long been revered for its bucolic scenes, two-tone colorways, and large repeat. It's a classic best splashed lavishly in cottage rooms, and walls and ceilings are both fair game. Black tole trays, utilitarian but intricately decorated, are a snappy punctuation over the bed.

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Personal Collections

English Cottage Decor

Displaying collectibles, whether they're for everyday use or just for show, is unmistakably English. Here, hanging aprons, ironstone pitchers, copper pots, and glass canisters decorate a kitchen. They're so lovely that very little extra is necessary.

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Under Cover

white room

Cottage style provides the solution to the age-old dilemma of unifying mismatched furniture without a great cost: slipcovers. In crisp cotton canvas, duck, or denim, slipcovers hide worn or stained upholstery, protect heirloom pieces, and pull a room together with a few quick zips, snaps, or buttons.

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Good, Clean Fun

English Cottage Decor

Even a utilitarian area like a laundry or craft room can match the style of the rest of the house. Paying extra attention to the design of a hard-working room will make it fun as well as functional. Don't hesitate to transfer detergent into shapely glass canisters, hang vintage metal shelves to hold essentials, or press a large woven basket into service as a hamper. These items have to work hard—they might as well be beautiful.

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On Display

Multipurpose Storage

A few modern touches aside, this homey kitchen hearkens back to merry old England with its painted island and open shelves displaying dishes and glassware. Putting the everyday on display is a hallmark of English cottage style and a satisfying combination of pretty and practical. A black and white checkered floor adds panache.

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On the Surface

English Cottage Decor

With so many layers of white in this cottage bedroom, texture leaps to the forefront. Notice that each shade of white differs a little from the others, and intriguing textures—chipped paint on the corbels and shelf, pocks on the wooden bench, open stitches on the throw, and ruffles and gathers on the linens—catch the light differently to tantalize the eye.

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Opposites Attract

English Cottage Decor

English cottage accents strike that tricky balance between elegance and informality. In this kitchen, traditional cabinets are humbled by furniture-like feet and a beadboard backsplash. A marble surface crowns a shabby-looking island with layers of peeling paint. These disparate items happily coexist, thanks to a soothing color scheme and a willingness to not take decorating too seriously.

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Lovely Layers

English Cottage Decor

A well-decorated room will reveal its beauty over time, and its many layers will unfold. Layers of white bed linens, painted wall planks, and two different curtains dress this cottage bedroom in serene style. The space is suitable for both sleeping and lounging, thanks to a plush, oversize love seat and a fabulous shaded chandelier.

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