Fresh & Frugal Cottage Kitchen Ideas

kitchen sink
Cottage style is all about comfort and easy living. Create a cottage kitchen with well-worn woods, shades of white, personal collections, and these tips.

Cozy Slipcovers

Slipcovers reflect the easy-living attitude that's crucial to cottage style. Sewn from affordable cotton or canvas, most slipcovers easily slip off and into the wash. Use slipcovers on chairs in a breakfast nook or on kitchen barstools. If you find slipcovers that fit your barstools but are too long, simply trim and rehem the slipcovers. Add a ruffle or pretty trim for extra cottage charm.

Shutter a Window

Adding shutters to windows is a simple and fast way to add loads of cottage charm. Shutters make great window treatments but can also dress up bare walls. Hang a shutter on a wall and use the slats as a memo board to stash important notes, grocery lists, and recipes.

Simple Accessories

Vases look charming with or without flowers. Great flower choices are those that might grow in a cottage garden, such as lilacs, roses, and daisies. If you don't have access to pretty blooms, a few leafy branches will lend the perfect amount of nature to your kitchen counter.

Repurposed Furniture

A vintage table makes an ideal island in a cottage kitchen. Not only do they provide more work space, they add interest, warmth, and rustic charm as well. Look for tables that are at least waist-high. If you need to add more height or want a movable workstation, add castors.

Bring the Outside In

Wicker brings the feel of the porch into a cottage kitchen. Use wicker seating at a peninsula or dining table. Tired of your white wicker? Try spray-painting it black. It's a chic alternative to traditional white.

Charming Walls

Beaded board creates cottage style faster than any other element. Find faux beaded board at local home improvement stores for a low-cost, easy-to-install option. These options can often be painted to match any decor.

Simple Surfaces

Worn paint suits cottage furniture. In the kitchen, paint furniture that won't be used for food prep, then rough it up with sandpaper for a timeworn finish. 

Classic Floors

Hardwood floors offer warm wood tones and an easy-care surface that looks good with the soft fabrics and subdued color schemes that exemplify cottage style. Leave the floors bare in summer and add rugs in winter.

Open Shelving

Open shelving dresses up a bare wall, or if you already have cabinets, get the look by removing cabinet fronts for a quick update. This small addition makes the room feel open and airy and adds space for showing off collections and pretty glassware and dishes in a kitchen.

Focus on Fixtures

Vintage-style fixtures such as farmhouse sinks or faucets with Old World style complete any cottage kitchen. For an easy update, look for a new cottage-style faucet that fits the configuration of your existing faucet. That way, you can install a new faucet without having to reconfigure your plumbing.

Casual Dining

Romantic chandeliers add charm to any room. You can add paint, crystals, and lampshades to an existing dining room light fixture. Or check out home centers for stylish new chandeliers for less than $100.

Pretty Fabrics

A little floral goes a long way when you're boosting the country style in your kitchen. In this kitchen, simple floral curtains add another pop of color and a bit of playfulness to this already bright kitchen.

Old and New

A staple of cottage decorating is the mix of old and new. This kitchen's new, top-of-the-line range and hood are offset by vintage light fixtures and stools. Another perfect mix is the new marble top on the worn and weathered island.

Show Off in Style

Collections are key to creating a functional cottage look. This all-white collection of dishware is set off by the rusty-red paint color behind the open shelving.

Natural Fibers

Baskets give a room casual style. Keep the kitchen organized by storing extra linens, dry goods, or even fruits and vegetables in baskets.

Make a Statement

Architectural fragments -- such as old mantles, corbels, brackets, and molding -- bring aged cottage elements into a new home. Look for vintage pieces at flea markets and antiques shops.

Sweet Touches

Knobs dress up a utilitarian piece of furniture. Add glass or crystal knobs to freshen a dated sideboard or glass-front cabinets. Look for new or vintage knobs at flea markets or garage sales.

Vintage-Style Sinks

The farmhouse, or apron-style, sink is the sink of choice for many country kitchens. These deep sinks are a perfect combination of history, beauty, and durability.

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