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. Rather than splurging on new shelves, remove the doors from an existing cabinet or two to create inexpensive open shelving.
Small-Pane Windows and 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.
Well-worn is equally wonderful on cabinetry, floors, and furniture. Incorporate plenty of patina into your kitchen with chippy, sanded paint that embraces imperfection.
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.
Feel free to use beaded board liberally in a cottage kitchen. It looks great on the walls, ceiling, island, cabinets -- you name it. Add an unexpected twist by installing beaded board horizontally. A fresh coat of crisp-white paint completes the look.
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.
Sit and Stay Awhile
The hallmark of a cottage kitchen is comfort. Treat guests to plenty of cushioned seating, fluffy fabrics, and a seating area that's friendly rather than flawless.
Wicker is an ideal choice for both kitchen storage and seating. Incorporate natural wicker on open shelves and countertops, or opt for white spray-painted styles to maintain a classic look.
Furniturelike 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.
Break up the hard lines of kitchen cabinetry with sumptuous textiles. Try a simple sink skirt in plaid or pastel for soft texture, or make a cottage style statement by replacing base cabinetry with ruffled fabric panels hung with curtain rods.
Whether cafe- or full-height, shutters are the quintessential cottage window treatment. And they're not just for privacy. Use them for pantry doors or creative decorating to tell a cottage tale.
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. A pop of bright yellow paint on cabinetry guarantees you'll start the day with a sunny disposition.
Tag Sale Treasures
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. Score vintage finds at flea markets for inexpensive cottage kitchen decor.
Bring the essence of an English garden indoors with fresh floral motifs. The organic pattern evokes a casual country atmosphere and punches up an otherwise neutral cottage kitchen.
Bold baseboards are a hallmark of turn-of-the-century homes and command attention. They are the finishing touch to a beautiful floor. Create oversize baseboards with wide planks topped with base caps. By creating your own, you can choose the height for a custom look.