Getaway cottages introduced all of us to a relaxed style of living. It's no accident that bedrooms, those most personal of spaces, are where cottage style really works its easy-living magic.
The look is easy to achieve: mix feather-filled pillows and comforters, soft colors, and sentimental accessories. It's the simplest way to stage a getaway each and every day.
A pretty tulle canopy hangs from the ceiling in this tiny bedroom, enclosing the bed without dividing the small room. Toile, stained with tea, becomes a charming slipcover over a modern leather chair. The look is both modern and cottage-fresh.
Red-and-white checks and toiles keep a pink cottage-style bedroom from feeling too feminine. Quilted white fabric covers the headboard, an inexpensive way to make a big change.
Twin beds snuggle under the eaves of a guest room, a charming and comfortable retreat for overnight visitors. The worn finish on the bed frames is perfectly at home with the worn quilts on the beds and vintage fabric glued onto the bedside table.
A combination of floral patterns, all in shades of pink, dresses up a guest bedroom. The neutral background makes the bed the star. Feminine touches, such as the lace on the slipper chair and ruffled edging on the lampshade, contrast with handsome sisal carpet and a pine plank ceiling.
Washing the bedroom walls with marigold-color milk paint provides a sunny escape even on a gray winter day. The tufted headboard looks like an old-fashioned mattress standing on end. A mix of fabrics, including velvet, shows how to expand on traditional cottage-style choices.
In this guest bedroom, 1940s twin metal beds wear nostalgic blue-and-white striped summer spreads from the same decade. The dark metal, wood, and stripes provide a cottage feel in the otherwise all-white space.
This whitewashed bedroom gathers light from morning to night, thanks to a generously sized window and its sheer drapes. Plain bed linens in shades of white add to the serenity, proof of the power of neutrals to strike a cottage-style tone.
Here are more ways to create a relaxing cottage-style bedroom:
• Make the bed the focal point. Dress it simply with beautiful linens in a collection of solid neutrals, or make it classic cottage with a floral pattern in pastel shades.
• Create a dressing area. It might be as simple as a vanity table in a corner of the bedroom or as elaborate as an entire room devoted to primping and dressing.
• Add details that matter. Consider trim along the edge of a lampshade, the perfect doorknob for a closet, or a decorative pull on a window shade.
• Soften the windows. Privacy counts, of course, so dress your windows in layers. That might include shades or shutters that close with curtain panels for color and luxury.
• Provide a showcase for a collection. A dresser top or built-in bookcase offers display space. Use silver bowls and ironstone washbasins to hold jewelry, scarves, or spare change.
• Install pretty light fixtures. Chandeliers are finding favor. Consider sconces too, new or old.
• Layer for luxury. Combine quilts and dust ruffles on the bed, soft rugs over carpeting, and tablecloths and lace squares on bedside tables. The fabrics also offer inspiration for a color palette.