As with all fashions, different home styles tend to fall in and out of favour with homeowners and landlords alike as the seasons shift. The 60s and 70s saw a major boom in clinical, imposing commercial properties that now sit like a blot on the landscapes of most small towns across the country. The 80s and 90s, meanwhile, were all about bright, bold colours and angular designs whilst the early 21st century were all about the cool, the clean and the minimalistic.
For whatever reason (perhaps the surge in pro-British rhetoric following Brexit), however, the style that now appears to be gracing many homes up and down the country is something very old fashioned indeed – the British country home. But what does this look entail?
What makes a house a country cottage?
A classical British country cottage favours a provincial style with loosely covered upholstery and lots of heavy floral patterns. The exterior is often modest and rural, which means they are often found ion the countryside. Cottages in Chelmsford, Essex, for example, are quite common. For the interiors, meanwhile, it’s all about the furnishings and the colour schemes. The colour is often either white or a colour approximating white and the furniture has a luxurious, antique look. Material is generally linen (curtain particularly) and as a general rule – the more flowers you can squeeze into a room, the better. It’s a style that denotes an old-world idea of class and feels like the kind of style that would have felt as at home at the turn of the 20th century as it does today.
Texture – Nothing says “country cottage” quite like exposed stonework framing an open fireplace. This is especially true in the living room, where clean lines and colours can comfortably contrast with more naturalistic elements. Wood is also a common denominator in many cottage-style homes.
Colour – The colour of a country cottage interior should always be light, but also include a few contrasting shades to really pull everything together. Cream furnishings contrasted with grey lamps and rustic wooden cabinets is always an attractive combination and bold, primary colours should be avoided at all costs.
Luxury – Whilst many actual country cottages began life as the humble homes of blue-collar workers, their quaint charms have meant that it’s a style that’s been flipped on its head in recent years. What was once seen as homely is now seen as truly luxurious.
Simplicity – On a similar note, the style might involve a lot of busy and complex design work, but in essence, it’s also a style that attempts to make the most out of very little. Space is always at a premium in a cottage, so if you desire the cottager aesthetic, invest in breakfast bar stools over kitchen chairs and subtle cabinetry over gigantic kitchen units.
Rustic – Finally, if there’s one word you’ll find cropping up again and again whilst researching the country cottage style it’s the word “rustic.” What does rustic actually mean though? In this context, it means anything that could be mistaken for being older than it really is. This means reclaimed and up-cycled furniture is a common theme, as are AGA ovens and chandeliers. In essence – if it looks old, then it’s in!