Cottage-Style Appeal for Any Home

Written by Posted On Sunday, 13 August 2006 17:00

It's not surprising that cottage-style homes are attractive to many. There's a quaint sit-back-and-relax-let's-tell-each-other-stories feeling that's conveyed in the décor -- a feeling of timelessness -- no rush here, just plenty of time to enjoy.

Cottage-style décor isn't just for a cozy, romantic bed and breakfast inn that you visit once in a while for a weekend but wish you could stay a lifetime. It seems many homeowners are choosing to bring that serene sanctuary home in the form of cottage-style decorating. The décor helps people escape their hectic, overloaded, energetic lifestyles by providing a peaceful place to retreat that promotes calmness and slowness.

"Cottage style is a style that's always been in existence but there is a resurgence of it lately because it's easy, breezy, it's not expensive to do -- it's just a comfortable casual, style," says designer Kathryn Bechen.

Homeowners are looking to create a peaceful and serene décor that takes them away from their everyday troubles. Creating the cottage-style look can be done with any style home.

Bechen says you don't have to have a cottage-style home to have the décor. You can turn just a simple, small bathroom, an entire condominium or a sprawling home into a cottage-style theme.

"It's something anybody can achieve," says Bechen.

Bechen shares decorating tips on her website .

There's more to cottage style than stenciled walls of green vines and frilly slip covers. Bechen describes 10 different appealing cottage styles. Here's a look at a few that will certainly transform a home.

The French style Bechen explains on her website involves toile prints and wallpaper. This style gives an elegant twist to tradition. Furniture with graceful curves is combined with more durable farmhouse pieces, creating a rustic yet refined look.

The English style has a grand yet welcoming look to its cottage décor. A home in this style will be filled with large armoires, floral print camelback sofas that have rolled arms; bookshelves are lined with leather-bound books and generational family photos are displayed.

The cabin/camp style involves knotty-pine walls and bookcases. Around the house might be accent colors of berry red and forest green. Twig furniture and Native American artifacts complete the camp cottage style.

The ever-popular romantic cottage style often showcased at bed and breakfast inns blends together pastels such as pink, peach, green, and rose with gold, burgundy, and deep green. The rooms are furnished with antique wooden furniture and wrought iron beds. Flowered prints appear on upholstery, pictures, linens and decorative plates -- all to help you feel a cozy, relaxed, and maybe romantic mood.

And, of course, the vintage look includes lace curtains, antique family heirloom furniture with accents that include handkerchiefs and even jewelry.

No matter which style of cottage décor you go with, make it an expression of your personality. Cottage style is the perfect décor to try out different types of pieces together -- they need not perfectly match -- in fact, it adds character and charm to the room when you use thoughtfully selected recycled materials or items you found at flea markets.

Re-use old windows as decorative wall hangings. Some people paint the glass with a lovely flowery scenic picture. Cottage style makes use of old benches turning them into unique coffee tables. A piece of iron fence can double as a headboard creating a rustic yet appealing style for your bedroom. When it comes to cottage style, think "outside the box."

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website:

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or Visit for more information.

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