Interior Design / October 14, 2018 / Milena Montanez.
The cottage decorating style is very popular, and it's no wonder as the allure of the country cottage is strangely compelling to anyone caught in the confines of the modern metropolis tightly squeezed accommodations. When has the oppressing city even invaded your home who hasn’t felt the urge to reach out to a life less complicated? Since most of us are not quite prepared to sell their worldly possessions and set off for the wild blue yonder, why not consider creating a country hideaway on the high street with some simple cottage decorating or, as it is often referred to, “shabby chic.”
The first principle of cottage decorating is to create some space. Take the position of the aesthete, gather up all unnecessary items and defenestration them! Throw them out the window! Reuse and recycle anything that can be used as a serviceable container to hold those items you need or cannot bear to part. Use suitcases as drawers, or bread bins as document storage. In my own home, I use my wastepaper basket as a filing system for legal documents; although the taxman increasingly hysterical missives are forcing me to reconsider the wisdom of that particular decision.
It would help if you considered repairing old furniture rather than replacing it. Showing love to an older piece of furniture is at the heart of the charm of cottage decorating. Consider simple, bold colors that are consistent throughout your house. The simplest option would be the purest color of them all – white. Not only would an all-white (or near-white) theme create the illusion of greater space in your home, it acts as a solid base for the next step in your decoration – the personal touches.
Try looking around flea-markets and car-boot sales for anything from window drapes to towels. Art festivals and colleges often have beautiful works that can be picked up for a pittance, and has the added advantage of being able to boast to your friends “Of course, I liked his stuff better before he was famous.”
Do not be afraid to scavenge; cottage decorating is not a theme that can be purchased flat-pack from IKEA. Old portmanteaus, park benches, coal scuttles can all be added to the shabby chic charm. Handmade or renovated, you can be sure that your furniture will always be unique.
Finally, but most importantly to cottage decorating, bring the country to you. Container gardening can be rewarding and fun in even the smallest of apartments, and there is a raft of literature on the subject. Any windowsill can transform into an herb garden with a little time and effort. I am fortunate enough to have a small roof overhang outside my window in which I have an old rain-barrel that will hopefully soon contain an abundance of lettuce. Instead of taking one piece of good, expensive furniture and replacing the rest as and when you can afford to, keep and repair all your furniture.