How to Get That Cottage Look in Your Own Home

Few would deny that the Olde English Cottage look is a beautiful and charming one. Whether you live in a cottage yourself, or an apartment, or just a small modern build, the traditional English look is one that is well worth emulating. Not only do English Cottages look and feel homely, they make good use of a small amount of space, and can turn a boring modern building into a cosy, welcoming home.

Old English Cottage

The old world, courtesy © stocker1970 -

Distinctive Country Charm

When most people think of country cottages, they think of thatched roves, small windows, and framed ledged and braced doors. You can’t do much about the roof or the windows of your home, but you can easily change your doors for the iconic framed ledged and braced doors that are so popular in farmhouses and cottages.

Next up, consider the rest of the décor. There are lots of suitable colour schemes, but pastel colours tend to be the best. Hues of coral, green, pink, and yellow are perfect for dainty, classy country-style rooms. The basic idea behind English Cottage style decorating is to create a light and airy room that manages to be warm and welcoming. Olde English Cottages did not use fluorescent lights, instead they relied on many soft lamps and lighting fixtures, and opted for hardwood floors, lacy curtains, and heavy drapes to accent the room.

If you can’t find an antique lamp, consider converting a vintage jug or vase into a table lamp for an authentic look.


For furniture, you should look to flea markets and antique stores. You don’t have to worry too much about having a matching furniture set. Look for comfortable, functional furniture, and accent the room with antique picture frames, ornate mirrors, and vintage ornaments. If you want to keep some order to your room, look for furniture that matches the material used to make your framed ledged and braced doors, and get any cushions re-surfaced, or use matching throws to mask mismatched coverings. As a general guide, you should aim for light walls, with dark rugs and bold furnishings for best effect. If you prefer something with less contrast, then use pastel colours for the entire room for a soft and “breezy” feel.

Olde English on a Budget

The Olde English look is coming back into fashion, so it should be easy to find modern look-alikes for most iconic items. That doesn’t mean that you should completely eschew thrift stores, though. Old-but-not-antique items are often high quality, hardwearing, and low cost. It’s amazing what you can find if you’re willing to invest a little time in shopping around.

If you’re good with your hands, why not try making a few decorative items yourself? Throws, cushions, and curtains are quite easy to make, especially if you have a sewing machine. If woodwork is more your thing, try making your own picture frames. This can be quite challenging, but is incredibly satisfying if you manage to make it work. Invest in some paintings by a local artist to really add to the character of the room.

This post was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of UK Oak Doors who supply great products like framed ledged and braced doors. Crispin is working on his own property and enjoys writing about homes and gardens.


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