14 Cheap & Chic Cottage Decorating
Try these tips at home, too!
When the slipcovers get dirty, just toss them in the wash. Other wallet friendly ideas include using washable paint on walls for easy wiping, and opting for bare floors throughout. Reinvent vintage finds like homeowner Ingrid Oomen did here — she had the antique post lamp rewired into a pendant light.
Window treatments don’t have to be complicated — simply cut panels of raw linen fabric to length, leaving the edges unhemmed, and hang from a rod using drapery hooks. Group together simple black frames to create a gallery wall featuring your own black and white photographs.
Sea shells and beach rocks create a pretty look when gathered. Stacking books and placing select jars on top adds colour and dimension to a mantel vignette.
Designer Barb Purdy dressed up an inexpensive fixture with pliable young twigs, which she tied at the top and around each light with thin black wire to form organic-looking branches. The bulbs were dipped in silicone for a softer, aged effect. You can also spray paint your entire chandelier white for an on-trend look.
To give a cottage kitchen a facelift on a budget, consider exposed shelving. Here, Purdy removed existing built-in cupboards and replaced them with cedar shelves that allow her to display only what she needs. This turns everyday objects into showpieces, and encourages decluttering. An affordable striped runner adds a hit of colour.
A neutral palette exudes serenity and cleanliness. Freelance stylist and creative director Jenn Cranston created a headboard out of a bamboo screen, and unique lights by rewiring two pendants and wrapping the cords in raffia. Throughout her cottage, Jenn uses branches for sculptures and displays grass and leaves from her garden.
Combine flea market finds with big-box items and personal accessories for a customized bedroom corner. A necklace and wicker bag are minimal but add a nice touch when left hanging off hooks. The carved African chair was a flea market steal.
Sticking to as few types of glassware as possible will keep costs down, and create a neat look when lined up. Inexpensive open shelves, old wine casks and a wicker basket holding condiments contribute to an an unfitted and European look.
Decorating a child’s bedroom with festive regatta decorations adds youthful charm. Bunting flags can be store-bought or handmade to suit a personal colour scheme using fabric and ribbon. Coordinating accessories, bedding and paint colours give this area a cohesive feel. The flags on the floor further the light-hearted mood.
Hand-me-down side tables and wicker chairs can be instantly revamped with paint. Cherry red paint injects the side table with farmhouse charm, while some light distressing furthers the rustic feel. A wrought iron headboard, beadboard panelled walls and a floral bedding set deliver shabby chic decorating style.
To create a vignette like this, cut and coil lengths of rope in glass vessels to showcase their natural tones and coarse textures. An oversized fishbowl pairs nicely with a length of chunky sisal, while a narrower hurricane shows off loops of twine.
To learn how to make your own coiled-rope lamp, view Michael Penney’s Online TV DIY segment.
This modern-country space is ideal for a shared bedroom or frequent sleepovers. The casters on the Ikea beds provide flexibility with the layout, while Indian quilts and flea-market finds give the room big personality on a small budget.
When mixed, flea-market finds, vintage pieces and heirlooms can create a cosy space. The overall “unfinished” vibe of the kitchen, complete with the linen curtains, offers even more character. Remove cabinet doors in select areas to achieve this look.
The linen fabric was attached to tension rods for an easy window treatment option. An affordable sisal remnant is a smart choice that adds texture to this entrance. Using an inexpensive mirror, such as this large black mirror, a steal at only $50, visually doubles the space of rooms.
See more pretty cottage photos in our Cottage Design & Decorating Guide.