Small cottage house plans are ideal in the present economic and climatic situation since they are inexpensive to build, heat, and maintain. In an era in which frugality and wise use of resources is replacing boastful strutting and ostentatious display, the cottage lifestyle is coming more and more into its own. Here are some ideas which you can incorporate into your own cottage house plan, or improve your existing cottage home.
The essence of cottage interiors is the blending of the familiar with the fresh – with matching your grandmother’s heritage silverware with your contemporary style plate or an antique chiffonier with up-to-date casements. Mixing the old with the new adds patina and personality to a cottage home and makes a unique statement about the owner. It says “home” instead of “look how rich I am!” In the same way, bold wallpaper and paint styles can be used to create a feeling of open space in smallish rooms, especially when the walls reflect decorative patterns repeated on rugs and furnishings. Again, the idea is not to create a mishmash but rather a blending of disparate elements. Bookshelves, knick-knacks, small decorative elements – even children’s artwork – can be brought together to make cottage living feel as comfortable and familiar as wearing an old favorite jacket or hat. Old style pictures in old style frames, collectible plates, even quilts can be hung on walls. Dried flower arrangements in vases or folk art sculptures can be used to decorate table tops.
The small spaces inherent in cottage house plans can be offset in part by using light, bright colors on walls to give the illusion of extra space. Using light, gauzy materials to cover window areas which allow maximum light to flood the room, and which flutter in the breeze, also help to create a sense of airiness and space. A feeling of increased height can be obtained by tasteful choice of beaded board wall coverings, vertical design wallpaper, and tall bookshelves and furnishings. The sense of the cottage lifestyle is laid-back, inviting you to slouch on the sofa, put up your feet, and rest a spell. Furnishings are unpretentious, casual, and cozy rather than stiff. You can choose a sofa for its relaxed, overstuffed attitude. The coffee table should invite people to put their feet up on it. You can just cut down a kitchen table to size, or add a glass top to a chicken coop. Wicker settees, like those used on porches, also give a feeling of relaxation and naturalness. Easy chairs should generally follow the style of the sofa, but not be exactly matching. Keep the style relaxed, eclectic, and inexpensive-looking rather than formal and intended to impress. Use casual table lamps with fabric shades in floral prints or gingham. Lamp bases can be terra-cotta, wicker, or ceramic and nothing need match anything else, as long as there is a sense of blending. The essence of cottage home plans is ease, relaxation, and feeling good about who and where you are.