Cottage Style Furniture and Decorating Tips

There are three keys to successfully furnishing a Cottage-style room: white paint, slipcovers and creativity. White paint breathes new life into mismatched, old and discolored furniture and creates a unifying theme that lets all sorts of style blend well into a room. Some furniture on the market today, especially children's furniture, already comes with white paint, distracted edges and a Cottage-inspired design, conveying the popularity of this reliably new style. The result of a few coats of paint is an airy, bright and cheerful mood within the home.

Slip covers perform the same function for upholstered furniture as paint does for wooden furniture. Worn out flea market finds and hand-me-downs will perk up under a pale (think white or cream) slip cover that may or may not have prints that match your braided rugs and accents. Do not worry if the slipcovers show a wrinkle or two-you want to look as though a guest can have a seat without disabling the room. You want the room to look lived in, but avoid crossing the line to unkempt.

Lastly, tap into your creative side as you plan your furniture layout. Consider using items for something other than their obvious function. Turn a favorite chair into a console table that holds a favorite hatbox or a collection of teddy bears. Old cupboards can be used as shelving to hold your collection of teacups and saucers. With Cottage-style rooms, you're definitely limited only by your imagination.

One of the few styles in which stains are a good thing, tea stained fabrics in Cottage designed rooms fit the antique and charming image built by eclectic furniture and disturbed wood. Tea-staining makes new fabric look well-loved and dulls the sharpness a fresh, white textile can have. Additionally, keep window treatments relatively uncomplicated and airy to let natural sunshine and warm filter into your room. Complements this natural lighting with bunches of flowers in vases. For extra detail and interest, use trunks, particularly beautiful or quaint plates, mirrors, frames, and lace linens. Do not be limited by this list; you can find other items to populate your room when browsing attics, vintage stores, flea markets and more.