The modern cottage look is a relaxed yet refined interior design style that blends classic cottage charm with contemporary elements. Achieving this look in your home creates a space that feels cozy and inviting, but still fresh and up-to-date. Here are 10 tips to help you get the modern cottage style in your own home:

Embrace Neutral Tones with Pops of Color

Stick to a neutral palette of whites, beiges, greys, and light woods as your background colors. Then punctuate with bold pops of color in accessories, art, flowers or other décor. Aquas, sunny yellows, crimson reds and emerald greens make great accent colors to liven up the neutrals.

Incorporate Natural Textures and Materials

Natural textures like wood, stone, rattan, leather and linen help create the rustic cottage feel. Use materials like wood plank floors, a stone fireplace, rattan furniture or linen upholstery to add natural texture. Distressed woods, peeling paints, antiquefurnishings and rough hewn beams also fit the style.

Mix Old and New

Blending vintage or antique pieces with new and modern elements is essential for the modern cottage vibe. An farmhouse style dining table paired with modern leather chairs, a distressed wood console with a sleek metal lamp, and a cozy vintage sofa with contemporary accent pillows are all great ways to marry old and new.

Add Whimsical and Quirky Accents

Cottages are quaint and charming, so have fun with whimsical accents. Try using unique door knobs or hooks, colorful accent tiles in a bathroom, an accent wall with bold wallpaper, or displaying collectibles and art in unexpected ways. Floating shelves filled with books or plants, wreaths on interior doors, and flowers in unexpected vessels all add playful personality.

Include Plenty of Lighting Layers

Proper lighting is key in any home, but it’s especially important for the modern cottage look. Use plenty of natural light during the day, then layer ambient, task and accent lighting at night. Pendant lights, sconces, table lamps, floor lamps and even strung bulb lighting help create cozy, well-lit spaces.

Incorporate Wood Beams and Shiplap

Exposed wood beams and shiplap paneling add great character and are cottage staples. Use real wood beams if possible, or faux beams and shiplap made from wood or PVC as affordable options. Wood paneling on walls or ceilings enhances the rustic charm. Painted shiplap in white or light grey keeps things fresh and bright.

Display Fresh Florals and Greenery

Fresh florals and greens are a must for modern cottage décor. Use white blooms like daisies and lilies for a fresh feel, or wildflowers and greenery like eucalyptus and ferns for a natural vibe. Display cut flowers in a mix of vases and bottles on tables, shelves, counters and windowsills. Potted plants also help breathe life into the space.

Include Cozy Textiles and Fabrics

Layer in plenty of cozy textiles like pillows, throws, rugs and curtains. Choose fabrics like wool, linen, cotton and jute in soft neutrals and muted patterns like stripes, plaids and florals. Woven throws, sheepskin rugs, linen curtains and cotton toss pillows in soothing patterns all reinforce the relaxed cottage style.

Add Farmhouse Touches in the Kitchen

Cottage kitchens have an informal farmhouse feel. Paint the cabinets in whites, light greys or blues and pair with natural wood countertops. Open shelving, painted butcherblock islands, apron sinks and brass hardware add vintage touches. Use gingham, floral or striped fabrics for curtains and table linens to keep the farmhouse vibe going.

Create a Cozy Sleeping Nook

Carve out a special spot for sleeping with a raised bed tucked under the eaves, built-in window seats with storage, or curtains that cordon off a sleeping area from the main room. Add texture with billowy linens in muted tones and a handmade quilt at the foot of the bed. Soft lighting and wood nightstands complete the intimate cottage vibe.

Now that you have an overview of the essential elements of the modern cottage style, you can start incorporating these tips into any room. Focus on a few simple updates like adding fresh florals, new accent pillows or a pendant light to ease into the look. Soon you’ll be well on your way to creating a cozy and charming modern cottage retreat!

Frequently Asked Questions About Achieving the Modern Cottage Look

What colors work well in a modern cottage?

Neutrals like white, light grey, beige and wood tones create a nice background palette. Then you can add pops of color like aqua, mustard yellow, crimson red or emerald to liven things up.

What fabrics work in a modern cottage?

Natural fabrics like cotton, linen, jute and wool are great choices. Make sure to incorporate plenty of textured throws, rugs, pillows and other accessories in these fabrics.

How do you mix old and new pieces?

Try pairing stained wood antique furniture with sleek metal or leather chairs. Hang a rustic wood console table on a wall with modern brass sconces. Mixing distressed and worn pieces with clean lined modern elements strikes the right balance.

Should you paint the walls in a cottage?

Absolutely! Painted walls help give a clean backdrop to layer in the vintage finds and quirky accents. Stick to light neutral colors like white, very pale grey, cream or light blue-green.

What are good lighting options for a cottage?

Layers of lighting work best. Use plenty of windows and skylights to let natural light flood in during the day. Then install fixtures like pendant lights, table and floor lamps, wall sconces and string lights for night.

How do you add farmhouse touches to a cottage kitchen?

Paint the cabinets in white, light grey or blue and pair with natural wood countertops. Add open shelving, an apron sink, brass fixtures and gingham fabrics for an informal farmhouse vibe.

Should you use wallpaper in a cottage?

Yes! Wallpaper is a great way to add whimsical personality in a cottage. Use it on a single accent wall in a bold floral pattern or floor to ceiling in a muted stripe to make a statement while keeping the look refined.

How do you create a cozy sleeping nook?

Use a raised bed under the eaves, curtains to cordon off part of a room, or built-in window seats with storage. Make it feel intimate with billowing linens, a handmade quilt and sconces for soft lighting.

What flooring works best in a cottage?

Wood plank flooring has that rustic cottage charm. But if you don’t have wood floors, you can use wood-look vinyl or tile to get the same effect for less. Just add a few woven rugs to make it cozy.


The modern cottage look blends charming vintage character with contemporary, relaxed style. Focus on light and airy neutrals punctuated by bold pops of color. Incorporate natural materials like wood, rattan, and stone along with cozy textiles. Mix old and new pieces seamlessly and add plenty of whimsical personality into your space. With these tips, you can easily achieve the intimate yet fresh modern cottage style in any room in your home. The result will be a space that feels welcoming, serene and uniquely you. So embrace your inner cottage lover, get decorating, and create a modern cottage retreat you’ll absolutely adore coming home to.