Cottage-style homes are known for their charming, cozy vibes. With their quaint architectural details, light and bright interiors, and focus on comfort, cottage-style homes are the epitome of relaxed living. If you’re looking to remodel your home in this charming style, getting the look just right is key. In this article, we’ll walk through how to outfit a cottage-style remodel from top to bottom, helping you nail the aesthetic and transform your home into a beautiful, inviting cottage retreat.

Evaluate the Layout and Create an Open Floor Plan

Cottage floor plans tend to feel open, breezy, and connected—this helps spaces flow together seamlessly. When remodeling your cottage, consider knocking down any unnecessary walls blocking the natural light and impeding the free flow between rooms. Opening up the layout creates flexible multifunctional spaces ideal for cottages.

Aim for fewer closed-off rooms in favor of open gathering areas where your family can be together. For example, you could remove walls between your kitchen, dining room, and living room to create one large open concept living space on the first floor. Not only will this feel brighter and more spacious, it will also facilitate effortless entertaining and family time.

Infuse Plenty of Natural Lighting

Natural sunlight is a key component of the cottage vibe. When remodeling your home, look for ways to maximize light throughout. Strategically placed windows, skylights, and glass-paneled doors all help brighten up interior spaces with sunshine and views of nature.

Consider swapping out small existing windows for larger paned ones to usher in more light. Skylights can also be added to dark hallways or inner rooms lacking windows to instantly amplify the brightness. And a glass rear door provides a transparent transition between your home’s interior rooms and the backyard exterior. The more natural light infused into the space, the airier the cottage feel.

Incorporate Rustic Wood Elements

Wood finishes give a cottage interior warmth and style. Whether it’s wood flooring, exposed ceiling beams, or rustic wood walls, seek out ways to incorporate natural wood elements into your remodel.

Distressed wide-plank flooring has that timeworn appearance perfect for cottages. Exposed wood ceiling beams and wood paneled walls also blend beautifully in cottage interiors. And wood furnishings like farmhouse dining tables or wood storage cabinets add to the cozy aesthetic. Don’t be afraid to mix natural stained wood finishes with crisp whites for lovely contrast.

Opt for a Light, Airy Color Palette

Cottage color schemes tend to be light, bright, and airy. White or pale walls help reflect natural light and feel fresh rather than dark and confining. When selecting interior paint colors, look for soft muted hues like sky blues, sage greens, buttery yellows, and antiqued whites. These colors have a timeless, vintage appeal.

You can also bring in playful pastels on accent walls or furnishings. Think robin’s egg blue, mint green, or blush pink. Just stick to lighter tints of these colors. The overall goal is to create a relaxed, informal palette that feels light as a feather—the perfect backdrop for cottage living.

Incorporate Vintage-Inspired Textiles

Don’t be afraid to mix and match fabrics and patterns to create cozy, collected layers. Cottage textiles tend to have a vintage vibe, like gingham curtains, embroidered pillows, and faded floral quilts.

Search flea markets or antique shops for unique handmade finds like quilts, rag rugs, and ceramic lamps to add old-fashioned charm. Florals, plaids, and ticking stripes also complement cottage interiors. Layer natural linens, lace trims, and embroidered details for depth and texture. The more textures and fabrics, the cozier the feel.

Install Reclaimed Wood or Stone Floors

Charming cottages often have worn, earthy floors that stand the test of time. Weathered hardwoods, wide-plank pine, flagstone, and reclaimed barn wood all make fantastic cottage flooring options. These materials blend beautifully with cottage architecture and add undeniable character.

Distressed wide-plank floors have a timeworn appeal, while variegated flagstone tiles and salvaged barn wood infuse rustic texture. Concrete floors stained in earthy hues like deep grays or ochre also make an attractive foundation for cottage rooms. Talk to flooring specialists about sourcing reclaimed floor materials for unique vintage style.

Embrace Shabby Chic Furnishings

Cottage furniture tends to look relaxed, well-worn, and unpretentious. Painted wicker, distressed wood pieces, and overstuffed sofas or chairs invite you to settle in. Search flea markets, antiques stores, even your own attic to find charming castoff pieces.

Some simple updates like a fresh coat of white paint, new hardware, or a floral fabric recovering can give old furnishings new life. Mix unmatching wood chairs around your dining table, throw in a upholstered sofa with embroidered pillows, and dress up your living room with vintage character. Cottages aren’t meant to be precious or perfect—have fun furnishing with eclectic charm!

Select Accessories with Personality

Don’t overlook the accessories when designing your cozy cottage-style retreat. Artful touches like wall accents, area rugs, throws, and more infuse personality and visual interest.

Hang a mirror framed with distressed wood, arrange collected seashells on the mantel, roll out a braided jute area rug—these details make a house feel like home. Include special finds that tell a story, like vintage photographs, pressed botanical art, and family heirlooms for history. The more layers of meaningful accessories, the more character your cottage will have.

Add a Statement Backsplash in the Kitchen

Cottage kitchens should blend style with functionality. While white cabinetry keeps things light and classic, the backsplash is a great spot to bring in bold personality.

Handmade tile, patterned wallpaper, reclaimed tin—get creative with your backsplash materials and patterns! A colorful retro design will contrast beautifully with an all-white kitchen for a fun pop of whimsy. Or keep it classic with a beaded board panel backsplash in crisp white. Your backsplash can be simple or standout—just make it distinctly you.

Include a Cozy Fireplace Nook

No cottage is complete without a toasty fireplace nook for resting and relaxing. Carve out special spots focused around the fire to promote quality time together. A fireplace naturally becomes the heartbeat of the home.

Position cozy armchairs or a cushioned bench directly facing the glowing fire. Layer old quilts and pillows to enhance the snuggly vibe. Display family photos on the mantel to infuse personality. And don’t forget the firewood—you’ll need lots on hand! The fireplace and its surroundings should beckon you to slow down, unwind, and make special memories.

Utilize Vintage-Style Lighting

Charming lighting fixtures complete the cottage vibe and functionality. Wherever possible, seek out vintage-inspired lights that complement your remodel.

Forged metal lanterns, exposed Edison bulbs, antique table lamps—embrace vintage aesthetics. Crystal chandeliers, sconces with candle-shaped bulbs, and pendulum lights over kitchen islands also have traditional farmhouse appeal. Use dimmers throughout to set just the right ambiance. And if your home still has original vintage lighting, restore the fixtures by rewiring and cleaning them up. Vintage-style lighting brings old world character to any space.

Infuse Cheerful Cottage Window Treatments

Your cottage wouldn’t be complete without sweet window treatments in keeping with the style. Check out cafe curtains, embroidered sheers, roman shades, or gingham drapes—all classic cottage options.

Cafe curtains hanging in the kitchen keep splatters contained while letting light filter through the sheer overlay. Roman shades offer sleek style and light control for cottage living rooms. For a playful touch, try dangling beaded pulls on drapes or sashes on roman blind hems. Every fabric choice and detail should complement your home’s relaxed charm.


With strategic layout choices, rustic finishes, and vintage-style accents, you can transform any home into a cozy cottage retreat. Focus on light and bright simplicity with charming imperfections and plenty of character. Keep floor plans flexible, embrace natural materials like wood and stone, and display your favorite collected treasures. Outfitting your home remodel from top to bottom in this aesthetic will help you create a laid-back, welcoming cottage brimming with personality and charm. The end result will be a restorative space your family and friends can relax and make happy memories in for years to come.

FAQs about Outfitting a Cottage-Style Remodel

What are some key elements of a cottage style interior?

Some key elements that create the cottage look are light and airy spaces, vintage inspired fabrics and furnishings, an open floor plan, rustic wood elements, a cozy fireplace nook, and cheery vintage-style lighting.

What colors work well in a cottage?

Soft muted hues like sky blues, sage greens, buttery yellows, and antiqued whites help create a relaxed, vintage cottage palette. Pastels and florals also complement the style beautifully.

What flooring is best for a cottage remodel?

Weathered hardwoods, wide-plank pine, reclaimed wood, flagstone, and concrete stained in earth tones make great cottage flooring options and provide timeless character.

Should you avoid wallpaper in a cottage?

Not at all! In fact, wallpaper with vintage inspired floral or checkered prints can provide a lovely accent wall in a cottage. Just opt for small-scale dainty patterns rather than overly bold prints.

What furniture works in a cottage decor?

Look for painted, distressed wood pieces, overstuffed upholstered seating, wicker accents, and soft fabrics for a cozy cottage furniture style. Creating an eclectic mix of new and antique or refurbished pieces is key.

How can you add personality to a cottage remodel?

Infuse character with meaningful collected accessories, family heirlooms, antique finds from flea markets, a statement backsplash, artisan lighting, and window treatments reflecting your style. Add personal touches throughout.

Should you avoid bright white in a cottage?

Not necessarily. Bright white provides a light, airy backdrop and can be warmed up with natural wood elements and vintage rugs or accents. However, for walls opt for soft whites over stark brights when possible.

What are some budget-friendly cottage remodel ideas?

Updated thrifted lighting, stenciled floors rather than replacements, painted furniture facelifts, and homemade roman shades or curtains are some wallet-friendly ways to achieve the cottage look. Get creative!

How do you add rustic charm to a cottage remodel?

Incorporate reclaimed wood finishes on floors, walls, or ceilings, distressed or antiqued paint treatments, and handcrafted touches. Display vintage items mixed with modern amenities for balance.