How to Get the Cottage Look for Your Home

By: Maurine Anderson

Many of us love the look of a traditional English cottage but don’t realize that the cottage look is something that we can have for our own homes. Creating a cottage-style look for your home is easier than you might think. Here is a brief guide to making your home look like an English cottage.

Install a picket fence.

A white picket fence is, perhaps, the most iconic characteristic of an English cottage. A picture-perfect cottage-style home will typicallycottage have a low white picket fence framing the front lawn, enclosing a beautiful space adorned with flower beds and a natural stone path. Consider installing a picket fence around your front lawn to give it more of a cottage-like feel. As this article mentions, you can even have a modern, easy-to-maintain vinyl fence designed to mimic the look of a classic vinyl fence.

Aim for an overall relaxed landscape.

As you go about landscaping your property, aim for an overall loose and relaxed landscape. Cottage-style landscapes are never rigid and polished. Think time-worn bricks, inset pavers, or stone lined gravel for a walkway. Winding paths and curved flowerbed edges can lend your landscape an air of informality. Natural stone, as this article points out, makes for a great natural edging for flowerbeds or garden walkways.

Put heavy emphasis on flowers and plant life.

cottageThe traditional English cottage features beautiful landscaping, complete with colorful flowers and green shrubs. Here are a few landscaping tips related to flowers and plant life:

  • In your gardens, plant many different plants, herbs, vegetables, and flowers near each other for a full look.
  • As you select plants for your landscape, be sure not to venture too far into the exotic plants category, which doesn’t fit in with the cottage theme.
  • Choose plants that grow well in your region and that will offer both beauty and practicality for your landscape. Traditional cottages are all about functionality.
  • When choosing flowers, aim for variety in color and height for added interest. Roses, peonies, marigold, salvia, foxgloves, delphiniums, lamb’s ears, and geranium are all great options.
  • In addition to flowers, include shrubs or small trees, such as panicle hydrangea or Japanese maple. This will give added depth to your garden areas.
  • Don’t forget to build some florals onto your home’s exterior—by installing window flower boxes or by installing climbing plants along the front face.


Incorporate some decor into your landscape.

Cottage-style landscaping isn’t all about paths, flowers, and shrubs. It’s also about integrating meaningful decor into that exterior space. Consider adding romantic decorative elements, such as a rose- or vine-covered trellis or a garden walkway arbor. You might also add a patio with weathered furniture, a bird bath, or a tuteur amidst all of your beautiful flowers. Meaningful decorative elements such as an old family wagon or an old family bench will also go a long way in adding interest to your cottage style garden space.

Consider your home’s exterior.

The materials used for your home’s exterior will also dictate just how closely your home resembles a traditional English cottage. Herecottage are a few tips on designing your home’s exterior to give it that cottage feel:

  • Choose an exterior material that complements both your home’s style and the traditional cottage style. Siding, shake shingles, brick, stone, and stucco can all work well as exterior materials for a cottage-style home.


  • Consider painting your window trim a complementing color besides white. This bit of color will give your home some added charm and a vintage feel.
  • Install shutters around your windows to lend added interest to the front of your home.
  • A front door with a large window looks especially airy and inviting. Don’t forget to include a screen door for your front door as well, as just about every cozy cottage has one!
  • Incorporate natural elements into your home’s exterior, such as flower filled boxes below your windows or climbing plants along the front face of your home’s exterior.

As you choose materials for your home’s exterior, don’t forget to consider your home’s region. Some materials are better than others for particular climates, and no matter your climate, you can find a material that both fits into the cottage theme and lends your home all-weather durability. This article has some good tips on selecting the right materials for your home depending on climate.


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