English cottages radiate with charming floral prints, unassuming furniture, and relaxed but dignified design. The following rooms will have you swooning more than Mr. Darcy himself. J
1.A Cozy Seat
The most thoughtfully arranged rooms look good without any dressings or furniture. The architecture alone should hold its own, and English cottages typically stand up under such scrutiny. This window nook offers a sense of the room’s inner beauty, with its tucked-away seat, built-in drawers, rustic wall planks, corner corbels, and angled ceilings. Can’t you just picture Lizzie Bennet curled up here with a book?
With the right supporting players, even the humblest items can sprout into signature English cottage designs. Here, an antique pedestal table with peeling paint becomes an object of intrigue. Everything else — the beaded-board, shutters and even the slouchy banquette cushions — nods to the table’s texture without overpowering it.
3.From the Outside In
English cottages are often on working farms, where long days are spent outdoors. A mudroom is a smart way to confine grit and grime and provide a resting spot for boots, gloves, and hats before entering the house proper. Plus, durable, rugged slate and a long, trough-style sink look just as handsome indoors as they do outside.
4.Bring it Inside
With the right attitude and clever juxtaposition, items more commonly used on patios or in gardens can segue seamlessly into a breakfast nook or kitchen. Here, a pair of old columns capped with iron urns, a rickety hutch strung with chicken wire, and a weathered table and chairs provide plenty of casual style. A swath of antique lace, fresh flowers, and a sparkling crystal chandelier polish the room with glamour.
5.Gracious and Gorgeous
For a formal room, this living space certainly has not forgotten how to make guests feel welcome. There are just enough homey touches — sink-in down cushions, carefree cotton slipcovers, and a serene color scheme with a hit of sparkle — to remind visitors that English cottage living rooms are a place to let your hair down.
6.Open to Shutters
The English relied on shutters to control sunlight and shield interiors from an unexpected burst of rain or snow. Shutters are still a distinguished dressing for windows, especially in rooms where privacy is key and where curtains might be heavy-handed. Other old-world touches in this cottage bathroom include marble flooring and an assortment of frameless mirrors.
7.Back to Basics
Sometimes the most striking schemes are the simplest, as proved by this nursery swathed in black and ivory. With color stripped out, the focus turns to each lovely piece, from the antique crib painted with a pastoral panel, to the shutters with tulip cutouts, to the stately Roman shade monogram. All of it is prim and elegant like the best English cottage interiors.
8.Formal but Unfussy
Even more formal spaces, such as a den or dining room, flourish with versatile English cottage style, which blends elegance with a relaxed attitude. High-backed chairs, both wooden and upholstered, are prim but well-worn in this dining room. A chandelier sprouts with antlers rather than crystals, a nod to countryside hunting.
Exposing structural elements of a house, such as overhead beams, angled ceilings, or wall paneling, may be avoided in some design circles, but cottage style embraces such displays. Structural elements — like these beautiful beams and wide-plank wood walls — imbue a hefty dose of charm and create rustic backgrounds for stately furnishings, rugs, and artwork.
10.Peace and Quiet
English interiors murmur rather than shout. It’s a small detail, but tufting on the back of a chair or sofa is a whispered signal that this room bends toward Britain. The accent is a mark of craftsmanship and more demure than other global styles. Leaded-glass windows also provide a subtle sign of sophistication. It’s upon closer inspection that the details reveal themselves.