Chalet Gstaad: rustic Bedroom by Ardesia Design

How to create the perfect English cottage interior

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Cottage style homes are one thing, but authentic English cottage house plans are absolutely something else. It's not essential to own a country home in rural England in order to tap into a genuine and stylish english cottage decor aesthetic, but there are certain motifs that need to be copied, in order to emulate the look effectively and with a touch of authentic charm.

Interior architects have mastered the art of curating picture-perfect homes that seem to effortlessly capture the cottage home look and feel, thanks to identifying and showcasing very particular furniture and décor items, which are catalogued and explained in this guide. The following elements are essential for anybody that longs for those charming English cottage interiors that fill the pages of every interior design magazine and make for homes that instil a year-round holiday feeling

Cottage style houses use layered textiles in every room.

Homes in the country need to be warm, cosy and ready for every seasonal change, which is why a layered approach to textiles is vital. Cushions, throws, rugs and blankets will all feature majorly and do not have to be perfectly matched in colour pattern. A little diversity will go a long way. 

Traditionally patterned textiles and upholstery make for great cottage interiors.

When it comes to choosing the perfect patterns to include in a country home, traditional motifs tend to work best. Tartans, florals and muted heritage colours are great choices not only for textile accessories, but actual furniture upholstery as well., from dining chair seat pads through to sofas. 

Cottage decorating ideas always feature rugs.

Cottage homes necessarily feature beautiful and warm rugs that feel soft underfoot and not just because the floors are usually cold due to being made from stone or natural wood. More modern cottage homes tend to feature eye-catching and bold luxurious rug fabrics that are deep-pile.

English country decor should feature plants.

Green Fern: rustic Living room by Pixers
Pixers

Green Fern

Pixers

From traditional cottages through to contemporary rural retreats, plants are ideal for creating a gentle variation in colour, as well as an organic and all-encompassing natural vibe. In older homes, they can help tackle damp in the air as well, if the right varieties are chosen.

Paisley and florals patterns are the right amount of chintz.

Take a tour of any rural English home and there will be some inspired use of patterns, most notably, florals and paisleys. They work so well in a cottage setting, as they have a naturally traditional yet fresh and pretty finish that can add light and a little flirtiness to even the darkest corners.

English cottage bedrooms are always immaculate.

​Ansty Manor, Bedroom: country Bedroom by BLA Architects
BLA Architects

​Ansty Manor, Bedroom

BLA Architects

A perfectly made-up guest room is a staple in any country home. Luxury bed linens, antique furniture, fresh flowers and a few fluffy towels will help to create the look and feel of a high-end hotel suite, which is perfectly attuned to any rural property that wants to feel cohesive.

A wood-burning stove adds the right amount of all-season beauty and practicality.

House by the Woods, St Andrews: country Kitchen by Fife Architects
Fife Architects

House by the Woods, St Andrews

Fife Architects

Country houses and wood-burning stoves go hand-in-hand as a multi-sensory experience. Not only is warmth a key factor, but smell and ambiance is as well. There's nothing like the odour of burning logs to create a sense of country cosiness, other than the amber hue that will radiate throughout a space.

Exposed bricks create warmth and texture that can add a sense of heritage.

A key motif in any country home but especially cottages, exposed brickwork instantly adds a tactile and beautiful element to any room, from living rooms through to bathrooms. Organic warmth is important in any rural house's interior design scheme.

English cottage garden colours are perfect for inspiration.

The Kew Shaker Kitchen by deVOL: scandinavian Kitchen by deVOL Kitchens
deVOL Kitchens

The Kew Shaker Kitchen by deVOL

deVOL Kitchens

Muted colour schemes might sound a little dull, on paper, but in terms of country cottages, it simply means taking inspiration from natural tones. Any shade that can be found in a pretty rural garden can be be used inside a home, to amazing effect, but they should be kept understated.

Books can be more than educational in country homes.

Books take on a new identity in country homes, as beautiful interior design accessories. Housed in pretty shelving units, books can be a great way to add in some serious colour, in an organised and structured way. They can even be stacked in rainbow colour, for more drama.

Fabric lampshades offer a lovely nod to the past that befits a cottage home.

Modern light fixtures are great but can create a jarring juxtaposition in a cottage, which is why traditional fabric lampshades are a better choice. This ties into the idea of layering textiles as well and patterned fabric would not be a bad choice.

Somewhere for the dogs to sleep is essential for a proper country home.

Sophie Allport Pug Bed and Neckerchief:  Household by Sophie Allport
Sophie Allport

Sophie Allport Pug Bed and Neckerchief

Sophie Allport

Finally, no country home is complete without a furry friend or two, but they need their own beds and baskets. It's never been easier to tap into a high-end rural aesthetic in terms of accessories, as there are countless designer brands tapping into the market to make pet beds a little more beautiful. 

Are you convinced to create a cottage look now?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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