Bring the Outdoors Inside With Cottage Garden Design
Some people simply love the great outdoors so much that they cannot resist bringing the outside inside. The Cottage Garden style of interior decorating was made for these outdoor folks.
Like all Cottage decor, Garden style roots itself in a look that’s well worn, a touch faded perhaps, and definitely well aged, or vintage. Antique, distressed or weathered are the finishes and surfaces to use for this style. If forced to purchase something new to decorate in this style, do your best to give it a used look. For example, washing them in a solution of weak tea can age new linens. Other methods to distress furnishings can easily be found through a few quick online searches.
A large window or a set of sliding doors will help greatly in establishing Garden decor for a room. It would be important not to impede either of these architectural features with excessive window treatments. Use simple, plain curtains or roller shades if needed for privacy, but keep the treatments to sheer or translucent drapes. You not only want to let in as much light as possible, you want to take advantage of the outdoor scenes as a kind of living artwork for a Garden style room.
The color palette for Garden Cottage decor naturally bases itself on outdoor colors, but these aren’t the deep greens and browns of the forest, as with Rustic Cottage style. Garden style colors are lighter, more representative of what would be seen in a domestic garden: sage green, terra cotta, muted gold, tan earth. White is the accent for all of these, or it could be used on the walls as a neutral background.
However, totally white walls can be harsh and blinding, compared to the soft, relaxing mood that Garden Cottage style should have. If using white on the walls, ask the paint store to mix in just a touch of a pastel shade of one of the other colors, to take the edge off. Or you could choose an ivory or cream white to warm up the walls.
If the room’s color isn’t on the walls, then make sure it’s in the fabrics and accessories. The goal is the kind of bright, cheery atmosphere found in a summer garden at its height. Hang lots of botanical prints on the walls – flowers, trees, birds, butterflies, etc. Or frame some photos from your own garden.
As with other Cottage styles, hardwood or tile floors are preferred, accented with floral area rugs or natural-fiber coverings such as bamboo rugs edged in brightly color cotton.
Natural materials also are the best choices for furniture in Cottage Garden decor. Choose wicker, rattan or bamboo for best effect. There’s no need to match the furniture, but if you prefer you can paint it all white and recover it with matching fabrics.
With the basics cared for, try adding personal touches in the accessories. Top a large terracotta planter with a thick piece of tempered glass to make a coffee table, or use a painted outdoor bench from a picnic table. Place lots of green plants and flowers all around the room, and use baskets and buckets to catch clutter and keep the room simple.
Follow these Cottage Garden decorating tips, and soon you might not be able to tell where the inside stops and the outside begins!