Design Hints

Cottage Delights

Lighten and brighten your interior landscape with these sweet ideas for infusing your home with cottage charm.

Quaint and cozy cottages pop up often in beloved fairy tales -- so is it any wonder that many of us long to live in one? Whether or not you call a cottage "home," you can get the sweet, springy look by borrowing some of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, homeowner Cathy Collins' favorite decorating tips, as seen in the May 2011 issue of Country Sampler.

Build vintage vignettes: Start with a pretty cabinet and a favorite collection, as Cathy did with her birdhouses in the foyer. Limit yourself to a few choice pieces in coordinating colors, and then fill in with small art prints, candles or planters that fit your theme. Strive for a balanced arrangement, and tuck in some old books as dividers or to provide a lift for smaller items.

Show some sparkle: Incorporate an array of clear glassware in a variety of functions, shapes and sizes, from candleholders to pitchers to jars. "I have a lot of glass because it's bright and shiny, and you can see through it," Cathy says. "Plus, you can fill the containers with other collections."

Punctuate with color: Pops of the same bright hue scattered throughout the home can amp up the charm quotient and tie spaces together. It can be as simple as a bouquet of rosy blooms in one room, a scattering of red and white linens in another, and cherry-hued dishware in the next.

Try on texture: Incorporate weathered finishes, woven wicker, exposed brick, scrolled ironwork, tarnished silver and architectural salvage to lend a tactile appeal to your home and evoke the sense of bygone days. In Cathy's living room, for example, a distressed floor-standing candleholder accompanies a similarly aged table topped with an urn-inspired accent lamp and a chipped-surface bust.

Written by Lisa Sloan
Photographed by Mark Lohman
Styled by Sunday Hendrickson