Cover your windows with light and airy window treatments to soften your rooms and let the sun shine in. Here, owner Laurie Lewis backed bamboo blinds with organza to further soften her living room. Gauzy panels flutter in the open windows when breezes blow through.
The essence of a cottage interior is blending the fresh with the familiar. It's about fearlessly matching your grandmother's silver with your favorite new plates. Here, an antique light fixture and well-worn desk and chair add personality and patina to a remodeled kitchen.
Libby Cameron anchored her living area with a yellow sofa and used striped wallpaper to create depth and character around the room. The fabrics' patterns may seem like mishmash, but Libby carefully matches the size of the pattern to the size of furnishing: The largest scale pattern is on the rug, where you can appreciate the full repeat, and the smallest scale patterns are on the side chair and pillows.
P. Allen Smith filled a room with a controlled clutter of books, gifts (such as the rooster from his mother), and artwork. "My study feels like a well-worn jacket," he says. He started with a dominant piece in the center of the wall and then flanked it with supporting objects. The artwork runs all the way to the ceiling to give the room the illusion of added height.
Bold color invigorates small spaces. Laurie Lewis painted a back hallway in her California cottage a yellowish orange and converted it into extra closet space. The foundation of white walls and white trim in the kitchen allowed her the freedom to play with splashes of spicy color. A bright closet off the kitchen might seem unconventional, but it's a practical storage solution in smaller houses, and cottage style embraces a touch of decorating whimsy.
Beaded-board adds cozy cottage style to any room. The vertical grooves add surface texture and lift the ceiling in this small porch, while the bright pillows shown here pop against white walls.