The big idea: Frame your cottage by installing a picket fence around your lawn. Anchor posts with bright flowers for a pop of color, or plant a climbing vine that spills over the top.
Notice the details: Pickets come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Four feet is a standard height, and the tops can sit side by side or form a gently sloping pattern.
The big idea: Say hello to your neighbors--and furry friends--with a Dutch door. The swinging upper sash invites cool breezes and natural light and adds a casual and friendly feel to any entryway or kitchen.
Notice the details: Original to Netherland farmhouses, a Dutch door is divided horizontally, so the top and bottom open independently of each other. Closing the lower part creates a gate, keeping small children and pets contained.
The big idea: Create a welcoming outdoor room by transforming a porch into extra living space. Approach the decorating as you do inside: Combine comfortable furniture (weather-resistant works best) and eye-catching yet durable accessories for a space that invites lounging.
Notice the details: Explore vintage shops for colorful accents, like an antique birdbath turned into an urn for flowers, to blend with outdoor fabric.
The big idea: Cover plain walls with beaded board to add a layer of texture and cottage character. Named for the thin, rounded “bead” that separates each wooden strip, beaded board is a classic choice for traditional paneling or wainscoting and creates a time-honored look.
Notice the details: Use beaded board on a ceiling to visually lengthen or widen a space. It also camouflages damaged walls and covers up unsightly popcorn ceilings.
The big idea: No cottage is complete without a farmhouse, or apron-front, sink. Because of its depth and wide base, the style is ideal for fitting cookie sheets and family dinner-size pots and pans.
Notice the details: A two-handled faucet that’s mounted on top, like this vintage bridge-style model, swings out of the way and complements the old feel of the sink.
The big idea: Paint an overscale pattern on the floor for high drama. Whether you choose a bold, geometric design or solid wash of color, a painted floor makes a big impression.
Notice the details: Durable porch paint and a polyurethane topcoat allow a floor to withstand foot traffic. If you prefer a worn look, skip the topcoat and use latex paint that will chip and scratch naturally.
The big idea: Update basic or stock kitchen cabinets by removing the doors to show off your favorite collections. Open shelves not only keep items within easy reach but they also make a decorative statements out of cookbooks and appliances.
Notice the details: Add architectural interest by applying beaded-board paneling along your shelves’ back wall.
The big idea: Hang window boxes on the front of your cottage for a romantic look. Overflowing with lush annuals and punctuated with various textures and bursts of seasonal color, these containers will seamlessly blend your house and garden and instantly boost curb appeal.
Notice the details: Proper scale is essential when adding window boxes. The planter should be the same width as the window to avoid a wimpy, barely there look.