11 Design Lessons Learned From the Coziest Cottages on Instagram
Rural simplicity at its finest.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:20 AM
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Our picture of a fairytale ending doesn’t involve a hilltop castle or a kiss with a frog. Instead, the happily ever after we have in mind entails a dreamy, rural cottage far from the beaten path.
Beloved for their simple charm, breezy interiors, and sweet rustic sensibility, there’s little we love more than hunkering down in a cozy, rural cottage and soaking in a much-needed dose of solitude. But with no nest to call our own, sometimes we have to bring the coast of Cape Cod or the hills of the English countryside to us.
Thanks to a community of bloggers, designers, and homeowners who are dedicated to capturing and sharing their love for all things cottage living, our Instagram feeds are never short on decorating ideas. Want to channel the joy of ’grammable simplicity in your own home? Here are 11 decorating lessons we’re taking away from our favorite cottage Instagram accounts.
Plants are the next office staple
Stationery? Check. Agenda? Check. Trailing plants? Check. Whitney Leigh Morris of Tiny Canal Cottage might only have 362 square feet to work within her Venice, California, home, but she makes every inch count with plenty of greenery. Along with light and bright walls, part of pulling off the quintessential cottage feel is filling spaces that might otherwise cause stress (i.e., the office or laundry room) with wispy greens.
The cupboards deserve love too
Don’t let the minimalistic design aesthetic at Harp Cottage fool you, this 17th-century stone cottage near the Welsh border is packed with delightful surprises. Finished with vintage dishware and a delicate feather, unexpected details turn an ordinary kitchen cabinet into a hidden secret.
Antique portraits make the best friends
Part of the joy of remote cottage living is escaping the bustle of big crowds. When the loneliness inevitably kicks in, however, it helps to be able to turn to your artwork for company. Portraits instantly give a space soul. Krissy O’Shea from Cottage Farm relegated her friend to the bedroom fireplace mantel for a larger-than-life statement.
Minimalism and glam can go together
One part rustic, one part minimalist, and one part glamorous, Sara McDaniel’s master bathroom is a triple threat. Between the shiplap walls, utility ladder, sleek white vanity, and luxe crystal chandelier, this space is making us rethink complementary styles.
The kitchen is begging for a vignette
Personal trinkets and composed vignettes are an essential part of every room in a cottage—including the kitchen. Melissa Michael topped her perfectly styled Seattle cookhouse off with a tiny painting, cutting board collection, and freshly picked florals.
Granny Smith apple green is the new navy
Peace Lehman’s colorful Brisbane bungalow delivers drama in a darling way. While splashes of soothing blues and violet make their mark, we can’t stop thinking about this sliver of Granny Smith green in the powder room.
An open door policy works wonders in the bedroom
Sandra Cavallo’s picture-perfect Cape Cod home has us wondering… is it summer yet? While we’re digging those antique iron beds and the contrast of rust with the clean sheets, we’re also partial to the designer’s indoor-outdoor approach.
Bare is beautiful
It’s a lesson you’ve heard before: less is more. In Little Moss Cottage, simplicity takes the form of a singular circular wreath over a completely empty fireplace. What the walls lack in color or art they make up for in natural sunshine.
Every nook is an opportunity
Scandinavian cottages are cozy marvels in their own right. This quiet seaside cabin—appropriately dubbed “Captain’s Rest”—is a welcomed reminder that every corner carries power. What would a cottage nook be without a waterfront view, antique art, and atmospheric lighting?
You don’t have to pick just one table linen
Cheryl Carr, the curator and shopkeeper behind Albert and Grace, a destination for rustic farmhouse wares, prefers a layered look in the dining room. With warm, neutral linens as her base, brass candle holders and earthy ceramics help to complete the rustic scene.
Canopies are underrated
A cloud-like canopy presides over the whitewashed living room in this dreamy cottage (built in 1880). Rainy days don’t seem so bad when you can seek extra cuddly coverage under an all-encompassing blanket.
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