Do-It-Yourself Multi-Purpose Cottage Style Furnishings

Jessica Ackerman - Cottage furniture is beautifully rustic and typically features many warm, wooden tones or may be distressed, have a crackled finish, or a white-washed look.  The furniture found in cottage style is many times repurposed for something altogether different than what the furniture was originally intended for.  The ideas that follow will help you to outfit your home in cottage style while reusing items that you might otherwise discard:                         

  • A discarded dining room chair can quickly be fashioned into a cottage style planter when you cut a hole in the seat and fashion a terra cotta pot inside. 
  • An old armoire can be used to hold a TV, computer, or even your collection of china or other type of collection.  As space permits, allow the doors of the armoire to remain open to display your collection, or better yet, use glass to replace the door inserts. 
  • An old potting bench can be repurposed to handily become a bathroom storage unit, a hutch for the dining room, a cottage chic bedroom bench, or as a baker’s rack in your cottage style kitchen. 
  • An old, weathered kitchen step stool can quickly become a cottage style plant stand, or it can be used as a place to display a particular item that you are fond of. 
  • Create the perfect desk for your home office or teenager’s bedroom by reusing an old kitchen table.  Beneath the table (or even on top of it) you can stack wicker baskets, vintage suitcases, hat boxes, and wire baskets to store various items.
  • Old shutters can be used to create a perfect cottage style headboard.  The more worn and distressed, the better.
  • Repurpose that vintage glass-paned door as a top for your kitchen table.  Create a French cottage feel by bringing in some wine wall sculptures to the kitchen area.
  • Reuse that old head board or foot board to create a one-of-a-kind bench for the living room, bedroom, or even for the porch. 
  • Use a farmhouse bench as a side table, seating for the bathroom, or even as a cottage table.

Cottage Furniture Color Choices

When refinishing old furniture to give it cottage appeal, keep in mind that the most popular color is white for true cottage charm.  There are also possibilities in cottage decor for furniture in cream or sage green, or a buttery yellow.  As a general rule, the older the piece looks, the more authentic it seems.  Adding a crackle finish or faux vintage finish to a piece is a quick and easy way to bring it into the home that is decorated in cottage style.  

Your cottage style furniture can be a mix of old furniture and new furniture, so don’t feel pressured to bring in all antique furniture to achieve the look you are going for.  You can also go beyond wood furniture in your cottage style home, adding wrought iron furniture and wrought iron wall decor as well as wicker pieces that you can paint any color that you choose.  You can invariably soften up the look of wrought iron (while keeping its rustic feel) by adding lots of quilts and pillows about your space.

Design2Share, Irwin Weiner, interior design, videos, home decor, home decorating Click here to subscribe to our daily design videos and features.