Updating Cottage Style

It’s been hot for years and it has staying power.  Cottage decorating has been around for over a century, so it’s not going away any time soon.  Mixing light colors, comfortable furnishings, fabrics and accessories with a vintage appeal, the informal cottage style slips right into our informal lifestyles.

Unlike some styles that come and go, cottage endures, though each generation endows it with its own expressions and icons," says Karen Sexton, creative director for furniture manufacturer, Lexington Home Brands. "Shutters, gingham fabrics, and farm animals still have their devotees," she says, "but new twists on cottage can lend the style a cleaner, even urban, sophisticated feel -- a sense of calm, of less is more, a reminder that nurturing the relationships within its walls is what cottage style is really all about."

How do you keep your cottage style from becoming yesterday’s trendy look?  Update your living room to refine the look, without redecorating.

Urban Cottage

Bring a fresh, urban appeal to the traditional look.  Show off your cottage traditional oyster white furniture against a dramatic red wall.  Balance the look with black – a cocktail table is the perfect choice and the least expensive.  Toile is timeless, and if it’s part of your cottage living room, keep it, toile never goes out of style, it’s a 19th Century print that still around in the 21st century.  Cut back on any cottage clutter and add striking accessories.

Tropical Beach Cottage

Bright, daring tropical colors such as mango and lemon yellow are hot for 2009 – you can keep your neutral wall color, try a darker sand or khaki color – but splash tropical color in window treatments, fabrics and accessories.  Your airy, natural, informal furniture will slip right into the theme with throw pillows.  Plants are perfect for the tropical touch.

Eclectic Cottage

Add zip to your living room, but not too much, with crisp red and white stripes against your floral prints.  Spice up your white walls to a more contemporary khaki color.  Add splashes of color to your upholstery, for the low budget version of this update, add bright, contrasting colors to your couch with throw pillows.

English Cottage

Formalize your cottage style just a tad with an English touch – perhaps a pair of wing chairs, a slightly heavier look to the window treatments or a stronger floral print upholstery on the couch.  English cottage living rooms have the best of both worlds, casual comfort with a formal face for company.
Cottage style living rooms are casual and comfortable with elements that sooth the senses, perhaps you should awaken your senses with an update and color!