What it is:  In some ways, the rustic cottage style is as much a frame of mind as it is an approach to decorating. Think Diane Keaton’s Hampton home in “Something’s Gotta Give”.  There’s an everyday ease in the way it celebrates imperfections, ordinary treasures and blended families of furniture. Rustic cottages tend to be humble, unpretentious and full of heart — traits most of us would be proud to claim.  Sofas and chairs tend to be overstuffed,  maybe even slipcovered; coffee and dining tables tend to be oversized and heavy in feel; and accent pieces tend to be rustic, painted, or antiqued.  There is no set palette or fabric one must have in the Rustic Cottage, but generally there are calm colors, with accents in plaids, stripes, florals, or seashore prints.

 

Why It Works:  Comfy, casual and personal, the rustic cottage style is perfect for the way we really live. Fabrics are forgiving while the furnishings invite us to flop down and prop up our feet. There’s a lot of leeway for the individual expression that anchors the way we think about decorating these days.  Depending on where you live, by the sea, in a forest, or on a mountain, the indoors of a rustic cottage tend to reflect the outdoor scenery by blending colors, artwork, and even rocks, shells, or plants, with the interior decor.

 

You’ll Love It If:  You rock the straw-hat look.  You like a coastal, garden, or cabin-esque feel.  You like DIY furniture (painting and distressing) and accent pieces.  Potted plants indoors, books, and other crafts and sporting equipment on display.  Shiny surfaces leave you cold.  You bought slipcovers way before they were trendy. You’d take a pitcher full of hydrangeas over a bouquet of long-stemmed roses. You’re on a first-name basis with local flea market vendors.  Think of a space where you could curl up reading a book near an open window with some of your favorite things within reach.