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What exactly is cottage style? In the dictionary, a cottage is defined as a small, single-storied vacation house, especially in the country.

When you think of a cottage, you think of a certain simpler style where beautiful hardwood floors meet white beamed and vaulted ceilings. You think of casual, cozy and inviting furniture in colors that create a sense of calm; perhaps, all white or pastels. You think of breezy verandas and wicker chairs, of sipping lemonade as you look out at the charming picket fence covered with flowers.

When I chose to redecorate my home, I decided on cottage style. Itís a major trend in decorating, so there was no end to finding resources and information to help me. The more I looked into cottage style, the more I knew it was the right choice for me. It fit my lifestyle (of casual entertaining) and my budget. I wanted a romantic feel to my cottage style, perhaps, subconsciously, to combat the all male household I live in. As an aside, the boys think itís cool that the girls they invite over, admire the way their mom decorates. A few of their friends have even asked me to help decorate their places in the hopes it will attract girls! One professional surfer from Hawaii has even offered to pay my expenses if I help him shop and decorate his future bachelor pad.

The blending of well-loved handed-down-from-Grandma furniture, with new and beautiful fabrics and accessories, is the hallmark of the cottage style.

The following books are highly recommended:

  1. Cottage Style Decorating
    by Sunset Publishing
  2. Country Living Cottage Style
    by The Editors of Country Living
  3. Cottage Style: Ideas and Projects for Your World
    by Jerri Farris and Tim Himsel
  4. California Cottage Style
    by Scot and Ann Zimmerman
  5. Cottage Book, The: Living Simple and Easy
    by Carol Bass
  6. Mary Emmerling's American Country Cottages
    by Mary Emmerling

© 2004 Debbie Puente
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