The Inviting English Cottage Style – Explained

The Inviting English Cottage Style – Explained

Architecture
By Alex Mikayelyan February 09, 2022

The word “cozy” is quite special as it comes with a ton of ideas all wrapped up within a single four-letter word. With how limitless creativity in the world of interior design can be, cozy can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Some interior design aesthetics are meant to look suave and smooth. Others are made to be ornate and regal.

But when it comes to cozy interiors, few can match the warmth and comfort of the traditional English rustic cottage style. If there is one way you could describe a cottage interior of any kind it is that they are homey and very inviting. Your home may not have English cottage architecture, but there are certain interior elements of this style that you can incorporate into your interior. 

What Is the English Cottage?

The Origins of the English Cottage Design

The Origins of the English Cottage Design

The interiors of English cottages are straightforward, in that they are basically the type of houses you will find in the English countryside. Some key features include a steep thatched roof, one to a two-story structure, and rich plant life that grows around the house. All of these are key elements of the English cottage and aside from the thatched roofing, can be easily implemented into a modern home.

The English cottage is primarily found in the English countryside as one would expect, however, the architectural design has made its way across the ocean into the US as well. In fact, you will find that the American cottage architecture, a design that is prominently featured in houses all across the country, borrows a lot of elements from the English cottage. Even centuries after its popularity, you will find echoes of English cottage architecture still resonate within American suburbia.

Prominent Elements of English Cottage Design

The Crucial Elements of the English Cottage

The Crucial Elements of the English Cottage

As with any architectural or interior design style, there are some key elements that are distinguishable. The cottage English style has plenty of visual factors that contribute to its unique aesthetic and make it stand out.

Rich Plant Life

How Plant Life Accentuates English Cottage Exteriors

How Plant Life Accentuates English Cottage Exteriors

A defining feature of English cottage exteriors is rich plant life. Because you will mostly find English cottages in the countryside, there is a lot of emphases placed on horticulture. Some bushes and plant life outside the cottage can grow to reach the thatched English cottage roof when left untrimmed, and while to some this may seem a little messy, the added green complements the often dark grey thatched roof.

However, if you’re not a fan of horticulture and prefer to keep your plant life neat and organized, you can instead use it as an accent. Many homeowners use potted window plants, bushes on either side of the door, or vines growing along the exterior wall. So, even if you’re not much into gardening, it’s still important to give plants plenty of room to grow as this is a vital element to nailing your English cottage exterior aesthetic.  

Natural Textures

The Important Role Natural Textures Play In the English Cottage

The Important Role Natural Textures Play In the English Cottage

The original English cottages that were built centuries ago did not utilize any synthetic or artificial materials as there were none at the time. Instead, the builders of old had to make do with what nature offered them. As a result, if you want to stay true to the original design of the English cottage, you should incorporate as much wood and stone into your interior and exterior as possible.

Nowadays we have more advanced building materials that come with a slew of benefits, from being fire and water-resistant to offering noise and temperature insulation and being very easy to work with and transport. But if you want to stay as true to the source as possible, using wood, stone, straw, and other natural materials in your interior is the way to go. 

Wooden Beams

The Rustic Aesthetic of Wooden Beams In English Cottages

The Rustic Aesthetic of Wooden Beams In English Cottages

Wood accents are crucial to an English cottage farmhouse interior. Hence why they naturally fit into the cute English cottage interior design. Back in the day, wooden beams were fundamental parts of the structural integrity of your home. Most modern homes have no use for wooden beams in a practical sense.

When it comes to the wooden beams’ unique aesthetic, that still plays a major role in modern interiors. When installing roof or ceiling beams you don’t even need to use real wood. Sure it would be nice to have beams made of authentic reclaimed wood, but these tend to be quite heavy, very expensive, and a bit hard to maintain. Instead, you can install faux wooden beams which are not made of real wood (oftentimes specialized foam) but look authentic and lack all the downsides of real wooden beams. They are much easier to install and widely available in all kinds of styles and colors. 

Bookcases and Reading Corners

Why Bookcases Are So Important In Rustic Interiors

Why Bookcases Are So Important In Rustic Interiors

An 18th century English cottage would not have had a TV, phones, and PCs. Books were the primary source of escapist entertainment one could find. Luckily, books are still very popular, though not as much as they used to be, so installing bookcases and having reading corners is both an aesthetic and a practical element of historic English cottage interiors. Most modern homes have some designated area for books. It can be a bookcase in a study, a cabinet in the living room, or even a dedicated library.

In the English cottage, bookcases are commonly present in living areas. Since books made up a large chunk of entertainment a few centuries back, it only makes sense to have them as a prevalent part of your interior. Have several bookcases in various parts of your home. In fact, if you want to go for a truly rustic English country style, skip the TV and simply put an attractive wooden bookshelf in your living room. While this may not be a favorable gesture to some members of your household who love watching their favorite shows every evening, it’s a great way to create a more wholesome English cottage look

Vintage Furniture

Why Vintage Furniture Works In English Cottage Design

Why Vintage Furniture Works In English Cottage Design

Nothing says old-school interior like old-school furniture. Modern furniture tends to be minimalistic in design, focusing more on the practical functionality of the furniture as opposed to making it look grandiose or highly ornamented. Vintage furniture takes an opposite approach. Dining chairs with complex engravings, upholstery with unique patterns, and wooden tables with those rustic wooden textures are all great examples of vintage furniture that is timeless.

Speak with a local carpenter and purchase reclaimed wooden furniture. While you can purchase newly-made wooden furniture made of brand new materials, reclaimed wood has that unique appearance that is hard to replicate. The natural veins of the wood and the slightly rough surface make it visibly aged and really set those rustic vibes in your interior.

Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan