Cottage style homes are having a moment.
And why not? Cottage style is cozy and warm while still being timeless. Unfortunately, there are a lot of conflicting ideas about what a cottage is. Searching the internet gives you a LOT of confusing information.
Simply put, “Cottage” is a style of architecture. It doesn’t matter what size the house is – you can have a giant cottage or a tiny one. You can have a Cottage even if you don’t live in England.
The first step is to confirm you have a house that is cottage in style, both in the architecture and the materials.
If your home has any combo of the following:
… you may be living in a cottage! And if it doesn’t have these things, it’s the perfect place to start to add that cottage feeling.
Every cottage will have these essential characteristics in varying degrees, regardless of its size or location—the real defining one though is that street-facing pitched roof open gable. If your gable faces the other way, you most likely have a bungalow or a colonial. Cottages always face front.
And a quick note about the “Euro” cottage style: it simply doesn’t exist. If your home has Cottage characteristics but also some other stuff that’s not immediately recognizable, it’s probably a McMansion. The best way to deal with that is to either not buy that house, or have a good architect because they typically require significant changes to the structure to make any sense of them.
On to the materials!!
The materials used on your home can also be an indicator of the style of your home.
Cottages, no matter their style, typically have the same family of material finishes on their exterior. Each style may use more or less of any of these, and most cottage-style homes will have more than one of these materials at a time.
In North America, homes that have cottage architecture are typically styled in one of the following ways:
Unsurprisingly, this will almost always have to do with WHERE exactly your cottage is located. Location is everything!!
Each style will use the basic cottage materials in different ways, and have different color treatments, hardware styles and landscaping.
Let’s take a deeper look at each…
JUMP TO A STYLE:
You may be living in an English Style Cottage if:
English cottage style is found all over North America, too, but especially in the places where gardens pretty much grow themselves – ie Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, and the Upper Midwest.
Inspiration for an English Cottage:
Designing an English Cottage Exterior:
Here is how I would help a client with their English Style Cottage:
Sources for your English Cottage:
You may be living in a Suburban Style Cottage if:
Inspiration for a Suburban Style Cottage:
Designing a Suburban Cottage Exterior:
Here’s how I would help a client with a Suburban Cottage:
Sources for your Suburban Cottage:
You may be living in a Modern Style Cottage if:
Inspiration for a Modern Cottage:
Designing a Modern Cottage Exterior:
Here is how I would guide a client who wanted a Modern Cottage:
Sources for your Modern Cottage:
You may be living in a Beach Cottage if:
Inspiration for a Beach Cottage:
Designing a Beach Cottage Exterior:
Here’s how I’d help a client with their beach cottage…
Sources for your Beach Cottage:
You might live in a Mountain Style Cottage if:
Inspiration for a Mountain Cottage:
Designing a Mountain Style Exterior:
Here is how I would help a client with their Mountain Cottage:
Sources for your Mountain Cottage:
And that wraps up this edition of “Know Your Home.” If you EVER need help figuring out what to do for the exterior of your home or would like a custom option just for you, please reach out!
Whenever you’re ready, I’m here to help make sense of it all!
Learn about Cottage Style for your exterior, including lots of ideas and sources.