Shabby Chic and Cottage style, what’s not to love? Of course, even that type of design can become cookie cutter and boring. The style book for these design types however has been updated, going beyond the white furniture under white slip-covered upholstery. The folks at Better Home and Gardens books teamed up with publisher Wiley to take Cottage style to the next level. This then became our book review for today: New Cottage Style: Decorating Ideas for Casual, Comfortable Living
One thing that helps to sell this new type of design is aided by the fact that reclaimed wood and weathered furniture or case goods are all hot, hot, hot now–a trend that Home and Living spotted over two years ago. Like fashion, it’s taken a long time to become mainstream.
“…a trend that Home and Living spotted over two years ago.“
This book is a joy. It stretches your thinking, such as in the Intro when it begins, “Welcome. Comfortable. Relaxed. Inviting. Is it any wonder cottage style remains a favorite? But today’s looks move beyond these timeless traits. Colors are fresher and rooms are more personal than ever.” And in this book, indeed they are.
The sub styles featured under the header “Cottage style”, and the ones depicted in the contents and the photographs are: farmhouse, bungalow, cottage, beach house and special spaces. That pretty much means that bits and pieces of any house can steal, yes, we said “Steal,” a fashion element or two. We, in fact, like the idea of a curtained doorway. Depending on your fabric, like a damask, an unsophisticated checked cotton or a slubby Belgian linen, this is an applicable design treat that can be used anywhere, in any home.
From the context, two ideas about the viewpoint emerge here. Cottage style is now more streamlined and more about making the hybrid highly eclectic. For example, you don’t have to order all white furniture because you can throw in the occasional acrylic chair.
The other main concept is more about color choices. There are also, ‘happy juicy pops of attention-getting color’ (their words not ours), but we agree esthetically, color is in big time, even though the foundational elements may still be neutral.
In a side note: hooray for the clothes pin decorated table on page 176. And table skirts never looked better–see the one on page 177. Dying to paint your wood floor? inspiration is found in here. And there is many more in the way of projects, so, if you are on the same page we’re on, pick up your own copy of New Cottage Style.
New Cottage Style, Better Home and Gardens, Wiley publishers, ISBN: 978-1-118-17034-2; retail price: $19.99