Cottage Kitchens

So Where Do You Begin To Create a Cottage Style Kitchen?

Where do you begin creating cottage kitchens? It all starts with adding cottage style decorating ideas that range from bead board, unique flea market finds, to accessorizing with white ironstone and floral china!


There is something about cottage kitchen designs and the nostalgia that they seem to invoke. My mother was always working in the kitchen. We had a 1906 cast iron wood stove that warmed us in the cold winter months. In the summer my mother spent many days canning. As a little girl I remember listening for the canning jar lids to pop.

Maybe childhood memories are why cottage kitchens just seem to draw you into a world of culinary and sensory comforts. I miss those simpler times — hearing the hand mixer hit the side of the glass bowl, the popping of grease from frying chicken, or the smell of a fresh-baked pie. They seem to make you feel nurtured and welcomed.

So, whether you are redesigning the whole kitchen or you just need some decorating tips, below are some ideas to help you create a beautiful cottage kitchen.

Cottage Kitchen Colors

Fabulous design by Donna Talley

First, let’s envision an empty kitchen. The first thing I would concentrate on is the wall and cabinet colors. For a wall color you might want to choose a soft color such as blue, green, or yellow.

Cottage kitchen decorating ideas

If you have white kitchen cabinets, and light colored walls, then you may want to throw in a splash of color with your accessories or kitchen curtains.  Or what about painting your lower cabinets a difference color like Cami from  Her kitchen makeover will make you drool with envy!

Bead board at chair rail height, would add tons of character to your kitchen.

If tiles are in your plan, white Subway tiles are a fabulous look. Subway tiles are a traditional 2″x6″ tile, and are usually laid in a brick pattern. And, best of all they fit into anyone’s budget.

Cottage Kitchen Cabinets and Open Shelves

White kitchen cabinets are the perfect look for cottage kitchens. If you have wood cabinets and you want to paint them follow these cabinet painting tips.

Consider changing your hardware. It will give your cabinets a fresh new look.

If you have a center island you could always opt to paint it a totally different color.

An easy way to give cabinets a built-in furniture look is to add bun feet to the bottom. Home improvement stores carry them in all shapes and sizes. You may need to cut them in half in order to fit under you cabinet. Many times home improvement stores will do this for you at a minimal fee. Then just paint them the same color as your cabinets. This is a cheap decorating idea with a lot of impact!

Open shelves are another option. I’ve always thought with open shelves you would have to be a pretty organized person. I don’t have them, – oh well! They are, however, a fantastic way to cut your renovation cost. You can easily make your own shelves. For added interest, you could have mirrors cut for the back of the shelves to open up the space.

You could also shop at an architectural salvage yard, Ebay, or Etsy for antique architectural corbels. Mounted under some painted white shelves, would look fabulous. What a cottage style look that would be!

Kitchen Appliances

If you are going to be replacing your appliances, opt for a low profile look. Stainless steel appliances with a smooth sleek look blend well with this cottage kitchen style. Of course, if your budget allows, a reproduction vintage stove would really be gorgeous.

The Kitchen Sink

The sink is one of the focal points of your kitchen. I love the look of a farmhouse apron-front sink. If this is in your budget it is a must! But, just a white porcelain sink makes a much bigger impact than a plain stainless steel sink.

Your faucet is an important accessory. Keep with a simple country style, but still choose something unique.


If painting your floors is an option, try painting a pattern onto your floors. Painted floors are reminiscent of older days.

Wood flooring is an excellent choice for cottage kitchens. Wide planked flooring has become really popular and can be found in hardwood, engineered hardwood, and laminate. We chose an engineered hardwood by Bruce. It mimicked old barn wood, complete with wormwood holes! This was a fantastic choice for our family because you cannot see scratches or dents in this style of flooring.

Lighting Up the Room!

Lighting is so important! If you only have overhead lighting in your kitchen, we need to talk. I am a huge believer in having the right lighting to create the right mood!

I had small under-counter bullet lights installed in my kitchen. They made a world of difference! If this isn’t an option, consider a small lamp, or use a nightlight.

When you look at cottage kitchens in magazines, many times they have antique lighting, or reproduction lights. Shop around some antique stores and don’t be afraid to paint a chandelier if the patina isn’t to your liking.

Pendant lights hung above the kitchen bar are attractive, and add one more layer of lighting design.

Consider having dimmer switches installed for your overhead lighting. Lowering the lights really sets the mood.

Kitchen Counter-tops

I love the look of butcher block counter tops. This truly fits into the cottage style kitchens decor look. Lighter counter tops fit this style best, but I think you can go with almost any color.

We choose a laminate that looked like granite. The colors were very muted. Instead of a straight edge, we paid a little extra and had them bull-nosed. It didn’t cost a lot more, and really made the counter tops look more expensive. (I like that!)

Cottage Kitchen Curtains

Country cottage curtains can be fun and flirty. Or, you can opt for very simple and timeless sheers. Kitchen curtains for this particular style are never fussy or overdone. A simple box pleat curtain, sheers, or just a simple gathered valance is all your kitchen needs.

Accessorizing Cottage Kitchens

Large vintage signs are one of my favorite kitchen wall decor ideas. They are a fun and creative way to show your personality. Architectural salvage items are also another great wall decor idea. The flea market is a great place to find these items!

A wall plate rack painted a totally different color from your cabinets and accented with country cottage plates will definitely be a stand-out in the room!

A large, round, old-fashioned looking clock is a perfect cottage accessory. Really anything that has a vintage look will be an excellent choice. Mismatched is what this style is all about, so choose things that speak to you.

Make your own chalkboard using chalkboard paint. Find an old, large antique frame and cut some MDF board to fit into the opening. Paint the board with chalkboard paint and you have a stunning chalkboard. It is the perfect place to write your dinner menu, Scriptures, or your honey-do list!

Okay, this is the best part to me! I love shopping for accessories! What makes it so fun is I never know what I will find. Especially if I am shopping for unique flea market finds or trolling garage sales.

Small potted herbs just brag that you are a cook! (Even if that isn’t entirely true, I won’t tell.)

Look for different canister ideas. Whether you decide on the traditional canister, or you find vintage canisters, make sure they have personality!  In the photo above, I placed the canisters in a galvanized tray.

I found this beautiful red pie plate at Target, and the faux pears from the craft store.  This is a great cheap decorating idea for your kitchen island!

If you have a glass cabinet to accessorize, be sure to use decor items that will show up.  Remember not to overcrowd your cabinet.  You don’t want your accessories to look cluttered.

Another accessory for your kitchen is cottage tea towels. I love to hang one over a cabinet door, or leave it folded on the sink. Many little specialty shops carry tea towels, but Etsy is another great place to shop for both towels, and other cottage style decorations.

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where we feed our body and soul. Create a place that brings comfort to all who visit. Create a place that makes you happy. After all, you will be spending the most time there.

Cottage kitchens are not about a perfect magazine look. Cottage Style decorating is embracing a way of life. A much simpler and easy-going lifestyle.

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