We may not all be so fortunate to inhabit a large, beautiful estate, but the next best thing is within your reach: a charming country cottage. There is nothing quite so pleasing to the eye as a thatched roof, green window shutters, and honeysuckle-drenched walls on a cottage nestled into the stunning English countryside. But one of the most important features of a tasteful cottage is one often overlooked: interior design. Whether one’s cottage is a quintessential dwelling or is lacking in visual appeal, your guests will not want for countryside beauty. Thus, it not the outward appearance but the interior that truly holds the soul of a cottage.

To begin, we must dispel any notions that size is important for this type of housing. A cottage, not a small house: one may be discontent with a small house, as it communicates a certain something about one’s social status; a cottage, however, does not need to put on such airs. There is, after all, no such thing as a big cottage, or indeed, a cottage too small. Therefore, one must be sure to maximise the use of space and decorate not according to the latest fashion, but to true style and taste. In order to do so, we have compiled the essential musts in decorating your cottage.

Salon de musique
Photo: Frédéric BISSON
  1. One must make their mark. Taste is something that cannot be taught, nor bought. If you have a young lady in the family who is skilled with drawing, some small, classic pieces should be placed on display.
  2. One must communicate their personality and accomplishments through their decoration. An artful display of books, or placement of pianoforte, can truly bring a room together and set the atmosphere.
  3. Most importantly, one must not over-decorate. A cottage must be charming, tasteful, and simple. Do not clutter with knickknacks, unintellectual books, or inconsequential art pieces.
  4. Make use of the stunning natural environment around you. A fresh bouquet of flowers from your favourite walk will brighten up any room.

One must not attempt to transport their guests to the salons of London, or the drawing rooms of Lady So-and-so, but seamlessly integrate with the countryside to as to ensure your guests arrive and leave feeling relaxed and in connection with God’s nature.