English Cottage Elements (That Won’t Break the Bank)

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English Cottage Elements (that won't break the bank)

Today I’m sharing several English Cottage Elements that won’t break the bank! Decorating ideas that you can incorporate without spending a ton of money. 

To watch the full video, please visit my YouTube here.

Incorporating cottage elements into your home can be more affordable than you might think. If you love English Cottage style as much as I do, I hope that these ideas will inspire you!

English Cottage Elements to Incorporate in Your Home

Neutral Color Palettes 

Paint is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to transform a space. Traditional English cottages were built and decorated using a lot of colors from nature. Muted tones and soft hues can brighten a space and really allow your decor to shine. 

Pops of greenery instantly create a feeling of spring time in our cottage style bedroom

You can find all of our paint colors here if you’re interested!

Wood Furniture

Years ago when cottages were built on the countryside, homeowners used wood from the surrounding area to build furniture. While I love painted furniture and have it all throughout my home, I try to incorporate a lot of wooden pieces as well. 

Elements of spring decor in our cottage style home

My absolute favorite wood finish is scrubbed pine, but it can be pricey. I love thrifting for furniture and refinishing it myself using stripper or bleach, or if you’re handy try building something yourself! My husband built our dining room table and I absolutely love it!

How I used Citristrip to create a weathered wood finish!
Spring dining room ideas - cottage style

Shelves and Built-ins

One of the things that makes cottages so quaint are the built-in shelves you find in every corner! Do you have an awkward corner without a purpose? Or empty wall space that could use some dimension? Add some shelving!

Adding a pop of gray on the back of our fireplace builtins allows the decor to pop!

That’s what we did on either side of our fireplace. We added shelves on one side an a bench on the other! We also added shelves to our dining room which you can read about here!

Consider hanging damaged thrift store baskets on the wall!

If you don’t have room for shelves or built-ins, consider a plate or cutting board display. That’s what we did with the space right off of our kitchen, and it was all constructed with scraps from older projects that we had left over!

Cutting board display decorated for fall

Flowers

Wild flowers gathered from nearby meadows isn’t a reality for most of us, especially when we are ready for spring in March but it’s still snowing outside. Thankfully there are so many gorgeous faux flower options available today, in fact I wrote a whole post about faux greens here if you’d like to check it out!

English Cottage Elements - Incorporating Stems into English Cottage Style

Cozy nooks

Quintessential to so many English Cottages are cozy reading nooks. An overstuffed chair with a side table and lamp, and of course – a cup of tea. Ha! Honestly, though, choose a corner in your home and set up a cozy nook. Our Ikea chairs were very affordable and they are so perfect for curling up and reading a good book, which leads me to my next point!

Vintage art is perfect when decorating for spring

Books

Another English Cottage Style element that is so simple and affordable to incorporate are books! I love using vintage books throughout my decor, and the best place to find them is at thrift shops. I got the entire set on my fireplace built-ins for just .25 cents each!

Decorating Ideas for Thrift Store baskets - - English Cottage Elements

Wood Beams

Probably one of the first things I think of when I envision English cottages are rustic, beautiful, exposed beams. Authentic beams can be expensive, so we decided to make our own and add them to our kitchen! 

My husband added some DIY cabinet feet and they add so much character!  - English Cottage Elements

You can also look online and use sources like Facebook Marketplace. That’s where we found our barn beam mantel and we only paid $60. Not super cheap, but not unreasonable, either!

How to add a barn beam mantel to a stone fireplace  - English Cottage Elements

Stone Accents

A lot of traditional English cottages were built by locally sourced stone. Unfortunately, stone usually comes with a hefty price tag. Luckily we have so many amazing options today that replicate stone but at a fraction of the cost. 

Our AirStone fireplace and accent wall are perfect examples of this!

Our Barn Beam Mantel Reveal  - English Cottage Elements

Also…garage sale season is coming, and believe it or not, the stone surrounding our porch came from a yard sale! So keep an eye out this spring when you go hunting for treasures! 🙂

English Cottage Elements - stone porch surround

Antique and Vintage Finds

New is nice, but start looking for ways to incorporate older furniture and vintage items into your home decor. The charm and character found in antique items is hard to replicate, and English cottage style is almost impossible to achieve without vintage elements. You can watch one of my recent antique hauls here!

Light jackets and straw hats instantly create a feeling of spring  - English Cottage Elements

Collections

Do you have something you love to collect? A beautiful set of dishes, vintage artwork, old books, antique bread boards? Display them for all to see! I love to display by Pfaltzgraff dishes on my dining room shelves. They make such a statement when grouped together!

Vintage Pfaltzgraff Heritage dishes are perfect additions to any cottage style dining space.  - English Cottage Elements

Beadboard/Wainscoting 

Wainscoting dates back hundreds of years, and you see it in almost every single English Cottage home. If tongue and groove planking is out of your budget, consider beadboard paneling. In my opinion, it adds just as much character as the real stuff! You can see how we added it to our entryway here, and as I type this we are adding it to our sunroom as well!

Our minimal entryway is all decorated for spring!  - English Cottage Elements

Well I hope these ideas inspired you today! What are some other things that you think of when you consider English Cottage Elements? Let me know in the comments below!

PIN IT FOR LATER!

English Cottage Elements (that won't break the bank)

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29 Comments

  1. Hi Andrea! Your home is beautiful! I love the cottage style as well and I am always looking for simple inexpensive ways to add that element into my home. Keep blogging and making these videos they are truly inspiring! Can you tell me the size of the number hooks on your entry way wall? I am looking to purchase some. Also where did you get your light over your sink and does it have glass? It is very attractive! I am going to add some of your ideas into my space….an ultimate compliment to you. Thanks for any info. Cynthia

    1. Hey Cynthia!! Thank you so much for your sweet message! 🙂 the numbers themselves are 5 inches tall, but the entire hook is 8.5″ in height. The light above my sink was on clearance at Lowe’s a few years ago…I paid $17!! It doesn’t have glass. I hope that helps! 🙂

  2. Thanks Andrea! The entry way wall hook numbers connected to your link are a little bit smaller in size but just may work! What a steal you received on your light! Awesome! I will have to keep my eye out for something similar. I read your blog everyday and truly enjoy it. Thanks again. Cynthia

    1. Aww thank you Cynthia! That is so sweet 🙂 Yes…I found my hooks at Marshall’s, so you could try looking there! Since I can’t link to Marshall’s, a follower told me she found similar ones so I linked to those. They look just like mine! I hope you find something that works. 🙂

  3. Hi Andres I live in a 400 year old gatehouse cottage to a stately home and love my interior. I just wanted to say how I love your style and I think you’ve got it dead right. I really enjoyed your blog and shall be reading it again . Trish

  4. Hello. Ooohhhh…. I love your home! So cozy and welcoming…. and full of charm!
    Would you be able to share where you purchased the two prints hanging on your bedroom wall? They look so soothing and the colors are perfect.

    Thank you,
    Valerie Perrotta

    1. Oh my goodness Valerie thank you so much! The only prints in my room I can think of are the three next to my bed…I actually painted those!! I have thought about selling them but didn’t know if there even be any interest!

  5. Love your home and your Halo paint color!! I love and use the same paint color in most rooms in my home too. There is something so calming and cozy about this color.

  6. Thanks for responding on the prints. Must be the 2 prints hung side by side….the landscapes. You are talented! Love your home and your Halo paint color!! I love and use the same paint color in most rooms in my home too. There is something so calming and cozy about this color.

    1. Of course, I am happy to help! I agree on the paint color, I really do love that color. Thank you for your sweet words too, they are so encouraging always!

  7. Hi,
    I just wanted to say how much I love your home and how beautiful it all looks. I live in an English cottage (in England) and I think you have captured the look wonderfully. Your tips were just right and all I would add to them are things that you already have in your home. Stripped wooden floor boards and things hanging on walls. Especially framed pictures, often of the country side or if living by the sea, coastal scenes. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Andrea, I love love love what you’ve done. Your home is so charming. There are some other elements I would like to see… As you know English cottages were historically a mixture of pieces, new and old, light wood, dark wood. Whatever worked at the time. I tend to want that only in a fresh updated look. I had an antique store at one time and know the fun in the hunt. Enjoying the more simple furniture design like you, I’ve accumulated many great pieces along the way that I’m attached to. East Lake is about the most opulent beside Queen Anne I have, which are not really opulent. None of it enjoys the same style nor type of wood but can work beautifully done right. I tend to be very eclectic in my style, although still very English Cottage. I have a collection of old books, like you that I’ve found everywhere on the cheap. They are a perfect English Cottage decorator item. Books always sat here and there and all over. A funny story if you don’t mind. An older friend of my son’s came here with them for a visit. He was an avid reader and went through my bookcase. He picked out several books, set them on an end table and proceeded to browse through them. They still sit there on that end table just where he left them because they look perfect, as if someone was there caught up in reading them in my overstuffed chair just as he was. The very homey, cozy feeling, the help yourself to my bookcase I want with my company realizing the invitation without it being made. Sadly he passed away so they will remain there in honor of him.
    Do you have any ideas that fit that scenario, using various pieces of furniture and colors?
    I feel we are on the same page, just slightly on another journey. It would wear me out looking for only the bleached type pieces to exclusively use so hats off to you for your patience and dedication in finding exactly what you are looking for.. Your talent and focus have certainly paid off. The dining room table your hubby made is perfect. What a perfect eye you both have.
    I just bought a home so I just need some fresh ideas to work with what I already have. Any help would be great. Jackie

    1. Hello Jackie! Thank you for your comments, I actually rarely find exactly what I am looking for and have redone several pieces to match my home. Here is one blog post on it, but I have written several more too! https://www.pineandprospecthome.com/diy-rustic-raw-wood-finish-process/ It is very hard to usually find exactly the look I am going for so I normally tend to look at the character of the piece and the versatility of it and of course if it’s a good bargain that I can someday use for something I will purchase it too. It is a lot of work refinishing furniture, but worth it to get exactly the look I want in my home. I really hope this helps!

  9. Hi Andrea, I often watch you on YouTube. I love your cottage style which is similar to my own, except I have more color. I loved your idea of putting stone on the wall in the kitchen. I am having a new modular ranch cottage built for my retirement and want to add an old cottage feel to it. I decided to add extra windows above the sink and have no upper cabinets on that side of the kitchen and I am thinking about adding stone on that side of the kitchen and then some shelves, an arrangement of decorator plates, or a cabinet with glass doors that will sit on the counter in the corner with pretty dishes in it. I have 2 old English dish cupboards one is an olive green and one is pine, I will be using these in different places in my house. I like to thrift and I am a bargain hunter, so over time I will be able to create the home t I want. I already have many cottage items I will be taking with me. I will be watching you for inspiration. I pinned several of your pins to my pinterest board for ideas. Keep inspiring us!

    1. Wow this is so encouraging, thank you! Your new build sounds gorgeous too, that is so exciting! The plans sound beautiful, but I hope everything comes together perfectly for you! Congratulations on retirement too!

  10. Do you have a FB page to follow? I especially love your dining room and kitchen. Can I ask where you purchased the wicker chairs at the table? And glass vases with the faux flowers? You mention you have a post about your faux flowers but I can’t seem to find it?

  11. Andrea, I adore your home! It is adorable inside and out, and yet looks current with your wise choices of neutrals and nods toward cottage style, instead of kitschy. How comfortable and cozy!

  12. Andrea, you are so sweet and pleasant to watch. I was immediately drawn to your soft voice and charming personality. I love your home and family and congrats on the new baby as well. I love thrifting and finding things that I can incorporate into my style. I am learning to be comfortable with a down home feeling which I find inviting and cozy. I lean towards French country and farm home looks not over done but mineable touches here and there. Just found you on Facebook and it was like a gift from heaven and I believe god has always put the right kinds of people in my life for a reason.

    1. That is so encouraging to read Marilyn, thank you for taking the time to share it with me! I hope everything continues to come together perfectly in your home!

  13. Andrea, I love it! I grew up with thrift store shopping for great stuff was just what we called “shopping.”. I get the feeling for you it isn’t a trendy new thing you do but just how you acquire awesome things,in addition to yard sales, etc. I think history and charm are not mass produced. They do not just stock that somewhere. Your home is so pretty because I think you are focusing on creating a beautiful home for your boys to grow in and not paying a zillion dollars for things that subtract from the charm factor that makes your home a dreamy looking, pretty place. I love your style and find it so special.

  14. Obviously, you put a great deal of time and care into creating your home. It is a most charming example of Modern Farmhouse.
    What it isn’t–is English Cottage. Not in color, or in the style of decor, or in style of furniture–nor art work.
    That isn’t is to say that your home isn’t lovely–it is. But simply calling something English Cottage doesn’t make it so.
    Far better to describe things accurately, rather claim labels that don’t fit.

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