English Cottage Furniture should be chosen with care; get to know your cottage and the room you are furnishing before you buy a single piece. Furniture should be to scale and in proportion to the room.
Furniture in an English cottage is rarely fitted allowing you time to build your furniture collection gradually, collect pieces you love and try to furnish the cottage yourself to show your personality which is essential to the English cottage style.
If you are furnishing an English cottage you will properly come across odd corners and spaces, old radiators and lighting issues.
Try to tackle these problems room by room, lamps on a table can be a simple solution if modern lighting is a problem and a custom made piece can fit snug into an awkward corner.
English cottage furniture can be an eclectic mix of the old with the new, romantic nostalgia working with plain wooden antiques, simple cottage furniture combining with more aristocratic English country style furniture and exotic treasures from travels abroad.
The all somehow work together as long as they have been chosen by you with attention to detail, sympathy to the cottage and of course love.
Start your English cottage furniture collection by salvaging an old heirloom and breath life into family hand-me-down’s or see what you already have and if it works in the room.
Find vintage treasures and flee market finds, go to local auctions and see if anything catches your eye. Worn furniture can be painted either plain or if you feel artistic paint it yourself with a country picture.
Above Photo: Gooseberry fool sitting on a wooden cottage table
There is one essential piece of furniture that no English castle, cottage or manor would ever be without; the armchair. The armchair should be in your favourite spot in the sitting room ready to read a book or just relax. Cushions add to the cosy comfort inviting you to sit down and rest awhile.
As luck would have it the English are rather partial to the sofa as well and it can found in the smallest of rooms. Both the armchair and sofa can be old or new you just have to love it.
English cottages rarely come with a room just for dining, the kitchen is the main dining and living space. English cottage kitchens are usually furnished with separate pieces of furniture. An old oak dresser holds all the china dinnerware, Cornish ware, and an assortment of crockery and old kitchen utensils.
The stove may be an aga which warms the cottage too, or a more modern one, just try to find the stove that looks right in the kitchen of an old cottage and it goes without saying, buy one that you want to cook on. The dining table can be scrubbed pine with matching or different chairs.
English cottage bedroom furniture can be plain or more romantic. A Victorian iron and brass bed or a wood bed frame can be used in the bedroom. Cottage bedding can come from stores that sell vintage or old fashioned patterns like Laura Ashley. An old Windsor chair can be in the corner with a few cushions to make it feel more at home in the bedroom than the kitchen. A stained glass lampshade could be on a table by the bed.
English cottage bathrooms have normally been designed much later than the original cottage when indoor plumbing was available. Before then all the washing was done in the bedroom with water in a jug, because of this cottage bathrooms can be all shapes and sizes.
A bedroom or small room may have been turned into the bathroom. Some old bedrooms which have been turned into bathrooms have wonderful windows and fireplaces especially in larger cottages or country houses. Baths with clawed feet and sinks with old fashioned taps and furnishings bring a touch of nostalgia to your cottage bathroom.
If you are furnishing an English cottage, or trying to create the English cottage style think of the cottage itself. The English cottage is born from vernacular architecture which means built from a local style and local materials.
Think about vernacular furniture when you decorate. A local craftsman or carpenter could have the very piece you are looking for or may be able to make a custom piece for you. Use local woods just like the cottage itself and create the harmony of nature and comfort with your English cottage furniture collection.