Adding Cottage Kitchen Decor To Your Home

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Rachel Stone

Are you dreaming of a quaint English cottage kitchen? Whether you’re considering a full-scale remodel or simply want to sprinkle a little cottage kitchen decor into your existing space, I have a few tips I’d like to share with you from our journey. Over a year ago we began remodeling our kitchen from a standard, suburban space to an English country cottage kitchen. From the initial planning stages to the final touches, our kitchen has evolved into a space that is functional and charming.

Specifically, there are six design principles that I’ve learned along the way and hope you find inspiring and helpful in styling and decorating your cottage style kitchen.

#1 Use Repetition in Cottage Kitchen Decor

Repetition of color, shape, or pattern is key to creating a cohesive look. Whether you realize it or not your eye will recognize repeating elements in design and automatically register that they belong. This is why collections of like items look appropriate.  Knowing this, I repeated certain colors, structural elements, and decor items.

Wood items: This was an easy material to work with as we already had the butcher block countertop and bamboo blinds. To these warm wood tones, we added practical, homey baskets for storage, a vintage dough bowl, and wooden cooking utensils.

Cottage Kitchen Decor with Wood Elements

Blue & white decor: This was fun for me as I’ve loved the crisp, timeless color combination of blue and white since I was eighteen. To the blue & white patterned Zellige tiles we installed as our accent wall behind the stove, and as the backsplash behind the sink, I add the antique plates and platters to the plate rack along the top of the kitchen.

Then I repeated these colors in the fruit bowl, salt cellar, sugar container, utensil holder, and our hand towels. There is no maximum number of times you need to repeat a color, pattern, or decor piece, but it is essential to have at least three as this is when your eye will recognize an intentional design.

Blue and White dishes in our Cottage Kitchen Decor

Copper: You will spot copper in a few places. First, in the bases of the pendants over the peninsula, then in the tea kettle and pot on the stove, in the tray on the countertop, and the two baby antique jello molds hung on the wall. It is a good idea to spread your items around the room to create a sense of the space being included as a whole. This is the opposite approach to displaying a collection of like things.

Copper pots, kettle and collander accent the Cottage Kitchen

#2 Create a Cohesive Color Palette

Sticking to a well-defined color palette simplified our shopping and decorating process. It ensured that every item we introduced into the kitchen felt like it belonged, contributing to the overall unity of the space. For our décor, we used repeated touches of soft blue to go along with the sage green and ivory already dominant in the space. Also, by sticking with warm metal finishes of brass and copper, we kept a unified feeling in the space.

A large grouping on cottage kitchen decor on a table

#3 Use Unique Elements for Personality

For certain, I desired to create a look in our kitchen that was a uniquely personal stamp. So, to avoid a cookie-cutter look, I pulled from my inspiration photos the items that aren’t usually used in kitchens, such as lamps and art.

a vignette with soft lamp lighting and wooden utensils in a blue and white container
  • The world of vintage lighting is nothing if not unique! With so many eras, shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from this is an excellent place to customize any space. Furthermore, you can suit any lamp perfectly to your taste by making a handmade shade to compliment your vintage lamp. For a dark corner of the kitchen (where we spend a lot of time cooking) I added a vintage French bouillette thrifted for $7. It is the perfect size for the space, has simple yet interesting lines, and a gold lined shade that casts the most delicious warm light.
close up of decor items in our kitchen
  • This vintage hand-colored lithograph was recently discovered at my favorite antique shop. Not only does it perfectly fit the space, and depict an English castle, but the black frame also ties in with the black lampshade (unintended repetition!). Note: the more you study to develop your eye and stick to a color palette the more little surprises like this will appear!

#4 Refine the Ordinary

This step in decorating is immensely fun to me! We all need soap to wash dishes, scrubbers, etc. But that doesn’t mean they need to be neon green, hot pink, or in ugly plastic containers. With a little imagination and effort even ordinary, everyday items can be changed from mundane to beautiful.

Often the area around the kitchen sink sees a lot of hard daily use and can reflect that by looking worn and neglected. For this reason, extra thought was put into all the daily cleaning items used. An antique English sugar bowl was spotted on Etsy to hold pretty long handled wooden scrub brushes for washing up those pots and pans.

close up of scrub brushes in an ironstone container.

An ironstone dish was thrifted for around $5 and used to hold a lovely scented block of French milled soap and a wooden palm scrub brush. Everything needed for washing hands, and dishes and enjoying the process!

#5 Mix Materials for a Custom Look

One valuable lesson I’ve picked up from British interior designers is to be rather eclectic in your approach choosing materials and mixing them freely. We mixed our countertops and backsplash materials, creating a lived-in personal feeling in our kitchen.

Besides mixing hard surfaces we’ve also combined different warm-toned metals like copper pendants and cookware with a brass faucet and hardware for added depth and texture. I also mixed in a few English china plates with the soft blue antique transferware to shake it up a bit. One of the hallmarks of the English cottage style is mixed or mismatched items.

#6 Create Designer Vignettes vs. Clutter

Have you ever wondered if there was a way to arrange things where they looked pretty and intentional instead of like a bunch of clutter? Me too! When I look at cottage kitchen decor in a magazine it often looks so designed and intentional. But, in my home, it can sometimes look like a jumble of stuff.

A great place to start is with an anchor piece. An anchor piece will define the space where the decor items are to go, keep things organized, and limit what will be included in the grouping. You can anchor your arrangement in a couple of different ways: either from underneath with a platter, slab of marble, or butcher block, or from behind with a piece of art, or tray.

In the photograph above a large dough bowl from the antique shop holds an arrangement of flowers and usually fruit ~ it’s on the grocery list!

In the photograph below I’ve used a copped tray to ground the scrub brushes and butter dish. Not only does the tray help group the items together, it also hides the electrical socket!

When deciding what will be included in a “designer vignette” I tend to begin with what is needed in that area or work zone. Then I gather the items and play with them until everything needed fits attractively into the given space.

One such hard-working area is right by the stove. This space gets used several times a day and needs to be carefully thought through to be as useful as possible. This family of items is held by a large white ironstone platter. In this zone, we needed cooking utensils, pepper, (the salt rests on the back of the stove), and sugar which is in the antique gravy boat.

Tip: don’t be afraid of using things in other ways than what they were intended. It took a bit of playing around to get things just right, but how rewarding when every day exactly what we need for cooking is right on hand ~ and so pretty! Here are a few more thoughts to avoid the cluttered look.

  • Keep only essential and beautiful items on display.
  • Cottage kitchen decor should be both practical and beautiful.
  • Regularly assess and rearrange items to maintain a balanced look. This can mean moving things around for the changing seasonal cooking needs.

If you are still wondering where to begin I highly recommend adding cottage kitchen decor to your space checking out interior design books from your local library, buying them second hand from Half-Price books, or online. (One of my favorites is Feels Like Home by Marian Parsons.) I have several of my favorites listed on our Cottage Resources page.

I have found my interior design books a source of inspiration over and over again. There is something about holding an image in your hands that allows you to study and absorb it. I often find I get my best ideas from these sources. “The Country Decorator” in particular provided not just visual inspiration but also practical advice on achieving that authentic cottage feel for our kitchen.

Thank you for joining us on this wonderful journey! We hope our kitchen remodel has inspired you to create a space that resonates with your style and brings you joy every day. Until next time, keep cultivating the art of home from your heart with your hands.

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Author: Rachel Stone
Rachel is passionate about creating a comfortable and beautiful home for her family. She also loves to share the lessons she is learning with her wonderful audience both on this blog and her YouTube channel.

15 thoughts on “Adding Cottage Kitchen Decor To Your Home”

  1. It’s so exciting to see your final results–I love them! It’s been fascinating to see how you have transformed this space into a cozy English kitchen. Your original kitchen seemed so familiar to me and then I realized I have the same kitchen geometry with a corner that lines up adjacent fridge-stove-corner-countertop and sink. I think you may have the same issue I have with the stove blocking that utensil drawer next to the sink. I often think I should remove the drawer and make it a cubby for cute rolls of dish towels that would fit into the space. How did you resolve this problem? I’m sure your crafty husband has some solution for us! thank you for all the time and research you do in preparing your well thought out videos, I am a big fan!

    • Good afternoon, Miss Jennifer!

      How fun to have the same layout between our kitchens! Yes, we have the same issue with the stove blocking the adjacent drawer. Our plan (for this coming year) is to have a plumber out to switch out the plug head on the stove to a flat head plug. This should allow us to push the stove back another inch and a half or two inches and free the drawer. If so, then I will get a bamboo drawer organizer. Your rolled dish towel idea sounds great, too! I’m so glad you’ve found this kitchen remodel series helpful, we appreciate your kind feedback and support of the Stone Cottage Home!

      Warmly,
      Rachel

      • Gosh, you might be right about it being a plug issue, I never considered that! Thank you for sharing, I’m off to check the gap behind that stove and hope your ‘fix’ for this issue will be the same for my kitchen too.

  2. Rachel,
    You and your husband have created a MAGNIFICENT kitchen! I am so inspired by your work. I cannot get enough of it. Well done and thank you for taking us on this beautiful journey!

  3. The copper items and blue and white dishes are pretty accents. Thanks for sharing with us, you two did a great job, so dreamy and a wonderful place to work in.

  4. Hello!!! Your video just popped up on my YouTube feed. I LOVE all that you did to your kitchen. I was pleased to hear you give credit other content writers. So many copy/inspire and don’t give the credit to the original author…..yet, suddenly they have a kitchen identical to ” Miss Mustard Seed”. Marian is a true inspiration and talent. AND sweet as can be!
    I just signed up to be on your mailing list and will enjoy seeing and hearing about all your projects. Sadly, many bloggers have stopped ;( I really enjoyed the run!!!! I am happy to find you!!!

    • Welcome tho the Stone Cottage Home family, Miss Addie!
      I hope you find practical useful, design inspiration here!

      Warmly,
      Rachel

  5. It looks wonderful and your videos are a valuable resource for me. I really enjoyed seeing how it evolved over time. Thank you for sharing the design tips as I think they will be very helpful to me as I slowly move my house toward a more English cottage style. Looking forward to your next projects.

    • Thank you, Miss Carol.
      We have enjoyed sharing the process and it’s rewarding to know you have benefited from the series. Happy English country homemaking!

  6. Your new kitchen looks Fabulous. It is so bright, cheerful and inviting. But can I just say, Girl that faucet is Everything! 😍
    I Love your channel and always look forward to our next visit. ❤
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you, Miss Teresa!
      I agree, the faucet plays a big part in setting the style of the kitchen. We appreciate you following along with the channel & the blog. Merry Christmas!

  7. What a lovely kitchen you curated! You have grown so much as a decorator and your home is reflecting of that! Beautiful job!

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