Cottage isn’t just a decorating style — it’s an attitude. Cozy, happy and unpretentious, it harks back to simpler times and evokes a sense of easy, carefree living. And since the kitchen is usually among the busiest spots in the house, it makes sense to translate that mindset to your cabinetry, fixtures, appliances and more. If you’re planning a kitchen facelift or remodel, consider these ways to infuse your kitchen with cottage comfort.
Rich woods. More than any other material, wood defines Craftsman style, thanks to its emphasis on natural beauty. Leave kitchen cabinets unpainted and coat them in a deep stain instead of paint for a warm, lustrous look. Oak is practically synonymous with Craftsman design; if you choose other woods, stick with indigenous species such as maple or pine.
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Open shelving. Installed in place of traditional upper cabinetry, open shelving recalls the days when kitchens were more utilitarian than decorative. Not only was cabinetry expensive, but open shelves allowed cooks to retrieve dishes and tools quickly. Today open shelves are as much about aesthetics as about practicality: Their openness helps make a space feel larger, and they often house accessories in addition to kitchen implements.
Glazed and antique cabinet finishes. Traditional kitchens often feature cabinet finishes that are glazed or made to look aged and distressed. Whether you’re using antique white or a color like the island shown, a bit of glazing can add instant age and patina. Be careful, though. Some antique finishes look fake, so make sure your cabinetmaker has samples for you to approve before ordering.
Many people are at a loss when it comes to defining their style. Some people know what they like but are afraid of getting the terms wrong, or they’re afraid of being pigeon-holed into one style when they feel like they’re in between a few different ones. The truth is, most spaces have elements of different styles and aren’t all one way.