How to Design a Modern Cottage Home | Wayfair (2024)

Country living with a cozy focus.

How to Design a Modern Cottage Home | Wayfair (1)

One of life’s greatest pleasures is creating a cozy home you never want to leave. One aesthetic that makes it easy to invite country, cozy living into your space is the modern cottage style. Full of natural materials, earthy colors, and vintage vibes, this aesthetic is calming and comfortable to make any home feel fresh and relaxed. If you’re looking for ways to achieve the modern cottage design in your home, here’s our tips for capturing this style.


Cottagecore is not the same as the modern cottage style. Learn more about cottagecore in our guide: What Is Cottagecore?.

How to Design a Modern Cottage Home | Wayfair (2)

A modern cottage home is all about using specific colors, materials, and finishes to create a home that reflects countryside living. Instead of being in an actual cottage, the goal is to feel as if you’re in one!

Though the modern cottage style is rooted in country living, it’s not the same as the farmhouse aesthetic. This style uses dainty and antique-like pieces to establish an environment that’s homey and welcoming. It feels traditional and historical but uses modern elements such as gold finishes and a neutral color palette to keep it fresh.

With the inviting feel in mind, this aesthetic loves a lived-in look. Open shelving displaying your neatly arranged linens or dinnerware is a great way to build the cottage vibes, especially when paired with wooden furniture and antique brass finishes.

Stick With Earthy Neutrals

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The modern cottage design follows an earthy neutral palette, and a great room to bring these tones into is the living room. When focusing on this aesthetic’s color palette, think beige, white, cream, and light greens. We love using green for a sectional or sofa to create an instant eye-catcher in your home that’s comfortable, stylish, and ties in with the rest of your decor.

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Add Texture to the Walls

A modern cottage home doesn’t have to be an actual cottage, but rather choosing certain materials that create a cottage atmosphere and cozy living. Using wood in the form of shiplap planks along your walls adds the countryside feel to your home. It’s also an excellent way to add texture to your walls instead of leaving them bare.

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When we picture a cottage, we think of a cozy home nestled in the woods, so it makes sense this aesthetic puts a major emphasis on wooden materials. A great way to showcase this is with wooden bathroom vanities. The brown of the grain blends naturally with other colors of this aesthetic to bring natural texture and long-lasting durability to this room of the home.

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Showcase Woven Materials

The modern cottage style focuses on laid-back textures that come in the form of woven baskets and jute rugs. Wicker baskets sport a handwoven appearance, which is deeply rooted in this aesthetic. These baskets provide functional storage while also adding decorative appeal and natural texture to your home. Jute rugs are also made using handwoven techniques that make them look inviting, which are perfect to lay down in a modern cottage home.

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Harp On Heritage

One major element of the modern cottage style is focusing on natural materials over human-made and are reminiscent of the past. A solid wood table gives your dining room the traditional feel of the modern cottage design and features one of the style's key materials, especially when elevated with Windsor chairs since this style of chair has ties to the 18th century.

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Go With Distressed

When furnishing a modern cottage home, distressed furniture is crucial to achieve the relaxed design and weathered-past look. With the modern cottage style being rooted in country living, distressed dressers bring a rustic element to the room.

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Welcome Iron

Iron beds are a vintage-inspired element that’s certainly welcome in modern cottage interiors. Since this aesthetic features creamy neutrals, the dark finish of the iron provides a balancing contrast that resonates with the historical component of this style.

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Display Essentials on Open Shelving

Bring the comfortable living aspect of the modern cottage style into the bathroom by showcasing your linens on open shelving. From the bathroom to the kitchen, open shelving works well with this style by making your home essentials seem more approachable.

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Bring Plants Indoors

Part of the simplicity in modern cottage design is its theme of countryside living. There’s no better way to style a modern cottage home than with a few plants since they showcase the earthy tones and natural texture of the aesthetic – and highlight what could be growing in your garden.

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Select Antique Finishes

Gold and brass are popular modern finishes that certainly have their place in modern cottage interiors. Not only do they add a touch of glam to the space, but they also give your fixtures like wall mirrors, decor, andlighting an antiqued look from the slightly weathered distress. The modern cottage style is all about blending the past with the new, so this is an easy way to elevate your home.

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Add Arches

A big architectural component to this aesthetic is the inclusion of arches for added softness. The modern cottage style incorporates this with mirrors and in your door frames. To really up the style, select one with an antiqued gold or brass finish to include the vintage feel.

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For more tips on decorating a bedroom modern cottage style, check out this guide: 16 Ways to Decorate a Cottage Bedroom

Hang Dainty Chandeliers

In a modern cottage home, allowing nature to do the decorating will make the space feel more natural and cottage-like. To give your home function when the sun goes down, opt for dainty French Country chandeliers to make the rooms feel quaint, which is a big component to the modern cottage style.

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Showcase Your Dinnerware

One of our favorite elements of the modern cottage style is its lived-in look, such as using your dinnerware as decor. Dinnerware makes excellent modern cottage decor that’s also functional when you place them on an open kitchen food pantry for a homey visual to accessorize your kitchen.

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Now that you’ve seen the best modern cottage ideas, it’s time to cozy up your home!

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How to Design a Modern Cottage Home | Wayfair (2024)


How to modernize a cottage style home? ›

When it comes to modern cottage style, focus on natural materials over manmade. Think real wood pieces, exposed brick, and stone in the bathroom. Vintage pieces are popular in modern cottage style, with a focus on "old meets new." For example, try incorporating a vintage lamp with a modern leather sofa or chair.

How to design a cottage home? ›

Cottage Style Is Cozy

Pattern pairings. Namely florals against stripes or plaid. For extra comfort accessorize further with fluffy pillows, cheerful art, woven accents and flowers from the yard — like Bria Hammel did in this cheerful breakfast nook.

What is the difference between a modern farmhouse and a modern cottage? ›

Modern Farmhouse touts a streamlined simplicity through tight neutral color stories, like white, cream, tan, and gray solid upholstery, whereas cottagecore tends to take more liberties through old-world accents and artwork, leaning into florals and embroidery with the intention of a look curated over time.

What makes a cottage a cottage and not a house? ›

The definition of a house is any building that is usually used for accommodation that usually has multiple floors. Because a cottage is more than likely to be over one floor, and it is often used for short term accommodation, this is why they are given different definitions.

Can you mix modern with cottage? ›

The modern cottage aesthetic is truly a best-of-both-worlds situation: it combines the hospitality, comfort, and rustic warmth of farmhouse style with the edge and sophistication of modern design. Rather than being too much of one thing, it thrives on contrast.

What are the colors for cottage interior? ›

Decorate with earthy pastel shades

The cottagecore colour palette is delicate, soft, and inspired by nature. You can even play around with a mix of soft pastel highlight shades such as pale lemons, blush pinks and delicate mauves, and combine them with base tones of earthy green, cream, beige, and soft grey.

What is the ideal size of a cottage? ›

The square footage of a cottage can range from as little as 400 square feet to as much as 2,000 square feet or more.

What decor is replacing a farmhouse? ›

Rustic Vogue

Exposed beams, antique wood flooring, stone fireplaces, and paneled walls are some of Rustic Vogue's standout characteristics. Typically, rustic home decor furniture is constructed from wicker, rattan, or untreated wood. The light fixtures in this style are made of brass and similar materials.

Can you mix modern and modern farmhouse? ›

So, can you mix contemporary and farmhouse decor? The short answer is yes. The beauty of contemporary farmhouse design is that it allows you to stay true to Americana roots while using sleek and modern lines and materials throughout your home.

Is cottage style still popular? ›

According to the Interior Trends 2022 Report by Living Cozy, cottagecore takes the crown for the top interior design trend, racking up a whopping 1,862,000 Google searches in the past year alone.

How to make a cottage look modern? ›

Mix in strong tones

Teamed with plenty of white, the latest rich, moody tones – black, deep grey or mossy green – can give your space a contemporary edge when used as an accent without making it feel gloomy.

What makes a home look like a cottage? ›

Characteristics Of A Cottage-Style House

Natural elements such as exposed beams, wood floors, brick and stone. Fireplaces. Built-in cabinets or bookshelves. Thatch, gable, shingle or tile roofing.

What is a cottage style floor plan? ›

Cottage house plans are informal and woodsy, evoking a picturesque storybook charm. Cottage style homes have vertical board-and-batten, shingle, or stucco walls, gable roofs, balconies, small porches, and bay windows. These cottage floor plans include.

How can I make my traditional house look more modern? ›

Have fun with a new contemporary pendant or chandelier in your kitchen or dining room. Update your home with a splash of new metal colors such as polished chrome, brushed gold, or matte black. Mix textures of wood, metal and glass and play with scale to set the mood in a bedroom or entry hall.

How do I change my farmhouse decor to modern? ›

For example, to modernize your farmhouse decor, you could add:
  1. Limited color accents, often incorporating black.
  2. Glossy textures.
  3. Uncluttered surfaces.
  4. Stainless steel appliances.
  5. Marble- or granite-look countertops and other surfaces.
  6. Modern lighting fixtures.
May 16, 2022

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