Design 101: What is Cottage Style?

Cottage styling is focused on carefree living, where every element conspires to create a casual environment for comfort and relaxation. It reminds us of relaxing beach-side destinations; a peaceful waterfront home with windows thrown open to catch the air and the tranquil sound of waves nearby. It's the natural, simplistic, calming design elements that make this style so appealing.

A Cottage Style Kitchen Design with Dura Supreme Cabinetry shown in Antique White painted finish with a variety of cabinet door styles and a mixture of beadboard elements.

Color Palette

The color palette is simple and soft and combines crisp, clean hues of white, like sunlight reflecting off sand, and cool blue-grays, the color of sky and water. These calm colors are often set off with brighter spots of color like sunflower yellow, passionate pinks, vibrant aqua blues or other lively colors found in a blooming flower garden. These bright colors are usually used as accents throughout the room to add a fun, upbeat and summery feeling to the space.

A design mood board of a cottage styled interior design. Showcasing a collection of cabinet, countertop, storage, hardware and paint options.


Wood surfaces range from weathered finishes showing the wear of time, to soft painted finishes with crisp, graceful lines. Distressed surfaces are subtle without looking too rustic. Metal finishes can be sleek and simple, or ornate and delicate, sometimes even rusted or worn.

Cottage Style combines a mixture of Weathered wood finishes, Soft Painted Finishes and Distressed Painted finishes.


Crisp white painted cabinetry with simplistic raised or flat panel cabinet doors accented by a few glass door cabinets set the stage for an airy, cottage styled kitchen or bathroom.  Distressed cabinet finishes like our Weathered Collection, or Heritage Paint Collection, also add drama and texture. Off-white, grays and blues are also popular selections for painted cabinets. Traditional cabinet construction methods like framed cabinetry (full overlay and standard overlay) and inset cabinetry are chosen for their classic looks. Consider a beaded panel cabinet door throughout the kitchen or as an accent on a kitchen island or built-in hutch.

A small sampling of Dura Supreme Cabinetry door styles that work well with cottage styled interiors.

Warm and cozy cottage kitchen design with ship lap and beamed ceilings, glass cabinets, wood countertop kitchen island, and inset cabinets.

A large scale cottage kitchen design with a kitchen island table, rustic ceiling beams, white subway tiles, glass cabinet doors, and a grand white painted wood hood.

A classic farmhouse kitchen design with cottage styling features and old fashioned styled white oven, white cabinets, glass doors, a table styled kitchen island with a wood contertop and an apron sink with a window view.

Furnishings and Decor

Similar to cabinetry, soft painted finishes are a popular selection. There’s an eclectic mixture of furniture pieces and home décor ranging from brand-new gems, to chic flea market finds, to vintage treasures. Textured design elements like beadboard, open weave baskets, burlap fabrics, and wicker are commonly used throughout the décor of a cottage-styled interior.

Design Elements for Creating Cottage Style

If you are planning to design a cottage styled kitchen or bath try incorporating some of these fun design elements:

Soft, Pale Painted Finishes:

Consider a soft painted finish like Dura Supreme’s White, Antique White, Linen White, Classic White, and Pearl, or select a soft hue from our Personal Paint Program.

Robins Egg, Baby Blue painted kitchen island in a cottage styled kitchen.

White cabinet paint samples. Off-white and White cabinet finishes from Dura Supreme.

Dura Supreme's Personal Paint Match White and Off-White Soft Painted Finish Options for Cabinetry.

Weather Worn Wood Texture:

Add our Weathered finish collection to a kitchen island, a wood hood, a built-in hutch or other focal point to tie in this texture in to your project.

A beautiful weathered driftwood kitchen island in a cottage styled kitchen remodel.

Weathered Cabinetry color options from Dura Supreme Cabinetry.

Distressed, Chipped Paint Look:

Use Dura Supreme’s Heritage Paint Collection to help create the look of a well-loved family heirloom that has been refinished and had some wear and tear over the years. 

A elegant shabby chic kitchen island with a distressed, chipped and worn painted finish.

A variety of distressed painted cabinet finish options and color palette.


Select a beadboard element to your wall, wood hood, backsplash or even door style to tie this in to your design. Mixing the Craftsman Beaded Panel door style with the Craftsman Panel door style is a great way to add an eclectic feel and add a the look of beadboard as an accent to your design.

Cottage Stlye kitchen with a large beadboard wood hood with a mantle for decor.

Dura Supreme Kitchen Island with a Beadboard backsplash to an open shelf.

Glass Cabinet Doors:

Cottage kitchens often display plateware and crockery through glass doors, which can be a simple clear glass or a hand-blown glass with “seeds” and bubbles.  Mullions or leaded glass add charming detail. Dura Supreme’s Mullion Patterns #1 and #9 and our Leaded Glass Insert (LG-52) are just a few of our glass door choices in creating this look. 

A beautiful lakeside cottage kitchen design with open, glass cabinetry for glassware and dishware.

Antique Mirror Glass Cabinet Doors in a Cottage Style Interior

Delicate Turned Posts:

Dura Supreme has a beautiful selection of charming turned posts to select from. Turned Posts B, D, and O are a few favorites to use in a cottage styled design. Add a turned post to add an accent around a sink or an oven, or to a kitchen island/table.

A robin's egg (open air) light blue painted kitchen island in a cottage styled kitchen remodel.

A Hint of History:

Classic design elements like apron sinks, apothecary drawers or a classic plate rack wall cabinet, bring us back to a simpler time and remind us of cozy historic farmhouses of the past.

Apothecary Drawers below a wall cabinet add additonal storage and a cottage style design element.

A cottage style kitchen with a classic wall plate rack above the sink to create an old fashioned look.

All in all, cottage design is inviting, soft and cozy blending the old with the new. It combined beauty with practicality.

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