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Keep it humble. Wood ceilings and rafters are the perfect backdrop for the vintage sink and stove in this kitchen. It’s not uncommon to see open upper cabinets, yet in this home, the owners left the doors off a lower unit and topped it with wood. It feels like they picked it up along the way and slipped it into place.
Give it a twist. Large runs of reclaimed wood railings and beams make this room feel like the offspring of a farmhouse and a cottage. For those who love cottages but prefer a less dainty atmsophere, try using 4- to 6-inch-wide boards on the walls. Go with larger pieces of furniture with iron accents, steering clear of the fragile look of scalloped trimmings, lace and granny rocking chairs.
Accent with color. Use those white walls as your canvas to bring in bright splashes of color. I happen to like any shade of blue with white. But also consider a bright orange or lime green. If you’ve got an old dresser, paint it a wild color and find some big glass knobs and you’ll have an entirely new piece for your room.
Soften the exterior. Use as little hardscaping as possible when establishing your outdoor areas. Edges of a cottage yard should be soft, or better yet punctuated with huge hydrangeas. Create unpaved driveways and walkways defined with sand, mulch and pebbles.