Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pink Friday is "English Cottage Style"

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This Friday, July 17th, Make Mine Pink presents "An English Cottage". If English cottage style decor is your passion this is the time to indulge as Cozy Cottage Gifts and Decor and other participating boutiques at Make Mine Pink gather to present a lovely array of English cottage style decor!

English cottage style decor has become a favorite because of the feeling of welcoming and warmth it lends to a home. A pretty bit of clutter atop a well-worn antique table that has been passed down through generations (or has at least been made to look that way) may be combined with comfy, overstuffed sofas and chairs covered in softly muted floral fabrics. Scatter lacy doilies here and there and a room just calls out for you to relax. A hallmark of English cottage style is color: all the colors of nature are perfect for this decor. Beautiful pinks, pale greens and shades of white might be used in one room; and yet another room may be lovely done in geranium red, deep green, violet, golden grain, and earthy brown. Even the colors of autumn are perfect for English cottage style: brown, yellow, rust, orange and green. That is the real beauty of English cottage style - using the colors YOU are comfortable with and that make YOU comfortable!

Once you have chosen a color palette, it is time to select furnishings. Because English cottage style evokes an antiqued, aged, and cozy feeling furnishings should have an aged patina. The overall effect should be that furnishings have been acquired over time, such as those passed down from generation to generation. Seating should be soft and comfortable - overstuffed chairs are perfect and if they are a little too worn, slipcovers are perfect for English cottage decor. If you are on a budget, you might look for furnishings in fleamarkets, thrift stores or at tag sales. Bookshelves, wingback chairs, roll-arm sofas, wicker furniture, framed mirrors, pine or dark wooden tables, wooden plate racks, buffets or sideboards, and hutches are just a few furnishings that are appropriate for English cottage style decor. Look for pieces that can be used for something other than their original purpose such as an old flat top trunk used as a coffee table. And don't forget the golden rule of English cottage style - every piece of furniture must be decorated!

Cover small tables with vintage doilies or cloths. Crochet lace doilies are perfect for the back and/or arms of a chair. Consider a tea tray with an assortment of pretty objects atop a coffee table. A bookshelf could hold a few antique books along with pretty knicknacks passed down from your grandparents and great-grandparents. Other items to look for when decorating your English cottage home are vintage china and glassware, silver or pewter pieces, porcelain figurines, vintage musical instruments, vintage paintings or postcards, vintage photographs in pretty frames, old clocks, fresh or dried flowers, lots and lots of pretty pillows on sofas and chairs, needlepoint wallhangings, and homemade candles and soaps.

Lighting should be soft and subtle. Table and floor lamps and candles are perfect, but overhead and recessed lighting should be avoided. A pretty chandelier is always welcomed but only small bulbs should be used or better yet, a candle chandelier. Light filtering through lacy sheers at the windows is lovely and in winter a heavy drape may be added to lend warmth to a room.

Finishing touches might include old quilts and soft handwoven rugs over a wooden floor.......and remember English cottage style is always a work in progress, never a finished product!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pink Friday - July 10th

Please join Cozy Cottage Gifts and Decor and other participating boutiques as we celebrate "Summer Porch and Garden" this Pink Friday.

A welcoming porch and garden can create a friendly entryway to your home; and with the right accessories, a porch and garden can even become an extension of your home. No matter what your summer days hold, a porch and garden can provide the ideal setting for friends and family, and can even become a private retreat. I hope you find something special this Pink Friday that will help you design your summer porch and garden.