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10 Reasons to Love Cottage Kitchens

Cottage Charms at Any Age
Surfaces that suggest age exemplify the relaxed look and touchable textures of an easy-care cottage kitchen. Use your favorite chair, chipped paint and all. It looks great with beaded-board-style cabinets that mimic timeworn wainscoting. Dark grout suggests 100-year-old spaces while reducing upkeep on subway-tile walls.

Cottage Loves Wood's Warmth
Smooth and gleaming or worn and weathered, wood furnishings and surfaces connect cottage decor to nature. Mix types and finishes for cozy comfort. This dining room's focal point is the glass-door hutch, stripped of paint and home to white ironstone.

Cottage Claims More Than One Mood
Ask four people to define "cottage" and you'll likely get four different descriptions. Spanning locales, eras, and lifestyles, cottage suits you and your home, now and later.

Cottage = Mix + Match
Using unfitted furniture suggests your cottage kitchen has evolved. Whether mismatched or hand-me-downs, Grandma's hutch and Aunt Judy's bench are personal and practical: Change the look of stock built-in cabinets with faux legs or feet.

Cottage Revels in Making Do
Salvaged cabinets become creative projects when stripped, distressed, or treated to new color. Replace the hardware or insert glass door panels for an affordable update. Traces of old finish lend character to this repurposed piece. Enlist chests and cabinets from another room for creative kitchen storage to show off your style.

Cottage Trim Adds Character
New house? No problem. Use cottage icons such as beaded board, moldings, and plate rails to create almost-instant architecture and a sense of history. Install pieces in stages as your budget allows.

Cottage Displays Personal Style
Show your stuff. From bowls to biscuit cutters, cottage collections express your personality and some are functional enough to earn their keep -- as well as wall or shelf space. Open shelves (or doorless cabinets) let you enjoy collectible pottery. A gallery of family photos rates handcrafted wood frames.

Cottage Is Family-Friendly
People will gather in your kitchen; why not make them feel at home? Adding a comfy place to sit and visit can comfort the cook as well as the guests. Partnering a worn farm table with two circa-1950 chairs and a padded banquette creates a cozy spot for dining and conversation.

Cottage Colors Save Cash
A cottage kitchen's cheery hues play well with one another and with budget-smart white sinks and appliances. Use color to unify mismatched wood or metal pieces. The sink features an inexpensive white finish and pairs well with the white dining set, chandelier, cabinet knobs, and ceramic tiles.

Cottage Gets Cozy with Accessories
In cottage kitchens, homey accents are meant to be seen and used. Search garage sales and flea markets for dishes, glasses, and pottery in colors, shapes, and patterns that make you smile.

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