Today, I am sharing a recent decorating project that beautifully blends form, function and the enchanting allure of a cottage style office. Discover how to create a captivating workspace with the timeless charm of a cottage style aesthetic.
For the last couple of weeks, I have been working with my niece, who got a new job and a vacant office to decorate. With an blank slate and off-white walls, the options were endless. So I started where I usually begin with clients and encouraged her to pick out an inspirational piece like art or a rug; that is where her cottage style office began.
In this blog post, I am walking you through creating a design plan for an office and then implementing the design. So let's begin with her inspiration piece and what to do next.
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Cottage Style Office
For this cottage style office, here is a bullet list of our process.
- Selecting a Cottage Style Inspiration Piece (think English country cottage)
- Incorporating Soft and Soothing Colors
- Maximizing Natural Light and Natural Elements like Greenery
Before we dive into creating a design plan, I want first to define what is a cottage style office.
Cottage Style Office FAQs:
What is the Cottage Style Aesthetic?
Cottage style decor is a design aesthetic that embodies a charming, cozy, and sometimes rustic feel inspired by traditional English and countryside cottages. It is characterized by a combination of vintage elements, natural materials, and soft color palettes that create a warm and inviting atmosphere. It's one of the most popular home decor design styles and is great for your office as well.
Cottage style decor often incorporates vintage distressed or weathered furniture, floral patterns, delicate textures, and a touch of nostalgia. This design style aims to evoke a sense of comfort, simplicity, and timeless elegance, allowing individuals to create a tranquil and relaxing environment within their homes or offices.
What Do I Need to Design a Cottage Style Office?
Here are the items my niece and I picked put to design her cottage style office and, good news, they're easy to find items.
- Art Print
- Artificial Olive Tree or Eucalyptus Tree
- Frame for Diploma
- Bamboo Desktop Whiteboard with Organizer Box
- Wood File Cabinet
- Accent Chair (Set of 2)
- Tension Curtain Rod
- 2 Panel Curtains
- Farmhouse Analog Wall Clock
- Distressed Picture Frame
- Buffalo Check Area Rug
- Greenery (real, artificial or both)
- Dough Bowl
Now that you know the cottage style, let's go to the design plan.
Cottage Style Office Design Plan
Creating a design plan helps you stay focused, and it is easier to see how it will all come together. You will start with an inspiration piece, then select larger items, and determine lighting, accessories and color palette.
My niece choose a piece of art as her inspiration and then a rug to match the art.
After she selected her inspiration, I laid out the rug and furniture on graph paper. It is easy to create a floor plan. Since we're working with a small space we want to ensure we don't crowd the room, it needs to be a functional workspace. Count each square as one foot and draw out the large pieces first according to their measurements.
Selecting a Cottage Style Inspiration Piece
As I mentioned before, my niece began by selecting a piece of art. Art or a rug can tell you a lot about a person's taste or where they want the design style to go. This cottagy piece of art with a pop of color immediately told me this would be a cottage style office.
The vintage-looking bike, flowers, and overall feel of the art had cottage written all over it. Can you imagine this bicycle sitting outside of a quant English cottage? The piece of art set us on the course of a cozy cottage office.
Selecting the Perfect Furniture
Next, you must consider the furniture because it is a large part of the room. Luckily the office provided a vintage office desk. This nice old wood L-shaped simple desk was perfect for anchoring the room and functional for work.
We decided to add new chairs to give the space a more comfy cozy feel then you get from a traditional office chair. These velvet retro-style accent chairs are the perfect blue-gray color that we could pull in from the art. Cozy textures like this are key to a cottage country style office.
When selecting furniture for your farmhouse style office, look for vintage, natural woods, distressed paint finishes, and such. This wood desk is a great example. This will give you that rustic cottage look.
Incorporating Soft and Soothing Colors
Consider soft and soothing neutral colors and nature colors like green and blue. Lighter colors are perfect for the cottage style, but in an office, it is okay to bring in black and a few darker colors for professionalism.
Choosing a Calming Color Scheme
Now that I had selected an inspirational piece and the furniture, I could pull colors from it to pick other pieces. The color scheme is white, light gray-blue, dark gray-blue, green and black. I want to mention a hint of purple in this art, which happens to be my niece's favorite color.
A tell-tell sign of cottage style is calm and soothing colors, especially natural colors. These colors bring a calm presence to a space which is wonderful for an office environment. A peaceful and serene atmosphere will make work so much better.
Adding Touches of Delicate Patterns and Textures
Next, I suggested a rug for the room because it is the next largest piece. So I gave her a few options that incorporated the colors of the art, but in the end, she found this charcoal gray and white buffalo check rug and fell in love. Because it was neutral enough, I knew it would work for her cottage with hints of farmhouse style office.
Ginghams and checks are classic cottage style, so this rug was perfect. It also has a nice texture to the weave, another timeless cottage vibe. We didn't use delicate patterns like tiny flowers in her office to keep the space more like an office area than a home, but we did incorporate natural elements.
Maximizing Natural Light and Natural Elements like Greenery
Natural light and greenery are the icing on the cake for cottage style. In this office, we used all these elements to give it that cozy cottage feeling while considering function and professionalism.
Utilizing Natural Light Sources
Thankfully this office had a natural light source, and my niece wanted to use natural light or ambient light instead of fluorescent lights, so I had a few tricks up my sleeve.
On the open shelving, I used baskets for storage space that were lined with linen fabric. Natural fabrics are a cottage must. We will talk more about that soon.
Other accessories are the Rae Dunn calendar from TJ Maxx, and children's books since her office is in a school. And on top, a lamp to give the space ambiance lighting for a peaceful feel, another basket, and inspirational work art from Dollar General. The storage baskets throughout will prove useful for odds and ends.
On the other side of the room is a eucalyptus tree in a basket from Hobby Lobby with a desk light repurposed as a spotlight – more ambient light.
And then on the other side is a tall bank of drawers for function. This small nook is a good place for a lavender wreath; see where we brought her favorite color in, her diploma, and more cottage accessories on the furniture.
This corner is aesthetic but very useful to her work day. On top, we placed another plant and a classic-style cottage bowl from Hobby Lobby. I forgot to mention that most of the accessories and decorative items in this office are from Dollar General or vintage shopping.
Between the natural light coming into the room, the spotlight, and the lamps, she can now turn off the overhead lights. That's the advantage of creating your ensuring you have good lighting.
And on really bright days, we placed blackout curtains over the window. This is an easy way to help from the heat coming into the room and make it easier to see her monitors.
Introducing Indoor Plants and Nature-inspired Decor
I mentioned the artificial tree in the room, but I want to encourage you to incorporate plants and nature-inspired decor. Real plants help clean the air in an office, so we placed a few real plants on the window sill.
We set artificial plants over in other areas of the room on the bookcase file cabinet.
A lavender wreath over the bank of drawers offers a bit of color, and don't forget the tree.
And introduce those who come into your office with a greenery wreath on the door. This is the perfect place to set the cottage style mood.
Almost all accessories, including this wreath, were found at Dollar General.
For nature-inspired decorations, consider adding fresh flowers or dried flowers, natural fabrics like the linen in the basket, natural basket weaves, wicker baskets, botanical art, and so on. And the baskets provide plenty of storage.
And guess what? We are all done.
This cottage-decorated office is complete. Here are a few final photos of the space. You see how a little bit of color throughout pulls it together? Keeping the top of the desk clear goes a long way to keeping the office feeling spacious and welcoming.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on setting up a cottage style office. I had such a good time working with my niece and love the results. You can see the process in more detail and even catch some before footage and more details not in this post on my YouTube video.
If you're ready to design your own cottage country office, remember that you want to create a sense of comfort, simplicity, and timeless elegance. It's a great way to create a tranquil and relaxing environment that inspires you and fosters productivity.
Your first step will be to start with an inspiration piece and build your design plan around it. You'll want to select items in a combination of vintage elements, natural materials, and soft color palettes that create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Use the tips you learned in this post to personalize your workspace.
If you choose to create a cottage style office for yourself, I'd love for you to share your great ideas and cottage style office transformation. I can't wait to hear about it and see how they turn out.