At Summerhill, we love to decorate in a timeless vintage cottage style. Our modern-day builder-grade home intertwines old and new to create a cozy warm atmosphere. Join me on a room-by-room tour, where treasured finds, family heirlooms, restored pieces, and modern-day conveniences create a haven that feels like stepping into a bygone era.
Vintage cottage decor is key to creating this aesthetic. Let's embark on an enchanting journey together and discover the heartwarming charm of vintage cottage style at Summerhill.
Vintage Cottage Decor FAQs
What is Vintage Cottage Decor?
Vintage cottage decor creates a cozy and nostalgic feeling in your home. It's often achieved by bringing heirloom, antique and vintage items into your home. It will make your home feel inviting and comfortable, like a cozy cottage. One of the best things about cottage style homes is that no two will be the same. Cottage design, think quant countryside English cottage, is all about adding your own personal touch to your home's design to make the space feel welcoming. Cottage color schemes usually consist of pastel or neutral colors to provide the perfect backdrop that lets your vintage cottage decor shine.
Is Vintage Cottage Decor Expensive?
If you shop exclusively at high-end antique stores, vintage cottage decor can be expensive, but, good news, this doesn't have to be the case. Often items are heirlooms from family members, passed down through generations. But vintage finds are often found at thrift stores, second hand stores, and vintage shops. Flea market finds are some of the most interesting I've seen. A great idea is also to find new items designed to look vintage. The important thing is that the decor adds to the aesthetic of your home and brings you joy.
Vintage Cottage Syle at Summerhill
At Summerhill, the vintage cottage style is more than just a name; it reflects our home's ambiance. When creating “Life on Summerhill,” the blog, we humorously christened our house as such due to the scorching summer heat that engulfs our sunlit living room on a hill. The vintage cottage decor, however, was not a deliberate choice but a natural outcome.
Inheriting numerous antiques and sharing a love for history, we were drawn into the world of vintage charm. With my background in interior design, I took joy in blending old, new, and homemade elements to create a warm and inviting vintage style home.
Each room tells a unique tale, with cherished heirlooms and thoughtfully collected vintage pieces gracing our abode, weaving together stories of generations past and timeless elegance.
Join us on a heartwarming journey through Summerhill, where vintage cottage style brings history, warmth, and love to life in every corner.
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I. The Entryway
If you have been hanging around long, you know my philosophy on porches and entryways. But if you are new here, let me share that your entryway should be inviting, welcoming, and the beginning of what will come inside.
At our modern cottage, vintage is introduced right away in the entryway. This antique chest is a welcoming sight and is a hand-me-down from my husband's mother. Another old element is the mirror which is old but not old enough to be vintage, meaning 40 years or older.
Our entryway is long and narrow; straight ahead is a bench with pillows and silhouettes hanging on the wall. This bench used to be right by the door. Sometimes I love moving these pieces for fun and a change of scenery.
Here is a photo of when the bench was by the door. This old bench used to be a twin-size bed. It was about to go to the dumb, but I saved it and gave it new life. It's a great example of vintage furniture that's been repurposed. Here is a post on when I painted this repurposed cottage bench.
I love silhouettes and hope to thrift or vintage shop for more one day. Here is a new one made to look old in my entryway that I found at the Carnton Plantation in Nashville.
Now that you have a feel for our entryway, let's move into the living room, which is all an open plan and full of cottage style decor.
II. The Vintage Living Room
Our living room is very long, with a fireplace to one end. When laying out the furniture in this room, I found this space to feel more cozy by breaking it up with the sofa. I love our comfortable sofa with soft throw pillows and blankets in organic textures we can change up differently for each season. One side is a living space, and the other is our informal dining.
To give this room that vintage cottage style, I added more trim work to the fireplace wall and filled it with thrift, old, and antique treasures on the mantel.
But probably the one thing with vintage cottage written all over it is the bench we use as a coffee table. When my daughter found this piece, it was already this perfect shade of blue. The paint was coming off the top, so she sanded it to reveal the beautiful raw wood.
III. The Informal Dining Room
Sometimes I am unsure if we should call this a dining room, game table, craft table or what because we spend a great deal of time here doing all sorts of things.
This dining area contains not-so-old vintage-style table and white chairs. Here is where so many memories have been made, but the treasured piece in this area is the bench. This bench belonged to my husband's mom. It was very long, so we had to cut it down to make it fit this table.
One thing I love about cottage style is its informal nature and its creative uses of things to make life happy. On the open shelves in this space are lots of old and new books and trinkets. It is a great place to display heirloom pieces and seasonal decor. But if there is one thing that says cottage, it is baskets.
On top of the bookcases and the bottom shelf are some of my thrift and antique baskets. Baskets fit almost all design styles, and not only do they provide texture to your decor, they are also great for organizing. Natural materials are key elements to cottage style decor.
Last, in the middle of the table, I love to leave this old piece of chalk painted wood. It is my makeshift runner. It helps break up the wood tone and elevates the flowers or centerpiece.
Keeping fresh flowers on your table is another classic cottage decoration idea. This old vintage ironstone pitcher has cottage written all over it. Just another example of mixing old and new.
IV. The Vintage Kitchen
When designing our kitchen, I wanted a quaint cottage feeling. All the cabinets were one long straight line and stained a dark color. I knew that to get that cottage look, I needed to break up the linear design and give it some paint. But there was a microwave over the range and I needed to get rid of that, too.
I also wanted a vintage style range to be a focal point. After many hours looking at different ranges and researching quality, function, and aesthetics, I decided on this GE Cafe. Plus, it had a nice-looking refrigerator to go with it.
Because this range puts out more heat, I needed an exhaust fan that vented to the outdoors. So the microwave came down, and I took our tiny pantry and placed the microwave and convection/toaster oven in there. You can see the process in this post about how I transformed my pantry into a microwave alcove. This opened up more counter space and helped with the vintage cottage style I was going for.
After running ductwork through the ceiling, I designed this range hood to complete the focal point. Then I added vintage decorations to give it that cottage feel like this vintage Longaberger basket filled with lavender, old tiny oil painting, and copper over the stove. Now I have the cottage kitchen of my dreams.
V. The Kitchen Sitting Room
A part of our kitchen is this sitting room, and just like the table in the living room, these rocking chairs are a gathering space.
A board and batten wall I created in this room with hooks break up the builder-grade look. Little did I know then that this would be a fun place to change our decorations. There is thrift, old and new things on this wall. Can you guess what is new?
On the other side of the room is this hutch. I love this hutch because it reminds me of my Dad and our favorite show Andy Griffith. If you watch Andy Griffith look closely at their dining room. A hutch in the background looks almost identical to this one.
Do you ever have that vision of just the right piece? That was me, and it took a long time to find it. Just when I was about to give up, I came across it in a thrift store near the coast of Florida.
This piece has all the vintage cottage cozy feels, and I love to change the decor and dress it up to add the cottage vibe.
I hope you have enjoyed this vintage cottage style tour of Summerhill. We are not finished because I have a formal dining room, hall, bedrooms, and bathrooms to share. The timeless charm of vintage cottage style at Summerhill brings me so much joy. I know curating a vintage-inspired home will bring you joy and fulfilment as well.
I am working my way room by room on YouTube, making a list of finishing touches to complete each room. But then, is a room ever complete? What do you think? I invite you to experience the beauty of vintage decor room by room.
Keep an eye out here or subscribe to my newsletter to get updates on when all the other rooms are added.
Whether you have a small house or large, the vintage cottage style is achievable and easy to do. It's also a lot of fun. I would love for you to share your vintage cottage style inspirations in your own home in the comments and on social media. I love to hear your stories and find so much inspiration in them. And I hope you found it in the vintage cottage style at Summerhill.