A cottage is a home away from home, an escape from the banalities and busyness of everyday life. It can also be a valuable source of additional income–if you attract frequent, respectful renters. What is the best way to do that?
Outward appearances speak volumes. Decorate and furnish your cottage the right way, and you will attract the right tenants. Follow these decorating tips to put together a quaint but high-end cottage property.
Start With Curb Appeal
If you are talking to your tenants you may not want to refer to it as curb appeal. Perhaps you can call it the garden, the sitting area, or a quiet place to steal away with a book, enjoy a cup of coffee, and soak in nature. However you want to frame it, it is important to start with cottages’ outer appearances. As with any other home, this sets the overall expectations and draws vacationers and seasonal renters inside. Patios and outdoor sitting areas are becoming an increasingly expected feature. To put that into perspective, 59,000 homes sold in 2010 had patios. In 2014, that number was closer to 96,000, and on its way up!
Choose wicker patio furniture, driftwood, polywood furniture, or painted wood furniture to give outdoor areas a charming feel. Light, airy colors work best for seaside and lakeside cottages. Class up wicker and driftwood furnishings with elegant throw pillows and embroidered fabric cushions. Dark wood furniture, rocking chairs, and Adirondack chairs complement mountainside cottages and cabins. Choose all furniture from local, family-owned businesses for that extra homey feel.
Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose!
Another way you can infuse a bit of home into cottage settings is to repurpose accessories. Repurpose wood boxes and window boxes, old bread tins, ropes, wood wagon wheels, wooden pallets, barrels, and more to create eye-catching, rustic fixtures to liven up the interior of your cottage.
Keep It Cozy
Cottages can trace their peaceful, cozy origins back to 1842, when Andrew Jackson Downing published Cottage Residences, a book about furnishing and decorating what we now know as cottages. Start with a texture or vibe, and go from there. For cottage bedrooms, it’s probably best to go with things like soft and comfortable. Choose big, puffed-up cushions for chairs and bedspreads that look and feel soft to the touch. Select unique, one-of-a-kind fabrics and styles from small, family-owned businesses for that extra bit of coziness.
Choose The Right Lighting
Lighting can work to your advantage. Open up small bedrooms with big windows, a lot of natural light, and white bedding and furnishings. Keep cottage kitchens energized with natural light, lots of white, or bold, bright colors, like yellow. Similarly, choose chestnut browns and deep, rich reds for dens and reading areas.
Rustic chic is in, and thankfully it is also the easiest look to keep up, even if you have a high volume of tenants or renters. Rustic furnishings look older, with purposeful imperfections, blemishes, and nicks and notches in paint and woodwork. Not only do these furnishings make your tenant feel at home, but they also mask wear and tear that occurs over time. A dent in perfectly polished pieces may stand out like a sore thumb. A small dint in a rustic chair is unlikely to be noticeable and may even blend in nicely.
With the right furniture and decor, you can attract vacationers to rent out your cottage or home away from home. Carefully choose outdoor furnishings, repurpose accessories, pick cozy and rustic pieces, play with lighting, and choose family-owned businesses for homey, one-of-a-kind furniture and decor.