Thursday, October 13, 2011

And the Winner is.... Cottern!

You didn't know there was a contest. Yes there was, the question was, would we be decorating our house with Modtage or Cottern? As in Modtage - Modern with a touch of Cottage or Cottern - Cottage with a touch of Modern. I love both looks but I love the mix of the two even more.

I can't find the source for this lovely picture, if you know, let me so I can credit it.
What does Cottern look like? Above is a lovely example. The rustic barn board walls combined with the modern shag pillows and restrained palette make this room the perfectly Cottern. I love the water blues too.

This was a decorating dilemma for me. I love cottage style because it's probably the easiest on the wallet. You can use thrifted furniture or hand-me-downs and make them work. I happen to own my great-grandma's dresser and rocking chair, both of which need a place of honor in my home, and both of which exemplify cottage style. Also, cottage is cozy and given my Hobbit tendencies, I always go for cozy.

Image from Southern Living

Cottern take two. Above you have a modern light fixture combined with the cottage-y striped rug and vintage looking table. Again, The restrained palette gives this room a cleaner, more modern look. I love the banquette too.

Here's the thing, I love modern too. The problem with modern is that inexpensive modern furniture = IKEA. Don't get me wrong, I happen to love IKEA, just not a house full of IKEA, it can start to look like the catalog. Modern for less might be easier in the cities where you can find used furniture, although vintage modern furniture costs a premium. I don't have a premium.

A dining room from Blueprint magazine. I have every issue. No, they're not for sale.

Above: Cottern - Modern light fixture paired with vintage furniture. White is always clean and modern and has the effect of pulling the whole room, vintage furniture and all, into this millennium. 

The problem that I have with modern is that it can be cold. I want my home to be warm and inviting. Pure modern decorating can also end up looking like generic modern decorating. There just aren't as many options for furniture and accessories in the modern realm and the last thing I want to to have my home look generic.

Photo from stylist Victoria Fitchett
Above: Cottern that's short on the modern - Despite the fact that there isn't really a modern item in this pic (maybe the stool), the uncluttered look and cool, simple palette give it a modern feel. Again with the blue, I just love that blue.

The nice thing is that you don't need many modern items to make the place look modern. The modern aspect can come in with the colors and accessories. Cottage usually equals cluttered, but by pairing down the objects and simplifying the palette, you can make cottage look modern, even without the modern furniture.

Photo from Frugal Family Farmhouse Design
The cylindrical vase, plain picture frames, abundance of white, and uncluttered space make this cottage look modern. I'm a bead board fan, It's going in my kitchen and probably in my bathroom.

So there you have it. Cottern, the style for la maison Boissonneau. Oh, There will be a touch of Indian/Moroccan too, more on that another time.

Do you feel comfortable mixing styles and eras? I was somewhat intimidated by it, it takes A LOT more thought but when it's done well, I think the results are worth it. What about you?


  1. Love, love, love the color combination in the first photo! The soft blue and pale neutrals. Looks really comforting and relaxing.

    So nice to meet you through BYW.

    All the best,
    Mary C. Nasser Art Blog

  2. Hi Mary! I know right? I could move in :-)

    It's good to meet you too!

  3. I love cottage, and I like modern- and you seem to be able to meld the two perfectly. My problem is convincing myself that my style really is a style, and I am also having trouble finding the furniture I need at Goodwill. I need someone who currently has my taste to redecorate their home and donate everything they are getting rid of. I think I'll be waiting for a long time!!

  4. Thanks Ms. Pretty! You know I think you've done a fantastic job fixing up your house!


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