Start  : Decorating : Style : Cottage
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 Cottage Style (Better Homes & Gardens) Breaks one of the hottest categories of decorating into doable increments with chapters on furnishings, fabrics, floor coverings, window treatments, and choosing and arranging accessories.

Ideas include whole-room schemes, as well as dozens of small ideas readers can adapt to warm—and charm—their homes.

Covers the range of styles from rustic to refined.

Helps readers find ideas and adapt them to create the cottage-style of their dreams, no matter where they live.

"Finding Your Style" tip boxes throughout the book move readers from inspiration to action.

  Date Published 4/15/2002

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 Ratings 
 
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: Filled with practical, do-it-yourself ideas
Caringer's book is definitely not a "buy a blue pillow and place it on the floral couch next to the white lamp" type of book; rather, the photographs and one-line comments give you sensible ideas on how to achieve the look you desire on your own. Whether you want to buy everything new, incorporate your existing furniture into this look, or experiment with garage sale finds, this books shows you how to do it. Everything from floors to ceilings, bathrooms to porches, as well as how to use accent pieces is covered in this book. I would also recommend it for singles/couples just starting out as it illustrates how to put together ordinary items to create an extraordinary environment.
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: The perfect springtime decorating book
Now that the holidays are over and spring is around the corner, I'm so ready to redecorate and turn my house into the kind of getaway that the author describes. This book is about my style -- cozy, comfy and unpretentious. I love it! Cottage Style is going to help me create the weekend beach house of my dreams right where I live!! This is the perfect book for springtime redecorating.
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: Gorgeous and full of ideas
Great pictures coupled with great decorating advice for everything from arranging collections (and furniture) to planning color schemes.
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: This book really works
I started using the ideas in this book 3 months ago, and our home is beginning to feel like the country cottage we've always wanted. I like the pictures. And the writing is telling me how to make lots of big and small changes in every room. Thank you!!!
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: What a gift!
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I've always been afraid that my favorite decorating style was too "homey" to be "cool." Now I know I was wrong. This book has given me "permission" to decorate my way with country-cottage furnishings and my favorite accessories. We live in the suburbs, but when you walk in, you feel as if you're in a summer cottage.
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: This book grows on you
I started to buy the book at the bookstore and put it down -- on several trips. But, it kept drawing me in. Finally, I ordered it, and I am enjoying it very much. I find myself going back to it repeatedly -- picking it up when I finally sit down with some decaf at the end of the day or when I'm looking for an idea for a particular room. There's a lot here -- and it's fun to read, too.
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: A surprising find!
I didn't know until I picked this book up at a book store that it's about decorating in a way that can give my home the look of a vacation home. What a neat idea. Amazon's price was better, so I ordered the book on line, and I'm loving it. I'm really happy with the photos and ideas.
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: Fussy!
I was thrilled to read all the online reviews of this book, as it sounded like just the thing I was looking for. I perused a copy at a bookstore, and absolutely hated it! The style is not cottage at all, but country: flowered chintz everywhere, clutter, cutesy. If you're looking for the simplicity of cottage style, this is not the book for you.
Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
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Comments: I guess I'm cutesy!
Uh oh -- I loved Cottage Style so I guess that makes me cutesy, according to the previous reviewer. I wrote one of the positive reviews earlier, because the book encouraged me to make this little place of mine the cottage I'd always dreamed of. Yes, my sofa is chintz, my walls are white-painted paneling, and lace curtains flutter at my windows, blown by the breezes off the ocean. If that's cute, than what's the problem?
Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
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Comments: Look at the gorgeous photos but overlook the graphic design
This book, which I recently purchased, is beautiful to look at and wonderful to read. It's loaded with photos, ideas and decorating advice. The fact that all kinds of cottage styles are represented is important to me. I think one of the earlier reviewers who thought the book was busy was misled by the way the book is designed. As an art major, I did find that the graphic design IS busy. But for me that is a minor complaint.
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: I love this book
I don't see the problem with the graphic design (which an earlier review mentioned). I love this book. I thought I was buying a pretty dream book to get me through the winter, but now I've put Post-it Notes on page after page so I don't forget all the ideas I'm getting. The first thing I'm going to do is paint the old brown paneling in our den, slipcover the couch, and put up some lace curtains. As I said, I just love this book.
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: Helped define exact style I want
This is the first interior Design book that I actually purchased & I thought it was well worth the price. It gave a broad overview of various "cottage style" interiors - everything from rustic cabin to English garden cottage to plain American farm house. I was able to get a much more focused idea of the look that I want to achieve. I'm taking this book with me while shopping for a few new furniture pieces in the next 12-18 months and I think it may have prevented a costly mistake.
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: Could not wait to get started
I just looked at this book at "Urban Cottage" (a wonderful store) in Buckhead/Atlanta, and could not wait to get to the internet to find out more about it. Like many of you...I have a small place and I want my home to be unique and peaceful, a place for entertaining and rest from the Atlanta pace...you encouraged me that this book will help me get there. Thanks...I can't wait to get started!
Rated By: Toby Winter "tobywinter"
From: New England
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Best Book on Cottage Style
This book is jam packed with gorgeous pictures and ideas. I never realized how many different expressions of Cottage Style there is. It helped me to fine tune the specific cottage style that was right for me. I personally was turned off by anything cutesy but found that cottage style needn't be cutesy at all...if you don't like that look. Nor does it have to look old and antiquey. Most books on decorating I read from the library. This one I had to own. It is a reference that I will use over and over as I 'tweak' my decor year after year.
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: This isn't a book - it's an anti-depressant!
This is the ultimate springtime redecorating book. It'll get you out of your winter doldrums and deep into planning how to freshen up your rooms. This isn't a book, it's an anti-depressant! Fresh and happy and springy and cozy all at the same time and packed with one idea after another.
Rated By: "mominich"
From: APO, AE
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Wonderfully Inspiring!
An absolutely great book, filled with tons of color photos that demonstrate cottage style in many different fashions. Whether you are interested in English country, nautical, romantic, folksy... or any other form of cottage decor, this book will have ideas for you! And the text is just as nice as the photos! No boring, four syllable, technical jargon... The content is easy and enjoyable to read and teaches you the basics of decorating for any style. So even if you discover that cottage isn't your thing, you can still benefit from this book by using the basic decorating elements and creating your own design. What a great book... Worth every penny!
Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
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Comments: Puts the romance back into decorating
I finally decided to see this book for myself, because I wondered what all the good reviews were about. I see now. I want a home that's homey, comfortable, charming, relaxing, timeless, and simple, and this book has captured that. Like an earlier reviewer, I was surprised too that there was so much variety within cottage style. I like the big color pictures but also the idea that the author has explained decorating principles so I can not just copy the rooms I see but create my own look. The book is lovable, and I hope my rooms will be the same. My problem now is that I pick up the book and end up sitting back and just daydreaming with it instead of getting going on decorating. A pleasure to look at.
Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Puts the romance back into decorating
I finally decided to see this book for myself, because I wondered what all the good reviews were about. I see now. I want a home that's homey, comfortable, charming, relaxing, timeless, and simple, and this book has captured that. Like an earlier reviewer, I was surprised too that there was so much variety within cottage style. I like the big color pictures but also the idea that the author has explained decorating principles so I can not just copy the rooms I see but create my own look. The book is lovable, and I hope my rooms will be the same. My problem now is that I pick up the book and end up sitting back and just daydreaming with it instead of getting going on decorating. A pleasure to look at.
Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Fabulous
This book finally defined my decorating style - I didn't even know it had a name. The photos and the info help you figure out what appeals to you so you can make decorating decisions that produce your desired effect. We have been able to give our home that "cozy-comfy-bed&breakfast" feel that is very relaxing. I look at this book whenever I'm stumped and always get a new idea. Get it today!
Rated By: M. Pass
From: MN
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Wonderfully charming, unpretentious, and helpful
Where we live, a lot of people have second homes. That isn't possible for us right now, but this book, Cottage Style, is helping me give our suburban house that weekend-house look. At first, I thought cottage style was just one decorating look, but it isn't. It includes LOTS of looks (farmhouse, Adirondack, and so on) with one thing in common: giving any home that "getaway feeling," as the author explains. The book is just great. I'm planning right now on how to turn our family room into the northwoods "cabin" that my husband and I have always wanted. Another winner from the Better Homes and Gardens people.
Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
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Comments: wonderful
I am an artist and craftsperson but I am not a writer, so all I can say is that I love this book. The book is loveable. I sat with it for an afternoon and enjoyed every room. Now I have Postit Notes sticking out everywhere with my own notes about how I want to use this or that idea. Once the kids are back in school, I plan to be cozying up our home in cottage style. I love it.
Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
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Comments: What a find
All we want is a cozy, comfortable, inviting home. Nothing formal or pretentious or for show. This book was on my neighbor's coffee table, and I fell in love with it right away and ordered my own copy. Now that it's fall, this book is giving me more than a winter's worth of decorating ideas to make our home comfortable. I like that this book is not limiting my sense of style but helping me to come up with my own style by showing so many varied cottage style looks. The pictures of what I can tell are actual homes are beautiful, and the writing explains how to decorate instead of just describing what is in the pictures. There are lots of tips on arranging collections and furniture, choosing fabrics, and so forth. This book is great as a dream book, and I ooh and ahh over page after page. But when I stop to read, I get information to help me take ideas from those pictures and do them my own way in our home. I'll use this classic book often and for years. A wonderful buy. Good for Christmas gifts...
Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Dreamy and helpful, too
In our home, this is one of our favorite decorating books, because it's helped us to make our home feel like a little weekend getaway, even though we live in town. Now, on amazon I found the follow-up book by the same Better Homes and Gardens editors. It's called Second Home, and it has more decorating ideas (from real second homes around the country) and also information on finding our own second home. Highly recommend it.
Rated By: Merilee Pinkerton
From: southern Missouri
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: I love this book
I had to laugh at an earlier review which said that no one decorates like this. I bought this booka after seeing it on my neighbor's coffee table. Not only does she decorate like this, but her sister's home on the east coast is actually featured in the book. The book is beautiful if you love homey cottage-style decorating. I think the reviewer who did not like this book was a guy, and, frankly, this book is not a guy thing. It's like a chick flick decorating book! Yummy.
Rated By: Alix Leonard
From: LA, CA
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: I agree this is a "chick flick" book
As soon as I read the customer revivew that referred to this book as a "chick flick" book, I knew I had to have it. I wasn't disappointed, either. It shows styles ranging from serene and pared down to kitschy, but each of them is lovable and cottage-cozy. And that is what we want in our home. I design all kinds of rooms for clients, but when I get home I want to sink into overstuffed chairs and have my favorite things around me. I have a lot of clients, too, who want me to use cottage furnishings and fabrics to turn their homes into "weekend cottages." As a designer, I appreciate the fact that the book doesn't promote cluttered decorating but offers sound design advice on mixing colors, fabric patterns, and arranging collections and furnishings. This is a happy, snug little book on a style that never seems to die.
Rated By: luke liu
From: Unavailable
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Hsin-Chu Taiwan
poor book, I don't read it anymore.
Rated By: Jessica Pastina
From: Massachusetts
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Delightful if you want to create a getaway
I just discovered this book after first buying a newer book by the same author and publisher. This book shows how to decorate any home in a way that makes it feel like a weekend house. I already have marked lots of pages that have ideas I plan to use. The newer book, called SECOND HOME: FINDING YOUR PLACE IN THE FUN goes one step further and shows real second homes around the country. SECOND HOME covers everything from choosing a second home location and home style to decorating. Both books are like little getaways or destinations in themselves, because I love sitting, relaxing, and looking at all the pictures. Both books also make me believe that I really can, first, turn my present home into a "getaway" and, second, actually find, buy, and decorate a real second home some time in the future.
Rated By: Sharon Knutson "chinamomma"
From: St. Paul, MN
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Enjoy creating a new look in your home
Lush pictures of several cottage styles makes this a delightful book to peruse while sipping tea. The vaired cottage styles include the expected "English Ambience" and "Touchable Treasures" but also included "Camp Out", "Family Farm", and "Pure and Simple". There are many cost conscious suggestions and funky whimsical designs which made this a book that I added to my own library. I got many ideas for adding the cottage flair to my home without breaking the bank. I truly enjoy this book.
Rated By: Kelley R. Taylor
From: Connecticut
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Defines What Cottage Style IS and Gives Inspiration
Cottage Style can mean so many different things and this book can help you to find your own cottage style.

This book covers the different modes such as beach house, primitive country, Victorian gothic, English country rustic western and southwestern, romantic (like Rachel Ashwell's shabby chic), French country, farm fresh country cottage, and garden style.

The book is generous with photos for inspiration (over 200 to be exact)- no doubt some re-purposed from the pages of Better Homes & Gardens - but examples are all somewhat "country" in appearance with all the painted, stenciled, stamped and embellished windows, walls, and floors. And all cottages are not country. If you want a real beach house, coastal living theme or a real English or French country look, you may want to look elsewhere.

But the be-all, end-all knowledge of all forms of cottage style decorating is not what the book promises to be. It's a good primer to introducing you to ALL of the cottage styles so that you can see what speaks to YOU and your tastes. Then you can research each particular style that you want to achieve.

No matter what, the book is a helpful reference for trekking your cottage style giving you specific suggestions on color, fabric, and accessories. Then, the book gives you specific examples for different areas of your home: living room, dining room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and porch...there is even a nursery decorating idea page.

Perhaps one of the most valuable sections of the book is the glossary of terms in the back. It may only be a two-page spread but it is smattered with terms essential for decorating today.

There are only a few real how-to instructions for completing specific projects in this book, but who cares? There are tons of decorating tips and snippets for added touches in creating cottage style home dcor. All in all, a great feel-good book, great for thumbing through and making notes with a cuppa joe in hand.

Rated By: J.B. Sloan
From: Michigan
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: A happy discovery
This book is one of those happy little discoveries. It's empowering me to make my home "happy" and a lot more fun. I saw the author on a Christopher Lowell rerun and jotted down the book's name, which I promptly forgot. But then I walked into the bookstore and came face to face with the same book on a display, so I knew I had to buy it. It's my decorating fate! This book defines various cottage looks, all the while talking about how to use those colors, furnishings, fabrics, and so on to turn your home into a cottage getaway. An interesting approach. I want to escape when I go home, so I am using this book as one of my guides in creating that "great escape" look in the suburbs. What I love is that my husband is getting into it, too. He talks about going away to his "cottage" on the weekends. This book doesn't focus on kitsch or clutter (but it did help me organize the teapots I collect) but on creating a look that can make a home seem like a farmhouse or a log house or a nautical seashore cottage in simple, tasteful ways.
Rated By: M.D. Roettger
From: Clayton, MO
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: I never put this romantic book away
This book stays on my coffee table because I use it all the time. It has changed my life because I've used it to cozy up every room in our home. It's made me fall in love with my home. I love the ideas that are shown in the pictures but really like the simple tips that the writer has emphasized which let me add romantic cottage touches to what I already own. I looked at other cottage books but they seemed too much about architecture or about rooms from Europe that don't look like my suburban home. This book has shown me that I can have a cottage wherever I live.
Rated By: Mary Beth Pasteur
From: Vermont
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: This is my style!
I didn't know my decorating style had a name until I found this book. It's all about decorating in a different way and avoiding the dull sameness that we usually find in suburban homes. There is something freeing about cottage style. It's all about freshness and fun and ease and escape. We are using this book and another cottage book called Second Home to inspire and guide us as we decorate our home.
Rated By: R. Victoria
From: Unavailable
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: The best decorating book!
I have to say this is my favorite decorating book. I could spend hours looking at this book and always see something new. I love the photos and the ideas. If you like masculin-homedecor, very contemporary, or very, very formal this may not be for you. The ideas are very easy to apply to your own home and style. I have a new home and the ideas work. If you have an older home this book is even more perfect for you! With these ideas we can relax and have style! I would call it Cottage Chic! Some Shabby Chic too. Beautiful!!! I highly recommend this book you will not be disappointed.
Rated By: J. L. Carroll
From: Canton, OH
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Lots of great pictures & ideas
I like decorating books with less talk and more pictures. COTTAGE STYLE fits that bill. Caringer intersperses practical suggestions alongside pictures of tasteful and innovative cottage decorating. The creative juices flow! This book stays on my coffee table simply because I like to pick it up and peruse.
Rated By: Ivi
From: CA
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: 3 and a half stars
This book is not bad, it has useful information, it has nice photos (some I've found a little dated).
However it is still helpful if you want to create your own little cottage retreat and you can get some inspiration looking at the pictures too.
I was still a little disappointed when I've received this book, probably I was expecting more up-to-date photos. I've seen better picture books out there on cottage style. I think this book is still growing on me...I got some use out of it though.
Rated By: Designer Girly
From: Unavailable
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Cluttered Country
The cover was the best photo found in the book. Many pictures showed busy rooms and cluttered kitchens. I love country chic style and am a HUGE fan of cath kidson and rachel ashwell as well as other books such as New Cottage Style and Country Chic. If you are looking for those styles, this is NOT the book. After looking through this book, i wanted to clean out my entire house due to the clutter overload.