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What Is the Difference Between Farmhouse and Cottage Style

Often, farmhouse and cottage style are thrown into the same decorating category. This is because both styles focus on comfortable furniture and a cozy feeling. However, it is important to note that there are several differences between farmhouse and cottage decorating styles.

Modern Farmhouse

Farmhouse is an umbrella term that is used to describe many different decorating styles, including modern farmhouse decorating. Modern farmhouse takes the relaxation of country decor and combines it with chic elements found in modern decorating schemes to create a look that has been dubbed modern farmhouse. Modern farmhouse is one of many examples of the variations of this style. Cottage styled decorating is not quite as flexible.

Cottage Style is Romantic

Cottage style, by its very nature, has a romantic appeal that farmhouse decor does not. Cottage styled homes often feature furniture with graceful lines, such as iron bedframes with intricate details of vines and ivy. Living room furniture resembles the same natural appeal found in farmhouse homes but offers the elegance of careful details such as wood burned roses onto drawers of end tables.

Farmhouse is Simplistic

Where cottage decorating focuses on comfort, relaxation and an element of elegance, farmhouse decorating tends to lean more towards simplicity. It often reminds those in the home of a simpler time when many things that were in the home served a purpose. This does not leave much room for elaborate decorating.

Barn Doors and Wood

Barn doors are a trend in the farmhouse decorating circle that took on quick, and they have yet to leave. These doors are only found in homes with this style and will not be seen in cottage styled homes. Likewise, wood that resembles a barn door is often used as an accent piece in farmhouse homes. It can be seen used in picture frames, doors, as shelves and more. This trend is not seen in other decorating styles.

Cottage Style is More Feminine

Because of the soft colors, beautiful details and vintage touches, cottage style is seen as more feminine than other styles, including farmhouse. Where a cottage styled home will have more floral details, other styles will not. For example, cottage homes often feature:

Accent Pieces

The accent pieces used while decorating the home can easily make it identifiable as one style or the other. For example, these accents are commonly used in farmhouse decorating schemes:

  • Wire baskets instead of woven
  • Pieces of a darker colored wood
  • Crafty projects
  • Repurposed barn wood
  • Vintage and metal pieces

Accent pieces in homes with this decorating style often add to both the charm and the functionality of the home. This style is all about functionality, and accent pieces should add to that.

Other Key Elements

Other key elements that are seen in farmhouse decorating schemes and not cottage styled homes include:

  • Exposed wood beams in the ceiling
  • Metal pots and pans (such as copper)
  • Oversized, comfortable furniture
  • Less decorations
  • More sentimental pieces on display and in use
  • Items of furniture or accents that have a back story

Cottage styled decor and farmhouse decor are similar in many aspects. For example, both styles make use of natural elements. These differences between the two can help you determine which style is right for your home.