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What Is the Difference Between Farmhouse and Cottage Style

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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.

Types of Farmhouse Style

Farmhouse is an umbrella term that is used to describe many different decorating styles, including modern farmhouse decorating. Farmhouse styles take 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.

French Farmhouse

French Farmhouse Decor from

This is a very classic farmhouse look that’s been around for ages! It features white walls with dark wooden beams running throughout the house. French farmhouse decor has an old-fashioned feel to it but still looks modern at the same time.

Industrial Farmhouse

If you’re looking for something more industrial then this might just be your style. Industrial farmhouse are known for their bright red barns and rusty metal roofs. The inside of these houses features exposed brick or concrete floors which can give off a cool vibe.

Rustic Farmhouse

The rustic farmhouse chic decor is all about being comfortable, cozy, and warm. These types of homes have lots of wood in them so they tend to get hot during the summer months. They also usually don’t have any central heating meaning that they rely on fireplaces instead. If you want to live somewhere where there isn’t much going on then this could be perfect for you.

Country Farmhouse

Country Farmhouse Decor from

A country farmhouse is similar to a traditional farmhouse except it tends to be smaller than most other farmhouses. Country farmhouses often come with porches and wrap-around verandas too. The country chic decor used many different colors when decorating such as yellow, green, blue, brown, and even black.

Types of Cottage Style

Cottages come in many different styles. Some are very rustic, some are very modern, and others are somewhere in between. But there are some common characteristics that define each style. Here we list 4 of our favorites.

French Cottage Style

French cottage decor from

Cottages are small, quaint little buildings that were originally built by farmers back in the day. Today cottages are becoming increasingly popular because they offer great value for money. Many people choose to buy one if they need extra space for themselves or their family.

Dutch Cottage Style

These tiny dwellings are designed like Dutch windmills. They typically have two stories and a gable roof. There will always be some sort of chimney sticking out from the top of the building. Inside, you’ll see plenty of windows and doors.

English Cottage Style

These cute little homes are found mostly in England. They’re made up of three main parts: the front door, the living room, and kitchen area, and finally the bedroom. Most English cottages have four rooms including the bathroom. Some may only include three though.

Spanish Cottage Style

Spanish cottages are generally quite large compared to those in other countries. They’re normally located near beaches and rivers. Spanish cottages are traditionally painted white although nowadays they can vary in color depending on what region they’re in.

Farmhouse Vs Cottage Style

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.

What Defines a Farmhouse Style Home?

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, farmhouse styles will not.

For example, Farmhouse 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.

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.

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.

Related Questions

Is Cottage Style Still Popular?

Yes, cottage style is definitely still popular today. In fact, it seems to be growing in popularity every year. This type of home design offers homeowners a lot of flexibility since it allows them to create whatever kind of interior they’d like. Whether you prefer a simple yet elegant look or a bolder, edgier appearance, cottage style is sure to fit into your budget and lifestyle perfectly.

How To Choose Colors For Cottage?

When choosing which colors to use inside your cottage, keep these things in mind:

Use Neutral Tones

You should avoid using bright colors like reds, yellows, oranges, greens, blues, etc. Instead, opt for more muted shades like tans, grays, creams, whites, off-whites, and neutrals. Neutral colors work well together and complement each other nicely.

Keep Everything Light

Don’t go overboard with dark furniture either. If you do decide to add darker pieces, make sure they don’t overwhelm the rest of the house. It’s best to stick with lighter hues instead.

Choose Natural Materials

Wood, stone, brick, glass, metal, concrete, tile, and leather all tend to be good choices for cottage interiors. These types of materials give your home an organic feel while also being durable enough to last through time.

Add Lots of Plants

Plants help bring life to any space. Not only does this provide a nice touch but it helps cleanse indoor air as well. Plus, adding greenery makes your home seem bigger than it actually is.

Go Minimalistic

Minimalism has become extremely trendy lately so why not incorporate this trend into your cottage decorating plan? A minimalist approach means keeping clutter at bay and making sure nothing takes over the entire place. The less stuff you own, the better!

Will Farmhouse Go Out of Style?

Farmhouses aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, if you want something that looks modern then perhaps farmhouse isn’t right for you. Modern styles usually feature sleek lines, smooth surfaces, and sharp angles. So if you love rustic charm and vintage appeal, then farmhouse might just be perfect for you.