The living room space is the heart of the home. It’s the place that people come to after a long day for rest. Cottages are unique homes that are packed full of character and history.

Making a cottage living room space into an ambient and comfortable space is essential to creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in that you feel at home. 

With cottages offering unique quirks and features, it’s important that you decorate the lounge in a way that respects the building’s history by preserving original features but also reflects your personality. Getting the balance right can be difficult to do. 

cottage living room design ideas

This guide will give you 12 amazing cottage living room ideas that will give you the inspiration you need to create a harmonious living space. These tips and tricks will turn your home into a haven of comfort and warmth. 

Let’s get into it!

12 Cottage Living Room Ideas and Inspiration

1. Architectural Finishes 

What we love most about cottages is their unique features and quirks, from wooden beams and ambient fireplaces to exposed stone walls and eclectic cobble flooring. Each cottage offers something unique and uncovers a wealth of beauty and history.

Showcase original features whenever possible

Creating a living room space that respects the building’s history and craftsmanship, is a space that highlights its best features.

Preserving original features is a great way to not only keep the cottage in good condition, but it’s also a great way to showcase the house’s original beauty and architectural finishes. Doing this can be as simple as exposing wooden beams and revealing original flooring and walls.

You can either leave these features raw and bare for an authentic feel or you can modernize them by painting beams or exposed stone walls. 

2. Use Of Natural Materials 

Concerning the preservation of architectural finishes. Another way of paying homage to the cottage’s original style is to add natural materials of stone, wood and wool to bring out the original character of the cottage.

Incorporating features that match existing features such as beams and stone floors and walls is a great way of harmonizing your living room space. An example of this is sourcing a wooden coffee table that matches wooden beams or wooden flooring.

Antique Table Mixed With Modern Furniture

Or, sourcing a stone table or lamp base that reflects the same colour or texture of exposed stone walls. Adding natural colors and materials into your space helps to soften the space. 

3. Complementary Colour Palette 

Cottages are known and loved for their rural and rustic character. Maintaining the character of your cottage is essential for creating a homely and authentic atmosphere.

Whether your cottage contains an exposed stone wall, stone floors or wooden beams, a great way of making sure that its features are delicately highlighted is by decorating the home with earthy, neutral and natural tones.

Pinterest – Earthy Natural Tones

Doing so will help natural features such as exposed stone walls and cobblestone take front and center while blending seamlessly with everything in the room.

Classic colours of duck egg, light greys, blues, creams, light yellows, pinks, terracotta, off-white and ivory are great colours to use for creating a warm and inviting living room space.

4. Heat 

If you’re lucky enough to have an original fireplace in your home, embrace it. One of the reasons why people love cottages so much is because of the warm, cozy and inviting environment it offers. The fireplace of a cottage is the heart of the home.

Whether you have an original fireplace or you’re looking to install a cast iron stove or log burner, adding this feature will bring warmth into your home. It’ll create a hub of heat to curl up in front of on the sofa and watch the flames.

Related Article: 5 Charming Exterior Paint Colors  

5. Soft Furnishings

The sofa is a key element to making a living room space feel comfortable and homely. Classic cottage sofa choices include a chesterfield sofa, a high-backed sofa or armchair. These sofas create a traditional and classic feel which work well in a space with a muted colour palette and traditional finishes.

Pinterest – Cozy Sofa

Other popular cottage sofa styles include patterned tweed or tartan sofas or woolen and linen sofas. All of which provide warmth and depth.

The most important part of picking the correct soft furnishings for your living room space is to ensure that it fits with the rest of the features in the room. Ensure that its space aligns with shapes of furniture, lighting and structures in the room.

For instance, if the room features lots of round and arched spaces or windows, incorporate a sofa that offers a classic curvaceous furniture style

6. Blending The Old With The New 

Blending features of old and new is essential to creating a space that respects the building’s history and architecture but also provides homely features that reflect today’s living. A warm and inviting living room space should showcase an eclectic mix of the old and new.

Photos below offers a great example of how an old railway tie can be transformed into a beautiful fireplace mantle.

Raw Railway Ties
Finished Railway Tie
Installed Railway Tie

New doesn’t necessarily mean modern, it can simply mean sharpening up existing features and breathing new life into tired parts of the space. Blending the old with the new could include painting wooden beams or adding modern art to an original exposed stone wall.

It could also include adding upcycled vintage pieces of furniture. Blending the old and the new is a great way of layering features of your living room to create a unified space.

7. Layering 

Having a neutral colour palette will enable you to add detail to your living room through layering. Layering is a great way to add depth to a space and create a comfortable atmosphere. Layering can be done in a couple of different ways.

It can include layering soft furnishing such as a sofa by adding cushions and blankets. A key to layering is to use a range of different textures and patterns.

For example, adding a patterned cotton cushion with a velvet cushion will create an ere of luxury. You can also layer floors and windows or add layering using light. 

8. Expanding Space 

Cottages tend to feature small rooms and low ceilings. Though characterful, these characteristics can make a space feel enclosed and dark. Maximizing light and increasing the sense of space in a room is essential to creating a warm and comfortable environment.

Maximizing space in a room can be done in several ways. One of the most significant techniques is to use mirrors.

The use of mirrors help to make a small space feel bigger and brighter. Using large mirrors is a great way to visually maximize your living room space.

Another great way of expanding the space is by combining the use of mirrors with clever lighting such as incorporating lamps or chandeliers near the mirror to reflect the light into the room. 

9. Light 

The addition of light is often a last thought when it comes to completing a room. However, the lighting of a room is a significant feature that can pull the whole room together.

Having the correct lighting can help to create a warm, ambient space and highlight key architectural and design features in the room. The best way to add lighting that makes an impression is to use layering.

A great way of doing this is to use different types of lighting. Don’t just opt for a single light. Incorporate lamps, pendants and spotlights into your space.

Pinterest – Chandelier

These lights are great for highlighting features for a dramatic effect whilst lighting such as recessed lights and chandeliers work to add character and glamour to a space.

10. Pattern 

Adding a bit of pattern can make all the difference when it comes to sprucing up a living room space. Adding pattern is highly recommended for bringing character to a cottage room living room.

When it comes to adding patterns in a cottage, you can really go as large or subtle as you like. A great way of adding pattern to your space is by using furnishings such as curtains, rugs, cushions, or even getting a patterned sofa.

Pinterest – Flora Sofa

Popular cottage patterns include floral designs, tartan and tweed. If you’re not too keen on pattern, stick to a single soft furnishing such as a run or a couple of cushions.

If you’re feeling bold, you can begin to mix and match the patterns in your room to create depth. 

11. Attention To Detail 

Another great way of layering and adding depth to a space is by using artwork. Adding artwork to a wall not only adds personality, it gives the room an overall theme.

Art enables you to get creative and add a unique flair to the room whether you go for something traditional like an oil painting or scattered pieces of abstract art.

Pinterest – Add Artwork For Texture

Placing different pieces of art on a single wall creates a unique feature wall that adds colour and personality to a room.

If the artwork you choose to use contains pops of bold colour, to go the extra mile, you can use accessories such as vases and ornaments that complement or contain the same colour. This is layering at its best and it will help to create a vibrant and unified space that flows. 

12. Add Your Personal Touch

The living room space is characterized as the heart of the home. Hence, it’s only right that the space reflects your personality and what you love most. This is a space where you can use colour, texture and art to reflect your personality.

Adding personal touches of accessories, plants, family photos and soft furnishings is a great way to add extra warmth to a space. These additional finishes are what take a space from looking like a show home to looking like a home. 

Pinterest – Family Photos


So there you have it, a complete guide of the top tips and techniques that will turn your living room into a haven of comfort.

These ideas will help you to incorporate components that work to preserve the original features of your home whilst also giving you tools you need to add your own touch to the space. We’ve given you tips on colour, texture and spacing to maximize the light and space in your room.

Now you have these tools at your disposal, you can start putting together plans of how you would like your living room space to look and feel. 

Thank you for sharing your time with us at Today’s Cottage Living!

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Greg Jones

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