Whether you’re thinking about decorating a cottage, or whether you just want to add some cottage décor to your home, we’ve got some great inspiration for you.

The size of the space does not matter, and you can create a charming, characterful look on any budget. All you need to do is be creative and intentional with the design.

cozy decorating ideas on a budget
Cozy décor can start at the front door

From charming cottage decorations to cozy furnishings and chic wall colors, you can transform your cottage with our cozy decorating ideas on a budget.

Some of these cozy decorating ideas on a budget are inexpensive, while others will be a little more pricier. Whatever your budget, you can implement designs to create a charming and characterful cottage look.

For ideas and inspiration on how to create cozy decorating ideas on a budget, Today’s Cottage Living reached out to local designers and talented property owners to see how they archived this look for their cottages, cabins, farmhouses, and chalets.

Let’s get into it!

13 Cozy Decorating Ideas On A Budget

To get this look, you’ll want to focus on making a cozy, homely space. Think about certain textural elements too: stone and timber are quintessential to the cottage look. Rustic ceilings and odd angles, with little nooks, make up the quirky cottages we all adore.

Even if you don’t own a cottage, you can implement these cottage-style ideas to create a cottage feel within your home.

1. Use Recycled or Vintage Furniture

The first way to get a charming and characterful cottage look is to use recycled, or vintage furniture.

When we think of cottages, we often think ‘shabby chic’. We think about history, about family, and all the life that has occurred.

vintage furniture
Upcycled vintage furniture

While the whole cottage definitely does not have to oblige to this rule, adding a few upcycled or vintage pieces of furniture can really create the sense of nostalgia within the home.

While you can purchase modern vintage-inspired furniture, do yourself a favor and pop down to a flea market, or a vintage shop. Find pieces that you think will look quirky and lovely in your home. The color does not matter, just ensure it’s suitable for usage and isn’t going to break.

Once you have the piece, you have two choices. If it’s made out of gorgeous wood, you can either sand the furniture down and/or apply a wood shine.

If the wood isn’t something to shout about, then you can apply paint and then polish to the product. This gives that old, wooden effect while giving it some modernity.

You can pretty much choose any color you would like, whatever colors you would like to bring into your home. Popular choices would be sage green, duck egg blue, or blush pink. You could even go with darker shades, for a moodier effect.

2. Dining Table

A dining table is vital to any charming and characterful cottage.

Having a dining table reflects family and community. It’s cozy and symbolizes family meals and family time. When choosing a dining table, you should consider the different styles. Firstly, you may want to consider the type of wood you opt for. There’s light pine, rustic oak, or even a painted table.

One idea would be to opt for a solid wood table, but rather than having wooden seats, you opt for wooden benches. This gives a real community, country vibe. If this isn’t suitable for you, then wooden chairs are your next best option.

Pinterest – Wood Table With Bench

To make these comfortable, you can use seat cushions. Pick cushion covers that are patterned, or that complement the colors in your dining room.

3. Setting The Table

Okay, so you’ve got your table. What next?

Well, now you’re going to want to consider what the table suggests. Given that you’re opting for a charming and characterful look, you should consider using a tablecloth.

You can get these in various colors, white is a staple, but you could go as bold as you would like.

If you want to show off the wood, then keep the tablecloth for special events. You can add fresh flowers to the table, a water jug, and keep coasters at the table.

Pinterest – Colorful Table Cloth

Make it so that someone could sit down, and be comfortable. You don’t have to be prepared for dinner, but add some extras that help focalize the table.

4. Go Wild With Flowers (and Plants)

When it comes to adding charming and characterful decoration, flowers can do so much.

You can use any flowers that make you happy, whatever your favorite flowers are, use them. If you really want the rustic look, then opt for wildflowers, but to be honest — it’s your home. If something is just for appearance, it can be easily noticed.

Also, fill your house up with plants. They help bring the outside indoors and give the house character. You can have a mixture of on-the-floor plants, hanging plants, and potted plants. You can be as creative or minimalist as you like.

Pinterest – Add Flowers & Plants

5. Create a Dreamy Kitchen

One of the most important rooms in a cottage is the kitchen. The kitchen is where a lot of life happens. It’s the place where food is prepared, wine is poured and conversations are held.

It should feel charming and full of character because you want it to invoke a sense of home.

To do this, you’re going to want to incorporate rustic wood into your kitchen.

Pinterest – Country Cottage Kitchen

If your kitchen and dining room are one of the same, then you’re already a step there. If not, think about adding a wooden table, even if it’s just a small kitchen table and chairs.

Also, If you can afford a gas stove, then these look beautiful, and will immediately be a focal point in your kitchen.

Think about cozy extras – like beautiful mugs, lots of tea and coffee, cake stands. You should always have flowers in your kitchen, and plants. To make the flowers a little quirky, keep them in a jug, instead of a traditional vase.

6. Use Warm Colors

An easy way to create a charming and characterful cottage is to use warm colors.

When painting your walls, think about what you want the room to say. If you’re going for a more modern approach, then dark, moody colors are totally fine. If you want the charming and chic cottage, stay away from dark colors in such prominent areas.

Instead, you’re going to want to try whites, creams, earthy stone, light yellow, blush pink, sage greens and duck egg blues. Yep, that’s a lot of colors to choose from.

Then you can accent with color, here you can add darker, or bolder colors. This can be easily implemented with the furnishings and decorations.

Or, you could choose the opposite, have bold walls — think of oranges and greens, and then go softer and warmer with your décor and furnishings.

Related Article: 5 Charming Exterior Paint Colors

7. Mix and Match

The fun thing about cottage decor is that it doesn’t have to be a perfect match.

If you want to use a range of patterns and colors, you can. Cottages can be fun, quirky, and exciting.

They reflect life — so what type of life do you want in your house? Do you want it to be fun and bold? Do you want it to be relaxing and slow? Let your space reflect the life you want to live.

This also applies to furniture. Your furniture does not have to match at all, or — it can, completely. Whatever you feel looks the best will work fine, but it’s the freedom for either or which cottages supply.

Pinterest – Mix Furniture Pieces & Colors

8. Chic Bedroom

Having a characterful and charming bedroom is important, it’s where you rest and begin your day.

The bedroom is probably the easiest to decorate because, within a cottage, it’s often the simplest room. All you need to think about is what atmosphere you want to create.

Pinterest – A chic bedroom

Traditionally, cottage bedrooms are full of patterns. These are usually botanical patterns, reflecting the beauty of nature.

You can use these for your curtains, or if you would rather, your bedsheets. Also, having a good amount of pillows and blankets is vital here. You’re making it cozy, and coziness means warmth.

9. Florals Throughout The Cottage

With that said, you’re going to want to spread a floral theme throughout your cottage. if you really dislike florals, you can avoid this, but it’s very traditional within cottages.

You can instead choose a charming pattern you like, and carry this theme throughout if florals do not do it for you.

However, if you are into florals — lucky you! There’s so much to choose from. You can have floral wall art, which will look absolutely stunning. You can go simpler and have floral water jugs and vases. Furthermore, you can even have floral cups and mugs.

Pinterest – Add Floral Patterns For A Cozy Look

Don’t forget about blankets and throws, while it’s good to use neutral colors, there’s no reason you can’t use a couple of gorgeously patterned throws here and there.

10. Fresh Herbs

Pinterest – Fresh Herbs

Back to the kitchen, we go, and this time, we’re bringing fresh herbs!

This is an excellent and costly-friendly idea. Growing fresh herbs on the windowsill is quintessential cottage life.

You’re bringing the outdoors inside, and reflecting the importance of freshness not only within the cottage but within your food too.

11. Warm Lighting

An important aspect of decorating your cottage will be the lighting.

You’re going to want to use a range of lightning. Think floor lamps, low ceiling lamps, to table lamps. You want to create an atmosphere, and lamps are a fantastic way of doing this.

They can make a room look very cozy, and add a lot of character and charm during the daytime.

Pinterest – Light Fixtures Add Warmth

12. A Reading Nook

Back to the cozy theme, a reading nook is vital in making your cottage look charming and full of character.

It’s not about looking educated, it’s about an area devoted to peace and quiet. An easy way to do this would be to get a bookcase and pair a soft chair nearby.

Pinterest – Reading Nooks Are A Great Escape

If you have no space for a bookcase, then a chair with a table, that has books placed on top and below can convey this. Add some blankets and throws to the area, with some warm lighting, and you have a delightful reading nook.

13. Don’t Forget Your Hallway

Hallways are the most neglected aspect of most homes, but they’re the first place you visit when entering a room.

To convey a charming and characterful effect, consider the following. Have a lovely wooden peg rail to keep any coats and jackets.

Also, consider having a stand for any umbrellas (unless you live in a sunny climate!). Having a boot rack will also create an atmosphere. It signifies the coming and going, of life entering into the house. It also helps keep things neat and tidy.

Pinterest – Hallway Coat Hooks

You can add some artwork within the hallway, and consider using complementary colors to bring life into this small room.


Decorating your cottage, or your house to look like a cottage, can be as simple or as complicated as you like. You can just add a couple of extra decorations, or you can completely redecorate your property and add new furniture.

A cottage is all about warmth and coziness, master that, and you’ll find yourself very happy.

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

Disclosure: TodaysCottageLiving.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Greg Jones

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