Home Decorating For Dummies
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Are you wondering how to decorate to get the country cottage look in your home? Achieving the country cottage look is a largely a matter of collecting the right fabrics and accessories.

  • Ruffles and flourishes in the form of dressmaker details (pleats, ribbon, welting, and other trim) distinguish this feminine and pretty look.

  • Colors run the gamut of pastels, both warm and cool.

  • Floral patterns abound, but keep the patterns small in scale so that you have more freedom to mix and match.

    Country cottage decorating is a popular choice for kitchens.
    Country cottage decorating is a popular choice for kitchens.
  • Use wood and natural elements like stone and brick.

  • Look for antique pieces, but not the upscale delicate pieces. You want to find pieces that are solid and old-fashioned. They should look like they just came from an old farm.

  • If you can't find or afford antique furnishings, try distressing something new. Distressing will add wear and tear and make the furniture seem older than it is.

  • Country style decorating employs accessories in abundance. Items that bring to mind the everyday life of ordinary people are particularly effective, such as vintage food tins and advertising elements, and antique toys.

  • Country bedrooms should be clean and comfortable without being too frilly and fussy.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Katharine Kaye McMillan, former senior editor of a New York City-based national magazine, is a writer whose work appears regularly in magazines and newspapers. She is a contributing writer to internationally circulated Florida Design Magazine. She is the co-author of several books on decorating and design, including Sun Country Style, which is the basis for licensed signature collections of furniture and accessories by three leading American manufacturers and importers. A graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, she holds a masters degree in psychology and is a doctoral student in psychology at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.

Patricia Hart McMillan is a nationally known interior designer, whose interior design work for private clients, designer showcases, and corporations has appeared in publications worldwide, including the New York Times and USA Today. Known as a trend spotter and for clearly articulated views on design, she is quoted frequently and extensively in both trade and consumer publications. She a ppears on TV and talk radio. A prolific writer, she is coauthor and author of seven books on interior design and decoration, with Sun Country Style signature collections of furniture based on two books. She has taught decorating courses at several colleges and conducted numerous seminars across the U.S. She is decorating editor for Christian Woman Magazine and reports on design trends for The Sun-Sentinel, a Tribune newspaper based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She has been editor-in-chief of two publications and was head of a New York City-based public relations firm representing some of the most prestigious names in home furnishing and building products. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a minor in art history (with an emphasis in architecture), from the State University of New York (New Paltz). She was awarded a certificate from The New York School of Interior Design.

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