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posted: 8/31/2012 10:46 AM

Simplicity warms the cottage kitchen

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Home and Garden Television

"Cottage style" implies light and airy, charming and casual. It is no longer relegated only to summer homes, but chosen for year-round decorating.

Cottages evoke vacations at the beach or cabins tucked in the woods. The mood is relaxed.

Early cottage design was basic since craftsmen rather than architects were doing the designing and building. The walls might have no insulation, only studs; shelving might simply be a board between two studs; and the ceiling was open to the rafters and beams above since there probably was no second floor.

Simplification is the mainstay of cottage design. Here are five tips for getting the look of a cottage kitchen:

• Use a monochromatic color scheme (traditionally white), leave the shelving open and accessible, and use flat panel doors and cabinetry with minimal detailing.

• Bead board was frequently used on walls as wainscoting and as backing for open shelving.

• Period style and muted metals like brushed nickel or oiled bronze are appropriate choices to complement a farm-style porcelain sink. Likewise, honed rather than polished finishes for counters and hardware are appropriate.

• Free-standing furniture pieces can be used for storage in a cottage-style kitchen.

• Because they are often small, many cottage kitchens have open-style floor plans.

Scripps Howard News Service

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