• J.E Stanway

Cottage Decor For All Seasons (And Where to Find It)

Updated: Oct 3, 2020

When deciding how to decorate my room, I had a difficult time accumulating items and ideas that could keep me cottage cozy all year round. Home decor is expensive, and having to change it to suit the season can be both costly and time-consuming. However, I soon learned the trick of acquiring decor that not only fits my established aesthetic, but that looks perfect for all seasons of the year. The following images are the methods and ideas I've come up with for an all-seasons cottage feel, including a couple of items I purchased for this glorious autumn season.

Wood and Paint

Photo by J.E Stanway

A large part of the cottagecore aesthetic revolves around vintage/antique styles - in particular, decor that has the appearance of being old, distressed, or stained. So when designing my "Jasmine's Library" sign for my bookshelf, I decided to give it a more rustic-farmhouse look. The leaf and flower design is perfect for all-year-round, and the golden coloring gives it a very warm and cozy look in the cold months and a bright and dreamy look in the warm months.

I purchased a leaf and flower stencil, wooden sign, wooden letters, hot glue/glue gun, and paint from my local Dollarama to achieve the look of this sign. This was my method:

  1. I painted all over the wooden sign with white paint and the letters with gold paint.

  2. After drying, I hot glued the letters to the middle wood piece.

  3. I painted over the floral stencil with light yellow paint. Once that dried, I outlined it with gold paint by dabbing the paintbrush to allow the gold to blend more smoothly into the yellow.

  4. After stenciling, I outlined the border of the sign with gold paint and left it to dry.

You can find similar (and higher quality) supplies below to achieve a sign like mine:

Wood Plaque

Craft Paint

Hot Glue Gun


Vintage/Antique Books and Figurines

Photo by J.E Stanway

When in doubt (or out of money), use hardcover novels to their extent, especially vintage novels. If you have a book with beautiful detailing, a cover that's falling apart, a book that is beautifully broken - find ways to display it. The way I'm displaying my above vintage collection is by lining them up in this autumnal wooden crate that I recently purchased from Michael's on top of my bookshelf. To me, this gives a room a feeling of a farmhouse parlor library, full of all the novels that the family has collected through the generations.

Vintage books can be found at surprisingly reasonable prices. I recommend checking out shops such as Bookish Pursuit, where I purchased three of the above five novels. And if you have access to books passed down through your family, all the better!

In addition to the books on this shelf, there lay a glass cat and an oil lamp perfume bottle. The perfume bottle is a vintage piece from my family and really adds to the Edwardian feel I've attempted to give to my room. You can find a similar bottle here.

My glass cat was a gift that I was very enthused about, as my favorite author always signed her name with a cat beside it. As it was a gift, I don't know where it came from, but you can find a similar (albeit costly) cat here.

Vintage/Antique Frames and Pictures

Photo by J.E Stanway
Photo by J.E Stanway

When decorating a room in an eclectic style, you really can't overdo the amount of artwork and paintings on your walls. The right type of picture will help to set the tone and, depending on your aesthetic, the type of frame you have will only enhance it. Because my room is based on cottagecore, I decided to use vintage style frames.

The white frame shown above is a particular favorite of mine, as it belonged to the collection in my family's farmhouse when my mom was a girl. Nothing says cottage cozy more than nostalgia, now does it?

The image shown in the white frame was cut from an old magazine, which I recommend doing if you're having a difficult time finding pictures that fit into your personal style. It's also much more affordable than spending money on canvas prints.

The dark brown frame shown above is not a vintage/antique piece, but rather has the look of being so. It contrasts well with the white frame (which hangs below it) and gives the room a more hand-me-down homelike feeling - not everything matches exactly, and yet it all comes together.

The picture inside the frame is from my Victorian Calendar. I chose this painting, as the girl pictured shares a striking resemblance to Diana Barry, my favorite fictional character's bosom friend. Additionally, it sets off the Victorian/Edwardian look of my overall room.

You can find a similar frame to my white one below:

White Rustic-Style Frame

As well as my brown antique style frame pictured above.

Dried Flowers

Photo by J.E Stanway

One of my favorite things about flowers is their durability. If they no longer look presentable when fresh, they look beautiful when dried or pressed. And not only do they look sweet, but pressing/drying flowers is an old Victorian harvest custom that adds not only to the style and color of a vintage room but the feeling of it. Dried flowers take the place of fresh during the colder months but look just as sweet next to their vibrant counterparts in the spring and summer.

To dry flowers the way I did above is quite simple. All you need to do is the following:

  1. Once your bouquet of flowers is just beginning to wilt, remove them from their vase.

  2. Turn the bouquet upside down, and tie the stems together with an elastic band.

  3. Wrap the elastic band around a thumbtack or hanger, and let the flowers rest. It usually takes about 48 hours for them to fully dry out.

  4. Once dried, remove from the hanger and place in the area of your choice. I personally like to either tie a ribbon around the elastic band or place something on top of it as I did with the hat in the above photo.

Lace and Ribbons

Photo by J.E Stanway

Nothing screams cottagecore like lace curtains and bed skirts; everything frilled and tied with Chantilly is welcome within this aesthetic. It's sweet, romantic, and just about everything that this cozy and whimsical style longs for.

I have always been partial to lace curtains - to me, those are the epitome of vintage decor. However, in my bedroom, because I have blinds attached to my window, I can't have curtains hanging. So to solve this problem, my seamstress mother came up with the idea to convert a piece from an old curtain set into faux curtains. If you have a similar issue with your window, I highly recommend this method, as you'll still obtain the look that you desire. The way we did this was rather simple, and this is the process we used:

  1. Take the piece of fabric or curtain and tack/hammer it above the window frame. I recommend using metal tacks, small nails, or pins so that they don't detract from the look and style.

  2. Cut the piece of fabric in the middle, up to where a curtain is normally split (a little over half-way up).

  3. Using ribbons or a similar item, tie each piece of fabric in a swooping style, allowing the fabric to drape daintily into a scallop shape.

This can be done with any strategic piece of fabric and is a viable option if you're looking to be economical (which I highly support). However, if you are able to hang real curtains above your windows, I found this charming Victorian-style set that my fellow cottagecore creatures will be sure to love!

These are just a few methods of cottage design that I've come up with, and I'm hoping to bring even more designs to you in the future. If you've been looking to release your inner cottage creature, this list will hopefully help you to begin your re-decoration process. Make sure to return for more decor tips here at The Postmodern Journal!

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