How to get that easy breezy cottage look on a tiny budget; 5 ways

When you think about cottage living, what comes to mind? For me, it’s casual, inviting, charming, and easily achievable on any size budget. You don’t need to break the bank to add a few simple elements into your space to give it an easy breezy cottage look and a welcoming feel. And you won’t wind up eating Raman noodles and can soup for months to afford the look; although I must confess I’ve been there, done that for a darling little wicker chair I purchased at a high end boutique. Live and learn.

Here are a few ways to achieve cottage style on a tiny budget.

1. Re-purpose for a fresh look

Think outside the box and use pieces you already have in ways different than originally intended.

Cottage Fix blog - farmhouse bench re purposed as a coffee table Here I used an old hand made farm bench as a coffee table.

2. Cover old furniture to give it a second life

Slipcovers are a great way to breathe new life into old worn pieces and dated fabrics. If you’re like me and never learned how to sew, a drop cloth also works well.

Cottage Fix blog - drop cloth chair coverI covered this overstuffed chair with a drop cloth to create a floppy cottage style chair cover.

3. Buy second hand for less

Yard sales and consignment are great places to buy vintage furniture with cottage style and usually for a deal.

Cottage Fix blog - outdoor dining set from a yard saleVintage outdoor furniture can be painted for a fresh new look. I found these pieces at a yard sale which included four chairs and a table for 20 bucks.

4. Don’t forget about cottage details…

Stylish fabric accessories are an inexpensive way to add color, texture, and pattern to any room. Add pillows, throw blankets, and window treatments for even more cottage style.

Cottage Fix blog - stripes, floral, polka dots, and breezy curtainsOn our sun porch I mixed floral and striped pillows, a polka dot throw blanket, and light breezy drapes.

5. Incorporate family heirlooms

Don’t banish them to the attic! Give those family heirlooms a second chance with paint and slipcovers to save on the budget and make your family smile.

Cottage Fix blog - painted heirloom side tableI ‘m lucky to have many beautiful family heirloom pieces, but they don’t always coordinate with my cottage look. I can remember seeing this side table in my grandparents living room when I was very little. I gave it a quick coat of paint to add a pop of color and character to our guest room.

Good luck with your cottage style projects! I’d love to hear about them.

xoxo Sally


11 thoughts on “How to get that easy breezy cottage look on a tiny budget; 5 ways

  1. Victoria

    Just having my morning coffee and was so excited to see you’d put a post up! I never tire of seeing your gorgeous cottage:) That patio set is gorgeous! I can’t believe you only paid $20 for that, what a steal. We lived in an apartment in So Cal that had a neighborhood behind it that got hit really hard with foreclosures. You can’t leave furniture on the street for the trash to pick up out there so, they’d all come into our apartment complex and put it in our dumpsters…it’s not as bad as it sounds, the dumpsters were in walled area’s so they’d put stuff inside there but not actually in the dumpster. We found so many gorgeous pieces there! My hall tree, a desk, a beautiful dresser just to name a few and they’re all solid wood. I honestly take no shame in it, IMO, the quality’s much better than newer stuff:)

    Your back yard looks so beautiful! Are you good with gardening? I’m terrible, I basically kill plants just by looking at them which is one of the biggest reasons we’re going to buy a condo and not a house LOL.

    Have a wonderful Easter! We’re heading to my see sister and her family later this afternoon:) So glad you’re on IG now!!!

    1. sally Post author

      I’m honestly not that great in the garden, but the hubby is. I love to help though and just let him lead the way. I enjoy planting flowers and herbs in pots and our smaller beds too. I usually get overambitious and try to grow a few tomato plants. I’m not sure if I’ll go for it this season.
      And there’s no shame in dumpster diving girl, I’m a big fan of road kill finds myself!
      Have a lovely Easter weekend! xo

  2. kelly

    I definitely think of cottage style when I see your home! I love cottage style too. It’s a comfortable, affordable yet stylish way to decorate. I love how it’s not so perfect. That’s what makes it so inviting. Love all of your suggestions on how to achieve that look!

    1. sally Post author

      Thank you so much Kelly!! And thank you for all of the sweet comments you leave throughout the year. Have a wonderful weekend! xo Sally

  3. Shannon

    Beautiful post! If you don’t mind me asking, where is the striped throw pillow in your first picture from? Thanks! 🙂

    1. sally Post author

      Hi Shannon! Thank you. I love that throw pillow too, it goes with everything. I purchased it from Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture online shop at the end of the season when it was on sale. I don’t think it’s still available. All of the pillows are just beautiful though. Thanks so much for visiting! xo Sally

  4. Dore @. Burlap Luxe

    Happy Spring Sally, happy Easter.
    As for your easy breezy cottage feel, it truly helps when you live in an adorable cottage as you do, these elements make you creating in it that much more charming.
    Yes, everything you said about adding light airy curtain panels, and drop cloth throws is one big step tho a cottage look.
    Then the gathered and collected finitire pieces seem to just work. As for your grandparents side table now blue I love it. What inspires me about it in a cottage JDA magazine one had painted the whole thing white suface and all, added a bit of distress to the edged; not overly distress with a stain gloss paint which tends to really add that old 1930′ s cottage feel to it….anyways what I fell I. Love with was it sat right in front of the sofa, yes it was small, with height, and acted as their coffee table books on the flloor under it and it wowed a cottage JDA look…. So this is why my yes are open to another level of designs, be it , cottage farmhouse, French Farmhouse, or just flea market chic.

    So many great ideas out there, but I say buy at a real bargain, and use the piece in how it inspires you to do so.
    You have done just that my dear!!

    Another thing is I love, love the brick floors in our garden room. In room as spacious as this I love floating a day bed in the room and then filling the perimeter with cottage pieces, book cases, buffet and hutches. Chest of drawers, and float a small two seater dinning parlor table up towards the head of the day bed as a place to stack books and florals and maybe a garden piece ontop of the books.
    You have limitless uses for this great cottage space and you my dear inspire the best out of it.

    See you soon.

    Keep inspiring your cottage

    1. sally Post author

      Happy Easter Dore! Thank you so much, you’re always so kind. I just went straight away after reading your comment to see if I could float the daybed in sun porch. I think it might be too small, I guess it looks bigger in pictures. Still might give it a whirl though! lol Have a wonderful weekend! xo Sally

  5. Vickie

    You’ve got the touch when it comes to cottage decorating, Sally! I can’t believe you picked up the iron patio set for only $20!! Your yard looks beautiful surrounded by all the trees and shrubs, and I think we’re all envious of your charming cottage sun porch. Thanks for sharing and I wish you and your family a Happy Easter!

  6. Julie

    You do have a comfortable, homey, nostalgic home, Sally. The style is so fresh and carefree. I also enjoy mixing vintage and heirloom pieces into my decor. I think it adds charm and personality. Your outdoor spaces are beautiful, too.

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