Google+ House Revivals: Cottage Love

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cottage Love

Okay, I admit it.  I have cottage love.  It's a condition I've suffered from for most of my life. I can't help it.  I love cottages.  But lately I've been trying to define what makes a cottage a cottage? Does it need to be small? Full of old-fashioned detail? A second home?  Relaxed and casual?  Pretty and sweet?  Warm and cozy?

Most people would agree that this Talladega Tudor Revival cottage is a... cottage.  It's small.  It's pretty.  It has charming detail.  It's not too stuffy. It's kind of old-fashioned.  But it was most likely always a year round residence.  Maybe we should strike second home as a requirement...?

This Cotswold Cottage is definitely warm and inviting.  It's also fairly casual and relaxed, but it's not exactly small.  Hmmmmm, maybe it's okay to consider a medium-sized home a cottage!  Because, I have to say, this house definitely feels like a cottage.

But what about Newport, Rhode Island "cottages", such as the Vanderbilt Mansion?
The original families who summered in those lovely mansions referred to them as cottages.  Those families used their cottages as a way to escape city life and it's demands.  They dressed differently, entertained differently, and lived differently than they did in the city.  They were more relaxed in their summer cottages.  Maybe "cottage" has nothing to do with scale?

Surely, it's all about detail, then....
 This Gothic Revival, like the Newport mansions, does not lack for detail, and I don't think anyone would argue that it's a cottage!  That's it, then.  Detail.

And maybe some old-fashioned styling....
But what about those streamlined and modern cottages?  I'm sure their owners would disagree about detail being a cottage requirement.

For that matter, the detailing on this Nantucket Cottage is somewhat restrained,
but there's no question that it is a cottage.

It is sweet and inviting... and pretty...
... kind like this darling Beverly Hills Hansel and Gretel Cottage.  Maybe that's it!  Sweet and inviting!  Not sure I think of those Newport mansions as "sweet", though.  And some of the modernistas might take offense to their stream-lined abodes being called "sweet"-- or "pretty."

This tar paper cottage is certainly charming, but probably not what we would consider pretty.
But it was welcoming, and was most likely considered beautiful to the family that called it home. So, what's the answer?  What makes a cottage a cottage?  Maybe, like beauty, a cottage is in the eye of the beholder?  Or, like some types of "literature", you "know it when you see it"?  I'm not really sure.

Maybe it's really all about how the home or space makes you feel?  Or act?  Maybe, after all, cottage "style" is really about "lifestyle".  A cottage is a place that welcomes and comforts.
A place where you can relax and enjoy being alone, or spending time with family and friends.  Maybe, it's not about the building, at all..., maybe it's really all about the people who live within it's walls.

This post is being linked to the Alphabe-Thursday link party at Jenny Matlock's blog.


  1. To me the second one seems like a cottage I would like to live in. Also, it seems old and comfortable although who knows what it looks like on the inside LOL. Maybe the beautiful flowers in front have something to do with it too. I think your right, a cottage might be in the eye of the beholder.

  2. I agree that they could all be called cottages, but my idea & love in cottages - is always the small, charming, quaint, detailed little homes. I adore them!

  3. Wonderful post! I was so sorry to see the end of the magazine "Cottage Living" because my house is small and cozy like a cottage even though it is usually refered to as a townhouse.

    An area I blogged about once that has many delightful cottages is Denver, Colorado. Quite a few have captured my heart!

  4. Oh I love, love, love cottages. I was just going to say that I was sad when Cottage Living was no more....that was one of my favorite magazines...ever. Thanks for this lovely post!

    A+ for the post
    But C+ for making me drool over some of those cottages - ha!

  5. love all those cottages but my fave is hansel and gretel :D

  6. I love cottages! Thanks for sharing them : )

  7. I love cottages, and these are all such cute examples (well, maybe the tarpaper isn't cute) I love the Tudor Revival and the Cotswold, those are what I think of when I think of the word cottage. Cute post. Kathy

  8. my eyes just loved the first one...I looked at it and saw "cottage"....I would love to live second fave isnt a cottage at all...the retro trailer....I love vintage trailers, cottage or not.....I liked your c' post.....melinda

  9. I love the look and feel of cottages..Beautiful photos..
    Thanks for stopping by!

  10. When I think of cottages, I think of the house the "Three Bears" lived in! lol

    thanks for stopping by my blog!!
    Hope you'll come back again!

  11. Good Morning,

    Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit. We love having company!

    I consider this farmhouse a cottage. Originally, the floor plan consisted of approx 1000 sq feet, which in my book constitutes it as a cottage, always believing that "cottage" refered to size! Thanks for opening my eyes to the fact that it could just be the "feeling". Either way, the farmhouse fits both terms!

    Thanks for the insight!

  12. the second pic looks like a cottage to me and it's quite pretty, isn't a cottage like a home away from home?

    thanks for your visit

  13. i think i need to live in a cotswold cottage ... yup, that would suit me to a t ... and the definition of a cottage ... if home is where the heart is, i think the same applies to the cottage ... size and style really dont matter, its the hearts that beat within ...

  14. I'd love to live in a cottage. I would expect it to be small and cute with a picket fence!

  15. I have a cottage on the lake that we call the "little house" and eventhough the house we live in now is not cottage-size i have a white pciket fence and a fountain in my front yard. I love that cozy feel of a cottage.


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