Simple Shabby Chic and Cottage Decorating Ideas

Creative new ways to add a cottage or shabby chic feel to your space. Designer Genevieve Gorder shows how to create a cozy room with a touch of romance.

Before: Non-Functional Space

The Osses can't figure out how to make their huge living area work for their family. Currently, the large space houses the living area, dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook and library.

After: Elegant Kitchen and Dining Room

Genevieve divides the room into distinct spaces with simple, yet eclectic furnishings. Her color palette of light green walls and accents of saffron, bamboo and dark brown set the perfect background for her shabby chic design. The cabinets are painted a fresh white to highlight the existing stainless steel and tiled backsplash.
From: Genevieve Gorder

Before: Uninspired Living Room

With dark furnishings and typical accessories, the living room is an uninspiring family hangout. An awkward layout also makes the space hard to navigate.

After: Mixture of Design

To exemplify the cozy, relaxed setting of a shabby chic room, Genevieve refinishes the floor in a dark brown stain and combines distressed furniture with an eclectic mix of fabrics and colors.

Before: Tiny Office

The Arcuri family need help transforming their tight, cluttered home office into a space they can all use. The room is important to the family because it's the heart of the house, where they work and do all of their scrapbooking.

After: Bright and White

To expand the space and create a cottage feel, the walls are painted white. A full-wall apothecary is a unique piece that offers a lot of vertical storage, while built-in desks save space and provide plenty of workspace. For a splash of color, Genevieve adds crispy green, easy-to-clean carpet squares.
From: Genevieve Gorder

Before: Cluttered Workspace

Between crafting and computers, the family is busting at the seams in their 8x10 home office. They want to expand their workspace, so they have a creative place for the whole family to be together.

After: Crafty Chic

Genevieve expands the room extra three feet by going through the wall of the adjoining bath. The new wall gets a rustic paint treatment, but is left unfinished, so the slats can be used for storage. Flowing curtains, fun fabric boards and colorful accessories are the perfect touches for this creative room.
From: Genevieve Gorder

Before: Outdated and Dark

After her parents passed away, Michelle Cancellieri wanted to keep her childhood home in the family. She needs to inject her personality and style into the living room, starting with the large, dark fireplace that takes over the room.

After: Light and Breezy

Growing up Cancellieri and her family were always at the beach, so Genevieve decides to bring a beach cottage feel into the space. Watery tones, a wall of iridescent silk curtains and feminine fabrics are the starting points for her room transformation. The brick wall is covered with sheetrock to create a more focalized mantel and blue-gray slate fireplace.
From: Genevieve Gorder

Before: Stuck in the Past

While Cancellieri feels comfortable in the home, nothing has been updated since she was a kid, and the living room is in desperate need of a new design. She wants the space to be cozy, romantic and energetic.

After: Full of Personality

Relaxed furniture and light, breezy colors are the hallmarks of beach cottage design. For a romantic touch, Genevieve adds a white, flowery chandelier and small prints of birds in thick white frames. By balancing the feminine elements with masculine items, like the leather chairs, she creates a welcoming, cozy environment.
From: Genevieve Gorder

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