Decorating Dilemma: Kaiti’s Cottage Refresh

Decorating a cottage living room with a pastel color palette and bright white

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

I love your decoration and your products. I want to decorate the living room of my cottage. The walls are low (180 cm) and tall (400 cm) and there are many windows. It has wooden ceilings and terracotta floor. I want to renovate the living room (wall painting, light fixtures, carpets, furnitures) with light and pleasant colors. I love white, beige, light blue, and green.

Thanks and waiting your help,





Dear Kati,

We adore the architectural detail of your beautiful cottage. We would love to see you highlight the natural beauty of this room by bring in a soft color pallet. Here are a few ideas we suggest.

Consider painting the walls a soft shade of white to accentuate the beautiful wood detail of the ceilings. We suggest Sherwin Williams Designer White.

Next, introduce a soft subtle color story with our 8×10 Adelaide Rug. We believe you will find the cool blues and greens depicted in this rug particularly soothing. We would center the Adelaide rug in the middle of the room, directly center with the fire place. To keep the room light and bright, add two of our Bradley Bench Seat Sofas upholstered in Suzanne Kasler’s Signature 13oz Linen in Blanc. Ideally, we would place the two sofas in front of your fire place, so that they create an “L” shape seating which would keep your fire place as the focal point in the room. Next, layer the two sofas with our Marrakesh Pillows and our Kiki Frog Knot pillows in sSpa. We recommend at least four of each pillow, two of each on both sofas.

Behind the sofa, place a narrow console like our Milano Console with either a pair of lamp or a simple large lamp. Our Wash Over Me Art would work beautifully in your space too.

Now that we have introduced color to your living room, we suggest having fun with tables, lighting and accessories. Our Leondro Coffee Table is reminiscent of the old world charm that your cottage expounds upon. Let’s position this coffee table in front the two sofas, centered with the fire place. For an unexpected side table, add in our Artist Garden Seat tucked in the corner where the two Bradley bench sofas meet. You can also pull the garden seat out from this area for additional seating when entertaining.

Lastly, place our Nature’s Lace Art, print 1 and 2, above the fire place. The gold frame of these two prints will accent the existing sconces that currently flank either side of the fire place. For additional lighting, we would add our Bradley Task Floor Lamp, in antique brass, to the space. Again, the tone of the lamp will complement the color in both your existing sconces and the nature’s lace art.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Decorating a cottage living room with a pastel color palette and bright white

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How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Joanne B.

    November 9, 2016

    Another great decorating plan! Love everything about it- not sure I would choose the art over the fireplace, but Ballard has so many others to choose from. My husband and I are considering downsizing in a year or so and will totally redo our living spaces in our new (still to be determined) home. When that day comes Ballard will be my #1 source for inspiration and guidance! Keep up the good work and hope you will be there when t’s our time to re-feather our nest!

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 9, 2016

      Thank you so much. We are so glad you enjoy these Decorating Dilemmas, and we’ll be thrilled to help you when you find your new home!
      Until then, we’ll keep these design plans coming 🙂