Front Doors for Cottage Style Homes


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Charming and cozy, cottage homes conjure up visions of storybook settings and the English countryside. Thatched roofs, stone walls, and tiny windows beside arched doors suggest warmth and intimacy can be found inside this home (or, perhaps a wicked witch that eats lost children…). Like the rest of the structure, front doors for cottage style homes are meant to promote that cozy, warm feeling.

There are some words in the English language that have been made to invoke a particular feeling. “Cottage” is one of those words. Immediately you imagine steaming tea in a floral teacup beside a warm fire with a sleeping cat on your lap. It’s such a cozy word.

Home Edit

What are the Characteristics of the Cottage Style Home?

The word “cottage” is derived from a term used to define a person living in a small home who works farmland. Today, it is used to characterize a small, quaint home that can be used as a primary residence or as a vacation getaway such as a beach cottage or mountain cottage.

There is no strictly defined period in history that created “cottage” style (such as the Victorian era brought Victorian homes). Instead, the term refers to any small, cozy home, particularly if it is located in a desirable location, such as the countryside or by a lake or other body of water.

A classic cottage from a storybook.
This old cottage looks like it is straight out of a storybook.

Cottage Style Exteriors

Aside from the descriptors of small and cozy, a cottage can be distinguished by a low roofline, small-paned windows, and an overall welcoming appearance. Windows will have functioning shutters, doorways will often be arched, and there will usually be a fireplace and chimney. The entire property may have a low picket fence surrounding it and adding to the charm.

Cottages may pick and choose elements of other home styles, such as the wrap-around porches of Victorian homes, the dentil molding of a craftsman property, or the half-timber pattern of a Tudor. The exterior walls are often shingled, similar to the Cape Cod style. This eclectic mix serves to add a quirky individuality to each cottage, and makes them all the more welcoming for their somewhat off-beat styling. Additionally, the goal of a true cottage is to show a little wear and tear without looking rundown or uncared for.

Color is exuberant on a cottage. Walls, shutters, doors, and trim will be painted in lively shades found in nature. Adding to this color will be bountiful flower gardens and shrubs all around the structure. Cottages may be small, but they are lively and welcoming in their decor, especially in the use of color.

A modern home with cottage style design elements.
This home has elements of cottage style worked into a thoroughly modern design.

Traditional Cottage Style Front Doors

Traditional front doors for cottages were on the small side, in keeping with the size of the home. Dutch doors have always been popular. These doors were split in half horizontally so that just the top half can be opened to light and fresh air. Doors for cottages have always been varied in colors, in order to stand out from the recessed alcoves where they were often placed.

Modern Cottage Style Front Doors

The classic Dutch door remains the ideal choice for a cottage front door, particularly if it opens to the fresh air of the mountains or sea. Arched doors are also popular and appropriate, and modern cottages look wonderful with the addition of sidelights, fanlights, or transoms. Anything that opens the home up to additional light and air is a benefit.

Two modern front doors for cottage style homes:  mint green on a lilac house, and white on a white house.

Don’t be modest with the color on a cottage front door. Go for something as unique as the home it is placed in. Think of your favorite vivid florals. Choose a color that says “welcome home” or expresses your personality best.

White is always a fresh and safe color. But why not vivid teal, refreshing aqua, powder pink, or vibrant lilac? If you are fortunate to have a cottage style home, embrace it and consider the rainbow!

5 colors for front doors for cottage style homes:  white, aqua, lilac, pink, and teal.
Front doors for cottage style homes look best with bright, cheerful colors. All colors shown are from Sherwin Williams.

Key Takeaways for Front Doors for Cottage Style Homes

Cottages are small, cozy homes with low roofs, small doorways, and shuttered windows. They may take design cues from other home styles, such as Victorian, Craftsman, and Cape Cod.

The overall look is meant to be friendly and welcoming, and very informal.

Dutch doors, which are split horizontally, are ideal. Arched doors, windowed doors, and sidelights all work with the cottage style.

Color is meant to reflect exuberant pastels and brights found in florals and other natural elements. Go vivid and bold!

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front door for cottage style home

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