When you think of cottages, you might bring to mind images of fairytale homes in the countryside or quintessential small-town English homes. While these common and very popular ideas of cottages are accurate, modern-day cottage designs are versatile and unique, with few aesthetic rules.
Today, cottages are no longer reserved for vacation homes or rural areas. You can enjoy a luxurious cottage by the lake, a small English-style cottage in the countryside or a medium-sized cottage-style house in a metropolis. The common denominator in all cottage houses is the quintessential charm of cottage living.
Cottages were initially small homes that landlords gave to laborers in place of money. The cottage consisted of a small house, barn, outhouse and any other buildings or structures that sat on the enclosed plot of land. Over time, the word cottage came to mean just a small house that has no specific architectural style. It’s more a category of a house and has been a popular type of primary residence for people all over the United Kingdom.
In North America, however, cottages were most commonly used as vacation or weekend homes for the wealthy — smaller houses with rustic charm, which called on the traditional ideas of leisure and comfort. The Cape Cod cottage is a good example of these North American vacation cottages. While vacation cottages are still popular all over North America, the term cottage has expanded to include several types of houses — both vacation and primary residences — that have rustic, quirky architectural designs that borrow from traditional and contemporary designs.
Typically, cottage houses will have one or two floors and be smaller in square footage than the average home. Certain cottage design characteristics include wood or stone exteriors, dormer windows and gable roofs.
Above all, a level of charm is the primary ingredient that makes a cottage house different from any other house.
There are several benefits to living in a cottage house, especially if you build your own using cottage floor plans. Many of these advantages apply to traditional cottage houses as well as more modern floor plans. Some of the most popular benefits include:
Since cottage houses are more a category of homes than an architectural style, there are many ways to combine the homey charm of cottage living with different environments and architectural styles.
The possibilities are endless, but here are some of the most common types of cottage house plans:
If you’re considering building a cottage house for yourself, you may be curious about specific examples of what cottage house plans can look like. Luckily, we offer dozens of cottage house plans that will suit your needs and family — no matter how big or small.
At 1,311 square feet, this three-bedroom cottage house sits on one level and features the quintessential gabled roofs popular with cottage houses. Sage windows surround the home, making it look like something right out of a children’s storybook.
A covered porch at the front and a wide deck at the rear keep it from feeling too cramped, and the interior features a spacious, open-concept living and kitchen area, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
This cottage house would be great in an urban or suburban setting, a quiet rural setting or a beach cottage for weekends.
This cottage house gives off the charm of a cottage while maintaining the luxury of a contemporary home. At 1,742 square feet, this one-and-a-half-story house comes equipped with three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a half bathroom. Over the garage is a bonus room that can be transformed into a guest room, a home office or a game room.
The back deck has access to the master suite and the family room. It’s an excellent place for barbecues or can be made into a solarium. The house also has an attached two-car garage to the side, which seamlessly blends into the house, giving the home a sleek, uniform look.
The gabled roofs, dormer windows and partial stone siding catches your eye and throws you into daydreams of country living, no matter where you are.
If you’re a fan of symmetry in your dwellings, this cottage-style house is just for you. Full of attractive angles caused by steeped roofing and the neat, broad cut of the house, you can add a little city to the country with this cottage house.
A cute covered porch in the front invites you to stop by and say hi while a back deck will have you bubbling with ideas for warm-weather get-togethers. Like the Southern-style house plan, this one also features a two-car garage that blends seamlessly into the main house to give a neat, uniform look.
Inside, you’ll need the decor to remind you of cottage life. This 1,720-square-foot home sits on one sprawling floor and comfortably houses three bedrooms and two full bathrooms, an open-concept living and dining room, a kitchen and a laundry room.
When you’re building your own home from floor plans, it’s inevitable to have a lot of questions. When you’ve chosen a specific style for your new home, you’ll probably have even more specific questions, so here are some frequently asked questions about cottages houses answered.
Cottage houses are still popular all over the United Kingdom, particularly in smaller towns and in the countryside. They’re predominantly primary dwellings, but over on this side of the Atlantic, cottage houses are just as much vacation homes as they are primary residences.
Authentic cottages, like Cape Cod cottages, tend to be found in seaside areas or other spaces where people are likely to spend holidays. In Canada, cottages are most commonly found around the Great Lakes, while in the United States, they’re spread across the country near bodies of water as well as in woodsy areas.
The goal for most people when they’re decorating a cottage house is to establish the rustic, old-world charm that cottages are best known for. The decor, furnishings and lighting are just three of the ways to achieve the coveted carefree cottage look:
Depending on how much space you have, you may want to begin keeping a front garden as well. Rustic, countryside cottages are known for their selection of bright flowers and plants — often planted with seemingly no rhyme or reason. If the organized clutter look isn’t for you, you can plant symmetrical shrubs or floral plants according to color to give your cottage an eye-catching appearance.
The cost of building your cottage-style home will vary based on several factors, including:
Originally, cottage houses were very small, and the definition of a cottage house is still considered to be a smaller house, although no specific size separates a cottage house from a regular house. Modern cottage houses can be as big or small as you like, but on average, they tend to be smaller than 2,000 square feet, split into two levels.
If you’re in the market for a new house, consider building one using pre-fabricated house plans from COOL House Plans. Our large selection of cottage house floor plans ensures there’s something for every taste, so start browsing and pick your new home today.