We’re in the process of designing a new home, and we’re leaning heavily toward an English cottage style. Our goal is to design a house that is beautiful and timeless with lots of curb appeal! We also want to downsize. The home we currently live in is almost six thousand square feet, which is way more than we need at this stage of our lives. Since cottages are smaller in size, this is another reason we’re choosing this style of home. We’re starting the design process by visualizing the exterior front elevation. So in this article, we’re going to discuss some of the exterior design features important in creating an English cottage.
We used AI (artificial intelligence) to help us create some renderings. We fed our vision into the AI software using clever text prompts, and as you can see, the results are astonishing!
Keep it Simple
By definition, cottages are simple and small. And if you have been following us for long, you know that we love to keep things simple regarding design. We are firm believers in “less is more”. This means the exterior of our English cottage will have very clean lines and no overly ornate design elements.
Front Facing Gables
One of the most recognizable features of an English cottage style is the medium to steeply pitched front-facing gable. This could mean one or several. But we will probably do one or two for our design. Too many front-facing gables could make the front of the house look too busy.
Arched Front Door
Arched front doors are very common in English cottage-style houses. And we love the aesthetic of an arched door. This is something that we definitely want to include, but we haven’t decided if we want it to have a lot of glass or not. We do like a lot of natural light in our entryway, so this is something we will have to give more thought. Another thing we are considering for our front door this time is painting it. We usually choose stained front doors but think a painted one will fit the cottage style better.
Steep Roof Pitch
English cottages usually have a medium to steep roof pitch. I think this is especially important for the front-facing gables, as mentioned above. Our current home has a 21/12 pitch roof, which is extremely steep. For our cottage design, we don’t plan on going steeper than 16/12, which should still be steep enough to help create the cottage aesthetic that we are looking for.
An English cottage can look great with or without shutters. But we plan on using shutters in our design. They are an excellent way to add extra curb appeal. And I’m sure Henry will want to build functional shutters as he did for the flip house. These create an element of authenticity. But keep in mind that shutters need to be the same size as the window. This will also make them look more authentic.
Brick or Stone Chimney
Another important element of cottage architecture is a chimney, either constructed of brick or stone. For maximum curb appeal, the chimney should be placed on the side of the house, or for a more “storybook” cottage look, them chimney could be placed on the front of the house.
No modern English cottage would be complete without some beautiful landscaping. To give our home that classic look, we will be planting shrubs and flowers along walkways leading up to the house. And we’ll create hedges using boxwoods which are a staple of English gardens.
Although window boxes aren’t a must for an English cottage design, they can go a long way in making a home more inviting, especially if they are overflowing with lush greenery and flowers. Flower boxes are something we definitely want to include on this house.