Cottages are not only one of the most recognizable and beloved home design styles in history, but they have also managed to become synonymous with all that is cozy, comfortable and peaceful in home life. When we think of cottages, we think of grassy countryside hills, moss-covered roofs, and a steady cloud of smoke pouring from the chimney of a small home. Known for their simple design and comfortable accommodations, they remain popular today.

History of the cottage at home

Often found in rural or semi-rural areas, what we know today as ‘cottages’ housed English farmers – or ‘cotters’ – as far back as the Middle Ages. Simple in design, their small, compact footprint provided intimate living conditions for the families living in them. They became more common in rural areas, but as time went on and the style made its way to the United States, their popularity began to spread. In fact, they became so popular that in the early 1900s, Sears and Roebuck sold ready-made kits to home buyers in their mail order catalog. Today, cottages can be found all over the world, both in urban and rural areas.

Image Source: Shutterstock – Image Credit: Mark Winfrey

What is a Cottage Home?

Cottages are known for their unique architectural style. They are small houses, intended to house one family. Cottages are typically asymmetrical homes from one to one and a half storeys with low gable roofs and small covered verandas. The chimney is often a central feature of living space interiors, a feature that contributes greatly to the cozy charm they are known for. The cottage represents an important evolution in home design, as they are often considered the precursor of the craftsman at home.

Go to our Architectural Styles page to learn about the history and characteristics of various home designs, from A-Frame to Victorian.