Exploring the Beauty of English Cottage House Plans

What are English Cottage Houses?

These are traditional-style homes, often made of stone or brick, found commonly in the rural areas of England. They are known for their cozy interiors with clean and green landscapes in the outdoors. The common structure design typically includes tiled roofs, small windows, stone walls, low ceilings, and small rooms, with some rustic charm.

The history of English Cottage houses dates back to the middle ages of England when these structures were built to provide accommodation for agricultural laborers known as cotters. These small one-room cottages were built by the cotters using local materials such as stone, timber, and thatch and were designed to be simple, functional, and easy to build, fitting the landscape of the area. Later by the 19th Century, Cottages became much more evolved with multi-rooms and cozy interiors preferably getting built by the people who desired to move and settle in the rural countryside areas

Even today, English Cottage Houses are often used as vacation homes or weekend getaways, for people who desire to live a more rural life in the countryside of England and around the world.

Why people choose English cottage house designs

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Coziness and comfort: Unlike Modern home designs, the small size and the special layout of these designs offer great coziness and comfort. The natural light that passes through the small windows, the personal space privacy with the small rooms, interiors with soft furnishings, outdoor gardens or courtyards for relaxation, etc add up to creating a warm and inviting living experience.

Eco-friendly life: Right from the starting point these cottages can be built with natural materials such as wood, stone, and thatch. As they come with a minimalist lifestyle through smaller living spaces, it helps in Waste reduction. The great outdoors can help us to connect with nature and can also be used for organic gardening.

Unique design: The thick walls and small windows can help to retain heat in the winter and keep the interior cool in the summer. These cottages are usually designed with a south-facing orientation, increasing natural light and warmth of the sun. The thatched roofs, made from local materials such as straw or reeds, can also be utilized for rainwater harvesting.

Affordability: Due to factors such as the use of readily available local and natural materials for construction, simpler and smaller layouts, DIY interior decor, low real estate and labor costs in rural areas, less operating and maintenance costs, etc, affording an English Cottage House is not such a big deal.

Traditional Lifestyle: These cottages allow us to start living a traditional life. Families can grow their vegetables, and raise chickens and other livestock alongside connecting with local farmers. We can also work on our DIY skills to make our own soaps, candles, and other household goods. Not to forget handcrafting such as woodworking, weaving, or pottery. We can have our own well or water source and a turbine for electricity. Much can be done depending on our creative thinking and abilities.

Also watch : 20 Different Best Elevation designs

Types of English Cottage House Design

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From the Middle Ages to the current times, especially right from the 19th century, English Cottage houses have evolved a lot from just small rooms with simple outdoors to a lot of diverse designs out of which the Top 10 are highlighted below,

English Country Cottage: It’s just like a traditional British cottage with a rustic and cozy appearance. Materials used for building are locally sourced stone, brick, and timber. Roofs are made from straw, reeds, or other natural materials. Interiors typically feature exposed wooden beams, soft tile flooring, and comfortable furniture. Gardens majorly consist of herbs and flowers with a focus on the landscape aesthetic.

Farmhouse Cottage: Layout consists of a simple functional square floor plan. Materials used for building are stone, brick, and wood with a gable roof design. Interiors also include exposed wooden beams, warm, natural colors, soft textures, a Farmhouse-style kitchen, and wooden furnishings. Outdoors consists of a wrap-around porch(outdoor living space), herbs, and flowers alongside growing vegetables and fruits.

Tudor Cottage: The frame of the structure is built with the use of timber, steep roofs with thatch or clay tiles, and exterior walls are covered by thin wooden strips. Interiors include tall, decorative chimneys(made of brick or stone), wooden ceilings and flooring, small windows with diamond-shaped panels, decorative plasterwork, rich colors and textures, rustic wooden furniture, etc. Outdoors includes neatly trimmed hedges and wildflower gardens, formal garden beds,  fountains (or) ponds, Arbors, and trellises to support climbing plants such as roses or clematis, structures such as gazebos, arbors, or garden sheds for seating and storage, etc.

Stone Cottage: It is primarily built using stone, such as fieldstone, granite, or limestone with steeply-pitched roofs with thatch, slate, or clay tiles. Windows are made of wooden frames alongside arched or rounded tops wooden doors. Interiors include large chimneys made of brick or stone(with a decorative cap), hardwood flooring, wooden cabinetry, antique furnishings, a neutral color palette, a traditional fireplace, etc. Outdoors include stone or brick walkways, informal flowers, herbs, and shrubs gardens, a small pond, a porch or patio(for outdoor seating) with a fire pit, string lights and lanterns, rain barrels, etc.

Victorian Cottage: The structure includes timber framing with steeply pitched roofs covered in shingles or slate and an Ornamental chimney. Exteriors include ornate entryways, patterned brickwork, pocket doors, bay windows made of stained glass, iron railings(Dado rails), Juliet balconies, and stone or brick quoins. Interiors include vintage or antique furniture, High ceilings(Coffered ceilings), fireplaces with tile or stone surrounds, built-in cabinetry, Clawfoot tubs in the bathroom, and Parquet flooring, Outdoor includes porches or verandas, fences, gates, lanterns or light fixtures, Garden Beds, Climbing plants, ponds and birdbaths, garden statues, Lawn Ornaments, Espaliered Fruit Trees, Topiary,  etc.

Arts and Crafts Cottage: It’s nearly the same type of cottage as the other; Let’s discuss what’s unique in them. The structure features Low-pitched gables roofing, Rustic materials, Handmade tiles, stone walls, etc. Exterior includes Arched doorways, Dormer or casement-style windows, Tapered columns on the porch or entryway, etc.  The interior includes wood paneling on the walls, built-in furniture, seating & storage, Decorative elements, Handicrafts, etc.  Outdoors include Craftsman-style gates and fences,  Inglenooks(cozy seating area), Front porches, Cozy Nooks, Handmade Crafts, Mixed planting styles (native plants), Rock gardens, pergolas, gazebos, and arbors, etc.

Cotswold Cottage: Built using limestone, sandstone, and Cotswold stone, steeply pitched (or) Hipped roofs with thatched or stone-tiled surfaces, large stone chimneys, low ceilings, Stone floors, etc. Exteriors include honey-colored limestone or red brick walls, solid wood doors, small multi-pane windows (or) Stone mullioned windows, and Walled gardens, Interiors include Cotswold arches (above doorways, windows), Worn finishes, weathered wood floors, Wrought iron details, etc. Outdoor includes Hedgerows (made from local trees and shrubs), Dry stone walls, Herbaceous borders, Gravel paths, Potting sheds (or) Greenhouses, Espaliered trees, Raised beds, etc.

Modern Cottage: Here the possibilities are endless as new materials and options can be utilized for creating this design. Design can include Open floor plans (eliminating walls between living areas), Smart home technology, natural materials such as reclaimed wood, recycled concrete and bamboo, Modern storage solutions, and Green roofs with solar panels. Exteriors can include barn doors (or) Dutch-style split doors, windows with multiple panes of glass separated by wooden muntins or grilles, etc. Interiors can include Cozy textiles, Modern lighting, Accent walls, Botanical accents, Functional kitchens, urban living essentials, etc.  Outdoor design can include patios and decks, Outdoor kitchens, Outdoor showers, Pergolas, dining and fire nooks, etc.

Factors to consider while Constructing an English Cottage House

Location and Site: When you have decided to go for building an English cottage house for yourself, nothing else matters more than selecting the right location before buying land. Every aspect from the locality to the natural environment of the area should complement the design of your cottage. Keep in mind that along side’s you are also supposed to check the orientation of that site to maximize natural light and ventilation for your cottage. Also, you need to gather enough details about the weather of that particular area across all seasons before finalizing the design of your cottage, to make sure that your cottage design is compatible.

Style and Design: We have discussed many unique styles and types of English cottage house designs that you can select. You can tailor your design or simply customize the themes as per your choice and need as well. You can also incorporate more modern elements into the existing design styles discussed above. Consider the timelessness of your design choices. You want your English Cottage House to look great for years to come, so avoid overly customized design choices that may quickly go out of style.

Materials and Construction: As you can see from the above-discussed types of English cottage houses, natural and authentic locally sourced materials, such as timber, stone, and thatch were given priority while creating those designs.  Make sure to consider durable and long-lasting materials to ensure the longevity of the cottage. Select materials that complement the style and design of the house. Gather details about all the locally available materials of the site to ensure proper budgeting and planning. The roofing material you choose can significantly impact the overall look and durability of your English Cottage House. Traditional materials such as thatch or slate can provide an authentic look but may require more maintenance than modern roofing materials like metal or tile. Also keep in mind that traditional materials used in English Cottage Houses, such as thatch, can be a fire hazard. Modern materials and construction techniques can help increase fire safety and minimize the risk of damage or loss.

Hiring the Right Contractors: If you choose to hire someone to build your English cottage house, you need to know a few things. Make sure to hire an experienced contractor. Building cottages requires specialization of methods and techniques, that urban contractors may not have. Hire someone who’s experienced in building cottages and make sure to check their references, reviews, and ratings to verify their reputation and quality of work. Also, make sure the contractors have the necessary licenses and insurance to perform the work.

Problems with English Cottage House

While we have discussed all the good about English cottage houses, there are a few setbacks that you need to know.

Less space: All the designs mentioned above specifically talk about small rooms with low ceilings in a few of them. Small spaces or rooms, alongside being a good part have some setbacks. After living for a while you may come across problems such as less walking space, less Storage Space, limited Natural Light, etc. To avoid this many prefer to have multiple outdoor living options along with the cottage space.

Resell value: It may be much easier for you to sell a traditional house after using it for 5 – 10 years, but not a Cottage. And now you got to know why you see many abandoned cottages with just spider webs inside them in distant countryside locations. People who prefer to have a cottage for themselves have a unique choice of design which can become difficult to find in the existing used cottages. Rather than buying an old one, many prefer building a new Cottage which suits their desires and needs. For many cottages are not a living necessity but a vacation spot.

Maintenance: As we use more natural materials like timber, stones, clay, etc that consist of considerable wear and tear with weather and other environmental elements, maintenance can be a big challenge. Many English Cottage Houses use thatched roofs or timber framing which can be susceptible to moisture damage, especially if not maintained properly. This can lead to rot, mold, and other issues that can be costly to repair. Pests and insects can also be an issue while maintaining a cottage house.

In Conclusion, English cottage houses that have been around since the middle ages in England are still predominantly a popular choice among those who want to try something new leaving their urban lifestyles. Who would have thought that the small rooms built by agricultural laborers in the middle ages would become a luxurious living home for many, perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of modern life? many choose English cottage houses because of their affordability, eco-friendliness, and the chance to embrace a more traditional way of living that comes with it. What truly sets these homes apart, however, is the sense of warmth and connection to nature they provide, making them the perfect haven for those seeking a cozy and inviting living experience.

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