There are no hard and fast rules governing cottage style. But these are some tricks of the trade to make the most of this approach.
Think photographically: Imagine a large space as a series of snapshots, making each area a carefully composed vignette.
Group similar things together, such as a collection of crystal pieces on an old dresser or a group of plates hung on a wall.
Combine painted and distressed furniture with plaids and florals to evoke an Old World atmosphere.
Layer objects, mixing and matching treasured finds. A pretty pitcher in front of a decorative platter propped on edge on a painted cabinet creates a multitextured focal point.
Mix different styles. For example, place Victorian-era porcelain on an art deco tray.
Look beyond the primary function of a piece - a Spode teapot can make an attractive vase or hold a small topiary.
Make visual references to the outside. Use flowers and plants wherever you can, and where you can't, use their likenesses in fabrics and patterned china.
Keep flowers simple. A delicate posy or pitcher of wildflowers feels softer and more natural than a formal arrangement.