The Three Top Reasons to Love Cottage Living!
“I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family, and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give.”
What is it about the humble cottage that romances so many of us? Is it the yearn for a simpler, smaller existence in this big crazy world? Or do we associate it with carefree getaways to the beach or the mountains? Does it appeal to the desire to live large in a small space, or to have less to maintain, clean and care for? Whatever the siren song – the cottage remains a staple for many native southerners and transplants alike.
I love the term “cottage” and its generally accepted meaning of a modest, cozy dwelling, typically in a rural or semi-rural location. I am lucky to live in a small southern town where cottage living is a coveted existence that goes back over a hundred years. The “Aiken” cottage has a long history dating from the early 1900’s when the seasonal society led by Thomas Hitchcock, Sr. (yes, the real life person that the Tom Buchanan character from “The Great Gatsby” was based on) and William C. Whitney and their friends decamped with their families and horses from the frigid northern winters to enjoy our mild, warmer climate. Today, many of the small cottages that sprung up during that golden era and line the historic avenues of Aiken, South Carolina have been lovingly restored by a new generation of seasonal residents and full-timers alike.
What is it about cottage living that so many of us love? Let’s start with the three most obvious reasons:
1. Cottages are easier to take care of and less costly to maintain.
The smaller footprint of a cottage is much easier to take care of and maintain, and best of all it requires less investment on big ticket items like the roof, exterior painting and siding – allowing much more money to splurge on the interiors and yard!
2. Architecturally, cottages are more unique and less cookie cutter.
In this day and age of the perfectly groomed gated community, the cottage screams out character. Small floor plans with quirky foot prints along with unusual moldings and aged plank floors remind us more of an independent feisty old maid aunt than a stylish female executive. From traditional to rustic to modern, the cottage isn’t pigeonholed into a specific style – its unique character lends itself to creative interpretation of the interiors and exterior.
3. Cottages hearken back to a simpler time and lifestyle.
The diminutive size of the cottage encourages togetherness, and the standard issue wide front porch welcomes the outside world in. Can’t you just see yourself sitting on the simple front porch sipping lemonade and striking up conversation with your neighbors?