Cottage Decorating – Pip & Whimsy

Pip Wallpaper – image from their book

Yes, cottage decorating! It’s Friday and I am steeling myself to try some very bright wall color!

Cottage can be really awful done wrong, like any design style – ducks and chickens living together in cloying country sweetness – or it can be whimsical, color and fun – Grandma’s house in the best sense.

While we on the topic of intense color, I thought I would turn the tables away from classic design, and take a walk on the whimsical side. Wallpaper is not as elastic a design choice as paint – you can’t just cover it up if you make a mistake; it requires a decisive commitment.

Wallpaper is not only is more time consuming to apply and difficult to remove, it is more costly – already not a choice for the faint of heart. But now we raise that bar of courage to combine intense color and intense pattern. This would send the majority of you running for cover….but for the few, the brave, the color courageous – I give you Pip.

Pip Wallpaper – image from their book

If I had to put a style to these designs,  English Cottage, crossed with Victorian comes to mind. If you just put head phones at the mention of Victorian style, and are singing la, la, la, la, until the coast is clear, try to keep an open mind.

Victorian, like any style has potential – but you have to be more literal in translation and refine your approach by elimination. Don’t try to up-date, just leave the bad parts out – like heavy, dark light-sucking burgundies.


Victorian gift tags for example enjoy continual nostalgic incarnations, just as is without updates.

From the Pip wallpaper Book

Amongst the elements that are signature to the Victorian period are velvets, lace or embroidery – I saw that look!

These happy, and whimsical papers look perfect in combination with velvet, flocked velvet and cut velvet accents – and embroidered matte surfaces, like cotton linen. Let’s lose the lace…..

image taken from Pip’s wall paper book

image from Pip wallpaper book


image taken from Pip’s wall paper book

Designers Guild embroidered pillows look fabulous with Pip!

Designers Guild Pillow

Flock velvet Pip paper





An explosion of pattern and color may not be for everyone, but the designs really made me smile (and are great visual preparation for a very bright wall I will be working on this weekend).

Pip wallpaper book

image from Pip’s wallpaper book

image from Pip’s wallpaper book

image from Pip’s wallpaper book

Pip Wallaper book

If you like the look, you can get the flavor by just sprinkling a little Victorian cottage into an entry, bedroom or a limited area supported by color.

Here are a few accents that lend some cottage flavor to that space in need of whimsy.

greeting cards by Fiona Richards

Try framing some Victorian style greeting cards or tags, or create a small collection of Milk Glass.

Vintage Fenton Milk Glass Rose Adorned Lidded Pedestal Dish

Cottage Victorian candlesticks are Bohemian-chic cottage style.

Victorian candle sticks from PetiteSophisticateDz Etsy Store

and the jubilant colors of Designers Guild home accessories complete nearly any look!

Pillows by Designers Guild on

Don’t fear color or pattern! Just pick a proportion, and make it work!

Pip Wallpaper