The home cottage has a romantic appeal to it reflecting simple country living. The tiny dwelling style was used by poor English peasants. It was usually a small, one-room cozy housing unit with a slanted roof that might extend all the way to the ground.
The name, cottage, was derived from the term - "cotter," "cottager" or "coterelli" (an agricultural worker even lower than a serf). He would hire out his labor to the local British lord. Originally, the cottage was associated with a small parcel of fenced-in land and even a barn.
After the "Enclosures Act" removed the land aspect from the cottage definition, this rural or semi-rural housing style was simply characterized as small and cozy. It was more similar to a hut.
In the United States, a home cottage is usually reserved for family vacations with recreational and health benefits. The terms, cabin (in the woods) or a chalet (in the mountains) are also synonymous with the American cottage. "We are going to the cottage this weekend" is a common phrase for these urban families. American cottages might include land for tilling, but it is not required.
In Canada, the home cottage is usually near rivers or lakes and can be rented out to tourists. The most popular North American cottage revival style is the A-Frame house (no walls, just a roof.) The cottage style is also known for combining the exposed English country look of dark brown timbers and white stucco.