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The Cottagecore Aesthetic: How to Design a Cottage-Style Home

If you’re looking for the next big home design trend, look no further than cottagecore! You’ve probably seen this popular aesthetic on Instagram and TikTok, as more and more people have sought comfort in their homes, sustainability in their lifestyles, and a return to nature. So what is cottagecore and how can you bring it into your home? Learn more about the cottagecore lifestyle and decorating trends in our guide below!

Understanding the Basics of Cottagecore

As both a home design style and a lifestyle, cottagecore is about simplicity, comfort, self-reliance, and personal freedom. This romantic, nature-driven design trend calls for cozy spaces decorated with rustic touches and furnished with everything you need to lead a happy and productive life.

Where Does Cottagecore Come From?

The origins of cottagecore came from European nobility seeking simpler lives through country living. Now, however, the interest in cottagecore stems largely from internet aesthetic culture. Many of cottagecore’s design elements are tied to these social influences. Things like floral prints, natural materials, and indoor plants are common to both cottagecore and the pre-industrial homes the trend is inspired by. In fact, this is where the name “cottagecore” comes from—as a reference to rural cottages. Simply put, the cottagecore trend was born and popularized out of a desire to simplify your life and find fulfillment in self-sustenance.

What Is the Cottagecore Lifestyle?

The cottagecore lifestyle is all about self-reliance and simplicity. According to this lifestyle, you should opt to make things yourself as often as possible, rather than buy mass-produced products. This doesn’t mean sewing all of your own clothes and living exclusively off of homegrown produce. Instead, you could simply grow a small herb garden in your kitchen (or if you have enough space in your yard, a full garden) or hang some dried bouquets as DIY decor. The key is to connect with nature and live sustainably as much as you can. Ideally, the cottagecore lifestyle should bring about feelings of fulfillment, tranquility, and whimsy.

What Does a Cottagecore Home Look Like?

Small Daybed Outside with Large Mirror Hanging Above. Photo by Instagram user @deecampling

Photo via @deecampling

A cottagecore home should be a place of comfort, reflection, and utility with ample natural light. In addition to potted plants, rustic wooden furniture, vintage decor, and other nostalgic touches, homes decorated in this style often show signs of a self-reliant lifestyle, like dried herbs in the kitchen or a wicker foraging basket hanging on the porch. Despite promoting a pared-down lifestyle, the cottagecore trend doesn’t share minimalism‘s focus on negative space and clean lines. Cottagecore actually embraces some clutter as a sign of life. Things like skeins of yarn kept in a basket by a rocking chair, ingredient jars left out on the counter, or a stack of books on the bedside table are all more than welcome in a cottagecore home.

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Designing a Cottagecore Home

Once you know the basics of cottagecore, there are a few interior design principles you can follow to achieve this look in your home. Keeping the spirit of the cottagecore lifestyle in mind, here are some home decorating ideas and design tips to consider while you decorate your cottagecore home!

Use Natural Materials

Cottagecore and nature go hand in hand, which is why homes decorated in this style should make use of wood, wicker, hemp, and other natural materials. Whether it’s a basket for extra blankets, wooden stools at the kitchen counter, or a macrame piece made of hemp, furniture and decor made from these materials are central to the cottagecore trend.

Opt for Vintage Furniture

Antique furniture—especially those with a rustic farmhouse look or French influence—are some of the most essential items in cottagecore home design. Vintage decor not only works well with the style’s look, but also helps create the nostalgic vibe cottagecore is known for. And don’t worry about chipped paint or faded fabric. Similar to farmhouse decor, these so-called imperfections add to your cottagecore home’s charm.

Play with Color & Texture

Earth tones and floral patterns pair perfectly with the cottagecore aesthetic. Where many modern home design styles utilize monochromatic color schemes and sleek lines, the cottagecore trend relies on a more eclectic mix of color and texture. Think lace cloth on wooden tables, quilted throws atop crushed velvet chairs for texture, and earth tones mixed with greens and floral-inspired pastels.

Let Spaces Feel Lived-In

While no one likes an overly cluttered home, having signs of life in your living space is a major component of the cottagecore style. Why worry about hiding away cookware when you can use it as decor between uses! And why not do the same with a few of your favorite books? Leaving certain comforts out for all to see not only makes them easier to access, but will give your cottagecore home a certain cozy charm as well.

Hang Up Wallpaper

Hallway with Blue Wallpaper. Photo by Instagram user @our_new_walls

Photo via @our_new_walls

As far as cottagecore is concerned, wallpaper is back in style. Vintage wallpaper makes a stunning backdrop to cottagecore decor, particularly if it’s floral or nature-inspired. And if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of putting up real wallpaper, there are several faux wallpaper options on the market that look just as good. Even just covering an accent wall with a whimsical print can help nudge your home’s cottagecore transformation in the right direction.

Add Soft Furnishings

Cottagecore Inspired Dining Room. Photo by Instagram user @lifebyleanna

Photo via @lifebyleanna

Cozy throws, overstuffed pillows, long curtains, and other soft furnishings can make a house feel like home. So use a rug to warm up wooden floors, and add a couple quilts to keep your couch extra comfortable. Cottagecore homes should feel just as welcoming as they look.

Create DIY Pieces

DIY projects are the perfect touch to any cottagecore home. In addition to adopting sustainable habits like growing your own garden or taking up composting, those who embrace the cottagecore lifestyle should add homemade elements to their home decor, too! Try your hand at making a cross-stitch piece to hang on your wall, or give flower-pressing a shot. Whatever craft you take up, displaying something you made yourself is a great way to embrace the cottagecore aesthetic.

Decorate with Plants & Flowers

On top of providing great health benefits, plants are a simple and relatively inexpensive way to beautify your home. Since the cottagecore aesthetic is meant to recall agrarian culture, bringing greenery indoors is ideal for home decor. Displaying a vase of fresh-cut flowers is one way to emphasize cottagecore’s ties to nature. To go the extra mile, try finding plants and flowers that are native to where you live.

Put Ingredients on Display

Kitchen Space with Ingredient Jars Easy to See What's Inside. Photo by Instagram user @bonjourmoon

Photo via @bonjourmoon

Cooking, baking, and other home-making activities have strong associations with the cottagecore lifestyle. Leaving out dry ingredients, herbs, produce, and other items that don’t require refrigeration can be both convenient and aesthetically pleasing in your home’s interior. Place fruit in suspended bowls, hang some dried aromatics above the counter, or keep your spices in decorative jars.

Include Pastoral Wall Art

Wall Decorated with Old Piece of a Door and Pastoral Wall Art. Photo by Instagram user @janine1959

Photo via @janine1959

Round out your space with some country-themed wall art. Nature prints, polaroid photographs, landscape paintings, and other nostalgic pieces make ideal decor choices for any cottagecore home. And these items provide a chance for you to further personalize your space!


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