What is Cottagecore? How to get the look at home

  • The Cottagecore aesthetic is a design trend that emphasizes a comfortable and cozy country home.
  • The term cottagecore comes from the fantasy of escaping to a rural life and living “in a chalet”.
  • Expert advice includes planting gardens, adding cozy decor, and maximalist shelf decorations.
  • Visit Insider’s Home and Kitchen Reference Library for more stories.

Cottagecore is a dreamy and comfortable design aesthetic that has captivated an adoring audience on social media. Today, it has become a much sought-after design aesthetic.

The term cottagecore was reportedly coined by the Tumblr community in 2018. Throughout the early 2010s, young people would idealize a rural lifestyle and document it in their photographs. Their photos often show fictionalized scenes of country houses adorned with vintage floral design elements. People wear lace, tall hats, and flowing, ethereal dresses. Vintage teapots, chandeliers, and outdoor clawfoot tubs also each have a claim to cottagecore fame.

What is the “cottagecore”?

The cottagecore aesthetic often harkens back to simpler times – cooking, picking daisies, running barefoot in a field, and feeding goats are all great cottagecore energy. To Sarah Ellison, Creative Director of London-based interior design studio Frank & Faber, cottagecore centers, “comfort, space and well-being”.

“As always, our interiors are inspired by the world around us,” says Ellison. Frank & Faber of Ellison often designs elevated and comfortable natural spaces in homes and gardens that mimic a cottagecore aesthetic. “The outside world has been pretty dark and people haven’t been able to find solace and solace in the usual outside forces – friends, family, going out for a nice dinner,” she says. “It all turned inward and people have sought solace and solace in their homes, truly appreciating how essential their home environment is to their sense of well-being and sanity.”

Social media creator Jesca Her, a beloved cottagecore influencer with over 325,000 TikTok followers, lives nestled in a town outside of Denver, Colorado. On her social accounts, she says that she “sees the world through rose-colored glasses”. Her messages are draped in a hazy pink afterglow montage and her life offers a glimpse into the pristine aesthetic of the cottagecore.

“It’s an aesthetic very inspired by a sense of nostalgia for rural country living,” Her says. “In a chalet – that’s where the term cottagecore comes from – in the middle of the woods or in a forest. Anything that involves the outdoors and finding comfort in nature.”

The cottagecore aesthetic can easily be imitated in a home. Here are seven of the key style characteristics – according to Her and Ellison – to keep in mind when decorating.

1. Start a small garden

A planter with red flowers.

Start a garden or add planters with flowers and herbs to your windows to embrace the whimsy of nature.

Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

Take care of your garden, literally. Plant wild flowers or herbs like lavender, rosemary, and basil in a planter or in your garden if you have one. “Cottagecore is a movement that idolizes a way of life more commonly associated with an agricultural way of life – embracing craftsmanship, sustainability, local sourcing,” Ellison said. “From an aesthetic point of view, this is a natural, sustainable heritage, inspired by the outside world with a good dose of romance and chintz.”

2. Prioritize comfort over everything

A yellow armchair in the corner of a room with patterned wallpaper.

Focus on comfort by adding inviting furniture such as a soft armchair or a cozy bed.

Emma Lewis

What does cottagecore look like? “Very comfortable, comfortable and safe spaces,” says Her. “Heartwarming and like a space where you can just be creative and try new things. The focus is on the home.” Cottagecore favorites include comfy beds and warm sofas, with tons of bunk blankets and tea by the fireside.

3. Find unique craft materials

A light brown table, topped with a plant and a lamp.

Source of craft materials to add a unique element to the space.

Emma Lewis

For cottagecore, says Ellison, “craftsmanship is king.” Cottagecore celebrates unique and unique items that can only be made or purchased by specific artisans. By hand painting your own furniture in a warm color or finding a local furniture maker in your hometown, you can have a quite distinct item to personalize your space. Accessories recommended by Ellison include “handcrafted ceramics, raw plaster sculptures, hand painted pieces from local artisans”.

4. Go down to thrift stores to find decoration and furniture.

A bed in a blue room.

Shop at a local thrift store for unique furniture and decorations.

Emma Lewis

Thrift stores are filled to the brim with great aesthetic potential cottagecore. You can look for granny-chic style items like picture frames, crystal dishes, vases, artwork, and furniture. “Most of my stuff is spared, and over time I’ve picked things up here and there,” Her says. You can also rehabilitate an old room to make it ultra-modern, for example by painting a wooden side table a warm pink.

5. Use what you have

A bedroom with exposed beams.

The cottagecore style encourages people to adopt existing features in a space, such as wooden beams.

Emma Lewis

The most character in any home is the older part of the house. Uncover the past and highlight what’s already there to bring out the personality of the space. “Accept existing functionality,” says Ellison. “Display old beams, wainscoting or beautiful stone on walls or in more urban homes, reinstall existing floorboards in a raw, matched back finish, or apply some of those beautifully worn rustic finishes such as reclaimed wood,” tongue-and-groove siding, or exposed plaster on the walls. “

6. Choose natural and sustainable materials

A plant sitting on a kitchen window sill.

Showcase plants or other natural materials, like wood and stones, to help create a cottagecore space.

Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty Images

Consider bringing boxes of live herbs into the house to showcase nature. Plants of all kinds draped around the house are sure to evoke a cottagecore aesthetic.

“Whether we live in the city or in the countryside, it’s about recognizing the importance of interacting with the natural world and integrating these materials into our home environments,” says Ellison. “[Use] natural and sustainable materials such as wood and stone, as well as wools, linen and sisals in upholstery and accessories. “

7. Superimpose textures throughout the space

A bed in a white bedroom with exposed beams.

Layer textures like wood with fabrics like wool, linen and velvet.

Emma Lewis

Use textiles to your advantage by layering beautiful fabrics and textures throughout the space. “Layering is key with textures providing a cozy warm ‘fireside’ feel,” says Ellison. The best fabrics to add to your cottagecore space include: “Wool, linen and velvet upholstery fabrics. Softness is added with pleated fabric shades, hand-woven wall hangings and rugs on the walls ”.

Insider takeaways

Cottagecore may seem like the coolest aesthetic on the internet, but it’s available to everyone. Incorporating a cozy, “granny chic” design element into your home is as easy as bringing the outdoors indoors, adding shelving, knick knacks, and coziness to your surroundings.

“Cottagecore doesn’t strive for perfection,” says Ellison, “Instead, it uses materials that age beautifully when they move into a home. Their imperfections add to the warmth of character. “

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