A quick search of the hashtags “cottagecore” and “cottagecoreaesthetic” on Instagram will reveal that they generate a whopping 1.7 million and 402,000 posts respectively.
A trend that swept the internet and social media last year, cottagecore is all about nostalgia – finding pleasure in simple living, bringing the outdoors in and reliving the days of yore.
According to Wikipedia “Cottagecore is an Internet fashion aesthetic, that celebrates an idealized rural life and developed throughout the 2010s until being named on Tumblr in 2018. It values traditional skills and crafts such as foraging, baking, and pottery.” The pandemic sure taught us the value of reconnecting with nature and of a sustainable way of life, and with the threat still looming large, this is a trend that is sure to stay.
Cottagecore in Home Décor
Touted as one of the hottest trends in 2021, cottagecore in home decor creates a cozy home sanctuary where one can truly unwind. Think plenty of fresh flowers, hand-embroidered napkins, gingham upholstery, a warm fireplace, pressed flowers, earthy tones and the smell of cinnamon pie and freshly baked bread.
“It is not the beginning of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale but a universal trend that has arisen from a desire to live in a world outside of the one we currently live in,” says Smitha Zachariah, creative head, ZXP Design. “A world where there are no mobile phones ringing constantly, no 24/7 work emails or Zoom meetings to attend. It is the recreation of the simple, rustic countryside vibe: soft furnishings with floral patterns, endearing DIYs and pretty things that spell pastoral pleasure making your home a cheerful paradise.”
Cottagecore also means embracing your roots and following sustainable practices while creating a picture-perfect cottage vibe.
Much like hygge (which is the Danish and Norwegian term that is the epitome of snug comfort), cottagecore is about seeking solace in nostalgia, contentment in rural tranquility. And unlike minimalism or the Scandinavian trend, cottagecore celebrates maximalism but with a vintage feel and a whimsical touch replete with textures and colors.
“Cottagecore is about the good old days, warm conversations over the dinner table, plenty of natural and organic materials and greenery galore,” says Divita Anjesh, founder and head designer, Reclaimed Wood. “It is also about DIYs and hence is a combination of beauty & sustainability.”
Given that Cottagecore décor is about evoking rustic aesthetic, the first step is to adopt a palette full of pastels, beige, creams and earthy tones. Botanical prints, a faux fireplace and exposed brick walls are just some ideas for your living room.
“Some classic elements include dried flower bouquets, indoor plants, ambient lighting and wooden accents,” says Swati Santani, VP – Design R&D, Design Cafe. “Go in for natural earth friendly materials and look for repurposed pieces including vintage furniture, upcycled accessories, distressed finishes and the like.” When it comes to furnishings, upholstery and wall paper there is nothing like soft colors, old fashioned lace curtains and hand embroidered cushion covers.
Simple cotton bed linen, an applique work quilt and framed family pictures on the wall could add oodles of old-world charm to your bedroom. A vintage four-poster bed, string lights, sheer curtains, a bunch of roses and a rocking chair while you read or knit go a long way in adding reassuring, cozy vibes. Wool and organic cotton are the ideal choices for blankets, pillows and throws.
When it comes to the kitchen and dining space, there is nothing more old school than dainty kitchen valances, open shelves filled with your grandmother’s crockery and plenty of plants by the kitchen window.
“A kitchen cabinet filled with ceramic cookware with chicken mesh doors, your own little herb garden and a bunch of dried eucalyptus or dried flowers hanging upside down can bring in the rustic feels in a jiffy” says Sanjana Lunia, founder and creative head of Eris Home.
If you want to incorporate the cottagecore aesthetic in your home, it is key to note that it is not about being perfect or impeccably coordinated, it is about embracing the natural imperfections and the ability to mix and match colors, textures and materials. So, go ahead and choose your favorite chairs for the dining table rather than a meticulously put together set. Start slow and add in elements that inspire, tell a story and make you happy.
If you are fond of knitting, macramé or crochet, make a unique wall hanging to reflect your personality, use old perfume bottles to arrange fresh flowers and pick up quaint pieces on your next visit to the thrift shop. You do not have to buy expensive flowers, use plenty of natural material like jute, wooden twigs, drift wood and the like to make impromptu arrangements with foraged flowers and leaves. Use a wooden ladder to hang in plants or your favourite accessories.
Create a cosy nook where you can retreat while you read or knit, place your favorite plants and flowers, and make it your haven. Hang a hammock or a swing in your patio, if you have one. Light plenty of scented candles in dispensers with essential oils at dusk to create an invigorating ambiance. At the end of the day, remember there are no hard and fast rules. Your house is a reflection of your personality, style and character. Go ahead and make it unapologetically yours!
Important links where you can shop for Cottagecore décor and create this aesthetic: