If you’re at all interested in home decor, you’ve probably seen or heard the word “cottagecore.” (Unless you’ve been hiding out under a crocheted afghan dodging social media, that is.) But if you’re like me, you may have wondered if this term relates to a new fitness regimen or fad diet that combines cottage cheese with a core workout.
Thankfully, it turns out cottagecore is a lifestyle trend based on embracing comfort and coziness to create a relaxing environment—you know, like a cottage. Though the movement isn’t new, it’s having a moment now that more people are stuck indoors, where they’re tackling old-fashioned home projects. (Think: sourdough bread, chicken coops, and handcrafted potholders.)
“Cottagecore as a trend in home decor has been [around] for a while, so I wouldn’t relate its beginning to COVID-19,” says Saul Cerni, a home decorator and remodeler at HomeISD.com. “But it certainly may have helped increase its popularity even more. Its appeal is entirely emotional, too, that’s why it has gone viral—pardon the pun.”
Celebrity fans of ‘cottagecore’
Trendsetter Taylor Swift, too, is responsible for shining a spotlight on this folksy home decor style. The singer-songwriter’s new album, “Folklore,” exemplifies the essence of the look: rustic cottage, wildflowers, knitted blankets.
“Over the past few years, it has manifested in different decor styles, from farmhouse to rustic to country,” says Cerni. “I can see it correlate with the increasing popularity of Instagram and Pinterest as platforms for sharing visual ideas and the fact that it’s so easy to create at home without big remodeling expenses.”
John Barnes, design editor for Lamps Plus, notes that, in a way, it’s a return to some of the aesthetics that drove the Arts and Crafts movement over a hundred years ago.
“Weaving, pottery, crafts of all types are prized above mass-produced designs,” he says.
Jen Stark, home improvement expert and founder of Happy DIY Home, agrees.
“It’s countryside living viewed through rose-colored spectacles and evokes the feeling of a simple life with home-baked bread, herb gardens, and freshly made lemonade,” she says.
Cottagecore ideas for your home
So how do you achieve this aesthetic? To incorporate cottagecore into your interior decor, you may want to add a few vintage or antique items, if you have any lying around, says John Linden, interior designer at Mirror Coop.
“Think of ceramic teapots and plates as well as tablecloths for dinnerware,” says Linden. “Hang some dried herbs, arrange flowers in a clean milk bottle, and use foraged materials like tree branches as decorative items. You can also hang some hand-painted flower canvases or use some handmade pots and vases as decor. If there are books or other articles that give you nostalgia but you’ve kept in your attic to stay minimalist, bring them out.”
No matter the size of your living space, this dreamy, countryside look is doable by all. Here are some ways to weave this trend into your decor.
A fireplace (plug-in or otherwise)
Save time splitting wood this fall by installing this electric fireplace (Lowes.com, $535.63). Available in espresso or ivory, it conveniently plugs into a standard wall outlet. Simply turn it on, and enjoy a cozy vibe all year long.
This might look like your granny’s floral wallpaper, but it’s much easier to put up and remove. This peel-and-stick wallpaper (Lowes.com, $78.40) leaves no residue behind, making it perfect for renters. Because it’s steam- and moisture-resistant, it works well in kitchens and bathrooms.
This floral duvet set (Amazon.com, $34.99) will transport you to a quaint country inn without having to leave your bedroom.
This earthenware mug set (Lowes.com, $19.02) is perfect for serving up a cup of tea or cocoa on a relaxing afternoon. Or you can truly embrace the cottagecore vibe and whip up your own homemade apple cider.
Bring a pastoral scene to the the table with this “life on the farm” pitcher (Lowes.com, $29.95). If nothing else, that livestock pyramid is sure to be a conversation starter.
Mason jar lights
This Mason jar string light set (Home depot.com, $11.14) adds ambiance to your porch or patio. String as many as five sets together to warm up any outdoor or indoor spot.
“Don’t worry about having things that may crowd your space,” says Linden. “If they make you feel the warmth and are aesthetically pleasing to you, you’ll find a balance.”