Cottagecore is the newest of the lifestyle interior design trends to emerge – embracing simplicity and encouraging people to enjoy being in the comfort of their own homes, this new trend isn't surprising given most of the world has the spent past few months inside.
According to Daisy Oakley, Author of Cottagecore: Inspirational Ideas, Crafts and Recipes for Wholesome Country Living: 'Like so many movements, cottagecore gained popularity through social media, but in reality it exists far from technology, amongst sprawling meadows and wild gardens
'It is a trend that allows all – regardless of gender, age, race or sexuality – to indulge in traditional visuals reminiscent of a simpler time.
'Born of a desire to return to a slower way of living, it is a movement that revels in the romance of rural life and celebrates a pastoral fantasy: think of soft, sun-faded aprons and the scent of freshly baked bread and you’re halfway there.'
Ultimately, cottagecore is centered on a romanticized western agricultural life. The aim is to celebrate a return to traditional skills and crafts such as foraging, baking, and pottery, and is related to similar nostalgic movements such as grand-millennial style.
Here, Daisy Oakley shares a few of her favorite cottagecore ideas, as seen in her book.
- See: Cottage decorating ideas – charming ways to get a characterful look
1. Setting the table
A beautifully laid table need not be restricted to formal occasions, but is something that can be done every day to make all meal times special.
It needn’t be expensive; paper or linen napkins and a plain white tablecloth create a simple but effective result, as do freshly picked flowers from the garden in a jam jar, a spray of spring leaves or a hoard of beach finds clustered in the centre of the table. Candles and glass provide instant ambience and sparkle.
Don’t strive for perfection when hosting a gathering – a simple spread of cheeses, olives and bread on a wooden board with wine, or home-baked buns, show that you’ve put love and care into your meal.
For cottage kitchen ideas, don't miss our inspiring image gallery.
2. Introduce nature to your home
Nature acts like a healing balm for our body and mind, and creates a relaxing, welcoming environment.
As the days start to get cooler, you can start to bring nature inside so you can enjoy it year-round. Houseplants and fresh-cut flowers are the obvious place to start. They brighten up any space and fill the air with glorious scents.
For a natural look, pick a few flowers from your garden and place them into jam jars; collect pretty pebbles, shells and driftwood; and make table decorations out of bark, leaves, berries and pine cones – things that you have found on a country or seaside walk.
Introduce warm, organic textures to your home with natural wood flooring and furniture, hand-thrown pottery and pebbles. Natural materials are an easy way to make your home look beautiful and connected to the outdoors.
3. Relax with an open fire
Relaxing in front of a log fire is one of life’s great pleasures. A log fire, be it an open hearth or a modern wood burner, creates a warm, cozy atmosphere with its crackles and flickering flames. The comforting aroma of wood smoke calms and soothes, evoking primal connection and a sense of belonging.
The fireplace is the meeting point and the warm heart of the home, the place where stories are shared and celebrations are toasted. Welcome family and friends to gather at the fireside and enjoy simple pleasures, such as cooking marshmallows or playing board games, or lose yourself in the reverie of watching the flames dance.
4. Buy vintage and reclaimed furniture
Before purchasing new, think of all the old furniture out there, the preloved tables and chairs that find their way to second-hand stores and online auction sites – you could even call it ‘vintage’ to make it sound more appealing!
There are many outlets that sell second-hand furniture nowadays, and with a bit of creative flair you can adapt your finds into something unique and truly special.
5. Introduce a breathe of fresh air
In winter you may not get as many opportunities to get out in nature, so bring greenery into your home instead.
Many houseplants are amazing purifiers for indoor environments. They cleanse the air in your home by filtering out harmful toxins and pollutants.
According to a NASA study, the following plants are the best air-filtering ones to buy (NASA recommends having at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space):
• Aloe vera
• Bamboo palm (Dypsis lutescens)
• Banana palm (Musa basjoo)
• Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
• Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
• Broadleaf lady palm (Rhapis excelsa)
• Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)
• Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
• Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia)
• Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)
• English ivy (Hedera helix)
• Flamingo lily (Anthurium andraeanum)
• Florist’s daisy (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
• Heart-leaf philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)
• Kimberly queen fern (Nephrolepis obliterata)
• Lily turf (Liriope muscari)
• Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis)
• Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
What is cottagecore?
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'Inspired by days of yore, ‘cottagecore’ is a whimsical and homely visual aesthetic that has seen a rise in popularity during lockdown,' says Swift Direct Blinds.
'In the home, this trend is all about creating a wholesome, pastoral, rural vibe, whether you live in a chocolate box country cottage or a high rise apartment,' explains Lucy Ackroyd, Head of Design at Christy.
'You want the home to feel inviting and charming. Using warm whites, pale pinks and duck egg blues on the walls will create the perfect backdrop.
'Layer this with prairie-style touches, botanical prints and feminine fabrics to create the nostalgic, romantic look of an idyllic English country cottage.
'To create a rustic aesthetic without painting walls, use soft pastels and muted tones in your home accessories, whilst combining a mix of textures to give a super cosy, kitsch feel.
'In the bedroom, layer high quality bed linen in neutral shades, with thick woven wool blankets, finishing off with some pastoral print cushions and plenty of candles for that soft, warm glow.'
Cottagecore: Inspirational Ideas, Crafts and Recipes for Wholesome Country Living by Daisy Oakley, published by Summerdale Publishers Ltd, priced at £12.99.
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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