There’s a new interior design trend in town, and it has us all kinds of excited! It’s called “Cottagecore” and it’s taking the internet by storm. As an interior design style, it’s a mix of traditional, classic, farmhouse, and eclectic design elements—all pulled together with a granny-chic influence.
Sound a little familiar? This style definitely has some overlap with the Grandmillenial style. But, whereas Grandmillenial is a bit more formal, Cottagecore leans casual, showing off a more relaxed, eclectic look. Consider Cottagecore the free-spirited younger sister of Grandmillenial! A space designed to embody the Cottagecore aesthetic uses bold colors and patterns, which often feature floral or foliage motifs.
Where did the Cottagecore trend come from?
As we’ve noted in our 2021 trend predictions, people are turning back toward comfort as a top priority in interior design. And Cottagecore has comfort at, well, its core. But this actually isn’t a new aesthetic. This trend visually came about in the 2010s on social media, with people connecting through the sharing of nostalgic, rural-inspired images and a longing for a simpler life. The Cottagecore aesthetic celebrates rural life, with idyllic images of countryside cottages at the center of this look. As this trend grew in popularity, cottages became a representation of the romanticism of folklore and symbolized a gentler, more simple way of living.
But this aesthetic has significantly grown in popularity this past year, both in fashion and design. And it’s no wonder—with a global pandemic and more time at home than ever before, there’s something nice about mentally escaping into an idyllic, romanticized version of life where gardening and baking bread are the only worries of the day.
In interior design, this trend shows up through the mix of classical forms and raw, rustic elements. The result is an idyllic English countryside vibe, full of florals, but with a more modern spin than the traditional cottage style. This is definitely a kitsch look that mixes a ton of different design elements, as we mentioned above—from classical and traditional to rustic and eclectic. It manages to embody parts of some of the biggest trending design ideas of 2021—traditional comfort, grand millennial style, biophilic design, jewel-box rooms. They’re all rolled up into one, showing up in various ways in the Cottagecore aesthetic.
What are the key elements of the Cottagecore aesthetic?
Classical shapes are foundational in this look, along with floral motifs, saturated colors, and a mix of rustic and ornate elements. This is a very antique-inspired look. So, hit up some antique stores to find vintage furniture pieces! Whether old or new, look for unique little end tables, slipcovered furniture, and textiles with classical motifs and patterns such as antique florals. Don’t be afraid to bring in color and play with the relationship between color and pattern. A more maximalist look more is more in this style. So, bring in that personalized and heirloom decor!
Keep reading for a breakdown of how to get this look!
Go for a Cozy and Comfortable Vibe
Since Cottagecore is all about embracing a simpler life, comfort and coziness are key. So, prioritize comfort in the furniture you choose, while keeping in mind a classic, cottage-inspired aesthetic. A slipcovered sofa and vintage-inspired rug help set the tone for this space, and the spindle-leg side table manages to be classic-inspired while also embodying the approachable nature of farmhouse decor and cottage style. But don’t forget to add a dash of the refined! An understated yet formal chandelier hangs in the center of the space, elevating the look.
Embrace Bold Colors
While Cottagecore has a very relaxed aesthetic, using bold colors—on the walls, in artwork, and in upholstery—taps into the British-inspired charm of this style. Bringing in bold, saturated colors gives a coziness to this look that marks it feel approachable and livable. However, you can also achieve this look through a simple mix of warm neutrals, which will make the look take on a bit more of that traditional cottage vibe.
Bring in Luxurious Elements
While Cottagecore is all about simplicity and comfort, there’s also just a hint of luxury to this style. So, bring in small luxe elements to your space. In this living room, we did that through a velvet accent chair in a classical shape. When placed in contrast with the simple slipcovered sofa, this chair takes on a refined but relaxed vibe. Classical wingback chairs more your vibe? Embrace the look we created in our Little Women-inspired reading nook!
Layer in Natural Materials
Cottagecore style is understated, nature-inspired, and derived from “simpler times.” Because of this, furniture can have some slight detailing—but most of it is fairly traditional, made of natural materials. When choosing wood pieces, note that in a Cottagecore space wood tones tend to be fairly natural. So, opt for pieces with a more natural finish, which lets the natural wood grain shine! In this bedroom, the comfortable bed features a cane element for slight decoration. You can also incorporate other natural materials and textures, like woven jute and wicker for more of that natural, down-to-earth feeling. And don’t forget about plants, which bring an essential bit of nature to the space—along with a slight bohemian vibe.
Play With Patterns
Playing with patterns is big in Cottagecore style. So, embrace the chintz and bring on the florals in all forms! And don’t be afraid to mix bold patterns with subtle, larger-scale prints. You can go for more vintage-inspired floral motifs or opt for more modern renditions. In this space, we mixed florals, traditional checkered patterns, and a more modern, abstract pattern in the bedding, with the throw pillows, shams, and duvet cover. The curtains in this bedroom also bring a large, colorful pattern to the space—but because the scale of the pattern is different from the duvet cover, they aren’t competing for attention.
And when it comes to florals don’t forget to incorporate some actual flowers into your space—whether fresh or faux! A vase of flowers helps celebrate the nature-loving heart of this style.
Choose Rural-Inspired Artwork
Artwork is another way to bring color and pattern to a Cottagecore look. In these spaces, artwork often features rural scenes or simple landscapes. We gave that idea a modern spin throughout this space, opting for landscapes in bold colors to bring more energy to the room.