The interior design universe is constantly throwing the next latest and greatest trend at us with which to freshly curate and spruce up our homes. And of late, it seems to be having a moment with daisies and wild cottage flowers in taking a leaf from the cultural movement coined around 2018 that celebrates slow living, gardening, handicrafts and hobbies, DIYing and wholesome cooking that would make your grandmother proud. Romanticising a pastoral, pre-industrial past, Cottagecore is fast gaining fluency in the interior design world. Exuding idyllic escapism and a simple, self-sufficient life – no doubt influenced by these more uncertain and homebound times – this quaint yet wholesome trend pegged by experts to peak in 2021, bids adieu to minimalism and all things mid-century modern. It offers instead, a mixey-matchey vocabulary of countryside elements including botanicals, vintage leanings and oh so dainty details.
If you’re after cosy, whimsical and nostalgic, and have a newfound appreciation for simpler living and sustainable style, take note:
Inviting the Outside In
Cottagecore is all about celebrating the wild flora and fauna that typically surrounds cottages in the countryside such that your home interior becomes an extension of the outdoors. Especially as the days start to get colder, introducing houseplants and bouquets of fresh-cut or dried flowers of the wild sort as opposed to hothouse blooms, are a great way to begin. Incorporating statement foliage displays as a centrepiece of a reclaimed vintage sideboard or a farmhouse kitchen table with a lace-accented tablecloth, or decorating a long trestle table accompanied by some mismatched chairs with some wildflower bouquets for dining al fresco, will give your entertaining space that perfect touch of rustic vogue.
Nature is King
Cottagecore style not only celebrates nature with the inclusion of plants but also natural materials and textures for an understated, down-to-earth and slightly bohemian vibe. Opt for furniture made from natural materials including wood that flaunts its natural grain, cane, woven jute and wicker. Natural fabrics and other materials in soft, understated hues such as tawny brown sheepskin rugs, macrame made from hemp and linen in muted earthy tones will also feed nicely into the nature-driven aesthetic that is so central to cottagecore.
Checks and Stripes
Stripes, retro gingham and other chequered fabrics are a surefire way to inject some whimsical farmhouse charm into your space. You can never have too much of an eclectic layering of these intricate vintage-inspired patterns on fabrics and upholstery such as throws, tablecloths, cushions, curtains and bed linen, even better embellished with some old-world detailing such as ruffles and dainty trims to celebrate Cottagecore’s whimsical, nostalgic style.
Alongside checked prints and stripes, intricate floral prints, such as traditional English Chintz designs, introduced on natural fabrics, wallpaper, cushions and other soft textiles alongside whimsical wares that evoke the past are the perfect nod to the traditional English countryside and also a fitting accompaniment to some rustic upcycled furniture. If you prefer a more subtle approach with layering patterns, reserve prints for scatter cushions, and keep walls and furniture neutral. Alternatively, you can start small by experimenting with patterned wallpaper on a statement wall or even just the upper half of a larger wall.
At the heart of Cottagecore is also the desire to live more sustainably, minimising waste and appreciating what nature has gifted us. In addition to considering what we can create with our own hands, upcycling and being more resourceful is front and centre, and where the beauty of vintage shopping comes perfectly into the mix. Be it select antique furniture pieces such as some slipcovered seating, characterful little end tables, a vintage dresser or Windsor-style chairs, Cottagecore is all about expressing a relaxed, lived-in old world vibe. Showcasing other whimsical treasures such as antique cutlery, embroidery, a china collection on an antique dresser, other vintage or handcrafted accessories and textiles with classic patterns and motifs, as well as precious family heirlooms will also go a long way to helping bring the Cottagecore trend to life.