What Is Cottagecore?

wood design in farmhouse kitchen
  • Beginner

Cottagecore is taking the design world by storm right now. So what is cottagcore? And how do you add cottagecore to your own home?

Cottagecore is a design aesthetic that harkens back to simple living. Picture an old kitchen in the French countryside filled with fresh produce from the garden, herbs hanging from the wooden rafters as they dry, and a girl in a puffy-sleeved dress with a bandana in her hair, standing by the sink looking out the window. That's the essence of cottagecore.

Cottagecore as a design trend has been growing and evolving over the years, but hit the mainstream with Taylor Swift's albums, Folklore and Evermore. The cottagecore vibe of these albums helped propel this soft, natural aesthetic into the fashion and home design spheres.

Searches for cottagecore on Pinterest shot through the roof, and videos of people baking bread in a rustic kitchen wearing head scarves and plaid aprons garnered millions of views on TikTok.

And though Ms. Swift neither invented nor advocated for the cottagecore aesthetic, the general mood of the albums became something people looked to add into their homes—and this rise in popularity perfectly correlated with the naturalism and French design aesthetics that were already becoming more and more popular in the design world.

There is a lot of crossover between these aesthetics, and because of that, they have all risen in popularity simultaneously.

cottagecore design interior

Elements of Cottagecore

Cottagecore combines natural textures and elements that would be found in a cottage with soft fabrics, vintage florals, and antique items. Because cottagecore has a wide range, you can incorporate lots of the elements or just a few to get your desired look.

For the ultimate cottage core look, start at the foundation of the home. Use rustic-looking wood on the floors, some sort of texture like beadboard or limewash on the walls, and add in at least one more natural element like a handmade tile backdrop or a stone accent wall.

Keep the colors in a similar tone to create cohesion between the number of elements, and repeat them when possible. If you've got wood floors, try adding wood beams to the ceiling to add a cozy, homey feel that brings cohesion into the room.

Next layer in your soft textiles and textures. Add a light fixture with a fabric or woven shade and bring in rugs in varying colors and patterns. A vintage floral screams cottagecore, but cozy neutrals with an interesting knit or subtle pattern also warm up the space.

cottagecore designed table with flowers and baskets

Next, add in furniture. Don't compete with the natural elements in the room, compliment them. Cottagecore is cozy, so bring in furniture that is soft.

Steer clear of modern lines in furniture that have a more masculine pull. Feminine feeling furniture with curved edges and softer corners will help create a cozy, inviting space that feels fresh, but still old-world.

After the textiles and furniture are in, add natural elements for decoration. While a traditional cottagecore kitchen would have drying herbs and homemade spices on the counter or open shelves, you don't have to go that route.

You can add in clay and stoneware decor and anything that feels inherently earthy. Antiqued brass is a great way to go for any accents or hardware, and anything that feels vintage is a win. Don't be afraid to mix and match things, cottagecore is inherently collected and gathered.

natural design on table with flowers and fabrics

Adding Cottagecore to Your Home

If you love cottagecore but don't want to completely redo your space, add a few pieces of the design style to your existing home. The elements of cottagecore mix really well with lots of other design styles, so you can create something that speaks to you and reflects your personality in the home.

To add cottagecore to our space this year, we added some beadboard to the bathrooms and a few other wall treatments that looked like they could have come out of Sleeping Beauty's cottage in the original animated film.

We also added in textiles with more soft colors and interesting weaves, and instead of cutting our curtains right above the floor, we let them pool a little for extra softness. We also added in some new baskets, and a pretty jute rug, and brought some natural stoneware pots into the kitchen and filled them with herbs.

You wouldn't walk into the space and immediately think you were in a cottage, or even a cottagecore-inspired space, but the elements of this design trend certainly added a warm layer of cozy to a home that wasn't very cozy beforehand.

Take cottagecore to the next level by making your own pillows or making your own soap with olive oil.