What Is Cottagecore—And How Can You Add It to Your Home?

Many people across social media are embracing the cottagecore aesthetic. Its influence on interior design is noticeable in the dramaric increase in warm tones,floral prints, and charming vintage decor.

what is cottagecore

And what began as an online subculture in 2020 grew into a cutting-edge lifestyle.

Cottagecore enjoys niche popularity among those who desire a rural life and an escape from modern life. Centered on utopian ideals combined with idyllic concepts, cottagecore is a return to purity. Keep reading to learn more about what cottagecore is and how you can incorporate it into your home (both inside and out).

What Is Cottagecore?

Cottagecore is a lifestyle and design style inspired by the past when it was more common to bring the outdoors indoors. The original cottage-style homes are from a long-gone era. before the Industrial Revolution. During this time, rural areas were idyllic settings ripped out of the pages of a historical novel.

Unlike shabby chic, cottagecore isn’t limited to cottage-style homes. It’s a lifestyle.  While some people embrace the more simple way of life—and might churn their own butter—interior design is currently the most popular way to use cottagecore design. 

How to Incorporate Cottagecore Decor

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The interior of your home is where you spend your time. Make it a haven. If you enjoy the cottage core rooms you’ve seen online, start with small updates to embrace this style in your home.  Here’s how to get started.


Hang traditional tools on the wall

Cottagecore can be easily added to your home with utilitarian antique items. (Or at least items that look like they are from another time.) Milk cans, spinning wheels, and antique tools are a great place to start.


Install apron sinks or apron curtains 

Apron sinks are great for cottagecore kitchens. But you can use any type of sink if you’re on a budget. Apron-style curtains or cabinet covers are great renter-friendly options.


Incorporate pastel colors to the walls and decor

Pastel colors complement a cottage. Rose pinks, baby blues, and soft yellows would create a cozy and cottage-like atmosphere. Medium colors and warm tones will also work, but anything darker would be too harsh.


Create a breakfast nook

A breakfast nook is ideal for a cottage. You don’t need more than a few square feet to fit a small bench or window seat in your kitchen.


Finish the attic for added space

If you have an attic or a small loft, turn it into a reading room, bedroom, or indoor garden. With aesthetic-based home decor, a traditional binary framework plays into the cottagecore style.


Mix and match different eras

Use different decor items that you love. You can really do a lot with mix-and-match pieces in cottagecore. Find some that work together and enjoy what you can with the selected design style.


Include pieces of reclaimed wood

Using reclaimed wood will automatically add some cottagecore style to your home. One great idea is to create a mantle with a single piece of wood. You could also create exposed rafters with the wood that you find in beams.


Set up an old-world laundry room

A small laundry room, even if not in use, can be adorable. You don’t need a washer and dryer; just a simple washboard and metal tub can give you the same effect. Store your rolled towels on a shelf in this area.


Build a shiplap feature wall

Shiplap isn’t just for farmhouse decor houses. After installation, you can paint it white or another pastel color for the strongest effect. If you’re on a budget, consider installing some shiplap wallpaper.


Set up a small mudroom in the entry

Welcome guests with a nice little mudroom or entry room. Mudrooms are great for any type of house, but cottages almost always had mudrooms if there was space for them.


Cottagecore Exterior Design Elements

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Traditional cottages feature natural elements, and there are some ways you can make your home’s exterior look more like a cottage. Keep in mind that if your home doesn’t already have these design elements, it may be difficult to add them after the fact. Here are the main features to look for and some tips on how to fake them.


Cobblestone Walls and Walkways

Cobblestone is a paving method that can be used on walkways and even walls. Old cottages have cobblestone walls, but you can use the stones in your yard for less. Create a small cobblestone walkway to your garden or mailbox. You can even get fake cobblestones at an affordable price. 


Real Shutters

Shutters are one of the cheapest and most effective ways to make your house look like a cottage. Get them and either paint them or stain them. Either works, though a light-colored paint is usually the most cottage-like. For an authentic look, make sure the shutters actually work.


Natural Materials

Use wood and stone as much as you can in a makeshift cottage. These two materials will work wonders on the overall aesthetics of your house. Add crystals and ceramic touches for a slightly updated cottage look.


Fairy Gardens

A fairy garden was made to be placed in a cottagecore house. You can use the fairy garden decor inside for an interior look, or you can create fairy gardens outside. Use tiny ones or life-size ones for a bigger effect.


Mature Trees

Plant trees for an exterior cozy aesthetic. Forest cottages are popular and adhere to the principles of cottagecore. Find what agrees with your personal  style by starting with fast-growing shade trees. 


Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are a wonderful way to add depth to a yard. Explore the types of retaining walls, and pick a style you imagine would fit a cottage.


Cottagecore House Variations

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Chris Haver Photography

A cottage is a home first and foremost. Different cottages throughout history and worldwide have been inspired by the pastoral aesthetic. Here are some of the most searched-for styles.  


Beach Cottages

Beach cottages are small, quaint, and cute. Located near the water, a beach cottage features coral and teal accents and large windows. 


Farm Cottages

Farmhouse decor is the central theme of this cottage. But it is smaller and less ranch-like than other farmhouse homes. You want to use local decorative elements inspired by a fairy tale lifestyle.


Medieval Cottages

A medieval cottage can be in any setting that you want. A forest cottage is often a medieval cottage. But what makes it unique is the era and often the addition of fantasy dragons and darker aspects to the home.


Cabin Cottages

Cabin cottages are rustic. They will have a lot of wood and will look like a tiny lodge in the mountains. There are also darker colors like forest greens and pewter colors added in. Moss on the roof can be an essential feature of this cottage. 


Modern Cottages

Modern cottages don’t follow their own set of rules. They are simply small cottage-like homes with modern decor. Portable buildings or prefabs are turned into cottages due to their size.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What Is The Paradox Of Cottagecore?

The paradox is how the movement is driven by those who live in urban areas. These people do not how to live in the country. Pastoral living isn’t easy. Working on a farm and living off of the land is hard work. There’s nothing tranquil about the wilderness. It may look inviting, but surviving in it is a different thing.

What Is Honeycore?

Cottagecore’s little cousin, honeycore is centred around the production and consumption of honey, sugar, syrup, and bread.

What Kind of Mirror Should I Hang in a Cottagecore Home?

Choose a mirror that resembles a cathedral window with a distressed arch. The mirror can be with wood, glass, and metal. Apply a distressed white finish and mount it in your foyer or bedroom.

Bottom Line 

The cottagecore aesthetic continues to captivate young US homeowners. Today, people want to live in a progressive cottagecore community because  it offers a pastoral life. If you haven’t discovered cottagecore and want to learn more about it, search the Instagram cottagecore hashtag. It currently has over 4.2 million photos to explore.