Evolution of Cottagecore Aesthetic Plus 15 Inspiring Ideas

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Have you seen the trend where flower print, mushroom figurines, straw hats, and tiny stone houses have become a thing in the current world? This is the Cottagecore aesthetic, an aesthetic inspired by a romantic interpretation of the rural life, simple life in harmony with nature. It is a movement that takes us back to the skills, crafts, and agricultural life, embracing simple and more sustainable living concerning nature. It is also known as country core or farmcore. It is centered on what you would picture the countryside, including gardening, farm animals, greenery, flowy dresses, and floral prints.

However, some people may think that the aesthetic is trading the modern life for a traditional one, not the case. Instead, it brings back the old ways of interiors combined with modern life's progressive values.

Evolution of Cottagecore

Cottagecore, like a lot of trends nowadays, is not a new aesthetic as people would think but has been there and is making a comeback. Cottagecore movement started in the late 2010s in Tumblr and was popular among the queer men and women and within the WLW community. However, it was recently popularized by some queer teens in Tiktok, and then popular magazines like the New York Times, Paper Magazine, Insider, Teen Vogue followed the movement soon after.

Cottagecore aesthetic origins are identified differently by different people. In the New York Times, Isabel Slone recognized cottagecore as a partial response to the minimal aesthetic that has been a dominant interior design style in the past years, has similar roots to this aesthetic. They are similar in the desire to turn your life by controlling your space and what goes into it.

How did the Cottagore Aesthetic become Popular?

The aesthetic gained popularity because of social media starting with Tumblr a few years ago, then it died down, and TikTok brought it back during the Covid pandemic period in 2020. Since then, the cottagecore movement has accumulated plenty of followers on Tiktok and has become part of Instagram and Twitter sites. The trend also stretched to fashion, with many followers searching for everything Cottagecore fashion.

Even celebrities have picked up this trend with some examples of Taylor Swift, who has adopted the cottagecore look and sound in her last two albums titled "Folklore" and "Evermore." Additionally, Animal Crossing has played a role in cottagecore aesthetic, being popular with the Animal Crossing New Horizons launch in March of 2020. Nintendo is another game that supports the style.

The game involves dropping a person on a deserted island where you can wear fancy clothing, make friends with villagers, catch butterflies and join in idyllic outdoor activities. The game is the nature of Cottagecore aesthetics, and it has contributed to the influence and popularity of the farmcore online community.

Popular Cottagecore Aesthetic Ideas for Living Spaces

1. A Romantic Cottage Bedroom

Cottagecore Bedroom

Cottagecore Bedroom

Cottagecore is meant to celebrate the old-fashioned love and romanticism with two souls who are meant to be together. Therefore, bringing the cottagecore aesthetics, which bring a relaxed, calm, and rural vibe, into a bedroom, is a relevant style. When designing your bedroom with the cottage core aesthetics in mind, go with natural, simple, and sustainable decor. You can choose to use raw materials such as rattan, or wood and including a fresh plant or flower in the bedroom can finish the look.

2. Kitchen Cottagecore Aesthetics

Kitchen aesthetics

Kitchen aesthetics

The kitchen is considered the heart of every home because it's where you cook fresh vegetables, fresh bread and make food and drinks that your stomach will enjoy, and it makes sense using this garden style. Cottage kitchen ideas can be having a small farmhouse wooden table to use as a preparation area or a vintage chair to sit on while drinking a cup of tea or wine in the middle of your cooking session.

Kitchen cottagecore aesthetics

Kitchen Cottagecore Aesthetics

Ensure your kitchen home is warm and does not look like a show home. To emphasize warming your home in a cottage style, you can either have a jug of wildflowers on the table, fresh vegetables laid on the kitchen countertop, bowls, and ingredient bottles scattered everywhere. This look ensures your kitchen looks like a working space and not a show home.

3. A Cottagecore Dining Room

Cottagecore Dining Room

Cottagecore Dining Room

The country or rural dining rooms are known to be airy, light, and wholesome rooms or areas where you can sit and enjoy your meals with your family. As much as a kitchen should be somewhere, you cook your food from the garden, and your dining area should be an area that is warm and showing some of your interests.

Dining room aesthetics

Dining room aesthetics

You can implement the cottagecore aesthetic in your dining room by incorporating a farmhouse dining table or vintage chairs. You can also spice up the look by adding vintage vases with fresh flowers or recycled glass bottles with plants to add a cozy warm feel to your dining area when enjoying your meal. Another way you can implement the farmcore lifestyle in your dining area is by adding a beautiful wallpaper that features botanical prints that impresses anyone that sits in the area with you.

4. Cottage Bathroom

Cottagecore  Bathroom

Cottagecore Bathroom

A cottagecore aesthetic in a bathroom should try to bring the outdoors by either having a forest wallpaper or having a few harmful plants. Bathrooms are ideal spaces to add tropical flowers and plants. The tropical plants help bring the outdoors in, and also some exotic species are content living in damp and humid environments.

Living in an urban area can be challenging to implement the outdoor style, but it can be made more accessible by installing wallpaper to bring the outdoors into your bathroom. When you get an excellent colorful quality, outdoorsy wallpaper, it can make you feel like you are in your cute cottage somewhere in the woods.

5. Dark Cottagecore Lounge

Cottagecore Lounge

Cottagecore Lounge

The dark cottagecore lounge can be translated as a moody and yet romantic atmosphere suitable for people who are into gothic stuff and love the cottagecore life. They make excellent ideas for the goth cottagecore fans. For the cottagecore, they can also include a botanical wallpaper because it would look great in a dark gothic home and or get some frames to give them a victorian parlor feel to space. Additionally, red berries, fresh green foliage, and beautiful illustrations can complement the home's look by adding a whimsical woodland feel to the lounge.

6. Embrace Analog Activities

Analog activity

Analog activity

Social media has brought out all recent visual trends over the years, and it also brought cottagecore aesthetics to the light. Cottagecore, a lifestyle trend, a decorating style, and a form of escapism, helps to promote activities that allow you to unplug from your regular day-to-day routine. It would be best if you filled your home and your time with activities that promote unplugging from the usual routine, such as baking a pie or bread, repainting an old dresser, or learning to sew.

This cottagecore aesthetic style insists on the idea of escapism and tries to show people that you can enjoy your home existence without using a trendy gadget or using an internet connection. This movement is mostly about enjoying the simple things that life and unplugging from your usual routine.

7. Embrace Indoor Gardening

 Indoor Plants

Indoor Plants

A cottagecore house is usually ideal next to a farm or in the woods, but most people don't like living in the rural areas but still want the cottagecore aesthetic. One way to achieve this kind of style is to bring nature to yourself by planting your favorite plants indoors, and this can be something decorative and aesthetic at the same time. You can also plant a kitchen garden and grow flowers, vegetables, and fruits to help you achieve a more cottage feel to your home.

8. Decorate with Vignettes



Vignette decor concepts involve creating visually pleasing and aesthetic looks by grouping different items together on a shelf or a table. Some examples of things that can work well in vignettes as home decor include books, plants, vases, candles, and pictures. You should choose some of your ideal displays and arrange them on a coffee table or bookshelf in a decorative way. Vignette decor concept is a decor concept that applies in cottagecore aesthetics that pleasingly displays all your favorite items without promoting clutter.

9. Display a Vintage Collection

Vintage collection

Vintage collection

Vintage pieces or trinkets are of the cottagecore aesthetic, and so are vintage collections. An example of vintage pieces is ceramic farm animals, seashells, decorative vases, making accessible collections for display. However, what you display doesn't matter because your home is where you show off your style, and you can place anything so long as you like them and relate to cottagecore aesthetics.

10. Repurpose Everything

Repurposed jars holding cotton wool and cotton buds

Repurposed jars holding cotton wool and cotton buds

Cottagecore can also be in the form of resourceful and environmental-friendly DIY's, and that would include repurposing some things to be more functional. After, all the cottagecore trend is based on the country lifestyles that require people to be very resourceful in their day-to-day lives. The lifestyle requires individuals to find a new purpose in old things. The cottagecore movement works better with secondhand or vintage goods than new ones.

Repurposing examples would include:

  • Using an old mug as a vase to hold your succulents.
  • Building your bookshelf out of bricks and plywood.
  • Creating a terrarium from a vintage jar.

11. Play with Color & Texture

Color & Texture

Color & Texture

The cottagecore aesthetic always pairs perfectly with earthy tones and floral patterns so go with such colors and textures. In many modern homes, you will mostly find the designs using sleek lines and monochromatic color schemes. Yet, the cottagecore trend is primarily reliant on a mix of textures and colors. Choose to use lace cloths on your wooden tables, earth tones mixed with greens, quilted throws, floral-inspired pastels, and velvet chairs for some texture in the room.

12. Add Soft Furnishings

Throw blanket and pillows

Throw blanket and pillows

Soft furnishings such as long curtains, overstuffed pillows, or cozy throw blankets are an excellent addition to your living room to make it more cottagecore. You can also warm up your wooden floors using rugs and several quilts to make your couch extra comfortable, and this should give your home a warm and welcoming look.

13. Include Pastoral Wall Art

Wall art

Wall art

Country-themed art is a great way to round up your space, and it allows you to personalize your space more. Such art includes landscape paintings, prints, or polaroid photographs, and they make perfect decor choices for any cottagecore home.

14. Use Wallpaper

Botanical wallpaper

Botanical wallpaper

Wallpaper has been back in style, and it makes an excellent backdrop for a cottagecore look, especially when it's floral or nature-inspired wallpaper.

15. Create DIY Pieces

DIY pieces

DIY pieces

DIY projects are the perfect addition to any living space, especially those going for the cottagecore aesthetic. Try coming up with your art to hang up on your wall, or you can try flower pressing. It doesn't matter what craft you go for as long as you made it yourself to embrace the cottagecore aesthetic.

How to Get the Cottagecore Look

To achieve the cottagecore look like part of the interior design, you need to layer a combination of vintage chic and antique furniture and accessories. The goal is to create a laid-back natural space in your living space, and to achieve this ensure you focus on neutral shade, florals, and natural textures.

When selecting the lighting pieces, ensure you combine materials textures to soften the décor and create a warm and welcoming ambiance. Additionally, give your space a countryside effect after, ensure you style patterns on other patterns, have printed fabrics for your lampshades, and match with a favorite table runner or a tea cozy.

Cottagecore Fashion

There is no definite answer to when cottagecore fashion wear started because flowy dresses and neutral spring tones have existed forever. However, in 2018, Blogger Lolita Croquette covered the revival of a softer version of the 90s grunge aesthetic and a twist of Beatrix Potter. Cottagecore fashion includes but is not limited to floral prints, puff sleeves, straw hats, milkmaid necklines, and prairie-inspired midi dresses.

Halsey has been outspoken on being a cottagecore fan and dresses in long dresses and poses in her garden. Another trend that has come up in cottagecore outfits in the fashion industry is the Laura Ashley, which is a floral print dress with ruffles. Other styles associated with the cottagecore community include tulle, lace trim, corsets, gingham, and layers.

Cottagecore Books, TV and Movies

To fully get into the cottagecore aesthetic, you can surround yourself with some good atmosphere books, movies, and TV that showcase the simple living in the countryside.

Cottagecore Books

Some of these books include:

  • The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
  • Alice in Wonderland- Lewish Carroll
  • Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
  • The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

Cottagecore Movies

  • The Tales of Beatrix Potter (1971)
  • Mansfield Park
  • Fairytale: A True Story (1997)
  • The Secret World of Arrietty
  • Stardust
  • Little Women

Cottagecore TV Shows

  • Anne with an E (2017-2019)
  • Winnie the Pooh (1924-present day)
  • Angelina Ballerina (2002-2006)
  • Little House on the Prairie (1974-1983)
  • Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Why People Love the Farm Core Way of Living

1. Cottagecore is environmentally friendly

Our current world uses a lot of plastic, and it is not the best for the environment. However, the Cottagecore community is primarily green and uses natural and recyclable materials. Some of these environmentally friendly ways include using clothing bags or straw baskets for shopping, and another way can be to repurpose mason jars to store herbs, food, and iced tea. Also, some items like straw bags give a photo-worthy and picnic-ready look.

2. Cottagecore feels like a comfort blanket

A comfort blanket makes you feel safe and at home, and that's what the Cottagecore romanticized country life does too. The aesthetic takes its followers back to their childhood years where there was a reliable, safe, and comfortable living space, especially during unpredictable times like during the pandemic.

3. Practice self-care

Cottagecore trend is both an aesthetic and a lifestyle because it makes people stop and think hard about all the new things they would like to try in their lives and make time for them. Such new things might include a daily yoga session, creating things from needlework, reading a book, making food from scratch, or hunting for pieces of nature while walking in the woods. The cottagecore movement reminds us of the importance of slowing down and living more consciously.

4. Promote a connection with nature

The most significant part of cottagecore life can be seen as connecting to nature and living with different seasons flow. The Cottagecore community connects with nature by embracing the small things that grow and foraging for edible wildflowers. Even though flowers wither within a few days, they give you a chance to revisit nature and pick new flowers regularly. The thing is, cottagecore connecting to nature is not limited to people who have a close forest nearby but can also be used by bringing some plants indoors.

5. Refreshes your Skills

Apart from fashion and interior decor, a big part of cottagecore aesthetic is taking people back to the days of craftsmanship and homemaking such as embroidery, knitting, baking, and pottery. Cottagecore community encourages individuals to do these things for themselves at home because the best spice is your reward flavor.

6. Promote small businesses

One way this can be done is instead of buying from megastores, and women can get their fashion clothing from thrift stores where they are guaranteed old-fashioned vintage clothes. This is not to say that buying from megastores is wrong. You can also sew your dream wardrobe of flowy dresses and aprons, and you can also sell them to your friends, making it a small business.

7. Cottagecore creates a cozy home

Cottagecore life revolves around simplicity and calmness and thus naturally evokes a cozy feeling. However, even if you don't live in a cozy cottage, there are ways to create peaceful spaces in your home that will soothe you and warm your senses. Such include music, candles, accessorizing with vintage and vignettes, so little can make a huge difference.

Cottagecore Aesthetic Criticisms

As much as cottagecore does not support any particular political ideology, it has still been politicized in a few ways.

i. One way is the progressive side of cottagecore that rejects traditional hetero gender roles. However, there is a side of other people that use the cottagecore imagery to promote patriarchy, assert a western colonial world view, and reject feminism.

ii. The other criticism is that cottagecore is based on a romanticization that may not have existed, especially for the majority. Additionally, the simpler times notion is built on Western and Eurocentric white colonialism narrative, and it overlooks the harsh realities that are stolen people's lands.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you achieve the Cottagecore aesthetic during the winter period?

Wear a long prairie skirt and a pair of chunky boots with an oversized knit, making it a weather-appropriate cottagecore fashion. If you are not warm enough, add an extra layer of clothes by adding a pair of tights underneath, and this makes an easy yet cottagecore aesthetic wear around your home.

2. What is Goth Cottagecore?

Goth Cottagecore, also known as Cottagegore or Dark Cottagecore, is relatively similar to Cottagecore in terms of the strong country life focus, vintage items, and baking. However, just like its name, it includes dark nature aspects like plant aesthetics, rotten mushroom, spirits or ghosts, forest cryptids, and bones found in nature. Notably, it crosses over to other dark aesthetics like Vulture Culture, Crowcore, and Dark Academia and doesn't just throw blood and gore on cottagecore aesthetics.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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