What is Cottagecore: everything you need to know about this interior trend

What is Cottagecore: everything you need to know about this interior trend

By Iona Bower on

Ah, yes, Cottagecore. The mythical TikTok trend that seems to be everywhere - social networks, clothing and fashion and, of course, interior design too. The cottagecore aesthetic trend is all about simplicity, cosiness and a life lived well (with sourdough). And it’s showing no sign of abating.

If you’ve managed to miss the cottagecore craze thus far, here’s all you need to know about a trend that's here to stay... for now.


A green-teal coloured bedroom with a large plant placed in the corner, a large standing mirror next to it and a neutral sideboard on the right side, decorated with minimal home furnishings

Our Mellow Teal paint colour and the Cottagecore trend go hand in hand. This paint colour is a neighbourly sea green shade with an extra shot of cyan blue. Pairs incredibly well with plants, wicker baskets, vintage furniture, macrame decor... you name it.

It's a WHATcore, now?

COTTAGEcore. It’s an aesthetic that’s all about escaping the mad, bad world out there and retreating to the homely, the cosy and the everyday. Think: reading on a garden bench, foraging for mushrooms and crafting at your scrubbed pine kitchen table while wearing plenty of well-worn gingham. Its heart is in the English countryside, with nature and sustainability key components, as well as plenty of layered patterns and vintage lace trims... but you can make the trend your own and plenty of Cottagecore folk are doing exactly that on social media. More of that later.


When did the Cottagecore trend begin?

Some say Cottagecore emerged as early as 2017 but 2019 is when it started to become popular, as TikTok began to really take off. Unsurprisingly, Cottagecore went down a storm during the lockdowns from 2020 onwards, which is when the trend went truly mainstream. Suddenly, we were all staying at home, planting our own veg and making bread. You could either fight it, or you could embrace it and go full Cottagecore.


How to embrace the Cottagecore trend in your own home.

Pastels, neutrals and natural, tactile materials are generally the order of the day for the Cottagecore aesthetic but don’t panic - you don’t have to go full shabby chic. There are plenty of ways to spin Cottagecore to your own tastes and it’s not a ‘look’ that’s meant to be achieved in a day; the whole point is living slowly and mindfully and enjoying this aspect of homemaking. It’s probably best to think about the trend in terms of its ethos and go from there.

Sustainability is one of the main pillars of the aesthetic so take time to source vintage and second-hand items of furniture - heirloom pieces that have their own story are a big part of this, but anything repurposed or upcycled brings that same ‘feel’. 

Bringing the outdoors in is also an important part of the trend. Natural and rustic wood is hugely Cottagecore, as are botanical prints and plenty of fresh flowers and houseplants. 

Simplicity is another cornerstone of Cottagecore, but you don’t have to go ‘Norwegian architect’ minimalist (unless you want to, of course); it’s more about being self-sufficient, only having what you need and love most. 

Hobbies are a huge part of things, too, so here’s the excuse you were looking for to set up your own space for writing, sewing or screen printing. Your hobbies don’t need to be totally bucolic, however, it’s just about finding time to do what you love. Have an Airfix modelling table or a Prog Rock studio, if you like. It’s up to you. 

What's the Cottagecore colour palette?

The colours in the Cottagecore aesthetic trend veer towards the ‘natural’ generally speaking, so greens, greys and blues, largely. But deep red tulips and fiery sunflowers are natural, too. Your home doesn’t need to look like a Constable painting to be Cottagecore. Colour can bring your natural woods and rustic stones to life; just choose a shade you love and then pick a slightly muted version of it. Or go with one really bold colour that works as a canvas for furniture and accessories. Botanical patterns and prints are big in Cottagecore too, so you can bring in colours of all hues there.

Green moodboard with paint sample jars filled with green paint, green fabric samples and a plant branchThe world is your oyster if you choose to follow the Cottagecore aesthetic trend... but green shades and colours that bring us close to nature are definitely the key here. 


Cottagecore online.

Yes, Cottagecore has an interesting dichotomy. It’s at once extremely online, with influencers driving the movement on Instagram and TikTok, and yet it’s all about recapturing that old-fashioned, wholesome pre-internet vibe. Cottagecorers shun the modern age and screens in favour of spending time outdoors in nature (but they’ll put the photos up when they get home, essentially). That’s ok though. There’s definitely no judgement in the Cottagecore world. 

Okay, I get it now. What's next in store for the Cottagecore trend then?

The trend definitely isn’t going anywhere any time soon, however, you can take your own spin on it via ‘core-adjacents’ such as grandmacore, farmcore and countrycore, which are all very similar but with their own particular niches. 

If you’d like to take your Cottagecore down a more fantastical route you could dabble in fairycore or even goblincore, both of which have links to Cottagecore but are more from the ‘frogs, snails and toadstool’ stable of Cottagecore than the peasant tops and scones one, but it takes all sorts to make the world go round. 

If you like your aesthetic and interiors with an even darker bent, CottageGORE might be for you. This has all the countryside and whimsical elements of Cottagecore but with an emphasis on poisonous mushrooms, animal skulls, spooky woodlands, folktales and rain. (You’ll be relieved to hear that vintage lace and peasant shirts are still in there).


Do say:

“Pop over to the garden any time for some homemade foraged wild garlic scones. I’ll box you up some of the chickens’ eggs to take home with you.”

Don’t say:

“Bit quiet in here, isn’t it? Did you not have enough of this in lockdown? Do those hens bite?”

A cropped bedroom photo with a two-toned wall where top half is a pale blue-green shade and the bottom half has panelling painted in dark green. Next to the bed is a mid-century style wooden bedside table with a bedside lamp and a decorative figurine on top

If you want to embrace the Cottagecore trend but still have that hint of contemporary minimalism, go for a dark green colour which you can then 'spice up' with a lighter green shade. Pictured here are our Serene Green and Loving Green paint colours that work in full harmony and are able to bring any space to life (and to nature too). Go on, explore the great indoors.


Looking for more #CottageCore inspiration? Check out our three Cottagecore-inspired colour combinations that you could easily implement in your interior colour scheme. Alternatively, get in touch with us and book a colour consultation with us, where we'll solve your colour puzzle in no time. Free option is available too!

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