In Focus

Cottagecore: the internet trend goes mainstream

This ‘standout aesthetic’ can be found in homes, fashion and lifestyle

Characterised by quaint countryside homes, billowy dresses and freshly baked sourdough, cottagecore has taken the digital world by storm. 

With more than one million #cottagecore hashtagged posts on Instagram alone it was described by Vox as the “standout aesthetic of 2020”. “Cottagecore culture” has attracted influencers, designers and landscapers alike, who have transformed their surroundings into what “could be the beginning of a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale”, said Isabel Slone in The New York Times

The pastoral trend has not only gained traction from its whimsical aesthetic, but also its relation to wellness, sustainability and the idea of social consciousness, Architectural Digest reports. 

Cottagecore flowers


Cottagecore in the home

You don’t need to be nestled in a fairy tale cottage in the woods to realise cottagecore in your own home. This rural aesthetic is easily achievable in any room of the house. 

Adding wooden furniture and accessories is one of the basics to the trend. A stool, shelves or wood-fronted cabinets are perfect additions, with the material’s natural ability to let homes “breathe”. 

To encapsulate the cosy, fireplace vibe, placing a few choice accents such as a cable-knitted blanket, a tall vase of flowers on a coffee table or a soft-glowing lamp brings rusticity and friendliness to a living room or bedroom while keeping in touch with nature. 

To really achieve the cottagecore aesthetic, a patterned wallpaper does wonders for any room. A print of foliage or flowers can provide an escape for those wishing to be outdoors and matches perfectly with wooden furniture. 

Taylor Swift Folklore

The cover of Taylor Swift’s album Folkore

Republic Records

Cottagecore in fashion 

Cottagecore has not only inspired interior designers. The trend “embraces everything from fashion to gardening” says Kate Reggev in Architectural Digest. 

Long skirts, frills and floaty dresses perfectly encapsulate the bohemian, whimsical aesthetic. You can also be on-trend in the winter months, by wrapping up in a heavy shearling jacket or donning dark corduroy trousers. Think Taylor Swift on the cover of her recent album Folklore...


Cottagecore as a lifestyle

One of the reasons that cottagecore has so clearly captured the imagination of those stuck inside during lockdown this year, is its return to self-sufficiency.

As we’re all looking for a break from screens, cottagecore is the perfect way to step away from the desk and to stretch our legs. 

“Cottagecore is all about the outdoors and slow living. It’s growing your own foods, spending time with pets, picnicking in the garden,” said the BBC’s Anita Rao Kashi. 

Join the trend by nursing your own sourdough bread starter in a mason jar. This is a fun and easy way to embrace cottagecore and with the bonus of a delicious result. 

Indoor and container gardening brings a breath of fresh air into the smallest of city apartments. The terrarium trend has returned in full swing, allowing urbanites to cultivate wildlife and to combine decoration with small pockets of nature. 

It's not just about baking your own food - cottagecore encourages growing it, too. No need for a greenhouse or a vegetable patch: lemon trees are happy in pots in the living room and tomato plants flourish on the kitchen windowsill. 

In a society hemmed in by the restrictions of a pandemic, it’s no wonder that cottagecore, as a visionary movement, a break from technology and a short trip into a fairy tale, has become so popular. 


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