What to Know About the Cottagecore Home and Lifestyle Trend

The warmth of Grandma's house and the earthiness of the 1970s have come together at a time in design and culture for a whole new trend: Cottagecore.

If it feels like everything is just getting a little more homemade and folksy, it isn’t just you: A return to self-sufficiency, domestic skills and earthy designs are definitely making a strong comeback. Here’s what you need to know about Cottagecore, the latest hot design trend.

What Is Cottagecore?

In short, Cottagecore is a design aesthetic that harkens back to a romantic view of simpler, more self-sufficient times. The idea behind the suffix “-core” is to define a subset or genre of music or design.

Cottage—that’s exactly what it sounds like. Think of a sweet English cottage or Grandma’s summer home, doilies or embroidered napkins, macramé and amenities, or chores that border on hobby farming such as canning and pickling, gardening, raising chickens, sewing or knitting arts.

Why Is Cottagecore Popular?

Cottagecore has come into style for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s just time. In the natural trend cycle, a return to earthier, more back-to-the-land natural materials was due after the sleek glamour of midcentury modern and the glitz of Hollywood Regency styles had their moments in the spotlight. Millennials in particular have gravitated toward Cottagecore and more ’70s styling as a return to a smaller, simpler life after the excesses of midcentury and ’80s design and lifestyle.

Second, the same design elements that make Cottagecore appealing involve aesthetics and activities that compliment staying at home. Just think of all the sourdough starters or embroidery hoops you spotted on Instagram when the pandemic forced entire communities to quarantine at home. That’s Cottagecore at its, well, core.

How Home DIY and Cottagecore Intersect

Cottagecore is more than just looks. It’s a philosophy that you’re self-sufficient, maybe even living off the land (or off the grid!). Or you know how to do the things that, up until recently, many people just purchased readymade at the store for convenience’s sake.

Using your hands to till your garden, constructing a chicken coop, embroidering throw pillows with wildflower designs or putting up a well-stocked cellar would all be parts of the lifestyle — and the looks. Can’t you just picture the Mason jars lined up with your pickles on the reclaimed-wood shelves you affixed to the wall yourself?

Key Elements of Cottagecore

If you’re looking to create a Cottagecore look at home, a few simple elements can evoke the countryside and all that it means to you in a few quick swoops.

  • Floral prints: Eschew glamorous showy peonies or bold, geometric dahlias as a motif. Think about featuring native wildflowers, teeny-tiny petaled prints in pastel or faded colors.
  • Mason jars: A one-stop-shop vessel. They’re great for pickling and canning, sure. But they also work as a mug for ice water, a vase for your latest cut flowers, or even a terrarium you made yourself.
  • Knits: Think macramé houseplant slings, knit afghans and embroidery hoops on the wall. Domestic arts and crafts feel organic and homemade, even if they aren’t — by you, at least. (We won’t tell.)
  • Homemade furniture, pottery and more: People in ever-larger numbers are turning out wooden bowls and spoons in classes and maker spaces, making chicken coops or raised garden beds, or learning how to make their own crocks, pitchers and mugs out of clay. It’s utilitarian design at its finest and most intimate. Don’t forget to put that hard work on display!

Originally Published on The Family Handyman