Cottagecore in the City: Tips for Achieving the Biggest Interior Design Trend of 2021

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The cottagecore aesthetic has been all the rage lately. From music to movies to fashion to Animal Crossing, the trend has been making the rounds in almost every area of pop culture, not the least of which is interior design. If you’re looking to make your house a more homey, welcoming, and warm place during the COVID-19-induced lockdowns, here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve the nostalgic, dreamy, English castle-style aesthetic even if you live in the city.

Plants, plants, plants

At its core (pun intended), cottagecore is the romanticization of agricultural life and is centered on the concept of living a simpler life, one that’s devoid of capitalistic excesses. Living harmoniously with nature is also a key component. This is why planting and gardening are crucial to achieving not just this aesthetic, but also the lifestyle that naturally comes with the look. Introduce nature to your home by investing in some houseplants, and if you have a garden, consider learning how to start growing your own produce.

A warm and earthy color palette

Cottagecore is all about the nostalgia, romance, and dream-like atmosphere of old English castles. For this reason, your home should prioritize a warm and earthy color palette is a must for your interior’s. Whether you live in the suburbs or an urban setting, you can achieve the rural, wholesome, pastoral vibe by using pale pinks, warm whites, and duck egg blues on the walls, on your furniture, and other design elements. Cottagecore is also marked by very specific patterns, so choose a contemporary wallpaper pattern that gives off a feminine and floral vibe. If your home has natural wood flooring, let it go bare to introduce a rustic look into your home.

Pretty and dainty details

Plants, earthy hues, and the right wallpaper are not enough; your space should be inundated with design elements that perfectly encapsulate the theme of your home. This includes prairie-style pillows and candlesticks, feminine patterns and fabrics, and botanical pictures. Choose coffee table books that feature the rural life aesthetic, as well as rugs, embroidery, and cross-stitched items.

Reclaimed and vintage furniture

Look into your neighborhood’s farmers’ markets or antique shops for reclaimed and mid-century furniture. If your home already has them, consider repainting or reclaiming them to give them a much-needed update to match the look and concept you’re going for your interiors. Before you even think about buying brand new, make sure to exhaust all the possible places where you can find pre-loved chairs, tables, and mirrors.

There is no shortage of outlets that sell pre-owned furniture, and you only need a lot of imagination and creativity to turn those secondhand items into truly special pieces that fit your requirements. You never know; your unique furniture might also be a topic of conversation for when you have guests over.

Romantic table setting

A key component to the cottagecore concept is a beautifully-laid table filled with freshly-picked or dried flowers, mason jars filled with jams and honey, vintage tea sets, and embroidered mats and potholders. These table elements need not be expensive; you can make use of a plain white tablecloth, affordable candles, and a simple spread of bread, cheeses, and olives on a wooden board.

Natural light and fresh air

Do away with black-out curtains and let the natural light into your home, especially if you’re incorporating plenty of houseplants. Especially during winter, when we don’t have a lot of opportunities to go out, an open window can help purify your home’s indoor air, especially if the temperature allows it. Add some plants to your windows to provide a fairy tale look to your space.

“Shabby chic”

The cottagecore look is closely tied to the “shabby chic” trend of the mid-2000s. The concept of the look is all about embracing the worn, lived-in atmosphere, which entails intentionally-chipped paint on windows, soft colors, a fusion of new and vintage decor, and history-rich design elements and pieces. Achieve this look by giving a “distressed” look to your vintage furniture: Don’t paint them all the way through, especially if they’re made of wood.

Devil in the Details

This interior trend almost feels like a mixture of different styles — shabby chic, minimalist, floral, boho, and quintessentially British — and that’s also why it’s so easy to get it wrong. Don’t just throw things against the wall and wait for something to stick. Be intentional about the design choices you make and make sure that all the details look good together. Scour the internet for accurate references, and live the lifestyle yourself. It’s the best way to fully encapsulate the look you’re going for.