5 simple steps how to achieve cottage core aesthetic
You have probably noticed cottage core trending on social media platforms – a sweet, dreamy, and nostalgic aesthetic that makes everyone feel welcomed. This aesthetic applies to interior design as well as fashion, and in this article we will tell you all you need to know about cottage core and how to achieve the aesthetic in your house with a few easy steps. But first, what exactly is a cottage core?
What is cottage core
Cottage core is an aesthetic that focuses on and promotes simple living, a lifestyle that includes the usage of traditional skills. This aesthetic is connected with living in rural areas, the countryside, where, naturally, practical skills have high value, and your bread making skills, gardening enthusiasm and sewing hobby, for example, only complement the aesthetic. There are various styles for this aesthetic, but all of them have common characteristics: natural color palette, various mushroom decorations, warm lighting, dried flower decorations, houseplants, wood furniture, and other things. Cottage core emits the feeling of something old, yet modern, a warm and nostalgic feeling.
Cottage core focuses on nature, that’s why you’ll notice a lot of natural, earthy color tones, mostly pastels. But it is not unusual to mix those tones with darker, deeper hues, as long as the colors that you can find in nature. For example, you can use yellows, greens, browns, pale pinks as well as deep blue tones. But enough of this, let’s dive into the 5 steps you have to take care of in order to get that warm and cozy aesthetic in your home.
- Pay attention to furniture
In the cottage core aesthetic, the furniture must have a vintage feel and a “history,” so get your pieces in antique stores, different flea markets, or look up advertisements in your local newspapers (perhaps someone is giving their cool furniture away). Such old pieces will help you create the warm, cozy, and welcoming feeling which is characteristic to cottage core. If you have some furniture pieces that have been passed from generation to generation in your family, don’t wait a second to include it in your interior! This will also add sentimental value in your house and will be a wonderful conversation starter.
If you can’t find unique vintage pieces, you can buy a new wood furniture piece and paint it over in a neutral tone – this way you can get the cottage core aesthetic as well. Though the colors have to be neutral and light, for example light green, pink, blue, yellow as well as bright white. Don’t splash any dark colors in your interior, since this aesthetic is airy, light, and romantic.
Also, speaking of furniture, try to use as many open shelves as you can – this is the key element of this aesthetic. Open shelving is especially practical in kitchens, where you can display different dried herbs, spices, and other ingredients, which will also serve as a nice decoration. Best part is that this type of shelving works well in any room – in your bedroom, bathroom, living room, and others. You can showcase different unique items and vintage decors with open shelving and you will also be able keep your place organized and neat.
- Choose wood
This is an important rule – your interior has to have a lot of wooden elements. Materials from nature are a must in this aesthetic, for example, linen, cotton, wool, and most importantly – wood. Wood is what makes the cottage core aesthetic stand out from other aesthetics. Choose as many wood pieces as your interior allows, and preferably, the wood should be in light color. There are a lot of materials to choose from – bamboo, rattan, bark, wicker. Choose one that you like and suits the interior.
Layer natural materials in your home to get a nice, warm atmosphere. Also, with time, wood will age like a fine wine and will suit the aesthetic just perfectly. But don’t take it the wrong way – wood is extremely resilient, long-lasting material that will serve you for many years to come. So wooden furniture is not only a great cottage core interior element, but also an investment for the future.
- Bring in comfort and nature
Cottage core is all about comfort and coziness. And the comfort has to be emotional as well as physical. And to create the perfect, emotional comfort, you have to tend to your senses. Meaning, that you should choose areas in your house where you spend the most time, and enhance the sensational experience, for example, by placing fragrant herbs next to your bed where you relax (lavender would be the perfect herb, since its improves sleep), or by creating a comfortable reading spot near the kitchen, so you can enjoy the smell of freshly baked cookies. And, since we mentioned wood earlier, for extra comfort, you can cover the furniture with warm woolen blankets, or soft pillows with floral patterns.
To stimulate your senses, you can also use artificial tools, for example, air humidifiers, wax lamps, fragrant candles etc. Though the scent in your house should be calm, gentle, and inviting. Nothing too strong, just like with colors - something light. The scent of freshly baked goods, dried herbs, roasted nuts is what would be just perfect, but don’t worry if you don’t think that you will be able to bake bread every day – use scented candles to imitate the smell.
As already mentioned, nature is of great importance in this aesthetic, but not only because of the looks – nature has a calming effect on us. No wonder why everyone is so stressed and depressed these days. We spend so much of our time in gray concrete surroundings, rarely have spare time to enjoy warm rays of sunshine, the songs of birds, and the sound of water. Nature calms us, heals our troubled soul, but we don’t let it do the job because of our lifestyle. So, to get inner comfort, this aesthetic invites you to bring nature inside. It doesn’t matter what kind of houseplants you get, but if you are a beginner “plant parent” you should look for plants that are easy to take care of (for example, the gorgeous monstera, spider plant, aloe). You will notice that once your place gets greener, your spirit will lift up. And note that plants also have a positive impact on the air quality.
- Use wallpaper
Wallpaper and cottage core go hand in hand. Vintage and floral design wallpaper serves as a wonderful addition to the interior, complementing the old, welcoming vibe. Instead of the “old cottage core” vibe, you can also go for the “fairytale cottage core” - use wallpaper with butterfly motifs, or anything else that looks soft and friendly – butterflies, mushrooms, flowers, and other designs with cute things on them are the ones you should consider. For the bathroom, you can choose a bit more exotic flower design wallpaper (in light, warm tones), or something pinkish (light pinks look wonderful in rustic powder rooms by the way).
Though, if you are not sure if your interior can handle the wallpaper you have in mind, you can always order just a sample to check out your theory. But, if you don’t feel much enthusiasm about the process of wallpaper application, we have another solution for you – peel and stick wallpaper. It is a wallpaper that doesn’t need any glue for it to stick on the wall. As the name itself explains, all you have to do is peel off the protective layer from the backside of the wallpaper sheet and stick it to a smooth surface, just like a sticker! And the best part is that you don’t need to buy a special glue, and the wallpaper can be easily peeled off of the wall without damaging it. Which means that you can experiment with your taste and different patterns. And once you take the wallpaper off the wall, you can apply it to a different wall – it will stick! Try out peel and stick wallpaper to see what works best in your house.
- Take Care of decorations
One of the things characteristic to cottage core is layering. And that applies to decorations as well, because with the help of layering, you can achieve a more textural, cozy, and dynamic look. To get that cottage core aesthetic, you can add into your interior different pillows, rugs, blankets (bonus points if you made them yourself). And you can easily change the colors of these decorations according to the seasons or your taste, since these are not very expensive items.
For textile patterns we would advise to use floral patterns (if you want patterns, of course, if not- you can get by by mixing light tones in your decors) since those will create a warm, romantic vibe in the interior. Don’t be afraid of floral patterns – those will fit in any room, even the bathroom, making it calm and comforting. But if you think that too many florals will overwhelm you, you can incorporate the florals in your interior in different ways. For example, buy a wall art piece with nature sceneries, or frame a floral pattern wallpaper as a wall art (yes, people do that and the result is amazingly good). Also, to add more to that comfort and warmth aspect, you can put framed family photos all around the house. Though you have to get vintage frames for your art pieces and photos, if you wish to create a cottage core aesthetic.
Cottage core is a romantic and nostalgic aesthetic, and to create it, the most important things you have to incorporate into your interior are – florals, natural materials and elements, vintage furniture and decorations, as well as comfort in every way you can. Hopefully, this article helped you make your first steps towards creating the perfect cottage core aesthetic in your home.