The Ultimate Guide To Cottagecore Decor

There's nothing better than an escape from reality when it comes to the cottagecore trend. Gone are the days of over-the-top maximal designs. People desire a sense of comfort and self-reliance where they can peacefully live and rest. According to Life on Summerhill, the cottagecore aesthetic romanticizes nature and escapism, throwing us back to a simpler and more idyllic time.

Extra Space Storage explains the trend began on TikTok and Instagram and was popularized by content creators cozying up their homes during the pandemic and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle. The cottagecore aesthetic focuses on simple country living as well as light farming and gardening. What makes the trend different from other home décor designs is its appeal to minimalism that can't be denied. With farm motifs and nature-based decorations, it's an easy aesthetic to create within the home or a room. To achieve this aesthetic, think of what would look cute in a farmhouse or what objects would work in a cottage.

How to decorate with dried flowers

One of the styles of the cottagecore trend is decorating with flowers or plants. While working with fresh flower designs has always remained popular, using dried flowers for decoration produces a different spin. Dried flowers are a pertinent part of the cottagecore aesthetic due to the interest in bringing the outside indoors. French Country Cottage recommends buying a ladder from a craft store and tying long-stemmed dried flowers on the rungs. You can also grab a branch from outdoors and hang it above a kitchen island and string dried flowers across it.

When drying your flowers, Glitter Guide notes it's best to keep dried flowers out of direct sunlight and in a dry area, like a closet or pantry. While mason jars are popular to decorate with and keep in a home, try using apothecary jars to place dried flowers in for an old timey look. It gives a modern-day but Victorian vibe.

Add pops of lilac

Have you ever decorated with purple? Try decorating with lilacs as the focal point. Though pinks and blues are commonplace in home and room designs, lilac is steadily becoming more contemporary and used. According to MyMove, lilac doesn't have to be used solely for bedrooms and bathrooms. Painting the awning of an entryway to a living room lilac is one way to add color. Like the cottagecore aesthetic, lilac could fit well with country farmhouse styles.

Why not try decorating with lilac wallpaper? Real Homes suggested lilac could be used with contrasting colors such as green and orange to make a statement. Blues, yellows, and reds may overpower the color and cause clashing looks. For those who don't want to fully commit to painting walls fully lilac, try decorating with lilac flowers. Lilacs make great centerpieces on dining tables for formal and casual events, and can be crafted into wreaths or placed in tin watering cans or mason jars. The possibilities are endless and charming.

Have fun with doily prints

Due to the dainty nature of cottagecore design, decorating with crotched fabrics is another notable asset to the style. SFGate suggests using them as coasters in the kitchen, wall decor in the bedroom, or sewing them together into a table runner when guests come over for tea. Check out open markets and secondhand shops for inexpensive doilies. This is especially a great idea if you're not totally sold on the trend yet and want to experiment with it. Investing in a few crocheted pieces won't hurt your wallet if they cost a dollar a piece! 

They will add an old-world, grandmotherly charm to your space, whether you use them subtly or make them the focal point of your room. For those who don't have access to doilies, you can instead invest in a doily printed rug or buy white ruffled pillows to achieve a cottagecore scheme.

Butterflies and mushrooms galore

Cottagecore is all about nature motifs. What better way to design a home like this than incorporating butterflies and mushrooms? Since cottagecore focuses on farming and gardening, mushrooms are another motif utilized in the aesthetic. Houzz recommends incorporating these themes by buying printed framed photos of butterflies to hang up in a living room or along a stairwell wall. You can also get a butterfly-themed pendant light, or for those who want to make a grand statement, find butterfly graphic wallpaper to paste on the living room or dining room walls.

When decorating with mystical mushrooms, Homes & Gardens suggests making paper mushrooms and placing them inside glass standup bowls. Looking to update dishware and cutlery? Find mushroom-printed plates, mugs, and bowls. Want a subtle way to have mushrooms at home? Check out furniture and bedding stores for white or neutral capped domed lights that look like mushroom tops.

Organizing with wicker baskets

Wicker baskets are an important part of cottagecore designs. They're used to collect berries and flowers outdoors, or they could be used for home décor. Why not be versatile? Look for vintage baskets to add a retro vibe to a cottagecore home. The Spruce suggests buying vintage baskets at a secondhand store and wrap faux flowers through the woven parts to add springtime zest. Pom poms are inexpensive and could be glued onto the baskets as well. 

Shelterness points out that adding wicker baskets to the mix not only provides a subtle design, but could also be used to organize various products. For guest bedrooms, keep a basket of magazines near the bed for easy pickings and reading, and use them in bathrooms to hide toilet paper or beauty products. Making Home Pretty suggests utilizing them in the laundry room or mud room for easy storage and cleanup.

Cast iron skillets are more than just for cooking

The cottagecore aesthetic utilizes cast iron skillets as kitchen décor. Used by frontiersmen and pioneers in the olden days, the cast iron skillet was used for cooking meat and other food. People prefer cast irons for their versatility and long-lasting appeal. According to Cooking Light, a new skillet isn't always better. New pans have a rough texture that makes it hard to cook versus older pans which are slicker. Since older pans are more "seasoned," they could be easier to cook with. Look up cast iron skillets on eBay to see the selection of gently used products.

Cast iron skillets may need to be professionally restored if they're too damaged to repair by hand (via MyRecipes). To clean cast iron skillets, use basic dish soap that isn't harsh or has any bleach in it. To keep with the rustic farm countryside vibe, hang cast iron skillets on pegs near a stove or along the siding of kitchen walls as part of the cottagecore appeal.

Use whimsical floral prints

A mainstay of the cottagecore aesthetic is floral print. With springtime in bloom, floral prints are popping up all over the season for home design. According to The Spruce, if you're not a fan of floral overload, adding floral wallpaper to a small room such as a laundry or powder room can be a great workaround. It will let you dabble with a print, without committing to an entire room. To go subtle with floral printed wallpaper, choose white and pink flowers instead of bold colored motifs. Add whimsical wallpaper along a stairwell to go with a cottagecore theme.

If floral print is too much to take in, work with simple designs that imitate flowers. I Want Wallpaper recommends staying within a similar theme by keeping with the same floral patterns. Don't mix tropical flowers with daisies, for example. Surrounding furniture doesn't have to be floral printed, but find traditional furniture to keep with the antiquated cottagecore aesthetic. 

Incorporate antique wooden tables

What better way to accomplish a cottagecore aesthetic than placing an antique wooden table in the middle of a room? How Stuff Works reports antique furniture is usually older than 50 years old, and you can generally tell it's vintage by looking at the joints, wood type, and makers stamps. The cottagecore aesthetic focuses on merging pieces from the Victorian and Colonial periods, creating a homey blend of generational pieces. However, there can be a downside to decorating with antiques. You want to look out for dry rot or insect damage, so as not to bring any critters home. You also want to look for any wobbly arms or legs, though those can be fixed if you're handy with a few tools.

There is also some extra upkeep needed for wooden pieces. Grain & Frame advises against putting any direct heat on the surface since it could warp the wood or cause cracks. If a wooden table is near windows, cut the blinds or curtains to prevent direct sunlight or heat from damaging the wood. Spilt food and drinks should be cleaned up from the table and homemade solutions are a good way to cleanup.

Taking care of teacups and such

A good porcelain tea set may be all that is needed to work with the cottagecore aesthetic. As was popular during the Victorian period, cottagecore design focuses on porcelain-made tea sets. They need to be properly cared for so they can be used for years to come. The Cup of Life proposed washing them with salt water before using them since it could extend its life by acting as a protectant shield for the porcelain. Wash parts of the tea set one by one in soap and water to prevent overcrowding in a sink and store it in a safe place away from crowded dishware products.

Tea Box Tea 101 warns that harsh chemicals or bleach shouldn't be used when cleaning dishware, especially porcelain pieces. If there are tea stains on parts of the tea set, try overnight soaks with detergent, lemon juice, and vinegar mixed into the water. Vintage porcelain drinkware with dainty designs are easy to find, but make sure the set isn't broken or cracked before deciding on a purchase.

Choose a good wood cutting board

The cottagecore aesthetic favors old-school wooden cutting boards that could be used for preparing food or as decoration. Choosing the right board doesn't have to be difficult, but Simply Recipes notes that you must pay special attention to edge grain and end grain. The top of edge grain boards has long wooden fibers, whereas end grain boards are made with cross-sections of wood fused together. Wooden cutting boards made of dense woods such as maple, oak, and cherry are long lasting because their surface pores are smaller, so bacteria can't infiltrate the board and cause it to lose its durability and get warped.

According to Crate & Barrel, to prevent wooden cutting boards from being damaged, they should be cleaned with a specific cutting board oil or beeswax and then wiped off instead of going into a dishwasher. To get creative, try finding a wooden cutting board at a kitchenware store and personalize it with acrylic paints and make a rustic farm design to hang up in the kitchen. It'll look cottagecore chic!

Incorporate a floral bedroom design

To achieve the cottagecore look without stressing out over a budget, buy floral-designed bedsheets to prettily complement a bedroom. Floral print never goes out of style. Making it Lovely recommends adding floral bedsheets and a floral blanket while keeping the rest of the furniture simple. Polka dots are a classic pick to pair with florals if you want to introduce a second pattern.

To keep it classic, Saffron Marigold suggests opting for a blue and white floral bedding design, like those reminiscent of traditional English cottages. This print is perfect for cottagecore and gives a "teatime" feel, adding a sense of daintiness to the room. However, if you want to go in a bolder direction, go fiery with red flower printed bedsheets, or stick with sunny yellow motifs to bring some "sunshine" to the bedroom. Add special touches like artwork, faux or real flowers, and decorative pillows.

Apothecary jars and their uses

Apothecary jars aren't like your typical mason jars. They're fancier, come with decorative lids or corks, and are growing in popularity thanks to the growing cottagecore trend. Craftionary noted that though apothecary jars could be expensive due to their luxurious style, they could also be found cheaply at Hobby Lobby, Target, and dollar stores. Filling apothecary jars with candy to produce holiday motifs is a fantastic way to decorate. Add dried flowers or food ingredients like brown sugar or confectionary sugar for a cottagecore effect and display them on shelves.

Glass jars could be used in several ways, according to Taste of Home. Need a way to store homemade cleaner? Add the solution into a glass jar. No available piggy bank for a child? Puncture a slot on the top of a glass jar lid and drop coins inside. The possibilities of using glass jars are limitless.

Working with knitted crafts

Since the cottagecore aesthetic is based on homemade designs, nothing says homemade more than decorating with knitted crafts. Want to feel warm and cozy? Organic Authority suggests throwing a knit chunky blanket on the bed. A neutral or white knitted material could go with cottagecore design, or any other aesthetic. Want to dress up a dining room table? Knit a table runner and add lace fabric to the piece to give a dainty, cottage look to an otherwise plain piece.

Are you looking to add knitted living room furniture? Find ways to craft knitted ottomans or knitted pouffes. Cottagecore aesthetic focuses on woven baskets, so why not be different and make knitted baskets to organize and hold items that cause clutter and disarray? For people who aren't into crafting, buy hanging artwork that has knitted pieces in the frame to hang around the home.

Farm inspired paintings

The cottagecore aesthetic focuses on pastoral living. Bring the outdoors indoors by placing farm-inspired paintings around the home. Twelve on Main provided ways to produce a farm aesthetic without seeming out of place. Make a large scale farm painting the focal point in a living room by leaving the rest of the walls bare and incorporating neutral colored furniture. Smaller farm paintings can be grouped together on a wall to create a sense of cohesion. Small, framed pictures could also be placed on kitchen shelves or bookshelves to give a hint of design.

When designing for a farmhouse aesthetic, don't go to the extreme when staying simple. Neutral living room colors produce a bare palette for bolder colors or decorative art and furniture to work amongst. Keep rooms uncluttered and clean. Cottagecore specializes in simple, sleek designs so adding small elements is all that is needed.