Cottagecore, sometimes known as Farmcore or Countrycore, is a new lifestyle trend gaining popularity with those who are tired of some of the negatives that come with our modern life. The subreddit r/cottagecore sums it up this way: “Your Grandma, but like, hip.”
At its roots, it’s an aesthetic. If you dig a bit deeper, it’s a whole vibe.
Simply put, the goal is to imitate what you would imagine life to be like if you lived in a cottage in the countryside before the invention of 21st century conveniences. But cottage core isn’t opposed to taking advantage of some 21st century tech in order to evoke these feelings (You’ll see what I mean in a bit).
It’s about feeling homey: frayed edges, crisp clean linen and gingham, muted earth-tones or pastels. Cottagecore hobbies include indoor/outdoor gardening, botany, journaling and anything DIY.
We aren’t talking about living off the grid or doomsday prepping or anything like that (which sounds stressful, and that’s not the point). It’s just the sense of living in harmony with the land. Instead of explaining Cottagecore, it’s easier to just show you Cottagecore.
1. Vintage Botany
Imagine coming across a plant you’ve never seen before while wandering through a green meadow near your cottage home. What would you do? Make a little sketch, maybe add some watercolors to capture it even more clearly. Perhaps you’d take that sketch back and display it on your wall. Nobody has time for that. Also, there is no meadow. It’s all in your head remember. But that doesn’t mean we can’t pretend, right? It’s about the viiiibe.
2. Dried Plants and Flowers
Sometimes, just sketching flowers and plants isn’t satisfactory. Sometimes, you’ll want to bring some home and let them hang out to dry. This is a common theme in Cottagecore: you bring the outside, inside.
This collection of a random assortment of 7 types of dried flowers is a great start. You may even add to your collection with flowers you find in real life, say for instance, those carnations that weird Tinder date gave you. Or maybe you don’t want to keep those. Hey, I don’t know your life.
3. Gauzy Curtains
What’s the point of living in your imaginary mind-cottage if you don’t have gauzy curtains billowing in the fresh spring air? These translucent curtains have a beautiful willow leaf pattern, further adding to (you already know) the viiiibe. Sashed to the sides, these would be great over a closet door or bathroom entry.
I’d think twice before swapping your blackout curtains with these though. They’re decorative, not particularly functional.
4. Botanical Bedding
White with muted greens and yellows, this duvet cover and pillowcase set makes for a quick and easy way to transform your space. Jewel tones are out if you’re aiming to capture this aesthetic. While vibrant colors aren’t necessarily unwelcome, they’re best saved for accents.
5. A Calming, Babbling Brook
Maybe you live by a beautiful meandering stream…or maybe you live next door to a chemical processing plant, idk. Either way, there’s nothing like the sound of trickling water to stir up feelings of prairie life tranquility. A simple water feature can add a lot of personality and life to your space.
6. Rustic Bookshelf
Cottagecore isn’t necessarily about making everything yourself, although if you can, props to ya. It’s also the idea that you could have. This jute rope floating bookshelf is rustic enough to look handmade, without having to take a trip to the hardware store.
7. Mushroom Night Light
Mushrooms are a common motif in Cottagecore. There’s just something whimsical and “nature-y” about them. No, they wouldn’t have had mushroom and lilypad color changing night lights back in the cottage days of yore — they would have used candles — but, then again, they also probably went to the bathroom in a chamber pot. Too real.
While it’s nice to have a lot of sketches and dried plants, there’s nothing better than having actual live plants inside. They don’t have to be alive, of course. You don’t even have to use this terrarium for plants — you can fill it with whatever you like: shells, crystals, some feathers from a toy your cat destroyed…a candle. It’s just a pretty vessel for displaying things you find interesting.
9. Wedding Lace
Okay, but what to do about that black TÄRENDÖ table you bought from IKEA? Easy, cover it with some lace! It’s an inexpensive way to camoflauge anything in your space that doesn’t harmonize with this new, old-timey aesthetic.
Cottagecore isn’t only about creating a visual fantasy, though that’s a big part of it. It also encompasses some interesting DIY hobbies.
Why not try your hand at custom papermaking. By using leftover non-glossy paper and paper scraps, you can create your own paper for journaling, scrapbooking, pressing flowers, or writing a nice handmade card for a friend. The only extra thing you’ll need is a large pan with a lip (like a deep cookie sheet) for dipping the mold in. It’s an easy process with satisfying results.
11. Signed, Sealed, Delivered
You’ve made the paper, now seal it with a wax stamp. It’s a vintage way to add a bit of mystery to a card or invitation (no honorable person would ever tamper with a wax seal afterall). There’s also something soothing about melting the wax and patiently waiting for the stamp to cool. It’s very Pre-Victorian, which is Cottagecore to a T.
12. Making your own, Bread, Jam and Yogurt
In the spirit of DIY, what says cottage-life more than a loaf of fresh baked bread? This bread maker does all the work for you. You literally dump in the ingredients, push a preset button based on the bread you want to make, and voila.
It seems crazy, but this thing mixes, kneads, proofs and bakes the bread, all in one little machine. It includes settings for gluten free bread, and will even mix and proof the dough for things like pizza or cinnamon rolls. Bonus: it makes jam and yogurt too. I know…wild, right. This is one of those moments where it’s awesome to live in the 21st century, but eat like you’re in a Jane Austen novel.
13. Now, from the inside, out
Now that you’ve got bread and jam, why not take it to go. Find a park or a quiet bench somewhere and take time to reflect on…anything other than twitter or instagram. Get a pic for the gram ofc, but don’t dwell on the gram. No park nearby, or you’re not feeling particularly social? This wicker picnic basket can double as a cool way to store things you’d rather keep out of sight.
14. Tea Time
During the height of cottage life, coffee was around, but it wasn’t nearly as popular as it’s counterpart, tea. Not only is this all glass teapot stovetop, microwave and dishwasher safe, it’s super charming to be able to watch as your tea or infusion brews right before your eyes. Cottagecore is meant to be light, fun, and mostly pretend. Relax with a warm cup of tea in the evening — and smile to yourself, knowing that you don’t have to wake up with the sun to milk the goats or whatever.