Beginners Guide to Cottagecore {A Look at One of the Prettiest Trends of the Decade}

Imagine a world where life slows down, and nature, simplicity, and nostalgia reign supreme. A world of homemade pies, wildflowers, and rustic charm. Welcome to the enchanting universe of cottagecore, a pretty country-inspired aesthetic that’s suddenly everywhere.

Let’s explore…what is cottagecore, exactly? And is it right for you?

4 country style watercolors expressing cottagecore style

In essence, cottagecore is all about embracing a simpler life that’s very pastoral, even if just in small touches. It’s a nostalgic nod to the past, with a fresh twist that has captured hearts.

What is cottagecore, anyway?

At the very core of cottagecore lies the romanticized view of rural life. Think rolling meadows, old cottages with ivy-clad walls, and a life where the loudest sound is perhaps the chirping of crickets. There is a heavy emphasis on handmade crafts and DIY projects like hand-knit scarves, baking bread, or writing notes by hand. You’ll also find a lot of nature-centric activities like gardening, picnicking, other rural pastimes.

The origins of this style

To truly understand the depth of cottagecore’s appeal, it’s essential to journey back to its origins. At its heart, cottagecore is a love letter to rural life and romanticism. Before the hustle and bustle of modern cities, life was deeply intertwined with nature. Days revolved around tending to the land, baking bread from scratch, or simply enjoying the chirping of birds.

This aesthetic isn’t born out of the blue, though. It finds its echoes in literature, like the idyllic descriptions in the works of Beatrix Potter or the Brontë sisters. Movies too, such as “Pride and Prejudice” or “The Secret Garden,” have showcased this romanticized view of rustic life.

walk in closet with cottagecore clothing.

The roots of this aesthetic are simplicity, handcraft, and a connection to the earth were not choices but a way of life.

Cottagecore in your home

This aesthetic taps into something timeless. It’s not just about decorating a space; it’s about crafting a sanctuary—a place where the outside world fades away, and you’re cocooned in warmth and nostalgia.

Transforming modern homes into cozy cottages is the essence of this movement. It’s not necessarily about living in an actual cottage (though that would be a dream!), but about capturing its essence. The goal? Making every nook and corner feel like it’s telling a story. Instead of shiny, modern finishes, there’s a gravitation towards the worn, the loved, the lived-in. It’s about spaces that feel like they’ve been passed down through generations, even if they were just set up last week.

 Kay Dee Designs 2 Pc Cottage Core Bundle, Dual Purpose Towels Outus Vintage Mushroom Poster Fungus Wall Art Prints Rustic Mushroom Wall Hanging Illustrative Reference Chart Poster for Living Room Office Classroom Bedroom Dining Room Decor Frame, 15.7 x 19.7 Inches Cozy Line Home Fashions Azalea Floral Chintz Polyester Flower Reversible Quilt Bedding Set, Coverlet, Bedspread (Summer Bloom, Queen – 3 Piece)


Now, let’s talk staples. Dive into any cottagecore-inspired home, and you’re bound to encounter a few signature items. Floral prints are a big hit, evoking the beauty of sprawling countryside gardens. They can be found on everything from wallpapers to cushions, adding a touch of nature to the indoors. Antiques make a grand appearance, too. Be it an old grandfather clock or a worn-out trunk, these pieces add depth and character, making it feel like the walls are steeped in history. And then, there’s wood—raw, unpolished, and brimming with imperfections. Wooden beams, furniture, or even simple knick-knacks; they lend an earthiness that’s hard to replicate.

But remember, cottagecore décor is less about following a rulebook and more about following your heart.

Fashion in the World of Cottagecore

Step into the fashion realm of cottagecore, and it feels like you’ve opened a whimsical wardrobe to another era. It’s not about high heels and sharp suits; it’s about flowing fabrics, dreamy designs, and a sense of nostalgia that tugs right at the heartstrings.

Iconic outfits and patterns are the highlights here. Picture long, billowy skirts that dance with the wind, and blouses with delicate lace trims. There’s a love for layers, with cardigans and vests worn over soft dresses, all cinched together with a vintage belt. Patterns play a pivotal role too: florals, naturally, but also gingham, paisley, and even the classic polka dots. The colors? Think earthy tones and pastels, hues that seem like they’ve been plucked straight out of a meadow at dawn. The whole vibe is unapologetically romantic, like you’re a character in a pastoral novel, forever on the brink of a grand adventure.

 Tooe Women’s Cottagecore Flower Socks 5Pairs Kawaii Preppy Crew Socks Cute Lace Ankle Socking Coquette Casual Socks (Brown,One Size) MS SHEA MAY Grunge Fairycore Clothes Alt Aesthetic Peasant Skirt 90s E-Girl Harajuku Cottagecore Boho Hippie Indie Dress (S, Green) Cottagecore Blouse Crochet Top Cottagecore Clothing Grunge Fairy Clothes Aesthetic Fairycore Clothing (Khaki,One Size)


Now, where to find these treasures? While thrift shops are a goldmine for authentic vintage finds, several brands and stores have embraced the trend with open arms. Stores like Free People, Anthropologie, and even certain collections from Zara have pieces that align perfectly with the cottagecore aesthetic. For those who lean more towards artisanal and bespoke, Etsy offers a plethora of independent sellers crafting handmade garments that embody the essence of the movement.

But remember, at the end of the day, cottagecore fashion isn’t just about wearing a specific outfit—it’s about channeling a feeling.

The Digital Explosion of Cottagecore

Now, you might think something as old-world and nostalgic as cottagecore would be confined to dusty bookshelves or countryside festivals. Think again. In a delightful twist of events, the digital realm, especially platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest, has been a booming hub for this vintage aesthetic.

What’s fascinating is how organically cottagecore blossomed on these platforms. TikTok has been awash with short clips of creators sashaying in flowy dresses through fields, crafting homemade jams, or offering tours of their quaint cottage interiors. It’s a delightful paradox—short, snappy videos juxtaposed with an aesthetic that’s all about slowing down.

Instagram hasn’t been far behind. The platform, known for curated beauty, found a match in cottagecore’s inherently picturesque essence. From artists illustrating serene woodland scenes to influencers donning that ‘perfect’ vintage outfit, the hashtag #cottagecore has been nothing short of a visual treat.

Pinterest, always a go-to for inspiration, became a haven for those looking to dive deeper. Boards filled with DIY crafts, fashion inspiration, or even recipes straight out of a grandmother’s kitchen made cottagecore not just an aesthetic to view, but to live by.

And let’s talk about those memorable moments and viral content. Remember that video of a user creating a fairy-like garden in their backyard? Or the one where a creator gave a detailed walkthrough of their countryside home, complete with climbing roses and ivy? These snippets didn’t just gain views; they created a community. A community where people shared, learned, and reveled in the joy of simpler times, even if they were viewing it all on a smartphone screen.

In essence, the digital rise of cottagecore is a testament to its universal and truly timeless appeal.

Activities to Dive Deeper into the Cottagecore Lifestyle

Dabbling in the world of cottagecore? Well, there’s more to it than just sporting a vintage dress or decorating your living space. Your life is, after all, about how you spend your time.

Let’s start indoors. Baking bread isn’t just about the end product (though who can resist a slice of freshly baked loaf?). It’s about the process: kneading the dough, feeling its texture, and inhaling the warm aroma as it bakes. It’s a grounding experience, a nod to times when every meal was a labor of love. Similarly, pressing flowers isn’t merely about creating pretty bookmarks. It’s about preserving a moment, a memory, a fleeting glimpse of nature’s beauty. Every pressed petal tells a story, whether it’s of a summer’s day or a cherished garden walk.

watercolor of country picnic scene

Stepping outside, the world is your oyster, or rather, your meadow. Picnics are a quintessential cottagecore activity. And no, it doesn’t need to be a grand affair. A simple blanket, some homemade treats, and a spot under a tree is all you need. It’s about savoring food and moments, with the sky as your ceiling and the grass as your floor. Nature walks aren’t about achieving a step count but about reconnecting. Listen to the rustling leaves, spot little critters, or even pause to admire a dew-kissed spider web. And as dusk falls, why not indulge in some stargazing? Lay back and lose yourself in the vastness of the universe, spotting constellations or making up your own.

Remember, the best experiences aren’t the loudest or the grandest, but the quietest, waiting to be discovered by those willing to slow down and see.

The Psychology Behind the Trend

Dive into the undercurrents of the cottagecore trend, and there’s more at play than just pretty dresses and pastoral scenes. At its heart, cottagecore is a reflection of our collective psyche, a yearning that transcends generations and geographies. So, why are we so drawn to a simpler time? The answer, oddly enough, lies in our complex present.

In an era of information overload, where notifications buzz every second and deadlines loom large, simplicity is a respite. A time without the cacophony of social media, without the race to be ‘updated,’ sounds almost utopian. We’re not just reminiscing about the past; we’re yearning for its pace, its predictability, its lack of digital noise.

chair by window in countryside

Moreover, in a world that often feels fragmented, the idea of a tight-knit community, where everyone knows everyone and evenings are spent around a hearth or a village fair, is deeply appealing. It’s not just about going back in time but going back to a sense of connection, both with people and nature.

Speaking of nature, let’s delve into the appeal of escape and the romanticized past. Now, it’s no secret that the past wasn’t perfect. But in our minds, it often seems that way. The challenges fade, and what remains are sunlit memories: of reading by candlelight, of handwritten letters, of moments that felt genuine. And nature? It’s not just about its beauty but about its pace. Seasons change slowly and flowers bloom at their own will.

Comparing to Other Aesthetics

  • Shabby Chic: While both aesthetics appreciate vintage elements, shabby chic leans towards distressed and worn items, often with a white or pastel color palette. Cottagecore, on the other hand, embraces more natural tones and an idyllic, rural charm.
  • Farmhouse Style: Farmhouse style focuses on functional, rustic design elements often found in American farmhouses, like barn doors or large kitchen sinks. Cottagecore is broader, emphasizing a romanticized rural life and natural beauty.
  • Forestcore: Both cottagecore and forestcore value nature deeply, but while cottagecore revels in rural life and cozy homes, forestcore is more about the deep, mystical allure of untouched forests and woodlands.
  • Grandmacore: Grandmacore celebrates items and activities associated with our grandparents, like vintage teacups and knitting. Cottagecore shares this nostalgia but also incorporates broader elements of rural life and nature.
  • Farmcore: Both aesthetics value rural life, but while cottagecore leans into the romantic, whimsical side of the countryside, farmcore is more about the real, gritty aspects of farming and agricultural life.
  • Dark Academia: Dark academia is centered around classical literature, scholarly pursuits, and a moody color palette. While cottagecore can share an appreciation for literature and history, its primary focus is on rural life and nature, making it brighter and more outdoorsy in contrast.

Incorporating Cottagecore into Everyday Life:

  • Morning Routine Touches:
    • Swap out your alarm tone for gentle nature sounds like bird chirps.
    • Enjoy a breakfast of homemade granola or toast with handcrafted jam.
    • Ditch instant coffee or tea; savor the process of brewing a fresh pot.
  • Workspace Tweaks:
    • Adorn your desk with a vase of fresh flowers.
    • Use scented candles to create a calming atmosphere.
    • Opt for vintage-feeling stationery to add a touch of nostalgia.
    • Remember to take breaks: step outside, doodle, or simply daydream.
  • Fashion Nods to Cottagecore:
    • Introduce elements like a floral scarf or vintage brooch to your outfit.
    • Choose shoes that lean towards classic rather than trendy styles.
    • Prioritize comfort and simplicity in clothing choices.
  • Mindfulness Activities:
    • Spend moments by a window watching nature, be it birds or raindrops.
    • Journal by candlelight, recording thoughts or sketching.
    • Delve into old-world crafts like knitting, embroidery, or even making homemade candles.
    • Seek out activities that encourage pausing, reflecting, and connecting.

Remember, these are just starting points! The essence of cottagecore lies in simplicity, comfort, and a connection to nature, so feel free to tweak and tailor these suggestions to fit your personal preferences and lifestyle.

More resources on simple and rural living:

  • You might like exploring the Subreddit r/cottagecore where enthusiasts share ideas, photos, and experiences.
  • Want to get out in nature? Local hiking or nature clubs can offer guided walks or foraging trips. Websites like AllTrails can help identify the best nature trails nearby.
  • YouTube channels like Mori of Norway or Fairyland Cottage offer tutorials on crafts, baking, and more, all in line with the cottagecore aesthetic.
  • “Pride and Prejudice” (2005): You’ll love the English countryside, classic attire, and timeless romance.
  • Platforms like Spotify or YouTube often have cottagecore-inspired playlists. Look for folk tunes, acoustic melodies, and nature-inspired instrumentals.
pretty cottagecore kitchen in summer

Whether you’re sprucing up your space with floral prints, indulging in a homemade loaf of bread, or simply enjoying a moment of mindfulness amidst nature, there’s a touch of cottagecore waiting to enrich your everyday. So, why not take a leaf out of this trend’s book? Slow down, savor, and let the beauty of the simple things weave its magic into your life.

Beginners Guide to Cottagecore {A Look at One of the Prettiest Trends of the Decade}

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    1. Hey Eddie! You can copy and paste and try to upscale them, then have them printed at Shutterfly! OR i have a free calendar that includes some of them. If you come back to site you’ll see it pop-up, if you enter your email it sends it straight to you! 🙂 My daughter created them and i don’t offer actual phyiscal copies o f them but maybe she should start that as a little side project!

  1. Finally….I am right back in style! 😉 I’ve always leaned in this direction. Never followed trends much, updated here and there, but always 👍🏼 myself with flowers, old things from my grandma, new things that blend in, wood, family photos, things that have meaning or a memory attached, homemade things, food cooking, baking, quilting, instrumental music, simple things.

  2. Oh, how I loved this article!!! This is my vibe!! I have really been feeling the pressure to just s. l. o. w. d. o. w. n. Enjoy the quiet simple things. They are also….FREE! No debt, no stress, no hustle or bustle. Relaxing. We have made it a crime to relax. Relaxing and laziness are not the same. I’m going to work harder at relaxing, daydreaming, and watching the raindrops ever so slowly slide down my window panes, and enjoy the quiet solitude if nature.

    1. Such wisdom in this Melinda! Why hustle just to have more stuff when you have hustle less and have less stuff? Nothing wrong with watching the raindrops ❤️