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Slow Down and Enjoy the Simple Things in Life with the Cottagecore Aesthetic

Updated: Mar 28

Cottagecore teaset

If you’ve ever dreamed of escaping to the countryside or hosting rustic garden parties, you’re not alone. In a world with endless screens and hustle culture, there seems to be a common desire to slow down and appreciate the natural world around us. Sound familiar? The cottagecore aesthetic may be for you. 

From “Little House on the Prairie” cottagecore fashion to decorating a home top to bottom with cottagecore style, there are many ways to incorporate this aesthetic into your life. Learn about each crucial design element to find inspiration for your own cottagecore room décor and outfits with our help.

What is Cottagecore?

Popularized online, Cottagecore is a design aesthetic that romanticizes the quaint ideas of country life and encourages simplicity. Each facet of this lifestyle centers around back-to-nature goals, from using natural materials for clothes and home goods to baking your own bread. Living a cottagecore life means learning how to embrace traditional skills, self-sufficiency, and a timeless, vintage style.  

Why is the Cottagecore Aesthetic Popular?

Framed Floral Art Print

Cottagecore is more than interior design inspiration—it’s escapism. Since the trend’s first boom of popularity in 2018, the desire to leave a 9 to 5 job and raise chickens in the backyard has skyrocketed. Millennials and Gen Z alike are tired of feeling bogged down in a society that revolves around capitalism and economic success. But since most of us can’t leave our jobs and run away to the woods, even the simple act of decorating a cottagecore room or dressing in floral prints brings a sigh of relief. 

Cottagecore rooms also offer a completely unique style. While mid-century modern and Art Deco décor will always have their adoring fans, the cottagecore aesthetic encourages you to give vintage pieces a second chance, tie in comforting colors, and feature sentimental items. When you shop for cottagecore style antiques in Indiana, every space becomes personalized, cozy, and oh-so cute.

What is the Difference Between Cottagecore and Fairycore?

While both styles are centered around a love of nature, the two are distinctly different. Fairycore is inspired by the magical and fantastical elements of the forest, such as fairies or elves. Cottagecore depicts a romanticized version of how we used to live as a society, with green pastures, farm-to-table recipes, vintage patterns, and more.

The Origin of Cottagecore Aesthetic

Moss Covered Bunny Figurines

While we can’t thank the COVID-19 pandemic for much, quarantine did give everyone ample time on their hands—and the newly discovered cottagecore aesthetic quickly took the world by storm. Suddenly, everyone had to look for happiness outside of socializing, and from TikTok trends to think pieces, cottagecore began to inspire new hobbies, fashion, and design. Whether you learned to care for a sourdough starter or partook in distanced garden party gatherings, many people got a small taste for what cottagecore life is all about.

As the world returned to normal, some people have gotten back in the groove of modern living. For others, the cottagecore aesthetic remains a way of life—or, at the very least, a personal style choice. From cottagecore room décor to enhancing your day-to-day wardrobe, there are many ways to show off your love of slower living. 

Key Pieces to a Cottagecore Lifestyle

The cottagecore aesthetic is rooted in these key ideals:

  • Wistful, romantic take on life

  • Back-to-basics

  • Slow living

  • Coziness and domesticity

  • Sustainability

  • Nature

  • Traditional fashion

5 Main Elements of the Cottagecore Aesthetic

Antique Mall Booth with Floral Arrangements and Arbor

Cottagecore rooms and styles both tend to follow the same décor characteristics. The next time you’re shopping for the perfect piece of furniture for your cottagecore bedroom or a new cottagecore fashion apron, consider these five main design elements:

1. Inspired by Nature

One of the central cottagecore ideas is celebrating nature. From tending a backyard vegetable garden to hanging serene art of pastures and fields, there are many ways to embrace the beauty of nature in a cottagecore aesthetic. As you design a cottagecore room, remember to include nature-focused details: fill vintage vases with freshly picked flowers, feature antique Impressionist paintings on your gallery wall, or stock up on floral patterned table linens. 

2. Vintage Cloth Textiles

The key to decorating a perfect cottagecore room or getting outfit inspiration? Finding vintage pieces that scream “granny chic.” Antique quilts, lazy tea cozies, chunky knit throw blankets, and more all give your home an antique, tactile feel that adds to the rustic style.

Our Highland antique mall (and others) are full of these loved and stylish textiles. A simple stroll through the aisles, and you’ll find the perfect piece for any cottagecore room in your home. 

3. Playful Patterns

Fireplace Screen with Delicate Floral Motif

Although the majority of cottagecore aesthetics are subdued and simple, that doesn’t mean you can’t feature playful and fun patterns! Veer away from popular minimalist designs by adding traditional patterns back into your home décor. There are plenty of areas in a cottagecore room to feature a pop of pattern, from backsplash and kitchen floor tiles to the wallpaper.

Popular Cottagecore Ideas for Pattern Motifs:

  • Delicate florals

  • Chickens and birds

  • Gingham designs

  • Quilted textures

  • Geometric tiles

4. Vintage Furniture

If you were to walk into a cottagecore room, it would be reminiscent of your grandparent’s house (in the best way possible). In the cottagecore aesthetic, vintage furniture and lighting is key. Keep an eye out for durable wooden dining tables, matching chair sets, and warm-toned cottagecore lamps. Whether painting and stenciling furniture to curate a new look or using it as is, every cottagecore room should be made up of antique pieces.

5. Personal and Sentimental Details

Painted Neutral Buffet with Floral Accents

Cottagecore aesthetic celebrates the little things, from the land we live on to our loved ones. To bring your own life into your cottagecore rooms, focus on featuring small details that make the home feel lived in and familiar. Family portraits, family heirloom items, stacks of antique books from your favorite author, and more are all sentimental ways to make each cottagecore room personal. 

The Sustainability of Cottagecore

The cottagecore aesthetic is about more than looking ready to gallop across pasture on a horse at a moment’s notice—although that is a part of the fun! At its core, it’s about embracing sustainability in each facet of your life. In an attempt to escape the complex consumerism and harmful practices of modern life, it encourages relying on your own land for food, learning how to upcycle and fix clothes and furniture instead of replacing it with something new, and cherishing vintage pieces.

Whether you decide to live a completely off-grid cottagecore life or are interested in certain pieces, any involvement can help the earth. Buying vintage furniture from Florida vendor malls, living slowly and mindfully on the land we love, and wearing durable, long-lasting cottagecore fashion are all ways you can live in an eco-friendly way. 

7 Tips for Dressing in Cottagecore Fashion

Antique Booth with Linens and Glassware

If you want to look and feel like you stepped straight out of a pastoral fantasy, dressing head to toe in cottagecore fashion is for you. Reduce, reuse, and recycle to save the earth we love by reusing pieces from your own wardrobe and buying the missing essentials second-hand from an antique mall location near you. Use these expert-style trips to achieve the look:

1. When it comes to dresses, pants, or skirts, avoid form-fitting pieces and stick to loose silhouettes to achieve the playful and always-wearable cottagecore aesthetic. 

2. Collect pieces that feature ruffle hemlines and necklaces to show off a timeless, vintage pop of texture.

3. When in doubt, buy linen! Linen is one of the preferred cottagecore fashion materials for dresses, skirts, shirts, and aprons, as it keeps you cool in the summertime during your farm-friendly chores and gives you a floating, lightweight look.

4. Stock up on multiple floral maxi skirts for year-round styling. Pair them with a corset-tank top in the summertime or a chunky hand-knit sweater in the winter. 

5. Buy within a pre-determined color palette of your favorite pastels, earth tones, and neutrals so you can mix and match any of your pieces. Cottagecore fashion is all about actually using the pieces you own, so versatility is key.

6. If possible, upcycle old pieces! Buy an antique sewing machine (a true cottagecore aesthetic hobby!) to learn how to take old pieces and turn them into something new.

7. Accessorize with handkerchiefs, lace, and leather belts—all of which are found in Chicago antique malls and all over!

How to Shop the Cottagecore Aesthetic

Antique Clock with Floral Design Inlay

As this is a more recent design term, you may think the best way to buy cottagecore room décor and fashion is online—but that isn’t always the case! Although the buzzword can be easily attached to items sold by the everyday retailer, the secret to creating your own cottagecore aesthetic is to shop vintage.

Whether you’re interested in cottagecore fashion or interior design, antique malls are a great shopping option. With hundreds of vendors ready to give you vintage shopping tips, there are countless eclectic collections of furniture, antique textiles, and retro clothing waiting to be explored. Buying these vintage pieces one at a time will help you create a completely personal and authentic cottagecore aesthetic.  

Pro tip: Don’t forget to look around in your own storage spaces or relatives’ homes for pieces that fit the cottagecore aesthetic. There’s a high chance that an aunt is willing to give up a matching set of wooden side tables or that you have a few hand-me-down floral skirts sitting in a box somewhere, just waiting to be worn. 

Great Ways to Create Cottagecore Rooms in Your Home

Copper Pots with Floral Design

After you buy one-of-kind Algonquin antique collectibles and furniture, there are endless ways to style a cottagecore room. Whether you want to revamp an entire home or need inspiration on how to enhance a specific cottagecore room, we’ve gathered tips for decorating three high-traffic spots in the house: 

Focus on the Bed in a Cottagecore Bedroom

For a cottagecore bedroom, the bedding is everything. Once you find a color palette you love, consider mixing and matching multiple patterns, such as gingham and florals, to give rustic and playful layers to your bed. Complete the cottagecore room with a knit throw blanket or hand-me-down quilt for a comfortable and cozy touch.  

Don’t be afraid to feature your favorite, unique collections in the bedroom. Whether you set out a row of collectible figurines on the bookshelf or your grandmother’s favorite jewelry pieces on the vanity, the addition of these small details transforms the space into a cottagecore bedroom that’s uniquely you. 

Create an Inviting Cottagecore Living Room

Framed Vintage Painting of a Country Cottage

Your cottagecore living room should be so warm and inviting that it practically begs you to curl up with a good book at the end of a long day in the garden. Start by pasting up a delicate landscape wallpaper to give the entire cottagecore living room a patterned backdrop, complete with a personal collection of paintings and portraits on a gallery wall. Then, find sofas and chairs made from soft and inviting fabric, topping each off with different accent pillows and throw blankets. 

Pro tip: If you have a fireplace (real or fake), feature that as the main attraction in the cottagecore room. Centering your furniture around that wall, rather than a TV, will transform the feel of the space into something special. 

Put Your Favorite Pieces on Display in a Cottagecore Dining Room

As one of the most popular entertaining spaces, the dining room is the heart of the home—making it a must-have cottagecore room! Keep the table set 24/7 with your favorite vintage table linens and reusable cloth napkins, whether you’re hosting a farm-to-table dinner party or enjoying a cup of coffee with your partner in the morning. Display your copper collectibles, dinnerware, and serving dishes on an exposed hutch or China cabinet for easy grab-and-go table settings and extra decoration in this cottagecore room.

Don’t forget to showcase fresh flowers, candles, and antique lace doilies as the centerpiece for that elegant grace the cottagecore aesthetic is known for! Change these pieces out seasonally to transform the table for holidays, equinoxes, and special occasions. 

Whether you grew up wishing you lived in the “Little Women” home or have only recently stumbled across this way of life, there are countless ways to partake in the cottagecore aesthetic. Shop for one-of-a-kind pieces at an antique mall or vintage event near you to redecorate your home and upgrade your wardrobe. Fall in love with the natural, rustic, and sentimental styles of cottagecore—we know we have!


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