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16 Cottagecore Interior Design Ideas (With Pictures)

Rustic Interior Design

Cottagecore is a term that was first coined in 2018 by online users. Cottagecore is a design philosophy that draws simpler times from the past. Cottagecore idealizes European cottages, 19th-century American farmsteads, and early 20th-century cottages. The design focuses on moving away from technological innovations and playing up vintage utility throughout the home. When done correctly, cottagecore can be cozy and authentic. This design philosophy has been growing in popularity in recent years.

Here are some interior design ideas to help you make your cottagecore dreams come to fruition.

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The 16 Cottagecore Interior Design Ideas

1. Use Patterned Wallpaper

Wallpaper is a staple of cottagecore design. Choose bold wallpaper with bright colors and complex patterns. Floral wallpaper is one of the most popular choices for cottagecore design. Floral patterns, in general, are a large part of cottagecore designs, so marrying floral patterns with bold wallpaper can make a room feel extremely cozy and rural. You can use wallpaper in large rooms, small rooms, or as an accent. If you don’t want florals on your walls, you can choose other rustic patterns for a similar effect. If the idea of adding large amounts of wallpaper to your home feels overwhelming, you can start small in a bathroom or a guest room to try it out before expanding your vision.

2. Incorporate Antique Furniture

Antique furniture is a great way to instantly add a cottage feel to a space. Cottages were often filled with solid wood furniture. The furniture can be distressed or worn. Old wood furniture is the perfect way to add some rustic flair to your cottagecore vision. You can find antique beds, headboards, tables, chairs, cabinets, and more. Each piece of antique furniture should complement the space, and it should be functional. You want to be able to use your antique pieces as originally intended. Antique furniture also has the benefit of being durable and high-quality.

3. Embrace Maximalism

Many modern designs and aesthetics are focused on minimalism. In minimalism, less is more. In maximalism, more is more. Clutter is good as long as it’s functional. If you can fit more things into a space, go for it. Maximalism works great in areas like pantries, kitchens, and bedrooms. The maximalist design uses exposed storage to display items. Maximalism also embraces things like houseplants and extra fixtures to fill a space. It can be tricky to pull off maximalism without making a space feel cramped or messy, but if you do it right, the results can be spectacular. In cottagecore, you are encouraged not to shy away from maximalism, and you are to avoid minimalism at all costs.

4. Use Soft Complimentary Colors

Cottagecore incorporates soft yet bold colors. Use pastels and bright colors complimented with soft colors. Cottagecore can heavily feature white, but it can also have shades of blue, yellow, pink, or green. Some vintage cottagecore designs feature bathrooms with bright tiles and colored fixtures contrasted with simple cream kitchens that boast plants and other colorful accents. There are many different directions that you can go in with a cottagecore color pallet. Make sure you are using complimentary colors, and ideally, you would use soft colors, but there is a lot of wiggle room for customization and personalization with colors in a cottagecore house.

5. Bring the Outdoors Inside

One feature of cottagecore design is to use plants and other outdoor accents to bring life and color into your design. Cottagecore houses feature live flowers, greenery, and houseplants to bring nature into the home. Another staple of cottagecore is putting herbs in the kitchen. Many cottagecore kitchens feature dried herbs and plants hanging from the ceiling. This brings a punch of rustic charm and also serves a useful purpose in the kitchen. Cottages are bright and airy and have a mixture of outdoor and indoor in their shared spaces.

6. Embrace Brick

Brick is a great accent in cottagecore design. Brick can be used in numerous different ways. Older homes might have exposed brick in them that you can highlight in the space to play up the home’s age and heritage. You can also incorporate brick into a fireplace. Exposed brick is a perfect way to add some rustic coziness to your design. Ideally, you leave the brick unaltered. Many modern or farmhouse designs are whitewashing or painted brick. Cottagecore should leave brick unaltered. Do not try to cover up your brick. Play it up instead. The space will be much better for it.

7. Hide the Technology

Many modern homes have technology as their focal point. The counters are filled with electronic devices, the living room is built around the television set, and large speakers or sound systems are present. That is not how cottagecore should be. Cottagecore should have minimal technological features. Televisions should be small and out of the way, counters and shelves should be bereft of devices. Alexa should be the name of your friendly cat, not something you use as a verbal search engine. Since cottagecore models itself after old cottages and farmsteads, the tech should be kept out of the way and out of sight whenever possible for the greatest effect.

8. Lots of Natural Light

Old cottages did not have a lot of electrical fixtures to light them, so they relied on a lot of natural light. Windows were strategically placed in each room to let in as much light as possible. Windows were also often operable to let in fresh air and a strong airflow as well. Letting in as much natural light as possible is a great way to brighten a space and works well with cottagecore design. Natural light also will highlight the use of soft complimentary colors and patterns that are so important to the core design tenants. Do not cover up your windows, let that light in!

9. Find Vintage Fixtures

One of the best ways to complete a cottagecore design is to find and utilize vintage features. Anyone can pick up antique furniture to kit out their space, but few people are going to go the extra mile for the additional features and fixtures. Vintage fixtures can include faucets, light switches, lighting, cabinet pulls, and more. Authentic vintage fixtures can elevate a space far beyond anything you can buy in a modern store. It can be fun to collect fixtures that fit your vision and style. There is nothing quite like a cozy bathroom or kitchen that is fitted with working and authentic fixtures.

10. Use Patterns and Textures Throughout

Cottagecore works best when you use patterns and textures in the same space. Many times, texture comes from the home itself or the antique fixtures you provide. Exposed brick, raw beams, and old wood floors all add texture to a space. Use this, along with a variety of patterns, to create a layered look. The patterns can be vintage or floral, but they should complement the natural texture of the space for the most authentic cottagecore feel. Look at your space and see if you have more texture or pattern, and then add or tweak to bring the two looks more into balance.

11. Learn to Love Florals

Florals are an integral part of cottagecore decor. You can incorporate floral patterns in all facets of your design, including upholstery patterns, wallpaper, live flowers, blankets, and artwork. Floral patterns encompass the essence of cottagecore. It is maximalist, it has bold colors, it’s rustic, and it can be used almost anywhere. For these reasons, you need to consider adding florals to any cottagecore design. The strategic use of floral patterns can quickly transform a rustic or vintage space into a cottagecore space. If you’ve never used floral patterns before, it’s time to consider adding them to your space.

12. Incorporate Handmade or One-Of-A-Kind Details

One of the hallmarks of cottagecore is the inclusion of handmade or one-of-a-kind details. Cottagecore uses rural cottages and bucolic farmsteads as its primary source of inspiration. In the past, many things in a house would be handmade, including things like tables, blankets, or artwork. Sourcing unique handmade items can elevate your design. It can also add personal touches that will make your space completely unique. You can find online retailers that will make custom items for you from scratch. You can also look through antique stores or estate sales to find those special touches that will transform a space.

13. Add Softness and Upholstery

Cottagecore design adores upholstery and soft elements. Cottagecore houses proudly display blankets and throws. The couches are filled with adorable pillows. The chairs are plush. Even hard elements, like antique chairs or benches, are dressed up with soft elements like blankets or cushions. Soft elements were used in original cottages to blunt the hardness of wood furniture and wood floors. Using the maximalist elements of cottagecore, add as many blankets and pillows as you want to a space. Pick colors and designs that match your style. You can also add a personal or unique touch by getting handmade blankets or pillows to the scene.

14. Utilize Ceramics

Ceramics are a great way to embrace cottagecore design and style. Ceramics can be decorative, or they can be functional. Ceramics will work great in the kitchen, bathroom, or dining room. Find ceramic pots for plants. Get ceramic containers for basic cooking supplies and utensils. In the bathroom, you can get ceramic soap dishes or toothbrush holders. In the kitchen, display ceramic bowls and plates on open shelving. Ceramic is the type of rugged and rustic material that works perfectly with cottagecore’s design philosophies. You can get plain ceramics, or you can get ceramics with patterns or designs that fit your personal style.

15. Display Your Knickknacks

One of the key components of cottagecore design is manicured clutter. Spaces are supposed to be filled with things, but these things don’t have to be worthless or arbitrary. Cottagecore gives you the power to display your knick knacks in a way that enhances the design space. Use curio cabinets to show off your collection of doodads and trinkets. Fill your window sills with small objects that are meaningful to you. Set a theme for a room and utilize your favorite pieces to really tie it together or bring it to life. In modern or minimalist designs, people are told to hide their items from view to leave the rooms unobstructed. That is the opposite of what cottagecore is all about. Cottagecore is about embracing the past when times were simpler and old homes had a lot less storage than modern homes.

16. Don’t Forget the Fireplace

Few things are as cozy as a functional wood fireplace. Fireplaces fit perfectly with a cottage aesthetic. Back in the day, homes could only be heated by large stoves or fireplaces. Most original cottages will have at least one fireplace or a combination of a fireplace and stove for heating the main areas. If you have an existing fireplace, you can add touches and accents to make it feel more rural. If you don’t have a fireplace, you can build your own or find a vintage or antique stove to add to the space to create a real cottage feel. Authentic wood-burning fireplaces are the best, or you can get pellet-burning stoves.

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Cottagecore is a cozy design that idealizes the past and strives to tame the modern world. People who enjoy cottagecore are often looking for an escape into simpler times and simpler designs. These 16 ideas are the perfect way to jumpstart your cottagecore makeover. Shove the technology aside and start filling your home with light, knickknacks, and love for the perfect cottagecore feel.

Featured Image Credit: Denys R, Shutterstock


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