Vases of handpicked flowers. Sumptuous textures like velvet and wool. Antiques galore. What do these things have in common? They’re all aspects of cottagecore, the latest trend taking the design world by storm.
In fact, a quick search of #cottagecore on Instagram yields dreamy images of flower crowns, handmade paintings, and cottage-inspired spaces. It turns out you can even weave cottagecore touches into your bedroom, making for a space that feels throwback and pretty.
Below, learn more about cottagecore and how to incorporate this design trend into your bedroom.
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What is cottagecore?
Jennifer Burt, the “multi-passionate creative,” as she describes herself, behind the vintage lifestyle brand Mississippi Maximalism, defines cottagecore as “an aesthetic and lifestyle movement that promotes a simpler time and has an English countryside feel.”
Burt explains that cottagecore “shows up in how people dress (comfy peasant dresses), how they decorate (natural wood tones and florals) and activities (baking).” While it started to become a trend before the pandemic, Burt says cottagecore went mainstream “during the pandemic’s 2020 lockdowns and restrictions.” Essentially, cottagecore has been comforting to many during this time.
It also happens to be a perfect visual approach to bring into your home for fall and winter since “it plays to our yearning for comfort and nostalgia,” Burt says. “Being closer to nature, cottagecore fans take joy in things like the leaves changing colors and the temperatures turning crisp,” she adds. “There is also an opportunity to decorate and enjoy natural elements like pumpkins and apples.”
Cottagecore is especially ideal in the bedroom since the vibe is so warm and reassuring. “At its essence, cottagecore is about comfort,” says Burt. “There’s no place better to feel cozy than in the bedroom.”
If you’d like to invite cottagecore style into your bedroom, here are Burt’s top tips.
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1. Embrace quilts and blankets
The number one way to decorate a bedroom in the cottagecore style is with quilts and blankets. “Depending on the temperature, you’re going to want to layer bedspreads and have one at the foot of the bed,” says Burt. “You’re also going to want access to fuzzy throws.”
Burt’s family has passed down quilts made by her grandmother that are designed with clothes from when her mom was a child—and they happen to fit within the cottagecore aesthetic. “These are perfect little trips down memory lane whenever I use one,” she says.
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2. Create a nook
The cottagecore lifestyle is all about slowing down and soaking up activities from a simpler time, like putting away screens and getting out a good book instead. This is a hobby that’s perfect to enjoy in a bedroom. That’s why Burt recommends crafting a nook for reading in your bedroom. “I like the idea of a comfy chair in the corner beside a window for this,” she says.
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3. Incorporate pleasant scents
Nature is an important part of cottagecore. One way to bring the outdoors into your sleeping space is through scent, particularly ones that will make you feel calm and close to nature.
“Smell is another way to add in a touch of cottagecore,” Burt says. “Use bundles of dried lavender and eucalyptus to promote relaxation in the bedroom.”
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4. Stick to natural materials
“For furniture, keep the materials natural and warm,” Burt suggests. “Furniture should also be functional in a cottagecore bedroom, so pick out pieces like trunks and wardrobes that can act as hidden storage for all your comfy blankets and cozy sweaters.” Sounds like a trip to the flea market is in order!
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5. Dress the part
Picture how your favorite book heroines may have dressed when relaxing in their bedrooms. This is a lovely way to embrace cottagecore while spending time at home. Pieces like vintage nightgowns and nubby robes are ideal for the bedroom, says Burt.
“Install hooks on the back of the door and beside the closet to show off these pieces as part of your decor,” she adds.
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6. Display vintage pieces
Heirlooms and treasured items you’ve found at antique stores can find their place in your cottagecore bedroom. Burt prefers decorating with wicker baskets, small wood boxes, and old books to complete the cottagecore look.
“You can create vignettes that mix in vases of flowers with small, found, sentimental objects, like seashells,” she says.
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7. Focus on outdoor views
“Since cottagecore focuses so much on nature, you don’t want to cover the window unless it is with an airy fabric,” says Burt. “You can even highlight the view with dramatic curtains. This is my favorite tip for a cottagecore aesthetic because it really helps bring the outdoors in.”
The bottom line: Cottagecore is more of a lifestyle than simply an aesthetic. It’s all about interpreting that yearning for a simpler time and connecting to nature in a way that feels right for you.
“I love that you can mix it into your lifestyle and decor however much you want,” says Burt. “You don’t have to totally overhaul your wardrobe and decor—just be inspired by the cottagecore aesthetic.”
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