How to Nail the Cottagecore Aesthetic
The cottagecore aesthetic is one of the 2020s most exciting emerging trends. If you’re anything like us, you may have stumbled upon it by scrolling through Instagram or TikTok for your daily mental escape. There’s just something about this aesthetic—the bread baking, the whistling kettles, and the rustic decor—that has been able to put our minds at ease through an incredibly intense year. With winter almost behind us and more people heading back indoors, it seems like now is the perfect time to stop envying the masters of the cottagecore aesthetic and start taking some pages out of their antique books!
Tip 1: Layers of Houseplants
Houseplants are essential to getting this aesthetic down pat. One of the beautiful things about cottagecore is that it isn’t as tidy and minimalist as the modern farmhouse design aesthetic; there’s room for a charming amount of clutter and imperfection. Start by placing some taller plants in 6” pots (or larger), like monsteras and sansevierias, on the ground or on plant stands.
Next, line all the window space you can with pots of small-to-medium-sized plants with a more compact habit (“habit” is plant-speak for “shape”), such as echeveria and calatheas. If you’re able to drill holes in your walls, consider adding some floating shelves or extending the window sills near your windows to pack in more plants!
Finally, it’s time to add layers of hanging planters! Variety is key here; it’s ideal if you can add multiple different styles in assorted lengths to add lots of texture and dimension to your displays. Fill them with gorgeous trailing plants like Swiss cheese vine, hoyas, or pothos!
Tip 2: Thrift Stores and Antique Shops Are Your Friends!
One of the things we love about cottagecore is that it puts an emphasis on vintage pieces that you can find second-hand—not only does it make this aesthetic really affordable, but it’s also highly sustainable. What’s not to love?
To decorate your “cottage,” grab a friend and head out for a day of hunting through your favorite second-hand and antique stores. You can even thrift online on sites like ShopGoodwill.com and Chairish. Keep an eye out for offbeat wall art, like flat baskets, prints, macrame, and framed pressed flowers. Old vases, milk jugs, heirloom mirrors, and unique storage vessels of all sizes are all major scores, too!
Don’t forget about the practical items, either. Scour the housewares section for more aesthetic stuff that can really immerse you into the cottagecore lifestyle. Think hand-painted teacups, rolling pins, vintage Pyrex, apothecary jars, and floral aprons. These little items will transport you to a simpler time every time you use them!
Tip 3: Surround Yourself with Creature Comforts
At this point, you’re probably close to the look you want. Now, it’s time to set the vibe. Stock up on lots of candles; aim for at least three per room. Don’t blow your budget on these guys; it’s better to display several basic, unscented candles than a haul of expensive ones with competing scents. Bonus points if you can thrift some vintage candleholders to dress them up!
Next, spoil yourself a little with some cozy throw blankets to toss over your sofa and easy chairs. And what screams “cottagecore aesthetic” more than apothecary jars with some fragrant, loose-leaf tea? While you’re at it, you might as well pick up a few books you’ve been meaning to read for months. Don’t be shy about picking up books from the thrift store with nice covers, even if you have no intention of reading them. Decorating your space with beautiful literature might at least encourage you to put down your phone and flip through a novel once in a while!
Tip 4: Love Your Lighting
Last but not least, the lighting! Lighting is so key for setting the mood in any space, so try to light your home mindfully. To emphasize your home’s cottagecore aesthetic, opt for thrifted lamps with translucent lampshades; these give off a soft, diffused light that makes any room feel cozier. Floor lamps, wall sconces, and table lamps will give you light at the right level for comfortable reading and relaxing while your candles add that perfect atmospheric glow. Finally, if you’re a fan of twinkle lights, it doesn’t hurt to wrap a few around your windowsill, along bookcase shelves, or even around the trunks of indoor trees like fiddle leaf figs!
If you follow all four of these tips, you’ll be left with a space that feels comforting, welcoming, and laid-back—sounds pretty good these days! We make it easy to nail the cottagecore aesthetic with a huge selection of houseplants that we ship to your doorstep. Browse our catalog to add some new plant babies to your collection!