How to Decorate with a Cottagecore Aesthetic
Looking for home decorating ideas that foster a cozy, casual, and welcoming vibe? Learn how to get the cottagecore aesthetic with these simple tips.
Cottagecore design is an easy way to create warm and inviting living spaces both inside and out. It’s a style that combines rustic elements with modern aesthetics to create a unique garden style look that is personal to you.
Want to learn how to create your own cottage core aesthetic? Follow these tips.
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What Is Cottagecore?
Cottagecore is both a life and home design style that focuses on simple living, self-reliance, and comfort while connecting with nature.
The cottagecore aesthetic decorating trend inspires cozy living spaces decorated with simple rustic touches and organic textures.
Thus, it embraces a relatable and sustainable existence that is often found in more rural settings where you’ll find organic natural textures, plants, soft flower prints, thrift store, and handmade decor.
Cottagecore design evokes the five senses and lends a cozy, welcoming vibe.
What is Garden Style Decorating?
Similar to cottagecore aesthetic home decor, garden-style decorating is more focused on creating cozy and comfortable living spaces by bringing the outdoors in and the indoors out with plants, flowers, and textured and garden-inspired accessories.
So regardless of your taste in decor, garden style can be infused with any of them.
And the best part is you do not have to be the best gardener to achieve the look.
How to Get a Cottagecore Aesthetic with Garden Style Decorating Ideas
As a huge plant and flower addict, cottagecore design is a completely unique and personal style of decorating.
No two homes will look alike as each style is personal to the owner.
Whether you prefer to grow live plants, decorate with faux or a blend of both, it’s easy to pull together a cottagecore aesthetic in the home with garden-style decorating ideas.
Achieving a Cottagecore Aesthetic with Cozy and Comfortable Living Spaces
To start, garden-style is an approachable, easy-going style that fosters the feeling of kicking back and relaxing.
If living spaces look good but are not comfortable, who wants to hang out there?
And this applies to both indoor and outdoor living spaces.
To give an example, when we refreshed our former deck a few years ago, we created an outdoor dining space that felt like we were dining in country club.
We found a huge gazebo that covers a large part of our deck from Lowe’s to shade the space.
Before purchasing that gazebo, we could barely sit out there in July and August because it was too hot with the New Jersey sun pelting down on it all day long.
We wasted so many years not sitting out there because of that. So find ways to create cozy spaces for yourself.
I found a large wood table from the Facebook Marketplace for $50 that I refinished with deck stain so it could weather the elements. For the seating, we chose outdoor wicker and cozy neutral cushions.
To finish off this outdoor living space, I added lots of container gardens, houseplants and mood lighting.
The space was so relaxing, we spent so much time out there and call it the summer vortex!!!
Create a Rustic Feel by Using Natural Materials
If you’re looking to create a cottagecore look in your own home, start by choosing a few key pieces of furniture. These items should reflect your personality and lifestyle.
You might choose a sofa, coffee table, sideboard, or end tables. Then, add some decorative accents to complete the look.
Whether you thrift the big ticket items or buy them from a retailer, look for natural materials like wood, marble, and stone.
Add a Modern Touch with White Walls
A white walled room will give off a clean and fresh feeling. It also makes a room feel larger than it actually is.
In addition, white walls make rooms appear brighter and more cheerful.
Adding Houseplants and Fresh Flowers for a Cottagecore Aesthetic
I love adding live houseplants to my decor because they warm up empty spaces and can do double duty both inside and outside when the temps are warm.
Set them on a table, add them to a shelf or dark lifeless corner of the room and you’ll breathe life into dull spaces.
Not to mention, there are many benefits to having real houseplants that include:
- providing cleaner air
- lowering the risk for illnesses
- boosting our mood
- enhancing concentration and memory
- warming up living spaces
But the great thing about growing live houseplants is that they love to summer outdoors as we do. Bringing them outside during the more seasonal months warms things up and lends a tropical feel to outdoor living spaces.
And, summering plants outdoors also saves money on outdoor seasonal planters.
Speaking of bringing houseplants outdoors, I have a philodendrum that has grown like crazy outside!
When I first purchased it a few years ago, it was small with five leaves. I could carry it in the palm of my hand.
But now, it is huge!
I’ve even divided it a few times since acquiring it.
The moment I bring it outside, we feel like we are in the tropics. It is fantastic!
In addition to houseplants, I also enjoy cutting flowers from my garden or picking them up from the market to enjoy indoors.
Fresh flowers liven up any style of decor and boost the mood. Cut the stems to fit a vase or make your own arrangements for less than you’d buy from a florist.
And since they boost the mood, it’s important to add a few blooms during the doldrums of winter. I rarely make it through the market without picking up at least one bunch of fresh-cut flowers.
To keep the blooms looking their best, you’ll want to follow these tips to make fresh flowers last longer.
Add Faux Plants and Flowers
While I am an avid gardener who loves plants and flowers, I also understand my limits, my time, and how I live my life.
As I’ve stated before, I gravitate to plants and flowers that are easy to grow, easy to care for and low maintenance.
But sometimes faux is the way to go because I do not want to be bothered with the care and maintenance of any plant at all.
When I tell my horticultural friends that I incorporated faux plants or flowers into an area, they tend to gasp with questions as to why I would do that when I can easily use the real deal.
And to some extent, they are right. Cause I can.
But, as much as I love real plants, sometimes live plants and flowers do not work in certain spaces for me.
If you want the look of greens and flowers but lack the experience, time, or energy to care for the real stuff…by all means, incorporate faux.
But the key to incorporating faux flowers and plants is to choose ones that look very real.
The colors, textures, and feel should resemble and mimic real plants and flowers that you’d find in nature. If the colors are off and don’t look authentic, it won’t work.
Believe me – there are a lot of good faux’s out there – you just have to find them.
I have found great ones at some local nurseries, but also found great ones in store and online here:
- Pottery Barn
- TJMaxx, Marshalls and Homegoods
Before purchasing anything, seek inspiration on Google, Pinterest, TikTok or Instagram and try to mimic what you like.
I mix both real and faux with my decor and most people cannot tell the difference.
Another benefit of mixing in some faux plants among my real houseplants is when I do bring those houseplants outside, my inside still has the cottagecore aesthetic.
And Yes You Can Add Faux Flowers and Plants to Outside Spaces
While I recommend going with live plants outside, there are some occasions that warrant going with faux flowers and greens outside.
Most people think faux can only be used indoors, but I use them equally outside where needed.
For example, we have a cabin in Vermont that we visit on weekends. We aren’t there enough to care for container plants outdoors. But I love the character and warmth that flowers and greens add to our home.
So I use faux flowers and greens in the window box and no one has ever noticed the difference. In fact, people have stopped by to ask me what’s planted in them! LOL.
It is important to note that you’ll probably need to freshen and update these outdoor faux flowers more often than what you use indoors because the sun and elements fade them much quicker.
When my kids were younger and we had our old ranch, I had a hard time keeping window boxes going because they needed to be watered like 3x a day midsummer with the NJ heat and humidity.
They looked awesome in the spring, and awesome in the fall but would fry out during summer.
Since I did not have time to water them 3x a day and I did not want to spend a ton of money on self-watering planters, I planted them with faux.
Another reason you might use a faux arrangement outdoors is convenience. We created an outdoor oasis under a huge canopy with a farmhouse wood table, comfortable wicker chairs, and lots of real plants.
The table needed a centerpiece.
And while I water all of my container gardens daily, I did not want the hassle of watering a centerpiece on a wood table that I am protecting under a large canopy. So instead, I opted for very realistic-looking succulents.
The arrangement always looked good, NEVER needed to be watered and I got compliments on them all the time. And I think most, if not all were very surprised my centerpiece was faux.
So if you want the garden-style look outdoors but do not want to tend to tons of live plants and flowers, it is OK to mix some realistic looking faux plants to help you achieve the look.
Adding Organic Textures, Natural Elements, and Garden-Inspired Accessories
Decorating with a neutral color palette where you can add textured layers with home decor create more texture and dimension.
Add beautiful plant urns, metal buckets and terra cotta pots together with other natural, textured accessories like baskets, totes, throw pillows, and knit blankets.
I also like to find plant stands that can double as end tables.
In addition to garden accessories, add garden art such as floral and green pictures, canvases, and prints.
Set the Mood with Cozy Scented Candles and String Lights
To make your home feel more welcoming and cozy, tuck in some seasonal scented candles or make a stovetop potpourri with the smells of the season.
Whether you are inside or out, consider adding string lights to create a cozy atmosphere in living spaces.
And if you are outdoors and don’t have access to electricity, there are great solar options out there. This is how we strung our solar string lights a few summers ago.
Include Elements That Are Uniquely You
A cottagecore design incorporates a variety of different textures and materials. These elements can range from wood to stone to metal and wicker.
However, one thing these elements share is that they are uniquely yours and personal to your own sense of style.
Mix and Match Pieces From Different Styles
And finally, you don’t need to stick to one particular style when decorating your home with a cottagecore aesthetic.
Mix and match pieces from different styles to create a unique look. For example, you might use a rustic table in a contemporary kitchen. Or, you could combine a traditional fireplace with a sleek modern sofa.
Final Thoughts on Decorating With a Cottagecore Aesthetic
We don’t have to be the best gardeners or interior decorators to warm up our spaces with a cottagecore aesthetic.
Whether you incorporate real, faux, or both, garden style is easily achievable and complements any style of decor.
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