Is domesticity the new rock ‘n’ roll?
Words: Liz Norton
Even if you’re not familiar with the word, you’ll be familiar with aesthetic of cottagecore. It’s been around forever in one guise or another, but its adoption by the young and the terminally hip have made it chic enough to warrant its own nomenclature.
Put simply, cottagecore is the aesthetic associated with country cottage living. It’s quintessentially British at heart and can be most easily recognised in designers like Laura Ashley and Cath Kidston. However, cottagecore has become so much more than just a ‘look’: it’s a whole way of life…
Why has it become so popular?
Despite the fact that it’s been kicking about for years, we can really thank the pandemic for the newfound popularity of cottagecore. The word itself seems to have been coined within the past couple of years, and lockdown gave rise to a massive surge in the popularity of all things homemade. Put it this way: if you baked your own banana bread, took up knitting or blitzed your garden over lockdown, then you can call yourself a cottagecore aficionado.
Although social media influencers and people using the trend to sell their own brand of rustic charm can make the movement seem trite and clichéd, cottagecore is, at its heart, a fantastic movement. It represents a return to traditional values, and to the ‘make do and mend’ mentality that has seen us through so many tough times.
The Good Life
Like Tom and Barbara, proponents of cottagecore have turned their backs on a culture of disposable tech and fast fashion, and are concentrating instead on sustainability and environmentalism.
Take gardening for example: growing your own herbs and veggies, whether you’ve got an acre of land or one window box, is incredibly satisfying and extremely good for anxiety – something that many of us have had to deal with through lockdown and beyond. The idea that we can be responsible for our own wellbeing and do our bit for the planet, no matter how small, is extremely comforting.
Indeed, even though cottagecore has found its home on social media platforms such as Instagram, embracing the movement actually helps us to step away from our screens and get back to nature, get back to our homes and our families, and get back to spending more time on ourselves.
People who found themselves working from home over lockdown also found themselves with a new appreciation for the simpler things in life, and this is cottagecore at its best.
Is cottagecore right for you?
Basically, yes – cottagecore in one form or another is for everyone. Whether you’re throwing yourself into it completely or just contemplating spending more time in the garden, there’s a way to make cottagecore work for you, so take some time for yourself, slow down the pace and embrace the good life!
Get the Look
If you’ve enjoyed the good life this past year and are ready to implement a cottagecore aesthetic in your home, then take a few tips from us:
Autumn and spring are key seasons for cottagecore décor, so think oranges, reds, sage green and browns; or yellows, pinks, sky blue and pale green.
Florals are the mainstay of cottagecore, but birds, butterflies, and bumblebees make a gorgeous natural addition to the look.
Anything natural looking can be cottagecore, so think wooden furniture and accessories for a rustic look.
The key word associated with this movement is cosy. Real fires (see our feature on wood burning stoves), home cooking, and fresh herbs in recycled jam jars are all part of this aesthetic. Basically, if it makes you feel happy and reminds you of better times then you’re on the right track.