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A little bit country: How to embrace the Cottagecore trend

From the Resene decorating blog

The popular-right-now Cottagecore trend harks back to more simple times and pastoral living on farms and in small villages with vibrant cottage gardens. To adopt this look, choose a soft nature-inspired colour palette and floral papers.

It’s one of the oldest looks harking back to English cottage gardens of the 1800s and romantic pastoral scenes from the likes of artist Constable, but Cottagecore, a new country aesthetic, is one of the hottest interior trends today. Cottagecore began in 2017 with a few influencers mentioning the term on Instagram and Tumbler and reached global recognition as a design aesthetic in 2019. The trend came into its own during the Covid-19 pandemic when people began slowing down and reconnecting with nature during lockdown walks and more time spent at home baking and gardening. Cottagecore eschews technology and speaks of the comfort of time spent pursuing wholesome activities. It’s easy to achieve the good life look in your home with Resene paints and wallpapers.

Wallpaper inspired by English country gardens

The Kent Wallpaper Collection evokes English country gardens and the artwork of English architect, landscape architect and painter William Kent. This scheme uses the big blousy blooms of Resene Wallpaper Collection KEN001 in the lounge and the more delicate bird and foliage of Resene Wallpaper Collection KEN506 in the entrance. Take cues from the wallpaper and team with woodwork colours like Resene Arthouse in the lounge and Resene Nocturnal in the entrance.

Cottagecore floral wallpaper

Dip your toe into the Cottagecore aesthetic with a floral wallpaper that can suit either a modern or a traditional interior. This paper from Resene Wallpaper Collection KEN207 using one of the core colours, green, as a base. Pair with flooring stained in Resene Colorwood English Walnut and protected in Resene Qristal ClearFloor.

Cottagecore is not farmhouse and it’s not rustic but it’s nostalgic, cosy and evocative of safer, simpler times. Anything vintage goes so if you love op shopping, you’re going to enjoy delving into this trend to accessorise the look. Just remember, whimsy but not cutesy, old but with uber-cool style. It harks back but knows what year it is. So, for example, rather than true vintage appliances, choose modern technology but in muted Cottagecore colours. Luckily, designers are on board.

Cottagecore colours

Think of the soft water colours and innocence of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit and books such as The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables. The core colour palette is green, brown, yellow and cream – but where a traditional cottage style might be quite clean and fresh, Cottagecore is more earthy and muddy. Try greens such as Resene Wilderness, Resene Dingley and Resene Sage, browns like Resene Gold Coast and Resene Sandspit Brown, yellows like Resene Bardot and Resene Half Moonbeam and creams such as Resene Half Tea and Resene Fossil. To this palette you can add hints of colour such as pink with Resene Ethereal, orange with Resene Carpe Diem and try chameleon hues such as Resene Soothe which could be brown, taupe or pink depending on the light.

Wallpapers come into their own

Botanical wallpapers can enhance the Cottagecore vibe. Look for soft florals, wallpapers with bases in pastel greens and scenes of English gardens. The Kent range from the Resene Wallpaper Collection, such as rosy pink Resene Wallpaper Collection KEN001, evokes the English country gardens designed by William Kent featuring flowers and vegetation in soft or vivid pastel colours. There are also a few evocative watercolour floral patterns in the Willow range from the Resene Wallpaper Collection. There can also be a touch of yesteryear whimsy to Cottagecore drawing inspiration from the fairies, gnomes and witches in your childhood fairy tale stories. Resene wallpapers are also a good way to quietly dip your toe into the Cottagecore style without re-doing your whole house. Try a botanical paper in a dressing room or powder room or try a paper that is floral but not so country that it can’t be complemented with some modern accents.

Creating an aged furniture look

Karen Walker Chalk Colour paint and Wax range from Resene ColorShops can give furniture an instantly aged look. The table is in Karen Walker Chalk Colour tinted to Resene Grain Brown and finished in Karen Walker Vintage Wax. Wall painted in Resene Half Washed Green, chair in Resene Albescent White, picture frame in Resene Blanched Pink, tall vase in Resene Shadowy Blue and flooring in Resene Powder Blue. Artwork is from Endemic World. Project by Leigh Stockton, image by Bryce Carleton.

A bathroom with a Cottagecore style

This bathroom has all the key elements of Cottagecore with natural wood, brass fittings and soft natural plumage. All set against the backdrop of Resene Wallpaper Collection 2008-143-03.

Decorating flair

A Cottagecore interior evokes yesteryear and a deep sense of home comforts. Ideas could include a farm style kitchen with mix and match country chic chairs around a pine table with painted legs in cream or a browny yellow such as Resene Gold Dust. Add an upcycled dresser filled with willow pattern china. The lounge or hallway might feature tongue-and-groove half boards painted in olive green like Resene Half Coriander with cream above – Resene Quarter Solitaire would work well. Pick out picture rails and skirting in colour and paint doors and frames. Open rafters with painted beams are very Cottagecore as is open shelving. Natural pine or whitewashed boards suit the floor or choose natural wool or coir for carpet and rugs. In bedrooms, use tactile fabrics that evoke comfort and warmth such as wool blankets. Soft lighting completes the picture, think standing and table lamps, wall sconces and chandeliers and avoid modern down lighting.

Try distressing furniture to give it an aged effect using the Karen Walker Chalk Colour paint and Wax range from Resene ColorShops. Use a cloth to buff the Karen Walker Vintage Wax all over the furniture, concentrating on the grooves and corners to give an uneven finish of furniture that’s been worn down.

Dressing the scene

Bring nature indoors with plenty of greenery. Think about soft ferns or bunches of willow and fresh or dried flowers. Dress the table or dresser with Victorian teacups. Use vintage fabrics, lace trims and natural, vintage feel rugs. Add willow baskets with freshly picked fruits or newly baked bread. On the walls add botanical prints featuring flowers, butterflies and mushrooms. Add touches of brass, copper and gold with pans or candlesticks.

To really embody the aesthetic of Cottagecore, extend your interest to your wardrobe with prairie style and flowing vintage dresses. The trend has even made its way into popular music. Pour yourself a cup of tea from your Victorian tea set, pop Taylor Swift’s 2020 album Folklore on, sit back and embrace Cottagecore life.

Resene Ethereal

December 21, 2021

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