Cottagecore is among the newest of the lifestyle interior design trends to emerge over the past year, embracing simplicity and encouraging us to enjoy being in the comfort of our own homes.
Given the amount of time most of us have spent inside, this new trend that embraces the essence of hominess isn't surprising. Born of a desire to return to a slower way of living, cottagecore is a movement that revels in the romance of rural life and celebrates a pastoral fantasy with a celebratory return to traditional skills and crafts such as foraging, baking and pottery.
Creamy whites, pastels and earthy tones like Resene Spanish White, Resene Pale Rose and Resene Hemlock are particularly prominent in a cottagecore look, but so are classic and historical hues like staunch yellowed greens, browns and reds such as Resene Dingley, Resene Clover, Resene Brown Pod, Resene Fahrenheit and Resene Rustic Red. Warm, organic textures are welcome additions through timber furniture, stonewashed linens, wool throws, flannel and knit, woven or crocheted items rugs and textiles.
Before purchasing new, think of all the vintage furniture and décor out there: the preloved tables, chairs and accessories that find their way to second-hand stores, op shops and online auction sites. With a bit of creative flair and a lick of paint, you can adapt your finds into something unique and truly special that’s the perfect match for your cottagecore space. You may even be able to repurpose and combine multiple vintage finds into a single item, like using vintage tea towels or flour sacks to reupholster chair seats or fashion your own cushion covers.
While an authentic vintage ‘patina’ can be quire desirable on older items, there are also a number of Resene products that you can use to restore an item that’s looking a little too worse for wear or lend a weathered vibe to a newer piece. Resene Colorwood Natural timber stain is a beautiful hue for bringing golden warmth to wooden furniture or flooring while Resene Colorwood Whitewash and Resene Colorwood Greywash can be used to create a weathered look. Chalk finishes and waxes such as Karen Walker Chalk Colour and Karen Walker Vintage Wax from Resene ColorShops can be used to add colour with a velvety matte finish or be rubbed over a colour coat to impart a rustic one. And non-contact surfaces such as light fixtures or decorative accents in materials from plastic to timber to concrete to metal can be given the look of years of rust in mere hours with Resene FX Faux Rust Effect.
In a cottagecore home, a beautifully laid dining table need not be restricted to formal occasions; it’s something that can be done every day to make all mealtimes special – and it needn’t be expensive. An understated linen tablecloth and napkins create a simple but effective result, as do freshly-picked or dried flowers in a mason jar, rustic antique jug or an imperfectly hand-thrown vase sets the stage while candlesticks and artfully turned salt and pepper grinders provide instant ambience and utilitarian splendour. Accent colours should include tonal layers and an eclectic mix of tones to create a rich and complex look rather than one that’s overly matchy – so don’t be afraid to paint each of your dining chairs a different hue.
The key is not to strive for perfection, as a more laid-back approach will make all feel more at ease and increase the desire to linger, savour and enjoy the fruits of artisanal labours while you and your dinner partners bask in the warm of a woodfire stove.
Styling by Gem Adams. Photography by Wendy Fenwick. 2022
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