After a long winter (and TBH an entire year of being cooped up), we're leaning hard into the #cottagecore trend to create an idyllic space for relaxing. Our strategy? Pair a sophisticated palette of pastels with neutral tones and organic textures to create a soft and dreamy vibe. Add to that a DIY potted cottage garden featuring colorful spring blooms, and you have yourself a slice of the English countryside right outside your door.
We picked everything up at Walmart, from furniture and accessories to plants and planters, and we're sharing all of our best tips for perking up your patio with soft pastels and cottage charm. Now tell us — how do you take your tea?
Ground the Space With Neutral Tones and Textures
Give cottagecore's signature pastels a clean and airy backdrop with neutral-toned furniture and woven textures. We love mixing and matching different patio pieces to create a collected-over-time look.
We started with a beige wicker loveseat and paired it with a three-piece chair set to create a stylish lounge area around a natural wood coffee table. A white rocking chair is a timeless piece that plays well with just about any patio decor, including this striped cotton blanket and hyacinth woven serving tray. Don't forget lighting: Some string lights and a couple of lanterns like this white one and this rattan one will keep the spotlight on your pastels long after sunset.
Pick Your Palette of Pastel Colors
With their pale but playful pigments, pastels have the ability to instantly brighten a space with a certain amount of whimsy and romance from peach to periwinkle, mint to mauve. Aim for a palette of three to four colors max, and weave them into the space through a variety of accessories.
Here, we've opted for pale pink, icy blue, and soft sage. Pink went front and center with a gorgeous indoor/outdoor rug in a fun floral pattern, while a couple of rattan-patterned pillows and a soft blush blanket tied things together. For balance, we chose a nubby textured pillow with pale blue dots as well as one with cheerful veggie dots.
Create a Colorful Potted Cottage Garden
Even if you don't have a ton of yard space to create an in-ground garden, you can easily create a plant paradise right on your patio by grouping a collection of planters together and filling them with cottage-style florals.
Choose planters in a variety of sizes and heights, like this or this. Be sure to include a few terra cotta and wicker pots in with your more modern ceramic planters for an old-meets-new look. One hard and fast rule is to make sure all of the planters have drainage holes to keep the plant roots happy.
Mimic the wild and brambly nature of cottage gardens with a variety of flowers with different textures and heights, but echo the same color as your patio decor. Some common cottage flowers you might find include: delphinium, foxglove, hollyhocks, daisies, knockout roses, hydrangea, and English lavender.
Prior to planting your flowers, place the planters in their desired location and set the flowers inside, so you can decide on an arrangement first. Then fill the pots 2/3 full with potting mix, dig a well, and plant. Water daily for the first week, and then switch to watering whenever the top few inches of soil feel dry. Feed with a liquid fertilizer twice a month. Pro tip: place drip trays underneath planters when watering to catch any runoff.
Serve Snacks in (Cottagecore) Style
Keep the colorful pastel theme going for snack time with an assortment of outdoor-friendly serving dishes. Think: cookies and biscuits artfully arranged on candy-colored melamine dishes and iced tea or lemonade served in green-hued goblet glasses.
A daisy cake makes a tempting treat, especially when offered upon an elegant melamine cake stand. Pink gingham napkins tie in beautifully with the patio decor, and are elevated with wood bead napkin rings, even more so when displayed inside a wicker basket. Tone some of the color down with a woven serving tray and wood-handled utensils, but up the cottagecore charm by sprinkling edible flowers throughout the tablescape.
That's all there is to creating an enchanting color-filled cottage escape in your own backyard with our favorite finds from Walmart. Happy spring!
Need more inspo and tools for refreshing your space for spring? Click here to get everything you need from Walmart.