Picture yourself in a cottage in the countryside — through the windows, a gentle breeze rustles the leaves, birds chirp, and gentle sunlight streams into your living room. While this may not be your day-to-day reality, you can evoke the fantasy through your home decor. That's the premise of cottagecore, a design trend that has grown in popularity over the past couple of years, mostly thanks to creators on Tiktok and Instagram.
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Cottagecore is all about living a cozy, slow-paced life. It celebrates the handmade and vintage — like patchwork quilts, woven baskets, painted ceramic dishes, and embroidered wall-hangings (like the ones above, displayed by Jade Thorpe of @__cosyhome). Motifs from nature, including mushrooms and flowers, are another important part of the aesthetic. Over time, cottagecore has also blended with country house style, which is more traditional and upscale.
Hallmarks of a cottagecore living room include antique furniture, daybeds, landscape paintings, and plenty of floral prints and cozy textiles. The end result can range from rustic and Hobbit-inspired to maximalist grandmacore to English country style. Not sure where you want to take your cottagecore living room makeover? Get inspired by these decor ideas.
17 Cottagecore Living Room Ideas
1. Layer florals on florals.
One element that can go a long way toward bringing the cottagecore look to your living room is flowers. Go for floral-print wallpaper, throw pillows, vases — and if you're able to add a tufted floral sofa like this one styled by Jade Thorpe, all the better. Set out some fresh bouquets, and your space will be complete.
2. Embrace vintage finds.
Living in a real country cottage means balancing beauty with practicality by using what you already have. This is a great principle to bring to your life in the city or suburbs as well. Decorating with thrifted or antique furniture and accents — like the ones in this space by Francesca Gentilli — not only looks cool, but it's better for the environment (and often your budget) as well. Win-win.
3. Go for a rustic look.
How beautiful is this living room designed by @faerie.artisanat? Hobbits (whose rustic hillside homes inspired this space) are basically the embodiment of cottagecore. They live close to the earth, growing their own food, and they love nothing more than staying cozy at home. Follow their lead by decorating with a minimal, nature-inspired palette of greens and browns, and don't forget to add plenty of blankets and plants.
4. Arrange a gallery wall.
One of the best things about the cottagecore aesthetic is that there's room for everything. Three layers of throw pillows on your bed and eight paintings on your living room wall? Perfect. Francesca Gentilli shows how to create a gallery wall a sophisticated way, creating symmetry by alternating large and small frames, all in coordinating shades of gold and beige.
5. Don't forget the windows.
If we lived in a cottage, we'd keep our windows open all the time, inviting natural light, views of nature, and a fresh breeze. Celebrate your windows — like Isabelle of @somersetbookworm — by decorating them with floral curtains, fresh flowers, and a few of your favorite photos.
6. Show off country patchworks.
Patchwork of all kinds look right at home in a cottagecore living room, but in a red and white palette, it looks especially country chic. Just take a look at this arrangement by Chris Myers. Using a daybed as a couch is another classic cottagecore move that will make your living room feel extra cozy and inviting.
7. Add wicker accents.
Wicker and rattan furniture and accents look both rustic and feminine — exactly the aim of cottagecore decor. Take inspiration from Alyssa Marie of @brighteyesanddreamyspaces by layering them with greenery and cozy textiles. A mirror like this one will amplify whatever natural light you have, a helpful trick for rooms with small windows.
8. Use vintage boxes for storage.
No matter your design style, storage often presents a challenge, especially in apartments and old houses with few closets. One bonus of country style is that it welcomes baskets and trunks, which you can use to store everything from linens to your current knitting project. Look closely at this living room by Chris Myers, and you'll see a curtain hung across the lower half of the built-in shelf in the back corner, which creates extra hidden storage without compromising the cottagecore aesthetic.
9. Let your boldest piece guide your color palette.
Creating a color palette for a room can be daunting, so it helps to have a starting point. While we can only guess where @far.fromthemaddingcrowd began with styling this living space, we can't help but notice how well the chartreuse couch matches the wall art, which in turn neatly encapsulates the rest of the room's colors: blue, brown, and with the help of the frames and matting, white, black, and gold.
10. Create a tableau of small treasures.
In an actual cottage, space is limited, so you have to choose your belongings carefully. The bright side of this is that, apart from necessities, you'll have only what you love most. Show it off proudly, as @faerie.artisanat does with this lovely DIY shelf. To create a fairytale feel, display candles, flower garlands, and an arrangement of natural materials, like these mushrooms in a bell jar.
11. Make a reading nook.
There's nothing cozier than curling up with a blanket, a cup of tea, and a good book. If this sounds like your idea of the perfect afternoon, why not create a dedicated space for it in your living room? Paula Usher's looks extra inviting thanks to the bay window, pillar candles, and bouquet of fresh peonies.
12. Display dishware.
Cottage style tends to lean away from minimalism and encourages you to display all your most prized collections. If you have ceramics you love, show them off in a cabinet like this one from Molly of @mollyinmaine. For good measure, throw in some flowers straight from your garden.
13. Go maximal.
If you love to embroider or cross-stitch, cottagecore style is what you've been waiting for. Don't hold back with three or four pieces on the wall — show off everything you've got, and keep going until you reach the floor and ceiling. If you don't happen to embroider, you can achieve this look just as well with thrifted artwork. Look for nature motifs like flowers and birds. And if you want to learn how to stitch your own wall art, here are some kits to get you started.
14. Install a wall shelf.
Shelves along the upper edge of the wall, like this one by Jill of @enchanting_cottage_garden, are popular in bed and breakfasts, and for good reason. They create a cozy atmosphere, as well as extra display space for objects like ceramics and baskets. For even more cottagecore vibes, add a flared lampshade with tassels and use a wooden trunk as a coffee table.
15. Combine rustic elements with bright colors.
One thing that sets cottagecore apart from, say, a minimalist tiny home located in the countryside is the combination of rustic and cheerful elements. This living room — from a house in Andalusia, Spain, sold by Villas & Fincas Real Estate — perfectly displays this duality. Books and decor in bright, happy colors balance exposed wood ceiling beams for a scene straight from our cottagecore-lifestyle fantasies.
16. Use vintage tins as wall decor.
If you come across beautiful vintage tools at a thrift shop or estate sale, don't keep them hidden in a drawer. Display them on your wall, like Sheila from @the_cozy_house_on_a_hill. While this move can skew kitschy, this living room shows how to do it in an elegant way: Add dark wainscoting and a somber-looking landscape painting with a heavy gold frame.
17. Introduce more pattern with rugs.
In a cottagecore home, flowers are key. If you're not ready for floral wallpaper, try a patterned rug. This works even if you have carpet, as demonstrated in this room by Middletown Antiques. The rug takes what would have been a dead space and adds color and life.