This year, we've all had cause to think about what we really want and need from the way our homes look, haven't we? When you have no choice but to spend more time at home, you want your space to feel comfortable, welcoming, and cosy but free of clutter. Lockdown had lots of us thinking wistfully of life in the countryside - being able to enjoy unspoilt green spaces and get back to nature. So it's not surprising that 'cottagecore' has emerged as one of this year's most important interior design trends.
What is 'cottagecore'?
Essentially, it's a rustic look, inspired by countryside scenes, traditional crafts, and natural materials. The opposite of modern minimalism, cottagecore embraces colour, prints, and antique/vintage pieces.
Create a cosy kitchen
The quickest and easiest way to kickstart your rustic kitchen make-over is to replace your cabinet doors and drawer-fronts, either with a Shaker style or a set of woodgrain-effect doors. Shaker doors are simple and understated while still maintaining a look of traditional craftsmanship, and woodgrain doors impart a sense of cosy warmth to a room instantly.
If you're going for a countryside-inspired kitchen, you'll be steering clear of pared-down, monochrome palettes. That's not to say this look is clashing and chaotic, however - while it's true that cottagecore is a style that embraces colour, shades tend to be muted rather than bright. There's no neon here! If you are wary of making a small space look even smaller or more cluttered, stick to a few warm-toned neutrals and earthy hues, and bring in smaller flashes of pattern and colour elsewhere.
But if you love colour, consider choosing new doors in a pretty pastel shade like pink or pale blue.
Cottagecore makes a feature of the things you use every day. Use open shelving to display your favourite crockery and cookware. It's even better if not everything matches - you want it to look like you've inherited a collection of mismatched pieces from your grandmother! Charity shops and sites like eBay are great for finding pretty chinaware at bargain prices. Elsewhere in your kitchen, scatter small potted plants to bring some greenery into the room. And why not treat yourself to a tablecloth and some cushions for your dining chairs?
The rest of your home
Give your bedroom a cottagecore feel with wooden furniture. An old-fashioned bedframe, and blankets and cushions in muted shades. Flowers in a jar and a stack of your favourite books on your bedside table complete the cosy look - sweet dreams guaranteed!