I don’t know about you, but a change of season always makes me want to rearrange pretty much everything in my apartment! Lately, I’ve been rather obsessed with the cottagecore vibe, those earthy-witchy, escapist aesthetics that celebrate coziness and comfort, inviting you to just sit back in that thrifted leather armchair with a cup of tea and a piece of home-baked banana bread, wrapped up in a knitted blanket you made during that first lockdown.
Now, even though some parts of the world like to pretend that the pandemic is basically over, here in Europe the fourth wave is just crashing against our shores in full force. So, staying in place remains as important as it was back in 2020, which means our homes are still the focal point for the majority of our time. That is why cottagecore is just so appealing as a trend, as it, too, places the emphasis on the home as a place of comfort and warm safety from the dangers of the world. And, truthfully, I just dig the aesthetics!
Curious on how to transform your home into a cozy cottagecore sanctuary? Here are five easy tips to quickly bring some warmth and comfort into your house or apartment!
Cottagecore is appealing as a trend because it places the emphasis on the home as a place of comfort and warm safety from the dangers of the world.
Clutter Is Part of the Aesthetic
If you want to achieve those cottagecore aesthetics, you need to change your mindset when it comes to clutter. Basically, it is nonexistent as a concept, since every trinket, dusty heirloom, or dried-up wildflower bouquet is an integral part of a carefully arranged, purposefully “messy” hearth, windowsill, or table setting.
@whimsicalogicalThis plant blooms when you place it in water and it smells like a forest after a rainstorm 🍄🌿 ##cottagecore ##goblincore ##grandmacore ##fyp ##foryoupage♬ landscape with a fairy by aspidistrafly – miss peng
Since cottagecore strongly overlaps with witchcore—a slightly spooky, new agey inspired variation—you could start to get used to clutter as part of your home aesthetic by organizing it in the form of an altar: Choose a corner of your home as the designated altar area and place some crystals, candles, and a few things of personal value there. For inspiration, think of objects that have a link to your loved ones, or choose four things that represent the four elements, e.g. a cup of water, a stone you collected on your nature walks to represent the earth element, a lit candle to represent fire, and a feather to signify the element of air. This doesn’t have to be overthought or complex; it can really just be a little corner in your home to connect with nature, to ground yourself and be in touch with whatever spiritual beliefs you have.
@virginathame✨🕯🍯 ##witchtok ##DontLeaveMe ##cooking ##cottagecore ##grandmacore ##witchyvibes ##infused ##spell ##charged ##fyp ##witch ##witchtips ##lavender ##honey♬ Lemons – Demo – Brye
Get Grandma’s Best Tableware Out!
This may be a European thing, but in my childhood home, the “good porcelain” would only be brought out for special holidays like Easter or Christmas. Now, in cottagecore, every day is worthy of celebration, and so using that exquisite, gold-rimmed tea set or the silver cutlery you inherited and stored somewhere in the back of your kitchen drawers because cleaning it is too much work now can be a part of everyday meals and tea time rituals.
Of course, not all of us are lucky enough to just own precious china or bespoke silverware! And really, you can choose any old mug and tea cup, as long as it is pretty and makes you feel special. The crucial part is to celebrate the little things such as that tea or coffee break on a hectic day. Bake a simple mud cake or bring out the cookie tin and brew yourself a “cuppa tea” as the British say, arranging it all neatly on a beautiful tray with some fresh-cut flowers in a repurposed jar, and voilà, you have achieved peak cottagecore!
@lillies.apothecaryA little sweet spell for my sweet followers 💛 Good for self love and positive vibes ##aesthetic ##cottagecore ##witchcraft ##witchtok ##JustDanceMoves♬ original sound – emileeflood
Just for the love of all that is holy, do not boil your tea in the microwave—get yourself a kettle and make sure not to let the tea get cold once it’s done. Loose tea leaves are preferable to tea bags, not just because they look prettier, but also because this helps cut down on waste and increase the flavor of the beverage. And for coffee drinkers, a French press is a must-have cottagecore item.
DIY Decorations Are Key, But Don’t Overthink It!
Cottagecore is all about effortless, relaxed, and comfortable living, without the pressure of needing it to be perfectly, symmetrically arranged and over-styled. In many ways, the movement evolved as a sort of anti-minimalism, at least when it comes to the aesthetics. Both movements share a strong dislike of wastefulness and capitalism, they just express it in very different ways.
@cameron_createsWatch until the end for the reveal… ##booknook ##booktok ##cottagecore ##goblincore ##fairycore ##lightacademia ##miniatures ##diy♬ Fairy Fountain – Super Guitar Bros
In cottagecore, making things with your own hands is key, as it represents a way to become independent from materialistic overspending, and to learn to re-appreciate lost arts such as crafting, cooking from scratch, and even getting out that loom or embroidery frame to make your own carpets and cushions. Think “Victorian grandma” aesthetics of crocheted blankets and flowery wall hangings, but with a modern twist. And of course, any craft that brings nature into your home is especially valued. Be it a self-crafted wreath with tree branches and twigs collected during that refreshing walk in the forest, or a flower crown you wear while lounging about—the key is that it doesn’t have to be perfect or complex, it just has to be relaxing and enjoyable.
@mashal_not_michelleThis aesthetic. I’m obsessed🌿🌼 ##cottagecore ##softgirl ##cottage ##spring ##flowergirl ##flowercrown ##diy ##fyp ##foryou ##xyzbca♬ so this is love – soft girl aesthetic
Become a Plant Parent
Plants are an essential part of the cottagecore lifestyle, and caring for them is taken very seriously by those who partake in the lifestyle. Plant parents discuss the successful growth spurts of their Monstera or spider plants with the same pride as others have for their children or pets, and, hey, they definitely are easier to maintain. Though as someone with a black thumb, managing my one basil plant to stay alive has been my pride and joy in this pandemic.
Apart from looking beautiful and bringing nature into our homes, plants also happen to have palpable health benefits, as they increase oxygen levels and even clean the air of pollutants. Choose superstar air-cleansers such as Pothos or bamboo plants if you want to benefit from better air quality indoors.
Of course, if you want to go full-on Cottagecore, planting your own herbs and vegetables is inevitable. For inspiration, just scroll through the cottagecore or “Grandmacore” hashtag on TikTok or Instagram, where people are sharing their incredible garden projects, be it a small area on their balconies or their whole backyards transformed into thriving produce patches.
A Nice-smelling Home Is a Cozy Home
Nothing makes a house or apartment feel more comfortable than home fragrances of your choice. In cottagecore, natural is the preferred way to infuse your house with delicious smells—think incense, potpourris, and essential oil diffusers.
@hereatthecottageLavender Wreath ##cottagecore ##grandmacore ##farmcore ##foryou ##aesthetic ##fyp ##diy ##tutorial ##witch ##witchtok ##magic ##creative ##nature ##natural ##art♬ original sound – Hannah Stater
If you choose essential oils as your home scents, you also get the added benefits of everyday aromatherapy. Certain essential oils can have a positive effect on our brain chemistry, and even trigger pleasant and comforting memories connected to our past. As someone living and working in a tiny flat, using calming essential oils of lavender and bergamot in my humidifier in the evening has really helped me to psychologically disconnect from the work portion of the day, while peppermint and lemon are great as an invigorating home office scent.
And when it comes to your kitchen, home baking and cooking is the way to go to create that warm and comfy atmosphere cottagecore enthusiasts crave. Just think of the effect the smell of freshly cut fruit has on your psyche, or taking a loaf of freshly baked bread out of the oven, the scent of hearty yeast filling your nostrils—heaven!
@jesca.herWish I could share this loaf with you 🧸 Incase you haven’t heard, I love and appreciate you 🌙 ##cottagecore ##aesthetic ##cottage ##fyp ##xyzbca♬ My Neighbor Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro) – Aun J-Classic Orchestra
If cooking and baking isn’t your thing, you can also just go for a sweet scent mix with notes of cinnamon, vanilla, or cocoa to trigger those happy childhood memories of grandma’s special chocolate chip cookies. Choose either essential oil blends or mix up your own potpourri, using cocoa nibs or beans, cinnamon sticks, and a vanilla bean cut in half, together with a few dried rose petals to make it look extra pretty. Remember, none of this has to be perfect—the quirky imperfections are part of the cozy cottagecore home aesthetics!