Mon. Sep 27th, 2021

When I signed the lease on my new apartment, I took to Pinterest to scope out a few design ideas. While I thought I would go for a more modern vibe for my space, I found that my boards were instead channeling the cottagecore aesthetic made popular by TikTok — the same one that has taken over my closet since Taylor Swift crooned about a cardigan on Folklore. Cottagecore decor, it seemed, was inspiring my home just as much as it had already influenced my wardrobe.

If you’re new to the term “cottagecore,” think of it this way: Imagine your grandparents’ apartment in all its cozy, retro glory. There are pale floral patterns everywhere and plenty of tiny knick-knacks crowding the shelves. Everything feels nostalgic, but not outdated, and comfort is essential.

It makes sense that the aesthetic would eventually evolve from our closets and into, well, every other room in our house. Spending so much time indoors has forced us all to examine the ways in which we function and feel comforted within it. While some pieces may have been purchased exclusively for necessity in the past, we’re starting to become more mindful of how every room and decor item comes together aesthetically. Actually enjoying our space, it seems, has taken priority.

Ahead, decor experts fill us in on how to incorporate the cottagecore aesthetic into your very modern-day apartment or home.

Cottagecore Decor Ideas For The Living Room

When decorating the main living space in your house, you’re likely ready to dive into it head-first. But, like most things, it’s often easier — and far more cost-efficient — to start slow. Sara Swan, the owner of Instagram and IRL vintage storefront The Swan’s House, recommends buying low-impact pieces, like vintage artwork or mirrors in the beginning. “It’s not a huge commitment,” she tells NYLON. “If you put up this artwork and after a few months you realize, I’m not feeling this, you can easily take it down and it’s not going to leave you with a huge hole in your bank account.” If you consider yourself to be a DIY pro, transform your living room with renter-friendly peel-and-stick wallpaper.

Cottagecore Decor Ideas For The Bedroom

For content creator Jesca Her, it was an affinity for grandma-style home decor that led her to settle on cottagecore. “The main thing is having a very cozy, welcoming, and inviting space that almost feels nostalgic in an animated movie way,” she tells NYLON. And honestly, where better to be cozy than in your bedroom? Her notes Snow White as a major point of reference when decorating, so follow that energy and opt for pieces that feel like they’ve been plucked right out of a fairy tale.

Cottagecore Decor Ideas For The Kitchen

A love of thrifting is what introduced digital strategist and eco-influencer Alyssa Barber to cottagecore home decor, and there is maybe no easier part of your house to decorate from a thrift store than your kitchen. From vintage glassware to hold your cooking tools to antique dishes and dinnerware to serve your next meal on, let your kitchen be the real heart of your cottage-inspired space. “Many up-and-coming aesthetics, like cottagecore, are very easy to thrift or find secondhand,” she tells NYLON over email. “These are items that at one time were seen as old-fashioned or out of style but now that grandmacore is coming back, due to young people wanting to thrift more for the planet and their wallets, they are seen as unique treasures.”

Cottagecore Decor Ideas For The Bathroom

Just like in the kitchen and in the living room, making your bathroom fit the cottagecore aesthetic is easy to do with the right decor items. Turn it into a woodland oasis with lots of natural textures, like wood or wicker baskets, then add tiny details of copper or brass for a slightly modern feel. But if you want to lean fully into the cottagecore look, choose bath mats or shower curtains that are covered in ditsy floral prints. “The best tip I have is to choose items that feel nostalgic to you,” says Barber about how to tie the theme together across the home. “Cottagecore is related to escapism. Choose warm tones that bring you back to good times and memories. Many of these items are secondhand and vintage to get that personalized one-of-a-kind touch.”