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Cottagecore is gathering steam.
The trending self esthetic about celebrating an idealized rural life, which got a boost from Taylor Swift in her 2020 album Folklore, is now one of 2022’s go-to design options.
And if you’ve been feeling inspired of late to refresh your decor, Benjamin Moore’s Sharon Grech suggests considering this soothing style that evokes the tranquility of the countryside.
“Cottagecore spaces are defined by their connection to nature and nod to historical inspiration,” said Grech, Benjamin Moore’s colour and design expert. “You can bring this to life through colour, authentic heirloom furniture or even small decorative elements such as period dishware, vases and even plants and dried flowers.
“In decor, we see muted colours, textures and materials inspired by nature and quaint, nostalgic patterns and accessories,” she added. “Although the trend may have started pre-pandemic, it was widely embraced in 2020 and 2021 as we were forced to slow down and spend more time at home with the worldwide pandemic lockdowns.”
So if you’re on board, just how or where should you start?
“Paint colour really sets the tone in a space, so to evoke the Cottagecore vibe consider selecting wall colours that bring the warmth and tranquility of nature inside,” she said. “Painting pieces of furniture is also a great way to use paint for this look. Bedroom dressers, headboards, dining chairs and stools can be painted in solid, matte colour or with an antiquing technique such as dry-brushing or colour washing.”
Ceilings, said Grech, are often underestimated in the impact they can have when painted in a colour. A muted green-blue like Palladian Blue on a ceiling, for example, can bring a peaceful summer sky into a room that is otherwise neutral in colour.
As to where in your home would be best for the look, Grech said it works in any room where you want to feel a stronger connection to nature.
“Natural wood is a key material in this trend so if you have a room with lots of wood, this may be a good place to start — even painted wood paneling or wainscot is a nice textural foundation,” she said. “Bedrooms are always great spots to try out a new look as it’s the most personal space in the home and can be your own sanctuary.”
Once the paint is applied, Grech notes you can add other items to enhance the Cottagecore effect.
“Natural materials are key to the look: wood, stone, clay, etc.,” she said. “On the decorative side, layer in lots of texture with woven textiles, rugs, baskets, embroidered cushion covers and cottage-inspired fabric patterns such as ticking and chintz. Displaying decorative elements such as vintage dishware, pottery or glass is another simple way to add authentic touches to enhance the Cottagecore look.”
Meanwhile, if you’re wondering if the Cottagecore style will last, Grech said the answer is essentially yes, as one of Cottagecore’s main points of inspiration comes from living in harmony with nature, which is a versatile, timeless trend.
“The name ‘Cottagecore’ may change, but the use of natural materials is classic and will stand the test of time,” said Grech. “With a nature-inspired colour palette, seasonal changes can easily be accommodated by switching out linens and jute for faux fur and wool knits.”
Cottagecore Colour Suggestions
Muted colours from the warmer side of the palette are favourable for the Cottagecore look such as tan, clay and warm greens, according to Benjamin Moore’s Sharon Grech. Natural Linen CC-90, Pashmina AF-100, Venetian Portico AF-185 and Dry Sage 2142-40 are some of her favourite options.
For a truly cozy feel, Grech suggests painting all four walls in a warm hue so it can feel like an embrace.
Avoid stark black and white and instead look to charcoal, navy or deep warm greens for contrast to more natural off-whites.
Asked how she would incorporate Cottagecore into her own space, Grech said she would envelop the walls in a warm clay colour such as Venetian Portico AF-185 and furnish with a big stone fireplace, natural linen sofa, vintage Persian rug and loads of cushions.