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What is Cottagecore? 

A simple Guide

nature landscape with sheeps

What is Cottagecore?

Cottagecore is an internet-based aesthetic and lifestyle movement that centers on simplicity, fostering a deep connection with nature, and treasuring the everyday moments that make life beautiful.  Often depicted by idyllic landscapes, floral settings, and a cozy, rustic ambiance, it goes beyond aesthetics, beckoning individuals to slow down and appreciate the profound joy in life's smaller, yet meaningful, treasures. Whether one resides in a bustling city or amidst the tranquility of the countryside, Cottagecore invites people to recalibrate their pace, create a cozy-inspired atmosphere, and relish the charm of a simpler way of life.


It's all about celebrating the simple things – like basking in the golden glow of a sun-kissed garden, getting lost in the pages of a beloved well-worn book, or sharing hearty meals and laughter with cherished friends and family. It's a cozy, enchanting journey into a world where the everyday transforms into something extraordinary.

This delightful movement, also known as Countrycore, Grandmacore, or Farmcore warmly embraces the values of simple joys, self-care, and overall well-being.

The Origins of Cottagecore

While officially recognized as an aesthetic in 2018, Cottagecore draws inspiration from timeless ideals and aesthetics that have profoundly influenced human culture. This serene lifestyle finds its roots in a rich tapestry of historical and cultural references:

  • Ancient Greece: The Greeks portrayed Arcadia as an idyllic pastoral setting. In the 3rd century BC, the Greek poet Theocritus pioneered pastoral poetry, offering an escape for the educated urban class in Alexandria, Egypt, seeking respite from city life's challenges.

  • Roman Poetry: Virgil, a Roman poet from the 1st century BC, responded to the chaos of war with pastoral poetry. He skillfully integrated contemporary issues into this genre while maintaining its pastoral essence.​


  • Roman Novels: In the 2nd century AD, pastoral escapism found a place in Roman novels like "Daphnis and Chloe," catering to the courtly audience of the Roman Empire.​


  • Petrarch's Renaissance:The 14th-century Italian Renaissance poet Petrarch, known for his pastoral poetry, also embraced hill-walking and gardening, embodying the ideals of Cottagecore.​


  • Shakespearean Pastoral: Renowned playwright William Shakespeare contributed to the genre with plays like "As You Like It" and "A Winter's Tale." Christopher Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" inspired Walter Raleigh's response, highlighting the allure of Arcadian ideals.​

antique novel book with glassess and flowers on top in a cozy cottage setting

  • 18th-Century Follies: In 18th-century Europe, it became fashionable to construct follies—ornamental structures often imitating classical architecture or rustic villages. Marie Antoinette's "Hameau de la Reine" is a prominent example of a pastoral-style folly.​


  • Arts and Crafts Movement: The 19th-century Arts and Crafts movement embraced folk styles and techniques as a reaction to industrialization.​


  • 1960s Counterculture: The 1960s counterculture had a profound influence on contemporary Cottagecore. Echoing the environmentally conscious architectural projects and communes of the era, this movement emphasizes sustainability and hands-on craftsmanship. Furniture and art pieces from the '60s and '70s, along with period-specific patterns, are commonly used to create cozy interior spaces.​


  • Global Influences: Similar aesthetics exist worldwide, such as Japan's "iki," Germany's "fernweh," and Denmark's "hygge," each embodying unique facets of comfort and simplicity.

  • ​The Aesthetic Elements of Cottagecore

    1. Fashion: Cottagecore fashion is characterized by flowing dresses, floral patterns, and earthy tones. It embraces a look that is both comfortable and romantic, often incorporating elements like lace, embroidery, and vintage accessories.

    2. Interior Design: When it comes to interior design, Cottagecore emphasizes cozy and rustic aesthetics. Think wooden furniture, floral wallpaper, and plenty of candles to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

    3. Gardening: Gardening is a cornerstone of Cottagecore. Enthusiasts take pleasure in cultivating gardens filled with flowers, herbs, and vegetables. The goal is to create a beautiful, sustainable oasis right outside your cottage door.

    4. Cuisine: Cottagecore cuisine revolves around traditional and homemade dishes. It encourages cooking and baking from scratch, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

    The Universal Appeal
    Cottagecore has attracted a wide range of followers and fans, who find different reasons to embrace this lifestyle trend. Here are some of the benefits and motivations of Cottagecore:
    • Stress Relief in Simplicity

    In a fast-paced world filled with digital distractions, Cottagecore offers a respite from the daily grind. Its focus on the simple joys of life—like tending to a garden or baking fresh bread—provides stress relief and promotes mental well-being.

    • A Community of Dreamers

    Cottagecore has fostered a tight-knit online community of dreamers and creators. Social media platforms are awash with Cottagecore-inspired content, from idyllic cottage gardens to cozy reading nooks. This community provides a sense of belonging and a space to share creative expressions.

    Contemporary Popularity: Finding Comfort in Cottagecore

    The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed Cottagecore's meteoric rise, as people sought solace in its romanticized portrayal of rural life. Social media platforms like TikTok, Tumblr, and Pinterest became hubs for Cottagecore enthusiasts, sharing their idyllic experiences and embracing the aesthetic. The LGBTQIA+ community, especially lesbians, found empowerment in Cottagecore fashion and ideals.

    Musicians like Taylor Swift, with her albums "Folklore" and "Evermore," played a pivotal role in popularizing Cottagecore aesthetics, embedding them in their music videos and performances. Similarly, public figures like Harry Styles, Millie Bobby Brown, and Hailey Bieber embraced this style, further cementing its place in popular culture.


    Benefits of Embracing Cottagecore
    Embracing Cottagecore can lead to a more relaxed and fulfilling life. It encourages mindfulness, creativity, and a deeper connection with the environment. Additionally, it fosters a sense of community among like-minded individuals.

    Opinions on Cottagecore: A Variety of Perspectives

    Cottagecore has sparked a wide range of opinions among individuals. Let's explore these diverse viewpoints to gain a comprehensive understanding of how Cottagecore is perceived.

    1. The Enthusiasts' Perspective: Embracing Simplicity

    For many, Cottagecore represents an appealing escape from the complexities of modern life. Here are some of the key opinions held by Cottagecore enthusiasts:


    *Nostalgia and Comfort: Cottagecore enthusiasts appreciate the aesthetic's emphasis on nostalgia and comfort. They find solace in homemade clothing, floral prints, and the overall cozy vibe.


    *A Return to Nature: Cottagecore allows individuals to reconnect with nature, even in urban settings. Gardening, baking, and crafting become avenues for embracing a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle.


    *A Response to Stress: The movement gained significant traction during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a source of comfort and stability during uncertain times.

    2. The Critics' Perspective: An Idealized Reality

    Cottagecore has not been without its fair share of criticism. Here are some of the opinions expressed by its critics:

    *Unrealistic and Romanticized: Critics argue that Cottagecore presents an idealized and often unrealistic view of rural life. They believe it conveniently overlooks the challenges and hardships of such an existence.

    *Detachment from Reality:  Some critics highlight the contrast between the idyllic depictions of Cottagecore and the realities of rural poverty, sanitation issues, and the lack of access to basic amenities in some rural areas.

    *Eurocentrism and Heteronormativity: There are concerns that Cottagecore can perpetuate Eurocentric ideals and reinforce traditional gender roles, potentially excluding those who do not fit within these frameworks.

    3. The Balanced View: Finding Inspiration

    Many individuals hold a balanced view of Cottagecore, appreciating its positive aspects while acknowledging its limitations:

    *A Source of Inspiration: Cottagecore can serve as a source of inspiration for crafting, fashion, and embracing a simpler lifestyle.

    *Not One-Size-Fits-All: People recognize that Cottagecore is not a one-size-fits-all lifestyle. It can be adapted to suit individual preferences and circumstances.

    *Aesthetic Enjoyment: Even those who may not fully embrace the Cottagecore lifestyle appreciate its aesthetic appeal and the sense of tranquility it conveys.

    Cultivating Simplicity

    Self-sufficiency is a core principle of Cottagecore. Whether it's baking bread or tending to a garden, this movement encourages individuals to embrace a do-it-yourself ethos. Gardening in Cottagecore aims for environmental friendliness through practices like permaculture. Cultivating native plants not only enhances biodiversity but also supports food-producing crops by attracting pollinators.

    Beyond these, Cottagecore underscores the importance of self-care, secondhand or vintage furniture, and engaging in hobbies such as knitting, crochet, painting, and reading. This holistic lifestyle isn't just about aesthetics; it's a path to forging a profound bond with nature and nurturing your inner self.

    Cottagecore stands as a compelling testament to humanity's unyielding desire for simplicity and a deeper connection with nature. It beautifully intertwines threads of history, contemporary culture, and the yearning for a more wholesome existence. In the midst of our modern complexities, the allure of Cottagecore endures, beckoning us into a nostalgic haven of wholesomeness and idyllic charm.

    woman with closed eyes wearing cozy pullover enjoying a moment of relaxation with a flower on top of her head
    woman from behind wearing a floral pattern dress in orange earthy tones
    Cottagecore cozy room interior design wood furniture and white flower vase
    happy woman doing gardening in the backyard
    Cottagecore woman preparing dough from scratch

    Cottagecore is a growing aesthetic that provides a platform for people to express their creativity and bond with a community that values simplicity and natural living.

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