Cottagecore is an aesthetic that celebrates simple living, particularly in the country or small towns. Cottagecore focuses on living in the present, no cell phones pinging with social media updates, emails, or texts. After Covid, cottagecore is having a moment where we are searching for a forgotten lifestyle. Cottagecore inspires sustainable living, connection with the land, and confronting climate change. It is a celebration of a simple life and a cozy home.
There is an Instagram Cottagecore trend that reminds us to slow down and live more consciously, it champions DIYing whatever you might need. Cottagecore homes are filled with floral patterns, knitting, embroidery, and home cooking. We are directed by these Instagram accounts to shop at thrift stores and live with what you already have by mending your clothes.
Several years ago my New Year’s resolution was to refrain from buying anything other than the necessities for a year. It actually was really easy, I found that I had more than enough clothes and shoes to get through the four seasons. I am definitely a victim of today’s consumerist culture, I have too much of everything. I have always preferred natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and wool, my “uniform“ of choice is jeans and a t-shirt with a cardigan and a pashmina in cooler weather. That particular resolution is one of the few that I have ever successfully completed. It made me very aware of my shopping proclivities.
I have been living a variation of a cottagecore lifestyle for my entire life. I grew up in a really old house decorated with antique furniture that was lovingly collected by my parents or grandparents. Every piece of furniture and art had a story. We ate dinner together most nights as a family with candlelight, china dinner plates, cloth napkins, and a fork, knife, and spoon at each place.
I started baking my own bread in 1979 when I was given a Cuisinart food processor for Christmas. It came with a recipe book that included making bread. I graduated to a Kitchenaid mixer in the 1990’s, mastered sourdough, and recently bought wheat to grind myself. Inflation, shortages, and weird additives in bread have cemented my commitment to baking my own bread.
A jumble of hydrangeas, rose bushes, veggies, herbs, and flowers have replaced the boxwoods and grass in my backyard. I spread wildflower seeds this year and I’m so thrilled with the result, it’s a chaos of multi-colored flowers. I planted clover seeds to cover the bare spots where grass once grew, clover requires little to no mowing, helps with erosion control, and the bees love it. Clover is very soft to walk barefooted in when harvesting veggies in the garden.
Cottagecore reminds us to honor the earth around us and tend to it by caring for what we see outside our windows. It nudges us to be gentle with ourselves and the earth.
“All good things are wild and free.” -Henry David Thoreau