Terms of the Trade: What is Cottagecore?

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Nostalgic but nouveau, cottagecore is an old-world design trend energized by its primarily youthful adherents. This charming, rural aesthetic and lifestyle focuses on simple, nostalgic materials and projects, harkening back to what some idealize as a gentler time, free from the contemporary stressors of fast-paced, intrusive technology.

rustic bar room with wooden surfaces and stools

Arising as a named phenomenon in 2018, cottagecore expanded its appeal throughout 2020 as growing groups reached out online during pandemic-induced quarantines to communicate about homemade projects like baking, quilting, and designing clothes.

rustic bar room with wooden surfaces and stools

Cottagecore can be considered part of an historic tradition of revivalist aesthetic movements, like the arcadian and pastoral schools of Ancient Greece, but today's enthusiasts have at times been pressed by commentary questioning the values of the periods they celebrate. Many cottagecore fans see the movement partly as way to reappropriate older aesthetics in the context of a more open, inclusive culture. Others just enjoy the romantic simplicity of rustic living, and the empowering spirit of self-reliance it celebrates.

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