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Rustic romance

From the Resene decorating blog

Pop on your cardigan, grab yourself a home-brewed kombucha – and check out these four cottagecore looks.

A cottagecore dining room

The dining room wall and seat are painted in Resene Pale Leaf, a calm misty green that oozes the quiet simplicity of a Vermeer interior.

A place to savour: The chequered floor – painted in Resene Dingley and Resene Quarter Spanish White – makes a statement without disturbing the peace by remaining within the overall tonal palette. The table setting is understated and serene: the table is painted in Resene Fahrenheit and the small jug vase in Resene Clover. Tea towels and linen napkins from Blackbird Goods, striped pillowcase and tablecloth from Foxtrot Home, card (used as wall art) from Garden Objects, blush cushion, candleholders, candle, plates and glasses from Città, salt and pepper grinders and red jug from Everyday Needs. Project by Gem Adams, image by Wendy Fenwick.

TikTok is abuzz with it, catwalks are parading it and Taylor Swift is all over it. Yes, the cottagecore trend doesn’t look like going anywhere soon (unless it’s off to the meadow to gather more wildflowers for the table). Cottagecore expresses a yearning for simpler times, a wistful longing for a rustic utopia where comfort, sustainability and authenticity are the order of the day. Think quiet English country gardens, billowing floral dresses, vases spilling over with foxgloves and lupins, a peaceful afternoon spent baking or foraging. In these uncertain times, it’s no wonder we’re in love with an aesthetic that speaks to dependability, tranquillity and a slower pace of life.

To channel the trend in your interior, you’ll be looking for earthy, nature-inspired tones: fairytale forest greens like Resene Dingley, warm ochre browns like Resene Gold Coast, summery floral yellows such as Resene Half Moonbeam and creams like Resene Half Tea. Then add in some hints of colour – soft pinks like Resene Pale Rose or bolder classic hues like Resene Rustic Red and Resene Fahrenheit.

Layer the space with warm, organic textures – timber furniture, stonewashed linens, wool throws, and knit or crocheted items. Add in plenty of greenery and dried flowers, pretty porcelain teacups, vintage fabrics, willow baskets and botanical prints – indeed anything that evokes romance, cosiness and warmth.

So pop on your cardigan, grab yourself a home-brewed kombucha – and check out these four cottagecore looks.

A place to savour

Forget eating on the run and TV dinners… cottagecore dining is all about savouring the fruits of your labours, celebrating good home-cooked food, lingering awhile. There’s no need for fancy linens or cut-glass goblets. All it requires care, time… and an inviting place to sit and savour.

Because the aesthetic isn’t about flashiness or expense, why not source some vintage or second-hand items for your dining space? Breathe new life into old tables and chairs with a coat of Resene paint that harmonises with your main palette. Or paint the legs of a pine kitchen table in rich, nature-inspired hues like deep espresso Resene Brown Pod.

A slightly weathered patina fits right in with the look, but if those op shop finds are a bit too preloved, Resene has a range of solutions to help return them to their former glory. Resene Colorwood Natural timber stain, for example, brings golden warmth to wooden furniture or flooring while Resene Colorwood Whitewash and Resene Colorwood Greywash are perfect for creating an aged look.

Accent colours in the space should include tonal layers with an eclectic mix of colour; it has to look homely rather than matchy-matchy. Paint each of your dining chairs a different hue, for example, or add in some colourful cushions and vases.

And while you’re out hunting for furniture, you might find some gems for the table. A vintage or simple linen tablecloth and napkins, a rustic antique jug or vase, some old brass candlesticks, a mason jar or two. Or even some clumsily hand-thrown pottery. When it comes to cottagecore a little imperfection is, well, perfect!

So fruity

If the ‘home is where the heart is’ sentiment appeals, but you’re not sold on pastel tones, that’s not a deal breaker. Simply marry your cottagecore vibe with another hot trend of the moment – citrus. This vibrant palette makes a very eligible partner for a chic English country look.

A pastoral, grassy green like Resene Clover and a forest green like Resene Dingley fit right in with the cottagecore aesthetic. These pair beautifully with zesty citrus tones like bitter orange or lemon-lime, such as Resene Smoke Tree and Resene Chenin. A supporting cast of creamy yellowed whites like Resene Rice Cake and warm brown wood tones like Resene Colorwood Natural will round everything off nicely – resulting in a space that is warm and harmonious, with plenty of nods to nature.

These fruit bowl colours, perfect for any room in your home, make for a beautiful year-round palette too. Even when the rain is lashing against the windows come winter, you’ll have your own joyful, freshly squeezed memories of summer.

A citrus and cottagecore lounge

This living space centres on the delicious pairing of cottagecore and citrus.

So fruity: The bold upper wall stripes (15cm wide) are painted in Resene Clover and Resene Rice Cake with a dado rail in Resene Chenin. The lower wall is painted in Resene Clover. The floor is painted in Resene Rice Cake to balance out the statement wall and the understated linen sofa with its warm wooden frame also brings light relief. There’s a dialogue going on between all the accents in the space: the sideboard and vase, both painted in autumnal Resene Smoke Tree, echo the burnished orange cushion, the Resene Chenin vase containing lemons ties in with the yellow sofa cushion and the coffee table and candlestick holder are both painted in Resene Dingley. The bowl on top of the books is in Resene Green Leaf and the small vase on the table is painted in Resene Midwinter Mist. The art underlines the theme, as do the fresh cut branches, lemons and limes. Sofa from Citta, terracotta cushion from Nood, candle from Superette. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Rustic romance - cottagecore bedroom

Rustic romance is at the heart of this bedroom, filled with gentle greens and soft earthy tones straight from an idyllic meadow.

Field of dreams: The walls are painted in Resene Eighth Joss and the headboard in calming Resene Norway. The headboard pattern, a flower painted in tiny crosses, cleverly mimics a piece of cross stitch. Its feature colours are Resene Quarter Joss, Resene Woodrush, Resene Planter, Resene Half Malta, Resene Bandicoot and Resene Lemon Ginger. For an ‘unfinished’ flooring look without the risk of marks and spills, the timber floor is protected with Resene Qristal ClearFloor 1K, a clear waterborne flooring urethane for interior use. The bedside table is painted in Resene Bandicoot. Bedlinen, cushions and throw from Citta, hat from Country Road. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Bryce Carleton.

Field of dreams

Cottagecore lends itself well to any space – but none more so than your bedroom. After all, this is where you want to hunker down and retreat from the world. And the soothing, cosseting pastoral aesthetic couldn’t be more at home with this brief.

For your walls, delicate beiges like Resene Bon Jour, light biscuity Resene Athena or a tranquil, pinky beiges like Resene Serene will amply deliver on peace and tranquillity. And clever use of texture and pattern, plus a few personal touches like hand-stitched quilts or artworks, will keep the look interesting. Choose bedding with a delicate stripe or a small paisley pattern. Plain washed linens and cottons are utterly in keeping with the rustic yet feminine theme, as are chunky knit throws and mats in natural fibres like seagrass.

If full-on Beatrix Potter is a bit chintzy for your tastes, keep your backdrop plain and add in some sleek modern lines here and there – a pendant light or a simple side table. That way your look will be more focused cottagecore – that is, less grandma’s-bedroom and more youthful and fresh.

For a delicious dose of sweetness amid your earthy tones, introduce a whisper of pink in your accents and soft furnishings. Think dusky hues like Resene Coral Tree or Resene Pot Pourri or a light, playful coral like Resene Paper Doll.

Just beachy

The huge plus of a delicate cottagecore palette of beiges and neutrals is that you can easily tweak the mood when the fancy takes you. So, if you want a more ‘summer-cottage-by-the-sea’ look, simply swap out a few details and get playful with your walls.

A beachy summer cottage style bedroom

The timber floor finished in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash gives this bedroom a summer cottage feel.

Just beachy: The wall, in Resene Half Rice Cake allows the painted arch to stand out. You could stick to a solid colour for the arch, but here the stripes were masked off and painted in Resene Half Bison Hide. Back wall painted in Resene Grey Olive, bedside table in Resene Greige, pendant lamp in Resene Half Rice Cake, headboard and bench in Resene Double Rice Cake, tall vase in Resene Half Lemon Grass and plant pot in Resene Zeus. Striped bedlinen from The Foxes Den, striped throw from Freedom, furry cushion from Lapco. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Bryce Carleton.

A painted archway is a clever way to add visual interest but still retain the tonal palette and organic, peaceful feel that’s inherent to cottagecore. Add in a few stripes as a nod to an old-fashioned English beach-hut and your neutral backdrop takes on shades of windswept beach or sandy path winding down to the sea.

Swap out your knitted throws and heavily patterned bedlinen for something lighter and fresher, perhaps with stripes to mimic your wall pattern. And look for natural items, materials and shapes that conjure the ocean – a pretty seashell or two, some faux coral, a shrimp-basket shaped lampshade. Fresh plants, dried flowers and small items of furniture and accessories painted in earthy hues like Resene Iko Iko, Resene Sugar Loaf and Resene Greige all amp up the al fresco feel. The result will be soothing, cohesive and oh so pretty. It’s cottage core with jandals on.

Resene Athena

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

January 07, 2023

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