How To Create A Visual Cottagecore Aesthetic Life.
Cottagecore has a naturalistic color palette with light green foliage, browns of natural stones and wood, straw, and flowers. Pastels are common in painting. Lighting is always natural, with sunlight being the de facto light source. Morning to late afternoon "golden hour" is the range of lighting.
Different motifs appear throughout Cottagecore in various ways; rather than limiting a photo subject to just pictures of its natural form, some items appear in various mediums, such as in illustration, printed fabric, novelty dishware, and other manners of home decor. The most common motifs are strawberries, mushrooms, and flowers.
Nature is one of the main visuals of the aesthetic. One of the most common photographic subjects is wild fields of grass with small wildflowers dotted throughout.
Deciduous forest is also common, always in green during spring and summer, with autumnal colors and wintertime being rare. However, unlike more wild aesthetics such as Naturecore, there are almost always signs of human involvement in the rural space. Fences, bridges, clotheslines, picnicking, and controlled amounts of forestation are more often than not, elements of these images. In Cottagecore, humans have to have a presence in the natural environment, shaping the landscape into a home.
Gardens are of course a manifestation of this interaction between nature and human intervention. These gardens are always done in the English style, meaning that the land is cultivated to look wilder and with great variety, rather than geometric and controlled. Ponds are often included, as well as wheelbarrows, wooden benches, gazebos, and other garden paraphernalia. Often, large and ornate glass greenhouses are featured, which are more in line with a wealthy, English nobility aesthetic as opposed to modest and attainable rural life. More mundane and achievable gardens can be featured, and they largely focus on the crops grown there, such as frills of lettuce sprouting from the ground or strawberries in a white-washed planter box.
A traditional English cottage with a thatched roof
The other main visual, and the one that gives Cottagecore its namesake is the cottage, which is a fairly loose term that includes multiple types of homes. The most common Cottagecore house is the archetypical English thatch-roofed cottage with painted white or rusticated stone walls, chimneys, and shrubbery in the front. The second most common is a miniature house or shed constructed from wood, with a gabled roof. Novel and twee decorations and painting are common in these miniature houses, and they are typically painted in pastel, feature decorative carvings, and have windowboxes filled with plants. English manors are also heavily featured in Cottagecore and fit many aesthetics, such as Tudor, Cottage Orne, and even Neoclassical, among others. These mansions are typically more extravagant than what Cottagecore is claimed to be, which will be expanded upon in the Controversy section. Architecture that is incredibly fanciful and fairy-tale-esque is also common. They often look to be falling apart, sloping, or impossibly precarious. This fits into the fairy and witch influences.
Images of the interiors of these cottages are also common and the way how Cottagecore enthusiasts can express their love for the aesthetic without living in the countryside setting. These interiors show the farmhouse-style furniture, linens, and various knickknacks that would exist in the space. The objects are frequently cluttered and mismatched to create a cozy and carefree atmosphere and are frequently connotative of grandparents, such as quilts, tea sets, and vintage crockery. However, unlike other kitschy aesthetics, these items tend to be practical and have a united aesthetic with similar motifs and a limited color palette. Continuing with the nature motifs, plants are frequently featured in interiors, with flowers, potted plants, and floral and strawberry motifs on various mediums.
Labor and handicrafts associated with the cottage lifestyle, and the results from it, are incredibly popular. See activities for a list of full details.
Animals found within the setting are another photographic subject. The ones showcased are either domesticated animals such as cows, cats, dogs, ducks, rabbits, and sheep, or wild animals that would exist in the same field and forest setting such as frogs, mice, butterflies, and squirrels. These animals would be considered "cute" and are often in poses that carry across docility and relaxation. For example, cats sleeping on windowsills or frogs crossing their arms.
Food is another important visual of the aesthetic. The results of foraging: baskets full of mushrooms, berries, and other fresh fruits celebrate the Earth's bounty and the joy found in the activity. Baked goods, bread, and other sweet foods also contribute a cozy atmosphere to the aesthetic, as it carries across the warmth and romantic labor associated with making it. This is almost always traditional Western. Fruit pies, loaves of bread, jars of jam and honey, pancakes, Victoria sponges, and other rustic cakes are the most common.