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Cottage Core: Decorating Ideas for a Quaint and Cosy Summer Cottage

3 June 2024

The charm of a summer cottage lies in its ability to transport us to a simpler, more idyllic time. Embracing the Cottage Core aesthetic can transform your space into a cosy retreat that feels both nostalgic and refreshing. Rooted in rustic beauty and pastoral charm, Cottage Core decor is all about creating a warm, inviting atmosphere that celebrates nature and the comforts of home. Here are some decorating ideas to help you achieve a quaint and cosy summer cottage:

1. Embrace Natural Materials

The foundation of Cottage Core decor is the use of natural materials. Wood, stone, and woven textures create a warm and organic feel. Opt for wooden furniture with a weathered, vintage look. A farmhouse-style dining table, a rustic wooden bench, or a wicker rocking chair can serve as focal points in your cottage. Complement these pieces with stoneware dishes, woven baskets, and linen textiles to enhance the natural aesthetic.

2. Floral Fabrics and Patterns

Floral patterns are quintessential to the Cottage Core aesthetic. Use floral fabrics for curtains, upholstery, and bedding to infuse your space with a touch of whimsy and romance. Look for vintage-inspired prints with delicate flowers in soft, muted colours. Mixing and matching different floral patterns can create a layered, cosy feel. Don't forget to incorporate lace and crochet details for added texture and charm.

3. Antique and Vintage Finds

Decorating with antique and vintage items adds character and history to your cottage. Scour flea markets, thrift stores, and estate sales for unique pieces that tell a story. An old-fashioned clock, a vintage mirror, or a well-loved quilt can add a sense of nostalgia and warmth. Repurpose antique items like mason jars, enamelware, and old wooden crates as decor accents or storage solutions.

4. Soft, Pastel Colour Palette

The Cottage Core palette is typically soft and soothing, featuring pastels and earthy tones. Think blush pinks, sage greens, butter yellows, and sky blues. These colours create a serene and inviting atmosphere, perfect for a summer retreat. Paint your walls in these gentle hues and choose coordinating accessories like throw pillows, rugs, and artwork to tie the look together.

5. Cozy Nooks and Reading Corners

Create cosy nooks and reading corners where you can unwind and enjoy the tranquillity of your cottage. A comfortable armchair or a window seat adorned with plush cushions and a soft throw blanket makes for an inviting spot to relax. Add a small bookshelf filled with your favourite reads, a vintage lamp, and a side table to complete the space.

6. Botanical Accents and Indoor Plants

Bringing the outdoors in is a key aspect of Cottage Core decor. Decorate with fresh flowers, potted plants, and botanical prints to create a connection with nature. Fill vases with wildflowers, display pressed flower art, and place potted herbs on your windowsills. Not only do these elements add beauty and freshness, but they also enhance the cosy, lived-in feel of your cottage.

7. Handmade and DIY Decor

Incorporate handmade and DIY decor to personalise your space and add a touch of rustic charm. Knit or crochet blankets, sew your own pillow covers, or create your own wall art. Handcrafted items bring a sense of authenticity and warmth to your decor. Consider framing pressed flowers, making homemade candles, or painting terracotta pots for a personal touch.

8. Whimsical Outdoor Spaces

Extend the Cottage Core aesthetic to your outdoor areas to create a seamless flow between your indoor and outdoor spaces. Set up a charming garden with a mix of flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Use vintage garden furniture, like wrought iron tables and chairs, and add cosy touches like outdoor cushions and string lights. A hammock or a swing adorned with floral garlands can create a magical, relaxing spot to enjoy summer days.

9. Layered Textures and Soft Furnishings

Layering textures is essential to achieving a cosy Cottage Core look. Combine different textiles like linen, cotton, wool, and lace to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Use area rugs to define spaces and add softness underfoot. Layer beds with quilts, duvets, and throw blankets for a plush, inviting look. Soft furnishings like cushions and upholstered furniture contribute to the overall comfort and cosiness of your cottage.

10. Personal Touches and Sentimental Items

Lastly, make your summer cottage feel truly like home by incorporating personal touches and sentimental items. Display family photos, cherished heirlooms, and mementos from your travels. These personal elements add character and a sense of belonging to your space, making it a true sanctuary.


The Cottage Core aesthetic is perfect for creating a quaint and cosy summer cottage that feels like a retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. By embracing natural materials, vintage finds, soft colours, and handmade touches, you can transform your space into a charming haven that celebrates the beauty and simplicity of rural living. Enjoy the process of decorating and let your creativity flourish as you bring your Cottage Core vision to life.