8 cottagecore kitchen ideas to instantly add a pretty rustic charm to your space

Bring nature indoors with the charming cottage-inspired trend that isn't going anywhere anytime soon

kitchen island with wooden chairs in rustic kitchen
(Image credit: Future/Caroline Mardon)

Cottagecore – the aesthetic which first made waves on social media a few years ago – shows no signs of slowing down. If you've been enchanted by this trend then cottagecore kitchen ideas are the perfect way to add it to your home.

With a focus on all things nature and nostalgia alongside traditional countryside styling where rustic kitchen ideas take centre stage, cottagecore is ‘more than an interior trend,’ explains Tom Revill, Creative Director of Plank Hardware. ‘It’s a movement away from modern technology towards a simpler, slower way of living – emphasising simplicity, warmth and a connection to nature.’ And that’s why it works so well in kitchens.

But how can you get the cottagecore look in your kitchen? The look combines country kitchen ideas with plenty of whimsy and can be added to any kitchen. Whether you’re in the middle of a kitchen renovation or simply want to dip your toe into the trend, there is an option for everyone and every kitchen, regardless of your budget.

Cottagecore kitchen ideas

‘As we approach spring, it's likely that the popularity of this trend will continue to grow, as people start to bring a touch of nature into their homes and look at softer aesthetics that match key associations of the new season,’ reveals Nick Drewe, Trend Expert at Wethrift.

So, if you’re looking for some inspiration, here are 8 of the experts’ top tips to help you create the cottagecore kitchen of your dreams.

1. Use muted pastel colours

Olive & Barr Hamdmade Shaker Kitchen

(Image credit: Olive & Barr)

Soft, muted hues, which reflect nature and the changing of the seasons, are key when it comes to the cottage-core colour palette, and are a perfect calming kitchen colour scheme. ‘Shades of soft greens, pale blues, warm yellows, and creamy whites create a soothing backdrop that echoes the tranquillity of a country landscape,’ affirms ILIV’s Design Manager, Debbie Leigh. 

‘Earthy hues are also complemented by accents of deep rich colours, like forest green and burgundy,’ Tom remarks. Essentially, you’re looking for colours that evoke a sense of cosiness, warmth and a welcoming atmosphere.

2. Choose wooden shaker-style cabinets

kitchen island with wooden chairs in rustic kitchen

(Image credit: Future PLC / Douglas Gibb)

If you’re in the midst of a kitchen renovation or are planning one soon, one specific style of cabinets that complements the cottagecore aesthetic are shaker kitchen ideas.

Pair it with ‘farmhouse-inspired cup pull handles and aged brass hardware,’ to pull the entire look together,' Tom suggests.

3. Opt for natural fabrics and materials

Kitchen with light green painted kitchen cabinetry and open shelving, decorated with cookbooks, crockery, and spices

(Image credit: Future PLC/Caroline Mardon)

‘As a general rule of thumb, you should stick to natural organic elements where possible,’ reveals Rudolph Diesel, Interior Designer at Rudolph Diesel London. And much like with the choice of cabinetry, wood is one of the key materials to use in a cottagecore kitchen. Think wooden cabinets, worktops and surfaces, benches, stools and accessories such as chopping boards. 

‘Natural, breathable fabrics such as cotton and linen are just as quintessential to the cottagecore vibe,’ according to Debbie. These fabrics, which evoke a sense of simplicity and comfort, are ideal for kitchen linens like tablecloths, curtains, and napkins. ‘Their soft texture adds to the inviting ambiance of the space, inviting warmth and a touch of handmade charm,’ she maintains.

4. Add a sink skirt

Prestigious Textiles Vintage Weaves Collection

(Image credit: Prestigious Textiles)

Many may have seen this growing DIY trend on social media but if you haven't, the cupboard curtain hack or sink skirt is ‘synonymous with farmhouse styling and country interiors,’ explains Marie Goodwin, Head Designer at Prestigious Textiles.

‘A simple yet effective addition, sink skirts have had a resurgence recently alongside the cottagecore trend. To truly embrace the cottagecore look, opt for traditional patterns or prints, link gingham or vertical stripes and work with a colour palette of sage greens, cornflower blue or blush pinks,’ Marie adds. You could even match your sink skirt to your kitchen curtains, blinds or tablecloth, to fully take on the theme.

5. Embrace pattern

White kitchen with Belfast sink, terracotta floor tiles, floral blind and red light

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Pattern is what the cottagecore aesthetic is all about. ‘Floral prints, gingham checks, and patterns depicting birds are hallmark motifs of cottagecore design,’ Debbie says. ‘Floral patterns, in particular, bring a whimsical and romantic touch to kitchen textiles, adding a sense of natural beauty and country charm. While gingham checks, with their rustic simplicity, evoke a sense of nostalgia and homeliness and patterns depicting countryside scenes further enhance the look.’

And don’t be afraid to mix and match. You can introduce patterns in a number of ways, from wallpaper and rugs, to tea towels and window dressings. Just lean into the rustic whimsy and you’ll be on to a winner.

6. Bring nature indoors

country kitchen with belfast sink and plants around the window

(Image credit: Future PLC)

While it may seem like an obvious choice, bringing nature indoors in the form of fresh or dried flowers is one of the easiest and most affordable ways. You might also want to consider growing herbs and vegetables on your kitchen windowsill contributing to the slow-paced cottagecore appeal.

Alternatively, consider kitchen plant ideas to perk up dark corners. Bringing physical plants and flowers into the space also has the added benefit of complementing any floral or nature-inspired prints that you might have added.

7. Try open shelving

Rustic white kitchen with vintage handles and open shelving.

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Open shelving is a great way to add a lived-in and nostalgic charm to your space. It also gives you a fantastic opportunity to display some of your favourite dishware, mugs and glasses, allowing you to showcase more of your personality.

‘Displaying your produce and ingredients in glass jars, ceramic containers, tiered wire hangers, and woven baskets is also a great way to incorporate cottagecore design in an affordable way,’ adds Josie Medved, Design Manager at Symphony. While 'maximalist shelf decorations, layering ‘knick knacks’ and home accessories can create a curated but homely look and feel,' agrees Helen Ashmore, Head of Design at Laura Ashley.

So, if you’re debating open shelves versus wall cabinets and are a fan of the cottagecore look, open shelves might be the better option for you.

8. Make use of baskets

Garden Trading SS23 Small Clockhouse Stool Natural Audley Storage Jars Ravello Vase Large

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Another quick and easy way to recreate a cottage feel is by using baskets throughout your kitchen and even into your pantry as a pretty kitchen storage idea. Wicker and rattan baskets work particularly well and can be used to store everything from fresh fruit to tea towels and cookbooks.

To give the baskets even more of an eclectic look, why not have a look in your local charity shop or markets to pick up a few different options on a budget. 

FAQs

How can you get the cottagecore look in your kitchen on a budget?

If you’re on a budget or don’t want to spend a great deal to embrace the cottagecore aesthetic in your kitchen, there are a number of affordable ways to get the look. 

In addition to some of the tips above, such as shopping secondhand and adding a sink skirt, the experts at Ruggable also recommend displaying ‘natural elements in your kitchen such as wooden cutting boards, stone worktops and copper cookware.’ 

You could also upcycle your existing kitchen cabinets. 'Add a fresh lick of paint and farmhouse-inspired cup pull handles,' to transform the space without having to shell out too much,' Tom also suggests.

Are there any rules to follow when it comes to cottagecore?

Thankfully there are no set rules when it comes to embracing this trend. However, ‘the best guidelines for bringing this trend into your home is to feature items and elements that make the space feel comfortable, welcoming, and ready for real life,’ according to Ruggable’s experts. 

‘In a cottagecore home, nothing should be too precious to be used on a regular basis. The more loved the space feels, the better. So opt for vintage finds, distressed materials, and natural patterns that invite life in.’

Ellis Cochrane
Contributor

Ellis Cochrane has been a Freelance Contributor for Ideal Home since 2023. She graduated with a Joint Honours degree in Politics and English from the University of Strathclyde and between her exams and graduation, started a lifestyle blog where she would share what she was buying, reading and doing. In doing so, she created opportunities to work with some of her dream brands and discovered the possibility of freelance writing, after always dreaming of writing for magazines when she was growing up.


Since then, she has contributed to a variety of online and print publications, covering everything from celebrity news and beauty reviews to her real passion; homes and interiors. She started writing about all things homes, gardens and interiors after joining Decor & Design Scotland as a Freelance Journalist and Social Media Account Manager in 2021. She then started freelancing at House Beautiful, Country Living and in Stylist’s Home team. Ellis is currently saving to buy her first home in Glasgow with far too many Pinterest boards dedicated to her many design ideas and inspirations.