There are all kinds of variations on a rustic décor, and the differences between farmhouse and cottage-core style illustrate two sides of the same coin. While they have some contrasting characteristics, there’s no rule that says you can’t use elements of both.
As we hibernated for the last year, “cottage-core” became a buzzword that evoked the fairy-tale security we craved. While the classic and modern farmhouse aesthetic might emphasize rugged simplicity, cottage-core is all about feminine romance. It combines bits and pieces of style predecessors such as French country, shabby chic, and Victorian décor. Cottage-core offers an elegance that farmhouse doesn’t.
- Furniture – Iron bedframes and tables with curved lines and carved details.
- Vibe – Quaint and sometimes frilly, but never fussy.
- Patterns – Florals, vines, and ivy.
- Accents- Elaborately detailed, vintage-looking light fixtures like chandeliers and wall sconces.
Respect to Joanna Gains, the HGTV star who shared the spotlight with farmhouse interior design. If you’ve just heard of the word “shiplap” in the last few years, she’s the reason why. It’s not hard to cultivate a farmhouse feel in your own home if you know what you’re looking for. Seek out clean lines buffered by the beauty of imperfections. If you don’t want the farmhouse aesthetic to go over the top, stick to a light, neutral color palette that won’t look cluttered.
- Furniture – Oversized seating and distressed wooden dining tables.
- Vibe – Simpler times and items that aren’t purely decorative—they serve a purpose.
- Patterns – Gingham and checks.
- Accents – Barn doors, wire baskets, corrugated metal buckets, and copper pans.
We’ve highlighted the differences between farmhouse and cottage-core style so you’re familiar with what defines them, but they have a lot in common, too. What we care about the most is that they both create living spaces that are cozy, inviting, and warm. Your home should envelop you like a welcoming cocoon, so fill it with whatever touches your heart.