It’s undeniable that the trials and home-bound restrictions of 2020 left many people longing for outdoor space. For some, solace meant a walk through the woods, a meal shared al fresco, or finding alone time in the quiet stillness of nature. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why “cottagecore” resonates with many in today’s technologically propelled life. This more rustic, nature-centric idea has been referred to as
a movement, it’s discussed as an aesthetic, it’s been used as a popular hashtag in recent years, and it’s seen by some as an ideal.
Rather than a romanticized nostalgia, inspiration for this list is drawn from a cottage itself, what might be found in it, and the lush nature that surrounds it. To make your baby’s interior feel cozy and homemade, think of incorporating passed-down family quilts, cross-stitched pillows, and warm woolen rugs. Bring the outside in with small potted trees, terrariums, or artificial vines draped around the moldings. Decorate a baby’s shelves with color-coded story books stacked and topped with decorative teacups, or dried herbs. Embrace sustainable toys, such as wooden blocks, and use them to decorate as well. And don’t underestimate the power of wallpaper. Cover four walls with a small print for a cozy vibe, or consider a neutral,
textured wallpaper, such as grass-cloth, to imbue a space with a nod to nature. Let the decorating begin…
Plant Some Trees
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An important element of this idea is nature; so gather an assortment of potted plants and trees. Consider tucking a small potted tree into one corner of the nursery. If you don’t want to incorporate growing plants into your decor, consider stenciling or painting walls with nature scenes, or adding one bold wall decal to evoke nature.
Add Scenes From Nature
Outside of adding plants to your nursery, there are plenty of other ways to evoke nature. Hang small framed photos of animals and tranquil forest landscapes. Or cover a wall with painted paper depicting sweet animals in the woods.
Incorporate Wooden Elements
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Consider incorporating natural elements, like wood, when decorating your space. They offer an immediate return to nature. The material also has a timeless feel, which means your decor is less likely to appear dated in a few years.
Highlight Natural Materials
Just because natural materials — like wool, wood, or foliage — can create a neutral palette, doesn’t mean you can’t make bold statements in your decor. A large swing chair, hung from the ceiling with rope, can make a stylish and super comfy alternative to the recliner in which you were thinking of rocking your baby to sleep. Grass-cloth-inspired window blinds or wallpaper also give a natural vibe.
Consider Floral Wallpaper
What creates a cozier room than walls papered in a floral print? You can create a retro feel with warmer, flowery tones of pinks and greens, or a more modern (but no less quaint) vibe with a white background.
Decorate With Quilts
Drape quilts over rocking chairs, recliners or footstools. Homemade accents, from blankets to stitched pillows, bring to mind quiet times and remind dwellers of all the love that’s held inside a handmade article.
Embrace Handmade Details
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If anyone has ever knitted your baby a blanket, crocheted a pair of booties, or stitched their name on a pillow, use those items as display pieces around your nursery. Perch crocheted booties on a stack of books, or a personalized pillow inside a wall-mounted shadow box; the handmade elements immediately warm a space.
Create A Terrarium Garden
Assemble a collection of whimsical terrariums, featuring small glass orbs and large spheres. Hang them at different heights from the ceiling, or arrange them along a window sill. Cottage scenes inside the glass can’t help but drive home your theme.
Bring In The Flowers
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Be they in your wallpaper, or tucked into vases dotted around the room (or better yet, both!), don’t hold back on the flowers. If you’re nervous about your baby breathing in the fragrant aromas, silk arrangements can lend an equally cottage-y touch. But overall, think wildflowers, sunflowers, and rosebuds.
Paint in Pastels
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When choosing a color palette for your nursery, consider soft greens, buttery yellows, and rosy pinks. Equally on theme? Natural tones, like straw, sunny yellow, and warm taupes.
Embrace Odd Spaces
Upper floors with slanted ceilings, odd slender corners, wood beams — all of these rustic, cottage-like accents create a decor without you having to paper a single wall. Refurbish an antique chest of drawers, and use it to display storage canisters. If you’re working with an older house, lean in to its uniqueness with retro details.
Display Whimsical Tea Cups
What brings to mind enchanted tea parties like vintage cups and saucers? If you have a bookshelf in your nursery, alternate rows of books with rows of tea cups. If you (and eventually, you and your child) enjoy shopping flea markets and antique shops, keep an eye out for sweet designs to add to your collection.
Throw On Some Twinkle Lights
Drape delicate strands of twinkle lights around hanging plants, inside glass vases, or along the tops of window treatments. So long as the strands are out of baby’s reach, they’ll lend a touch of romance and enchantment to any nursery decor.
Hang Dried Flowers
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Don’t feel like hanging elaborate drapes or curtains in your nursery? Install a set of blinds, then create a unique treatment by hanging dried flowers along the tops of the windows. The effect will be singular, and go a long way to evoke a cottage feel.
Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
Homespun goods are made, well, more personal with monograms and names hand-stitched into the fabrics. It’s easier than ever to find sites,
like Etsy, that specialize in personalized baby blankets. Display some, use some.