Understanding the Difference Between Cottagecore and Cabincore

Understanding the Difference Between Cottagecore and Cabincore

Interior Design
Decoration and Design
By Dikran Seferian July 22, 2022

It wasn’t more than a few years ago when the cottagecore trend hit social media platforms by storm. We began to see cottage-inspired designs in homes everywhere. Soon enough, the cabincore design made its own grand entrance in the interior design trends. Rustic features that evoked a sense of warmth became all the rage. Both cottagecore and cabincore appealed to a mass of homeowners — especially the younger generation who got familiar with the two styles on Tiktok and Instagram.

Considering the similarities between cottagecore and cabincore, it’s not uncommon to confuse one for the other. Both make extensive use of natural materials to create an aesthetic that inspires peace and repose. This correlation may even allow for a blend of the two styles. While the cabincore design leans towards rustic elements, however, cottagecore is somewhat more refined.

The cottagecore aesthetic draws inspiration from pretty farmhouses and countryside cottages. Cabincore, on the other hand, hints toward cozy cabins and woodland lodges. When you think cottagecore, you think spring and summer. When you think cabincore, you think autumn and winter. 

What Is the Cottagecore Design?

Bright interiors and a vivid color scheme characterize the cottagecore design.

Bright interiors and a vivid color scheme characterize the cottagecore design.

Also known as grandmacore, the cottagecore style centers itself around the idea of a modest, self-sufficient lifestyle. It invokes a sense of desire for a life that is more in touch with nature — one that eludes modern sensibilities. Think of cottagecore as a comfy, non-judgemental blanket that embraces your humble abode. It may seem somewhat quirky and nostalgic, but also reflects the need for natural beauty and sustainability with quaint and eco-friendly features.

But make no mistake; a simplified style doesn’t necessarily mean a minimalist one. Cottagecore doesn’t employ the clean lines and bare spaces of minimalism. Instead, it adopts a bit of clutter to make the living space appear lived-in. Cottagecore interiors welcome spice jars set out on the countertop, basketfuls of yarn near a rocking chair, or a selection of books stacked on the nightstand.

Cottagecore interiors tend to be vibrant, charming, and full of character.

Cottagecore interiors tend to be vibrant, charming, and full of character.

Homes featuring this charming style thrive in being a place of calm, comfort, and convenience. Cottagecore things typically include potted houseplants, homespun wooden furniture, vintage items, and anything else that evokes nostalgia or alludes to a self-sustainable lifestyle. 

What Is the Cabincore Design?

Wooden elements appear abundantly in cabincore living spaces.

Wooden elements appear abundantly in cabincore living spaces.

Cabincore design is more about taking the rustic style and transforming it into something more sophisticated and closer to nature. The aesthetic steps away from recent design trends such as Regencycore and leans towards a more comfortable vibe. Cabincore aims to combine the elements of hygge — like warm fires and chunky blankets  — with the great outdoors. And it does so by highlighting the areas of the home that hint at the natural world. We’re talking cozy seating areas near panoramic windows, a reading nook by the fireplace, or maybe even a deck.

As such, the cabincore aesthetic is a nod to mountainous landscapes. You may also notice layered lighting, warm textiles, and accessories in rich tones that add Alpine charm to a living space — wherever it’s a small apartment in the city or a chalet in the countryside.

Creating a cozy atmosphere is a fundamental aspect cabincore interior design.

Creating a cozy atmosphere is a fundamental aspect cabincore interior design.

Having said that, there’s no specific direction when it comes to choosing cabincore decor. You can have an eclectic mix of modern, vintage, and handmade items. But one thing is for sure, cabincore features an abundance of wooden elements — starting from wood floors to wood ceilings and anything in between. 

How Can You Tell Between Cottagecore and Cabincore?

Cabincore emerged as cottagecore’s more rugged, adventurous sibling. While the two may be similar in certain ways, you’ll notice several key differences between them. These mainly have to do with textiles, accents, color schemes, furnishings, and wall decor. 

Textiles and Fabrics

Textiles in cottagecore homes tend to be light and refined. In the kitchen, for example, you’ll see gingham tablecloths and floral curtains. Quaint fabrics appear in the form of throw blankets, cushion covers, and soft furnishings. Jute or artisan rugs elevate wood floors while quilts add extra comfort to a couch. 

Cabincore design is all about maximizing warmth and comfort while being closer to nature.

Cabincore design is all about maximizing warmth and comfort while being closer to nature.

Cabincore interiors favor textiles that are warm and chunky — something that you would want to snuggle up in with a warm cup of tea or coffee. Leather upholstery, fresh linen sheets, pure cotton bedding, comfy throw blankets, and traditional rugs also make an appearance in cabincore living spaces. Tabletops, however, are often bare as opposed to the covered ones in most cottage designs.

Color Palette

Splashes of color in cottagecore homes help to create a welcoming atmosphere.

Splashes of color in cottagecore homes help to create a welcoming atmosphere.

Cottagecore colors primarily consist of pastel shades and springtime hues. This trend relies heavily on an eclectic array of colors spread throughout a bright atmosphere — think vibrant shades of green and floral hues combined with earthy tones. You can see this vivid color palette on everything from lampshades to curtains, to sofa covers, area rugs, and wallpaper.

A typical cabincore color scheme often tends to avoid cool tones such as blue and white. Instead, it embraces warm and earthy hues such as maroon, mustard, burnt orange, and olive green. This combination of woodsy colors reinforces the concept of blending the indoors with the outdoors. 

Wall Elements

One design element that is quite popular in cottagecore homes is wallpaper, serving as a charming backdrop to living spaces. Floral or nature-inspired wallpaper, for instance, plays well with the cottagecore aesthetic. As for wall art, this interior design style welcomes polaroid photographs, still-life paintings, and anything that evokes nostalgia.

Canvas prints and brick walls are common features of homes in the cabincore style.

Canvas prints and brick walls are common features of homes in the cabincore style.

Cabincore interiors prefer wood paneling and brick fireplaces, similar to what you see in ski lodges. And with tastefully curated wall art, the interiors can look traditional yet robust. You may also see displays of antique paintings, canvas prints, wood carvings, and wild-life-inspired decor.

Floral Accents

Bouquets of freshly picked flowers play a major role in cottagecore interiors.

Bouquets of freshly picked flowers play a major role in cottagecore interiors.

Cottagecore homes make use of hand-picked flowers to brighten up the mood in a living space, and to highlight the design style’s close ties to nature. You’ll find bouquets of wildflowers such as daisies on windowsills, tables, and even in baskets hanging from the walls. To get a better idea, simply imagine the aesthetic of living somewhere in the English countryside; the English cottage style comes to mind here.

Floral arrangements in cabincore interiors, if any, mostly consist of dried plants, flowers, and twigs. The raw nature of these bouquets reinforces the cabincore aesthetic, especially considering that the style resonates with the autumn season. Potted cactuses are also common in homes featuring this design. 

Household Items

Anything from kitchenware to dried herbs can serve as decor in cottagecore living spaces.

Anything from kitchenware to dried herbs can serve as decor in cottagecore living spaces.

Curated household items appear abundantly in cottagecore living spaces. These can be anything from heirlooms to handcrafted accessories. This style makes a habit out of displaying random paraphernalia. This includes making a display out of ceramic kitchenware and cooking ingredients. You may see bowls of fruits on the kitchen table, dried herbs hanging above the countertop, and spice jars on open shelves. 


Cabinbore homes tend to showcase items like antique novelties and artisan pottery. Brass and copper miscellanies are also common in living spaces featuring this design style. Such elements of decor aim to highlight the authenticity that cabincore interiors strive to exude. Also adding to that aesthetic are cast-iron cookware as well as stoneware.

DS

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian

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