Velma Manoharan, Director of Naturalis Historia tells us how to achieve the cosy cottagecore aesthetic with reclaimed teak furniture, taking us from the first purchase to her top styling tips.
What makes reclaimed teak furniture such a good fit for the cottagecore aesthetic?
Reclaimed teak is a living material on its own. Ageing from exposure to natural elements allows each and every plank and beam to patinate over decades, possessing a beautiful melange of brown hues that cannot be replicated intentionally. These imperfections are perfectly suited to match the rustic and robust charm of cottagecore.
How do you recommend sourcing reclaimed furniture? What should homeowners keep in mind while shopping?
Every reclaimed teak piece comes with a story and once served its purpose as an important component of a building. New homeowners should make their purchase with the knowledge that they are buying furniture made from materials with a strong history and embrace the unique features that every piece bears, rather than see them as defects and flaws.
For homeowners who have never bought reclaimed furniture before, which pieces do you recommend starting with?
I would recommend the first purchase to be a focal piece of considerable size, such as a media console, buffet or bed frame. This also makes for a good investment, as reclaimed teak pieces are made to last over many generations.
How can new homeowners achieve a cosy cottagecore aesthetic without breaking the bank?
If you’re watching your budget, build your collection slowly. Start off with various small pieces around the home, such as low-profile consoles and side tables. This will organically evoke that cottagecore aesthetic throughout your home.
Can you share a few tips for styling reclaimed furniture?
Reclaimed teak looks best when paired with other organic elements. I would recommend placing your teak furniture in a well-lit spot of your home alongside a few plants and natural accessories made from stone and woven materials.
Beyond furniture, what are some of your favourite decor picks to evoke the cottagecore style?
Reaching for colours and prints is always a great way to achieve that homey feel, especially when it comes to the cottagecore aesthetic. Plants are of course a good way to go, but if you don’t have green fingers, consider a couple of cushions or lampshades with flora and fauna elements to bring out warmth and cosiness in your space.
This post was adapted from an article originally published in IdealHomes vol. 13.