Style Guide: How to Get the Rustic Cottagecore Aesthetic in Your Singapore Home

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The cottagecore style is all about evoking simpler times; you’ll often find hand-crafted furniture, imperfect textures and natural elements in this style of home. While it’s often seen as a Western look inspired by British cottages and countryside living, more and more local homeowners are pulling this style off in their HDB flats and condos, bringing peace and quiet into their bustling city flats.

Wooden beams

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Design by Dan’s Workshop | Incorporate structures that evoke country living for a bit of extra detail.

One element that you’ll notice in many rustic homes is wooden beams. In traditional wooden houses, they are part of the structure and ensure the integrity of the building; in our contemporary Singaporean flats, they are purely aesthetic, but still absolutely significant in achieving this look.

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Design by Aarong Wong | Wooden beams are usually applied horizontally, but consider experimenting with vertical wooden columns as well for some added visual interest.

The most popular place to incorporate wooden beams is above the living or dining area, although they can add some visual interest to the bedroom as well. You can even use them as a trim to demarcate various areas of the house.

Rustic lighting

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Design by Ethereall | Cross-back wooden barstools are a must-have in a rustic kitchen.

Want a pendant lamp to act as a centrepiece in the dining area? You can never go wrong with a charming chandelier with a few exposed lightbulbs. A rope base will make for an especially rustic look, while a black metal design looks somewhat more modern but can still work if balanced with warm-toned bulbs.

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Design by Fuse Concept | A wood-frame divider will help to create some separation between kitchen and dining while allowing in plenty of natural light.

A slightly more unusual alternative is a metal pendant lamp with a raw, industrial design. It may seem like an unconventional choice for a cottagecore home, but if paired with wood furnishings and other natural elements, it will complement the cosy aesthetic while bringing in a contrasting material.

Distressed wood

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Design by Design Neu | If you don’t want to have too much clutter lying around, storing your dinnerware behind glass fronts is a tidy alternative.

One of the easiest ways to give your home an instant rustic touch is with distressed wood textures. Shop for reclaimed and recycled wood furniture and opt for a raw look for cabinet fronts and other fittings.

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Design by Aarong Wong | Hook bars and crockery racks are typical of this design style and make for space-savvy additions to the kitchen.

Barn doors are another common element of the rustic cottage look. After all, they originate from barns, a staple of country life. They are also a great place to apply the distressed wood texture if other surfaces in the house don’t lend themselves to it.

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Design by Aarong Wong | Struggling to pick a washbasin for your cottagecore bathroom? A farmhouse sink is always a good way to go.

While distressed wood is the most common type of raw surface in the cottagecore style, other materials can have a similarly distressed finish too. Imperfections in painted walls and even concrete or tiling can go a long way to add a rustic touch to your interiors.

Shopping for your cottagecore home? Check out our must-have furniture picks here!

Shaker cabinets

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Design by Charlotte’s Carpentry | Clutter is a big part of the cottagecore style. If you prefer hiding your dishes and knick-knacks behind closed doors, this look may not be for you.

Shaker cabinets have a cosy and traditional look about them, making them a much better fit for cottagecore-style homes than the single-panel cabinets we see in sleek, modern kitchens. Just keep in mind that shaker cabinets take a bit more work to keep clean as they do have multiple edges and are not just composed of one flat surface.

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Image courtesy of SMEG | Stay away from plastic containers and use clear glass jars instead to evoke the full charm of cottage living.

If you want to add even more countryside charm to your kitchen, complement the shaker cabinets with panelled walls and throw in some corbels for that old-school ornamentation. Opt for white, blue or green cabinets and fittings for an authentic cottagecore palette.

Cosy corners

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Design by Style Living | Make sure to opt for warm lighting and stay away from cold, fluorescent lamps. Exposed lightbulbs will lend your home an especially rustic vibe—just don’t pick any that look too harsh and industrial!

In order to set up some cosy nooks and crannies around the house, pick a well-lit area and start by placing some comfort furniture, be it an armchair or a sofa, then make it pop with a few cushions and draping throws. You can enhance the cosy vibe even further by adding a rug and some plants to the surroundings.

Want to know how to pick and style cottagecore furniture? Read our top tips here!

Woven materials

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Image courtesy of Annette

Soft furnishings play an important role in establishing the cottagecore style. The more natural and raw the materials, the better, making woven fabrics like linen and bamboo especially suitable.

Opening image courtesy of Ethereall. This post was adapted from an article first published in idealhomes vol. 13.

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