Delving Into Cottagecore Culture

Marie Antoinette’s ‘Hameau de le Reine’ at Versailles

“Cottagecore is all about living simply and slowly and appreciating the little things. It is about being present in every moment and thus living life to the fullest… Cottagecore is also closely linked with sustainability and living a sustainable lifestyle.” -Ruby Granger

Cottagecore has been described as the ‘biggest trend in quarantine’ and ‘where fairytale meet slow living.’ Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to re-evaluate our priorities in life, our livelihoods, and the pace of our lives. “Cottagecore” has been around for a long time. It was the aesthetic of Marie Antoinette’s farm house, the Petit Trianon, where the monarch sought refuge from the suffocating duties of complex palace life – the concept of slow living bodes much better with frivolity than complex interdynamics of nations intertwined together. In Marie Antoinette’s case, she was likely quite homesick for the Austrian countryside.

Perhaps this is what unraveled for the world during the pandemic – while we are all connected, we were together alone. And while this is powerful, we realized that there are some aspects of the “way things were” just no longer need to be “how they were.” There is nothing wrong with having more time with your family for example! Being an Austrian dual citizen, there are many elements of this philosophy and lifestyle which I grew up with already; for example, being appreciative of things that are homemade and having an emphasis on a good lifestyle at home. Austrians are known for being very hospitable, which exemplifies their quality of life at home!

The aesthetic of Cottagecore brings comfort and solace. To that end, I have personally tried to bring together the best of both worlds in this way (complexity + comfort). I have personally become interested in Complex Systems Theory and have been working towards building a more fluent understanding of its application (the application of this theory feels endless). With that said, challenging oneself and utilizing extra time to learn also means valuing the ideals of rest, which the pandemic has also allowed us all to reframe.

No one can perform at their best without proper rest. This is where the Cottagecore aesthetic comes in well; the entire ideal of the philosophy of Cottagecore is about slowing down. It’s about engaging with the environment around you. It’s about appreciating the roses and variety of country style flowers around and honoring your existence in this way. Of course, not everyone has access to a stunning countryside (many people have been navigating stressful urban environments during the pandemic), however, there are ways to appreciate and cultivate a deeper connection to nature. An antique looking painting of flowers and plants can be a good reminder of this in your home.

Even if a countryside is not nearby, small shifts in routine can help balance your lifestyle and live into this Cottagecore aesthetic and philosophy. For example, waking up and saying “thank you” for a new day is a simple way to accept your circumstances and live more presently. An important part of the Cottagecore philosophy and aesthetic is that you are living presently and one with nature. Always remember, all you have is now. Make the most of it!

xxx Bianca

A cottage in the Austrian countryside

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