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  • Writer's pictureBren Petrunick

The Evolution of “Cottage Chic”

In the world of interior design, achieving an "effortless" style takes a bit of effort itself. However, once you've mastered the laid-back charm of this aesthetic, you'll never want to turn back. The allure of rustic living has always been strong – the cozy atmosphere and serene vibe are incredibly appealing. This trend has been steadily growing over time, with "cottagecore" décor and gaining even more popularity in the aftermath of the pandemic.

white bedroom, cottage vibes, white drapery, white shiplap wall and a white dresser with a circle mirror above

Today, the concept of "cottage chic" remains a highly coveted aesthetic, but it has evolved into a more refined and sophisticated version of its earlier self. Let's explore how this trend has transformed over the years and how it's influencing designs in lake houses, urban apartments, and every space in between.

Embracing Nature's Influence

Whether you're integrating organic materials into your décor or letting nature's essence seep into your living space, the inspiration from the outdoors instantly adds a sense of comfort and connection. While classic earthy elements like wood, stone, and natural fibers continue to hold a special place in interior design, designers are now exploring more subtle ways to evoke nature. This involves using soft colors, intricate patterns, and textured surfaces that reflect the beauty of the natural world. Think earthy paint tones, floral and leafy patterns, and finishes that embrace imperfections for a truly organic feel.

Tip: Warmer, darker colors and matte textures create a cozy ambiance by absorbing light. To balance this effect, introduce elements of "airiness" by incorporating white accents.

blue fabric pattern pillow on red plaid fabric upholstered chair at the cottage

The Art of Mixing and Mingling

Let's clear something up right away – "cottage chic" is not synonymous with "shabby chic." In fact, it's an artful combination of various furniture pieces and collected items, thoughtfully curated over time. Whether you're gathering your furniture all at once or gradually acquiring pieces, layering diverse styles and materials gives your space an inviting, lived-in quality. Feel free to blend vintage finds with contemporary pieces or pair a casual furniture set with an ornate antique. This layering extends to color choices as well. For instance, the earthy color palette mentioned earlier can be energized with bold blacks or vibrant accent hues. This not only adds depth to your design but also creates captivating focal points.

Prioritizing Low Maintenance

Here's a little secret: "low maintenance" goes beyond just keeping your surroundings tidy. When you truly embrace the idea of simplicity, you'll discover more time to enjoy the things you love with the people who matter most. This is precisely why many seek refuge in cottage living – it's a break from the daily grind. So why not bring this ease into your space? When renovating, redecorating, or updating furniture, consider your low-maintenance goals. Opt for materials that demand less upkeep, are easy to clean, and can endure wear and tear without a fuss. This approach saves you time, stress, and money, allowing you to focus on what truly matters.

a Simply White Interiors designed room at the cottage with white upholstered chair and blue pillow

"Cottage chic" is more than just a design trend; it has evolved into a lifestyle that prioritizes our connection with the environment, our heritage, our individuality, and the relationships we cherish.

Let's face it: life can become overwhelming. Taking a step back and finding joy in the simple things is essential. By incorporating this essence into your home, you'll never have to venture far to find your personal sanctuary when you need it most.

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headshot of Bren Petrunick, Founder, Creative Director of Simply White Interiors in Niagara on the Lake

Bren Petrunick

Founder, Creative Director

Simply White Interiors

Niagara on the Lake



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