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Meet Cottage Hardcore – Cottagecore’s Dark, Chaotic Cousin

Sadhbh O'Sullivan
·4-min read

Cottagecore is so 2020.

Well it isn't, necessarily. But as with every trend, the moment you finally know what everyone on TikTok is talking about, a new trend emerges to pique your interest and send your fantasy home decorating in a whole new direction.

That new direction, my friends, is cottage hardcore. The term was first used by the moody home decor brand House of Hackney to describe their upcoming spring/summer collection. They explained the idea over email: "Since lockdown first began last spring, we’ve all been desiring more time outdoors – and the idea of escaping to a rural idyll feels more alluring than ever. That’s what we feel lies at the heart of cottagecore: it’s about our collective desire to reconnect with nature."

Cottage hardcore lends an edge to cottagecore's soft colour palette and romanticised view of rural life. Where cottagecore is light and airy, all pastel accents and natural woods, cottage hardcore is crowds of colour, toughened with a slash of black.

It's cottagecore in all caps and bolded to within an inch of its life. It's the rural aesthetic for people who go hard, with the edge of chaos inherent to untamed nature. It's for those who feel drawn to parts of dark academia but want none of the studying and a more riotous colour palette. It is, in the words of House of Hackney, "a garden gone feral, with flowers drawn from nature then given a fantastical spin."

House of Hackney may have called the trend but there is a world of ways to incorporate it into your space. We can't go outdoors, we can't even create more light in our lives, but we can fill every nook and cranny of our homes with this eclectic, over-the-top trend...

From the people who coined the term, this House of Hackney vase is quintessential cottage hardcore. Painted in dusty green with brass accents, the intriguing ceramic design features five gilded serpents slithering up to peek over the edge.<br><br><strong>House Of Hackney</strong> SERPENTIS Vase - Eucalyptus & Brass, $, available at <a href="https://www.houseofhackney.com/uk/serpentis-vase-green.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:House Of Hackney" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">House Of Hackney</a>
From the people who coined the term, this House of Hackney vase is quintessential cottage hardcore. Painted in dusty green with brass accents, the intriguing ceramic design features five gilded serpents slithering up to peek over the edge.

House Of Hackney SERPENTIS Vase - Eucalyptus & Brass, $, available at House Of Hackney
And what could be better to fill such a vase than a bouquet of dried wildflowers?<br><br><strong>Berylune Dried Flowers</strong> Mixed Bouquet Of Wildflowers Natural, $, available at <a href="https://www.trouva.com/products/berylune-dried-flowers-mixed-bouquet-of-wildflowers-natural" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Trouva" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Trouva</a>
And what could be better to fill such a vase than a bouquet of dried wildflowers?

Berylune Dried Flowers Mixed Bouquet Of Wildflowers Natural, $, available at Trouva
One major part of cottage hardcore is how it steps beyond the romanticising of rural living and dips its toes into the realm of fantasy. This new wallpaper collaboration between Lick and British artist Natasha Coverdale hits exactly that spot – imagined botanicals overflowing from the wall in a pleasing, nurturing palette. No minimalism here, thanks very much.<br><br><strong>Lick x Studio Coverdale</strong> Mars Meadow 02, $, available at <a href="https://www.lickhome.com/wallpaper/mars-meadow-02-natasha-coverdale" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Lick" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Lick</a>
One major part of cottage hardcore is how it steps beyond the romanticising of rural living and dips its toes into the realm of fantasy. This new wallpaper collaboration between Lick and British artist Natasha Coverdale hits exactly that spot – imagined botanicals overflowing from the wall in a pleasing, nurturing palette. No minimalism here, thanks very much.

Lick x Studio Coverdale Mars Meadow 02, $, available at Lick
If cottage hardcore is what happens when the world outside breaks into your space, then it's only a matter of time before Victorian frogs start having a tea party – right?<br><br><strong>PipandTheo</strong> Midnight Tea Party Print, $, available at <a href="https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/881759261/midnight-tea-party-print-victorian-frog?" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Etsy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Etsy</a>
If cottage hardcore is what happens when the world outside breaks into your space, then it's only a matter of time before Victorian frogs start having a tea party – right?

PipandTheo Midnight Tea Party Print, $, available at Etsy
These floral candlesticks come in either distressed cream verdigris or green verdigris, depending on how dramatic you want to feel. Bonus points for pairing with <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/homeware-gift-guide-christmas-2020#slide-10" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:coloured tapered candles" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">coloured tapered candles</a>.<br><br><strong>Re-Found Objects</strong> Floral Candlesticks, $, available at <a href="https://www.re-foundobjects.com/product/view/floral-candlesticks?cat=53" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Re-Found Objects" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Re-Found Objects</a>
These floral candlesticks come in either distressed cream verdigris or green verdigris, depending on how dramatic you want to feel. Bonus points for pairing with coloured tapered candles.

Re-Found Objects Floral Candlesticks, $, available at Re-Found Objects
No discussion about cottagecore and homeware is complete without talking about William Morris prints, is it? This bedspread is on the expensive side so it's definitely more of an investment but the bold colourway and timeless pattern make it well worth the cash.<br><br><strong>Morris & Co.</strong> Strawberry Thief Bedspread, Red, $, available at <a href="https://www.johnlewis.com/morris-co-strawberry-thief-bedspread/charcoal-blush/p4209175" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:John Lewis" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">John Lewis</a>
No discussion about cottagecore and homeware is complete without talking about William Morris prints, is it? This bedspread is on the expensive side so it's definitely more of an investment but the bold colourway and timeless pattern make it well worth the cash.

Morris & Co. Strawberry Thief Bedspread, Red, $, available at John Lewis
This lamp is pure cottagecore on top with its delicate floral print, with a suggestion of hardcore in the metal stand.<br><br><strong>Zara Home</strong> Stem Lamp With Printed Shade, $, available at <a href="https://www.zarahome.com/gb/living-room/lighting/stem-lamp-with-printed-shade-c1020264593p301995338.html?ct=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zara Home" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zara Home</a>
This lamp is pure cottagecore on top with its delicate floral print, with a suggestion of hardcore in the metal stand.

Zara Home Stem Lamp With Printed Shade, $, available at Zara Home
This vintage coffee grinder is handpainted and in great working condition – perfect for preparing your morning brew or just displaying as part of your home's <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/lockdown-clutter-home" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:charming clutter" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">charming clutter</a>.<br><br><strong>Peugeot Freres</strong> Hand Painted 1900s Coffee Grinder, $, available at <a href="https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/875368154/a-lovely-working-hand-painted-vintage?" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Etsy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Etsy</a>
This vintage coffee grinder is handpainted and in great working condition – perfect for preparing your morning brew or just displaying as part of your home's charming clutter.

Peugeot Freres Hand Painted 1900s Coffee Grinder, $, available at Etsy
This chintzy ginger jar is on the lighter side colour-wise but it's perfect for storing your chaotic trinkets.<br><br><strong>The Nine Schools</strong> Small Blue and White Ginger Jar, $, available at <a href="https://thenineschools.co.uk/collections/ceramics/products/small-blue-and-white-ginger-jar" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Nine Schools" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Nine Schools</a>
This chintzy ginger jar is on the lighter side colour-wise but it's perfect for storing your chaotic trinkets.

The Nine Schools Small Blue and White Ginger Jar, $, available at The Nine Schools
Alternatively, you could go a bit more eclectic with this tureen which is a slightly darker take on the <a href="https://refinery29.com/en-gb/murano-mushroom-lamp-where-to-buy" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:mushroom trend" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">mushroom trend</a>.<br><br><strong>Bordallo Pinheiro</strong> Mushroom Small Earthenware Tureen, $, available at <a href="https://www.matchesfashion.com/products/1341494?" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Matches Fashion" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Matches Fashion</a>
Alternatively, you could go a bit more eclectic with this tureen which is a slightly darker take on the mushroom trend.

Bordallo Pinheiro Mushroom Small Earthenware Tureen, $, available at Matches Fashion

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